Author Archives: Phill

Hoodie Season Is Upon Us

Time To Buy Those Winter Warmers

I was sat at my desk in work today, considering how it was just that little bit too cold to have not brought a cardigan in. Searching through my ‘top drawer of mystery’ for a Cup-A-Soup to bring my core temperature back up to a normal level, I remembered that I’ve designed some hoodies!

I wasn’t allowed to get a second rough work book in Middle School, because of my doodling habit. Now, over 30 years later, I’ve finally found an outlet for my doodles. People across the world from Lancashire to California are wearing clothes with my designs on. How awesome is that? God, I LOVE the internet. The way it’s allowed people with ideas to connect easily with people who love those ideas and other people who can make them happen.

Anyway – back to winter clothes…. I’ve put some ideas for hoodies below, which you can buy online at brilliant prices. If you’re too hard for a hoody (I’ll copyright that phrase) then quality t-shirts are also available.

Let’s Have A Look Then!

The “I’ve Got This!” hoody – This is the design that started all this off. Also available as a reflective design for extra safety from my good friends at Ahead Solutions here.

"I've Got This !" Hoody

“I’ve Got This !” Hoody

“Totally Styled That Out” pullover hoody – Celebrating the moment when enthusiasm triumphs over talent. We’ve all been there.

… and for photographers:

“STOP! and I’ll shoot” sweater – Also available as a hoody, of course!

There are more designs available, so have a look around my RedBubble shop and see what you like. The quality from the teams at RedBubble and Ahead Solutions is brilliant – Global customers can’t be wrong.

Tell ’em Phill sent you 🙂

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

You’ve Got Another Life To Live

Somebody very close to me said something amazing over the weekend. It went a little bit like this:
“So, you’re about 40 now. So you have ANOTHER LIFE to live now before you die”.

Think about that for a minute. If you’re fortyish now, you should have another life to live before you die.

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

Another Life To Live Before You Die.

Let’s not talk about mortality, that’s not what this article is about. Of course you might fall under a bus tomorrow, or you might succumb to one of the many things that are out to get you. Let’s just assume that isn’t going to happen and that you’ll live to your allotted years.

What this means is that you owe it to yourself to live your life. I know people my age who have fought to get to where they are now, and are acting like it’s the beginning of the end. Slowing down. Watching their kids grow up and wondering what to do when they leave home. There’s a certain sadness about the future, a fear of the unknown. I’ve read that family breakdowns are very common once the kids have flown the nest and I’m not at all surprised. Family life is hard, it’s challenging and it takes a lot of effort. When the family dynamic changes most people will find that difficult.

So be ready. Be ready to live your Another Life. Make plans.

Adapt those plans: they’re YOUR plans.

Include the people you love the most, if you can. They’re the ones who really matter.

There’s a saying: “You only have one life. Live it.” Well, maybe at my age, I think it’s best to think that actually, we have two. I hope that your first life has been full of amazing memories.

Now make sure you live the second one, too.

How to remove a photo filter when it’s stuck on your lens

Oh NO! I Can’t Get The Polarising Filter Off My Lens!

I know I’m not the only person this has happened to. I felt a bit of a fool when I realised I couldn’t unscrew my fairly expensive filter from my (much more expensive) lens recently. Looking into the problem I discovered that lots of people had suffered the same issue, but precious few had solved it easily.

Any filter might get stuck and the main reason seems to be that the aluminium used by your camera manufacturer to give you robustness and light weight is simply prone to sticking. Polarisers (polarizers for you Uh-Merrickuns) are the worst because they’re designed with a freely-rotating front glass bound to the screw-in mount, so you just can’t get your fingers into the damned job properly!

Let’s look at the options.


1. Dab a little grease/vaseline/lube onto the thread of your filter before first use. DO NOT get this onto your filter or lens glass or it will be a nightmare to clean off. That’s why I’m not a fan of this idea. I have read that bar soap works too. But chances are if you’re reading this far down the page that it’s already too late, yes?

2. Don’t screw the bloody thing on so tight! Single glass filters should stay put while the rest of your lens does the moving. Polarisers need to be used more carefully but if you get into the habit of rotating the outside (moving) glass clockwise from the end as you look into your lens, it won’t unscrew by accident. Just check periodically that you’re not overtightening the inside (screw mount) glass against the lens.


1. Filter Wrenches. It’s very easy to get small filter wrenches from Amazon or any camera retailer. These come in various sizes so either buy a set or get the right one for your lens size. It’ll be on the lens spec sheet and if you bought a filter you should know it! Failing that, just measure the diameter across the thread with a ruler.

I bet they’re excellent to have in your bag. If your filter is only “a bit” stuck these should free it easily. My filter was too stuck beyond these little flimsy-looking things by the time I finally acted to get the job done.

2. Baby Boa. Otherwise known as the “sledgehammer to crack a nut” approach! When the filter just won’t move, this little device provides a tight and even grip around the full circumference so there are no pressure points, maximising your chances of successful removal. All I can say is that it worked for me! The bonus is that the Baby Boa will also loosen pretty much anything that’s stuck as well as lens filters. Jam jars; ketchup lids; wine bottle tops… all loosened brilliantly.

The Baby Boa. No more stuck filters!

The Baby Boa. No more stuck filters!

3. Elastic Band. It’s got to be worth a try. By providing some extra grip and reducing the ‘pinch points’ of your fingers on the filter edges, you might get some success with this cost-free option. I didn’t.

Do You Need One?

Only you know the answer to that, but… For just a few quid I highly recommend that you buy the Baby Boa. It’s not as small as the filter wrenches so you might not take it everywhere with you, but it gives a much stronger grip and it’s much more versatile. If your filter has been stuck for a while, the extra grip and leverage also gives you a much higher chance of removal where the filter wrenches might not be strong enough.

Tell ’em Phill sent you! 🙂

Club Competition Entries – 2014 POTY

Isn’t a POTY something a baby poos in?

No. It’s the Photographer Of The Year competition. This will be the first one I’ve ever entered. The competition, run by my local Geek Club, is run over 4 quarterly sessions and I need to submit my first batch of 5 photos this week.

I ran a vote via Google Plus, with a couple of people at work and whoever was at home tonight (Sharon, Fiona and Emma) and these 5 photos emerged as clear winners.

What do you think? Just click on any one of the images to open the gallery.

I’ll update with scores after the competition in another week or so.

Wish me luck! 🙂

Where is your business growing to?

Find out how Phill Connell Marketing Solutions can accelerate your business growth. Practical, realistic steps to improve your revenue generation.

%d bloggers like this: