The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Black and White Photography. The Forgotten Art

Just looking through magazines and newspapers it seems colour photography is the only form needed. But take a moment to consider the change that comes into a photograph when it is viewed in black and white.

Some key aspects to good black and white photography include

  1. Choosing a suitable subject matter. Not all subject matters lend themselves to black and white format. No precise rules exist .
  2. Focus. Generally a good depth of field of minimum f 10. Clarity of the image can be critical in its interpretation
  3. Contrast. In general terms a little greater contrast can be helpful. Not at all an absolute rule though as you can see from one of my examples below.

Here are a few examples of recent photos where black and white has changed the whole aura and interpretation of a photograph .

Sometimes my aim is to deliberately convey an old looking feel that the photo could have been taken many years ago.

These photos are in fact some of my favourite photos from last year .

Black and white photography allows so much experimentation that it should be considered routine in any Photoshoot .

A Day In Eilat-thoughts and photos

Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel sitting at the northern tip of the Red Sea with a population of around 50,000. Eilat is a popular tourist resort with regular flights from Tel Aviv as almost a shuttle service from Israel amongst other airlines. The diving options there are plentiful with unspoiled coral reefs and Eilat is regarded as  one of the world’s top diving centres. 0000189200001895

With only a few hours to see any of the city here are a few photographs that try to give a feel to the place. The temperatures are high being 30c even in early March and the beaches are a mixture of pebble stones with some sand. The only aspect that did not engage me though was the widespread usage of wire fences, sometimes with barbed wire to separate the promenade from the beach. 00001885

The food was amazing with fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance but with the odd curious aspect. At breakfast despite there being tomatoes on the buffets, the omelette chef did not allow tomatoes in his omelettes!00001903


The hotels seemed almost carved out of the hillside and the views from my room were quite unique.


The beaches were fairly traditional with beach beds but also some more curious areas to sit. Some of the Eilat industry was also not too far away.


Travelling To Israel. Security Thoughts

Israel cannot be like any other place . For good and understandable reasons security is tight. However there are conundrums that do not make sense. Flying BA to Tel Aviv the UK security checks are identical to if you were flying London City to Southend. Landing at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, which like Heathrow and Gatwick is nowhere near the city Centre, I was expecting serious security and questioning. But little transpired. Passport control in fact was less onerous and quicker than Heathrow. No questions about anything really making me almost disappointed that I had printed off pages of letters explaining the purpose of my visit. To give a lecture at a congress . No customs of note either, although one oriental man was having to unpack his suitcase and the contents strewed over the top of a table, suggested he had packed 300 pairs of underpants. Maybe he had and had good reasons to do so.

Things changed however at the smaller city airport around 30 minutes by taxi away. Firstly SDE Dov airport was closed when I arrived at 04.00 with little option than to stand outside for an hour until the meshed gates were opened. Secondly the security here was beyond belief. Multiple checks on passport and reasons for being there. I was asked why my passport looked like it did, scruffy and faded. What can one say? That it is almost 10 years old? The couple in front of me had a much tougher time . Are you married? Why do you have different names? Do you realise you might be a terrorist target? Various further checks led to a plethora of stickers and forms being applied to tickets, passport and luggage.

My question is why the clear discrepancy? I don’t doubt the need for this security but the inconsistency was confusing.

The last curious thing to engage my brain at 05.00 was the very young age of the security staff. Mostly female and mostly surely no more than 20 years old.

I am not sure if this is offputting to coming to Israel or reassuring. Anyways I am here and let’s see what the country is like .

Russian journalist death in New Malden. Counter Terrorism unit leading investigation

After the death of 61 year old Russian journalist Nikolai Glushkov last night , police are treating his death in Clarence Avenue New Malden as unexplained. The counter terrorist unit are leading investigations. They are not linking it to the recent Salisbury incident.

Mr Glushkov was allegedly a close friend of Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, and had said he did not believe Mr Berezovsky’s death was due to natural causes according to a personal friend on Facebook . Damian Kudryavtsev.

Will be interesting to see how this story progresses . This is not the first unusual death in this town in recent years .

A Restaurant Called Alice. Alice Ristorante Milan. Simply Beyond Brilliant

I am as far from being a restaurant critic as it is possible to be. Having been summoned to a Milan restaurant as part of a group of people one has little idea of what the food will be like and often the style of the food.

Alice Ristorante is situated in a complex with the cute sounding Eataly Milano Smeraldo name. Arriving at the door it seems one has arrived at the Milan equivalent of Waitrose. A large food store selling on three levels various Italian foods. Tucked away on the top floor was Alice Ristorante. A medium size restaurant overlooking the main street where the only obvious landmark was the taxi rank.

The food and the service was beyond brilliant. The group had been pre ordered a menu with accompanying wines.

Depending upon how one counts courses we seemed to have seven. Some of the dishes are best described by looking at the menu here. The only obvious dishes were the excellent sea bass and the risotto.

I cannot recall a better meal. The service was attentive without being overpowering. The white wines were perfectly chilled. The food looked and tasted superb. Cost? I have no idea.

New Malden In The Snow

New Malden is not really famous for anything although due to the fact that around 75% of the UK Korean population live there, the Korean restaurants are highly rated.

Waking up to a blanket of snow this morning there was more than a modicum of surprise that South Western Railway had a far better service than normal. Maybe it was the right kind of snow on the line. Fewer commuters than normal braved the station . But as per usual some of the driving was horrific especially on the ungritted roads. The major roads like A3 were fine but many of the smaller residential roads had seen less salt than a hypertension clinic.

The blue sky though made the world look a happy place and the dogs were loving the snow.

Oaks Park in Banstead

As the snow and ice descends, dogs were having a great time running in the snow. A husky seemed to be teaching some other dogs how to eat snow.

An icy car park that had not seen the benefits of salting .

In weather like this walking dogs is not easy and there is no certainty that the weather will allow access to Oaks Park in forthcoming days.

All looking picturesque but certainly needing care with walking and driving .

Carshalton 2 Thamesmead Town 1

An entertaining game played mostly in chilly bright sunshine which did not always make photography easy.  Carshalton were the better side but the result was in doubt until the end.

A lot impressed me about this match. The referee let the game flow and tried not to become the focus but for some inexplicable reason did not award a penalty.  The Thamesmead keeper brought down the Carshalton striker when the ball was heading away from danger. From my vantage point only yards away it was a clear penalty, and the linesman on this side had the same view albeit a few more yards away.

No Penalty

No  Penalty

Then for a similar strange reason the referee did award a very soft penalty later in the first half.  Crowds are increasing at Colston avenue for very good reasons. The football is good, played in the right manner and a good clubhouse means that folks can watch with their beer ( from inside or outside).



Carshalton were always the more threatening side however Thamesmead equalised early in the second half fortuitously before Carshalton scored the winning goal midway through the second half.

The star of the game was Christie Pattison recently signed from Phoenix Sports and before that Welling United and Brentford. On the evidence of this game he will go far and Brentford may have released him too early. He constantly troubled the Thamesmead defence.



Art 4 Grenfell. A charity art auction conducted by Bonhams.

On Wednesday 21st Feb hosted by NatWest at The Atrium 250 Bishopsgate. All the proceeds going to the survivors.

Tickets can be obtained from


Brentford 2 Bolton Wanderers 0. A Comfortable Victory Against A Poor Bolton Side.

The reality was that Brentford were clearly the vastly superior side in skill, technique and work rate and thoroughly deserved the victory which could have been more comprehensive. 00001530

Without doubt to give perspective Bolton were the second worst side to visit Griffin Park this season with Burton being the worst. Both sides also make me wonder why does anyone pay to watch their brand of prehistoric football?  Bolton lacked any skill or style, and their version of football consisted of not having any player under 6ft and many over that, and just kicking the ball in the general direction of the sky. Curiously about their only player who was not gigantic was a full back called Little. Not everyone on social media would however agree with my sentiments. But frankly the few chances that came their way derived from long throw ins or errors in gifting the ball to Bolton in dangerous situations.

There was also cabaret to be had with the antics of Phil Parkinson in his touchline boudoir seemingly disagreeing with each and every decision made by the referee, to the extent of clear fouls ( shirts being pulled, players being pulled down) seemingly being within the spectrum of normal play in his not so humble opinion.

Neal Maupay

Brentford were not at their best today but that did not matter. The impressive Florian Josefzoon caused problems all afternoon and although Vibe did not have his best game, he caused enough mischief to have had a reasonable game.

There were some real positives though today. The distribution of Dan Bentley was superb. His throwing the ball out makes a real difference. Chris Mepham again had a great game and John Egan is not going to get back into the side easily, if at all. Nico Yennaris had a decent game too and right back may be his best position, however he gave the ball away far too many times and often in dangerous positions. It was also good to see Neal Maupay score a back heel goal in the final minutes. Although this may have looked easy, he actually finished it very well and hopefully his confidence will return.

To return to Bolton, my prediction is relegation. They will fail to trouble sides who play football although undoubtedly will get a few points against the Burton and Sheff Wednesday style sides that rely on kick and run ( both the ball and the player) and sit perilously near the relegation zone. Bolton and Burton will go down, and the third place is open for auditions from Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull.


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