Nazir Tanbouli at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival

The Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2016 was a feast for the eyes; I absolutely loved photographing it. But, for all the colour and music and sensory overload, it was one of the quieter artists who stood out for me: Nazir Tanbouli.

Nazir is an Egyptian-born artist, now living in London. For the festival, he brought his ‘drawing performance’ first to the World Museum and then the Bluecoat art centre. In these drawing performances, Nazir creates of a piece of art whilst in a state of mindfulness-like meditation. His art is calligraphy-based, inspired by the Arabic script.

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Ukulele Dennis at the Waterloo Ukulele Fun Festival

In August 2017, the Liver Hotel in Waterloo, Liverpool, put on the Waterloo Ukulele Fun Festival – or ‘WUFF’, to go by its rather fun acronym.

The Liver is a family-friendly pub with a really great garden of decent size. It used to be a bowling green, but in recent times it’s been converted to a proper pub garden. It now comes complete with children’s play equipment and wonderfully oversized table umbrellas to shelter you in even the wettest weather.

The festival was, unsurprisingly, a day of ukulele-based music. It featured acts from individual musicians to ukulele orchestras, packing out the small stage and spilling out onto the grass. There were a few other attractions, such as henna tattoos, face painting and raffles. The place was packed and it was an utterly fun day.

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A view from the Liverpool Eye

The summer holidays can be both a blessing and a curse for those with young children. Whilst we get to spend some wonderful, unadulterated time with our precious offspring, the weeks can end up stretching ahead, seemingly endlessly, and we find ourselves searching for fun days out.

This summer, we whiled-away a day being tourists in our city: we went to the Albert Docks. We explored the waterside village full of fairground rides and eateries. We lunched and took in art and culture at the Tate Liverpool. We wandered around the Albert Dock for a while. Then, we finished up by having a ride on the Liverpool Eye.

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Visiting the Roman Baths: the good and the bad

The Roman Baths is the jewel in the crown of the city of Bath. Built on geothermal underground springs, the baths are filled with water that comes out of the ground at 46°C,

The Celts were the first people to build shrine at the site, which they dedicated to the goddess Sulis.

When the Romans invaded Britain in the first century AD under the Emperor Claudius, they renamed the settlement Aquae Sulis, identifying Sulis with the Roman goddess Minerva, and built their own temple and baths complex at the springs.

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Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2017

After photographing the festival for the first time last year, I returned this year to photograph Liverpool Arab Arts Festival 2017. And, yet again, it was an absolute blast.

This year, I photographed two days of the festival: Eid on the Square and the family finale day at the Palm House in Sefton Park.

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Opening day at the new Egyptian galleries, World Museum

On 28 April 2017, the World Museum in Liverpool opened its newly refurbished Egyptian galleries, after nearly two years of work. Being an Egyptophile, I was, of course, at the museum for when the doors opened at 10.00.

Although I wanted to get some photos of the gallery itself to share on my Egyptology blog, I wanted to do a bit of documentary work too. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the chance to indulge in a bit of street-style photography.

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Street photography on a rainy day at Liverpool One

I do love spending a bit of time wandering, documenting life around me. There are so many ways in which people and places can be interesting, and different ways in which I, as a photographer, can capture life.

I like going out in different weather conditions and times of year to see how places change. I also use different lenses, such as my wide-angle lens – where you have to get close to your subject – and my trusty 35 mm (53 mm equivalent). This makes me think more carefully about how I go about using the camera, as well as making me use my legs, too.

One lens I hadn’t taken out around the street, however, is my 50 mm (75 mm equivalent) macro lens. I was interested to see how it fared being put to use out and about, rather than on a tripod, up close-and-personal with small things.

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Photographing children at the Garstang Museum

Comedian W.C. Fields once, famously, said “never work with animals or children” due to their unpredictability. After having spent an afternoon photographing children in the Garstang Museum, I would have to disagree.

Museum curator Dr Gina Criscenzo Laycock asked me to help her get some photos of children in the museum that she can use for promotional purposes. So, I gathered together a gaggle and brought them up to the museum for a session.

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