Welcome to my blog. It started life as a general blog then became a photo a day project now it has reverted to my personal blog. For more examples of my work please visit my business site. Dover Design Photography - Kent Wedding Photographers.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


In a previous post I mentioned that we were supposed to be getting a retired sniffer dog 'Bob' but the arrangement had fallen through. We got a call this week and were told that Bob was now looking for a home and we had first refusal. On Saturday morning we took Marley to meet Bob - we needed to know if the two dogs would get on. Bob as ever was very calm and almost timid - Marley displayed his usual psycho Lab puppy tendancies but they seemed to get on. We brought Bob home with us and we will see how they get on. We have had an undisturbed first night and as I type the dogs are charging around the garden in the snow flurries. Hopefully today Marley will be less of a thug and Bob will settle down and come out of his shell a little. Oh, and by the way I feel a real numpty shouting, 'Bob, Marley'

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Marley - gardening

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Marley Part 2

Well we have had him a week now. That timid, shy little pup that we brought home is gaining confidence minute by minute and developing his own character. At times he is also influencing mine. On our first afternoon we visited the local vets for a check up and injection. I expected him to yelp and whine but he didn't even blink as the needle went in - it hurt me more than him. Well actually it hurt Hazel most as she paid the bill. I have built him a small pen in the corner of my office where we have put his bed and food bowls and he has quickly accepted this as his space. During the day the door is open but I can shut him in at night or when we need him to be safely out of the way. He now collects things, shoes, trainers, sticks and anything else he can carry and takes them back to his lair. He has even attempted to steal Thomas' school rucksack - he can't carry it but drags it along the floor. -- Cheers Alan

Saturday, September 06, 2008


On our return from our holiday we were supposed to have picked up a dog. Bob is a working dog who was no longer required by his owners. After out first meeting we knew that this two year old black Labrador was meant for us. Unfortunately whilst on the ferry back from France we received a call telling us that Bob was no longer available - his owners had changed their mind. Needless to say we were devastated. After a family chat we agreed that we would still get a dog - a black Labrador puppy of course!! We spent the next weekend searching and visiting breeders - nearly buying one from a nasty lady in Sheerness. On our way from her house to the cash machine we decided that something didn't quite seem right - she seemed more interested in the money than the dogs. Anyway we finally found someone with a litter of ten black labs - visited and quickly selected our favourite. We then had a two week wait until 'Marley' - named by Thomas just in case we ever get Bob, was eight weeks old. On Friday 5th September we picked him up and brought him back to his new home. Let the fun begin!! --

Saturday, August 23, 2008

France 2008

France 2008 - Time Lapse from Alan Langley on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

They lie about the weather...

Friday continued where Thursday left off - dull overcast and not beach weather. In desperation to entertain the now bored kids we decided to go to a place we had seen on our journey in. The place in question had go-carting and jet-skis. On arrival we determined that go-karts were not an option due to the lack of safety precautions so jet-skis it had to be. The children had 8 minutes of fun blasting round a small course, Thomas managing to easily overtake Hannah - women drivers!! On return to base there was a glimmer of sun so we headed to the beach, a short lived visit as the wind was blowing the sand too much for even our industrial strength windbreak. Plan B involved going to the pool which was fine until the sun got lost behind a bloody massive cloud. Saturday - Hannah and I set off early for the water park leaving the others in bed. Unbelievably the park was quiet so we managed to go on all the rides at least once without queuing. We had to leave fairly early as a combination of little sun and cold water spoiled the fun. Continued the day with a trip into Canet for an ice cream. The idiot weather forecasters predict a good day tomorrow but who knows...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Global warming

Wednesday started nicely and we ventured off to the beach - not traveling any lighter in fact we now have two infated lilos. By lunchtime the cloud had moved in and we decided to leave and head for Collioure a little way down the coast. We had been told that parking was not good but thought we would give it a try anyway. After a pleasant drive we approached the medieval port and soon realised that the ancient town planners had failed to allow for the tens of thousands of daily visitors. Cars were abandoned (French style of parking) at the roadside on the entrance and exit road. Fortunately the road did take us right through the centre of the town and passed the picturesque harbour. It was a shame we couldn't actually get out! Not to be put off we headed further south through Port Vendres a working industrial fishing town and onto Banylus another pretty resort town - where we couldn't park either. Thursday we started at the pool but again the cloud drifted off the Pyrenees canceling any sunbathing activities. Thomas had been studying the guidebook and the contingency plan was to head for Ceret - south west of us. After about an hours drive we actually managed to park and spent the afternoon exploring the busy little town. There is a medieval walled old town which spills into the newer more vibrant areas with shops and open air cafes. The town was once inhabited by Picasso and other famous artists so the place is now a haunt for arty-farty types with too much time on their hands. I am only jealous! Anyway I think we have found our new favorite French Town. In the evening there was the annual firework display marking the start of some Catalan festival. Twenty minutes of excellent fireworks only slightly dampened by a light shower of rain. Let's hope the weather improves tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Operation bucket and spade

We made it to the beach. It amuses me how the cool French travel so lightly, a small towel each, a miniscule brolly that looks like it should be on a child’s pram, a towel each and maybe a small bag with a drink and a book or newspaper. Not us... In true British spirit we don't just go to the beach we invade. A massive traditional windbreak, not a poncy beach shelter, two big tartan picnic blankets, massive patio umbrella, buckets, spades, cool box, huge beach towels, flask of coffee, a few cold beers, rolls and of course a couple of bags of crisps. Now that's what I call style. The weather wasn't so good on Monday, not raining just a little overcast so we decided to head for Villefranche. This has to be one of my favorite towns - it is a fantastically preserved walled medieval city. Built originally in an attempt to keep the Spanish out it is now a very popular tourist spot. Unfortunately the place had more French tourists than Canterbury on a Saturday afternoon. We also had to queue in the bakers to get our lunch. Tuesday the sun is back out and another day spent around the pool. Whilst trying to keep my eyes open I recognised someone out of the corner of my eye. It was an old friend from school's sister - they arrived here today and had reserved the sun loungers next to us - small world.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wish you were here..

The last couple of days seem to have drifted away, the weather has been incredible and we have done very little. The most we have managed during the day has been a walk to the pool. On day one Thomas read a whole book - that's how much we moved. Hannah made friends with a girl of about her age yesterday we hoped she had found her holiday buddy. Sadly it was her last day so the friendship was short lived. On Friday night we went to the on site restaurant which was pretty awful - and not cheap. Everything does seem much more expensive this year. I know the French are supposed to be good at food but I don't see too much evidence of it. The raw materials available in the supermarkets and shops are certainly better than ours but what we see in the tourist outlets doesn't reflect this quality. We have been to the pool today and have just had a leisurely lunch. We are off to the beach this afternoon and plan a trip into Canet tonight. We did attempt this last night but the little ferry did not appear to be running - probably on strike in support of the French farmers!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Are you going to France?

After a smooth trip to the docks - well what else would you expect? - we boarded the ferry and made our way to the Club lounge. A perfect day for a crossing the most difficult decision was tea or coffee - the next major problem was trying to stay awake. Close to us a couple of young girls were starting to strike up a friendship. they stood looking out of the forward facing port holes and one said, "Are you going to France?" it made me smile anyway. On to the French road system, a much beter picture than last year we cautiously approached our first peage booth and headed for the 'reserved' lane. After last year's horrendous trip we had noticed how easily and quickly cars with the toll tokens got through. I made it my mission to try and get hold of one of the Liber-t tokens prior to this years journey. You can order on line for a 30 Euro deposit and a 2 Euro charge for each calendar month that you use the thing. Each toll you pass through then gets billed to your payment card. We drove closer to the barrier and the little plasic box stuck to the inside of the windscreen beeped reassuringly and the barrier lifted. I now look forward to my chace to queue jump!! After a comfortable stop in Clermot-Ferrand we set off again, our intention to stop at the Milau Brige. After a couple of hours driving we followed the signs for the Milau Aire and drove into the car park of the visitor centre. A van was trying to turn around and some other cars were blocking the path. I saw the opportunity to dart passed the jam but sadly ended up on the exit road. Unfortunately this was a single concrete sided carrigeway with opportunity to stop or turn around. Feeling a complete plonker we rejoined the auto-route and will have to visit the bridge on our return. We safely arrived at Canet after a five hour journey and it felt like home from home. Within an hour the car was un-packed the kids had hired bikes (160 Euro!!) and the fridge was stocked with beer and wine.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Canon G9

Untitled from Alan Langley on Vimeo. One of Hazel's birthday presents was a Canon G9 Camera. I am absolutely amazed at it's features and the quality of the output. It has a neat little function that lets you do time lapse photography, basically it just takes a picture every one or two seconds. The example above was my first attemp at putting the camera on the car dashboard. It is certainly no cinematic masterpiece but a great gimmick!! The video clip below was taken by Hazel during the opening concert for the Deal music festival. This was only taken on normal quality but looks very impressive. Bare necessities #1 from Betteshanger Band on Vimeo. For completeness I have also included a still image.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Bewl Water

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Circuit Training

We have been going to the gym for a couple of years now and decided it was time to try something different. Our gym has started a circuit training class so we decided to give it a go. We turned up for our assessment not quite knowing what torture was in store. After a class warm up which completely knackered me we were told that there were ten different exercises including sit ups press-ups, and skipping - yes skipping! You had to do each of the stations for one minute followed by a 30 second break then on to the next station. Once you did all ten you then started again, 45 seconds on each with a fifteen second rest. Then on completion another circuit 30 seconds each with no rest. Forty five minutes of sheer hell later we hobbled to the car. Although I am sure the exercise did us good it didn't agree with Hazel's leg - I dropped her at casualty on Monday morning where they diagnosed a 'soft tissue' injury.

I wanted to find the picture above on the PC to add to this post - just as I went to ask Haze where she'd filed it I noticed a file on the desktop called my fat leg.jpg - bless...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


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We actually had a nice Bank Holiday Monday!! As the kids were out we decided to pop to the garden centre to get some plants to brighten the garden - in particular the area around the pond. Having potted the plants we sat back with a well earned beer and made the most of the afternoon sun. Our resident black blackbird flew down from his vantage point and hopped around almost inspecting our handiwork - I sometimes wonder whose garden it is anyway!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I really wanted to take some pictures of the birds in our garden. Unfortunately even with my longest lens the examples were pathetic. I decided to put a bird feeded very close to the window to make thing easier. I can now fill the frame with the smallest birds and use off camera flash to light the images.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A couple of recent pictures. The first taken at StMargarets Bay the second in Dover. Sadly the latter reflects Dover as it is today.

Monday, March 10, 2008

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lighting Again

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Originally uploaded by apl666
More playing with off camera lighting. This time the flah is outside on a stand pointing in through the widow diffused by the vertical blinds. Considering there was almost no natural light this image has a very summery feel.


Originally uploaded by apl666
I have been experimenting with using my flah guns off camera. It all started after reading the excellent Strobist blog. This is one of my first attempts. The sun was quite high in the sky camera left front - but diffused by a tree. I had two flashes camera left and right one triggered by poverty wizard the other by optical slave.

I am delighted with the almost 3D qualities of the image.

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