Winter 1 – Ducks and Ice

It may seem a bit late in the year to publish a post with this title.  We have had a pretty bad winter, but not really with the type of weather that is expected.  As it looks as if spring may be on its way, I thought it might be good to post something reflecting what winter can be like before the weather warms up.  To do this, I have gone back into the archives.  This one is from January 2009.

It shows ducks on the ice of Sutton Bingham Reservoir, where many years ago, I used to sail throughout the year.  Sometimes, we would have broken thin ice to get a sail at the weekend!


The dam and overflow of the reservoir are hidden in the mist of this frosty morning, at top left.  The pontoon where the Sailing Club launches its dinghies is off to the left.  A couple of the ‘marks’, buoys that mark the course or start/finish line, can be seen towards the upper third of the frame.  The water available for sailing extends from close to the camera, away to the dam at the top of the picture, and some distance off to the right, down a narrower finger of reservoir to the south.  Although not a large reservoir, Sutton Bingham provides some interesting sailing.

Duck and other water birds like it as well. 🙂

Another shot, taken on the same day and posted a couple of years ago can be found here.

Some shots taken during a ‘summer time’ walk around the reservoir can be found here.  Hopefully these will help us think of the better weather.

Have a good weekend. 🙂

Canoe Slalom Competition

I haven’t posted here for a while, but I am still around.  Here is a quick post to prove it.

While visiting good friends near Nottingham last weekend, I had a brief opportunity to visit the National Watersports Centre at Holm Pierrepont.  As it happened, there was a canoe slalom competition going on, apparently part of the GB Team Selection series, and I had an opportunity to snap a few photos.  I have no real knowledge about this sport, but it appears that this competition was for the women’s C1 slalom.  We didn’t have an opportunity to watch any other classes.

What I was very pleasantly surprised at was the accessibility of the competition to spectators.  We just walked in, and as long as we didn’t get in the way of the officials and judges, we were able to go pretty much wherever we wanted.

The photos aren’t great, but are at least something a little different for me.

Canoe 3
Canoe 4

I think my favourite is the last one, but maybe it should have been cropped more heavily.

My thanks to John for taking me to the National Watersports Centre.

If chores permit, I will try to post some more from last weekend soon.


I’m afraid that I have always been a bit lazy when it comes to carrying a tripod, and since we were expecting to be walking for a while, I made no exception to this rule on this occasion.  We were walking with friends in the Teign Valley Gorge, when we came upon this weir on the River Teign.  I thought that I had to try to capture the water movement and, for a moment, regretted not being a committed photographer who would have thought nothing of the extra weight of a tripod on his back.  Still, I had to have a go and this is the result.  The water was going to be blurred anyway!


Olympus E-520 with ZD 12-60mm at 20mm ,ISO 100, 1/10 sec at f22.

The Thaw

We photographers do sometimes take some strange photos.  I was looking back through some of my images on Flickr last night, and found this one from nearly two years ago, of a melting icicle on a tree in our garden.  I can remember that at the time I really wanted to get this image.  Now it is rather harder to understand why.  When I think back, I believe that it was all about the challenge of catching that drip as there isn’t much artistic merit to the shot.

The Thaw

I do remember that it took a good few exposures before I managed to catch the drip and get some separation between the drip and the icicle.  It would have been nice to have had a bit more separation though.  One might think that it was a long wait between drips, and that this would make the task even harder.  I must confess to having cheated a little on this.  The method I used to make this drip at fairly rapid and regular intervals was to ‘mist’ the icicle with water from an old household cleaner spray.  This saved a lot of time and frustration.