Drew

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  drewster81 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #15445

    drewster81
    Participant

    Hello all!My name's Drew, but you can appropriate whatever nickname you wish, since most of my friends do.  So anyway, yeah, British history has been a part of my life for most of said life.  My mother is a huge Brit-ophile (Britaphile?).  I'm originally from Alabama (no accent), went to school in the beautiful mountains of Tennessee, then went to get a one year degree in Christchurch, New Zealand, followed by a Masters degree from the University of Edinburgh.  Spent a few months looking for work in Portland, didn't work, went up to Vancouver to get a CELTA, but decided to stay in the States for the moment.  Contrary to what you're probably thinking, I am not wealthy, which means the lifestyle I've lead should be classified as "insane".Anyways, I'm in Dallas staying with family at the moment but might...MIGHT have work in Nashville with an international program at Vandy.  Fingers crossed.ANYWAY, huge Roman history nut as well, but Britain is it's equal if not moreso.  I first got into the podcast game through Mike Duncan's History of Rome, which I know Jamie has mentioned several times.  So yeah, I think I have a good grasp on it but what I love about the podcast is how it allows you to go really in depth into a certain time.  I've been very impressed just how much depth was given to Roman Britain.  I have no particular "favorite" period of British history, but interested in greater detail from the Post-Roman period through the mess of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms up to 1066.  I love hearing new takes on every period though.As you can tell by this post, I like to talk about...stuff.  Big into film, history, music, photography (landscapes specifically).  I hope to have some lovely conversations with you folks.  ("Folks" is about as close to Southern I'm going to get on here.  Until I get a drink.  Then, oh, beware of "y'all"'s.)-Drew

  • #17175

    Chris
    Participant

    …..As you can tell by this post, I like to talk about…stuff.  Big into film, history, music, photography (landscapes specifically)….

    Hi Drew, So, you like photography too? I only recently took up photography just as a hobby in whatever spare time I could find. I prefer landscape photography and although I've hardly spent any time actually getting 'out there' to take some photos lately, I did take a few good batches last year, which I am quite pleased about. The editing was just as much fun and the shooting. I also love b & w photography and I'd like to have a proper go at HDR if I can pull myself away from my own website and forum. Never enough time in the day  ???

  • #17176

    drewster81
    Participant

    Hey Chris.  Yes, I'm a landscape nut.  I just posted a link on in the photography section to my photos on Flickr.  Admittedly, I'm an amateur and I sincerely need to take a few more classes.  So what is your take on HDR?  I like it at times, but sometimes I feel like I'm cheating.  Got a link to any of your photos?  Best,Drew

  • #17177

    drewster81
    Participant

    Nevermind!  Just saw you posted in the photography forum. :)

  • #17178

    Chris
    Participant

    Just been having a look at some of your photos, pretty darn good  ;) I like the use of composition on some of your Skara Brae photos, there's a nice moody shot of the North Atlantic, the sea of grass (untitled photo) and a couple of St. Magnus Cathedral. They don't look like they have been edited either and apart from a couple of horizon's, which are just little off kilter, spot on mate, great photos.I like HDR but can't be bothered to set myself up for it when I have the opportunity. I know that sounds bad but it's true. HDR produces some amazing photos and while I have only dabbled in that area I really need to do a little more practice to become more confident. I don't really use RAW and you need to if working on HDR. How do you feel you are cheating with HDR?If you like you can check out my jalbum page here, maybe you'll like some of them....fingers crossed  ::) There's a few of my favourites on this site although I haven't been on for a while. I need to upload some of my Switzerland photos from last year that I haven't done yet  :-

  • #17179

    drewster81
    Participant

    Chris, holy bajeezus!  Your photos are amazing!  Do you do this for a living/professionally?  I mean, you have to, right?  Some of your photos look like Ansel Adams took them.  (I'm thinking of the Alp pictures here) Wow, I'm seriously impressed.  I am, of course, pretty amateur and have made it one of my goals this year to take a photography class.  My other, more recent photos on Flickr do not show any sense of composition as many of them were taken on the fly and my camera got damaged.  Soon, once I have employment, I'll get another one.  It's a Pentax I got for cheap in Edinburgh (with a free telephoto lens tossed in!) so it's done me well.I'd like to think that I've got a good eye, I just need the ability and smarts to go along.  And trust me, I don't edit because I just don't know how to.  You do it very artistically, as opposed to many, who do it to make up for ability.Anyway, I'll get around to posting a "best-of" picture fest on here tomorrow. PS I love your pictures of Hadrian's Wall, especially.  I remember taking the train through Cumbria and through Northumberland.  Both times, I tried to see some remnant of the wall but it was really hard to see from there.  Next time, I hope. And finally, yes do please post those Switzerland pics.  I'd love to see 'em.

  • #17180

    Chris
    Participant

    Thanks Drew, thanks for you kind words  ;D It means a lot when another photographer (pro or amateur) throws a nice comment your way; the constructive comments are always helpful but it's just nice to get a positive comment from someone else who enjoys taking photos.No, I don't do this professionally, I am just an amateur who doesn't seem to get the camera out very often  :-  I know I should make the effort a bit more but I never find the time and then when I do I sometimes make excuses, shocking, isn't it? All the photos you see on Jalbum are just me taking some photos and playing around with photoshop, some have been edited and some are straight out of the camera.I love Ansel Adams' work, breathtaking stuff. The mountain photo does look a bit like his work. That is the Grossglockner (Großglockner) mountian, the tallest in the Alps.....that one was edited in photoshop but it only took 5 minutes to do and something you could do in no time at all. Some people don't like to edit and some do; I like to do a little of both but I've always said that the best photos are those that don't need editing because if you get it right 'in-camera' to begin with it shouldn't need editing. Editing is hyped way too much anyway but it does help those who are starting out, like myself.Sounds like you got a good deal with the camera. I use a Nikon D5000. A pretty good piece of kit.I think you do have a good eye from the photos I've see so far. It looks like you automatically compose the best view when taking certain shots, namely landscape etc.; photos of your friends are like many others of the same ilk, fun, quirky and on the fly. The Hadrian's wall photos are quite bad (to me anyway) from a lighting and mainly composition point of view. I took these a few years before I got my Nikon started taking much better photos. These are the only semi-decent ones I had.  I love the subject in them but I don't really like the actual photos because I know I can do so much better and actually do the subject credit; thanks for liking them though. I'll see what I can do about the Switzerland photos. There are over 2,500 photos to go through, which is an almighty task.....yikes!!  :o

  • #17181

    Chris
    Participant

    I've just checked out your other photos, Skye is stunning! Never been myself but would love to go now.

  • #17182

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Drew, the your photos are beautiful!  Thank you so much for sharing them on the site.Also: don't feel too bad about not finding work in Portland.  Like the song aptly says, Portland is where young people go to retire.  ;)

  • #17183

    Chris
    Participant

    Drew, I was just looking at your Edinburgh photos, you've got some crackin' shot there and it is such a beautiful city, it looks like you had some great weather while you were there. What was favourite part? I love Edinburgh. If I was going to live in a city it would certainly be Edinburgh. The history is colourful (as well as bloody and violent) but incredible interesting and diverse.Did you see Mary King's Close while you were there, or Holyrood House and obviously the Castle. You are a much better photographer than might think you are  :)I also noticed that we have been to a lot of the same places, namely in New Zealand, which is an amazing country. But I love the country I live in, even with all its faults, it certainly has a lot to offer.

  • #17184

    drewster81
    Participant

    Hey there Chris.  Yeah, Edinburgh was incredible.  I was lucky to live there for a year.  The weather never really got “bad”, you know?  The worst part was January, when the sky never seemed to light up but even that wasn't all bad.  I loved the long days in the summer.  I actually lived ON the Royal Mile!  It was awesome, right down from the castle, in this old building from the 17th century called Milne's Court.  So yeah, I walked the one minute walk up to the castle many a night to just sit and think. Went to Holyrood twice (I had a Historic Scotland membership) and definitely did Mary King's Close.  I wandered the city all the time, finding little nooks and crannies, like Dean Gardens, where you can be in the heart of the city and not hear a city noise at all, or Charlotte Square, with it's amazing Georgian architecture or a hike up to the top of Arthur's Seat, or eat at a place that Benjamin Franklin and David Hume dined at.  I would love to live there again.  Even my friends from the rest of the UK and Ireland admitted it was the most beautiful city on either island.  I actually have a copy of a city map of Edinburgh from the 19th century.  It's amazing, honestly, to see how much it's remained the same.Thanks for the compliments about the photography.  I'd like to think I'm a raw ore that needs to be refined.  There's potential, maybe. ;)So your family comes from Cumbria originally?  Which part?  What do you do in Eastbourne?  I'd rather live in the UK at this point, than the US, even with it's fault.  But New Zealand...New Zealand takes precedence over all.  Also, historically, it's interesting to look at NZ and see the influence of English landscape on how the landscape of the two islands was developed.  Where did you go when you were there?And Jamie, thanks for the compliment!  I have a few from Durham as well, including the inside of the cathedral which I learned (a bit late) that you couldn't take pictures on the inside. SO, I have a pic of Bede's tomb!  When we get to those lovely Norman arches, I'll be sure to post them. ;)

  • #17185

    Chris
    Participant

    I have only ever been to Edinburgh in the winter, December time, but would love to go in the summer. We walked up to the summit or Arthur's Seat and in December it can get pretty nippy up there  :oLiving on the Royal Mile is pretty cool. I'm kind of familiar with Milne's Court having spent some time wandering aound the various courts and closes up and down the (top end mostly) Royal Mile. It's looks like an amazing place to live, the old courtyard buildings from the 1600s with the tall tenements looking down over Princes Street, the Scott Monument and Carlton Hill. I haven't been to Dean Gardens but it does looks beautiful and so close to one of the hotels we stayed in.I liked the ghost tour under the North Bridge (or was it the South Bridge, I can't remember), the Tron Kirk with the remains of one of the closes underneath, St. Giles' Cathedral, my girlfriend has always wanted to eat in The Witchery, Greyfriars Kirkyard with the story of Greyfriars Bobby and the MacKenzie poltergeist, the National Museum of Scotland plus all the numerous drinking establishment we tried on our three visits, amongst others. You must have seen some great stuff living there for a year!My mother's side of the family come from Cumberland/Westmorland (present day Cumbria), my father is Hungarian, so during the wars my ancestors were fighting on opposite sides! I love Appleby-in-Westmorland, the original market town of Westmorland and the only town to retain the county's name in it's title. But there are so many beautiful places in Cumbria. I will have to come back to that in more detail at another time.I work in the local hospital and Eastbourne (did you see the eastbourne photos on Jablum?) has been my home for a few years now. It is not a permanent fixture as we plan to move again back 'up north', possibly, hopefully, when the circumstances are right. I'll continue this after work.

  • #17186

    Chris
    Participant

    Thanks for the compliments about the photography.  I'd like to think I'm a raw ore that needs to be refined.  There's potential, maybe. ;)

    Everybody has potential, even those who don't think so. I keep trying to tell my girlfreind that with her art. She thinks she's rubbish at it but I keep suggesting new things to try and, of course, throw in criticism as well as praise. I have the same view as you.....I think I have potential with my photography but I think I am a long way off from some of the other far more experience guys on that website.Anyway, back to finishing off where I started this morning.I'm not a doctor or an nurse before you ask what it is I do at the hospital, I am simply not that that clever and even if I were I don't think it would be my cup of tea. I prepare intruments in theatre trays ready for sterilisation before they are used in theatres by the surgeons.It's not very glamorous but it pays the bills.New Zealand is a stunning place and the are a lot of similarities to the UK but it is a very different altogether. Trying to remember where we went, let's see:Aukland, Rotorua, Wellington, Picton, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Haast, Franz Joseph, Nelson, Hamilton and Paihia. We went there in 2000. I can't believe it's been 12 years already.You say you are big into film and music, do you play an instruments? Have you got any favourite films?

  • #17187

    drewster81
    Participant

    So what kind of art does your gf do?  And hey, I work at a job doing accounting for right now.  Trust me, there's no judgment here. :)And yeah, NZ is definitely different from the UK.  I just meant how it's interesting that they tried to make it look like the UK.  There was an amazing paper I read about the attempt by British colonists to change the landscape and how it ended up destroying native species (i.e. introducing rabbits, because that's what you have at home...BOOM, the rabbits wreak havoc on the Aussie native landscape).I lived in Christchurch.  Wonderful way to check out the rest of the South Island.  People often said it was "more English than England", while Dunedin is the southern Edinburgh.  Dun Eidenn (sp?) it's Gaelic name.  I love the statue of Burns in the center of the city.  Mark Twain had a great comment about that area:  "When I was passing through the North Island, I noticed that on the gates in the fences on each side of the railroad right-of-way there were signs that read, `Please close the gate', in the characteristic polite way of the English. But when I passed into Otago Province I noticed that the wording of the signs was different. They read, `Any person who fails to close this gate after passing through it will be subject to a fine of five pounds'. Then I knew that I arrived where the Scots had settled."  Did I mention that I absolutely love Scotland? ;)And yes, I'm a big film nut.  Favorite films:  "Vertigo", "The Third Man", "The Lord of the Rings", "Halloween", "Picnic at Hanging Rock", "Master and Commander".  The list goes on, trust me.  Big fan of directors, like Peter Weir, Peter Jackson, Hitchcock, Bergman, Terence Malick, David Lynch.And finally, I only sing and that was a while back.  I was in my university's choir (which doubled as an Anglican church choir).  We got to tour around southern England back in 2000, and were able to sing evensong in Winchester, Hereford, Ely Cathedrals (among others) as well as at a college in Oxford and (most thrillingly) Bath Abbey.  And I will NEVER forget visiting Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley.  One of the most evocative places I've ever been.

  • #17188

    Chris
    Participant

    She prefers to do landscapes with her small sketchpad so whenever we go for walks along the South Downs (right on our doorstep in Eastbourne) and she remembers to take take her art stuff, she'll take a few moments to draw something. More patientce than me and I used to do art at College.Christchurch was pretty cool. We were there for a couple of days only and it just so happened to coincide with St. Patricks Day. The pubs were heaving and trying to get a Guinness was nigh on impossible  :(Great quote by the way  ;DI got the impression that you and Scotland are pretty close; having lived in Ediburgh for a year and getting to travel round and see historic sites is pretty amazing and a great life experience, much the same, I guess, when you lived in NZ. Something to tell your grandchildren when you are an old man, maybe  :oMusic. I started to play the guitar about 4 years ago. I haven't progressed to Pete Townshend or Slash status, I am mostly a simple strummer. I can play a host of songs but only more relaxed accoustic stuff, although I do like playing some Foo Fighters stuff, one of favourites bands.Favourite films are quite difficult to choose as there are so many but some of the ones I like are: Two Way Stretch, Too Many Crooks, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Lavender Hill Mob, The Ladykillers (all those are classic British movies, most if not all, from Ealing Studios), I also like the LOTR trilogy and can't wait for The Hobbit to come out, The Italian Job (original), The Bourne trilogy, Sleuth (original), Hot Fuzz, Fight Club, Blues Brothers, The Dish.....plus more.I am currently reading Bernard Cornwell's books and am on Sharpe's Rifles. I recently read his Arthur trilogy, which was different I must say but an entertaining read nonetheless. It is after all fiction based on some historical fact.

  • #17189

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Chris, if you like fiction loosely based on historical fact, you might enjoy Conn Igulden's Genghis Khan series.  I tore through the entire series in a few weeks.  He makes some historical errors and certainly takes liberties, but generally owns up to it at the end of the book (which I appreciate) but as far as tone goes, they're basically like Conan on steroids.  Which I totally dig.

  • #17190

    drewster81
    Participant

    I've always been interested in watching the Sharpe televsion series with Sean Bean.Have you ever read the George RR Martin series, A Song of Ice and Fire?  I'm sure the TV show has crossed your path.  I have to admit, I was impressed as, for the past few years, I've avoided reading because I thought it would be just another volume of bad D&D fanfiction.Instead, it's incredibly complicated and down-to-earth, inspired by the Hundred Years' War and The Wars of the Roses.  I also love Ealing Studios...Kind Hearts and Coronets is wonderful, especially.  I grew up hooked on Hammer Horror.  And plus, though I'm not sure if it was Hammer (maybe Amicus?) the original Wicker Man (not that Nicolas Cage travesty) is one of my favorites from that era.  It's nice to see an acknowledgement of the very powerful part of paganism that motivated so much of British pre-history.What's this about you having your own forum?

  • #17191

    Chris
    Participant

    Chris, if you like fiction loosely based on historical fact, you might enjoy Conn Igulden's Genghis Khan series.  I tore through the entire series in a few weeks.  He makes some historical errors and certainly takes liberties, but generally owns up to it at the end of the book (which I appreciate) but as far as tone goes, they're basically like Conan on steroids.  Which I totally dig.

    They look interesting. I never really thought about Genghis Khan as something I would read but a friend has spent almost an entire evening in the pub talking about this guy in great detail and I was intrigued. I'll check them out on Amazon.Drew,I have found reading Sharpe much more fun than watching the tv series, however, the tv series is definitiely worth watching if you like that period in in history. Sharpe himself is one awesome guy who doesn't take crap from anyone. He has been through hell and stil comes up on top after some turblent rides along the way. I certainly recommend both the books and tv series but it will take some time get through as there are 20+ books and about 15 or 16 movie-length epsiodes as well. Sean Bean was definitely the best choice for the role and now when I read the books I see him and his mannerisms in perfect synchronicity.I haven't read George RR Martin's work but my girlfriend has (all of them in about two weeks - she's a pretty fast reader) and we both love the tv series, waiting patiently for series two to come out in the UK.Ealing comedies are so much fun, they are always great a way to lift your spirits. I am glad you like Kind Heartsand Coronets, it is an amazing film, let's face it it has Sir Alec Guinness playing eight members of the D'Ascoyne family, pure genius and the film is no. 6 on the BFI Top 100 British films.My own forum is history related but more recent history (WWI) inspired by finding out my great grandfather died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. It about the whole regiment he served in. You can reach it by clicking on the link under my avatar (which goes to my wiki) and from there to the forum. It is still work in progress. I just love history and I like honouring the memory of the men of the Border Regiment.

  • #17192

    drewster81
    Participant

    Interesting.  My former stepfather (sadly going through a divorce from my mother, but still, good guy) has the foremost collection of WWII relics I've ever seen including Hitler's handkerchief!  Anyway, my great grandfather also served in WWI but I'm not sure where he fought.  Now I want to find out more. :)  Both grandfathers fought in WWII, one in Europe, one in the Pacific.Headed to your forum now!

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