Today on my second day of work experience with Paul, we started at South Molton school and gave some children guitar lessons. After that we came back to Braunton for my own guitar lesson. Next it was my sisters lesson which I played the cajon (small drum) for, and assisted her along with songs that Paul had shown her recently. Next we headed back to Ilfracombe to collect the equipment for a ukulele workshop that evening, once everything was packed up it was time to go. For this particular workshop, we drove to Simonsbath house on Exmoor. The workshop was full of enthusiastic children, and ran very smoothly. After the workshop we headed back home. A very long tiring second day, and much of the same tomorrow.
This is a following Ilfracombe Rotary Star Trek. The information provided is from David Jones of Hele Mill.
The Star Trek Challenge on twitter is @star_trek_walk
Well they are all off and running the last team 8:45 pm.
All going well on this moonlit night. First team back, half way 9.40
We have 45 people following this blog post at the moment. Your comments are welcome.
We have 102 people following this blog post.
First team to complete the Star Trek in at 0:44 am
I stand corrected Nicola was the last. finding a more interesting route via the Cairngorms or some such place. The ghost team had gone home after doing half the course but neglected to tell
North Devon Gazette coverage http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/pictures_successful_startrek_takes_to_exmoor_1_3984020
This this week only, I will be taking over the twitter account of @peopleofdevon
I have done it before, I don't know if anyone else has ever had a second crack at running this great twitter account. I'm not sure if the administrators of this account have had me back because I did a good job last time, or because they felt I was so bad I need to do the job again. Anyway, so carry on following my usual twitter account @paulkclews and let me know how I get on with @peopleofdevon. If you leave a comment here, I may give you a retweet.
Different kinds of people, from all over Devon get to have a go at running the account,, telling world about the county. Each week someone new takes over account. Why not apply, it's great fun, brings a new audience to you, and adds followers to your own account.
To apply to run the @peopleofdevon account for a week, contact @devon_hour on twitter.
Billy Bragg talks about the the demise of the protest song. http://audioboo.fm/boos/2213757-where-are-all-the-protest-songs
We are wanting to find people who would be willing to join the network hub we are proposing to set up for the North Devon area. We are members of the Permaculture Association.
Wenderlynn & Iain
Thinking I would know exactly what to write I volunteered rather enthusiastically to ‘guest blog’ on Paul’s blog, without really considering what that entailed and what would appeal to his audience… however, here I am ready to impart a bit of knowledge on photographing weddings.
My name is Christina Dithmar and I am NOT a wedding photographer… I do however photograph the weddingsand I very much love doing so. Wedding Photographers spend their whole lives photographing weddings and some of them are utterly amazing at it. I spend my photographylife photographing families, children, adults, pets, horses and some product and commercial photography too. I have a project entitled The Essence of Woman, which I am really passionate about, as it seeks to empower women through the medium of photography, to feel great about themselves.I am NOT a wedding photographer, but if I ever get asked, I jump at the chance!
Photographing weddings is at once fabulous, fun, exciting, exhilarating, ridiculously stressful and a huge responsibility. What is there not to love? It is one day; the mostimportant day in someone’s life and you absolutely have to get it right. There is no going back and reshooting. So why is it such fun and what do photographers do to make sure that everything goes to plan? Personally, I plan and then Iplan some more. There will always be something you can’t plan for and that you have to respond to instead, but if you are careful and you plan for all eventualities, you will feel much more relaxed and at ease, so if something does come and bite you on the proverbial bottom, you will be ready!
Here is my list of 10 tips to ensure the wedding photography goes off without a bang…(in no particular order):
1. Communicate with the bride and groom! Listen, find out their hopes and dreams, pay attention to the details of the wedding, the preparations and the dress! Knowledge is power and the more you know about them and the day, the more prepared you will be. Always do an engagement shoot! It gets them used to you and you to them! Find out what they like and don’t like about themselves (noses, teeth, eyes, legs etc).
2. Remember your CANDID SHOTS are really important! Make sure that all guests are covered, bridesmaids, grannies, young children, old friends. Don’t miss anyone out. You often get the best shots when people don’t know you are there, so start with a long lens, stay inconspicuous and out of the way, and let the party unfold as you record the memories.
3. Alongside the couple, prepare a FORMALfamily/friends/bridesmaids/best man shot list. Prepare it well and in order of shooting so that the posed shots that you will be doing, will be quick and easy, so as not to keep the guests too long. Ensure you know who the people are in relation to the couple and call them by the right and appropriate names (MR/MRS rather than ‘um, excuse me - you there…). Make sure you have one person responsible for collecting the people for the formal family shots as you can’t be running in and out trying to find them. It is always good to ensure that this person is your responsible person all day, the person that makes sure you get to the first dance or the cutting of the cake. Sometimes the times change on the day so it is essential that there is always someone there that is in charge of making sure you are in the right place at the right time.
4. Visit the venue(s) in advance if you can or get there early. CHECK YOUR LIGHTING! Make sure you check the venues with the lighting on and if in a church, make sure that you check it with the heaters on or you could be in for an interesting surprise! Make notes and sketches of where you can do your shots, where to stand, where you can get creative!
5. One week before the wedding prepare your ALL DAY SHOT LIST. Write down EVERY shot you want to get from the time you arrive to the time you leave, at the right times. Break down the day according to what the couple have told you is going to happen, and slot the shot list in. (You can find a sample shot list here…) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
6. The CREATIVE COUPLE Shoot. Sketch the shots you would like, write a list. Be prepared for all eventualities. You think the shots are going to be outside? Think again… the weather plays tricks! Be prepared to have to change the outside to the inside and know where you are going to shoot. Bring umbrellas!
7. Keep MEMORY CARDS safe - back pockets are NOT safe. Take lots, change them regularly (before they run out). Back up half way through if you can and have time. Don’t delete the images off your cards until you have backed up twice at home too! Batteries - have lots and make sure they are charged!
8. Get INSURANCE! Never, ever, ever do a wedding without insurance! Have personal indemnity insurance, public liability and contents cover - you never know! Insure your car for business. You will feel much happier making sure you are covered.
9. Shooting INDOORS. Most weddings happen indoors and outdoors - often switching between the two quickly - so the most important thing is to know your camera, know your lenses. Understand the camera settings you need when indoors, and use a monopod or a tripod to help reduce noise in your images. If you are really struggling with the lights, you can use a flash, personally I prefer not to. If you are still struggling and you just cannot get the effect you want or need, pop your camera on automatic. There is no shame in this - lighting can change quickly and rather than getting stressed and frustrated, just pop it on auto until you have calmed down and you are able to think clearly again. If your camera has an automatic ISO setting I recommend using that when spending a lot of time inside and out, so that you don’t have to worry about changing it all the time.
10. Remember, it is an immense honour for someone to ask you to photograph their wedding, so treat it as such and ENJOY IT! Be in control, because if you are not in control it will show. Stick to your timekeeping and be a little bit bossy if you have to, or you won’t get the shots that the bride and groom have entrusted you to get. Remember also that you are their eyes for the whole day, so don’t forget to shoot all the little important things like table decorations, the favours, jewellery, the bouquetsand never forget the cake!
Never ever stay for a drink afterwards. One drink can lead to two can lead to… and the last thing you want to do is lose your images, lose a card, have your camera stolen etc.
This one is something I have to do for my own sake so as not to be over critical… Whatever you do, don’t ever look at the images until at least 2 days later. Go home, back your images up, but don’t look at them. You need a break, so sleep and do something away from the computer the next day so you are not tempted. It is very easy to be over critical when you are still so close to the event and too easy to delete them all!
If you want to look at the BBC website, would you type www.bbc.co.uk in the address bar, or bbc into your favourite search engine? In a recent survey I read that 80% of people never use the address bar, they always search. Well I am one of the 80%, I always search, even if I know the address of the website I require.
This makes me question the value of paying out the £20 or so per year for a personalised website address. I never have, I don't mind the long address. I've always thought people searched rather than addressed websites, and the survey seems to back me up. On social network's, links to websites are clicked on, therefore again a short address is unnecessary.
I advertise my website, in websites about Devon, weddings, music teachers and such like, again all using hyperlinks.
On my new business card I have not even put my website address on the card. I have put a QR code link to my website.
I am interested to hear what you think about this subject, please leave your comments and thoughts, I am really struggling to see why you and I should spend the money.
Many thanks to Paul for the invitation to guest blog. I’m Ruth and I live in
Ilfracombe, which is why it’s been an expensive week so far.
I had to go to a meeting in London yesterday. The meeting lasted less than an
hour but it took nine hours, twenty miles of driving and a stonking train fare
to get there and home again. Not to mention the cost of the mysterious
transformation that yet again took place somewhere between Barnstaple and
Paddington. How is it that I get on the train in Devon looking respectable, and
when I get off it in London I look like a bag lady? I’m sure I’m not the only
person this happens to. Maybe that’s why there’s a branch of Monsoon in
None of the people at the meeting knew where Ilfracombe was. That was
interesting, because they’re in the book business, and while most of the trade
is mourning the fact that bookshops are closing down all around us, what do we
have right here in our own High Street?
I suppose its relative remoteness is one reason that Ilfracombe has managed
to hang onto all sorts of businesses which, for friends who live in bigger towns
with easier communications, are only a fond memory. A proper greengrocer. Two
real butchers. Bakeries and a post office that aren’t just add-ins to
supermarkets. A fish shop. A local printer. Pedlar’s. Shops that deliver. Shops
that don’t charge silly prices. Shops where the staff know what they’re talking
about - usually because they’re the owners. That’s not to mention the proper
pubs, the farmers who sell locally-raised meat and the places to buy free-range
eggs at the front gate. As the daughter and grand-daughter of former Ilfracombe
shopkeepers, I listened to the Londoners saying, "Ilfracombe? Where’s that?" and
I smiled, and I thought, it’s in a very good place.
By Ruth Downie
Win a free half hour guitar or ukulele lesson by Skype, FaceTime or google hangouts. During #DevonHour on twitter, this week only (21/82013), 10 questions about me will appear under the hash tag #SoYouThinkYouKnowMe. Simply tweet the answers back to me. All the answers are in my twitter time line and blogs.
The winner will be announced shortly after Saturday 6 pm (24/8/2013) when the competition closes, here and on Twitter. In the event of a tie, I will draw a winner from the most correct answers. Anyone is eligible to play, except me. Good luck!
You must be able to get your hands on a guitar or ukulele.
No cash alternatives.
My decision is final.
As many of you know, I'm not a fan of open mic nights. You don't need to get ripped off to get your first gigs. http://paulclews888.weebly.com/1/post/2013/03/open-mic-nights-why-you-should-not-play-them.htm You could play at family and friends parties for instance. These kind of events will offer you a supportive audience, and introduce you to other party guests who may never have heard of your band, or if they have, may not know what you sound like. This could lead to another gig.
Another simple way to get a gig is to book yourself. Hire a pub or hotel room, or even a village hall or similar and sell tickets. In the old days in Ilfracombe, all the bands used to hire the Vaults Bar. Advertise your gig with posters in local shop windows. Many shop owners are happy to do this for free. These days it is much easier to make your own posters and tickets with computers and printers. They were just not available to me. Advertise your gig on gig web sites and of course on social media. Twitter being the best way to get your word out because of its size and the fact you can reach many people with no followers what so ever, with clever use of hash tags. Always include the name of the town or city where you are going to play, and including the surrounding towns is a good idea too. Facebook is important but difficult, in comparison. You need to actively collect 'likes' on you page, which for an unknown band is not easy. But you can advertise in local and other type specific groups. It is also well worth having a Google+ page to promote your gigs, because it is searchable on Google.
Gigs can also be promoted, often for free in local news papers, and on local radio. Just be creative.
Sell as many tickets as you can, and don't forget you can charge on the door too. It's a good idea to charge a little more on the door to encourage ticket sales. Get all your family and friends to buy tickets too, and you will make a profit from your gig.
What if you don't have enough songs? Well set up the gig as a double or triple bill with other local bands in a similar position to you. Split the overheads, split the profits. More bands promoting, means more advertising, bigger audiences, and more exposure for your band.
A word of warning before you start gigging. It's a little boring, and not very rock 'n' roll, but you need to get public liability insurance to protect yourself, your audience, and the venue you are playing at. The best way to get this in my opinion is to join the Musicians Union.
Good luck and get gigging.