ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

SCRAMBLE (30/11/10)

We are still in the grip of arctic air, winds from the north-easterly quadrant providing sunshine and snow showers. I am in a better mood as I got into Seahouses yesterday where there is a CO-OP. It was virtually devoid of stock but I purchased the last three packs of Marlboro, four cans of lager, a loaf of bread and fresh milk…….The staples of life!

I could become a consultant for Supermarkets………..All you have to do to shift stock is not fill the shelves but have two yards of shelf with two items on it……In  times of inclement weather, the customers almost come to blows over the last loaf, last milk, last tin of sardines. The populace who remember war rationing are the best customers. In normal times one cannot get near the merchandise for old folk in wheelchairs trying to find a bargain peering through a magnifying glass at the cost per kilo…………..not today grab and defend is their creed. 

Today I decided it was Field Fare day. The farmer left a strip of uncut barley for the birds. So out we went to watch them. There are Pheasant, Rooks, Jackdaw, Gulls, Fieldfare, the odd Robin and several wee brown jobs which are beyond my powers of identification…………….Nothing new in that then!

My long lens is in for repair so I can’t get close up shots for you. Selfish I am. I just love watching them, pecking away, bickering but united as a disparate flock when hard times arrive. Total contrast to the CO-OP and we humans grab it all and then waste it attitude.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   I really hope after all this these are Fieldfare…………..look like Fieldfare to me!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Here’s one on it’s own……………sorry I couldn’t get closer but I was lying in a foot of snow in a hedge bottom to get one this close.

All of a sudden the Jackdaw, Gulls, and Rooks took to the air……….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   As if to defend their smaller brethren………………here it comes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A Buzzard……..I hope, as always I have doubts it’s tail is not fanned out as they usually are. It’s not a Kite cos they have forked tails……………..I’ll commit myself to Buzzard. Whilst I’m undecided a Honey Buzzard…….I wish!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   They all pile in………….not easy being the best gunslinger in town everyone wants a go at you.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  They do not let up…………………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Until he is driven away…………………..How do birds know so much? If it had just landed in the field and wandered through the snow pretending to eat seed I bet it would have caught a Jackdaw.

Back to territory I’m more at home with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Bamburgh church tower in the sunlight from a long way away…………………………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Sunlight on the Inner Farne Lighthouse and the Longstone Light. The last two images shot through a 200mm lens and a 2x teleconverter. Not ideal but better than nothing.

That’s all for today…………….keep warm…We are.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

IS THIS SPRING (28/11//10)

We have been out today but nothing to show for it unless you want to look at clouds. I’ve shot loads of sky. Any pictures I get with boring skies and in they will go.

Last night they lit up my side of the castle…..Don’t know why but it did look rather wonderful so I rugged up, collected my sturdy tripod, a cable release and stepped out into weather that would have had Nanook of the North running for cover. Got a few quick exposures……..almost got exposure myself…..as in hyperthermia….not, as in flashing. Upon downloading the images it turned out that my sturdy tripod isn’t that sturdy. I shall have a word with it’s purveyors,  they have a choice of tripods ranging in price from forty  to four hundred pounds…….none of which do they describe as flimsy useless lumps of aluminium.

The upshot is that despite going out again and hanging onto the tripod the results were cr………..sorry… disappointing so I blended my blurry illuminated castle into an image taken of the same scene in daylight. Sounds like someone describing their holiday pictures …….’And  just off to the left was this amazing broaching Whale.’…’Why didn’t you point the camera at it then?’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Bamburgh Castle illuminated.

Whilst out this morning we saw, flocks of Field Fare and a flock of something I couldn’t identify, also four Roe Deer, these are becoming a nuisance, beautiful as they are. I’m loathe to suggest the obvious solution. I’ll settle for the reintroduction of wolves and sabre toothed tigers.

On my return I placed seed on the fence opposite the truck to  feed the the Field Fare and hopefully get some pictures. I did……………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      A flock of Jackdaws, who ate what they could then scattered the rest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Is this the crows nest……it is definitely the lookout.

Not to worry. The best was yet to come my first lambs of the season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Out for a play in the snow……I’m not sure where they came from……………I know where the lambs came from!….I mean I’m not sure where the flock came from. They are now shut up next to the camper. I thought a rare occurrence had stumbled upon me but it turns out these are Poll Dorsets………the only sheep to breed throughout the year. The answer to the title is categorically no. This is not Spring. They are rather handsome sheep.

We are forecast to get some thunder storms later, should they materialise I’ll go and try for some real lightning.

Have a good week.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

VIEWS OF THE CASTLE (27/11/10)

We are still parked a mile or so south of Bamburgh and the weather is much the same, maybe slightly cooler at minus two but much better as it is dryer. I quite enjoy it and love the continually changing light. We walked down to the beach this morning but it was akin to being shot blasted so we retreated behind the dunes for a little shelter and walked into Bamburgh.

I must apologise to Matron who publishes a blog VIEWS FROM THE CASTLE for paraphrasing her title. Interesting though the area is there is precious little for miles about other than the castle.

Shopping was a success as far as it went, I got a Telegraph. Have almost finished the crossword, messed up the sudoku and read the paper, or bits of it………….I started to get bored on the fourth page of reportage of inclement weather……….What do folk expect……..it’s winter…..it’s supposed to snow! Next it will be the Highways Authorities bemoaning the fact they have run out of road salt……It’s only December and January and most of February we run out. Of cause it is you cretins, even you lot are not daft enough to grit in July. You save that month for resurfacing. The tar refuses to solidify, all the top dressing is in the gutter and folk are wandering around looking like quislings, covered in tar….Wish I’d saved last years paper. Would have saved a couple of pounds and the comment would have been much the same. I flicked over a couple of pages and hit another piece the length of War and Peace covering the Royal engagement. What is the Telegraph thinking of? Were I even half interested I would buy the Daily Mail. So apart from the letters page and the crossword that was two pounds wasted. To cap it all the shop sold neither beer or cigarettes. Should I get desperate for such staples then there is another shop eleventyeight miles down the road. So I can see his point.

On to the pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Sun catching the Inner Farne Lighthouse.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Bamburgh Castle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     And again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The strip in the sunshine on the horizon is Lindisfarne or Holy Island. I visited a year last August a big mistake. It is joined to the mainland by a causeway that floods at about half tide.  By the time I had walked the four miles or whatever, it was time to set off back. Place was busier than an underground station in rush hour so I wasn’t too disappointed. I’ll try and get back this winter as it is worth a visit and will be better out of season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   St. Cuthbert's Bamburgh. This looks an interesting church. I had the dogs with me and knew as soon as I got inside they would be shouting to have me out. After the shop, I was not in the right frame of mind for that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A mile from home this squall came through. It went dark but the sun illuminated Seahouses……….It also missed us……..Things were not all bad.

We still have plenty of food and water…………Should things get desperate then I can always throw snowballs at this handsome chap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     A cock Pheasant. What he’s doing on a barn roof I really can’t say. I’ve popped a handful of seed down for him. Better a fat Pheasant for tea than a half starved one.

It’s getting easier walking now as the snow is hardening up. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

That’s all, have a good Sunday.

Friday, 26 November 2010

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR (26/11/10)

Yesterday was cold and generally vile so I manipulated the following image to brighten up a miserable day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       The invented view from the van yesterday………………………………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      The view from the van today.

I went out as soon as it was light enough, barely light enough, the sky to the east was black as a witches hat or cat depending which version you prefer. The following images are straight RAW conversions with white balance whacked up to get rid of a nasty blue colour cast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are gaps in the near blizzard conditions but they are short lived…………..I will be if I run out of gas, forgot to buy any beer before heading into the wilds but still have plenty of cigarettes so life is bearable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The light you can see is The Longstone the small unlit one to it’s right is the Inner Farne and the farmhouse to the left looked a bit drab so I dabbed a couple of lights on. Beggar global warming we could do with some here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The sky is brighter to the north east but not much…………Bamburgh Castle and the village of Bamburgh to it’s left. The light on the castle is their illumination.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    The dogs think it is wonderful. The best fun they have had since last year…….if beaches are good then snow is brilliant.

Sorry about the noise in these but ISO was up in the stratosphere.

I was going to head south today but it looks as if we could be here for sometime.

Have a good weekend where ever you are and whatever you are up to.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

NOW CHILDREN (25/11/10)

Now children settle down and pay attention today is colouring in day so out with your crayons, try and use the old wallpaper provided and do your very best not to draw on each other, the walls or anything but the paper.

We have been out a couple of times today but it is horrible. Hardly any gaps in the showers which are wet snow and sleet so it’s been play time again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Though I was in Northumberland last night and the weather was bad it was not as bad as at the Tees Barrage. It was awful there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The view from the van window………………….slush, mud and wet blowing snow.

Both the above images are figments of my imagination. At least the meteorological phenomena are, helped along by Adobe who provide software for idle folk in camper vans.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The reality is worse………..This is the vista from the van window this morning………or the lack of vista in this case.

We are heading back south for the weekend……….Cape town sound attractive if a little impractical.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

SAND CASTLE (24/11/10)

At last we have got some pictures. We are cold and wet but it was worth it. The light between the squalls was really quite exciting.

Before I get started properly I would like to draw your attention to a blog I’ve really been enjoying SNAKES IN THE FOREST OF DEAN. Stunning photographs and interesting and informative writing.

On with todays mission, the title ought to read Sand and Castle.

_B248414_5_6_7_8_fused_edited-1 Bamburgh Castle……………I’ll just post the pictures today.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I had fun today despite three or four good soakings……..You can just about make out the castle under the rainbow…………..No crock of gold here but a gold mine. Two pounds to park and eight pounds to get in. It was closed so I can’t tell you whether it’s worth it…………..I suspect that after the initial shock has worn off it probably is………It’s massive and looks in good repair. I can’t even say that Mary Queen of Scots stayed………expect so….She stopped just about everywhere else.

That’s all for today.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

I’VE BEEN AT IT AGAIN (23/11/10)

All I can say by way of an apology for what is about to be revealed is that we have been out three times today and got absolutely soaked. I have now run out of dry trousers………No you smutty devils I’m not about to reveal that…………..not on a family blog.

I’ve been playing again…………………………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bamburgh Castle as, hopefully, it will never be seen again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Bamburgh Castle in one of the frequent, clement patches. Although I admit to this image having had a good seeing to, the light is wonderful between the squalls.

Thursday looks as if it may be a nice day……………..let us hope so.

Back to the tablet or should that be tablets and a bit more colouring in.

 

Monday, 22 November 2010

FOGS GONE (22/11/10)

image

image           We have moved to a small farm between Seahouses and Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast or twenty minutes from the coast to be exact.

We got out between rain showers for a quick look round, it’s a bleak and desolate place today but hopefully the weather will improve before next June and allow some photographs. I have seen some wonderful images from around here but despite several trips have nothing to show from the area myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Bamburgh Castle in the gloom and today is not proving to be the exception.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      The Farne Islands. The tiny light almost dead centre is the Longstone Lighthouse scene of Grace Darlings epic rescue…………..that doesn’t sound quite right she was the epic rescuer………….That’s better.

Let us hope for some better weather tomorrow and I’ll get out for some dawn shots.

Have a good week one and all.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

GEEK OR NERD (21/11/10)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkiddaw…………..I hope in happier weather. This cold, rain and fog is driving me mad.

No pictures today but some nerdy stuff that may be of interest  to DSLR owners who  don’t have an interval timer or the function on the camera. I like star trails but get sick of taking the many exposures required manually. It is possible to buy a cable release with this function but Olympus don’t do one.  I have been pondering this problem on and off for months, in between dreams of Uma Thurman. A couple of days ago I experienced a revelation, a eureka moment to rival that of Archimedes…………….Almost!

This works on the Olympus E-3, can’t see why it would not on a Cannikon for you perverse photographers that own such equipment.

Here is what to do…………………………….

  1. Mount your camera on a sturdy tripod……..Why are tripods always sturdy?
  2. Plug in your cable release.
  3. Set everything to manual.
  4. Set shooting mode to continuous. In my case (H).
  5. Select Anti Shock and select the time interval you require.
  6. Set focus and exposure for whatever, the night sky, a flower bud, clouds.
  7. Press the cable release and lock it as you would for a bulb exposure.
  8. The camera happily keeps snapping away till the battery goes flat.

PS. Charge the battery first!

That’s it…………..I’m inordinately proud of this discovery……….I’m a Happy little Nerd.

We are of to the seaside tomorrow………..today is starting to look like a pub day…….. Oh Dear!   Confused smile

Friday, 19 November 2010

ANTHROPOMORPHISM (19/11/10)

There is still no sign of the fog lifting and consequently little sign of anything else.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Mum did you know you have two black birds on your back…………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Don’t mind us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Psst! There’s a bloke taking our picture over there…………….I know……….probably never seen a sheep before.

So back to the bin and a root about for something more interesting than fog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Did I say fog I meant frog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeen into the bin and come up with a few from April this year……..A Great Spotted Woodpecker.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     One of my favourite birds is the Nuthatch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      What have I done this time?

That’s all for today, have a good weekend.