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Same subject, same lesson, different location

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A while back I wrote a blog about a trip to London to see Lee Evans and the impromptu photo session the morning after. If you cannot recall this, or maybe you havent read it then take a look here . To cut a long story short I was advised quite early in the morning of shooting images at Canary Wharf that I needed permission to shoot professionally at this location. Well as I wasnt shooting professionally and I had no intention of selling the images I couldnt see the problem. This moved on to them suggesting that I needed permission to use a tripod and would need public liability insurances for said tripod. Well, what a mess eh? In a way the police officers were right, the land at Canary Wharf is private property and a quick look on the website does in fact state that commercial photographers will require permission.

Why does a tripod, a long lens and the actual manner of looking like you know what you are doing make joe public think you are either a professional photographer or a member of the paparazzi? Answer…A sign of the time. My comment to this…does driving a 1984 Ford Escort make you a rally driver? Answer: No.

The very nice people at Strictly Yorkshire Photography Group had arranged a tea-time meet up at Clarence Dock in Leeds City Centre. If you are not familiar with this place then take a look here…(Wikipedia). This is a great locations for photography during the day but at night the scene is set for coloured lighting, awesome reflections, rippling water and countless silhouettes. Trip Advisor, Visit Leeds and various other tourism sites have good things to say about Clarence Dock including

“The docks are nice but nothing to rave about. However from behind it there is a really nice path through the canal. You can walk to Methley and even further enjoying the landscape. I highly recommend this if you have a day off with nice weather and a picnic”

“A pleasent walk on way to Royal Armouries, one can only imagine what this area must have looked like before it was re-developed. Seemed a very busy area, people taking boat trips, riding bikes or just sitting reading. Noticed nice selection of eateries.”

But no where in any of the reviews or details does it say you are not allowed to take photographs. This got me thinking how many images must there be on the internet of Clarence Dock and its waterways on the internet. My first port of call was flickr. Where I found this image and the quote “…this is one of my favourite locations in Leeds to come and test new (or old) camera equipment!” … mmmmm

The evenings photography had already started when I arrived and a few people were stood around arranging images and setting up tripods. I proceeded to do the same and within about 10 minutes of doing so I was approached by a security guard. His words to me were “Do you have permission to take photos?” to which I answered “Do I need permission?” he then began explaining that the land was private property but we could stand further back (approximately 20ft) and that was a public highway. Now this begs the question of signage. Surely if something is private property there must be a sign telling you so. There is a public footpath along side this area over Knights Bridge and within this area are local shops and restaurants i.e. Tesco, Mumtaz to name a couple.  If it was private proprty then surely this would limit access to the shopping area?

Looking at Google Images reveals thousands of images of Clarence Dock, even at night. The BBC Leeds website even praises and hosts an image by a local photographer from the exact location we were stood at. Our latest distant accquaintance “Mr Security Guard” whom incidentally refused to give us his name but insisted he had only worked here a week had stuck to his decision and insisted we couldnt take photographs.

I was tired, my head was in agony and as much as it was ideal for photography a clear night would have been so different. As the others headed off to find a new location, I headed back to my car and a short ride home with my single image. It wasnt a total waste of time but it just felt like Canary Wharf all over again.

Unlike Canary Wharf who have a website that clearly indicates that no commercial filming or photography is allowed, Clarence Dock has very little and the only item I can find relates to a company called “Allied London” who are a property developer who originally purchased the “New Dock” site.

Maybe one day I will find out. Until then, all photographers out there, watch what you are taking…..you never when you are on private property

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Ikea’s gnome advert sparks complaints & What happened to the week that was?

I saw this headline this morning and couldnt believe what I was actually reading… Ikea’s gnome advert sparks complaints” …..The world has gone mad !! Lets face it, is this all we have to complain about? I doubt it. I, for one could complain about the weather until the cows come home. Hang on a wee minute…..is that seen as “anti-cow” seeing as they dont actually live in homes and I may be seen as being cruel. I think not.

Back to the Ikea advert…seriously have we all gone potty. Lets consult the Oxford Dictionary shall we

Gnome

  • a legendary dwarfish creature supposed to guard the earth’s treasures underground
  • a small garden ornament in the form of a bearded man with a pointed hat.
  • informal a small ugly person: a grizzled gnome of a man
  • informal a person regarded as having secret or sinister influence in financial matters:the gnomes of Zurich

Yes, we have gone barking mad…We obviously have nothing better to do? Next will be someone suggesting that the legendary dwarfish creature should now be compensated for the slanderish remarks on a Swedish furniture stores television campaign. Injury Lawyers for you are now going to be inundated with phone calls from Gnomes all over Europe saying that a former relative has been crushed on live television in a bid to “big-up” gardens this summer. It’s just not going to wash is it? Seriously. If you are keen on seeing the rest of this article then the link to the BBC is here. I, on the other hand will refrain from dwelling on the “”small” subject and move on to the week that wasn’t. I had better be careful, as remarks like that will get me in trouble…I mean, who would ever suggest that a gnome was small…. tut tut. Moving on……

And that’s exactly what is was. A nothing week in terms of photography and weather that until Monday was up and down like the umbrellas that people actually needed to avoid it. After sitting in the garden on the 26th and 27th of May its has been quite unsettled. The opportunities to get out and about with the camera have been very limited however I did manage a trip to the airport for a few  “dull” looking frames but as a whole that was it.

I found it quite frustrating to be truthful. The few sunny days have been consumed by other matters from meeting friends, visiting family and a void of forgettable events. At the end of the day when opportunities arrive I found myself exhausted and photography at the bottom of the pile. This is normal and I should really be used to it by now. I am too much like my father and grandfather when it comes to the weather and knowing that I have mentioned this before I wont rattle down that road again. I think the next time it rains I will get Elaine to take a photo of me….Yes I will do that.

So the week merged in to a fuzzy clump and I hoped that this one would be better. Maybe the end of May would bring in “flaming” June. My hopes and plans came to fruition. Monday was lovely and yesterday wasn’t too bad either. The whole of May saw just 861 RAW images from my cameras; compared to 2012 this is down by around 60%. The running total for 2013 is also down by a similar percentage. Not good. Back to Monday and a day out in Bronte Country saw 151 frames in a couple of hours; mmm there is hope I thought. That was equivalent to 1/6th of May’s images all in a single day. I was on a roll as Tuesday saw more sunshine and I seized the opportunity with a quick wander up to the Dam closely followed by a lovely sunset from Rawdon Billing. Here I am up to 503 images and its only the 5th June….keep it up Mark.

As we approach the time of the year where the sun moves in the opposite direction at sunrise (21st June) I find it very difficult to grab the sunset and sunrise on consecutive days. For instance, June the 21st sunrise will be at 04:35 and sunset will be 21:41 the previous evening. Going to bed at 23:30 really limits the amount of sleep gained to about 4 hours and the result is a very unwell “me”. Monday saw me trying to do this, and failing miserably. I set the alarm for 03:15 to get up and head over the valley to Denholme. Why you ask? Well, facing east from the back of Denholme an image can be composed of the Wind Turbines against the sunrise. Trying to kill two birds with one stone (hang on a minute, is that statement going to land me in trouble) I planned on visiting Haworth which is just down the road after the sunrise. Anyway, it never happened. It nearly did…the alarm rang at 03:15 and one gaze out of the window sent my head back towards the pillow. It wasnt the weather or the view that did this, it was just sheer tiredness. This is one that will live to fight another day.

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The view above shows the wind farm at Denholme on a Sunny day in June 2010. I am sure you are seeing where I was coming from with the sunrise. After sleeping in and eventually discovering that I had missed an awesome sunrise (again) I decided to head over to Haworth after lunch. I will write a separate piece about this later as there was lots to see….

Thanks for reading, and not forgetting me. I always feel that “not blogging” reduces your viewing but I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Bye for now.

P.S. No Gnomes were harmed in the writing of this piece….just saying.

So where have all the blog posts gone…..

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It has been a week like no other week; here I go with the excuses again. Almost every time I have sat down at the PC to actually compose something for No More Dead Pixels one of several things have happened.

1. I have been distracted and never got back to finishing anything
2. Been far too busy visiting Wheatfields Hospice
3. Tiredness (this sounds a lame excuse I know, but busy days take it out on you)
4. A lack of inspiration.

These do sound awful excuses I know. One of the things that crossed my mind last week was my commitment to writing this blog. I raised several questions in my head (to myself) that made me actually think about what I was doing. One of the things about doing a blog like this is to have a reason behind the whole project. I don’t! I don’t have a motive or a reason. No even a passion for writing really. I originally just felt like attaching words to my photography to give an in-depth explanation of my reasoning and ideas when taking a particular image.  This led to topical additions and current news of my interests been inserted here, there and everywhere. Does it work? Who knows…I have had views and comments, lots of them actually and I am yet to receive negative feed back. So I continue.

The last weeks have been spent doing things that have had to take priority in my life, in our lives to be a little more precise. Elaine is part of this too and at the end of the day I have found little time for recreation. Time devoted to loved ones is so precious and time that I will never shun or put off. My photography has been limited and the figures for 2013 are really starting to show. Compared to 2012 I am a long way behind. Current total for 2013 is 4647 RAW files in five months, compared to 2012 this is far short of the 7977 done then. So what is the problem? Like I mentioned above, time is a major factor. Cost is another, trips here, there and everywhere are expensive and are currently on a back burner. Weather is probably the number one reason, we havent had what you might call a wonderful Spring have we. The West of the Pennines seem to have faired a little better than the East but that s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Saturday was particularly nice and after several hours in the back garden with Elaine and our grand children I even managed to feel my forehead starting to burn. As the sun made its way down to the horizon, for the first time in weeks I felt and urge to grab a camera. Racing up to one of my many vantage points I tapped off a hundred images before and after the suns’ disappearance. I was actually happy with the sky that evening, it looked like Spring was here and Summer was around the corner. There was a gorgeous glow fading in to a bluer band of colour. One disadvantage of my selected location is a distinct lack of decent foreground and I was aware of this when I set off.  I knew what I was looking for and a minimalistic horizon with a few trees was going to be ample. Camera RAW offers the photographer a great deal of flexibility at the point of pressing the shutter and also back at the PC at processing stage so in front of the computer I was left with a few possibilities for this particular scene. Panoramas and photo-stitches I absolutely love and find them so much more realistic when it comes to trying to recreate what the human eye can see.

The images were taken with the panorama in mind and they were all shot within a few yards of each other.  I uploaded the results to Flickr today. Oh I forgot to say……We have a new Flickr…mmmm it seems that many are not so impressed. Me…well, I am ok with it and very happy to stay with Flickr, lets accept the change and get on with it. Others however, don’t seem to be seeing it this way but as Im not prepared to re-upload 11K images to another site then so be it. No way. So, whether the slide show facility that allows me to show a preview in WordPress will work remains to be seen….so here goes:-

Thanks for reading, all comments, as usual are very welcome

Bye for now

Well that was a nice surprise for a Tuesday.

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Well that was a nice surprise….

After finally coming round and managing to open my eyes my instinct is to look outside at the weather (don’t worry, this comes from getting up for far too many sunrises). The brightness blinded me; the sun glaring off the window took me by shock as I could have sworn I heard rain through the night. Ah yes, of course it’s nearly summer. What would the great british summer be like without rain? Answer: Summer. As normal I reached out for my iPad and began to download the morning paper and whilst in the progress of doing this numerous emails start firing in to my inbox. Just for a split second the notification bar across the top of the iPad catches my eye and the words ” Flickr Editorial”. Oh, that look interesting I thought….not one of my normal emails first thing in a morning. I usually get about 80-90 messages a day from Flickr stating that people have commented on one of my images or even that it has made the Flickr Explore page. This one was different; this one was a personal email from a proper email address not one that look like “mumbo jumbo” (e.g. xdfhjsaksl-autogen@flickr.com) … I am sure you get the picture.

The message read Flickr would like to feature your beautiful photo as a background image for the upcoming update to the worldwide Flickr.com”  They went on to say that they would like to ask permission to brighten, darken, crop and make minor edits to the shot but will be respectful to the original.

The image they selected was a row of coloured beach huts. It was taken last year on a day’s photographic trip to Whitby. The idea behind the image was to show compression and the separation of the different colours whilst holding continuity with the verticals and the door handles. Not an image I would have selected but then again it’s not my decision.

Well, that was a nice surprise…..

Now what did I do with 2012’s RAW files……let me think?

Watch the birdie……

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I started this post a few weeks ago and never got to actually finish it let alone upload it. This is more of a “Story behind the image” paragraph as opposed to a normal blog post.

My love for aviation photography hit its peak in the mid 2000’s. You will know about my obsession with aircraft and aviation if you have read my blog before but if you havent please take a look here . The hours I have spent at airports watching aircraft, logging registrations and taking photographs have accumulated and if I had the means to calculate a total I think it would make grim reading. Over this time I have seen some strange things, some funny events and some sad events too. I have seen Deer, Foxes, Rabbits, Hares, Kestrels, Falcons, Buzzards, Rats, Mice, Stoats and Weasels to name some in the animal category. I have seen fires and floods, bad landings and good landings and believe it or not crashes too…and before you ask they all walked away.

It always pays to keep your eyes open when photographing a subject as there is so much more going on around you. In the case of the aircraft above it was just another day at Leeds Bradford Airport and the Britannia Airways flight to Palma was preparing to depart on runway 14 to head south. One of the key things about aircraft photography that I discovered later in my years of being interested in this hobby is that you should make this personal. Many fellow enthusiasts concentrate on preparing images for upload to various aviation related websites where there are rules and regulations that must be conformed to. I prefer to do “my own thing” and upload either to my personal site, Flickr or on to this blog. This way I am my own judge and therefore set my own rules (if any at all). The image above was taken on the 8th May 2006 (just seven years ago…..seems like yesterday doesn’t it?) and in the midst of my time of conformation.

Like I just stated, at this time I was conforming to rules and uploading to a couple of the major aviation related websites. The initial image that I took, which would have matched the criteria of the particular site was just of the aircraft and quite normal, head on and aimed strictly at an aviation audience etc.

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I noticed the Swallow doing its own personal acrobatic performance for the captain and first officer whilst I was looking through the lens. If I am completely honest it was probably more luck than judgement and the matter of timing was pure coincidence. In the closer image you can see the two pilots have clearly seen the bird and as we all know, birds and aircraft are not a good combination. It was quite a hot day and there was a lot of heat haze as it was three o clock in the afternoon as a result the close up image of the aircraft nose was never going to be the best quality. However, I was very happy with the actual composition.

As photographers we all dream of capturing that one image that stands out from the rest. You know what I mean, the one that just screams of the photographer. A number of years ago I managed to capture an image of a cat drinking from a swimming pool in the Canary Islands. I was sat by the pool one early morning and the feline walked in like he owned the place. He sat down by the edge of the pool and craned his neck to reach the water. I held my shutter finger until just the right second when the cat’s tongue made contact with the water. The image was acquired by Pedigree Pet Foods back in the eighties when it was a lot harder to market your photography but not as easy to capture something special.

The image is a scan from a negative hence the quality is quite poor by todays standards. However, it’s just  a personal record for me as it was one of my first sales.

Always carry your camera…. you never know what you are going to see.

Thank you for reading, as always all comments, good or bad are welcome.

Take care.

They keep coming…but then again, I keep going…

I have discussed this many times in my blog and let me apologise in advance if this is covered territory. I am now going to admit a personal addiction live on the internet. Are you ready? I cannot resist the temptation to photograph the rising or setting sun. If you regularly read this blog you are probably thinking right now “Well that’s nothing we all didn’t know”….and you would be correct, as I have mentioned ir many times prior to this….I appear to be obsessed.

There is something about being outdoors first thing in the morning…it probably stems from doing milk rounds and paper rounds as a boy. The feeling of being the only person up and about, the solitude and the experience of seeing the rising sun as it breaks the horizon. Maybe those are not the best choice of words but they flow from the heart.

Since last months snowfall and prolonged cold snap the opportunities to grab some morning sky shots have been few and far between. With an improvement in the weather and some clear mornings I took the opportunity to get out and attempt to restore that “Morning” feeling.

The position of the rising sun moves quite quickly as the summer months approach. Below is an image showing the calculations for sunrise and sunset. This is a great tool for calculating the position of the sun in unfamiliar locations.

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As the sun moves further to the east as the summer approaches it gives me an opportunity to visit my local water feature and obtain images accross the water. There are a few months a year where this opportunity presents itself. Between the months of October and February it is almost impossible as the view of the horizon is restricted.

Moving on to the images from Sunday morning; the weather was ideal, cool and clear but a few scattered clouds. I knew this was a great opportunity. No one likes getting up at 04:45 but sometimes it has to be done. If you have a passion and a fire in your belly then you just go with the flow. I have had this passion for a long time now, I dont need to go in to detail as I already have a page on this blog that details this, please take a look here. I drove the short distance to Yeadon Tarn/Dam in the dark and could already see the sky paling. The view I was about to capture was looking straight down the Tarn towards the end of the airport runway in an easterly direction.

The conditions were perfect, just the prefect combination of cloud and sky, the water was quite still but just rippling slightly to create some interest for the image. The birds were waking up and there was plenty of activity on the water, everything from Gulls to Canada Geese, Swans to Mallard Ducks. Even a lone fox showed interest in the goings on. As the sky started paling it was almost pinpointing the location I should be aiming towards. It was exactly as planned. My ideas were about to come to fruition. The sky changed quite rapidly as 05:10 approached, colours changed every minute and now was my time to shoot. I fired off over one hundred images, some single, others aimed at photostitching in Photoshop later. The opportunities were endless, even after the sun broke the horizon giving way to the daylight more images presented themselves. It was sublime.

Welcome to Sunday Mark….

People say to me….”Don’t you get fed up of taking these images” ….. “No….I don’t…every one is different, just like every day”. Take a look for yourself at the image below……

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Monday 29th April – Images from a lovely evening

As mentioned in my previous post, here are the final images all edited and finished. These are all from a very cold wander around Yeadon Tarn/Dam for the sunset.

Enjoy, as always, comments welcome. Thank you.

 

The week that was….week 17

Thats right…seventeen weeks in to 2013 already…..

Here we are today, Friday and I am yet to put even one article together for my blog. It’s been a hectic week at Winterbourne Towers with lots going on. Not all on the photographic front but as my life doesn’t quite revolve around a camera that’s probably a good deal.

Inspiration is good… to be inspired is in fact something that we all do without even knowing that we have done it. Keeping your eyes open, looking and observing is a fantastic approach for a photographer to learn. Even if you don’t have a camera with you (although these days most of us have a camera on our mobile phones) it doesn’t stop you looking and coming up with ideas for future images. Town Centres, Shops, Railway Stations, Parks, you name it…they all host a wealth of opportunity for images. Of course I am not just talking about images of people, there is so much more to see. Each day the sun moves round from east to west and as it traverses the sky changes the way we see things. The shadows are shorter and longer at either end of the day, just like they are at the end of each year. A static object such as a building or a statue, a monument or a tree will look completely different every hour of the day. As photographers we can use this light to be creative and use photographic techniques that can be learned by either trial and error or research in media.

Media is the biggest and most available source of inspiration available to us all. We all watch television, listen to the radio, read newspapers and magazines; most of which contain photography. We all pick up leaflets and publications which contain images either artwork or photography. The images used in these publications are sought by editors and publishing companies all over the world. Normally they are purchased from picture libraries which host many thousands if not millions of images on the simplest of subjects. There is never “nothing to take”….. A good photographer will find the simplest of subjects to take at home on the rainiest of days. Take a look at something I put together using sugar and water, a small pipette and a DVD disk.

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A very good friend of mine, Jean Phillips (Please have a look at Jeans Photos on Flickr) invited me to pay her a visit over in Wrenthorpe near Wakefield. Having looked at Jeans images over the months I have to say that her photography has come along in leaps and bounds. Jean got the sunset bug and started taking the early morning and late evening sky and using my term “the best light of the day”. I posted one of Jeans images on April 19th here if you want to take a look. I headed over to Wrenthorpe on a beautiful spring day and after a quick coffee it was off to our first stop off  and Sandal Castle just a few miles away.

Sandal Castle stands in a commanding position, to the south of Wakefield city centre, overlooking the River Calder.
The castle is best known for the famous Battle of Wakefield which was fought nearby in 1460 during the Wars of the Roses in which Richard, Duke of York was killed.
Remains of the 13th century stone castle and the fine motte bailey can been seen on site. Steps lead to the top of the motte where visitors are treated to superb views of the Calder Valley.
A modern visitor centre features family-friendly hands-on displays about the history of Sandal Castle and its owners.
During the English Civil War in the 1640s Sandal Castle was besieged twice by Parliamentary forces. Afterwards it was stripped of its defences.

Now as photography goes, this was an opportunity for me….Ruins, landscapes, blue skies and white clouds….oh I feel some high contrast mono’s coming my way. And thats exactly what I did….Photostitches, angles…rugged stone work and a high viewpoint all made for some superb subjects. The ruins are very sparse now after nearly 600 years which somewhat limited my photo ideas. Nevertheless I managed a few decent images and if you click the image below that I put together in a monochrome format then it will take you to the whole set from Sandal Castle

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As I am sure you will agree, the high view-point gives a superb opportunity to capture some sky images. The above image just cried out for some monochrome treatment and you can see why, beautiful dark sky and white clouds.

After an hour shutter crunching it was time to head to our next location. My guide had given me a brief idea of todays tour of unfamiliar territory but I was still unsure. My previous visits to Wakefield have either been to Police events or Pinderfields Hospital; the tourists sites were untrodden turf for me. Below is a map from our companion Google Earth showing Sandal Castle and its proximity to the next stop, Pugneys Country Park.

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After a very short car journey we arrived at the waterside location in Pugney’s Country Park. Pugneys Country Park is a 250 acre site which was previously an open cast mine as well as a sand and gravel quarry and was turned into a country park in 1985. The park has two lakes, the largest of which is a 100 acre watersports lake. This caters for non-powered watersports such as canoeing, sailing and windsurfing. Equipment is available to hire or, alternatively, visitors can bring their own craft to use on the lake. The largest lake at Pugneys Country Park has a footpath which runs all the way around the lake and is approximately 1.6 miles long, making it suitable for running or taking a leisurely stroll. The smaller of the two lakes is only 24 acres and is a nature reserve which is overlooked by 2 bird hides, enabling visitors to watch the neighbouring wildlife in their own habitat.

The sun was still making itself known by hiding behind clouds intermittently then suddenly appearing again. I have a theory that was passed on to me by my late grandfather many moons ago. If its sunny, between the hours of sunrise until 11:00 am and 3:00pm until sunset then the light is perfect for photography, sidelight is a photographers friend. Outside these hours it’s either dark or the sun is too high in the sky to create shadow. Shadows are a photographers friend; creating depth and adding interest to an image. Obviously, like any rule it has its exceptions and as the saying goes it was made for breaking. Press photographers don’t worry about the angle of the sun or whether it is actually shining at all when grabbing images of famous people, all they need is the image. As long as the public can see who it is, no one actually cares if the sun was shining. The landscape photographer on the other hand has different objectives and the sun is a helping hand in the majority of cases.

Today, the sun would be just that…a helping hand. In my early days of photography I would have used a day out as just that…”A day out”, nowadays I see it quite differently. A day out is also an opportunity for photographs. It doesnt matter where, why, who or what…everywhere around us things are happening; people are going about their everyday business and in a world of media this interests others. I have found that people are always interested in what others are doing, be it digging a hole or cooking a meal…people just love people. If I go out with the intention of shooting landscapes I will do just that; that is until I see two people sat on a bench eating lunch and think it looks interesting. Then I change my remit and see opportunities that are complete “one-off’s” and start wandering off track.

I was reasonably happy with the resulting images and a distinct lack of aircraft and sunsets made a whole change from my “stuck in rut” routine. Jean did a fantastic job and I am sure she will share some images on here Flickr Photostream at some stage in the future. You can find that here.Please have a look at the above and as usual all comments are very welcome

A Sunrise & A Sunset … all in 10 hours

The low light addiction continues. At last some nice weather….with nobody working in the planning department over the last few days (btw the planning department is fictional and is actually my personal  ideas bank) and the intermittent rain the camera hasnt ventured further than my cupboard. I have actually thrashed around looking for photos to edit and to my horror after playing around with a recent photo I discovered ten gazillion dust spots. With no sensor swabs left I am stuck with the wretched thing in this condition for the time being. Not to worry, the advantages of having a spare camera body.

Last night the sky looked quite promising and opened up a wealth of opportunity for a an evening sky shot. I jumped in the car, drove the couple of miles over to Rawdon and set my stall out. There are one or two vantage points that are not so high in Rawdon, thus allowing some foreground in the frame. Been to high up limits foreground inclusion and getting the foreground makes all the difference; silhouettes are the primary value of this type of low light photography and as much as minimalism has its place this was not todays foray.

Yes, the low light addiction continues and so does my passion for panoramic stitching. I find it irresistible. Just one look over the vista and I am mentally sewing imaginary images together like a digital tailor. Anyway, one to last nights image. At this time of year sunset is at a reasonable time and 8pm I can cope with when a sunrise is planned for the following morning. At the shortest part of the year, a good spell of weather tests my mentality as well as my strength as the time between sunset and sunrise is at its shortest. The time difference on June 21st is only 6 hours 55 minutes. When you deduct travelling time and getting up along with the fact that the best sunrises are usually before the sun breaks the horizon, the best sunsets after the sun actually sets then you can see exactly where I am coming from.

The following image is taken looking almost due west towards the Pennines just after the sun dipped below the horizon. It comprises of three horizontally stitched images. The clouds were moving from right to left very slowly and in my opinion made the whole scene a much more pleasing. If I had my way (which I didn’t) they would have covered much more of the scene.

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After the result of Friday evenings offering and the knowledge that fine spell was to continue for the next twenty-four hours at least I planned on an early morning sunrise image-fest. With only 5 hours in bed I was up with the birds at 5am and heading out of the door to this mornings chosen location. A few months back I tried some images from a place called Adel. Adel is a small hamlet in North West Leeds just a few miles from the city centre. It is situated in quite a rural area with a vast array of photographic opportunities. Not only that, something I was in need of….Foreground.

I left home in the dark and drove the 6 miles to the east. The location looks across a plethora of fields each bordered by small thicket and the odd tree scattered for good measure. Awesome material for sunrises. One of the advantages of this location is its’ position in regard to altitude. It is in a valley floor and the expanse to the east is flat too. This is a great place to be for including foreground objects as silhouettes. I was on to a winner and maybe a sunrise and sunset within hours of each other.

I knew exactly where I was heading for, previous visits and Google Earth have a lot to answer for you know. On to the images…in the space of 20 minutes the whole scene changed. It started with a glow of orange that paled in to the blue early morning sky with a few scattered low clouds. It finished with a mass of orange spread across a vista of fields, trees and hedgerow.  Two images are shown below to illustrate the difference twenty minutes can make.

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The final image looks quite dark in the foreground but viewed large you can actually see detail. A worthy trip out at both ends of the day even if it did span two dates. Thank you for looking, as usual all comments welcome

Enjoy your weekend.

She’s home….

2013-04-18 18.54

She’s home…..my lovely car has been finally returned from the Body Repair Centre. Nearly five weeks of driving a Seat Leon Diesel have left me missing my Astra. I shouldnt complain really, courtesy cars aren’t that bad and I suppose they are a life saver if you really need a car. My car went to the insurance companies recommended repairers in Leeds and has been away for nearly five weeks. As you will already know, this has happened before in the same place with a different car. I wrote a post on it a while back here to save me going in to detail.

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