Eleven arches and no roof

Henry’s men made a real hatchet job during the dissolution of what was one of the wealthiest Abbeys in England in its day. This is a view that until very recently was obscured, almost completely, by trees. I was high above Fountains Abbey on one of the main paths to the Abbey where the National Trust has cleared and re-opened views that haven’t been seen clearly for a long time. Well done the N.T.

A picture of part of Fountains Abbey

Eleven arches

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Fake Flower Natural Light

I have, for the last two or three weeks, been suffering like MANY others from the effects of a virus that has kept me indoors coughing and sneezing and generally feeling sorry for myself. For a photographer this is not good and cabin fever set in early on. This bug hospitalised my sister with pneumonia so I should count my blessings I suppose.

We have some beautiful flowers in the living room, yellow roses and purple lillies, that are crying out to me to photograph them. However I was sitting in the conservatory and watching the way the sunlight was creating shadows from the blinds. The shadows came in soft and then strengthened to deep black and then melted away as the clouds exposed and obscured the sun. So I decided to set up this little still life shot. Instead of using the flowers I thought it would use the natural light on a fake flower so I placed a little wooden tulip into a porcelain vase.

I processed the picture using Silver Efex Pro 2 applying a high contrast preset as a starting point. Emulating Ilford PAN F Plus 50 film with slightly accentuated grain and finally applied a slight copper tone to finish. It helped to pass a few minutes and it made me feel better, which is what photography should do :-)

Natural Light on a Fake Flower

Natural Light on a Fake Flower

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The louder you scream . . .

. . . the faster we go!

Hey, do you think we should have put little Johnny on this thing?

1/3rd @ f22 iso 100

Fairground rise showing movement in still photo.

The louder you scream the faster we go!

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Mist Rising off Windermere

This shot was taken in the early morning from our hotel balcony as the mist was beginning to lift off Windermere in the English Lake District National Park. I was using an  18-300mm telephoto zoom lens racked out to 240mm. I was at the eastern side of the lake and the wooded area half a mile away is on the western side and the lens has compressed the scene. The mist lifted to reveal a derelict building that seems to be under renovation. Some lucky so-and-so has got himself a superb location to throw his money at.

Mist lifting from Windermere.

Mist lifting from Windermere.

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Symmetry and a busker

This is a picture I made at Salford Quays. This footbridge takes you from the Lowry Centre on one side of the water and the Imperial War Museum on the other. The building in the picture is one that I made a set of ‘reflections’ images with that I posted here on April 10th last Spring, see that post here  I used Silver FX Pro 2 for the mono conversion.

Symmetry and busking on the bridge

Symmetry and busking on the bridge

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Boat Hire

A typical sort of day in the Lake District National Park in England’s North West could include any of the four seasons. This day had gloomy light and thick grey clouds which caused me to look around for texture and detail rather than wide landscape vistas. This is on the shore of Windermere at Bowness, not many boats out for hire on this particular day but I was interested by the flaking paint on the railing and the weathered woodwork of the boat hire office.

Boats for hire

Boats for hire

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Azure Seas

This is a shot, not of the Italian Adriatic coast, not of the Mediterranean Sea from some cliff top in the south of France, but of the North Sea taken from Scarborough Castle! This was taken last August on a hot sunny day on the Yorkshire coast which just goes to show that you don’t have to travel abroad for clear blue seas and sunshine, just visit Yorkshire!

A sea view off the Yorkshire coast.

A sea view off the Yorkshire coast.

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Geometry versus Organic

I always like to see man-made shapes contrasted with nature’s and here I saw harsh, overdone geometric shapes being outdone by the shadows cast by this plant. I was in the hot-house at Tatton Park in Cheshire on what was the first dry and sunny day that I can remember. It was evident that everyone in the north-west must have seen the weather forecast too because we actually set out to go to Dunham Massey but when we got there we found queues on both sides of the road trying to get into the car park. We drove past and arrived at Tatton, drove straight in but the place was packed with people. It must have been the sheer relief of seeing the sun, and no rain or hurricane winds, that brought the world and his brother out to play!!

Natural shapes versus angular lines

Angular lines versus sinuous curves.

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A bit cloudy

What with all the miserable weather conditions of late here in the UK I have been looking back to last summer in my Lightroom Catalogs. August 2nd more precisely. I was standing above the treeline on a hill at 8:45 p.m watching the light change. (as we do!) At about 6:15 p.m there were very white, bright fluffy clouds floating by. Two and a half hours later and the sun much lower the clouds took on a more dramatic feel.

While out and about I have often looked at an active sky and thought, is someone painted a sky that looked exactly like that you’d think they had gone mad. While watching the clouds on that evening and making these pictures I thought the same thing. Sometimes cloud formations can be remarkable and that’s why I like to shoot them. Anyway, here are three shots that were all taken within two or three minutes just looking around me.

Dramatic skies

Sky 1

Dramatic skies

Sky 2

Dramatic skies

Sky 3

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“. . . as poor as church mice . . .”

. . . the supposed comment by one of Robert Thompson’s workers that inspired the now famous trademark. These two pictures are of our little mouse that lives in the bottom of our Mouseman fruit bowl. We picked it up on a visit to their museum/shop/restaurant in Kilburn North Yorkshire.

mouse-1

mouse-2

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