Sunday 25 February 2007


Another from yesterday - in fact on further examination I think this is my favourite of the set. I enquired from Ben whether in fact it's within the rules for the chap in red to the pulling the other chaps ear.....his response was to point out that as the ref was in a position from which he could not possibly see the action, whether or not it was within the rules was largely irrelevant!

Further purchases to add to the kit bag are now on the horizon. The Sigma 12-24mm lens I've been hankering after can just about be afforded now I think, and prior to us going on holiday I also need some filters to help sort out those (hopefully bright) Hebridean skies. Fingers crossed then that should pretty much be the end of the serious spending...for while, at least...!


Saturday 24 February 2007


My favourite from an afternoon watching our local side beat Rochford. It seemed sensible prior to the start of the speedway season that I got a bit of serious time in practising with the new 70-200mm lens. It so much heavier than anything else I've used and at the moment it really makes my arms and hands ache after a while of holding it.

This shot was utilising the 1.4TC as well to add even more weight. This was wide open at f4. 1/250th, ISO800.


Hebrides Countdown...

...If anyone can identify this plant we'd be most grateful! It was taken on last year's trip, growing in the wall around the Butt of Lewis lighthouse, and so far nobody has been able to identify it. We even put the picture into my horticulture-mad Aunt's Christmas photobook in the hope that she would be able to shed some light but so far, no joy. One thing we know for sure is that it's not a sea-pink as the leaves are too fine and delicate.

Just five weeks until we're off there again now. Time truly seems to be flying by this year - we still have ferry tickets to organise so those will get bought in the next little while.


Wednesday 21 February 2007

Another from Chinese New year...

One of my favourite shots from the day this one. I was squashed between a wall and a pillar in Trafalgar Square whilst we were watching the ceremonial bit happening on the stage. There was a chinese family in front of us and while I was getting this shot and also another of the lanterns and Nelsons Column they were sneaking looks at the LCD screen on the 30D and then trying to emulate the shots on their camera! Quite flattering!

This shot was taken with the 70-200mm Canon wide open at f2.8. I playing with the limited depth of field on this lens - and it's so sharp!


Sunday 18 February 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Or "Happy New Year" - Chinese New Year that is!

We headed up to London today for this - the first time I've actually made it for the parade etc. Quite simply a stunning spectacle - the parade was full of life and colour, the firework display was a total contrast to what we are used to - and VERY loud!

Plenty to keep me busy with the camera all day - I stuck to my current aim of shooting in RAW as much as possible and kept to it all day. I think it's having a positive effect too as I am being more selective over what I'm shooting. A year ago I would have come back from a trip like today with 200 shots or so - today it was 100 and a much higher proportion of keepers.


Saturday 17 February 2007

Hebrides Countdown...

One thing that can't help but strike you about the Western isles - Lewis in particular - is the importance that most of the locals place on religion. Sundays are strictly a day of rest as this fishing gear lying idle at Stornoway harbour indicates, and visitors must take care to avoid causing offence by behaving inappropriately. What this means to us is that on arriving on Lewis 
on the Saturday afternoon we must make sure that we have the shopping we require at very least for the next day - no shops will be open - and also that the car is full of fuel - no petrol stations either and petrol stations around Stornoway are noticeably busier last thing on a Saturday than at other times!
Perhaps the strangest thing is how fast we have forgotten what it was like to have Sunday as a more classic "day of rest". Regardless of your religious leanings (or non-leanings!) there is something very peaceful about not having "business as usual" for just one day out of seven.


Saturday 10 February 2007

Hebrides Countdown...

This is Scolpaig Tower on North Uist, one of our favourite spots for photos. Each year we choose our evening with great care to make sure that conditions should provide a fairly colourful sunset,
 and then don our wellies to paddle through the marsh to the edge of the loch ready for the light to go!


Thursday 8 February 2007

White stuff!

 ......about 6 inches of it in the end too! Heaviest snowfall I can remember since the early 90's, although it's not looking to last as long as that one as it was well and truly starting to thaw by the time I came home this evening. Couldn't get the car out of the lane to get to work until after lunch so I ventured across the road to the woods this morning for a few shots. With snow the trickiest thing is getting the exposure right and if I'm honest this one could have done with another third of a stop in-camera I think. Taken at ISO400, f8. Must get that Sigma 24-70mm off the camera at some point again - I'm sure it's glued itself on....!


Tuesday 6 February 2007

Another from Sunday...

This was posted up on Talk Photography on Sunday evening and seems to have attracted an almost Marmite-esque reaction from those viewing it - pretty much an even split between those making appreciative noises and those saying that they wouldn't eat them if someone put a gun to their heads!

If you're not sure what you're looking at then they are cockles. Leigh on Sea is famous for its shellfish - particularly the cockles, and a trip there isn't complete without sampling some of the wares from the hugely popular kiosks on the main street.

Another shot using that Sigma 24-70 f2.8. I honestly feel that it's some of the best money I've spent as it's barely been off the camera in a week and a half!


Sunday 4 February 2007

Sepia Boats...

This was Leigh on Sea on the Thames Estuary this afternoon. It's somewhere you often read about in connection with photography in East Anglia - the light is reckoned to be special there and from what I saw today I must admit I can see what they mean.  The whole place has a somewhat old-fashioned feel to it with its traditional looking pubs, cobbled alleys and seafood sellers, hence the sepia treatment to this shot which I felt suited the subject and the place rather well.


Saturday 3 February 2007

A Long Walk...

Having accidentally stumbled across part of the Flitch Way last weekend we decided to head out that way again today. I have new walking boots to wear in before we go on holiday and we also felt it was a good idea to get ourselves back into the habit of doing some longer walks prior to that as well.
The church pictured above is All Saints at Little Canfield and was just a short detour off the path, but a well worthwhile one. There are a few more pictures from the day in my webshots album4 too (link to the right hand side of this posting).


Thursday 1 February 2007

Hebrides Countdown....

This week I have been mostly.....reprocessing photos from our Hebrides trip last year! I've been working my way through the shots in the Hebrides group on Flickr (Click here to take a look at the photos there) and have been inspired to take a look at some of mine again through fresh eyes. The shot above is one of my favourites now and I can't believe I let it slip through the net all those months ago! This is the delightfully named Cheesebay on the North East coast of North Uist. We sat in the car there drinking tea - to my astonishment there was a mobile signal and I was able to catch up on the gossip from that afternoon's speedway meeting at Ipswich from Ross!