Friday, 31 August 2012


This instruction had me searching all around the place for nothing. 

I then placed nothing on the piano as instructed, because now was as good a time as any.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Here's what your estate office would look like if you were landed gentry at the start of the 20th century. Oh dear me. How tastes have changed.

Kingston Lacy, Dorset.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I rather like this. 

In fact it is the current wallpaper on my PC.

I wonder what it is?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Tuesday Blues anyone? 

Yes, I know it's not a Monday. but we just had Monday off as a Bank Holiday. So Tuesday is the new Monday. Yes, it rained a bit yesterday because it was a holiday, and it's a lovely sunny day today because it's a working day.

I am with this guy, snapped at Kingston Lacy yesterday.

Monday, 27 August 2012


We often accuse clumsy or heavy handed items of having an agricultural design. Well it is true. Agricultural implements are not exactly delicate and decorative.

Here we have a close up of the mud scraper on a large roller, made of sheet steel and showing all the signs of a lifetimes battering. 

My examination of the roller reveals this home made scraper, welded on to the frame, replaced the previous one which broke or wore away. Perhaps the farmer fitted the thickest chunk of metal available to make the thing last longer.

Agricultural design? 

Yes. Absolutely.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


You focus a lens by twisting a thing that moves the glass forwards. The further forward it goes, the closer the focus point. 

In the old days this was obvious: You could see the lens move as you did the twisting. These days something magical happens deep inside the lens and elves move glass in secret ways.

Anyway, you can force a lens to focus loser by fitting tubes between it and the camera. I have a nice set of Kenko tubes made for the micro four thirds camera range, and here's what you get if you park them on a legacy Tamron 135mm telephoto lens..

That is not too shabby at all. Let's hear it for good old fashioned extension tubes.

Friday, 24 August 2012


We live in a land of plenty, compared to the rest of the world. The harvest has started and the farmers are clearing the fields as fast as possible while the rain stays away.

There is so much wheat being moved to and fro that whole loaf fulls are dropped on the ground whenever the trailer goes over a bump in the track..

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Is there something missing, or has this small rectangular hole suddenly found itself completely surrounded by bricks?

An image on XP2 film, taken fifteen years ago, as you can tell.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Do you remember the fun of motoring. Getting in the car and just "going out for a run".. That was when petrol was five and six, and a spare set of plugs was five bob*.

Here's a couple of guys who still seem to enjoy their motoring

*Essential items in the boot: Plugs, points, oil, wheel brace, jack and some water.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Sometimes, if you see it, you have to capture it on film. Or electrons, or whatever we capture stuff on these days.

A fantastic contrasty cobweb covered gate at sunset...  

No reason. I just liked it.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Primary Colours

Our new local Debenhams has a tea shop, which is always a good thing in my eyes. The colour scheme, however, is best described as modern. Someone has chosen various shades of lime green for the furniture and for the walls, with several different blues for a contrast.

There are some trendy monochrome prints with small details picked out in lime green and standard marketing phrases painted on the walls in a nice font. I detect the fell hand of an Interior Designer at work here.

The vivid green plastic chairs are truly vile and I will not inflict them on you, dear reader. But wait: Here in a sunny corner of this green and blue colour palette we find... some nice brown cushions. 

Now we know that what goes around comes around, so I wonder if we are due for a resurgence of that height of Seventies taste: Beige and Brown. Aaah! If only.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


You should know your Cocksfoot from your Ryegrass, and you sould be able to spot Ergots and Nitrogen deficiency if you aim to be a countryman.

So: Here is Timothy grass, named after Timothy Hanson, an American agriculturalist according to wikipedia.

I really would like to claim Mr Hanson as a relative, he seems like a nice guy. Most of our near namesakes seem to be disagreeable  types.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Be the envy of your neighbours with an authentic Easter Island Moai. Use it to keep an evil eye on their cat and generally protect your home.

Probably also available with solar powered LED eyes.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Schrodinger's wife

It is an undocumented fact that Erwin Schrodinger did a second experiment after the famous cat incident.

He decided to go out to the pub with his mates from the University of Zurich leaving his wife alone at home with a new box of chocolates

As before, Quantum theory states that is is not possible to predict if the box is full of chocolates or if it is empty. The theoretical physicists drank the evening away while considering the various possibilities that this experiment offered. Finally Herr Schrodinger came home in a right old quantum state and a distinctly experimental frame of mind to examine the box.

Even though this trial was carried out several times the result was completely predictable, which is all very unlikely.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Oh dear.

I had intended to post something witty today, but my head appears to be empty.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Here is my entry for the prestigious Turner Prize.

Clearly the image is pretentious, self important, and it speaks volumes about bricks. I have given it a confusing and irrelevant name : "Freshly Mown Grass". It is a monochrome picture, which is always trendy. I will present it as a four by six inch print straight from Snappy Snaps, thereby repudiating the conventional big print photographic exhibition process. So it is as great a piece of foolishness as you could wish for.

No: I know I won't win the Turner Prize. This celebrates excellence in visual arts, and photography is clearly one of those. No. I can't win it. It's only open to artists under the age of fifty.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Aaah. A nice cup of tea and a sit down. Lovely. This is a small family get together with tea and cakes. 

I wonder if they do this abroad where Johnny Foreigner lives? I don't expect the do it quite like we British.

Anyway, this reminds me of an observed moment recently. We stopped for a coffee in our local town, a well deserved reward after a minimal amount of shopping. The coffee shop only has eight tables and it was deserted. 

After taking our order the waitress asked ".. and where will you be sitting...?"

I notice these things you know.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Here's an image that poses questions.

Posing questions is a good thing, photographically. Images that pose questions get the viewer involved and interested.

In this case we are teased by the darkened lane and the hint of sunlit countryside framed by the trees. Where does this lane lead? What are those blue remembered hills like? What is round the corner and exactly what purpose does the minimal gate serve? Why am I standing in a puddle?

It can't be there to keep the sheep in, there are no fences.

Draw your audience in: Pose questions.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Crop marks

Look at these weird regular marks that have appeared on this field recently.

Long perfectly parallel lines, wide enough that even the most stupid human would be able to see them. These have clearly been left by a visiting alien ship from outer space and must carry some secret special meaning.

Usually aliens leave more complex signs for us, but perhaps this particular race were just no good at spirals.

See they don't line up with the combine harvester marks, so they must be extra-terrestrial in origin. Anyway I checked the alignment of these stripes and they connect Stonehenge, the Great pyramid at Giza and Machu Picchu in a perfectly straight line. 

The meaning is obvious.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Suitable subjects for a high key image: A pair of yellow tomatoes. These are apparently ripe, and this is the colour they should be.

Yes, it looks all wrong. No, they don't taste nice.

Yes, Tomatoes are fruit. No, don't put them in a fruit salad.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Bill W

Spare a thought for William Webb (died November 20th 1879?), part of a an established village family who are well represented in the churchyard.

His stone is so worn after a hundered and fifty years that the lettering is now only visible at certain times of day when the sunlight glances along the edge of the carving...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Bugs and blooms

A hover fly thingy caught on an Echinacea flower. 

Small things can be really quite complicated innit. All that tiny detail. Here I used the excellent Zuiko 45mm portrait lens which is not known as a macro lens. In this case I put it on an extension tube to get in closer. Even with autofocus it takes me dozens of attempts to get a half decent result. I suspect the key to this is using flash not daylight...

Here we are closer still. This time I used my excellent Tamron SP90 macro lens, which dates back to the 1980s. This is firmly manual focus, and once again many shots are needed to get the right look.I do love those oranges and reds this flower displays, if you get good and close to it.

No. I don't think macro is my cup of tea. It's nice to give it a try now and then, but I don't have the patience that a good bug snapper needs.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Typical isn't it. 

You wait for ages to find the Higgs Boson and then: Two come along at the same time.

I was wandering around the farm in a right old Quantum state recently. I was trying to work out why the electron has mass, and attempting to discern the true nature of time when I spotted a second Higgs Boson.

Isn't that just typical. 

Now I realise why they are so easily lost and why they are so hard to find. If you should spot a Higgs Boson, leave it where it is, don't disturb it. You should inform the authorities at CERN in Switzerland and they will come and collect it.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Aye aye Boson

The team at CERN have announced that they have finally found the Higgs Boson. While I celebrate this along with the rest of humanity, I do wonder how it came to be lost in the first place.

I'm not pointing fingers, but someone must be responsible. Anyway, perhaps we will look after it more carefully now.

By a strange congruent coincidence, I am currently reading a book about the big Physics questions . This deals with the very building blocks of the Universe such as Gravity and Time.

Gravity is a strange and far reaching force, silent and invisible, yet it holds the Universe in place and dictates the movements of Galaxies. It is not exactly obvious how Gravity works. I am told it is merely the mathematical outcome of distortions in the space-time matrix. (This may be true but it seems strangely unsatisfying).

What concerns me more is Time. No-one seems to know what causes Time. If it is the fourth dimension, then it doesn't behave like the other three. The so-called "arrow of time" dictates that time moves ever forward, at least from our perspective. This is so obvious that we take it for granted. Things do not move inexorably to the left, so why does time keep progressing?

Consider this: At a subatomic Quantum level, there is an argument that time is optional, or even reversible. 

What do you make of that, Mr Boson?

Friday, 3 August 2012

There's a catch

If you have walked the Wayfarer's Way, you might have used this gate, on the edge of the village where I work. It isn't one of those posh modern catches you find on footpaths across the land with their extra strong springs and curious variations in mechanism.

This is a plain simple and worn out domestic gate catch pressed into public service.

Further into the village you might find the sports field, and the annual battle between Nettles, Dock and Roller.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Gate and Tree

The five bar gate, upstaged by new leaf growth this week.

The tree guards the gate to the village playing field. The gate is only opened to allow the mower in once a fortnight. No-one else uses it. In fact I see very little evidence the field is used for sports at all. It is always deserted when I call by on my lunchtime wander. This is fine: I do love peace and quiet. The older I get the more peace and quiet I require.

Towering trees, upstaged by the mighty Cow Parsley down the village lane this lunchtime. 

Apparently Cow Parsley is considered edible but it has a somewhat unpleasant flavour. I would mark it down as inedible in that case...

The lovely narrow depth of field in these pictures is brought to you courtesy of my 1980s Tamron SP90 macro telephoto lens. This wonderful piece of mechanics and optics is now classed as a Legacy lens, meaning heavy and well made...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Here are two diverse mechanisms I photographed recently. Can you tell what they are?

Yes of course. It's part of a bicycle. We know that because we have seen lots of them. Even this neglected example is readily recognisable with it's spokes and it's rust.

But what about this then? It looks like a fob watch with it's rear cover open. But surely no-one ever made a watch this crude. Where are all the jewels? Where's the delicate cog wheels and escapement?

Well, this is the workings of a hundred year old Pedometer, which is a thing that measures feet, as far as I can tell.