Manual 365/10,000 Sub Post

Just a quickie, I took my 10,000th photo with my trusty Nikon D3300 yesterday and feel that it deserves a bit of a show. I turned 180º from where I got yesterdays panorama and tilted the camera to accentuate the slope.DSC_0001.jpg
18mm @ f/8.0, 1/250th sec, ISO 100

Contrast, clarity and graduated filter added in post. A simple picture but to be honest; one of my favourites.

Normal service resumes later!

Peace Peeps! x


Manual 365/70 still No Smiling Cats…

-Where are we?


-What have you got?

~Well, we’ve got this 500 metre dip.
-Wow, is it special?
~Well, it’s been created by the footfall of people over two millennia going from over here to over there.
-Wow… Really?
~…. Really
-That really works, sinister, deep, medieval… What does it look like?
~A dip…
-A dip?
~And it used to be called The Valley Of The Demons…
-That could work… Does it need art?
-Any art?
~Well you could put Roman helmets on gate posts… If you really wanted too…
~And maybe a pole or two, with school projects…
-What are you going to do with that side?

~Aw nothing, the locals use it as a tip and that might be valuable in 1500 years…

-Oh.. Ok.

Manual 365/66 Mom!

Mothering  Sunday, 2016… Once again the giant beast of commercialism raises it’s occasional head and grins, “Get the flowers, buy the cards, she’s your Mum and she deserves it. You’re a bad child if you don’t! Spend it here though, not over there, they don’t care about your mum as much as we do…”

Mums are the best, mine especially. I don’t know where I’d be without my Mum but I do know the last 44 years would have been pretty dark and boring.

So, what do we do in deepest darkest Wiltshire on Mothers Day? Ploughing Completions, that’s what. Because nothing says “Love You Mum!” like getting your beloved Massy out and turning over a small patch of field straighter than the guy on the International in the next plot along. Serious stuff I might add! There was a definite lack of Mums if I am to be entirely honest but I shouldn’t take the mick too much, as I was in the same field doing what I love! Each to their own, as they say! And I’m sure they all rushed home afterwards and cooked their lovely Mums dinner and plied her with cards,chocolates, Baileys and roasted pork belly. Just as this ever dutiful son did to his most wonderful of mums!




Challenging couple of days ahead, management course in Swindon tomorrow and Tuesday so I have the disadvantage of no LR so no post, probably no internet, all day sat in a room and to top it off, I’m in Swindon… Say no more!

Hope you’s all have a great week!

Peace Peeps!

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 365/53 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 365/47 Recovery Time? About Three Days!

Yesterday, as we were speeding down the M5 there was the most spectacular sunset. I very nearly pulled over to get some shots off but we were tired and just wanted to get home. I had my fingers crossed that this evening would be similar… It wasn’t, I’ll come to that later.

But this morning was.


Got this shot lent out of the bedroom window in me pants, Sometimes you’ve just got to go for the shot! Shot in RAW @ 25mm, f/25, 1/4000 sec, ISO 100. Cropped (To remove the shocked neighbours faces and a bit of street furniture) and edited in Lightroom. (Raw file available, email me; Flickr link here

I’ve taken a few days off after the holiday just to reacclimatise and was battling post holiday lethargy for most of the day but I had set myself the challenge of getting up Long Knoll this afternoon for an anticipated sunset. It’s the first time I’ve been up there in at least 25 years and I’m sure it wasn’t as steep back then! Once the lungs had recovered and I had got over the fact the light wasn’t brilliant I got off a few shots. This one being the best.

DSC_7040.jpgFlickr link

RAW @ 18mm, f/5.6 (Shallow DoF so the distance is out of focus but the light was low) 1/40sec, ISO 100. As before with the RAW file.

Alfreds’ Tower (Manual 365/17 The Folly)is the little bump on the left in the distance, the Black Down Hills can be seen (just) to the right of Alfreds’ Tower, as the hill the tower’s on drops down and Glastonbury Torr is just above and to the right of the O/S monolith if you really squint!

Some really great views and one for a revisit in the summer months and maybe, landowner permitting,  a sunset, night exposure and sunrise.

I did wonder if I would get to see any wildlife on my way but I think my get up today gave them all a bit of a heads up, that together with the puffing and panting!


From now on, if it’s Straight Out Of Camera (No editing) I’ll tag with SOOC and all shots are RAW unless otherwise mentioned.

Peace Peeps!



Manual 365/46 Wings Stay On, Wings Fall Off…

You can thank Gary Larson for the title; I’ll try and hunt down the offending cartoon for the end of the blog.

A long and tiring day with not many chances for shooting but we were lucky to; one, deviate slightly from our expected route and make land fall over the UK via Portland and Chesil Beach. Two, The weather back home was clear and crisp so I could see the afore mentioned places and three, I had a window seat thanks to the kindness of a fellow passenger who gave up her seat for an empty row in front.

The pictures aren’t that clear due to shooting through glass and the reluctance of the pilot to let me step outside. But I have cleaned them up in Lightroom a bit.

DSC_6959Flickr link to the photo here if you have trouble viewing from the blog

I’m not sure of the horizon distance at 36,000 feet but I do know that sometimes it’s little observations on a massive scale that can change an entire viewpoint. I little while after taking the above picture I was trying to get a bearing on where we were so that I could get a shot in the general direction of home. (About 30 miles North Eastish of Portland) I saw a built up area I thought was Dorchester… It wasn’t, it was Bristol. I know it was Bristol because I got the following shot.

DSC_6982Flickr Link: The Severn Crossings

And if I craned a look back I could see Portland in the retreating distance but I would need the largest fish eye lens ever and an end of wing seat for that shot!

The time between each shot was 11 minutes, that trip by car would take in excess of 2 hrs on a good day. 30 minutes later we were landing in Manchester and it took just over 3 1/2 hours to eventually get back home to Wiltshire.

The world is such a massive tiny place!

Tech details, both shot in manual mode using my stock 18-55mm lens, I have cropped both pictures and cleaned up in lightroom but no graduated filters have been used. Both shots taken at f/18, 1/60th sec, ISO 100. RAW files are available, PM me on my Facebook link or email me at

And as promised, the offending cartoon!


No link for this one but Google Gary Larson if you don’t know his work. He’s brilliant and I think about him every time I get on a plane!

I Tweet

I Facebook Thingy

And my Flickr feed

Oh, and a quick shout out to Dave the Piper and Linda his wife, my best day for views to date and loads from Canada! Thank you! (click on my Facebook link and PM me for more details)

Peace Peeps!


Manual 365/45 Surfs Up! Piper On Dude!!!


Our last full day in Albufeira and still the moments pile in! There aren’t many occasions  you can say you’re watching surfers on a busy sea while listening to The Flower Of Scotland played (Very well I might add) on the bag pipes by a Canadian in Portugal…

Surreal to the very end!


Thanks to;

Dave, The Piper and his partner who I didn’t realise were together so they both got a card! (I’d love to see your work)

Surfers, just because!

Albufeira, for having such wonderful people, places, animals and attitude and I know the weather’s been shite but hey, rough with the smooth!  We will be back!

And last but not least, Sandie, Sue and Robbie! Thanks Guys! XXX


You can find me on Twitter

Or my facebook page

Peace Peeps!




Manual 365/17 The Folly

It’s been a grey dull wet day and the motivation to actually get up and go somewhere took a long time coming. Eventually I got up to King Alfred’s Tower. I was only able to get a few shots off as the light was fading fast but I like the one below.

DSC_3222 (2).JPG

I have straightened it slightly and added a black and white filter in post (There wasn’t a lot of colour in the original and I think it adds atmosphere)

Here’s more information on Alfred’s Tower and its location.

I tweet @focalthingy

I post more pictures on Flickr

And Focal Thingy has a  facebookthingy

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.