The practice makes perfect report

Well maybe not perfect, but it helps make you improve. The Sunday challenge this week is ‘High Key’, so I bought some freesia’s and had a go at some high key photography.  There are plenty of tutorials on the interweb but most involve studio lights of some description, but I don’t have any, so as there was a bright sun this afternoon (though it’s still cold out 😦 ) I set up in the conservatory with my trusty lightbox, the XT1 and 60mm macro on a tripod and had a go. Getting the exposure right in camera is most important and getting it right without over exposing the subject is the key to it all.  Which I guess makes it easier if you have a light to illuminate the subject. Still I think these came out OK for a first attempt.

Also I am quite impressed with the macro lens, I don’t think it’s as bad as the reviews I read make out, and I’m really happy I didn’t fork out for the mighty expensive zeiss lens and got the 2nd hand fuji at 1/3 of the cost.

lost a bit of detail in the  yellow petals on this one

lost a bit of detail in the yellow petals on this one

reasonably happy with this one

reasonably happy with this one

and this..

and this..

I think this is the best one of the lot

I think this is the best one of the lot

of course Skye had to sit in the lightbox so was hoofted out and she sat on the table to watch the goings on,

paws for thought

paws for thought

watcha doin'?

watcha doin’?

anyway tomorrow I’m off out on a photography trip to Prudhoe Castle with my pals Mike & Sophie, really looking forward to it 🙂

laters gaters

😉

The Sunday Fraggle Report~part 2

As well as taking pictures in Wardley colliery I also walked through the woods that are between the metro lines and our estate, too many pictures to post separately so here’s a gallery. It was great to see spring shoots on the plants and shrubs along the way, not so cool to see the rubbish left behind by people.

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The Sunday Fraggle report~ Part 1

Decent weather on Friday had me out and about in my neighbourhood with the Fuji in hand, and just down the road from me is Wardley Colliery, a disused coal mine opened in 1855 and closed down in 1974. It’s now a place for graffiti artists to practice their stuff, and a permanent reminder of the demise of one of the great industries of the North.

The Colliery from the path.

The Colliery from the path.

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Whilst wandering around I came across a young chap and his paint cans, of course taking his photo would not have been OK but he let me take a picture of what he had been doing..

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not sure what it says, but then I’m probably too old to understand. 🙂

paintshop

paintshop

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wcol-18

wcol-15

wcol-14

laters gaters

😉

The Sunday Fraggle report~cats n kids edition

This weekend we were going to have a quiet one, not wanting to freak the cats anymore than they were, but on Saturday Carl came for a visit with his two youngest, Matty and Liv, and the cats were not phased at all, came down to see what was going on, and as Matty & Liv come from a 2 cat home, they weren’t bothered with them either. Matty & Liv are quite bonkers and funny, and I tried the XT1 out on them.

Matty & Pringles

Matty & Pringles (XT1)

Matty & more pringles :)

Matty & more pringles 🙂 (XT1)

Smiley

Smiley (XT1)

Live saying 'cheese'

Live saying ‘cheese’ (XT1)

Live having a laugh

Livvy having a laugh (XT1)

Garden footy

Garden footy (XT1)

Livvy & Grandad

Livvy & Grandad (XT1)

Matty & Grandad

Matty & Grandad (XT1)

 

Today we had Shelley and Cal over, and the cats were fine again in spite of Cal trying to get them to play with their toys, (which on the whole they have no interest in!). Cal was very excited as he isn’t used to pets, so it was a big deal for him when he got to stroke them.

Cal

Cal (XT1)

Another smiley chap

Another smiley chap (XT1)

on my way

on my way (XT1)

So a trauma free weekend, phew!

Tomorrow is our 3rd wedding anniversary, so we went out last night to Piero’s Italian and had a lush dinner.

Beef stroganoff and Gambolini Thermador

Beef stroganoff and Gambolini Thermador (Iphone6)

Then we came home and watched a movie, Transformers 4 which went on and on and though it was good in places, needed to end 1/2 hour prior to when it did!

Of course I’ve been taking some shots of the ladies

Snuggle time

Snuggle time (Iphone6)

more snuggles

more snuggles (Iphone6)

They’ve stopped hissing at each other now and are back to being pals.

So a nice weekend after the trauma of Friday.

Things I’ve learned about the XT1 today,

1)that when you import to LR5 adobe changes the colour profile, so even if you use one of the presets when shooting it gets replaced. You have to choose the colour profile you want in the ‘develop’ section of LR. Not sure if it is just for RAW files or on jpegs too, will have to try that out. Anyway I used ‘Astia soft’ for the kids portraits and garden shots. Anyway no point in choosing a film preset in camera when using adobe products for processing!

2)The face recognition thingy is brilliant!

laters gaters

😉

 

 

 

 

The Sunday Fraggle Report (Newcastle edition)

Newcastle upon Tyne is my nearest city, though we don’t go in too often since the advent of Amazon, which is a dreadful admission, but there it is. It’s been around since Roman times, and you can get the history HERE if you are so inclined.

The architecture in the city is quite beautiful and interesting, so here are some shots I took when Phil and I went in on Saturday.

Hurdy Gurdy men have a gossip

Hurdy Gurdy men have a gossip

The Granger Market

The Granger Market

This dates from 1835, and details can be found HERE

Vitamin shop in Fenkle Street

Vitamin shop in Fenkle Street

Couldn’t resist – its actually a cardboard cutout figure in the window, but I tried to make him look real 🙂 .

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

The Monument

Grey’s Monument

see Phil snuck in the pic at the bottom right corner 🙂 hi Hubby xx

Berry's

Berrys Jewellers and The Charles Grey Restaurant

Emmerson & Chambers

Emmerson & Chambers

A wonderful building in the Baroque style by an eccentric architect Benjamin Simpson. I think it is quite beautiful. It had a chinese restaurant in the basement for 20 odd yrs in the 80’s but is now a book shop.

Eldon Square

Eldon Square

I like all the reflections in the glass panels, this is the indoor shopping centre.

Moss

Moss Bros

Art shop

Art washes away…

maintenance

maintenance

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The castle in the distance

The castle in the distance

The castle doesn’t look very big and impressive but it has a great history you can read HERE the keep that you can see here  was built between 1172 and 1177 at a cost of £1,444 by Henry II, but it started out in 1080. Now it’s got a railway running through some of the original land belonging to it.

Next stop Castle

Next stop Castle

Stephenson

Stephenson

George Stephenson is a famous chap, was an English civil engineer and mechanical engineer who built the first public inter-city railway line in the world to use steam locomotives, the Liverpool & Manchester railway which opened in 1830. He came from Wylam which is in our neck of the woods, and you can read his history HERE.

Blackie Boy

Blackie Boy

A pub, originally built in the 18th century on the site of a blacksmith’s where ale was sold from a make-shift ‘tap room’ in the back yard. A quick and funny history HERE.

Free entry

Free entry

The Pillar

The Pillar

the pillar

the pillar

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Pink Lane

Pink Lane

The Victoria Comet

The Victoria Comet

The beautiful

The beautiful central arcade

The Central Arcade is an elegant Edwardian shopping arcade built in 1906 and designed by Oswald and Son, of Newcastle. It is contained within the Central Exchange building, which was built by Richard Grainger in 1836–38 to the designs of John Wardle and George Walker. The Central Exchange is a triangular building which was intended to be a corn exchange but became a subscription newsroom. In 1870 the Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts converted the news room into an art gallery, concert hall and theatre. The building was ravaged by fire in 1867 and again in 1901, and in 1906 the Central Arcade was created within the original building. (wiki).

Church and clock

Church and clock

Koo & buddha

Madame Koo & friends

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29

Can’t find any info on these chaps, but they are magnificent.

Black Friars

Black Friars

this is one of the original bits of the 13th century friary but the church fell foul of Henry VIII dissolution act.

Black Friars

Black Friars

A good restoration job was done between 1973 & 1981 and still some old bits remain, so an interesting site.

The Tyne Bridge

The Tyne Bridges

A shot of the bridges through the window of the metro train on the way home, and that’s my trip to Newcastle over.

All these were taken on an iPhone 6 plus, so not the best quality of shots I’ve ever done, but I think they came out OK mostly.

That’s it, back to work tomorrow, a busy week ahead,

laters gaters

😉

The Hartlepool Report – Part 2

Thought I’d best get on and finish this, so on board the Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest fighting warship.

Mind your head

Mind your head

A canon in a Nikon :)

A canon in a Nikon 🙂

Master chef

Master chef

I thought the waxworks/dummies were done really well, I think they must have made latex masks of reall people to put on the dummies, they were very realistic.

Roland

Roland

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Deck hands

Deck hands

Officers Mess

Officers Mess

The Captains Table

The Captains Table

Top deck

Top deck

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fixtures and fittings

fixtures and fittings

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Steering wheel

Steering wheel

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W.E.L.C.O.M.E  T.O

W.E.L.C.O.M.E T.O

long way up

long way up

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HQ33

way out

way out

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HQ38

Trincomalee

Trincomalee

As she was built in India originally it's no surprise to find elephants on board.

As she was built in India originally it’s no surprise to find elephants on board.

After we got off the ship, we had a look round the museum and that was that.

anchor

anchor

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lightbulb :)

lightbulb 🙂

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Jiggle Joggle.

All in all a great day out, lots to see and learn. Am looking forward to more decent weather, it’s turned cold and rainy again here 😦 nevermind, spring is on the way!

laters gaters

😉

Eclipse & Tree of Birds Report

Eclipse

Eclipse

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.

Long Tail Tit

Long Tail Tit

Cute 🙂

A pair of Great Tits ( 😀 😀 😀  sorry ) have been visiting too, here’s one of them at the trough.

Great Tit

Great Tit

and the acrobatic blue tits also making use of the fast food emporium  on my tree.

Little Bluey

Little Bluey

The Hartlepool Report~part 1

Last Sunday my pal Sophie and I had an outing with our camera’s, and went to visit Hartlepool Historic Quay. This from the website

Hartlepool Marina’s centrepiece is the award-winning Historic Quay – a faithful reproduction of an 18th century seaport portraying the exciting experience of what life was like at the time of Nelson and Trafalgar.

Hartlepool Historic Quay is home to the Trincomalee – Europe’s oldest floating warship! HMS Trincomalee 1817 is berthed afloat at Hartlepool Historic Quay, where a major award-winning restoration and interpretation of the Ship was completed in the early summer of 2001. You can read more about the restoration of HMS Trincomalee here, or read about her history here.

It was a cold but bright day, a bit of blue sky after long days of grey, and we made the most of it! So let me take you around the Quay, and the glorious Trincomalee.

You can see the ships masts above the buildings in the carpark.

You can see the ships masts above the buildings in the carpark. (Iphone6)

She's a beauty.

She’s a beauty.

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around the Quay are various old bits and bobs to create a great atmosphere of past times.

brush your teeth!

brush your teeth!

Blue sky window

Blue sky window

Happy peeps.

Happy peeps.

Inside one of the info rooms, a sextant methinks.

Inside one of the info rooms, a sextant methinks.

Well well!

Well well!

grunge bucket

grunge bucket

Beautiful from any angle.

Beautiful from any angle.

The ship was made in India, so they sent one to guard her.

The ship was made in India, so they sent one of their own to look after her.

I took too many photo’s for one report, so tomorrow we’ll go aboard.

laters gaters

😉

The sunday Fraggle report 11/1/15

Christmas and New Year are well gone now, decorations are down and back to full on at work. The weather has been pretty meh so Monday- Wednesday were not inspiring for photo’s, but Thursday perked up with a clear blue sky and the sun out. It was cold though so I wrapped up warm and went for a walk on Littlehaven Beach at South Shields. This was my first chance to use the new polaroid outdoors, but like a twit I forgot to take a new film with me and only had 2 left in the camera. I did have my Iphone and the Nikon too so I got a fair few shots all in all.

So let me take you on my walk…

First through the dunes to the beach, taken with the VSCO camera app on Iphone.

pathway

pathway ~ iphone5

then looking left towards the groyne pier and lighthouse.

Littlehaven beach

Littlehaven beach ~ iphone5

walking towards the groyne, Tynemouth Priory in the distance

southshields-2

Ocean Rover~Nikon D700

and then on to see the Herd Groyne Lighthouse..

Lighthouse

Lighthouse~iphone5

Herd Groyne Lighthouse

Herd Groyne Lighthouse ~ Iphone5

The lighthouse was built in 1882, and made of iron, the history of it is quite interesting ( and short!) so if anyone is interested CLICK HERE 🙂

Then I turned back to walk up the other way on the beach and to look for sea glass, which I’m collecting each time I go there, eventually when I retire I’ll hopefully have enough to make a mosiac garden table top or similar. Of course you can’t shoot directly into full sun and get a decent picture, but I took one anyway and processed the heck out of it!

into the sun

into the sun~Nikon D700

then along the beach looking for sea glass..

wiggley sand~Nikon D700

wiggley sand~Nikon D700

Harbour Mouth

Harbour Mouth~Nikon D700

seaglass! ~Nikon D700

seaglass! ~Nikon D700

Took a shot of the view back to the lighthouse..

lighthouse & gull ~Nikon D700

lighthouse & gull ~Nikon D700

and came across too old boys with a metal detector..

metal detectives

metal detectives~Nikon D700

I had a chat and asked them if they’d found anything, and they showed me some metal things and told me they were Roman tile holders. Wow I thought, how cool to find roman relics in the sand. When I got home and googled roman tile holders, they are not ancient roman relics at all, Roman is just a style name of some tile holders and you can buy them in any hardware store. Haha numpty me. 🙂

The Weebles live near Littlehaven beach so I went forf a quick visit, can never resist a few shots of them,

Weebles

Weebles~Nikon D700

they came for the sun...Nikon D700

they came for the sun…Nikon D700

and then I found a new sculpture that has been put up nearby..

The eye

The eye~Nikon D700

the Eye

the Eye~Nikon D700

I like the view to the sea side best. The words are from an old traditional Northumbrian folk song.

As I walked back to the car the sun was sinking low enough to backlight the long grass..

Nikon D700

Nikon D700

Nikon D700

Nikon D700

and that was the end of my walk.

And the weather has been atrocious ever since. But I did some more polaroids which I’ve put in my SX70 project, and today did a collage of ‘tools of my trade’ for the Sunday Challenge theme.

Audiology! ~Nikon D700

Audiology! ~Nikon D700

Phil’s been on nights all week, so have had a quiet week, and he’s got a week off now whilst I’m battling the howling winds going to work, I used to be very jealous he gets 6 weeks holiday a year and I get 2 if I’m lucky, but now I work part time it’s not so bad. I still call him Father Christmas though. 🙂

 

laters gaters 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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