Showing posts from November, 2013

Calke Abbey - finally the last of autumn?

I know that anyone looking at this blog will be fed up with the trees! After a late start autumn has hung on and on and I have been to a number of places where the trees have been stunning - and who could resist? I am a fan of forest pictures, especially liking those of Hand Strand and Dav Thomas.
We happened upon Calke Abbey a couple of weekends ago after visiting friends in Nottingham and it is certainly worth going to. The house was left to the National Trust in a semi derelict state and although it looks tidy outside, apparently not much has been done to it inside. I say this because it was closed as the National Trust shuts all of it's houses over winter believing the nation is confined indoors watching daytime telly.
As you can see the day was overcast and tried to rain a couple of times.
The grounds are extensive and there is a river running through on one side, in a steep woody ravine. There is also an isolated church which lies a little way from the house and was shut als…

London Millenium Bridge - monochrome version

I converted the Millenium Bridge photos into black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. I liked the delicate tones of the colour versions but the monochrome ones are a lot punchier and suit the cloudy skies of the day.

London Millenium Bridge

I spent a day in and around the Millenium Bridge in London while visiting the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate. The exhibition is definitely to be recommended and food for thought for photographers.
The following were all taken with my Nikon D800e with either the 24-70mm or 14-24mm lenses. As you can see the day was pretty changeable with sunshine, cloud and later heavy rain.

Furneux Pelham walk

Furneux Pelham is a small village in Hertfordshire, around 20 minutes drive away from my house. My daughter discovered a nice circular walk there which starts by the church and goes through some beech woodland. We went back to give the dog some exercise and for me to again bag a few trees, travelling light with the Nikon D800e, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a tripod. The first picture has been subjected to some alterations using Nik Color Efex Pro foliage and glamour glow filters

Ashridge Forest- more autumn trees

Still looking for that perfect autumn shot, Alan and I went to Ashridge Forest in Hertfordshire around 3 weeks ago. We made an early start for the 1 1/2 hour journey and the forest was quiet when we got there, surprising a number of deer on the access road. It was a very sunny day, too sunny really as the contrast was extreme in among the trees. There was also a bit of a breeze blowing, but we enjoyed the morning very much. This was our first visit and I am sure that we will be back.
By the time we were leaving the place was heaving with people but we did have a large bowl of pumpkin soup in the visitor centre to fortify us for the return journey!

Lake District Workshop - day 2 morning at the quarry

We had a smashing breakfast in Morrisons and a good chat before departing for a very picturesque small quarry south of Derwentwater. I do not know when the quarry had shut down but the bottom now contains a small pond and saplings have grown up around the sides. It is roped off so it is not possible to get right in but you can take pictures from the front and also, by climbing up from the sides, down from a more elevated position. The sun came through the clouds while we were there catching the tops of the trees on the top edge of the quarry. These were the best pictures I managed to take over the 2 days as it was such an interesting area. Again I made extensive use of the 70-200mm zoom and I was so glad I had packed it (and lugged it about). I am afraid I got rather fixated on a small birch that was growing in front of some strange streaked yellow stains in the slate and there are too many pictures of this. As time goes on I will come back to the blog and remove some!!
After lunch we…

Lake District Workshop - day 2 early morning on Derwentwater

We had arranged that Doug would put his head outside his campervan early - 4.30am to scout out the weather conditions and email us as to whether we should meet at 6.00am by the lake or at 9.00am in Morrisons for breakfast. I woke at 4.45 to take the email, and indeed rain was lashing down outside. However I could not get back to sleep and by 5.30 the rain had moved to an intermittent drizzle so I decided I would get up and mosey on down to the lakeside to see if I could make anything of it. I walked down the footpath that runs along the shore edge taking pictures of whatever took my fancy. The footpath ended on open marshy ground, covered with geese, with a view over to Catbells. There was no pink dawn but some interesting shots in the greyness nonetheless. I struggled focusing when I first got there. It was too dark for the autofocus and I could not see well enough to manually focus. I used my head torch in the boat shot to give a small circle of light on the side of the nearest boat…