Phil & I went into Newcastle today as he wanted to buy tickets for Bad Company who are coming to the arena in October. Strange to see it in daylight and without herds of people.
When we were walking out of the station I noticed some chaps up a height, looks like a scary job to me!
I took my little Nikon S1 with me incase the sun came out and I could get some shadows, and whilst we sat and had lunch did some sneaky street shots, love the expressions that turn up,
aw, so cute when the oldies are still holding hands 🙂
this is my shadow shot of the day
but my fave shot of all is this next one- what the well dressed photographer about town should be wearing 😀 the gloves in particular make changing settings on the camera so easy 😀 :D. His model is the chap on the right wafting his hand about.
Apart from my weekend outings to fascinating places, I’ve still been going to work and taking pictures when I get chance, the cats still strike a good pose now and then, and hubby still buys me flowers to photograph as a surprise.
So here are a few non-historic bits and bobs before I move on to the day trip to the Farne Islands.
The cats are thriving, sort of, when they’re not puking up, which is a common occurrence. They drive us mad mostly, we are not used to such needy beings! Cats are supposed to be self sufficient more or less, eat their grub, chase a bird in the garden then sleep for 10 hours. Skye is just bonkers at wanting to play, wanting tickles, wanting to sit on Phil’s knee when ever he sits down, she goes out the front window, comes in the side cat flap, goes out the back window comes in through the conservatory door, but she is SO cute.
Storm is not so needy and also doesn’t bother going out. That’s because the food bowl is inside, and the cuddles at reading time. She lives for mealtimes, and starts yowling at you for about an hour before dinner time & has to have a snack to keep her from driving us insane. If I’m at the table reading she’ll jump up and plonk herself in the curve of my arm or sit on the newspaper so I can’t read, so I now read on a stood up iPad so she can have her tickles and I can read my book!
So they are keeping us busy/exasperated/entertained. 🙂
My lovely hubby bought me some beautiful flowers, which were photographed extensively for my SX70 project, the best one of them in the batch
But I also used them to test out my new 50-230 lens, the flowers are in my conservatory and I was in the dining room!
Phil decided to mow the lawn at the weekend, but I wanted to photograph a daisy patch that has appeared on it, and he mowed round them so I could photograph them in the evening light (best hubby ever!)
we also had our 1st BBQ of the year
and talking of food, Phil cooked breakfast and find a double yolk, that’s lucky!
and I cooked Sunday lunch.
Last week I took some shots of a poppy field near Hexam, and made a panorama
That one’s better clicked on. I did the pano in PS, even though LR can now do them, I think I prefer the PS way, not quite as quick, but more options.
Finally summer kind of arrived, and my Happy Eater tree has had quite a few new visitors which has been exciting, lots of youngsters I haven’t seen before.
Was surprised that Daddy Blackbird is still feeding his chicks, especially as they are both bigger than him now!
I am pretty sure this is a juvenile bullfinch, I had to look on the RSPB bird identifier and it’s the only similar one. It’s about 4 years since I saw an adult bullfinch on my tree, he came for 3 days and never returned, so it is exciting if this is indeed one. Fingers xt.
This was a wow to see 2 of them at the feeder, I do get them now and again, they usually go for the niger seed I have especially for them, but these two are happy with common or garden (what a daft phrase) birdseed.
Another wow was to see a young one 🙂 🙂
another first! Crap, I’m turning into a twitcher!!! I don’t know why it’s exciting to watch birds on the Happy Eater Tree, I probably need therapy.
SO that’s Fraggles life when not being historical, (or hysterical when it comes to the cats).
This morning Europe got a (nearly) total eclipse of the sun. So at 09.30hrs I stood in the back garden with my camera, but mostly all I could see was a cloudy sky. I held on though and the clouds thinned out enough for me to get some shots. I read up on shooting an eclipse, and you’re supposed to have solar filters and low ISO small aperture etc but my little compact Nikon S1 didn’t have any of that, I suppose the clouds were enough filter. Anyway I managed a few as the moon travelled across the sun, and that was cool to see. It didn’t go dark, the birds kept flying and tweeting, so not very dramatic here.
Also my Tree of Birds has had a few visitors, this little chappy has been coming for a few days and is usually too fast to catch, but today he sat on a branch a while and I got him.
A pair of Great Tits ( 😀 😀 😀 sorry ) have been visiting too, here’s one of them at the trough.
and the acrobatic blue tits also making use of the fast food emporium on my tree.
Well I missed last Sunday as I only had 4 pictures, and as a result have now got too many, so lots to look at this week 🙂
The weather has not been kind, but I have had some long journeys to see clients, so have come across some quite lovely views, and my little Nikon S1 has been doing a cracking job. Last week I went to North Yorkshire again, and the sun was arguing with the clouds to see who would win out.
On my way back I went through a village called Ravensworth and came across this ruined castle.The remains here date from the 14th Century, although it’s thought there has been a castle there since Norman times. The chap who built this one was Henry Baron FitzHugh. n 1391 he enclosed 200 acres (81 ha) around the castle, creating a park.The castle started to be pulled down in the 16th century, and the stone was used for other buildings in the area.
hmm blew the sky out a bit in t hat 2nd shot but I like the composition so all is not lost.
Last weekend Phil worked on Sunday and I spent a little while trying to get some decent shots of the birds in my garden, through the front window as it was too cold out.
I tried to get a decent shot of the Lady Robin too, but she’s a bit more bashful and quicker to jump back into the bushes out of sight as soon as she’s got something from the feeder.
This week I had a 3 hour drive over to the west go the country, visiting clients in Whitehaven on the West coast, Penrith,Dalston,and Kewick. Lots of long driving times, I set off at 7.15am and eventually got home at 6.30pm, but was hugely compensated by seeing the mountains and Lake Bassenthwaite on my travels. It’s been quite a while since I had to go there, and it was lovely to visit old photo haunts and take new ones with snow in place.
That was the photo highlight of the week really. I am very impressed with what the tiny Nikkon S1 can do, especially with the 11-27mm lens that it comes with which I used for the landscape shots, and I also used the little 300mm zoom I got for it, for taking the bird shots, to the point where I no longer take the big D700 out for work journeys and everyday use. It captures a fair amount of detail, granted that that has to be brought out in Lightroom, but at least it’s in there to begin with.
There are some jobs though that only the D700 can do, and one of those jobs was for me to take some decent photo’s of Phil’s bass guitars. (A commission no less!!) I decided I would shoot each one separately and use a light painting technique. This was a bit of a faff as of course the room has to be completely dark and the room I use is quite small so lots of bumping elbows and knees. I had a black backdrop specially bought on Amazon, it came all the way from china,worked really well and a was a bargain. The photo’s have come out really well, and I am going to do some close ups and arty farty shots to go with, here are a couple of the ones I took.
and finally my shot for The Sunday challenge~ theme Gadgets….
I can’t claim originality, I saw a similar picture way back when, and always fancied doing my own version.
And now it’s Sunday night, I’ve burned my fingers cooking Sunday dinner, spilled boiling milk on myself, sigh, but had a lush roast ham dinner. Shelley and Cal came for a visit and Cal fell over and bumped his head in 2 places at once for heaven’s sakes. I don’t think he will be someone who does things by halves, or even singles! Now Phil’s practicing bass lines over a C maj 7th chord 🙂 and I am saying goodnight WordPressiverse,
Another week of cold temperatures but at last I got to see some snow! Had to go to North Yorkshire to visit a client and the hills were covered, managed to get a shot with a bit of sunshine lighting the landscape, that didn’t last long.
But the rest of my work days didn’t have much in the way of snow or views.
On Thursday Phil & I decided to go to Piero’s for our dinner and we had tomato & basil soup and then pasta, really yummy but filled us up too much!
We stayed home mostly this weekend, it was sunny for a couple of hours but cold, so stayed in and played with my camera. Really upset that my new SX70 has stopped working, it got jammed, and won’t eject the photo’s and so will have to send it back for repair 😦 bit fed up as I’ve not even had it 2 months yet and I really like it. My Sunday challenge group this week had us find 3 same/identical items and shoot them so only one item is in focus, so I shot 3 buddha statues, 3 poker dice and 3 of my scale models that I used to paint before I got into photography. We also had to process the shots using past challenge techniques.
I saw a tiny little bird hopping around on our back lawn yesterday, I didn’t get a brilliant shot of it, but enough to find out it was a wren, which is new to my garden.
This afternoon mad~Cal and Shelley came for a visit and that was fun he cracks us up. And that’s another week gone by, not much ado,
It is so wintery here now, we’re trapped in a cold air bowl apparently because the damned jet stream has shot down the west side of us and then up the east and away, so goodbye to mild temperatures for a week or so. It has been snowing a lot too, but it hasn’t settled where we live, (no snowy pictures 😦 ) though other parts of the country have got a good layering of the white stuff. I haven’t taken many pictures as I haven’t had time while working, it’s been non stop between one client to the next. Phil’s been on holiday this week, doing house jobs and modelling and playing bass. We’ve been to ASDA to do grocery shopping for a trip out haha, but mainly stayed in the warm. On Saturday evening we had Cal for a sleepover, and that was fun as he’s bonkers and funny, and we’ve started watching Breaking Bad which everyone raved about but we missed the first time around. One of Phil’s work chums lent it to him. Well it’s OK, the acting is fine but I don’t get the hype, the plot is downright silly. I’d still rather have The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones any day. Have been getting through a lot of books and can highly recommend Tom Wood and his series of books about an assassin called Victor, Andrew Taylor for his periodic novels and am currently reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, strange and wonderful and really well written. Have spent quite a bit of time redesigning my photo website over on Smug mug as they’ve added a carousel display function,and it’s looking mint, still got loads to do but I like faffing on it’s quite therapeutic and I get to remember my holiday visits and days out with Sophie and Mike on our photography trips. Can’t wait until some warm weather comes along and we can go exploring again. So only a couple of photo’s this week,
and a visitor to the garden today
Mr. & Mrs. Robin are back and enjoying my tree of treats. I also had to do some selective colouring for the Sunday Challenge group, am not a fan of this type of processing ( I mean, I don’t get why you would want to), but I suppose it’s ‘Art’ so I had a go.
I also managed another polaroid for my SX70 project, and also wasted 3 films in the attempt!
Well it’s been a while but December has been busy. Work has been hectic with trying to sort everyone out so they can hear The Queens speech on the TV 🙂 We had our grandson Callum to stay a couple of weekends ago, and last weekend I travelled down south to see Ben, Charlotte & Lewis. Managed a few pictures along the way so here we go..
Firstly another trip to see my clients who live near Finchale (pronounced Finkle) Abbey, and it was a nice day with the sun out but low in the sky.
That’s been a rare blue sky and grey days and rain have been a constant on my travels. This week I had to park and wait for a client and saw a rooftop gathering of pie fodder..
but 10 mins later..
the pigeons had left and a rainbow appeared bringing a bit of blue sky with it, that didn’t last long.
It was great fun having Callum to stop over and most fun was had with the ducks in the bath.
And also lovely for me to see Ben & Lewis on my visit down south. Though not so brilliant for Ben who had a bad toothache, so painkillers and a visit to the dentist took up a fair amount of my first day,but eventually got him sorted.
Apart from a trip into town when it was dry but freezing, the weather was mostly raining so much staying indoors, keeping warm.
So this week I only worked Monday & Tuesday and had Wednesday off to prepare for Christmas day lunch and do some tidying up. All accomplished quite easily 🙂
Christmas day was lovely, just me and my hubby so we opened our presents, I cooked dinner, and we played with our toys.
This was my present from Phil, a refurbished land camera, it’s a tricky beast to use and so far I’ve botched my 1st 3 attempts to get a photo out of it! Luckily I got a shed load of film too so hopefully I can get the hang of it soon and post some cool polaroids. In the meantime my last year present Polaroid 600 is still on the go and I took a couple with it. Not sure why they have a green cast, maybe because I didn’t store the film in the fridge.
I had Phil take a shot of me injecting the turkey with melted butter, it looks like our turkey is a junkie 😀
Got some fab new slippers from Shelley, they are SO warm and toasty, my feet are in love with them.
And my friend Kathy who I went to stay with in USA sent me a picture of Phil & I she had taken whilst we were there, and did her artistic stuff with it, awesome work.
Phil got loads of blu-rays and whisky and I got some vodka liqueur with gold flecks in it and some champagne. Dinner was lush, Phil made the Yorkshire puddings, (we usually do ready-mades for normal Sunday lunch, but Christmas Lunch is too special for frozen stuff) and used the 3 glass measurement method!
We were stuffed!
Always room for champers though 🙂
and I have kept the corks from every bottle of champagne I’ve ever had with all the names of who shared them and what the date was written on them, it’s been a long time since I added to the collection!
Phil has had an analogue Christmas too, as his friend Mick needed to get his record deck working, so gave it to Phil to do, so we have been listening to vinyl records!
and this is Phil taking pictures of his DAC that he got himself for Christmas about 2 months ago!!
So that’s Christmas done, boxing day today so now to sort out Turkey & Veg Crumble!
Winter is Coming…as the saying goes, or rather it’s here, and my photography has dropped, grey days and wet days so last week didn’t bring much in the way of pleasant views.
My work mornings and evenings have mostly consisted of the above, roadworks everywhere, traffic jams and queues, it gets wearing! Never mind, on my travels I meet other miserable creatures and I stopped and had a chat with this fellow..
gave him a handful of fresh grass and had a pat on his nose. He seemed lonely.
My lovely hubby had a few days off and did the grocery run, bought me some chocolates too, 🙂
This week hasn’t been any better with the weather or the traffic, but I managed a sunset when I was in MacDonalds carpark having a cappucino.
Also we had two really cold sharp nights and the moon is on our side of the world so I’ve been practising my astro photography.
I think they came out different colours because I left the WB on ‘shadey’ for the first one, but I like it as it is.
My Christmas present from Phil arrived this week 🙂 and I’ve been SO good not to open it, only 18 days to go!
Phil also got our new Christmas Tree from ASDA when he went to the supermarket, and couldn’t find a plain one so had to get one with integral lights, the instructions were not too bad and we managed to get it working this weekend.
and so it was time to get all the decorations out..
and this is what the tree looks like now!
We also have a tree outside I got lights for a couple of years ago, poor Phil, I cajoled him into getting them on this year and he did them even though it was horrid outside.
and it looks fab!
Today has been a nice quiet day, Shelly & Cal came over for a visit, and I cooked Sunday lunch for Phil and me, chicken breasts stuffed and wrapped in garlic and herb stuffing with glazed carrots, green beans and lush roasties.
and now I”M stuffed. Time to get ready for work and start all over again.
Firstly, for the second week I have a photo left behind from the previous week. I hope this is not the beginning of mental decline, but much previous similar experiences tell me it probably is. I forget loads of stuff. I console myself with the fact that my lovely hubby is as bad if not slightly worse than me :). And what is this wonderful photo you forgot to post I hear you cry…
well there you have it. A masterpiece no less. Taken with my Iphone 5 and the hipstamatic app. Don’t ask why.
So on to this past week. I have to say the grey and rainy days are not helping me on my travels around my patch of Engerlandland. Dull and dishwatery skies, and everything just blah. But at least on the day I had to visit a client in the windy wilds of North Yorkshire there was an interesting sky that I stopped to take pictures of. My little Nikon S1 compact is no match for my D700, but the wonders of Lightroom, NikFXpro and SmartPhotoEditor more than make up for it, and actually the S1 picks up a lot of detail when you dig for it.
This is one of my original shots, not totally inspiring but it really didn’t look like that through my eyes (or why would I have stopped to take the photo’s??).
And this is what it really looked like..
and because the theme for the challenge group today was over processing…
I don’t like it, but it was kinda fun.
Also before I came across the moody weather I drove past Bolton Castle which you can just about see in this next shot, and also you can just see the edge of the dark sky chasing me.
AND on my way home I turned a corner to be thwarted by sheep, dogs and a motorised shepherd.
Just after I took this, the dogs jumped away and started herding the sheep to go left up a path, but a few of the idiot~sheep ran through a field on the right, and it was great to watch the dogs round them up and send them back the right way. I don’t think the guy on the trike did anything much, didn’t hear any whistles going on, the dogs just knew what to do.
Mind you, I don’t suppose I would hear a proper dog whistle as I have not got dogs ears.
Not much else to shoot on my travels, but I did find some cool shoots and leaves
On Thursday morning it was very drab, and I spotted this fellow hunkered down on my front garden fence
People don’t like pigeons overmuch but I like all birds, they have so much character, even the dim ones are funny, but he just looked so sad. Yet I loved how his feathers looked, like a soft suit of armour against the rain. As I got in the car I took a quick snap of him side on, but didn’t really see what I was looking at only to note it was in focus, but when I got it on my big screen I was quite shocked to see he has a big eye infection. I debated wether to post it or not because it did upset me, but sometimes photography isn’t nicey picey.
He was still about today, and taking advantage of all the seeds that drop to the ground from my bird feeders, and I could see the other side is not affected. He’s nice and plump and is eating, so maybe he will get better, if the neighbours cat doesn’t blindside him. He looks miserable though (not surprisingly) and I had some tears over him today.
On Friday night we had Lorraine and Paul over for a musical soiree, Lorraine cooked some fine curry’s and Phil & Paul played guitars whilst Lorraine & I played percussion (I banged a tambourine more or less in time with the music and Loz had a washboard thingy). Far too much grape and hops were imbibed but hey ho it doesn’t happen THAT often. I took some cool Polaroids of the guys and gals, there’s more in the Polaroid Page, but this was the best,
note the tripod music stand 🙂
and from the Hipstamatic…
and I got chocolates & flowers
so a good night and Saturday was a recovery day 🙂
I did manage to cook a lush dinner on Saturday, Salmon in soy,ginger & garlic sauce, with saffron rice. very yummy.
Today we have had Shelley and Callum, Carl with Matthew and Livvy for a visit this afternoon, wow our grandkids are noisy. You kind of forget in between visits 😀 It was good to see them all charging about playing and hollering and laughing. I would have taken photo’s but they move too fast 🙂
Phil’s on nights this week, so a quiet time for me anyway 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather for me this week as I’m off to some more far flung gorgeous places.
Well it isn’t really, just that I didn’t take any pictures at all last week, was too busy on work days and too busy on days off. I don’t like being too busy. This week I am taking my camera’s everywhere and seeing pictures everywhere so I got my mojo back. Firstly, got up Monday morning, and whilst making a cup of tea, looked out of my kitchen window (which I cleaned on Sunday the day before!) and some dirty marks caught my eye. When I really looked it was a very good imprint of a flying pigeon. I couldn’t find a body so either the visiting cat got him when he landed or he managed to survive and fly off.
So I’ve got to do the damned windows again on my next day off. 😦
Yesterday and today has given us some really nice unseasonably warm weather, and I’ve been to some really lovely places to see clients. On Monday I travelled a long way north to Seahouses. I got there an hour before due to see a client so popped up the road to take a shot of Bamburgh Castle . This isn’t the usual view as most photo’s of it are taken from the beach side, but I didn’t have time to get up that far.
One day I’ll get up there and take some sunset shots on the beach. I drove back to Seahouses and lunch looking out to the Farne Islands, another place I have yet to do as there’s loads of bonkers birds on it like puffins.
Today I went back up north but not so far. Just to Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, bit of a mouthful but a really pretty place.
The church there, St.Bartholomews has 12th & 13th Century grave stones (which I forgot to look at haha) and is right on the edge of the coast.
In that picture ^ you can just about make out ‘The Couple” an art installation of a man and woman standing on a plinth out on the breakwater. If you embiggen the photo by clicking on it you can see them, but don’t knock yourself out, it’s another place on my list of places to return to.
This was a cool find, he is a fence post, and I think it’s probably a cormorant, whatever, I think it’s cool.
these guys are at the end of a stone archway over the door of the church, carved in 12th/13th century, amazing to touch something so ancient, and I love that the second guy has teeth! I think they’re guys, haven’t found any info as yet on the WWW.
On top of the world, or at least the church roof. Thought this was funny, all those starlings wanting that top spot!
Finally, it’s turned into a bit of a bird week so far, I filled up my bird feeder in the front garden, and a herd of sparrows swarm it every now and again and fratch over who’s turn it is at the trough.
Got such a mad busy day tomorrow, but hopefully will get out with the big girl camera toward the end of the week. These were all taken with my little compact, apart from the 1st and last.
This is a little shot I took with my compact Nikon S1 near Derwent Water in the Lake District. I was going to delete it as it doesn’t look much there, but decided to have a play in LR to see what could be done. I also took it into my Nik filters software and added some bits and bobs, and this is the result.
It would have been better to get the exposure right in camera, of course, but am quite glad I got the sky exposed correctly rather than the foreground, so I was able to pull out the hidden details. Am quite impressed with what the S1 can capture.
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