Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cold front 2

After the gloomy grey rain filled skies of your typical warm front, the weather clears, the temperature drops and we see clear skies for a few hours.




Then the clouds start to boil up and on come the showers.

Green and pleasant land: It's all due to rain.



Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Big Storm

Well, the big storm, long predicted, swept over perfidious Albion this week leaving leaves and twisted trunks in its wake.


At work a small tree fell prey to the forces of nature, but the rest of the wood seems OK.


This shot was taken with a camera that dates from the five megapixel era with a modest autofocus lens I bought on ebay for £12. You don't need the latest and greatest if the lighting is right.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Guilty

This is mine, isn't it?

You did say I could play with it.

What have I done? Why are you looking at me like that?


Wrigs looking shifty during a photo session at the weekend. 

Four flashes: 

Key, Fill and two Backgrounds all triggered with poverty wizard wireless gear.


Saturday, 26 October 2013

Time

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,
you fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
...
And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.

In my case, looking at some old pictures, fifty years have got behind me. No-one told me when to run, I guess I missed the starting gun.



Here's an unrelated image.



PS. Nice Bokeh from that 45mm Zuiko lens. Mental note. You don't need another lens Pete.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Contre Jour

Are you against the day? You think you don't like Mondays?

Maybe you are suffering from Jambes Lourdes mon ami.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bright idea

I'm still waiting for my next bright idea.

I'm starting to get worried. Does one eventually run out of bright ideas?

If you have a spare bright idea that you don't want, send it on a postcard. Contributions will be plagiarised mercilessly...


Monday, 21 October 2013

Artists

Artists:

What's the point in them? They faff about with their funny arty ideas and their strange lifestyles. What have they ever done for us?

No: Don't marry an artist. 

In fact you are 70% * better off with an Engineer.



*Actually, you are 70.7106% better off

Friday, 18 October 2013

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Catflap

You have to admire the Cypriots and their attitude to exterior decor, house maintenance and paint in general...

I guess if it is hot and dry most of the time, then paint is a luxury that blisters and falls off quickly. 

Here in the wet and cool UK, unpainted wood doesn't last long.




Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Good idea

There is a traditional rivalry between the neighbouring towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. 

Lynton has gravity on its side.

Once a year they get one of these...



and roll it down this towards Lynmouth.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Secret Goat

I will tell you a secret. Something only known to crossword addicts and compilers.

The answer to every clue in your average crossword is "Goat"

You can always use this word for every clue in any crossword no matter how cryptic. However, you may need to re-arrange, substitute, repeat or omit some or all of the letters




Another well kept secret: You can complete the most fiendish Sudoku puzzle using only the number seven.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Last light

Here's a favourite picture taken in the Lake District last year.  As the sun sinks over Causey Pike light strikes the top of a nearby tree...






Sunday, 13 October 2013

Post whole

Why do people spend so much time hammering wood posts into the sea? You can see them all round the coast. What do they hope to achieve, are they trying to kill the ocean with a stake? 

They must realise the wood will rot away eventually. Perhaps the only purpose for these enigmatic structures is to provide suitable subjects for gritty monochrome photographers.


... and if anyone deserves to be called a gritty monochrome photographer, then it is I.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The French

Sometimes I see something I just have to photograph, to document, to record.

Here we are in a town in southern France. This is the view from a street. This is a toilet. You remember toilets in France .. smelly places where the doors are left open so you can see the men inside.

Well this example goes several stages further. The huge opening has no door at all. It is a unisex toilet as far as I can tell. Therefore ladies must walk past the men at the urinals to those inviting stalls at the back.

And the French claim to be a modern civilised nation. 


The arrangement on the right is a kind of trough where you could was your hands if there were any water available.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Forty Years On

Here's a picture from forty years ago. It is one of my earliest colour slides. Even then I was fascinated by patterns and contrasts.

Look through my pictures. How often do you find people in them?

(That's a rhetorical question. The answer is very rarely)



Wednesday, 9 October 2013

20 years ago today

An image from twenty years ago this time. This is on Jersey, a little piece of France that we own. 

See the traditional fisherman's Volvo outboard motor perched at the rear of his time honoured glass fibre moulded boat.

Despite the passing years, it is good to see that some things never change.




Composition notes: Rule of thirds for the distant village. Sweeping diagonal ropes to counterpoint the boats. The leading line of the jetty draws the viewer into the picture. It's all there. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Ten Years After

Here's a picture I took at Land's End ten years ago.

What a long time ten years is, and yet it seems just like yesterday. I wonder how many hours that is?

Oh. 

I see there are only 8765 hours in a year. Surely there is some mistake. There must be more hours in a year than that. What a con.... No wonder time flies like an arrow*



*Fruit flies like a banana of course.

BTW. If the title reminds you of a seventies rock group, then let's keep quiet about it, eh?

Monday, 7 October 2013

Cat

I'm a Cat. 

I don't do anything. 

I don't have to do anything OK?

By the way, where's my dinner?


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Glass, Paper, Pixels

We photographers are allowing our standards to slip. Let me explain:

Where do your pictures end up? Are they printed on paper, or prepared for showing on the web? 

If you plan to show your 16 megapixel pictures on the web, you need to reduce the image to (say) 800 x 600 pixels like the example below. Downsizing an image will blur it slightly. This blurring process removes most of the noise and leaves the picture looking cleaner. Now you can apply a tiny amount of sharpening to put the original punch back into it. I use my own sharpening filter that features on my web site.

The result should be nice looking images that please the eye when presented on a computer monitor*. There's no excuse for a poor image when it's been dealt with in this way. 



But what happens if you want to show this as a nice big print. From recent experience a 35 x 20 inch panorama print requires around ten thousand pixels across its width, and so you need to up size your file. This reveals all the faults in the picture.

So, close examination of the picture above revealed a tiny amount of camera shake. This is not visible when the picture is miniaturised for the web, the picture looks fine. However it will look awful when enlarged and sharpened. 

Therefore the picture above is a reject and has already been deleted. Standards my friends, standards....

*I mean a nice crisp clean monitor. Not some sort of tablet thing with greasy fingerprints all over the touch screen.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Asymmetry

A lovely midsummer sunrise for you.

Faked.

It's the old flip and paste thing to make a scene look bigger. A little bit of cloning to nibble away at the symmetry and the mind is left with suspicions but not enough proof.

Funny thing, the mind.




Thursday, 3 October 2013

More string theory

If you look very very closely, in between atoms, you find string.

Yes, apparently the Universe is made of string, which seems a little odd to me.

Maybe this explains why the Universe seems to be infinite: It is made of string and just how long, exactly, is a piece of string?  Hmm?



Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Front room

Here's the front room at the Bishop's Palace in Wells. Aah. Blackadder:

"The Bishop of Bath and Wells to see you sir"

I suspect this medieval pile was gone over by the Victorians. Why did they ruin so much stuff with their heavy handed restorations? 

They say that history was written by the victors. I say history was rewritten by the Victorians. 




Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Having a laugh

Historic? 1771?

We've got graffiti in nowhere Newbury that is older than that..

Historic, pah!



PS. No Americans were harmed in this post