Sunday 30 June 2013

Public Notice

Old staples and pins in a telegraph pole.  Fuji F10
20th June 2013

I walk past this telegraph pole most mornings.  It is on the high street and so often has a 'Planning Permission', 'Lost Cat' or other such public notice pinned to it.

There were some noticed pinned on today too, but I realised that the patterns of old rusting staples and drawing pins, pushed into the rough wood, were far more interesting.

I hope their cat turns up ok.

No Parking

Gnarled Hedgehog.  Fuji F10
19th June 2013

"Why did the hedgehog cross the road?"

Well it may have been to see his flatmate as he was about 10 yards further along.

Given that hedgehogs are in decline, seeing two in this condition on the same day is a sad sight.

The subject is rather grim, but I realised I have done very little photography documenting the darker side of reality on my blog; I decided to post it in black and white to lessen the visual impact of the bright colours and picked just the green channel to emphasise the no-parking lines.


Dandelion.  Nikon D7000
18th June 2013

Dandelions often look best as the 'clock' seed heads, but I thought the nice splash of yellow would help brighten the day.

This flower was one on its own, alone at the edge of the lawn.

It can take its chances until I next have the mower out...

String and Sticks

Runner bean sticks.  Nikon D7000
17th June 2013

At the moment, the only strands wrapped around the sticks for the runner beans is the string that is tying the sticks together.

Hopefully the beans will decide to grow at some point this year; they have just sat dormant in the soil since I planted them out the other week.   They are just sitting targets for the slugs.

Ironically, the sticks were trimmings from the Elder tree at the bottom of the garden; the sticks are sprouting!

Hear, Hear

Microphone and sound desk.  Fuji F10
16th June 2013

Another weekend, another theatre rig.   This week it is Gilbert and Sullivan: Trial by Jury, followed by HMS Pinafore.

Today is a long day with lots of time spend up ladders and many repeats of "one, two, one, two" ...

Saturday 15 June 2013

Little Diamond

Paper diamond made by Alex.  Nikon D80
15th June 2013

Alex has spent some of the morning folding paper while practicing his Origami skills.

I rather liked the diamond he had made;

I am not sure if it is the shape I like most, or that it is yellow :)

Tutti Frutti Reprise

 Morchella esculenta  Nikon D7000
14th June 2013

I have been keeping  a lookout for spring fungus this year and finally managed to find an old and tired specimen of  Morchella esculenta.

It is more dessicated than rotted when compared to the one I found last year, but unfortunately not really in a good edible state.   This one is a much more classic form and is nice and hollow too which suggests it is the real-deal.

It is in a different place to last years effort though so I have my fingers crossed for next Spring.

A stroll along the canal with friends

Swan nesting on the far bank of the canal.
5x4 view camera, pre-flashed Ilford VC paper negative
through a yellow filter, 150mm lens, f11 for 1 sec
13th June 2013

I had a very nice walk today along the canal with a selection of cameras and most importantly, a friend whom I had not seen for far too long.

I had forgotten how much large format photography is a great excuse for a good walk and a long chat :)

I managed to capture some images too; despite it spitting with rain.

The swan was reasonably cooperative as it is nesting, but the ducks swam past too quickly to appear in the 1 second exposure.  Just behind the tree is a train track; as ever, I managed to miss the train.

Willow Bark. 5x4 view camera,
pre-flashed Ilford VC paper negative, 150mm lens,
f16 for 11 sec

Barbed but not forgotten

Post with barbed wire.  Fuji F10
12th June 2013

The grass is growing well this year and looking rather lush.  I thought I would take a picture of this old post again that we pass every morning.    I have photographed it on a number of occasions, but realised that it had never quite made-the-cut for my blog; each day I captured its image, another more appropriate photograph took priority.

Well not today.

The colour contrast was a bit low so I pulled out just the blue layer of the image to darken the foliage and keep the post nice and light.

I'll Huff and I'll Puff ...

Faded thatch cottage.  Fuji F10
11th June 2013

We pass this old thatched cottage in the mornings on the way back from walking the dog.   Over the last few years, it has been looking more and more faded in its glory.

After this last winter with all the wet, the roof is looking in a really sorry condition now.

I just hope the roof timbers are good and strong as it would be a shame if it collapsed before it could be repaired.


In the shadow of the London Eye.  Fuji F10
10th June 2013

On yet another visit to the Capital today, I had a brief moment to stop with all the hoards of tourists on Westminster bridge and look down the Thames.

The London Eye was turning slowly as usual and there seemed to be a fair bit of traffic on the river.

I had hoped the sun would come out, but this is the UK!

Going a bit Harry Potter

Cloisters at Lacock Abbey.  Nikon D7000
9th June 2013

We had a fab day out at Lacock Abbey today.   It always seems very appropriate to visit one of the birthplaces of photography.   It was March 2010 when we were last here, but not much has changed.

Lacock Abbey was where Henry Fox-Talbot experimented with light-sensitive paper and managed to make the first camera negative and then make a print from it; a key development.

The cloisters and some of the rooms were used in the filming of the  many installments of the Harry Potter films too.  We are not making a point of visiting Harry Potter filming locations, but we have been to two now!

The last picture I took of this corridor also had a push chair at the end by the door; if it is the same one, the kid must be able to walk by now!

Stereo Pinhole photograph from 25/3/2010.  View cross-eyed

Numbers: Reprise of Three

Three apples growing.  Nikon D7000
8th June 2013

Having started to look for 3's, I found lots of them.

As we are just coming to the end of 'June drop' where all the immature fruit that are not really needed by the fruit tree or bush drop off, these three apples may have a chance of growing and ripening together.

I will keep an eye on them through the year.

Numbers: Three

Pan Lids.  Nikon D7000
7th June 2013

I thought I would combine 'every day items' and start 'numbers' too.

I took as a challenge something very ordinary.

As 'Three' is meant to be a very good number for use in images, I found 3 plain items.

In colour, the image was quite grim, but as black and white, it works much better.


Envious Pigeon.   Nikon D7000
6th June 2013

The pigeon on next-door's chimney was looking very enviously at the aircraft soaring high above.

I am glad the pigeons cannot match the aircraft's performance though; although the aircraft contrail is not good for the environment, the sort of white trail a pigeon may leave behind it would be grim!

Wednesday 5 June 2013


Ginger Mint in the Garden.  Nikon D7000
5th June 2013

The Ginger Mint in the flower bed by the chicken pen is starting to go mental in the sunshine.

The mint has a nice yellow stripe running along the veins in its leaves.

It tastes rather good too!


Pigeon on the power cable.  Nikon D7000
4th June 2013

I noticed today that the pigeons which sit on the power lines at the bottom of the garden are sensible enough to only ever sit on the top wire, and not perch on either of the ones below.

Given the separation between the wires looks to be less than the height of a pigeon, I suppose they would only do it once!

Natural selection at work, however I wish they would try it more often as they may fall off ready-cooked for adding to a pie :)

Colours: Brown Caddis Fly

A Caddis fly, looking a little lost and trying to hide.  Fuji F10
3rd June 2013

While folding up a drying tent today, a Caddis fly came to visit.

It was determined to hide in amongst the folds in the material as it was nice and dark.

I am always amazed at how long their antenna are; they look as if they should keep on tripping over them when they walk.

I suppose that when you have wings, walking does not have to be an option.

Summer and charcoal

Barbeque at last!   Nikon D7000
2nd June 2013

At last the Sun is out and the charcoal can be lit!   The rain seems to have abated for the week ahead, so it is time to charr some food :)

A great day was had by all.

A day out in the Bluebells

Bluebells at West Wood.  6x9 back on
5x4 view camera.  Fuji 160C 90mm lens, f/22
1 second
1st June 2013

Today I had a day out to take some cameras for a walk and to expose some silver to some photons :)

The morning started on Martinsell Hill just south of Marlborough, and then progressed across the road to West Woods.

The bluebells are very late this year and luckily, although just passed their best, were still very much in flower.

I took some of the pictures in colour, just capturing the blue of the flowers.   Others I used paper negatives which respond most to green light; the result is that for some of the pictures the foliage glows white, looking very much as if it had been taken with infra-red film!

I could not resist putting a pinhole plate in the camera either and allowing the wide angles and wind to do its work with the long exposures.

Martinsell Hill.  5x4 view camera, 150mm lens, f/22
1 second, pre-flashed  Ilford VC paper
negative through yellow filter

Tree on Martinsell Hill.  5x4 view camera, 150mm lens, f/9
6 seconds, pre-flashed  Ilford VC paper
negative through yellow filter

West Woods.  5x4 view camera, 150mm lens, f/11
3 sec, pre-flashed  Ilford VC paper
negative through yellow filter

West Woods.  5x4 view camera, 150mm lens, f/45
39 sec, pre-flashed  Ilford VC paper
negative through yellow filter

West Woods.  5x4 view camera, 0.2mm pinhole
50mm focal length, f/250
3min 8sec, Fuji Pro 160C

West Woods.  5x4 view camera, 0.2mm pinhole
50mm focal length, f/250
2min 8sec, Fuji Pro 160C

West Woods.  5x4 view camera, 90mm lens, f/16
6sec, pre-flashed  Ilford VC paper
negative through yellow filter

Saturday 1 June 2013

Ball of petals

Tree Peony Flower,  Nikon D7000
31st May 2013

The flower on the tree Peony has been a tight ball of petals for a while now.   I did wonder with all the rain if it would just rot and fall off without opening.

The sun today though has warmed it enough to unfurl and start to put on a show.

The flowers opened earlier last year, and I also did much better with the picture; although I am happy with the more abstract composition this time of red and green masses, slapped wrist Evan for clipping the red channel and causing magenta highlights!

Padding Around

Water lilly out at last.  Nikon D7000
30th May 2013

The water lilly took a while to establish last year, but now the pads are open and ready for frogging or for the fish to hide under.

Fingers crossed we will get some decent flowers this year.

Portraits: Sleeping Beauty

Xena asleep on the sofa.  Nikon D7000
29th May 2013

Although Xena has spent much of the day asleep, she seems to enjoy it most when she is sleeping on the sofa.

She even took a toy to bed with her tonight.

Going all Gaudi

Tiles on the side of the pond.   Nikon D7000
28th May 2013

It has taken over a year to finish, but the tiles are all now stuck onto the side of the pond and the grouting done.


I have sore hands as well as muddy knees yet again now!

I am sure there is a song about that; if not, there should be.

Keeping Mum

Horses up on Hackpen Hill.   Nikon D7000
27th May 2013

Alex and I had a walk up on Hackpen hill today.  It was blowing a howler up there so although I took my 5x7 camera, I only managed to capture one not-so-good image while hiding behind a tree.

The horses in the next field though were friendly and not camera shy.

The horses were not quite as muddy as when I last  saw them back in August.

Challenge Pt 2: Tall

Telegraph pole,  Nikon D7000
26th May 2013

In the second part of my challenge of odd angles, I thought I would try again for an upward view towards the sky, but of a very different subject.

The pole is all straight lines, and with a little cropping, hopefully captures some of the height of the structure.

I could have got more of the pole in if I had not been stood up to take the picture, but I would have got muddy knees again like yesterday!

Challenge Pt 1: Reach to the sky!

Aquilegia, Fuji F10
25th May 2013

I thought I would try taking photographs of common objects from unusual angles for the next few days.

The Aquilegias in the veg plot are looking good at the moment, and were also prepared to stay still.

Getting the picture did result in muddy knees though :(

Portraits: Growing up fast

Lizzy getting ready for her Prom. Nikon D7000
24th May 2013

It is scary how time flies and I think it must mean I am getting old, but Liz has her prom this evening; she has grown up so fast.

She is still not the best in the world at posing to have her picture taken though;  I think she relished presenting a photographic challenge tonight.

I will refrain from taking any portraits of her tomorrow :)

Wot no Beach?

Deck chairs.  Fuji F10
23rd May 2013

While walking through the Embankment gardens this evening in London, I noticed that the deck chairs are all set out, yet there were no takers.

Maybe it was because it is cold, windy and starting to rain.

Typical beach weather really.

Time for weeds

Dandelions in the making.  Fuji F10
22nd May 2013

Even though the veg plot is looking very barren, some of the weeds have managed to almost go full cycle from seed, to plant, to seed again.

I know it is possible to eat Dandelions, but I would much rather have peas, or better, strawberries....


Kane in the grass.   Fuji F10
21st May 2013

The grass in the field on the way back from the school seems to be growing well, despite the cool Spring weather.

The nettles are getting to an unpleasant height now and the dogs are starting to disappear into the grass.


Colour Contrast: Purple and Green

Magnolia just blooming.  Nikon D7000
20th May 2013

The Magnolia in the garden has just started to bloom.   As the sun was setting this evening, I noticed the colour contrast between the pastel shades of purple and green.   They are not two colours I would normally associate together, but it seems to work.

Plum flavoured firewood

Plum tree (and other wood) ready chopped.  Nikon D7000
19th May 2013

After seeing the woodworm in the plum tree, and poking a little more aggressively at the tree trunk, we decided that it would be safer if the tree was no more than shoulder height!

It had been a while since I started the chainsaw so it took a little work, but it does make firewood production easier.

At least we will have a few days worth of wood for the fire this Autumn.

Reflections on the Carnival

Bubble reflecting the town and Carnival.  Nikon D7000
18th May 2013

Today is the town carnival and the weather is not too hot and the rain has just about held off.

As ever, the floats were all very well done, one was even blowing streams of bubbles.

As I managed to capture one of the bubbles, I could not resist posting it.   If you look carefully, the town and the floats are reflected in it.

The carnival attracted some interesting visitors and it is really just an excuse to get all dressed up :)

Visiting band.  Nikon D7000

An Excuse to Dress up.  Nikon D7000

Plum flavoured Woodworm

Woodworm holes in the branches of the plum tree.  Nikon D7000
17th May 2013

The plum tree in the garden has not looked good for a while now.   Where the trunk forks, the water has got in and the centre of the tree seems to have been rotting out slowly.  

Some of the branches have died off completely now.   Although the 'plum' bit is very dead, there seems to be much living in it still though.

I am not sure how long the tree will last before it becomes unstable and has to be converted to firewood.

Last Frost?

Frosty Grass.  Nikon D7000
16th May 2013

This morning had a dash of white across it again.   It was only just a frost and it burned off quickly, but hopefully it will be the last.  

Although this Spring seems to have been much colder than last year, it will be quite some coincidence if today is the last frost, as it was also the last one on the 16th May last year!