Blog Archives

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

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.

Just checking in…..48 hours late

The last 48 hours have been manic. I have not had two minutes to even contemplate blogging. Well, actually that’s a tiny fib as I re-blogged a small post yesterday; what I actually meant to say was that my normal afternoon typing marathon on the PC disappeared in to oblivion yesterday.

Monday morning reality sank in. That dreaded word echoed around my head like the never-ending tone of tinnitus. “Dentist !!! ” I know, I know..most of you don’t mind and its routine but I do mind and by no means is it routine. My dentist has deserted me a few times over the years as they always seem to be leaving. The phrase “This will be the last time you see me” has now become a familiar saying on my visits. So back to square one and a new dentist; maybe things just wouldn’t be so bad after all I had not been having any problems why would it be any different. I had tried to put it to the back of my mind over the weekend and just get on with life as normal but it was just sat in the back of my head like an itch that wouldn’t go away. “Be brave, be brave Mark just a walk in the park” is all I kept saying to myself.

One final brush and rinse and I was on my way. I arrived about 15 minutes early as the rush hour traffic for a Monday wasnt as heavy as I perhaps thought. This presented me with a choice: a 10 minute wait in the comfort of my warm car or a 10 minute wait in the surgery watching other victims leaving after been inflicted with unecessary pain. I opted for the first and stayed warm listening to Radio Aire.

When the time came it wasnt that bad actually, I stayed calm, took some deep breaths and pretended to be strong. I could hear the voice of Richard Hammond from BBC’s Top Gear…”Scared, Scared, Scared…quite scared..still scared..very scared”. That was me….scared. Actually the dentist was fine, nice guy..I went through the usual routine, you know what I mean…sit down, open wide, any problems I should know about sir? No !, OK then just a quick clean and off you trot. That wasnt quite how it went! Gutted isn’t the word.

From my viewpoint laid down in that wretched chair I could just see the expression on his face as he prodded his prodder and articulated his Budgie mirror for a better view. The wrinkles on his forehead were enough, three of four times he got to the same tooth and he repositioned himself to another angle. Everytime he reached my front right tooth he stopped. Only five minutes before, after asking me if I there had been any problems he commented how clean and nice my teeth were, what on earth has he found wrong with one of my front teeth. My original state of worry and fear had subsided when I sat down, but as he progressed his way around my top row of teeth from the back to the front and back in the opposite, a sudden state of nervousness returned resulting in my stomach dropping through my backside. The words I had never expected to hear now bounced off all four walls. “You’ve cracked your front tooth”. Oh S***t I mouthed without the words coming out. I had this mental vision of my face next to Jimmy Nail’s mug shot comparing similarities with a toothless Oz (Oz been his character in Auf Wiedersehen Pet)

tumblr_mbhhvt0uzz1qhdw0vo1_400The image I found of “Oz” doesn’t really does his toothless smile justice as he hasn’t got his mouth open but a quick google search will reveal video clips of a more appropriate Oz. This took me totally by shock. Firstly, I just wasnt expecting it and secondly how and when on earth did that happen. Mr “lovely-dentist-person” advised me that he would do what he could to repair it, if not, all the options would be reviewed later. Maybe my vision of ones head on Jimmy Nail’s body was a little premature but it was a scary thought nevertheless. I left the chair (and the surgery come to think of it) like a stabbed rat. (That’s a Top Gear expression I think) and made a beeline for the exit. Unfortunately, I will have to return.

Monday evening was cold, a lot colder than the average for the end of April in Yorkshire anyway but I chose to take a trip up to Yeadon Dam/Tarn. The opportunity to take photographs when there is some nice golden light should never be turned away.  The whole place was buzzing with activity, it was quite a surprise really as the wind and the cold normally puts people off walking in circles around a shallow stretch of water. I could have understood if the Little Fisherman had been open as the hypocritical excuse of a little exercise after scoffing fish and chips is one commonly used by visitors, but it wasnt. Mondays are a closed day, much to the delight of the missus.

As always with my passion for photography, I knew what I wanted. I was looking for silhouettes, low light images with plenty of shadows. Even the possibility of a colourful sunset. As the sun sank so did the temperatures and before long it was bitterly cold.  With a 28-135 IS lens on I grabbed what I could, when I could. I managed to get questioned by a swan and after poking its beak in my lens it withdrew its ideas and carried on foraging. Looking in to the sun can create some wonderful effects, including light flare in abundance. Doing just what I love felt great, cold but great. I kept tapping away composing and grabbing what I could. Always best to get more than what you need as you can always dispose of what you don’t require.

The limited clouds that were loitering around the sun an hour before were now dissipating with the cold air and low pressure. The sun was dipping closer to the horizon creating a noticeable colour change in a narrow band across the scene. The gradient of colour from a pale orange to mid to dark blue was evident as I carried on capturing silhouettes. Runners, walkers, dogs, swans, ducks, trees, houses and boats didn’t escape my viewfinder in the last thirty minutes.  A poor lens choice (again) left me composing a stitch as opposed to a single image with a nice silhouette of Cemetery Road, Yeadon as a foreground to the setting sun.

One hundred and eighty images later, with the sun now below the horizon I wandered the short distance back to my car. I was quite happy with the outcome, but as with any photo shoot what looks good on the camera back doesn’t necessarily look good on the computer back home. Only time would tell. Sitting in the car to examine my images soon gave way to the thought of getting home and feeling some warmth.

Tuesday morning started the same way Monday evening ended: taking photographs. Elaine has managed to get a place in the BUPA Great North Run this year and been her first time she is training hard to give her the best chance. You can actually follow her progress as she writes a blog called “Boothie is doing the Great North Run” every few days.  If you would like to donate some money towards Sue Ryder Wheatfields then you can visit Elaine’s Just Giving Page. If you have looked at the links show previously then you will understand Elaine’s passion for what she is doing. Elaine’s 10 kilometre training route incorporates a circuit of Yeadon Dam/Tarn so whilst waiting for her return it seemed like a good idea to capture a few more images. Well, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? She wouldn’t mind, would you Elaine?

Might as well make use of the sunshine so off I went. In total contrast to 12 hours earlier, the light was excellent, the sun warmed the morning air and the colour was vibrant. The Swans were just as nosey, the Geese just as rowdy and in between all this the ducks were in abundance.  The shot that probably made the morning was a gentleman fishing by the side of the tarn, he was smoking a pipe and as I was facing in to the sun the light was catching the smoke being expelled from his long pipe. I waited and waited for the perfect opportunity. He was total unaware of my presence which really helped the situation. I envisaged the image in monochrome with the smoke showing up against the dark background. Unfortunately he had a small tent by the side of him and no matter which position I stood in I couldn’t manage to get a decent image that didn’t contain part of the structure of the tent. Still, despite that I was reasonably happy with the outcome. A small preview is shown below and as I am now over 300 images in editing arrears. I will post a link from the last two days shooting on a subsequent blog entry.

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Thanks for looking, as always comments are very welcome and in particular if you like the image above. Thank you.

D-Day….Do it !

cloud12The Pain has gradually got worse over the last couple of weeks until it eventually made me sick. In truth I am not sure what actually made me sick. It could have been the excessive medication or the pain, either way it wasnt very nice. So ten days ago I booked a doctor’s appointment to see try get some pain management sorted out once and for all. Ten days to wait for an appointment, what is the world coming too. Ok, Easter had positioned itself right in the middle but what can you do about that. The whole system seems to grind to a halt for that reason yet aircraft still fly, Hospitals still care, Police still patrol and shops still open.

So I carry on, the pain is there but I still…carry..on…. I must, I have a wife and children and I have a purpose too. Otherwise we give up.

I am now going to grumble about the weather again. Yesterday I ventured out early in the frost to be greeted by a very clear but beautiful dawn. Tarnfield Park at sunrise is sublime. Less than half a dozen people are around at 6:00 am and it feels like you have the place to yourself. That is of course if you choose to ignore the abundance of bird life. Yesterdays sunrise was somewhat bland; a distinct lack of clouds to create some colour and the whole image lacked another dimension if you know what I am getting at. It looked more like a small silhouette with an enormous orange to blue graduated filter; something I could have created in two minutes using Photoshop.

Bad news….this morning was exactly the same. This got me thinking so I decided to look back through my archives and in particular last years images from this time. Guess what?

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Cloud !! Well, just a little bit. Every image from around this time appears to have very little cloud. I have studied sunrises and sunsets for years and if you look through my pages on here you will see a full article on them.  The temperature has a huge influence on clouds; during sunrise and sunseta good opportunity arises to observe different aspects of clouds. During these periods, changes in the contrast and colour are observed as well as structure of the clouds. Such sunrises and sunsets can develop into some of the most spectacular events that exist in meteorology.

Obviously, sunrise and sunset are mostly noted for the associated changes in the colour of the sky especially around the sun. On some occasions, clouds will also reveal different colour patterns if present around sunrise and sunset. It is very difficult to describe the various colour changes that occur with the different clouds around these times. But there are general stages that are associated with the times from dawn to sunrise and sunset to dusk.

The heights of the clouds have an important influence on the length of times that cloud reflections occur. The higher the cloud, the longer the cloud bases will be able to reflect light. In fact, high clouds will reflect light for periods of up to 30 minutes whilst low clouds will typically reflect light from their bases for around 5 to 10 minutes. The reason for such a vast difference is that lower level clouds near the horizon are much closer to the observer ( around 1 to 15 kilometres away) than clouds at higher levels which may be up to a few hundred kilometres away. The cloud bases of higher clouds therefore reflect light well before sunrise and remain so until just before sunrise. The same situation still applies for sunset but in the opposite order. The process of sunrise and sunset obviously occurs in a set pattern. Let us consider only one level of cloud in the sky. The cloud closest to the horizon will reflect light first. Gradually, clouds further away will also begin reflecting light. The process continues with colours changing from red and pink to yellow although occasionally some blue or violets are also observed. This of course depends on the heights of the cloud and the patterns of their bases.

Now, if combinations of clouds occur, then different patterns will be observed representing the different reflections of light from different levels of clouds in the atmosphere. This means that the higher clouds are still reflecting light from the sunrise for instance and lower level clouds are only observed as darker regions with no light being reflected from their bases. In the case of the lower clouds in particular, their shadows are observed as well as the sun’s rays. This provides the observer with the opportunity to observe the outline structure of the clouds, especially cumuliform clouds with rounded tops such as cumulus.

During sunrise and sunset, even the same types of cloud may appear different in various regions of the sky. Cumulus, for example, will reflect more light at the opposite regions of the sky to that of the sun as compared to cloud closest to the sun. This creates a varied contrast and must be taken into account by observers trying to determine the different types of clouds in the sky.

Sunrise and sunset represent a short period of time where there are changes in the intensity of light and the colour of the sky signifying the transition between day and night. It is important to note that sunrise and sunset occur as a result of the earth’s rotation and not the movement of the sun around the earth. We obviously know the sun does not revolve around the earth. Nevertheless, it is more “convenient” to associate the sun as the object moving across the sky (which is its relative observed motion) especially when referring to and explaining weather concepts.

Both sunrise and sunset reveal changes in the colour and intensity of the sky during the morning and evening respectively. The changes in colour occur due to light passing through the atmosphere being scattered at different frequencies. The frequencies that lie in the spectrum of red will be scattered by light particles more than those frequencies in the blue spectrum. This means that the sky near the sun on the horizon will appear red since the light will be scattered to the observer. On the other hand, red light from the sun whilst it is well above the horizon will be scattered away from the observer. The light from the blue spectrum will be scattered least and hence pass through the atmosphere straight to the observer. The sky therefore during the day will normally appear blue. The light during the period from dawn to sunrise increases in intensity near where the sun will eventually rise and eventually covers the whole sky area. The intensity also increases radially away from the sun’s rising position. It therefore becomes easier for an observer to predict where the sun will rise. The process during sunset occurs in reverse.

Of course there are other factors that influence how sunrises and sunsets vary from one location to another. The latitude is one of the most important factors and is directly associated with the length of sunrises and sunsets. For instance, in the most extreme case, both the north and south pole during their respective summers have 24 hour sunshine just above the horizon and therefore have the longest sunrises at certain times of the year. During winter, the sun is non existant with complete darkness.

Another factor is the altitude. In fact, altitude can influence the appearance of sunrises and sunsets in two ways. First, if the observer is located in high mountains, the sunrise and sunsets may appear earlier or later depending which way the mountain faces . Second, if other areas exist to disturb the pattern of the normal landscape, then this will influence the amount of colour visible during sunrises and sunsets.

I am yet to edit the images from yesterday so this morning’s is at the back of the queue. I will post the image as soon as I can. Breakfast next, then the doctors waiting room. Cross fingers.

Bye for now.

Kestrel Seven Nine Three cleared to land

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I just decided to post this one as a separate entry. I thought it justified a post of its own. Saturday saw me waiting patiently at the airport for a few aviation related images. Having not been up to the airport for a while I was now on a roll as Fridays visit now meant visits on two consecutive days.  Further to my post yesterday called 3 Months of nothing…then 3 days of everything  (which can be viewed here ) I had arranged to meet some friends for a catch up and some happy snapping. The images are all aviation related and probably wouldn’t justify a complete entry on NMDP. This was until we had a visitor.

Kestrels and Red Kites are very common in the skies above West Yorkshire. In particular near the airport as mice and small rodents are in abundance in the grounds of the airport and its restricted areas. These areas are rarely touched by humans and are a great source of food for wild birds and foxes alike. In the early 2000’s Red Kites were released from Harewood House and nearly 100 breeding pairs are in existence in the area. Kestrels are also common sights as I was to find out this cold Easter morning.

I had been talking to friends about the very same subject and one even showed me some recent images on his camera. The subject has arisen after I commented on seeing a Kestrel perched on the fence opposite to where I was parked. I was shown some photos of Red Kites and Kestrels very close to the airport and didn’t think about it too much. I tapped off a couple of frames of the said bird sat on the fence and proceeded to go sit back in my car.

Not unlike me, I slowly dozed off and then totally unaware of what was going on around me nearly missed this very opportunity. To be completely honest, I wasnt even looking. I was sat behind the steering wheel in my car and starring in to space. MY friend John was emphatically gesturing towards me and pointing. For a split second it didn’t sink in and I looked from the passenger side window straight ahead in the direction he was pointing. And there, sat on a recently cut thicket was a young Kestrel observing the airfield like a fledgling plane spotter. After my recent experience with the Peregrine Falcon in Cumbria I learned my lesson. No sudden movements, no knee-jerk reaction. I slowly picked up my camera from the front seat and managed to fill the frame with this beautiful bird. I tapped off a dozen images in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds before Kes turned its head and departed for a more peaceful hunting ground.

This was no consolation for the Peregrine miss in Cumbria last month but it was a good second best….. I will post the complete images from Saturday in a while. In the meantime enjoy my new friend Kes. It’s a shame the lighting wasnt better but you can’t have everything in this not so perfect world can you.

Nearly Spring | Tarnfield Park

Finally, some sunshine. This light was just crying out for some photo opportunities. Just two minutes away is a location that always has the ability to host some photography.

Only managed this one though, its a two-image photo-stitch. Thanks for looking

Via Flickr:
A stitch of two images taken with my Canon G9 A beautiful, but cold morning.

One of my favourite images from last year.

This was taken at Cemetery Road, Yeadon looking south-east towards the airport at the rising sun. In November the skies are normally grey but in 2012 we didn’t do too badly. This was probably the best sunrise I saw all year. Capturing the aircraft in the scene made for a combination of my two favourite subjects.

Via Flickr:
A compilation of images, some photostitches and some cropped – Not seen a sunrise as nice as this for many months..some of the images are aviation related as opportunities couldnt be missed. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did shooting them and editing them. Thanks for looking

Two Boeing’s, One Moon & A Sunrise

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There are only a few days a year that an image like the one shown above can be obtained with the actual sun behind the tower. The odds are stacked against me as the first week of October is usually poor as in terms of weather. It takes the sun about 4 or 5 days to move from one side to the other at sunrise. The only other opportunity is in early February and once again, at this time of year the weather will either be dull, dark, cloudy and wet or even snowing; or clear sky and no clouds.

Yesterday was very cloudy, but as we all know, the best sunsets and sunrises come with clouds. I chose to stay at home despite glancing out of the window and missed an ideal opportunity. Fridays sunrise was sent packing. This morning I was prepared. I had checked the weather and was ready for a clear frosty morning and the possibility that I would even have to de-ice the car. If you have looked at some of my sunrise images you will know that I like to combine my love of low-light photography with my other passion of aviation. A sunrise shot with a departing aircraft in my opinion, is an awesome spectacle.

It was dark when I left the house at 06:15 and after de-icing the car headed the 1.38 kilometres to my location of choice. From my position near the Cemetery at the end of the runway you have an uninterupted view to the South, South East and East. The weather forecasters had got it spot on this morning; the sky was cloudless apart from half a dozen partially formed vapour trails pointing east; these became apparent at the paling of the sky and glowed orange. The trails were all the early morning inbound flights to mainland Europe from America and Canada and were illuminated at their high altitude by the inconspicuous rising sun.

Aircraft were departing from the airport and creating nice plumes of spray from the wheels on the damp runway. This is always a great opportunity for a couple of shots but with such low light the quality is never going to be high. Based on this information I chose to make the images just like that…Grainy and gravelly. I adjusted the camera controls and made sure the Image stabilizers were switched on and fired off a few frames. My expectations were not high but if you set your standards based on knowledge and experience then you wont be disappointed with your results. There was a Crow sat in the tree next to the cemetery as all I could hear was Caaaw Caaw Caaaw..I looked round and saw it silhouetted against the moon..Great shot went through my mind.. in near darkness, now that’s a challenge. Never to turn down a challenge I lifted the camera and before I could say cheese it was off. I was left with a shot of the trees and the moon. Now, before I decided to drop this image in to the recycle bin looking at it again made me think twice, it had a peculiar feel to it, almost haunting. On that basis I decided edit to the best of my ability and keep it.

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The sun slowly began to emerge from behind a mass of distant cloud. An orange glow started to form as the sun rose above the distant bank. It was apparent that the images were going to be nothing special this morning as they were very few flights today and the sky was bland. Time to move on to plan B and think of alternatives.

Plan B in my world, is making something out of very little. The sun had started to rise a lot further to the left of the control tower than I had hoped but this wasnt really unexpected. It was a very dull orange as a result of the atmosphere. We all know that sun light is composed of seven colors — Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. In the mornings and evenings, when the sun is near the horizon, the rays have to travel about fifty time’s longer path in the atmosphere to reach us than it does in the noon. The dust, smoke and water vapour present in the atmosphere scatter away these colors differently. Violet, indigo and blue are scattered most and red and orange are scattered least. That is why most of these two colors reach our eyes. As a result, the rising and setting sun appears red. I now had the problem of finding suitable foreground for a decent image. When you are stood on high ground this really does present a problem. In the past I have used trees, fences, gravestones (a last resort) and even sheep for silhouettes but today was going to be a none starter. The only item of interest I could use was a bank of trees to the North-East of the terminal building. I even decided to keep the rising sun slap bang centre too… It really was a bland and uninteresting sunrise. I tried to squeeze something out of another shot just down the road with a view over the terminal and control tower but it was fruitless. I will post a link to my images very shortly. Thanks for reading…..Comments welcome as always.

Leeds Bradford Airport | 28th February – Shooting in to the sun grrrr

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G-CELD Early Climb Out

The Photos from “The Day of the Faux Pas” .. enjoy !

Bananas ! A Faux Pas

Exactly ! Bananas….that’s how Thursday started at Winterbourne Towers. In a nut shell (or Banana skin in this case) I stole my wifes breakfast. Technically speaking it was a “portion” of her breakfast. Well I didn’t know that she wanted a banana in her porridge did I? Elaine never has banana in her porridge, she always has Granola. Having said that so do I. Anyway, to cut a long story short we’ve not had chance to shop this week yet so supplies have been diminishing slowly with Granola and bananas holding on to the top two on the shopping list chart rundown. This is all beyond my awareness as a male by the way. So Thursday commences like any other Thursday.  I got up slightly early to make sure the sunrise wasn’t up to much after yesterdays faux pas. And also because I had agreed to meet my good friend Lee Pirie aka Yorkshire Flyer to have a morning taking aviation images. Two days in a row I hear you say. Yes, its been a while hasn’t it. Anyway, back to the bananas… I am going to try to defend myself here but it’s probably all in vain as I know I was in the wrong. So here goes…My beautiful wife (that’s not a grovel by the way, that’s what I always call her) Elaine was about to put two bowls of Porridge on the table and as usual I pop a sliced banana in my bowl along with a small handful of  Granola. This morning there was only two very small bananas left in the fruit bowl so I grabbed them both thinking that wasn’t greedy as they were significantly smaller than normal and proceeded to slice them whilst sat at the table.  After Elaine had placed the bowls on the table a brief statement to the words of “Oh there’s no bananas.. err … there were some bananas” came out of her mouth with a comical glance in my direction. Yes, I know, I was guilty. I just didn’t know….. “I’ll just have porridge then shall I” she said….We laugh about things like this, because life is way too short. I did offer Elaine my bowl before you ask.

Despite the Faux Pas at breakfast Elaine was still communicating with me, that was until the second slip up of the day. Elaine has been very fortunate to have been granted a place in this years BUPA Great North Run. My wife is what I would call a serious, casual runner. You know what I mean, she doesn’t go running twice a day and spend 32.5 hours in the gym and she doesn’t need a rub down from a bronzed Italian masseuse afterwards. Elaine runs to a plan; she has a set routine in place for the countdown to the GNR and she’s sticking too it. I have to give her credit as her running is something that has evolved over the last few years and I am extremely proud of her. I never thought I would see someone diagnosed with Asthma run the way she does.  Anyway, before I set off to meet Lee this morning Elaine informed me that she was going running. Now, I don’t have the best memory in the world, but it might have helped if I had listened instead of drifting off in to Winterbourne-Land and thinking of aviation and photography. Half an hour in to my photography I received an email on my phone asking for further details regarding an issue I had with a website I am looking after. Now I knew these details were on my desk at home and instead of being patient and waiting until I actually got home, I did what I always do and ring my beautiful wife, only this time Elaine was 5 miles from home and half way through her training plan.The  only way of answering the phone was to stop her in-ear coach and take my call. Well, I didn’t know did I? I should have listened. I actually rang twice, because she didn’t answer first time which I think made things worse. When I finally did get to talk to her I found out that I wasnt the only one that had rung and I was reliably informed that her morning run was crumbling beneath her feet. I’m truly sorry Elaine……lol 🙂

On to the important bits…. My great friend Lee Pirie, (before you go any further please have a read of Lee’s Bio here because this guy is the salt of the earth and what you would call a real true friend. You know what I mean, someone who would do anything for you and you would do the same back ). Lee loves his photography just like me and with the weather being so nice it was an ideal opportunity to get up to the airport. Lee expressed his desire to get some photographs of this mornings Thomson Holidays flight as it departed. So that was it, the stage was set. Cloudless skies, wall to wall blue and sunshine..yeehaa..a photographers best friend. In winter the sun rises almost in the south-east and this leaves a bit of a problem at Leeds Bradford Airport as it means shooting in to the sun. Who cares !! this is No Rules No Limits Photography … so we did.

IMG_8598

Jet2 Boeing 737 departing Leeds Bradford Airport

As you can see from the shot above, the images do require a little bit of attention once you get them in to the computer. But they do give an impression of what it was like. I really like seeing the heat from the back of the engines in shots like this, it really provides atmosphere. We arrived at the end of the runway just in time for the Thomson flight and with the view down the runway looking direct in to the morning sun it was going to be a similar effort to the one above.

Thomson Boeing 757 rotating off runway 32 at Leeds Bradford Airport

Thomson Boeing 757 rotating off runway 32 at Leeds Bradford Airport

It was, in fact it was almost an exact replica. What happened next was very strange and it took a couple of minutes to sink in what had actually happened. As the aircraft passed overhead and climbed in to the Yorkshire sky it started to snow. Seriously. Lee and I looked at each other in disbelief. There were no clouds and the sun was shining.  You could see the snow, feel the snow it was very strange. Before I had time to take it in, it had stopped. The only explanation I could muster up was that it had blown off the wings of the departing 757 and it was actually small ice crystals and not snow. Who knows.

It was a slow morning  at Leeds as aircraft movements were limited but we had a great time and I managed to tap off just under a hundred frames. It was also great to catch up with Lee again, I am just hoping it wont be as long before we get together again. Thanks Lee.

On a final note….Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today…..

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