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This is Jim Jones at The Chattery in Swansea. Jim, or as he is known on his new album, Small Town Jones, is a musician from North Devon who sings in a kinda americana style. I went to see him at our local cafe music scene last month and was taken by his lovely tone and melodic tunes. Up until his recent album Freight Ships he was known as Jim Jones, but there are a lot of Jim Joneses in cyberland – preachers and rap artists amongst them – so Small Town it is. Take a listen here.
My favourite jacket, a distressed leather 10+ year affair, is fraying in the pockets. Keen to prolong its life I squeezed in to the tiny Sew 4 Sure seamstress stall in Swansea Market. Crammed in to a space about 9ft square were 3 women from Thailand, dozens of items for repair and at least three sewing machines. I spoke to Yanee (below) who has been in Wales for 5 years and at this stall for 4. She gave me a price for the repair and told me that they were moving to bigger premises, at stall 62/63 in the market, on Monday 19th March. She invited me along to see what they were doing telling me that there are to be girls dressed in Thai costume, Thai food and the opportunity to receive a blessing from Bhuddist Monks. Sounds like an interesting experience.
This is Brian Smith, Aikido tutor for the University of Wales Swansea Aikido Club. He had just finished the Club’s annual beach session. As I arrived at Caswell Beach the members were just finishing their instruction in front of a high tide, big waves and a couple of curious onlookers. They finished, stripped off and ran into the sea for a very bracing briny immersion, prior to a bacon sarnie at the Surfside Cafe. An invigorating start to the day.
For those Photoshop aficionados amongst you who are curious: I have applied a little vintage action and vignette to the original image just to lend a little timeless atmosphere to the action.
This week’s image develops the portrait theme in a new direction; moving from last week’s contemporary style to a bleaker, yet more eloquent scene. There was no movement of the objects as you see them here in a dirty quiet side street just off the main drag of Swansea City centre. Nor was any digital manipulation used. A plain truth is discerned. A life described. And then we move on.
Yesterday I was walking around Swansea Marina trying to pretend that the icy easterly wind was not hurting when I bumped into Billy on his bike. Billy is a Swansea born and bred man. Billy is a steadfast bike and bread man. Every day he cycles down to the Marina with his bag of bird seed. (I know I just said bread, the word play was too tempting to resist, forgive me.) He pedals to two spots, the first is close to the statue of Dylan Thomas and then he cycles on to the west end of the Marina to deposit another donation. The pigeons were very pleased to see him.
Cal Smyth is one of a bunch of guys who play 5 a side football, in a kind of jumpers for goalpost fashion, every friday evening. The game is between a bunch of regular attenders who are of mixed ability. Two teams are forged from loose affiliations, friendships and preferences (at least there’s no team captains choosing their favourites!) and then the game is played over a by now reduced hour. We take it in turns to play in goal and the teams are generally almost even.
Cal here, is a natural defender. Extendable legs, anticipatory blocking and sweeping positional play are weapons in his armoury. If he’s on your team then a little goal hanging is always possible.
A couple of weeks ago on finishing we were stood around outside, reliving our golden moments (I didn’t say much) when I noticed Cal’s steaming head. I quickly ran to the car, grabbed my camera with trusty 50mm lens and took this image below.
Cal also is a published author: his first novel, a racy crime tale, is published as an ebook and you can read the first chapter for free here.
Inspired by people photographer Carey Sheffield today is the first day of a new portrait project. My intention is to take 50 portrait photographs over 50 weeks of 2012 (I get a couple of weeks off for good behaviour). These images will mainly be strangers I come across in my daily life and who I can persuade to take part. Each photograph will be accompanied with a little bio and will hopefully build into an interesting collection over the year.
First up, an easy entry into the new work, is my old friend Simon. This is a classic scenario as we often meet for a walk around the Gower and on this occasion my hound, Monty, graced us with his presence in shot. The walk was through Nicholston Woods and Oxwich Beach on a grey but dry New Year’s Day. Simon has a young son, Sam, who may well join us in a travel backpack for future adventures.