Monday, June 30, 2008

The new Doctor Who is.

What a weekend, all day Saturday doing the hedges, and then a 10 mile walk Sunday, capped off with a soaking in the last 3 miles. I’m knackered; it’s amazing how quickly you lose your fitness if you stop serious exercise for a few weeks. So it back in training for our week in the lakes which is coming up soon. Not that we have much planed for the week, not compared to last time, about the only large challenge is Scarfell( not Scarfell pike which every one does) it is quite high and will involve a longish walk in, away from the more frequented routes, other than that the rest should be quite simple!

Just started to work on my Facebook page, only 3 friends :( and also set up a blog on wordpress, so I can leave messages on other blogs with out having to keep logging in, lazy I know. Now I’m off to do my breakfast, pancakes, and all for me!!

Photo for today is a tumble down hut in an alpine meadow, on the way to mount Vogel, this walk was through some of the prettiest scenery I have ever seen and really opened my eyes to walking abroad.






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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't look down

Quotes for today

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson

That sums up yesterday, today’s picture is from the cable car coming off the mountain overlooking lake Bohinji



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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hedged in

Saturday is usually what we call a dog day, a day to spend time as a family, normally walking with Kep. But sometimes work intrudes, as it will today, in the shape (or lack of it) of the hedges, I hate cutting the dam things. I don’t mind gardening as such but when it comes to cutting hedges I just hate it, it’s such a big job and takes me away from doing things I like on a day that would normally be mine to play with, and at the end of it they will grow back!

Today a picture taken in Ljubljana of the Tromstovje bridge, the city is lovely, very small and easy to walk round, clean as you could get and the locals seem very laid back. This Bridge is in what seem like the main center of the city and was just like the rest of the place, clean and smart looking, but for this very out of place graffiti, it was so random I had to take the picture.






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Friday, June 27, 2008

Sweet Ljubljana

As a follow on to yesterdays post today’s picture was not taken on my Nikon D80, it was taken on an old Olympus MJU zoom digital compact. This is a great camera for taking places that you don’t want to be cluttered up with kit, in this case Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana, it’s small, quick to use, well protected and weather proof, just right for travelling round a city and getting all the touristy type shots. Just because it a compact does not have to mean that it won’t take good shot or that you will be unable to create striking images, I had to hold it in one hand over a hell of a drop to get this shot, something I would not have done with the Nikon, again it’s down to where you get the camera that counts.

The shot is inside the castle in Ljubljana, inside a double spiral staircase, one going up, one going down, taken looking down from very near the top. The image has then had all the colour taken out except for the red, just to improve the feel, I have also cropped it slightly as I think the image looked better nearly square.






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Thursday, June 26, 2008

What a big lens you've got!

I’ve had lots of comments over the past few weeks regarding the close up shots and what equipment I use, both of these subjects I will try to cover on the other blog as they will take time and in the case of the close up work some photos to really do them justice, but a quick word on the kit I use may be helpful.

I’m not rich, in fact I spend very little on camera equipment, last year was the first time I brought a new camera and also the first time I brought a new lens, up to then I had always brought second hand or had them as gifts. Having worked in a camera shop I can guarantee you that buying the most expensive camera or lens will not instantly make you a good photographer, in fact having to struggle with inadequate kit could help you improve quicker, it makes you work and think harder. All my lenses are budget ones, even the Nikon’s, and the quality of the image is very rarely, if ever, damaged because of this. If I had the top end, ultra fast, prime lenses; I don’t think that I would have as many images, as the weight would put me off carrying them all day, and that’s the main point, it’s not the kit that is important it is where you get it and what you do when you get there. Quality kit is nice (any gifts would not be turned down) but at the end of the day it has to be in your hand at the right moment and in the right place, to take the shot, its where you get to with the kit that will always have the most bearing on the photo, everything else just improves your chance of getting a better shot.

This weeks photos are a case in point, all could have been taken on most cameras, in such a pretty place you could not fail to get good images, you just had to be there with a camera.






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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bohinj panorama

I love holidays but trying to catch back up with a whole week of your life after you get back is very hard. I’ve still not read all the blogs I normally visit, I’ve not answered any of the comments on this blog(sorry I will get round to it), I’ve still not finished processing all the holiday photos (around 1500 shots for the week) and I’ve got lots to do in my green house(things just keep growing). On top of this I have to go back to work! So today’s picture, this is a view of the whole of lake Bohinj and its surrounding mountains, starting from the left you can see the ski hotel and ski lift, right near the top of the ridge, in the valley you have the church and just to the left of it the big building is the hotel Bohinj. Photos for later in the week to come from the ski lift and the field near the church.



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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bohinj rhapsody

God was giving land to people and as he finished he realized that he had forgotten about a small group of people, who were silent and didn't hustle like the others. Because of their modesty and patience he felt pity for them. That is why he decided to give them the most beautiful land of them all, which he had spared for himself. It's called Bohinj.

This is the local legend about the place where we stayed, and it could well be true, it has got to be one of the most beautiful lands you could find. We stayed at the hotel Bohinj (pronounced Bok-hin) great hotel, very clean, great staff, but the food could have been better. Bohinj is not a town but a collection of valleys containing around 24 villages, with the lake as the focal point and what a focal point it is. The whole place is a photographers dream, glass clear water, alpine meadows teeming with wild flowers, towering mountains and deep green forests. The photo for today is of the lake and I’ve not touched it, the colour is as it was when I took the picture, you can even see fish in the water.



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Monday, June 23, 2008

Bled, wet

I’ve just got back from a wonderful week’s holiday in Slovenia, so that is why I’ve not been replying to all the comments left last week, this I will try to do during this week. If you happen to be one of the bloggers I read, and were wondering why you were getting lots of hits from Slovenia that was me, free internet in the hotel bar! The one draw back was the key board, the Z&Y were reversed and there was no @ that I could find, so if I commented on your blog I hope this now makes sense.

So Slovenia, what was it like? My impression before I went was that it would be a poor third world feeling, grey ex communist hole. The people would be dull and the accommodation sub standard and the whole place would be run down. I would love to say I was right, then no one would go and spoil one of the finest places on the planet, its is beautiful, unspoilt, colourful, vibrant and peopled with the nicest citizens you could hope to meet, a least the part we stayed at and the places we visited. The country was one of the most civilised that I have visited (like England in respect to the way things feel, but way cleaner!) and everyone seemed to speak English, which was good as Slovenian is unlike any language I have come across. More tomorrow on where we stayed but for today’s picture is from the town of Bled, taken in the rain but still a beautiful place.






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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, Home, sweet, sweet Home!
There's no place like Home! there's no place like Home!

John Howard Payne's poem: Home Sweet Home.

This photo is definitely not from my patio, more about this tomorrow.



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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Martha and the Muffins – Echo beach

Its not that this song reminds me of a place, person, time or even a feeling, its just that its the words that take me to a state of mind, I feel just like she does (don’t we all some times?). The image that she paints of trying to get through a bad day by thinking yourself into a beautiful place, well I’m a dreamer and a romantic and spend far too much of my time doing that, I will sometime surprise myself by finding that I’m at my desk and not on top of a mountain somewhere, don’t you just love to daydream.

This is the last of the songs for a bit, but I’ve enjoyed writing about them and may well do some more if the fit takes me, hope you have enjoyed them.

Photo for today is the last of the patio shots as well.





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Friday, June 20, 2008

House of pain - Jump around

This track was made famous by being used in an advert for Caffreys beer. Like loads of music it received a new lease of life through the power of TV. In the advert it show a typical Irish bar, just the sort you find franchised in nearly every city in the world, heaving with people (pre the smoking ban) jumping up and down in time to the beat. For me it was how I imaging an Irish pub would be, full of happy, beautiful people, having a good time. A couple of years later and I found myself wrapped around a number of pints of Guinness and staggering down Temple Bar in Dublin (one of my favorite city's) when as I passed the open door way of a jam packed pub and out of the speakers this tune came pounding out, and just like the advert they all jumped around! It was just one of those moments that stops time, and when ever I hear the tune I’m back there.






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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blondie – Youth nabbed as sniper

This is probably a track you have never heard, its off Plastic Letters one of Blondie’s early albums and for me is one of my favorite tracks ever. I came to Blondie quite late, after they had written all their best albums, a good friend lent me Eat to the beat, and after a week I was hooked. I then spent all my hard earned cash to get all the albums (which were mostly out of production) on vinyl. The early Blondie LP's are by far the best work that they did, full of life and very rocky, the later stuff was just to polished for my liking and got to be pretentious with the lyrics. To a teenage lad Debbie was as good as it got. Photo is of a Bee coming into land.



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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Everything but the Girl – Missing

This song is linked to a time, a place and a feeling, the hunted tone and words mirror a moment in my life and every time I hear the song I’m taken back. At the time it was a very dark and painful place to be and during the years that song has dragged me back there, each time the pain eased, little by little. Now I can look back and feel that it was just another step to where I am now, a much better, lighter place. A lighter shot from that better place.



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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eurythmics- Would I lie to you

Let the music take control, that’s what they say, feel the music, well this track really moved me, let me set the scene. I’d met a girl, we had started dating, I was very young, the young bit is my excuse for what follows. It was the works Christmas party and much drink was taken, again part of my defense for what happened latter. So young and full of drink I take to the dance floor with my new girlfriend, and we danced me very badly, to a number of tracks and then this track comes on the disco. My date dances and sang and I had a moment of rapture and with out any thought, proposed! By the time my ears had reported the fact to my brain, it was to late. Time stood still, my new girlfriend looked at me, and laughed. As she later said it was obvious to her that the words were as much as a surprise to me as it was to her, the look of shock on my face was a picture. In an act of great kindness she turned me down.

To days picture is a rat, i call it Sibel, it seems to like the bird food!



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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Cranberries – Linger

For the next week a set of post about my favorite songs, i love music and these are just a few that get to me for different reasons, some are very personal and other just brought to your attention as they don't get heard enough. I've started with this one as its just perfect.


It the opening that gets me, the first stirrings of the strings brings a tear to my eye, just like a good song should. That’s why I’ve chosen this one; it moves me, just for what it is, like few other songs ever do. Most songs trigger a feeling based on a link to a time, a place or a person, but this hits something deep down, a sort of harmonic and it really does bring tears to my eyes. Dolores O'Riordan is one of that small group of singers whose accent comes through when they sing, Cerys from Catatonia is another one, this coupled with the fact that its an Irish accent, means that it really hits the spot. Today's photo of a Dandelion on the patio.



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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Peace

Today is quote day, and the quote comes from an anonymous source, but I loved it so here it is.

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

The picture for today is of my garage door, a place that looks set for some hard work in the near future.



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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Green photography

Normally I would be putting up a photo of Kep, but for the next week all the photos will be taken on my patio, Why you ask, well it is always good to set yourself challenges, it’s the only way you can improve, and this challenge does not cost any petrol. So today’s photo is of a poppy, not the most difficult of images to get but a nice start.





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Friday, June 13, 2008

Foxey

It’s Friday the 13th, and the first thing that I have had to do is go to the Dentist! If that was not enough it is looking as if it might be the high point of my day. I’m snowed under with work and time seems to be a diminishing commodity (rather like petrol), so I will keep this post short. Web browsers, you known that program that you look at the internet on, well I notice from the stats on the site that lots of you don’t use Firefox, well I think that you should give it a look, I have used it for years and found that it is much more user friendly than other browsers. The best bit for me is the add ons, the bits you can tack along the bottom of the page to make surfing more fun, Foxytunes for me is the best, it puts the controls to my music playing programs on every web page, I can stop, start and change the volume without changing the page or moving my browser. There are lots more just follow the link to the Firefox site. In honour of my favourite browser a picture taken on Monday.





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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Eating Raoul

In the last 2 days 3 different people have said that they are interested in learning more about photography, with the advent of cheaper and higher quality digital SLR’s it looks like photography has gained a new following. So if I was starting again from scratch how would I do it?

  1. Buy the best camera you can afford, make sure it can be used in manual mode, where you do all the hard work. Buy Nikon or Canon, these are the biggest makes and there are lots of second hand lenses out there, this will keep the cost of expansion of your kit down. I use Nikon as a lot of the old manual lenses work on the new bodies, it keeps my costs down.
  2. Do a course, a collage class or night school, with real people. This is instead of an internet course, because working with other people you will learn from their mistakes as well as your own and your teacher will give you lots of feed back. You only need a short course to learn the very basics of camera handling as most of photography is down to personal taste.
  3. Read some photo mags, lots of information about kit, photographers and technique.
  4. Take photos, take lots and lots and lots of photos, if its digital it’s not costing you anything but time and it’s the best way to learn. Copy photos you like, its not cheating as you will never copy them exactly but by trying you will stretch your abilities. Set your self challenges, next week all the pictures on the blog come from off my patio, you try to take 5 different shots in the space of ¼ of a tennis court.
  5. Do it for your self, take photos you like, sod the rest, if others like some of them, fine, if not, so what.

Today’s picture is one of those; I think that the slightly toned, high contrast black and white lifts this picture. It’s of the village of Hollinsclough near Chrome hill.




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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mort

Managed to catch some of the news on breakfast TV this morning, I always switch to the BBC as they seem to treat the whole news thing a bit more professionally. So the great debate on the sofa today was, who will win the Apprentice, WHAT!, call that news. For gods sake this is the BBC, the world is in financial melt down, the planets dieing, people are starving and they are having a discussion about a reality game show with a business man and a comedian! I known that this does not rank with the likes of the band on the Titanic taking requests as it sinks, or Nero fiddling as Rome burned, but really, I would expect real news. I my opinion Mr Sugar is just a grumpy old man with too much time on his hands, and the contestants are just not weird enough to get on Big Brother and are taking any break they can get to get their 15 minuets of fame. Is this just a case of the state controlled TV giving us opium for the masses, to take their minds off the fact that its all going down the pan?

Today’s photo is in total contrast to the above, a typical English view over rolling fields to Chrome hill, that’s the hill that looks like a Cornish Pasty.






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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello Cayman Islands

As part of my morning routine I check my sites stats on Gostats (see link at the bottom of the page) this tells me who has visited and where they have come from, details like the country and what search term they used. I do this just to see how far and wide my pictures are being seen, and to see if it is worth continuing. Yesterday I had my first hit from the Cayman Islands; the search term used was “grab a granny in England”! The mind boggles. I have also updated the videos over the weekend, both well worth watching but I’m changing them tomorrow, so catch them quick. Photographed the fox cubs and mother again yesterday, it looks like there are only two cubs now.

Picture for today is a barn at the foot of Chrome hill in the peak district.





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Monday, June 9, 2008

Posted

Big Brother, just seen a round up of the first 4 days of Big Brother 9, what a load of freaks, is this some new way for the government to keep people safe, lock all the strange people in a house? It seems that each year the contestants get farther away from real people, making it almost impossible for me to relate to them. I thought that the whole point of the program was to see how “real people” reacted to the environment and each other, now its just acting to the camera with an eye to a career in TV or Lads mags. If they wanted to make the program more interesting it should be a random collection of people, no auditions, no pre-selection, just every day people that we can actually relate to and even come to like.

Today the picture comes from a set I shot yesterday, this one is a Victorian post box, I think that we sometimes take for granted just what history is around us, take this it must be 100 years old, and still being used.




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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bee,mine

Sunday’s quote, again it’s from on of my hero’s, last week Homer Simpson, this week, Kurt Cobain

I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”

The picture for today is of a Bee, one of the shots I got this week. Now out to enjoy the sun, have a great weekend.



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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sticks and stones

Never throw sticks for dogs, imaging 4 stone of dog traveling at speed to a hard pointed stick; it’s a recipe for disaster. That said there is nothing stopping your dog from picking sticks up and amusing themselves, and there is nothing in the world that would stop Kep from playing with his stick, even the fact that it is still attached to the tree! Kep will carry a stick for miles and miles, it keeps him out of trouble and makes him feel useful. Today’s picture shows Kep with said stick, its not attached to the trees and the somersault that follows his attempt to get between the two trees, was a sight to behold.






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Friday, June 6, 2008

Work. Ha!

An early post today as the boss is home and she will expect a quota of real work from me today. Its not that I’m lazy (well I am but that’s not the point) it’s that what I call work and what Caz calls work are two different things. Take, taking picture, I see that as hard work: where as Caz see it as recreation, or baking cakes, Caz see this as work: but I see it as recreation (both cooking and eating). Still I suppose that it is the differences that have helped us survive nearly 21 years together, if we had been both of the same mind we would have a spotless house, lots of money or lots of fun, no money and live in a card board box, depending on whose personality we took. As it is I’m the little voice that tell Caz we should spend some money (normally frivolously) and she is the voice that shouts loudly that I should tidy up (most of the time, and rightly so).

So before I get to work here is the last of my, round the house shots, this was taken in the kitchen, and I feel that it has a painted look, rather like an old master, Rembrandt maybe?





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Thursday, June 5, 2008

All keyed up

The weather is again, fantastic. So today has found me yet again crawling around in the wet grass, photographing the fox cubs. As they have gotten a bit older they are a lot more timid and harder to surprise, so the shots don’t look as good as the last batch, but I will keep trying. Mum was with the cubs again today so that could be one of the reasons they were a bit less playful, it is the first time, that I can remember that I have seen a family like this survive over such a long period, normally one or more of the cubs would have vanished, but they all seem in very good health. The picture for today is another of the shots taken round the house on Tuesday, this one was taken in our dinning room.





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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over

It’s sunny, there’s Bees and there’s fox’s cubs, it’s like buses, nothing for ages and then all at once. So with so much to do I will keep this short, first I’ve up dated the two videos, both well worth a look. Second I’ve added some more sites to my list, still more to come but it takes me ages to get round to that sort of thing, they are all places I visit on a regular basis, again well worth a look. Thirdly someone asked about the music, so here is an abridged version of an earlier post.

On my computer is around 43 days worth of music, Caz and me both had very good collections before we got together, sometimes the tracks are playing as I write, others because they mean something to me or another reader and some because they go with the post. The link at the bottom of the post with the music takes you to a site with videos, lyrics and information about the song. I’m working on a set of themed post at the moment about my favourite tracks, so watch this space.

Today’s picture was taken after yesterdays post, in my bath room! Sometimes looking at normal objects closely can reveal their beauty.





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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"as desperation takes hold"

It’s raining and for the first time since starting this blog I’m in danger of running out of photos. This was not an unexpected event though, I said months ago that the English weather would probably put a stop to my taking pictures, and since then we’ve had weeks and weeks of reasonable weather, not any more. So I’m going to have to get a bit creative in doors and see what I can come up with. Today’s photo is not an in door one, before I get loads of comments, it was taken a couple of weeks ago, down by the local canal.





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Monday, June 2, 2008

Where have all the Bees gone?

I hate Monday’s, it seems that you spend most of your life doing things you don’t want to, take today, between working at home and working at work I’ll have blown 9 hours, time spent taking photos ¾ of an hour. Photo actually taken, zero. The reason for such a low number is that I’m trying to photograph Bees, and for some reason after setting up the kit and testing the exposure, which takes ages, no Bees then show up!

Anyway the blog still needs feeding so today’s photo is one I took last month, just before I found the fox cubs. It is a fantastic old tree, which I think has died but is not being felled as it provides a home to lots of wild life. It would not fit into one frame so I took 3 shots and joined them and then turn the image into a high contrast black and white, I’m happy with the look.






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Sunday, June 1, 2008

June follows May!

I’m dedicating Sunday’s to Quotes, Poems and random collections of word’s, it might be inspirational or just daft, but it fills a day so I can spend more time with Caz and Kep.

And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?

Starting with the man, a role model for every adult male, evolution at its peak, Homer Simpson.

Today I’ve been married to the most wonderful woman for 12 years, the fact that I think Homer is a role model gives you some idea what she has to put up with over the years, that she has makes me the happiest man alive.

Photo to day is of Chatsworth house.





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