12 July 2007

Weekend photography

I went to Shugborough in Staffordshire last weekend whilst visiting the in-laws. They've currently got a photography competition running to capture the essence of Shughborough - the stately home of the Earl of Lichfield.

It was great to wander around the grounds and get some photos - just need to sort through them now to see if any are worth entering.

The closing date isn't until the end of December so there's plenty of time to go back and get something different as the seasons change.

Struggling retailers

Jessops has been in the news a fair bit this last fortnight. It seems that they've really been hit by the on-line merchants and have announced that they are closing over 80 of their high street shops and making many staff redundant.

To some observers this might not have come as a major surprise given the several profit warnings that they've issued recently.

From a personal perspective, I've had a mixed experience with the company. They've always been useful to go and physically look and get the feel of photography products which you simply cannot do with an online firm. However, their pricing has been less than competitive at times! Sometimes they offer price matching and other times they don't. At the end of the day, if there is something you know you want to get but you can get it elsewhere for less, then in most cases you'd take that option. Looking at the prices they charge for memory cards, when you can get a 2gb Sandisc card for £17.99 including delivery from an online store but Jessops still insist on selling it for c£60, it's no surprise they're in trouble.

The worst experience I've had though was when they lost all of the films from my engagement trip to Iceland that were being processed. It seemed that the loss was down to sheer incompetence as I kept on getting told different stories. First the films were in the store, then they were still with the processors, then they'd been sent to another branch by mistake. They just didn't know what had happened. Unfortunately this really was the last straw as far as I was concerned. I soon went to owning a digital slr after that event!

Would I be sad to see them go from the high street? In some ways yes but in others, no. the jury is still out so we'll have to wait and see.

Mount board and prints

Last week I got the chance to pop into Lion Picture Framing in Birmingham and happened to visit on their 30th anniversary celebrations. It turned out to be a very worthwhile visit as not only was I able to purchase a good supply of mountboard for my photographs but was able to see their new digital services team - Lion Fine Print and also stay for a couple of talks which were being offered to visitors.

The team at Lion were extremely helpful and I found them more than willing to offer lots of useful advice and assistance. They've certainly gained me as a satisfied customer.

I've also had back a selection of prints for the exhibition in a couple of months. They look really good and I can't wait to get them framed now. I still need to select some more for the exhibition and also arrange to get the cards printed off too.

Time flies by

It's been a while since the last post and I can't quite believe just how fast time seems to have flown by. I've been on holiday to Ireland for just under a week and got the chance to get a few photos fired off. I've also had a weekend on Dartmoor in what can easily be descibed as the worst weather conditions I've been our in.....ever!