Thursday 31 January 2013

Shapes: Diagonal

Diagonal Rain,  Fuji F11
31st January 2013

On the way back from school this morning, the heavens opened and gave us all a good soaking.  I did notice the diagonal patterns in the rain though as it pounded my face.

Xena was not happy either.


Daffodils surrounded by ripples in the flood water.  Fuji F11
30th January 2013

I thought I would find some patterns today and the contrast between the ripples on the flood water and the vertical Daffodil leaves caught my eye.

Fingers crossed the flowers will end up Daff shaped and not rippled too...

Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Start of Spring

First Snowdrops.  Fuji F11
29th January 2013

Although it is not quite the end of January, the first snowdrop flowers are opening, heralding the start of Spring.

This bunch of flowers was lucky as it was just clear of a lake of flood water from the melting snow and incessant rain.

Fingers crossed that the flooding will improve the display from bulbs this year, rather than suppressing it.

Monday 28 January 2013

Fishy, Fishy, Fishy, Fish

One of the two remaining fish.  Nikon D80
28th January 2013

I realised today that although I thought we had 4 fish, there appear to be only two again.

With all the fish we have had over the years, we always seems to eventually end up with just one big fish after a while.

I am pretty sure they have not moved out and found somewhere more desirable to live like Nemo did in the film  ...

Sunday 27 January 2013

Building a Wall

Alex's Lego Plumber.  Nikon D80
27th January 2013

Alex produced a rather elaborate Lego toilet for his Lego plumber to unblock.   Given the size of the plunger, it looks like the "Lego Logger" has been excreting bricks to build a wall and has blocked the loo.

It does raise the question that as Lego turds are made of plastic, are they all doomed to be floaters?

Its Behind You!

Alice In Pantoland.  Nikon D7000
26th January 2013

The last week has been hectic as I have been the sound and lighting man for this years Pantomime: "Alice in Pantoland".

This year saw a few more technical challenges than previous years, with up to 9 radio mics running at a time and two lighting desks (digital and analogue); the desire to become an octopus and grow some extra arms has been quite strong at times.   The shows went well though with only minimal issues of blown lamps in the lanterns or flat batteries in microphones.  The playwright for the production this year was a junior member of the cast.  She did a superb job and had all the classic Panto elements in the script.

I thought a picture that summed up the slapstick and cross-dressing that makes Panto so unique was only fitting.  Well done Elli !

Friday 25 January 2013

Snow White

Swan by the snowy canal bank.  Nikon D7000
25th January 2013

Xena and I went for a walk by the canal this afternoon to catch the last of the snow before the rain arrived this evening.

One of the local swans obliged in coming over to the snow still left on the canal bank; luckily its 'Sod Off' pose is much more photogenic than when it dives for weed at the bottom of the canal and sticks its bum in the air.


Snow covered tree.  Fuji F11
24th January 2013

With the last batch of snow being quite wet and with a little following wind, it stuck well to the trees and coated one side of them with a white jacket.

The contrast between the dark trunk and the white snow is quite spectacular.

All I need to do it justice is a nice blue sky for a background now....

Sounds: The crunch of snow

Footprint in the snow.  Nikon D7000
23rd January 2013

With another 2" of snow now, I thought I would have a walk around looking for inspiration of what to photograph next.

I realised that one of my most favourite sounds was abound; the crunch of snow as you walk in it.

The snow earlier in the week was quite dry and powdery and did not crunch much, despite being deep.

The recent snow was much wetter and made a very satisfying 'popping' with every step :)

Reeds, Fields and Bulbs

Snowy field.  Nikon D7000
22nd January 2013

I realised I have not posted any landscape pictures for a while, so thought I would try a snowy scene (not much option really at the moment!).

The reeds at the bottom of the field make quite a nice element of foreground interest, with the bleak snow in the background.

I noticed that the bulbs in the garden are starting to make an appearance too; fingers crossed that the daffs will be out for St Davids Day this year.

Bulbs poking through the snow.  Nikon D7000

Snow drifts

Snow drifts on the pergola.  Fuji F11
21st January 2013

The snow is still with us and starting to get tedious now.

I am stepping very carefully outside of the back door now though as their is a huge drift of snow sitting straight above it.

I am not sure if it will melt slowly, or come down in a lump, but I hope it is not me underneath when it goes!


Blackbird with a snowy beak.  Nikon D80
20th January 2013

The blackbird has got bored with the feeders already and has been routing around in the snow for the last of the fallen apples.

She has spent quite some time in the veg patch after them; I am not sure if it is the apple she is eating, or if she is after any grubs that are inside them.


Pigeon foot prints.  Nikon D7000
19th January 2013

It is fun looking around in the snow after it has been on the ground a while.

There are a myriad of tracks in the garden from all the birds that have been visiting the feeders.

The pigeons seem to be having great fun, and leave decent tracks.

Snow Joke

Katie pelting Alex with snow.  Nikon D7000
 18th January 2013

This morning started cold, with the promise of snow.

The weather did not disappoint.

By 3pm, we had 5" of snow on the ground, but the kids had had enough of it by then.

Xena enjoyed it, but she found it hard work with her short little legs.
Xena in the snow.  Nikon D7000

Sheep down by the railway.  Nikon D7000

Snow faces on the bramble bushes.  Nikon D7000


XLR connectors.  Nikon D7000
17th January 2013

The town Panto is upon us next week and as I am doing the sound and lighting, I am starting to prepare my sound gear ready.

This year the society have agreed to purchase some new cables that will make life much easier.

The bunch of connectors on the end of the 30 metre sound cable had nice shiny bits and nice dull black bits, which I took as a lighting challenge.

The results were not ideal.

First Blossom

First of the cherry blossom.  Fuji F11
16th January 2013

On the way to school this morning in the frost, I noticed that one of the cherry trees by the library is just coming into bloom.

The tree seems a little out of kilter with the seasons, however it had blossom in January last year too.

Rose Hip at Dawn

Rose Hip in dawn sun.  Fuji F11
15th January 2013

The car had to go to the garage this morning to have the wing mirror looked at; some scroat kicked it off over the weekend (as well as many others down the street) on their way back from the pub.

On my way back, the sun was coming up and the nice orange light seemed to go well with the colour of the slightly-frosted rose hips in the park.

Iced Apples

Apple with a dusting of snow.  Nikon D7000
14th January 2013

We had a dusting of snow in the night, not enough to get excited about, but a nice little covering.

There are very few apples left on the trees now; the last few were not the most appetising so I have left them for the birds to peck at.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Textures: Splintered

Broken tree branch.  Nikon D7000
13th January 2013

I have been on the lookout for more textures recently.  Today I spotted a broken tree branch which is now more of a collection of splinters.

Although not necessarily an 'exact' texture such as smooth or rough, but it does represent those surfaces that are 'spiky' in a very random and unpredictable way.

Polite Interface

Exit message on the DVD player.  Nikon D80
12th January 2013

As an engineer, I am always concious of issues surrounding the design of user interfaces.

Who ever designed the user interface of our DVD player was having a giraffe.

All is well until you turn the device off.....

Splash and Spray

Duck having a Bath.  Nikon D7000
11th January 2013

As the weather was nice for once, Xena and I took a walk by the canal today.

The weather felt almost Spring-like and the locals seemed to be taking the opportunity to have a Spring-clean.

This duck spent quite some time splashing around, much to Xena's frustration as it was on the other side of the canal and she was desperate to round it up into a nice group with the other ducks (yes a dog with OCD).

Colours: Black

Coal.  Nikon D7000
10th January 2013

I thought I would try colours again today.   As the weather is not so warm, we have lit the fire.

The bucket of coal is the epitome of 'black'.  I used side-lighting from a flash gun to make the coal shine and also to enhance the surface texture.

Sounds: Tinkling

Tinkling sounds of rice falling in a bowl.  Nikon D7000
9th January 2013

In continuing the theme of the senses, I thought I would try to take a picture of 'sound'.

I thought of trying to capture 'tinkling' noises, but my first instinct may have resulted in the camera getting wet.

I resorted to pouring pudding rice into a bowl instead.

Taken From Behind

The Dent.  Nikon D7000
8th January

This morning on my way to work, in the dim twilight of dawn, the car was struck roughly from behind while waiting at a junction.

Despite the shock and despair, I chuckled a little when the lady that had hit me blurted out that she was a driving examiner :)


Portrait of a Teenager

Anyone for Facebook?  Nikon D7000
7th January 2013

Today I thought it would be good to try for another portrait.   I wanted to capture a portrait that was also quite representative.   I thought 'youth' may be a good title; luckily Liz obliged with a pose that quite sums up the 'youth of today'.

One wonders what 'youth of today' will be best portrayed by in another decade.

Sunday 6 January 2013


Alex after a bike ride.  Nikon D7000
6th January 2013

Today we had a little outing down by the canal.   The dog had a run, Jo and I had a walk and Katie and Alex rode their bikes.

Alex's bike does not have mudguards unfortunately.  So after a few rounds of riding through exiting puddles, he looked like he had shat himself; badly.

Luckily he still has a car seat for the way back, otherwise he would have had to sit on a carrier bag (yes I am that cruel :) ).

Saturday 5 January 2013


Mutilated Defensible Barracks.  Fuji F11
5th January 2013

I was shocked today to see a mutilated image of the venerable Defensible Barracks used in an advert on TV today.

I spent many a happy hour as a child, playing in the moat (often chasing after the goat which lived down there) and looking for golf balls that had been lost from the nearby golf course.

The picture is quite a recent one as I noticed when I was last there they have cleaned off the Ivy and replaced the door; the old door was becoming rather 'picturesque'.

Barracks taken in May 2011.
0.3mm pinhole in 6x9cm view camera
onto Fuji 160C colour film.

Friday 4 January 2013

Nice Pear

Pear. 4x5 view camera through
130mm 1930's Kodak lens. Pre-flashed Ilford VC paper negative
through yellow filter. f/8 for 3 min 38 seconds
4th January 2013

I broke out my MDF 4x5 view camera today and captured a picture of a pear.  It has been far too long since I did some real non-digital work.

Part of the problem has been the incessant rain; I do not like getting the cameras wet given that they are mainly wood and paper.

The pear tasted great too :)

Thursday 3 January 2013


Washing Up.  Nikon D80
3rd January 2013

I have tried capturing every day objects before, but not Every Day Processes.  I thought about it and washing up is one process that we do more than once each day.

We used to have a dishwasher, but when that died, the cupboard space was more useful for putting the recycling in (what Alex calls his 'craft' cupboard).

I thought a wide-angle lens would be fun to capture some of the horror of the state that the kids leave mugs in when they have dissected a cup of hot chocolate.

At least the smeg was fresh today, unlike when Liz clears out her room and has left mugs to develop cultures.

Retrograde Progression

Windows 8 start screen.  Nikon D7000
2nd January 2013

I have had no option recently to move into the current century; part of that has involved getting to grips with Windows 8 on a laptop.

Any new operating system and touchpads take time to get used to, but Windows 8 is 'entertaining'.

There are some really good features of Windows 8; it seems to be generally stable and reboots really quickly in the times it was not stable.

The new 'app based desktop' is a step backwards however.

It is not me being a Luddite and not liking change, rather I would like to use my laptop to actually work on multiple tasks at a time (like I am used to on unix and the older versions of windows).  Previous Windows versions always were best for 'light office use' rather than real engineering work, but it sufficed and had their useful features such as recognising even odd devices and being able to make a reasonable stab at a working driver when I plugged new hardware in.

It seems that Windows 8 has been designed to run on a touch-screen tablet or mobile phone.  If you have a laptop or desktop that could be capable of much more; tough.  The new 'apps' open full screen and any intuitive controls (such as mouse buttons doing much) seem to have been removed in favour of weird touch-pad swipe operations to control behaviours that are really hard to remember.   The desktop is now relegated to also being an 'app', however seems to be quite necessary when making any system changes (if you can find out where the options have been hidden).

I think I will power up the Raspberry Pi and go and sulk.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Sun and Shadows

Shadows cast by rising sun.  Nikon D7000
1st January 2013

I was up early this morning (i.e. before 8am) and realised that it was not raining!   I waited and captured the first rays of sunlight of 2013 as they cast shadows on the wall of a mix of the candle holder that sits on the dining table and the apple tree in the garden.

With a good deal of squinting and luck, I also managed to take a few images of the sun as viewed through the apple tree, without being blinded from looking through the viewfinder of the camera :)

Happy 2013.

Rising sun viewed through the apple tree.  Nikon D7000