Practical tips

How to Start a Photo Project

Social Distancing Project 02From The Distance Project 1. Note how the dog walker takes a wide berth from my subject. There's two metres between the main subject, and the left hand side of the frame. This could have been taken with almost any camera, but I used the K3 and 16-50mm zoom lens.

What to Do?

It’s been over three and a half months since I started The Distance Project, and it's going well. If you want to start on your own photo project, you need just two things: a camera, and a clear idea of what you want to do. Perhaps you want to document a year in the life of your garden, or of your grandparents.

Any camera at all can be used. What sort of camera it is might make a difference to what you can photograph, but the vast majority of pictures in this project could have been taken on almost anything.

So first I’ll talk about the idea.

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I Reveal My Sources!

Lost villages of Britain 2There are at least half a dozen lost villages just around Milton Keynes, so this is a very useful book. It’s not true that most villages vanished because of the plague, and this book explains what really happened; there are all sorts of reasons.

I do all I can to make sure my posts tell you new things about the places I write about; they aren’t just a rehash of everyone else’s online posts.

So quite a bit of my research is not on the internet.

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Bite Back Against the Mosquitos


If you've been plagued by mosquitos in this hot weather, it's because they are breeding somewhere nearby, in stagnant water.

I realised they were breeding in my rainwater gullies, which look like the picture. I poured a bucket of water down each one, which seems to have flushed any larvae away and makes sure that the trap (like a U-bend) has enough water in it to seal.

It works. I haven't been bothered since. I had already checked there was no stagnant water in my garden, and turned a couple of old water butts upside down; mosquitos only need a very tiny amount of stagnant water to breed. You might have a different design, or there's some other sort of gully arrangement, perhaps on a hardstanding for water runoff. Another bucket of water down each one after a week might be a good idea, too.

Some will tell you to drop a little oil into the water as it stops the larvae from breathing, but as water from stormwater drains isn't treated, this is frowned upon; the oil ends up in the rivers or the sea.

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