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After the worst of the snow….

I got adventurous this morning. Well, who needs an excuse for a photograph anyway. The sun was out, blue sky all over and I made my mind up to make the most of it. A short 10 miles journey through Otley towards Fewston and Blubberhouse Moor is what happened. It wasnt intentional if I am truthful….I had planned on nipping down to the local canal at Apperley Bridge but this went in the trash when I got to the end of the street as I set off from home and saw the queuing traffic. I made a left turn and heading North towards the airport. That’s when I had this idea of Otley and the fields beyond.

The minute I got to the other side of Otley I knew I had made the right decision. The snow that had blocked the roads just days before was still there in quantity but the very same roads had now been cleared. Walls of snow higher than the car bordered the way route. It was quite staggering to see and had I been able to stop then I would have had many more images. I kept climbing out of Otley and headed for Fewston. By late morning the sun was beginning to feel quite warm and it was a total misconception that we are only a couple of days away from April. It almost felt like it should be mid-winter.

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The view looking towards Menwith Hill

I pulled over just before the bridge at Lindley Wood Reservoir and grabbed a couple of frames. The light was absolutely perfect. I was now in “greedy” mode and wanted more. I jumped back in the car and headed further down the road. As I went up the hill at the other side of the reservoir the snow got deeper and as before the road cut a channel through the embanked snow on either side. As I headed out on to the top of Jacks Hill it flattened out and looking at the view I decided it was time for some more photography. There were so many opportunities I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Everytime I moved the car I ended up stopping again within minutes.

I eventually found myself at Norwood, a tiny hamlet about 10 miles north-east of Otley where I spotted the ultimate foreground subject in snow. Bring in the red retro style telephone box. I tried a few angles but with the sun facing in to my camera lens I was a bit restricted for anything of quality.

If you know me and my style of photography you will also know how much I love creating photostitches and panorama’s. This was an ideal opportunity and I must admit, as I wrote this blog entry I took quite a few; not all panorama’s…some were just stitches made up of 10 to 15 images. Snow shots look great in monochrome and with the sky being blue with plenty of white fluffy clouds it just set up a great scene. I shot them with the intention of doing the mono conversion when I got back home. Nik Software Silver Effx Pro is a great piece of software for taking care of this. Adding a red filter deepens the sky and makes it almost black giving a great atmosphere to the shots.

It seems pointless adding each image in to this short post so I have included a small slide show with some of todays offerings. Failing that, head over to the set on Flickr here. As always, thanks for reading and in this case looking too.

Do what the man says….

Yaaay …. I’m back ! Well, the PC is back. Its alive, its working and all is good in the hood. A massive thank you to Andy, its been a long time since we saw each other but this guy went out of his way to help. In the end, it wasnt as serious as first thought and a small purchase from my favourite PC retailer solved it. RAM or random access memory if you are not in the know. What does it look like..well let me show you.

So there you go. That was the problem. I was trying to squeeze a double-decker bus under a low bridge in record time doing 70 miles per hour and it just didn’t like it or fit in the buses case. I can understand why now. I don’t know about you but opening a box containing circuits and hard drives, fans and wires, lots of wires actually, coloured ones as well scares the living daylights out of me really. I can identify what all the bits do, I was brought in to computers in 1982 by a very nice teacher at school called Mr Gaffney. If I recall we were the first school year to have this type of education back then. It was fantastic learning about flow charts and binary, it made sense at the time but it was very difficult to associate it with anything outside the classroom. Logic…now that’s a word isn’t it? That’s what it’s all about. Anyway, without drifting off track; I absolutely loved Computer Studies, it taught me how to program and how to understand computers. And in the end I came out with a GCSE and an A grade. I find it really funny now, since my first computer which was a Sinclar ZX81  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81 ) people not in the know have always seemed to turn towards me for help. I wonder if computing over the years has always been and still is one of those “you either know it or you don’t” scenarios. Over the years its done me well, don’t get me wrong here I don’t know it all, in fact thats quite rash because I know sweet Felicity Arkwright compared to most after all you only need to read what happened over the last few days to work out that I needed help and I will be the first to admit it. Many times I have been offered a couple of quid or a freebie of some variety for popping round and performing the simplest of tasks on the hosts PC, walking away feeling very happy with what had been a simple task for me and my pockets lined with english pounds.

To give you an example of my incompetence, before Christmas I installed Windows 8 and I loved it, I then went on to have a new hard drive installed and that’s when it went wrong. My initial thought was to blame myself for something I had done, this is despite the fact I hadn’t done anything. It seemed an easy way out. Elaine has seen me like this before, she know what it does to me when the PC is not playing ball. I become quiet and seem to retract inside myself if that makes sense and as much as I will deny that anything is bothering me she knows, it’s a wifes intuition I am sure of it. The very sad fact is, I know what I am like, I don’t think I am happy until it’s the way I want it, and the repercussions of this involve me messing and tinkering until it does what I want. The internet is a massive resource for finding things out but it’s not always the best. In past instances its proved to be my downfall; believing what I read and standing by it until it all goes tits up and then there is no one else to blame but yours truly. This is all by the by now as my machine is alive and kicking. No screen flickers, no sudden shut downs and an up turn in performance.

January was a terrible month for photography. In past years I have managed over 2000 images, blue skies and sunshine been the reason. When you have taken images of places in all weathers it’s very hard to muster up ideas for something different especially when you seem confined to barracks wrestling with a poorly PC. This has an added effect of ” What will I do with the images if I take them as I have no PC”. It’s a non starter really, so I didn’t bother. For almost one whole month I have had my photography brain switched off and used what very little I have had in ideas on writing this blog. But, and that’s a big but…Here I am ready to start editing. And, in the future I am going to try listening for once and doing as the man says……… I think!

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