The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Sheppey

Birds of a Feather

and all that stuff… A few weekends ago I took my daughter to a very local RSPB nature reserve, home to thousands of wading birds both native and migrant, and some quite rare breeding birds of prey too, such as Marsh Harriers and Hen Harriers and Hobbies… Far too many species to mention here…

My daughter loved it, armed with her binoculars and bird book, and note book too to make note of all the different species she identified… She managed to list somewhere in the region of +25 different species, which included a pair of Marsh Harriers and a Hobby, and a bus load of Avocets…

I naturally went armed with a long lens and trusty DSLR… and here’s a few of the days fluffier highlights…

Sedge Warbler

Swallow - Ready For Take Off

Yellow Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Meadow Pipit

Btw… I have been messing about with an idea for a shot, that didn’t exactly turn out as planned, and during editing took on a rather macabre twist, unlike anything I’ve posted in the past… so I’m taking votes on if I should post it ??… Do you wish to see something decidedly less fluffy ??… ;)


Is It Just Me ??

First of all I should apologise, as this is a bit of a bemused whinge and moan post, but is it JUST me who’s family appear totally oblivious that someone in their midst actually takes pictures !?!?!…

It all started a few years back when my better half was talking to a friend of ours, who’d been looking at my photos on Flickr… and my wife’s response was “Oh, you’ve been looking at his snapshots then”…. Hmmmmm…. Now I have no delusions at all that I’m anywhere near “professional photographer” standards, but I do consider myself to be out of nappies / diapers, and as such, well past the “snapshot” phase… Anywho… I let that one slide…

The worst though, and it still annoys me when I think about it, was when only last year my wife decided she wanted some portrait shots taken… So what did she do ??… Did she ask me to take some “snaps”… Nope, she went and PAID a so called “professional” £300 (nearly $500) for a “burnt while you wait” CD of 12 un-edited pictures… and couldn’t understand why I was ever so slightly annoyed / put out by this… OH, and I’m not just being unkind here, but the pictures were NOT good…

I mention this all now… as my daughter is currently doing a project for school, and she’s chosen to do it on a local nature reserve where I have spent many an hour with the camera, photographing the wildlife and scenery (as above)… and consequently have a whole host of shots from the area… Yup, you’ve probably guessed what’s coming next… Despite my collection of images of the wildlife and surrounding reserve itself, my wonderfully supportive family are currently trawling the internet looking for suitable pictures to download for use in her project !?!?…

So I ask… Is it JUST me that suffers this indignity, where those closest to us seem utterly oblivious to what we have a passion for ???…

Btw… Don’t panic… Although the facts are true, this is more of a “tongue in cheek” whinge… and certainly nothing serious… ;)


A Tangled Web

It’s that time again… Time for another of my favourite subjects… Sunset…

Nothing much more to say than that… Oh, and that’s my daughter at the top, and oddly enough she wasn’t QUITE so interested in the photography aspect when their was a play area involved !?!?! Go figure !!!…


Don’t Ask

As I have absolutely NO IDEA !!!… But apparently they’re my absolute favourite… lol…

Couldn’t decide on colour or black and white here though… Any preferences ??…

These have GOT to be in colour though… or… have they !!…

Oh, and this one… well… if anyone DOES know what it is, then I’m sure you can claim your prize from your local “Freak of Nature” outlet… View large and prick your senses… ;)


Tickled Pink

Couldn’t resist the… ummmmm… RED  (not pink) tips to these leafy type planted wotsits…

Anyway, I have a question…  Although I tend to favour landscapes and the odd bit of urbex, I’ve always tried to keep my photography as varied as possible, and even lately throw in the odd bit of artwork to boot… But here’s the rub, I look at some blogs where they have a very specific area of expertise / focus, and a very consistent feel to them, and can’t help but feel they look MUCH nicer than mine… More professional and tied together… To me, my blog is just… kinda messy… and really doesn’t hold together too well because of the variety to the things I post…

So what do you think ???… I know a blog is a personal thing, and should definitely reflect the individual, and that variety is a GOOD thing. The downside I guess though is the whole “Jack of all trades, Master of none” scenario….  Anyway, I also prefer things to have a certain flow… and don’t really feel that with my own blog…

I don’t intend to change my blog, as my desire to try all things photographic / artistic is as strong as it ever was, but I’d love to know how other people feel… Do you prefer a more consistent subject matter and feel to a blog, or do you prefer one that tries to throw in a bit of anything and everything ???…

ps… May not be around much next week, as I have a little trip arranged, and depending on wifi access etc, commenting will be sporadic, and posting will likely be non existent… Hopefully though I’ll have some new material when I come back… :)


Grow Your Own

This past week has finally seen the beginnings of spring, with some very nice weather… Even shorts and t-shirt weather for some of us… although it has to be said the evenings are still quite chilly… Yesterday evening though showed signs of being one of those stunning sunsets, and I have to confess to being a sucker for a sunset, but it’s never as much fun, nor does it feel very safe going out alone, near dark, with a bag full of rather expensive camera gear….

It appears though that finally I have a solution to part of that particular problem… I now have myself a “grow your own” shooting buddy… in the way of my eldest daughter… Now she’s always been kinda interested in taking pictures, but has never really had a camera that takes “proper” pictures… She’s only had those real cheap and nasty compacts, that take 5 unrecognisably blurred images before the battery gives out… and hence never really got in to it…

Last weekend though I decided it was time to hand down my spare DSLR, as it was just gathering dust… SO… my grow your own now has her first real camera… And she LOVES it… and can’t wait to go shooting again… I know going out with her won’t BE any safer, but it’s more fun than being on your own… and if the need arises I can always use her as a human shield, or a bargaining tool… :)

This is her btw… capturing the sunset…. Guess now I also need to hand down my spare tripod !!!….


Birds Or Bugs

Well everybody else seems to be doing it, and I have really needed to make better use of mine, so I’ve given in to a spot of MMM… (March Macro Madness), and given a bit of spring weather this weekend I attached said macro, and went in search of all things tiny…

The real question to me though… and I KNOW given the geographical location of majority of my blog buddies that it’s an argument I’ve already lost regardless… BUT, I’m never one to be defeated so easily…. lol… SO….Ladybirds or Ladybugs ???…

I know I’m right though, cos wikipedia says so… lol… to quote… “The name “ladybird” originated in Britain where the insects became known as “Our Lady‘s bird” or the “Lady beetle”.[8][9] Mary (Our Lady) was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings and the spots of the seven spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise herseven joys and seven sorrows.[8] Common names in other European languages have the same association (the German name Marienkäfer translates to “Marybeetle” or, literally, Mary-chafer).[10] In the United States the name was adapted to “ladybug”.[10]

SEE… LadyBIRD !!… Ladybug was just an adaptation of the correct name… lol… ;)

I WIN !!… especially as I can edit anyones comments, to make sure they agree with me… lol… :p

View large, and tickle him under the chin if you dare… He won’t bite… much… ;)


Land Ahoy

 

It’s been such a very long time since I’ve been anywhere with the camera, and even longer since we’ve had any decent sunsets around here… Tonight though looked as though it had some promise, so I dragged my daughter out with me for a bit of company… plus it was cold and it didn’t seem fair that I was the only one to suffer… lol… (fortunately though she loves coming shooting with me)… And she enjoyed it even more so tonight, as for an extra bonus we stumbled upon this new and deserted playground, that wasn’t there last time we were at this spot… Can’t beat that.. a sunset and a playground… but of course I never tried the slide or swings or see-saw… ;)


Zoom Zoom

Ok, so I promised a streaky shot, but to be perfectly honest I’m not at all happy with this one, and seriously intend to re-do it and make a far better job of it next time around, but as I’m not sure when I’ll get round to it this will have to suffice for now… I did say there might be a streaky shot (or two)…


New Addition to the Family…

Yeah ok, maybe not quite what you were expecting…. lol… but at least this one does mostly what I tell it to… ;)

It’s been an awfully long time since I last took some unadulterated car shots… but there comes a time in every mans life when… well… Sorry… ;)

I kinda like my new toy, so be prepared for some more shots soon…. maybe even a streaky one or two… :)


As The Sun Slowly Sets…

… On another year, all I can think of to say is…. “Thank goodness for that !!”…

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while will know that I’m none too personal or wordy on my blog, and generally just let the pictures speak for themselves where possible, with the odd bit of relevant narrative when it feels right… Well this post is kinda an exception to the rule, and in a sense a bit of an apology too…

You’ll no doubt have noticed that my posting / commenting has been a bit sporadic to say the least of late… and for that I apologise… To be honest 2010 really hasn’t been a good year at all for me… There have been far too many negatives for my liking, and even the odd positive turned out to be more for someone elses “hidden motive” benefit than my own… Sure I’ve had some laughs, and made a few friends along the way, and lost some too unfortunately… but it’s been very much stacked in the odds against…

I’ve taken barely a handful of shots these past few months, and haven’t touched my sketch-pad for what seems like months either… Just haven’t felt the inspiration or motivation… To be honest, this year has pretty much kicked the stuffing out of me, and it’s now time to take a bit of a break from it all… So this is forewarning that I’ll not be around much, if at all, for an undetermined period of time… No plans on how long or how complete my break will be, but just felt it might be an idea to let you know I will be taking one of sorts…. lest you wonder where I’ve gone… I’ll still be getting your posting updates via email, and will likely sneak in and throw the odd comment around when the mood strikes, but please don’t feel offended if I happen not to comment on yours, but do someone elses… It’s nothing personal.. It’ll just be a right place / right time kinda thing…

So anywho… was listening to this record tonight, and thought it quite fitting… hopefully… lol… I hope 2011 is kind to you all… See you somewhere down the road… :)


Too Cold for Penguins…

How crazy is that… There was a report on the news this morning that one of our UK zoos has reported that their penguins are finding the weather too cold, and are having to be fed extra rations… lol…

And while we’re on the subject of penguins… as per a request or two for a snowman… and Mrs A’s specific request for a snowpenguin… WELL… Who am I to disappoint, so here’s Mummy and Baby Penguin that my daughter and I built this morning… Baby Penguin was all my daughters work… They’re never going to win any prizes for snow sculpting I know, but at least now I can officially confirm I have fulfilled a lifelong ambition, and licked a penguin… Yeah ok, I’ll admit to having some very odd ambitions… ;)


Snow More…

Well this morning was just another ordinary morning over here… Cold, but otherwise pretty bland and non de-script… That however was all set to change just a few short hours later when (as predicted) all this arrived…

This next shot is just a snapshot of my backyard, which only had nothing but a very light dusting of frost when we left the house…. Driving home after (during) the snowstorm was entertaining though…

It was amazing exactly how much snow came down in just a couple of hours… We’re only talking maybe 4 to 6 inches, but it was fast enough to make even the main roads virtually impassable, and a number of times I found the car travelling in a completely different direction to which my wheels were pointing… even at a mere 15 – 20mph…

It is slightly concerning though, and I know I’ve said this before… but they KNEW this snow was on the way… and exactly when it was due to arrive, and roughly how much too… Yet they are still incapable of ensuring even the main roads stay clear and passable…


Time To Reflect


The Kissing Gate

I was approached recently by a local pub / restaurant, who expressed an interest in my pictures, and some form of arrangement with me for having some pictures framed and hung on their walls… as art for sale… Well this is one of the first few images they’ve chosen… Can’t wait to see what they look like framed and hung on the walls…


Whot’choo’lookin’at…

Found this “not” so little fella in my garden the other day… helping himself to some worms and the like… and fortunately he hung around long enough for me to put my real lens on… The head on glare he gave me though did make me laugh…


Yaaaawn…

Well I am the first to admit that dragging myself out of bed early in the morning doesn’t usually feature too high on my list of “things I WANT to do today”… Fortunately though it does appear on my list of “things I HAVE to do today” when it comes to getting to work…

And sometimes… just occasionally…  it’s made all that bit more worthwhile when you crawl out of bed to something like this…


Celestial Sunset

Just another quick sunset from the frantic 10 minutes spent looking for a shot before the colour disappeared… It was a nightmare though waiting for the clouds to clear the moon before the light went… I LOVE Sunsets… lol…


Shoreline Scrap…

I really really really need to plan these things better… Last nights sunset was simply amazing, but I’d spent the day on a self-induced alcohol recovery shopping trip… Had to go shopping in order to get the medicinal cure-all full english fried breakfast… lol… Anyways, after a day spent traipsing round shops I was too beat to go catch the sunset, so I figured that tonight I’d get out if there was even the slightest hint of colour developing…

Well it did develop, but all too late… and at the last minute I decided to go… but had literally minutes to find a location, so I apologise for the rather uninspiring location, but hopefully the clouds and sunset offset that a tiny bit…

Next time I promise I’ll leave earlier and find somewhere more picturesque…


Wet ‘n’ Wild

Well it’s been quite the weekend here as far as the weather is concerned… We’ve had torrential rain / brilliant sunshine / high winds / high tides / warmth / cold… but trying to get the perfect combination for what I had planned took a few wasted trips to the beach…

Finally though all the favoured elements combined this morning, and I spent quite a few lucrative minutes slowly freezing in the wind and sun… Oh, and I got yet another opportunity to play with my new toy… :)


Hare Today…

So after a long long time of thinking, and looking, and saving, and more looking, and more thinking… and some playing followed by a bit more saving, and them some thinking… I finally decided (with the aid of some friendly persuasion.. lol) to expand my photographic potential by adding to my equipment … and bought a nice shiny new lens I’ve had my eye on for quite some time… A 100-400mm zoom… :)

Unfortunately since said purchase took place, I’ve not really had the opportunity to make best use of it what with work and weather, apart from a nice evening stroll with my daughter… but nice as the warm evening light was, it wasn’t best suited to making the most of a long lens…

I did manage a few shots though, and was real pleased to capture a shy and elusive bunny Hare… or jackrabbit as some of the more foreign people call them… lol… Did you know that the European Brown Hare can run at 45mph !!!… and they’re the size of a small elephant, and you can ride them too… lol…

Cow’s aren’t quite so fast, but some of them have got mean stares… It’s lucky methinks that I was 3 miles away from this beasty… lol.. ;)


Hay-Ho…

Not had much opportunity recently to get out at all with the camera, so have been rooting through some shots from a month or two back when the weather was real nice… Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity this weekend to get out…

Do have some interesting news though… Well interesting for me at least… In all the years I’ve been interested in photography I think it’s fair to say I’ve never encountered any real interest in my shots (apart from other like minded photo hobbyists)… I’ve never sold any images… Never been published… But then again I’ve never really pushed myself or tried to achieve any of these things, so no surprise really… I’ve always been content in just taking and processing images I like…for me…

In the last two weeks though I have been approached on two separate occasions, by two different well known camera magazines… actually asking ME if I would mind if they could feature one of my shots in their magazines… So from nothing for years, I will soon have two different shots in two different magazines… and one of them will even be a double page spread too… Could I be more pleased… Probably not… lol… I’ll no doubt be posting a shot of both magazines some time in the next few months so I’ll apologise in advance for the own trumpet blowing… ;)


Stranded

Another view of one of my favourite trees… Yeah I know I’m weird… but not as weird as a tree that lives in a pond… ;)

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend…


Steel Climbing

Well I know this shot isn’t going to be to everyone’s liking, but I have to sometimes confess to having a bit of a thing for industrial photography…

So today I had the opportunity to have a wander around one of our local steel plants, where they crush the slag (by-product of steel manufacturing) for use in road surfacing materials… During the tour I managed to venture up to the very top of their highest crushing silo for the grand view of the… ummmm… beautiful surroundings… lol… But who’s going to refuse a huge climbing frame in an adults playground… Not me that’s for sure… Don’t know exactly how high it was, but it was plenty high enough for me to be pretty determined not to drop anything…

So anyway, sorry it’s not quite as appealing as a sunset or a pretty flower, but sometimes you have to mix it up a little bit… :)


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