The Time Is Going So Fast (Slow Down I Want To Get Off For A While).

Oh my word, its February already and I’ve not posted anything since December. Where is the time going and why does it go so fast ?.

There is a good reason for not posting believe me. As I wrote back in May, we lost my Father and that was a great loss to both myself and Joy and it has taken a little time to get through losing both him and my Sister within four months of each other. As I have inherited my dads house we made the decision to have all the work done that it required, move in, and make it a happy home for the both of us just as it was always a happy home for my parents.

As you also know, I have started to use film again after many years lay off and one of the jobs I wanted doing was to have my own Darkroom built which is now complete. After living out of cardboard boxes since early January we have finally got everything put away and at last I had time to play in my darkroom.

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My first prints in my own darkroom

All I need now is for it to stop raining at the weekends so I can get out with the cameras and show you what I’ve been doing.

As ever, thank you for looking and I hope you all have a safe and happy week ahead.

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An Autumn Walk

I had a few hours free a couple of weeks ago and decided to take myself off to Wyming Brook Nature Reserve in the Peak District. I have mentioned this place several times on these pages and it’s a place I absolutely adore. The sound of the running water, the birds singing early morning and the fact that I nearly always have the place to myself make this a magical place for me.

The night before my visit we had some heavy rain and I knew that this would bring out the colours and obviously give me faster running water to photograph. As usual I was the only one there and I had a fantastic couple of hours of peace.

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As ever, thank you for looking and I hope you all have a great week ahead.

How many cameras do you need, she said.

Ok she’s right (again) I think I have enough cameras.

All of my digital shooting is done a the fantastic Canon 7D (not the new one), and I love it to bits. However i’m of an age that still remembers when film was your only choice. It was still no different then as Canon & Nikon where still the big names in 35mm cameras with the likes of Pentax close behind. However it wasn’t the 35mm cameras I was interested in back then, it was the medium formats that I wanted but could never afford.

I just can’t get away from shooting film (well, trying to). We are moving house in January and Joy wanted the garage converting into a utility room and I have taken a portion at the back of which the builder has made me my very own darkroom complete with plumbing, power & light-proof.

However, back to the topic of enough cameras.

Since starting to shoot film again I seem to have gained 6 cameras, some I have bought and some I have had given to me as they where not getting used.

Medium Format

Zenza Bronica ETRs

Zenza Bronica ETRsi

Hasselblad 500cm (my pride and joy, I got one at last).

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35mm

Chinon CG5

Nikon N2000

Canon A2 (my other pride and joy)

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I will never enter into an argument concerning Film V Digital it yours and my choice what we use to take photographs. But I just love the whole process of loading a roll of film, Not knowing the results until it’s back from the lab & just the way the whole experience of taking photographs is slowed down (every shot costs money). As I have said, I love my digital camera and what it can do just blows me away. But, put a film camera in my hands and the smile on my face just gets wider.

So I have said to Joy, ok no more cameras enough is enough (well, until Martyn sells his large format field camera :-))

Thanks for looking as ever have a great weekend.

A Short Break In Scotland

Oh my, I’ve got some catching up to do on this blog.

With getting our new home ready, dealing with builders, Kitchen fitters etc, & the fact that my day job is demanding very long working hours at the moment I just haven’t had the time to sit and write on my page.

Lets start back in September when both myself and Joy needed a short break to re charge our batteries and get some rest. Scotland was a great idea despite the 6 hour drive and it would give me a chance to get out with the camera. We booked a fantastic hotel right on the side of Loch Awe and as soon as we arrived I knew I would get some good photos if the weather was willing to play ball.

We only had 3 days so it wasn’t going to be all about photography and me being out on my own with the camera, it was a break for Joy as well so we did some driving around visiting Fort William & Oban (fantastic whisky tour). However, I did get 3 great mornings on the Loch for sunrise and we didn’t see a drop of rain for the whole of our short visit.

 

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Day 1 A beautiful start to the day with low cloud.
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Day 2 Another great start and again very low cloud
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Day 3 At last I was rewarded with some colour

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In such a beautiful location I just couldn’t resist a panoramic or two.

With such a short visit we only saw a fraction of what a stunning place this is to photograph and on our way to Fort William we drove through Glencoe, I just had to stop the car and look the sights in front of me just took my breath away.

I plan to go back to the Glencoe area soon and explore what is there. My photographs are OK and I love what I’m doing, but if you wish to see amazing images of the area take a look at the work of David Mould on his “Scotland From Wellies” site. That is what I would love to achieve.

Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a safe weekend ahead.

Out For A Sunset At Last

Hi

I must admit that between my last post of the Puffins and now, I have been so busy sorting out my dad’s affairs (house, finances etc.) I have had no time to get out with the camera.

Sunset’s have never been my thing in the past and I’ve concentrated on sunrise photography. With a summer sunrise being almost over by the time I finish my night shift, I decided to have a go at a sunset instead, and made my way to Stanage Edge in the Peak District.

stanage-sunset

The main reason for my lack of interest in sunset photography is that people are still around and you do tend to bump into a lot more photographers. Now, I’m not totally anti-social but I do like to be on my own when I’m out with the camera. However, this evening was just so busy and for me very frustrating and whilst I am pleased with the image it wasn’t the composition I was looking for but more of a case of that will have to do. I say frustrating because although I was in my chosen position well before sunset, by the time these colours started to show I had a photographer on both my left and right side as well as a bloody great dog running around and bumping into my gear. I know I’m sounding like a moaning old man but please give me some space & just because my camera is pointing that way doesn’t mean that it’s the best view or composition.

However, moaning aside I did have a lovely evening and a laugh with the dog owner who was a lot better behaved than his dog.

Can you just imagine what it would feel like to walk up to the edge, jump off and fly, what an amazing feeling that must be. Well that is exactly what this chap did.

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Thank you for looking and I hope you all have a happy and safe weekend.

 

Puffins, Sunset & Sunrise

Hi

As said in my last post, we both needed a short break from our recent family problems and a long weekend in Seahouses, Northumberland was arranged. The sole purpose of going to Seahouses was for me to spend a little time on the Farne Islands photographing the puffins which is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.

PUFFINS

The boat trip over to inner Farne was booked for the Sunday afternoon and both me and joy were exited after listening to other photographers in our hotel who had been over on the Saturday and had some good results. I must admit though, as we where standing on the harbour waiting for the boat we where both a little worried as the sea did look rather rough. After boarding the boat and very soon after leaving the harbour walls it soon became very obvious that the sea was in fact very rough and the sail over wasn’t going to be all that pleasant, but grit our teeth we did and after a tour around the other Islands spotting some amazing grey seals we where soon on the Farne Islands being welcomed by a National Trust employee advising us to put on the hats that we had been recommended to wear.

Neither me or Joy could understand why we needed hats and guessed it was due to the amount of bird flying around we could get bird droppings on our heads (that is the most polite way I could have put it, but you know what I mean), but oh no, it had nothing to do with that at all. As soon as we started to walk onto the island we could see people running & ducking with coats, bags or anything they could find over their heads it was like a scene from Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. I soon had one bird diving and pecking at my head and as you looked at the floor you could see why. The Arctic Terns on the Island don’t build nests, they lay their eggs and raise their chick in the grass and where diving at people to warn them off and away from the chicks that where just sitting in the grass waiting to be fed.

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Arctic Tern Chick
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Arctic Tern

After running the gauntlet with the Terns we made our way up to the lighthouse to find the Puffins. The sight we saw was quite simply breathtaking, the sheer amount of birds was stunning and ran int the tens of thousands. It didn’t take long before we found some puffins and I just can’t find the words to write that would explain how beautiful these birds are.

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After watching the Puffins in the grass for a while (and we only had one hour on the island) we moved on closer to the lighthouse and the cliff edge to see a greater number of Puffins and this not so pretty but amazing bird.

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Shag

The picture I wanted and was looking for was of course a photograph of a Puffin with a mouth full of Sandeels, and my fantastic afternoon was made complete when I knew I had it.

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And that was it, our hour on the Island was over and as we boarded the boat and made our way back to Seahouses I just couldn’t believe the amazing experience we had just had, and we where both very pleased that the boat trip back was very calm.

Sunset

As you know the area of photography that interests me the most is Landscape and being as we where staying right on the seafront I just couldn’t go home without taking a sunset at the end of a beautiful day.

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Sunset over the rocks at Seahouses, Northumberland.

Sunrise

And of course, I just had to get up at 3:15am the following morning to get a sunrise on the beach.

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Sunrise over Bamburgh beach with the Farne Islands in the distance

Well that’s it, we had a fantastic long weekend and spent some quality time together as well as seeing some amazing sights. If I never get to go over to the Farne Islands again it is an experience I will never forget.

Thank you for looking and I hope you all have a very safe and happy week ahead.

P.S  The weekend was made even better when I received a text from a very good friend telling me that their new baby had arrived a little early but all was well. Karl, I know you read this mate and as I’ve already said, congratulations to you both.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Off On A Short Photo Break

Hi This time next week myself & Joy should be sitting in our hotel with a drink enjoying our deserved break away from all that has been going on over the last few months.

I have booked us into a very nice hotel in Seahouses, Northumberland for a short break, and a boat trip over to the Farne Islands to spend some time photographing the Puffins. I would love to improve my wildlife photography and this would be a great opportunity to get out and take pictures of this beautiful bird.

I decided I needed a little practise with my Sigma 50-500mm lens, so on Monday morning I went for a walk around Elvaston Castle nature reserve to see what I could find. I had only been there around 20 minutes when a very nice lady told me that the Herons where around “and with that big lens you should get some good pictures”, so that was it, off I went to find them. heron   This is the pick of the images I took, which I am very happy with.

I had a good couple of hours around the reserve and thoroughly enjoyed myself. However there is a problem, I spend quite a bit of time around Elvaston Castle with my camera and no one looks at you twice you’re just another bloke with a camera taking pictures of squirrels and swans. You go with a great big 50 – 500mm lens attached to your camera and you can’t move for people coming over to see what you have. When I got home and downloaded the images I was surprised how few I had taken. This was because I spent most of my time answering questions like I bet that was expensive, how close can you get with that, is it any good, can I have a go (NO), is it heavy etc. I don’t really mind because I enjoy talking to people, but it just amuses me that a lens can cause such interest.

I can never leave Elvaston Castle without taking a picture of the boathouse, and this was Mondays image. boathouse Thank you for looking and my next post should include pictures of Puffins, I hope.

Take care and have a great weekend.