Thursday, February 24, 2011

Land Rover Katy

I can't resist a plug here for my new on-line presence

I think this one if going to be a long and expensive journey back to pristine condition and probably quite a few picture opportunities along the way

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In a Happy Place

Feeling in a completely different mood to my recent post on Being in a Dark Place  I can relate on how spent a happy afternoon in Axbridge recently. Not actually a happy occasion as reported in Paint it Black, but with people who shared interests and backgrounds, especially the aspect of liking our dear departed friend Chas Weathered

I had a wonderful afternoon and evening the one thing I can easily say is that the only Boring thing was the old museum building and that only in terms of the woodwork so my first picture is entitled ...

A Boring Landscape

After the ceremony we were entertained by some of Chas's old friends... non looking older than the Morris Men

Love me... Love my Hat 

Who despite many a grey hair between them could still manage a sprightly dance.. please note close proximity to the nearest available watering hole...

A flock of handkerchiefs

As I understand it's a legal requirement for Morris men to drink real Ale.. So how could I do otherwise

I'm sure Chas would have been happy I made it this far in my pint

Getting there


Monday, February 14, 2011

In a Dark Place

I've found some images to show my mood tonight

All of this may seem over dramatic and I'm sure it is, but just sometimes when the day has been too much I like to hide myself away and try and find a positive spin on what has got me to this point. So here's my day in three pictures

In a dark place ... spinning around

So the Question I ask myself is...

And the answer is ...

And I'm one of them... Work has been manic I've been spinning all day and it's not stopped when I got home with emails and phone calls demanding more of  me than I feel I can give.

The final thought however is that there has been someone at the door of my den who cares for me and loves me despite my mood and my rants ... maybe I should just lighten up for her !

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trip to the Red Light District

Sorting out some of the files on my laptop I came across this again. A few years ago I booked onto an Art Photography course at the local university. I think that I need to do much more portrait work to get comfortable, but the most important feature is to find good models, which is one of the reasons I went on the course. 

Actually the teaching on the course wasn't up to much, but this young lady was a superb model and I wish I'd had more time to work with her.

After the portrait work I took an interest in the light itself and got comfortable as I really got into my element ;-).  

These were both taken with my Olympus e-510 camera using the 40-150mk II kit lens on ISO 1600 handheld as there was a lot of movement in the studio with more than one model. I used -1ev to keep the blacks dark and have increased contrast in post processing to get the clean final look I wanted

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Going Undergrond for the Winter or coming out After a Hot Summer Ready for Love

It's late night ( well early morning ) and I've been working on a presentation for the 2011 BCRA Cave Science symposium which we're hosting in Cardiff University in March.

In doing that I have had a need to look through quite a few of my caving pictures and I came across these old friends 

In late August we went underground in a local cave to look at some old archaeological digs that were done by the Cardiff Naturalists Society in the 1800's Whilst there we were treated to the sight of a couple of local inhabitants that had taken up residence.

Before you get ideas of bearded hermits here are a couple of pictures of the creatures in question. 

The first is the Tissue moth (Triphosa dubitata) who overwinter in caves in order to undergo a period of diapause (suspended development).  This is apparently necessary for the successful production of viable eggs in the following year

The second is the golden caddis fly Stenophylax permistus  who stay in caves in the summer to undergo a similar period of rest or diapause.

Both of these pictures were taken in early August 2010 when the weather was still nice and autumn hadn't really set in so I guess they were both just enjoying a cool dark place for a rest like we were. They were both taken with the E-30 and 14-54mm  lens which is great for getting up close to insects if they are nice and dormant like these two were.

The pictures are both lit with a single FL-36 flash on a CB-05 extension cord to be able to put a shadow across the insect otherwise pictures like this look misty and flat because of the levels of moisture in caves. 

Another moth that does the overwintering is the Herald Moth featured in an earlier post

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Learning a new Lens

Back in November I was pleased to take delivery of an Olympus 7-14mm super wide angle lens

I had been able to test one at one of the Olympus e-group meetings in South Wales a few years ago, but had not been able to afford one until recently so I was really pleased to get this in perfect condition from a member of the e-group who was downsizing at a significant reduction to the list price

It's a beast of a lens with a domed front element and a real case of "mind your feet" if you point it downwards, especially in portrait mode

With poor weather and work commitments I've not had the time to play lens properly until this weekend when we went to Southerndown on the River Severn to look at the Jurassic Lias cliffs (geology note!)

I've still got some practising to do to get the hang of what levels of distortion are going to be acceptable in a picture (some is inevitable with close items and this lens) but I an happy with these as a first real use

I would have liked to be further back from the cliff for this one, but the tide was too far in

 The pebbles on the right are a little too distorted for my liking, but it's fun to be able to get down and close to the ground

Of these three this is my favourite one, in the corner where the gryphaea can be found and looking back towards the main area of cliffs

Geological Note

These cliffs are Jurassic in age. that's about 190 Million years old in this case. They are known as Lias from the German for layers and are layered limestone's and shale's which contain marine fossils telling us they were laid down under the sea Gryphaea mentioned above is a type of fossil oyster that grows in a very curved manner and is often referred to as "Devils Toe Nails" because they look like the toes of gargoyles