Jo's Blog

Archive for March 2012

Transition Zone

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(c) Jo Spiller 2012, All Rights Reserved


Whilst everywhere else in the UK was bathed in suspiciously glorious sunshine last Saturday, Edinburgh was smothered by a blanket of chilly fog – the legendary Haar – giving this abandoned depot an eerie atmosphere.

A silence and desaturation, another monument to our changing economic times.


Written by Spiller

March 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Seeing Red

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I’ve been a little disheartened, dismayed and generally hacked off this last week or so (hence the lack of posts). This is largely due to ‘unauthorised use’ of one of my images, which I accidentally stumbled upon.

If there was a button I could have pressed to pull this blog off line then that’s what I would have done. Unfortunately there isn’t, so I’m faced with a long, protracted process of trawling back through posted images to ensure that I’ve “protected” them as fully as possible.

People. Google Images is NOT a free bank of photos from which you can pick, choose, download any image you like, put on the front cover of a brochure, print as many as you like and sell for whatever price you like.

You need to ask first.

It’s just polite, isn’t it?

And not only is it polite. It’s the freaking law.

Ok, I’m mostly hacked off with myself for my own carelessness. And on the plus side – I really like this image of red shadows I took in my stairwell, just hating the ugly watermarking.

Written by Spiller

March 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Posted in General, Photography

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Heat-seeking in the Pentlands

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Yesterday was a day to get high above the city, lie back in the sunshine, inhale pure oxygen and drink tea from a flask.

It was a day to spend watching a forest full of scouts on a sugar high impale themselves on barbed wire fencing whilst their sausage sizzle went awry and set fire to some pine trees.

It was a day full of birdsong, the crunch of dry heather under foot and live weapons firing from the M.O.D range.

It was a day where birds of prey glided above the green hills, then silently torpedoed down on their unsuspecting target below.

It was a day when a rogue heat-seeking missile (or possibly a back-firing flare) came a little too close to comfort and we turned back to the relative safety of city life.

It was beautiful, it was invigorating and it was just what I needed.

(it just has a really annoying neighbour – bit like a jet ski, only with guns)

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March 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Canopic Jars

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Canopic jars

Turnstiles, Wartime and Wotsits

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I love my dreams and I have a lot of them. Recently, however, I’ve been waking in the night thinking “What a great dream, I’ll definitely not forget that one!” only to find that, come the morning, every last thread of it has disappeared from my mind. Ransacking my brain for even the smallest hook by which I could draw it back into my consciousness is completely unsuccessful. The dream has well and truly vanished.

So the other night, when I awoke, I managed to scrawl in my diary, in the pitch black, the words “Turnstiles, wartime and wotsits” and, by some miracle, it was still semi-legible in the morning. So here it is…

We were milling about on a quayside in WWI army uniforms, complete with pith helmets and Sam Brown belts, saying farewell to friends and loved ones, waiting to go through some turnstiles. On the other side of the turnstiles were ships which we were about to embark on in order to sail away to war.

However, to get through these turnstiles, we had to swipe a Wotsit crisp over a infrared light. And only certain shaped Wotsits would gain you entry. Too curly, no good. Too straight, no good. They had to have a perfect Wotsit shaped curve to activate the turnstiles.

I love dreams for their disregard for the conventions of storytelling and their celebration of the surreal.

I think I’ve been reading too much about WWI recently but honestly, I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a Wotsit – could have been circa 1986!

Written by Spiller

March 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Posted in General, Photography

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Touch Screen at the BFI

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March 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

A Story told in Shadows

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March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm