Fraggle Report~ Simonside Country Fair~August 2017 ~ part 1

Sophie’s boyfriend, (can you be girlfriend/boyfriend over the age of 30/40 I wonder, maybe Manfriend would be more suitable) Mentat, came over from sunny Spain, to have a holiday with Sophie in rainy England, and we went out one weekend to visit Simonside Country Fair. We hadn’t done a country fair before so were excited at the prospect of dog racing, birds of prey, a pipe band and horses and hounds. All sounded like great photo ops to us.  So off we went, and here are some pictures I took of the day.

There was a sheep show!

and sheepherders

This chap was giving a talk on British snakes.

We visited the make, bake and grow tent and inside found a chap making wooden walking sticks with decorated handles

there was a competition for home made goodies, I wouldn’t have minded a tipple of the gin!

Outside one of the sheep was being roasted for dinner, (sorry veggie pals) and Mentat and I decided that was us sorted!

but when we went back at what we thought was lunchtime, it had all gone! They have early lunch in the country it seems.

More parts to come, of course, so stay tooned!






The fraggle report _ faffography edition

I haven’t been on any trips for a couple of weekends now, because of weather and life, but last weekend remembered a couple of years ago Sophie,Mike and I went off to Bellingham to find the Hareshaw Linn waterfall, yet I had not put them up on my smugmug photo site. I went through the old portable HD and found the files, and realised I’d not bothered with them, as the lighting conditions were difficult, and I’d written them off as a pile of shite. I didn’t have Lightroom back then, and PS Elements was OK but I wasn’t that good with it. Of course since then I’ve got LR and PS6 and have watched a heap of Youtube tutorials on how to make things happen, so spent a happy day turning pigs ears into silk purses. Well… maybe not silk, but at least cotton. 🙂 I’ll post the day out later on, but for now I’m just putting up a throwaway shot that I’ve been learning techniques on and (hopefully) improved.  I can’t be arsed with all the arguments about altering shots/integrity/leaving things as the camera caught them, because I don’t care, I just wanted to make my picture look better, without altering the mood of the scene I shot.

So here is the original un~faffed with version…

unfaffed sheep shot

unfaffed sheep shot

which to me looks bland, dark and a bit boring, which is why I had my finger on the delete button.

So I faffed with it, several times, got very frustrated with Potatoshop as it has some daft quirky bits that are hard to get a grip with, but learned a lot along the way. Here is the end result…



Well I like it better, and think it’s worth keeping 🙂 whaddya think gang?

laters gaters


Before & After

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.


Quality not quantity

I started my ‘picture a day for 365 days’ 114 days ago, not realising at the time how my working life would change so drastically. I’m working 6 days a week now, and a fair amount of home time is taken up with processing the work, or doing related study etc etc.  Bit by bit my 365 has degenerated into bulk uploads and camera phone shots late at night in desperation to keep it going,  but that’s not the way I wanted to do the 365 and I’m not enjoying it, so have decided to call a halt. Of course I’ll still take pictures when opportunity arises, but quality, not quantity feels more important and relevant right now.

Some from last week.







Sunday Lunch 🙂

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