Manual 365/175 Peaceful Times…

So, here we are, just a few hours away from the nation’s decision and I think it’s going to be a tight one. I voted the way I was always going to and still have hope that the small majority feel the same. The main thing is, no matter what the outcome the world is not going to end, Boris is not going to teabag the United Kingdom in oblivion and David C (you choose the second word) isn’t going to Baguette fist the White Cliff Of Dover. We’ll all wake up to relief, disappointment  or even blind indifference and carry on as before.

The great wheels of government and industry will continue to grind and crank in the bureaucratic, continental shift like speed of change and we will continue to live in the most peaceful of times that Europe has ever seen. In recognition of that todays shots are of a symbolic flower used to remember those who had to live through and die in some of the darkest of times.

Battered By The Rain DSC_4102

Poppy Field SkyDSC_4133-Pano-Edit.jpgBoth taken today, first in Milton Keynes this morning and the second from the A303 looking across the Blackmore Vale towards Duncliff this evening.

Peace Peeps! x

 

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Manual 365/138 Retro Memories and Square Flash Bulbs!

I remember the first camera I ever had a go on, it was a Kodak Instamatic X-15 owned by my parents and lent to their very young son then quickly taken off him as he wasted the four flashes and that’s your lot, cost a fortune, cube shaped cutting edge (for the time) flash that clicked into the top.

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Tonight’s shot isn’t from that camera because now we don’t have to worry about film, or square flash bulbs or even spending money, just a moment outside a cemetery in Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire and the Nik Collections Analog Efex Pro2 and I get a shot looking a lot like the old photographs we used to look through on special occasions…

And, if you have no idea what I’m on about, get a load of this!…

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State of the art! ;o)

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/124 Gandalf’s Getting A Bit Horse…

The A412 Buckingham by-pass is quite a busy road but I heard his call and I did not pass.
DSC_0002-Edit-3.jpgI often pass wood carvers on my travels but today I had the opportunity to stop and take a closer look. It’s always intrigued me how someone can take a tool as savage as a chainsaw and turn out the amazing sculptures they do and now I know… Tiny little bars!

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I kid, it must take some work and dedication to turn out the work that was on display. A darn sight harder than just rocking up with a camera and catching some photons!

Thanks to

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And JasonDSC_0027-Edit

The creators of The Wood Peakers Fantashtic Creations thanks for being so welcoming and even striking a pose!

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They do commissions, click on the link above to go to their facebook page and give them a like.

And guy’s, feedback would be great, you can email me at focalthingy@gmail.com good or bad, it’s fine! ;o)

Peace Peeps! x

 

Manual 365/110 Symmetry /\ yrtemmyS

Of all the towns I’ve visited Milton Keynes is the weirdest. They worship things there. Take the car for example,  the grid system and the amount of parking is staggering. Shopping comes next and then there’s leisure. Even driving along the busy but surprisingly clear highways you only have to turn off and park up to take a walk around the numerous lakes, parks and estates to see some really quite remarkable sights.

The Peace PagodaDSC_2920-Edit.jpg

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And the One (slightly battered) World Tree…DSC_2895-Edit

The one thing I must admit though is that it works, it really does!

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/33 Not Train Spotting!

I’ve found that stumbling across situations / locations tend to be the best options for getting photos. Take today for example, walking a road in Winslow, Buckinghamshire we crossed a bridge and I took a peak over the parapet and what do you know, a disused railway line. Not a “years gone by” kind of railway (A footpath) but a rails still in place, rusty and no chance of death railway complete with graffiti on the bridge and pouring water (Due to a burst water main on the road above) I got that excited that all my composition and exposure went out the window and my pictures are going to take some processing to make them viewable. I have had (a still basic) muck around with the posted images but I know I can do better so it’s been added to the ever growing “Revisit List” Location is here.

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(Brief tonight I know but it’s a packing night and leave for Hols tomorrow… Via Jodrell Bank!)

Manual 365/21 The Eye Of Sauron… in Aylesbury…

I have already said to myself there are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days… Today was a bad day…. Today was a very very bad day…

Let me start at the beginning:

Up at 4am and as expected, cloud cover. None the less, I get packed up and head off up the hill, maybe it’s just foggy and I could get above it, not a chance, Nothing, not even the ISS, let alone the planets is going to show through the vale of cloud hidden in the darkness and it was very dark, so dark I actually got the hebegebes… Back to the van…

Then it was off to Telford and the browny grey greeness returned, it was dire but not to worry I thought, I’m off to Buckinghamshire for the night and I know there’s quite a bit of fancy architecture, some night street shots maybe and it started well, even thought the shots weren’t that good. some long exposures using a rice filled sock (Thanks Andy) as a tripod and then the eye fell upon me…

“Oi, he’s f**kin’ takin’ photos!” Obviously a shortage of “G”s in Buckin’hamshire and the verbal abuse rained down. I don’t know if it was because I was still wearing my works clothes (All high viz) and they thought I was trying to get pictures of them my last shot was in their direction but most definitely not of them or if it was something else.  But their (There were 5 or 6 of them, I can’t be sure) shouts and demeanour told me that if I was to retort I would probably end up cameraless and in a heap on the floor. So after that deduction I tucked my tail between my legs, walked (I wasn’t going to run) away. There are times to confront and stand your ground but this was most definitely not one of those times. The Eye moved on and I escaped unhindered if not slightly unhinged!

But now I can tick the following off my checklist:

Wanker – Check
Spat At (they were on a pedestrian structure that crosses the Morrisons Car Park, it is quite impressive) – Check
Shat meself – Check and check again!

Absolutely no pictures worth posting so I’m going to post one of the first pictures I took with the camera when new and still one of my favourites…

Finding Ursa Minor Using Orions Belt

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Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

Twitter, Flickr and Facebook links on my previous blogs.

Manual 365/20 Why The Long Face?

Why The Long FaceThink I need to work on my Portrait shots! The Bugger got bitey too so must remember, 50mm, wide aperture and stand the hell back!

I am going to invest in a 50mm Prime lens though. I found out last night that the stock lens with the camera while very good for getting fairly standard shots and a great wide angle 18mm it only captures up to 8 megapixels per shot. The D3300 can take up to 24 megapixels and a fast prime lens would be able to maximise it’s potential.  (Credit to This Week In Photo for furnishing me with this info!) And it’ll force me to think about composition, position and I’ll be able to do better Bokeh!

Great day today, cold and crisp and I managed a shot of a Kingfisher too…pKingfisher,_Common3_LukaszLukasik

The picture above is not mine but is what a Kingfisher looks like when the sod stays still and is good enough to wait until you’ve taken the picture… (Credit to the website I snagged it from)

This was my effort…

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Prize for the first person to spot him… I’m still proud I managed to get two shots off with him in the picture. The other one was completely unusable but hey ho!

Other shots I managed to get today are:

1st Bridge on the Aylesbury Arm Of The Grand Union CanalDSC_3353 (2).jpg

This Could Be The Perfect Saturday MorningThe perfect Saturday Morning.JPG

Red KitesKites

I’ve heard a rumour that tomorrow morning, about 5:38am the ISS is going to pass overhead and Saturn, Venus, Mars and Mercury will be there too and it’s meant to be clear apart from fog so I will be on a hill trying to get a long exposure without a tripod, freezing me bits and you will probably get a few blurred images tomorrow, sorry in advance!

I Tweet to nearly 200 followers, who’d have guessed! (He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very lousy photographer)

Google+ is here > (One day I’ll do more here)

And Facebook Thingy for my nearest and dearest. I’m not picky!