Vista Baby!

Sometimes you’ve just got to panorama the shit out of the landscape!

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The view from Coaley Peak, Gloucestershire across the Seven Valley. Sometimes it just pays to take the slow road home from work…

Over the last few months I have been to trying and recognise and exploit light and the different environmental influences with varying degrees of success. This shot for example, taken this afternoon at 4 o’clock if the sky had been clear with the sun high in the sky the light would have been harsh making the shadows hard and washing out the colours. Fortunately there there was a high layer of cloud across the area of the sun acting like a giant softbox, softening the light and in turn the scene. The lower cloud offers contrast and interest in the sky and shadow detail across the landscape. Then, a little further on, the classic British woodland in spring…

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Soft light, shadow and Bluebells. I’ve still got a long way to go but if the journey’s paved with views like this I’m not going to be complaining about the commute.

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Hard To…. Swallow!

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It’s bloody freezing out there and it’s only a couple of weeks ago that we had nearly a foot of snow but a chilled Sunday evening walk around Stourhead with a couple of cans of Thatchers has reassured me that summer is really on its way. The surface of the lake was alive with feeding Swallows and their almost depth defying aero acrobatics.

The light was low and I had to jack up the ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action. That twinned with my 24-105mm f/.4 I didn’t have the reach to get close chrisp shots and burst mode was a must and out of a hundred or so shots I got… 2

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I’m not complaining though, the spectacle was amazing.

#trainwanker

First Street Photography workshop under my belt and I actually got the train to Bristol, sitting there with my beard and man bag… It was Hipster Central baby. I nearly even had an episode of self importance!

I’m not going to mention the cat milk Double latte or the Stilton and Broccoli roll with pomegranate seed salad…

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These images are going to follow the timeline. It was Pishing down so the remit was reflections, umbrellas, keeping the camera dry (I bought tea towel, see Hipster!) and people… I think I got it covered.

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Thanks Graham, and I’m sure it’s not going to be my last.

Oh, and for the record, the Stilton and Broccoli roll with pomegranate salad was absolutely delicious and I’m never milking a cat again!

 

 

Definitely Deadwood…

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I spent a couple of hours in Bembridge this evening and had a bit of a mooch about on the beach. I’ve been here before and the first thing that strikes you when you get to the there is the Lifeboat Station so it was a case of been here, done that so I had a little wander a bit further afield and found something amazing.

I’m not 100% sure exactly what’s happened but I would expect it to be natural erosion but about 400 metres West from the station there’s a clump of fully grown trees protruding from the shingle beach, some of them right on the high tide line. All of them dead but still standing solid and sound. Normally the landslip of the erosion would have felled them but not these.

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They look as though they’ve slumped into the sea and whilst the brine has killed them they’re roots were strong enough to keep them upright and resolute against the relenting tide… This won’t last and I know they’re fighting (or not ’cause they’re dead but you know what I mean…) a loosing battle and it’s going to be interesting keeping an eye on them in the coming years.

And, because I’m a sucker for leading lines I had crowbar at least one shot of the walkway to the lifeboat station in, featuring yours truly! ;o)

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The Pied Piper’s Legacy…

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I’m sure you’re all aware of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, well, did you know there was a Pied Piper of The Isle Of Wight?

The small hamlet of Newtown on the Isle Of white, once known as Franceville (Freetown) and was a prosperous natural harbour, beaten up by the Danes in 1001CE and again by the French in 1377 never again to be as  vigorous apart from a little bit of favour from Elizabeth I in the 16th Century and her effort with a tad of vote rigging but I digress and before I go further a note from my “sponsors…”

The Legend:

“There are stories of a pied piper, hired for 50 pounds to save Newtown from an excess of rats, which are similar to the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany. He is said to have played his pipe and led the rats into the Solent, where they drowned. The townspeople refused to pay the agreed price, and gave the piper 20 pounds, so he then led the children away. The town lost an entire generation, so had no young people to defend it when the French attacked in 1377.”

This post has been bought to you by Wikipedia… Ain’t the World Wide Web (aka cut and paste) a wonderful thing! 

On a genuine note though, it was flat and grey this evening but the wealth of wildlife that is evident within this beautiful setting is stunning and I spent a good hour watching them as well as working on my composition and judging my exposure. Six seconds @ f/16 ISO 100 with a sky that flat I knew I had to work on the subject, the Boat House was the obvious as were the brooks of water, I wanted to make sure they were flat like the sky, hence the long exposure. The leaning posts that obviously once served a purpose were a little bit harder to judge and it took a little bit of wading to get into the right place but I like the lines, I like the flatness of the image and now I’ve done a bit of reading up on the location I’m a huge Franceville fan and believe me, there is so much more to see there I will be returning.

 

At least somethings putting the effort in…

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We have a small ornamental cherry tree in our back garden, over the last eight years it’s been the final resting place for my late father in laws ashes (close to the BBQ), abused by the cats (Scratching post), battered by storms (a bit of drizzle every now and then) and mauled by snails but every year, without fail it blossoms and when I say blossoms I mean it bursts. It’s almost like it knows that the effort it puts into its foliage is only going to end up making little snails so sod it, let look fabulous for a week or two! I love this little tree but haven’t the heart to tell it that all those flowers are fruitless…

I Measure My Time In Bluebells

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We in the UK are lucky to have the highest density of Bluebells in the world and many of my Springtime memories are of wandering through beautiful woodlands carpeted with purple / blue (delete as applicable)

I’m so lucky to live in an area strewn with ancient woodland, the best habitat for Bluebells, but also most of the best woods are off the beaten trail and normally quiet apart from the woodpeckers, birdsong and the occasional dog walker.

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These images were taken this morning in a small wood in the village I grew up in and, 40 years on it’s almost exactly the same as I remember it.

Masterpiece…

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I’m returning to Amsterdam and the World Press Photo exhibition in my blog again today because there was one image that just keeps coming back to me. All of the images are beyond reproach but this one for me, just ticks all the boxes. Earth Kiln by Li Huaifeng the light, the story, the subject, the setting, the light, the little details and the light… Oh, and the dog! I promise you, my image above does it no Justice so pop over to here  and take a deeper look at one of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen… And I look at lots!

 

Once upon a time…

I would have never have taken this photograph…

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I’ll be honest, even now, if this was London I would have hesitated… And then got the shot probably missing the moment of all four of them were making eye contact with the camera.

I’m slowly going through the shots from Amsterdam and while I’m still loving the vistas the Street photography opportunities were amazing.

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Oh, and I want one of those…

I’ve got a Street Photography workshop in Bristol coming up in a couple of weeks and the similarities between Amsterdam and Bristol were not lost on me.

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