Manual 366 / well that buggered that up!

I’m ignoring the leap year… slightly!

A few of my pictures tell stories, that’s the secret to photography. Todays picture, taken in JPEG because I don’t have the luxury of RAW and LR on my works PC, kind of struck me, I managed to get to the Thames Barrier after weeks of trying, the light was good and I got a few shots of the structure, together with the Canary Wharf backdrop and even a few with aircraft coming into land at Docklands, but, when you step back a bit,


the most important aspect is not the structures, the accomplishment of man, it’s the young boy playing on the climbing frame with his mother looking on. I would hazard a guess he’s looked at the view and it held his attention for a moment or two but that climbing frame became the centre of his attention very quickly afterwards. That simple climbing frame that took a moment of time and a little bit of cash to design and a few days to build. Sometimes we just need to step back and think, years don’t change lives moments do! Hats off to the climbing frame designer and the happiness they’ve bought to those who will be the future!
And for the rest of us there’s the A1M


Peace Peeps! X

Manual 365/59 Lamb Bacon

Honestly, Lamb Bacon is a thing and I’ll show you a little bit later. First with the photography bit, had a bit of a tour around North Dorset.

We started at Compton Abbas airfield near Shaftesbury for a drink and some shots of the planes, it wasn’t too busy and I would love a longer lens and the Tiger Moth to be flying, you never know, one of my Manual missions might be going up in the thing!

DSC_815055mm @ f/5.6, 1/3200sec, ISO 100

Then off to Sturminster Newton Mill Pond for some long exposures of the weir. Most of the shots were blown because of the light. I did also use a cheap polarising filter. Even in LR it was hard to drag any type of detail out of the moving water. The best I could do was this:

DSC_8216.jpg18mm @ f/22 (The highest aperture my stock lens will go on this length), 1 sec, ISO 100

The water flow over the weir was quite substantial and so was the spray. I’ll revisit in the summer when the flow might be a little less.

And eventually we got to New Lake, Gasper By the time we arrived the sun had set and the light was low enough to get in to the multiple seconds rather than the 1 or bits of one and this happened…

DSC_8257.jpg22mm @ f/22, 6 sec, ISO 100

I realise that both long exposure shots are cropped quite close in and I’m hoping this might change when I upgrade my lenses and improve my skill!

As for the Lamb Bacon…


This better be a thing!

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and here’s to a short week!

Still Twittering

and Facebook Thingy

And Web Thingy!

Peace Peeps!


Manual 365 / 58 Latin’s Not Dead And Elfs Only Drink Tea!

Capra aegagrus hircus (Goat)

I’ve never been a fan of Latin, it always seem a tad precocious but after a wander over the hill and woods behind where I live I felt that the Latin was the only way to express the beauty and anger I discovered…

Primula vulgaris (Primrose or Focalthingys’ Favourite)DSC_7935.jpg

Sarcoscypha coccinea (Scarlet Elf Cups)DSC_8077

But, due to my inexperience I missed shots of a couple of Dama dama (Fallow Deer) that I spooked and a Dendrocopos major (Great Spotted Woodpecker)

The great thing about where I was is that it’s not too far and I could pop up there any time and there were clues left by other species, that maybe I’ll be lucky to catch sight of. I saw evidence of the

Bunchuv Cuntius Minor DSC_8040.jpg

and the

Bagus Dickus Shitem Bogof VulgarDSC_8042.jpg

who should be admired for carrying great loads for miles from the local shop but have the unusual habit of arranging the light carcasses of their victims  in neat heaps to be evaporated or eroded by the passage of time…

For the record I will be returning with help and bags over the next few days to clear what I can of the rubbish.

(Kind of a disappointed) Peace Peeps! x





Manual 365 / 57 Always Visit The Old ‘uns!

I’ve now got quite an extensive catalogue of photos now and it would be just cruel to not have a look back through every now and then and polish up the previously overlooked, so tonight’s blog contains two pictures, one from January of the water meadows in Barford St Martin DSC_2486.jpg

And one of shells collected in and around Albufiera.


I would like to say more but I’m off down the pub!

Peace Peeps!

Manual 365/56 Dear Doctor Foster…

Gloucester City have offered the following statement:

“Whilst we sympathise with Dr Foster for his misfortune we feel that the integrity of this fair city need to be defended; Let it be known that there were a number of factors that were not mentioned in the original claim made in the Gloucester and Forest Herald. Namely, Dr Fosters’ demure stature contributed to his predicament and that due to central government cuts “category 1” potholes can now have a depth of 1.1 meters and must be repaired by the 38th Julember in all cases. It was unfortunate that Dr Foster chose to stop at the The Air Balloon Public House for (confirmed by signed affidavits) 3 pints of Guinness with Gin chasers and a large brandy “For the road” before carrying on. If Dr Foster had checked he also would have been aware that at this particular time of year was renowned for being a bit rainy. *rainy season in Gloucester runs from January 1st through December 31st

And finally, Gloucester City used to run a bus service to Cirencester which would have elevated the need for Dr Foster to be walking but, due to the number of wheels being nicked, this route had been suspended. Gloucester City can not be held responsible for this fact.”

Gloucester and into Wales From BirdlipDSC_7769.jpgFL 18mm @ f/22, 1/40 sec, ISO 100 (With tripod and 10 sec delay to stop camera shake)

Ah, the return of The Golden Hour! It’s been a long time coming but this lovely crisp cold snap we’re experiencing is great for it. I will admit that todays shots are from yesterday and apologise for yesterdays weak effort but the internet connection in the hotel was non existent and I haven’t the patience or mobile plan to be uploading photos over 3G.

DSC_7861.jpgBelted Galloway’s (Little bit of politics) FL 18mm @ f/8.0, 1/40 sec, ISO 100

DSC_7877.jpgGeorgie FL 55mm@ f/8,0, 1/40sec, ISO 100

And, cause I like the star burst effect of a really tight aperture my f/22 @ 1/640 sec…DSC_7775.jpgI’ve converted to B&W because the rest of the picture was under exposed and the greens looked bloody awful and I think the shadows work.

Peace Peeps! x




Manual 365 /54 It’s About Time They Put The Roof On…

DSC_7647.jpgFL 46mm, ISO 100, f/8.0, 1/160 sec. Exposure upped and graduated red/orange filter from top to bottom and under exposure graduated filter from bottom to top added in LR.

Once again, foiled by added clutter! I’ve used Lightroom to take out all of the guide ropes but the ramp’s a bit too much! I’ve asked the Techies over at the Stunning Digital Photography Facebook page to have a look so I should get a solution fairly quickly.

A glorious if slightly cold day spent on an airfield in Surrey so I have a few work shots today followed by sneaking up to the stones from the A303, there was a security guard in amongst the stones but I only saw him when I was reviewing my shots, good lad for not being a jobsworth!

Shots from the airfield today, not sure of the swirling in the sky in the first pic but it was there pretty much all day.




If you haven’t, pop over for a look at my web thingy.

Peace Peeps!

Manual 365/53 Studio set up: Tripod? Check, Camera? Check, Lighting?… iPhone? That’ll do, Box Of Beers? Hell Yeah!

Work at the moment has become frantic, lots going on and no chance of shots. I lie, there’s loads of shots but not having the camera to hand all of the time is a bugger!

The best I could try was a dark shot of the dashboard and some small light trails…. It didn’t work out. Wife to the rescue time, she loves Lillies. She loves them so much she actually went out and bought herself some a few days ago (Yes, I know it’s my job and I have said I will get the next lot) and they have just started to open so we have the bonus of a beautiful scent in the living room and stamens full of pollen so, not to miss the chance I whipped them into the kitchen and got the tripod out.


FL 55mm @ f/16 (I wanted a deep depth of field but still got Bokeh in the background!)  ISO 100, 0.8sec (It was under exposed but using LR to up the exposure ((and that’s all)) bought up the green without blowing the whites and I love the composition)

And where did the beer come in to it? I hear you ask…


I needed a stand for the light…

Have a gander at my web thingy I’m really quite proud of it.

And Twitter’s really starting to take off! Thanks if you’ve come from there and if not… Click the link!

Peace Peeps!



Manual 365/52 Superman’s Buggered!

Well, he is if he ever goes to East Knoyle. he might become a little more educated though… Or hooked on Mills and Boon!


I stumbled across this little beauty on my way back from the Golden Two And A Half minutes the UK seems to be experiencing lately.

DSC_7410Focal length 55mm, Aperture f/5.6 Shutter speed 1/100 sec, ISO 100

This is the best it could do, taken from The Green looking across the Backmore Vale. As the sun dropped lower the cloud cover increased so there was no chance of even a glimpse.


Earlier on today I popped up Turners Paddock to have a bit of a mooch about and walked a little further on than last time to where a spring rises out of the ground and there are two derelict buildings the bigger built using local green sandstone and the lesser built using flint local to the forest. They offered up a couple of shots. I have no idea what the buildings used to be but they follow an indent that was probably once a flowing brook.



DSC_7257.jpgThings are still most definitely in Winter mode but there is promise!

And to finish, a black and white offering looking back across to the gardens.DSC_7360.jpg

All in all, it’s been a busy day, I’ve even managed to get a web page up and running. Have a look at and let me know what you think. They also host blogs so I’m going to post this there and see how it goes.

Still Twittering, Facebookthingy and Flickring

PS Peeps: If you want to view the pics in greater detail click on my Flickr link, you can zoom in and the metadata is there too… You nerd!


Manual 365/51 Mud Sucks… And So Do Grey Skies

A lot more years ago than I care to mention I used to kit myself out in daps and shorts and meet up with my mates down The Meads to go River Walking. The aim was to get into the river at point A and not get out of the river until point somewhere down there… I do remember it was always frickin’ freezing, sometimes the water was only up to our ankles. Other times we had to swim. The mud on the river bed was always thick, sucking and stinking! But it didn’t matter. Along the river there was a waterfall where, I would guess, in days gone by, there was some pump house or the like that used to supply the local farms. This has long gone but the falls are still there. So, in the bright sun of this morning I decided to make my way down there to get some long exposure shots.

By the time I managed to scale a few fences and slop through some very soggy fields the sun had disappeared and dull, featureless grey skies had taken over. And to top it off, the waterfall had become so overgrown with bracken the only thing that gave it away was the roar of falling water. Disappointed I turned for home.

I love where I live, always have and always will but sometimes, winter sucks!

And all I got was muddy boots!


That said, on the way back I did stop to get a few shots off and to be honest they weren’t the best.

I do know with long exposures you shut everything down, Aperture High f/36 (Small), ISO 100 and I’d even adjusted my exposure compensation to  -5 but even at a one second shutter speed my picture was very exposed.


I don’t know if different cameras could handle this but I was a tad  disappointed. Lightroom cleared it up somewhat and the Spot Removal tool worked quite well on the barbed wire so not a totally wasted day.


I have also revisited a few of my earlier shots today too and tried to make them a little more atmospheric using LR.

The Warmth Of StoneDSC_3532

Old FriendsDSC_3451.jpg

And I feel the need just to mention that my picture got a shout out and a Pick on Tony and Chelsea Northrups’ weekly live YouTube broadcast (My shots’ at 1:02.7) These guys have been a massive influence and their videos are informative and extremely easy to watch and I’ve even got their book; Stunning Digital Photography and it’s a great reference source and contains loads of videos too…

The Folly!DSC_3222.jpg


Peace Peeps!