Lynmouth Weekend – 1

This is another image from our weekend with the family in Lynmouth, North Devon.  We arrived first, on a rather grey, late February afternoon.  The light was going, but we just had time for a very quick walk down from our rented cottage into Lynmouth.  This first image from a Lynmouth series is looking up the River Lyn from the road bridge.  Since the light was going and the colour image was a bit ‘flat’, I thought it would be good to try another B&W image.  It was another chance to play with the newly acquired NIK collection.  This time I picked a B&W preset from the HDR Efex Pro 2 tool and applied it to a single exposure.  Apart from the ‘halo’ between the sky and the treeline, I was quite pleased with the result after I had made some fine adjustments.  I should have taken time to remove the halo, but time is in short supply at the moment.

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Our cottage was a couple of ‘zig zags’ up the road on the left hand side of the picture.  We needed to do ‘3 point turns’ to get around the corners.

I hope to continue posting images from Lynmouth, but maybe not as a continuous series.

 

 

 

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Groyne at Blue Anchor Bay

About a month ago, we were lucky enough to spend a weekend with our eldest son and family, at a cottage in Lynmouth, North Devon.  On the way there, we took a scenic route along the coast of North Somerset and I snapped this groyne at Blue Anchor Bay.

Initial thoughts on the image were not promising, but today I was looking for something to try out Silver Efex Pro 2, now that Google have kindly made it a free download.  I stumbled on this one, and found the program pretty user friendly.  I chose one of the presets which gave this ‘grainy’ look, boosted the contrast a little more and arrived at this.

I think it is much more pleasing to my eye that the original colour image.

Groyne at Blue Anchor Bay

Maybe it is an overly simple shot, being no more than a row of old wooden posts, leading off to the water, and eventually to the coast of Wales in the distance.  There are a few Gulls on the shoreline, and the grainy processing has done them no favours, but I still quite like the final result.

There would have been many alternative ways to present this shot that would have proved more attractive to some eyes, perhaps on a different day to my eyes, but this is today’s effort.

The Age of Steam

I haven’t posted anything for a month, and I have also struggled to find time to visit the blogs that I follow, so the first thing that I must do is apologise to all my blogging friends.  To be honest, I suspect that the next few months will also find me with little time, so any posts will be even more sporadic than usual.  Keeping up with the ‘reader’ may also be a challenge. I did however get the chance to go out with the camera for a few hours this week, and largely because I thought the weather would be better in that direction, we popped down to Corfe Castle for a ‘breath of fresh air’.  As it happened, the weather may have been better at home, but at least the weather stayed dry, but cold.  We hadn’t been around the castle for many years, so we took a quick look, but being ‘half term’, it was pretty crowded with kids, swarming all over it, so not much in the way of photos.  It was cold up in the castle, so next stop was a warming cuppa, after which we did a lap of the village, ending up at the Railway Station.  We had never visited this before, and were pleasantly surprised to find that there was one train running on the Swanage Railway because it was ‘half term’.  We had a wander around, chatting to the Station staff, and waited for the 15:20 from Swanage to come through.  Here are a few photos, best viewed by clicking on the first one and displaying a slide show.

Thanks for taking a look.  I hope you will come back again when I post some more of my photos.

Sculpture by the Lakes

Sculpture by the Lakes is a landscaped park in Dorset, owned by Simon Gudgeon, who is a well known British contemporary sculptor.  This park provides a showcase for his work.

Last Saturday I was able to spend the afternoon there with Dee, and our friends Susanne and Ed.  I did, of course, try to take a few photographs.  The weather was cold and dry, but I still found it quite difficult to produce the quality of photograph that I wanted.  I’m going to put it down to the cold freezing my poor old brain.  Still, it was a useful opportunity to, hopefully, learn from my mistakes.

I haven’t been able to find time to post, or visit blogs recently.  I’ve got a little time available today so I thought that I would post a few photos from that afternoon, even though I wish they were better.  Any artistic value in these images should, of course, be attributed to Simon Gudgeon and his wife, Monique, who is responsible for the gardens in which the Sculptures are set.

Here is a ‘gallery’, best viewed as a slide show, by clicking on the first image and then using the carousel.  I hope that these images may inspire you to visit Sculpture by the Lakes.

 

A visit to the Sculpture by the Lakes site will provide details of this excellent Sculpture Park as well as some images which are much better than mine.  I’m looking forward to revisiting the park soon, to try to improve on these shots.

 

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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.

Update!

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 SandAny better?

Monochrome Moments – 4

I rarely go back to my ‘holiday’ snaps, looking for potential monochrome images.  A recent post from Mike Osborn’s prompted me to look at some old photos from Fuerteventura, and I think that I must start doing it more often.  I found this one.  It’s not as good as Mike’s, but it does show that the sun doesn’t always shine there.  I quite liked the drama in the sky, and also the receding ‘mountains’ (really only little volcanic hills).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used a slightly ‘warm’ conversion from the Topaz presets because I thought that it might fit with the actual colours of the landscape better.  Personally, I think that the mono image is better than the original, which I have included below for comparison.  I know that the original shows the sand colour correctly, but mono shows more drama in the sky and the wind blown ‘ripples’ in the sand more clearly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFuerteventura is a barren island in the Canaries, best known for sunshine, beaches and strong winds, which give the island it’s name.  These images are from the Sand Dunes immediately south of Corralejo, at the north end of the island.

Fisheye Fun – 5

One serious problem with ‘fisheye’ photos is the difficulty of keeping unwanted elements out of the eventual image.  Since I’ve had this lens, I have taken numerous closeup pictures of fingers, thumbs, and camera straps, but I am now getting the hang of it.

The lens is still fun at the moment.  The Lloyd’s Building seemed to be crying out for attention when on a recent walk in London.  The only unwanted element in this one was a car parked in the lower right.  The clone tool fixed this!

Largely LloydsI had to decide whether to make this a Monochrome Moment or a bit of Fisheye Fun.  I thought Fisheye ruled for this one.