posing for the camera…

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I feel super lucky to have this group again to teach, they are in their final year at school (10th class) now and i don’t normally get them any more at this point because their syllabus is already far too crammed. However special dispensation has been given and i can take photoshop lessons with them twice a week. They are my longest serving students, i have taught Kristu Raju (poser above right) every year since i first started coming here 6 years ago. He had just arrived in the orphanage and spoke almost no English, i just remember this very beautiful small boy who had to stand on a chair to reach the table where we were working, muttering away in Telugu, a little bit cheeky and obviously bright and really, really good at art. Obviously now he’s over 6 foot, and his English got a whole lot better, he is such a nice person.

IMG_0235…anyway i take photos of the class for them to manipulate on photoshop, the poses are their ideas…and they are ALL major hams!!!

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Diwali…

Diwali just took place. I walked into Buddavaram, the local village with 2 of my former students who are now in college. Everyone lights oil lamps, fireworks, sparklers… so we went to photograph the lights…

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IMG_0133That’s Gowri and Puru, they are at college now and are very fine human beings indeed, they took photography classes with me a few years back, here are some of their beautiful shots:

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immaculate tiny house with colour tv…

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Back in Andhra Pradesh…no school today because tomorrow is Diwali (major Hindu holiday) so i decide to walk the 4 or so km to Gannavaram, the nearest sizeable village. I notice new things from last year, like this tiny and immaculate house. These kinds of structures made from mud with leaf thatched roofs have the advantage of being relatively cool, unlike the now more usual concrete boxes of similar sizes, but apparently these roofs tend to attract snakes and rats…

IMG_0094…inside there is minimal furniture like a stretcher bed, lain on its side not to occupy space. Pride of space goes to the ubiquitous colour TV.

IMG_0080I really like how they decorated the outside, i think this woman really loves and cares for this house.

masons up the lane…

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I always notice this sign when i pass by Leith Walk…i love the tatty graphic, the passers-by additions (that crown!).  I guess it stands out for me because i always imagine all things masonic to be injected with a bit of cash and taking place in some dusty, historical building…

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…even more intriguing, to get there you have to venture down the kind or semi abandoned lane you might normally find in 90’s Brit TV drama depictions of the hunt for serial killers…now i catch myself sounding snippy and snobbish but really, it’s quite a scary wee lane…especially in the dark…regardless, their website says  “A private club for members friends and family. The Edinburgh Masonic Club is a peaceful oasis of traditional style pharmacy and atmosphere, space and comfort…”

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Adjacent to the club lie the remains of Shrubhill Tramway Workshops and Power Station, opened 1898. The complex is dominated by an octagonal brick chimney, with decorated top section on a square masonry base. The power station housed the haulage engines for cable-tramway operations. SO now you know!

so vinyl’s gone all popular again…

It’s been all over the news lately…about the resurgence of vinyl sales world wide and for those of us who never sold our vinyl collections, it never stopped being loved and appreciated. I won’t bore you with the merits of obviously the greatest medium for recorded music ever (worth it for the art work alone), instead i will revel in some gratuitous shots of some of my collection…

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And speaking of vinyl; a million years ago, one of the bands i played in, Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes was playing some gigs in London and i have a vivid memory of being in the Rough Trade shop in Ladbroke Grove, on the hunt for some records. Anyway while i was leafing through one section, someone next to me fished out a 7 inch single from beside me of Splashing Along (the first single by the aforementioned band), he looked at it for a bit and then bought it. To say i was excited beyond belief to see this purchase in action would be an understatement…of course this excitement was contained inwardly with no visible signs to the outside world (i was probably wearing sunglasses…yes it was indoors and yes it was probably raining outside and yes i know!!!) ANYWAY…i bring this up because yesterday i was passing an Oxfam shop in Edinburgh and stopped to look at the vinyl in the window and low and behold one of our albums, A Cabinet of Curiosities was in the window on sale for the knock down price of £9.99…kind of gave me a little thrill it did…

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