Friday, 15 August 2014

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Commemorating WW1 and the fallen: 2

A willow figure - commemorating the enigmatic Susannah Knight, a local former school teacher - standing in the Astley Hall Walled Garden, Chorley.  Susannah travelled the world compiling a list of the 'Chorley Pals', a group of young men from Chorley (some of whom she taught French in 1914-1915), and who fought and gave their lives in WW1, mostly at the Somme.  These books of remembrance, the "Golden Books", are available to view at Astley Hall.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Commemorating WW1 and the fallen: 1

Whilst on my wander, last week, and mindful of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1, the poppies in the wildflower garden at Astley Park became even more relevant and worthy of a capture.

The image is made more powerful by using a selective colour approach to emphasise the flower over a fairly distracting background, as shown in the original crop below it.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

WOW! Found my way back into Blogger!

No idea how ... iMacros had corrupted my login script - after upgrading to a new PC - and I have forgotten my password! Somehow it linked me back in.

Had a pretty dry spell on the photography front for over 12 months, thanks to various illnesses, hospital admissions and mobility issues ... even thinking of getting an electric buggy to get about better (aka 'at all'!).  Did make it out last week - typically with only a 55-250mm zoom - and ended up doing a few 'unintended' macro shots ... I swear, I did NOT see this creature through the viewfinder - though it has been cropped quite a bit!!!

[Original full-frame shot]

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Day 155 / 365 A Walk in Astley Park

First sunny, and not raining, or soggy from just raining, day in quite some time.  Managed to do a loop of the lake at Astley Hall - took nearly two hours mind you.

 And, finally, a 'genetically modified' version!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Day 78/365

Spotted this view of the Preston England Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on the drive back from performing a concert in Darwen, on Sunday night, and thought it would make a good photograph.  So, returning this evening to the same mistaken route home (!), this is an enhanced view from Great Knowley, above and to the east of Chorley.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Day 76/365

Performance day at St. Cuthbert's Church, Darwen, for The Rawstorne Singers and the Church choristers.  This is a nine-shot HDR image of the church interior, before the swathes of audience members arrived and whilst the choir members had a quick snack before the concert performance...being IN the choir makes it quite difficult to get a shot 'in-performance'!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day 62/365 Pre-Mothering Sunday flowers

I had been wondering why Tesco had been 'pushing' their flowers and chocolate exhibits and the entrance/exit to their store and was drawn into the whole Mothering Sunday celebrations - a week early.  Given that there have been no 'mothers' in my life for a good many years, it at least gave me the excuse to buy some flowers for use as photographic subjects.  Chrysanths, daffodils or Orchids - the choice was easy (if not so the pain in the pocket!).

I did try some focus stacking, which was not too successful possibly due to my steam-powered WinXP machine being vastly overwhelmed by the mathematics involved at full size/resolution images!  Will try again.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Day 44/365 Snow, AGAIN!

Looks like winter has not yet given up....more snow predicted and, almost for once, arrived to schedule.  Slight 'dandruff' gradually turned into an inch and a half in places.  Gradually being washed away now by milder conditions and light rain.  Back to soggy and grey by morning - oh well.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Day 43/365 Practical night

My first practical night at the Photographic Society, and the subject was 'Focus Stacking'.  At last, I thought, someone might be able to explain the workings (or lack of) of 'Combine ZP'.  Not the highest of turn-outs ... seven members, to be exact, each with cameras and laptops.

Unfortunately, for half (OK, three) of the attendees - with Nikons - the tethered method, using Canon's EOS Utility, was lost somewhat.  For myself, not in possession of PhotoShop CS5, I too was struggling to be able to follow the demonstration.  Having made a suggestion of using EOS Utility to not only take the shots, but also adjust the focus, thus avoiding camera movement, I made my exit.

I came away with one question ... why, when trying to achieve maximum DoF, using stacking, would anyone choose f 2.8 or wider?!?!?  The method was originally conceived by photomicroscopists to obtain sharper images and improve depth of field at very high magnifications using optical microscopes, where selecting a smaller (any) aperture was not on option.  Surely, with modern DSLR cameras, a more sensible approach would be to use f 11, 16 or  22!?!

Anyway, what do I know?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Day 42/365 Haircut!

Looking back through my calendar, I realised it was August 2012 that I last went to my hairdressers for a trim.  After such a timespan, this visit was more likely to be a full spring shearing session.  I had been put off visiting Geoff's by ill health, the weather and the fact that access to his shop was likely severely inhibited by major roadworks for rebuilding of a railway bridge to allow electrification of the train line.

This was the view of St. Walburge's Church through the roadworks at the top of Wellfield Road / Ashton Street, in Preston.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Day 31/365

A day of meet-ups, followed by a workshop at Preston Town Hall on Funding applications.  Managed to get round to the iconic bus station before the Council decide to bulldoze it flat but, without a tripod, the results of my hand-held 1/2 to 1/8 second exposures for HDR left MUCH to be desired.....

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Day 26/365 Eerie glow!

Having had blizzard snow conditions for six hours, the snow finally began easing around 23:00.  There was a distinctive silence and a strange eerie glow to the sky from street lighting.  Rising temperature, and rain promised during the night, meant this might be all gone by morning so........

Friday, 25 January 2013

Day 25/365 Treacherous road conditions!

First time out in days and the heavens open - with the white stuff.  My drive home was horrendous.  Barely one centimetre of settled snow turned 'yet to be treated' roads into skating rinks.  Several miles, and minutes, on from this photo is a gentle bridge over a railway track.  In that time, the snow had built to about four centimetres and that bridge might as well have the side of Everest - cars weaving and scrambling over it!

A couple of hours later and the weather was still giving its all!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Day 18/365 Snow!

Well, after 24 hours of trying (abysmally) to snow in Astley Village, Chorley, the constant dusting managed to deposit about one inch of settled snow - enough to put me off the drive into Preston and back this afternoon. Not getting more than two metres from the front door without slipping, I decided to stay put indoors and took this photo of the 'back garden'.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Day 15/365 Dentist!

Thanks to a 'not up-to-date' traffic warning of lane closures (due to a serious accident), in both directions on the only road to my dental appointment, I set off in good time for my 12:00 appointment in Lytham St.Annes.  Having sailed past the 'now cleared' incident, I arrived a full hour early for my appointment.  Three years ago, almost to the day, and again visiting said Dentist, I managed a photograph of Lytham Windmill in the snow, that made it onto BBC Breakfast.

Today I wasn't so lucky and ended up just sitting in the car for an hour....

Monday, 14 January 2013

Day 14/365

Down to the last piece of fruit from my raffle win - a pomegranate! What the hell are they about‽‽‽  Anyway, too dried up to attempt eating it, it has ended up as my one-a-day photo!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Day 13/365 Snow, at last sort of) !

Well, I say snow - just a very light dusting - probably enough to paralyse the road and rail networks by morning though!!!  Terrible photo. Tripod was in the car boot, 100 metres away, so ended up being hand-held for 1/10 second, 55mm and ISO 3200, through a misty double glazed window...not a good combination.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Day 11/365

Winter is beginning to set in with sleet, snow and all-sorts expected over the next week.
Here are some frosty leaves....

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Day 10/365

A totally thrilling day waiting in for the gas boiler repair man.  Like the local buses, nothing for hours on end then two come at once!  Only discovered that the 'condenser' part of the central heating boiler was leaking water onto the mains electrical switch!!!  Anyway, they managed to repair everything and now, with predicted night-time temperatures of -14ÂșC possible over the next week, I have heat again and not a moment too soon.

If there was any doubt that temperatures were beginning to fall rapidly, this was the view of the freezing fog that came down this evening...