Monochrome Moments – 5 (More Sand, and a Stick)

This one continues from Monochrome Moments – 4, it also having been taken in the dunes of Fuerteventura.  This was a snapshot taken because of the potential appeal of the intersecting diagonals of the sand ripples and stick.  Monochrome conversion was again made with Topaz, and I also chose to retain a ‘warm’ look to the image because it seemed in keeping with the scene.  I did consider a more ‘stark’ B&W conversion, but didn’t like any of my results as much.


This is another of those rather minimalist images which, when you look back, you wonder whether it was really worth taking.  Having played with it a bit, I think it probably was, just.


I wasn’t really happy with this image so I took some advice from Adrian Lewis.  I’ve increased the contrast a bit (quite a bit), and the result is below.  I could probably go still further but think this may be enough.  I didn’t do this before because I am always a little nervous of ‘overprocessing’.

Stick and Sand

Any better?

Fisheye Fun – 4

This shot of Portland and the Harbour were taken from the Nothe Gardens in Weymouth.  I guess that it would have been better if I’d had a ND Grad, but there we are.  I thought about cropping the burned out sun out of the frame, but I don’t think that the composition would have worked.  I suppose that I should have tried a hand held HDR bracket (yes, no tripod with me), but I don’t think that I originally thought the image would be worth it.  I now think that maybe I was wrong.

Portland from The Nothe

Weymouth Speed Week – 4

And still more shots from Weymouth Speed Week.  Previous posts can be found here, here and here.  It is probably best to view them as a slide show by clicking on the first image and then clicking through them.

I’m afraid that I am still going to post a few more from these Speed Trials.  I do understand that they may not be to everyones taste and might be a bit sameish.  Don’t worry.  I will run out of images eventually.  I’m short of time today, but hopefully I will be able to say a bit more about Weymouth Speed Week before I finish the series.

Weymouth Speed Week – 3

As threatened, here are a few more shots from Weymouth Speed Week.  Previous posts can be found here and here.  It is probably best to view them as a slide show by clicking on the first image.

Sorry, but there are still more to come.  Show me your stamina.:)

Golden Cap – The View.

Recently, our good friends Bobbie and John from Nottingham visited us for a couple of days.  Living in Nottingham, they don’t see much of the sea, so when they visit, we normally try to do some coast walking, or at least get to the coast.  Obviously, October isn’t the ideal month for this and we were pretty disappointed with what the weather had to offer.

Some years ago, Bobbie had started on a walk to Golden Cap on the Dorset coast, but had not actually got there.  As the weather was meant to be dry until after lunch on the better of the two days that they were with us, we thought that we could put this right and enjoy the views from Golden Cap.


We parked in the National Trust car park at Langdon Hill and started the short walk and easy route up to Golden Cap.  It started to rain as we exited the car park but this wasn’t too bad since there was plenty of shelter from the trees of Langdon Wood.  There was also a bit of a view of the sea, looking down towards Seatown.

As we struck off from the Langdon Wood circular walk, towards Golden Cap, we left this shelter, but the rain was still not too bad.  When, however, we arrived at the top of the climb, the heavens opened and, of course there was absolutely nowhere to shelter.  After some good few minutes of torrential rain we were soaked, but the rain eased and was very quickly replaced by low cloud.  The following photo shows the wonderful views of the surrounding coast that can be expected on a day such as this!  It also shows that we still enjoyed the walk, and have a sense of humour.

wpid-untitled.jpgNo tripod (again) and too much wind anyway, so I’m behind the camera.

After this, we gave up on the walk.returned to the car and went to Lyme Regis to have some lunch.

Sorry, no photographic merit in this post.  Just a reminder that we can still get out and have fun, even when the British weather doesn’t cooperate.

Weymouth Speed Week – 2

I’ve taken a couple of trips to Portland Harbour in the last week, to see what was going on during Weymouth Speed Week.  The first visit was a lovely sunny day, with a mild, but strong wind.  Ideal for the Speed Trials I would think.

I posted a few shots in Weymouth Speed Week – 1, but those were only a quick selection to prove that I had attended.  It is time that I posted a few more.  I have a few just about reasonable shots, though none are great when I compare them with the efforts of a few others that I know.  Here are the first ten in a little slide show.  Open it by clicking on the first image and then view them at your own speed.

There were a number of things that struck me about these speed trials.  The first was the apparent chaos on the water.  I was surprised that there were no serious accidents, with these sailboards and kite surfers thrashing backwards and forwards, reaching across the prevailing wind.  I was also impressed that many of the competitors could reasonably be described as quite ‘mature’.  I suppose that I was a little disappointed that there were not more of what could be described as ‘sailing boats’, but that is how it is today.  Wind surfers and kite surfers rule as far as speed is concerned.

I’m probably going to bore you by posting a some more shots from the Speed Week over the coming days.  I hope that you can stand coming back to see them.

Those Magnificent Men 5 – Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire

It’s time I posted another in my ‘Those Magnificent Men’ series.

I was looking at the blog of Simon Bowler today, where he had posted a rather nice photo of a Supermarine Spitfire Mk IXb.  This reminded me, that I hadn’t posted a Spitfire picture image here, so I had a look in the archives.  I now realise why.  It is simply because I don’t have any to post.  Still, having got this far, I thought that I might as well post some of a Supermarine Seafire, spotted at RNAS Yeovilton Airday in 2009.  This aircraft is a Seafire Mk XVII and although the appearance is very similar to a Spitfire, it is heavily modified for shipborne operations.  I think it is fair to say that it was not as successful in this role as the Spitfire was in the land based role.  It’s still a beautiful sight though.

There are many better images of this aircraft to be seen online.  These are the best that I had available.

Earlier images in my ‘Those Magnificent Men’ series can be found by using the ‘search’ facility.

Robin Redbreast

I know that Robins are one our most friendly birds, at least where humans are concerned, but this little chap ‘tweeted’ to attract my attention as I was walking past him, just a couple of feet away.  He then continued to sit there as I took a few portraits of him.  This was in the Nothe Gardens at Weymouth a couple of days ago.

Here’s one for the Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend.


I also met a Grey Squirrel that day, who climbed my leg, but as I didn’t have any spare nuts he didn’t hang around for long enough for a photo.

Monochrome Sunset Silhouette on the Somerset Levels.

Another B&W image.  Something has happened to my visual senses.  I’m starting to see more and more of my images which seem to yield a little more, or maybe just some different appeal, when rendered in monochrome, and I am enjoying it.

Having said that, I have just come home from a Camera Club monochrome competition, where 3 of my images, which I thought had some appeal, failed miserably to impress the judge, and one, which I only put in to complete my entry quota of 4, achieved a ‘highly commended’ from him.  My judgement ain’t that great.

Significant influences on my, perhaps temporary, leaning towards mono are Adrian Lewis, blogger at FATman Photos and Andy Beel, who gave a talk at our club last February.  I say ‘perhaps temporary’ because I still have a love of colour, but undeniably I am appreciating B&W to an increasing degree.  I’m still not seeing the images in B&W at the shutter pressing stage, though maybe I am becoming aware that lighting conditions could favour it.

I expect I will bore a few, who have often expressed a preference for colour images.  I apologise and please stick with me.  There will still be a lot of colour on this blog.  I am, however, likely to post quite a few B&W images in the future as well.

This is the first one.  It was originally posted quite recently in a gallery in After the Storms.

I liked that image, but I now think that I like this one more.  I fiddled around in Lightroom quite a bit before choosing this treatment.  I think that rendering it as a B&W silhouette, has enhanced the detail in the sky and its reflections in the flood water.  It has also improved the definition of the tree trunk, ivy and lower branches, where the sun was previously burning this detail out a little.


The original is shown below, and I expect a few people will disagree with what I have said above.  Some may mourn the loss of the golden light on the reed bed.  Maybe I do a little.  As always, comments are most welcome and will help me to improve.