Archive for the 'Landscapes' Category

And Oh Yeah It Was The End of The Summer…

Somewhat foolishly we decided to go for a walk last Sunday and I can truely say summer is over, like it ever begun I hear you say! Well after deciding to avoid the fair at Buile Hill Park, on account of it being over run with chavs, we headed off in the direction of Clifton Country Park. No mean feat in itself, as it must be a good 40 minute walk from the house alone. I havent been since March last year and the foilage, due in part probably to the recent heavy rain, was overgrown and stark contrast to my previous trip. The main reason for going was to get some shots of the epic 13 arch viaduct, but due to rain and the fact that all the new greenery hides a great deal of this massive structure I hardly got the camera out! After trapsing down winding muddy tracks for an hour or so and having crossed the full and fast flowing River Irwell, we finally got a proper look at it and despite the weather conditions and the fact that over half of is hidden; its still a site to behold!

After attemtping to take a couple of shots, we plodded on in the rain, it was at this point where it turned ugly! The rain got harder the wind more forceful and at one stage I felt like I was in Vietnam, tripod in hand rucksack on my back, horrendous weather and night closing in – as we hadnt set off till 6.30ish it was now getting on for 8ish. We finally made it home at around 9 and cooked a lovely chicken risotto and enjoyed a few large glasses of vino! I have since worked out that we walked 5.5miles that day which whilst that isnt unusual for me but Reet (Mrs.TdM) is not a big fan of walking, so hats off to her! :-)

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Training Ground

So I’m slowly getting up to date with the blog, just a few more posts to go (phew) and couldn’t not mention this trip to an old train graveyard. So not so much waffle this time straight to the pictures…

Bits & Bobs and Fiddly Knobs

Not a hugely successful evening as there were a few other shooters about so it meant people getting in shot which was a touch annoying but I persevered and managed to get a few decent shots. It really was quite strange seeing these former British Rail work-horses laid to rest like lame old beasts, retired from the track and gone to seed but then they do make great subject matter!

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I have a dream

F7.1  / 36mins / ISO200 / 10mm

Ambient light apart from torch at the bottom of the steps (doh, although I quite like it!)

More of a re-con mission than a serious attempt at shooting, I have wanted to visit this monster statue for sometime now. After seeing it get the go-ahead on Channel 4’s “Big Art” program I immediately contacted St Helens council, who based on my previous night photography work have commissioned me to take some night photography of the statue. Last nights effort was just really to go have a look see what I was dealing with exactly with this 20m high statue, quite possibly the largest thing I have ever tried to capture seriously.

Watch this space for more ;-)

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Hogging The Lime – Light!

After two trips now to this once thriving yet hidden piece of industry in the Derbyshire countryside, it has captured my imagination. Both times I saw and captured uniquely different scenes, primarily because I shot with different formats on both occasions.

The first outing to these former lime kilns all the shots were on 35mm colour film, on my trusty sidekick the Olympus OM10. The below shot by far the best of the handful of shots I took that evening and its fast becoming one of my favorite shots to date, the grass of course isn’t really red! That was achieved by flash gun gelled red and the interior of the old building lit with lime green (ironically)

Temple

Ever since I saw images of this place I have longed to come here at night, as the architecture is so strangely disproportionate to the original indented use. The buildings are a strange blend of super urbanistic future army base cum prison crossed with Myan / Inca temples from the far off rain forests of South America.

My second trip was admittedly more positive photography wise, not only cos we arrived pre darkness but I was accompanied by someone who knew where most of the sites buildings were situated, last time it was a case of follow ones nose in the darkness and see what we find which all be it was fun and I captured the above image, which I am extremely happy with, its pretty much always better to “be prepared” (eh scouts!) Anyway the following shots were taken on said second outing on a beautifully clear night…

Bridge of Cy (an) s

Bridge of Cy (an) s

Middle Thirds and sheep Turds!

Middle Thirds and Sheep Turds

Temple of Bloom

Temple of Bloom

Tonights Light Painting Was Bought To You By The Letter "A"

Tonight’s Light Painting Was bought to you by the Letter A

Under The Bridge

Under The Bridge

Coming Back To What You Know…

Ok so a couple of posts are long over due, so here goes. I’m glad to say I didn’t waste the long weekend bank holiday brought, as we headed off to the Lake District for the weekend. As soon as I shut up shop at work on Friday afternoon / evening it was straight up the motorway to the wonderful Wasdale Valley.

Friday evening was grotty to say the least but after arriving and pitching up once the drizzle had subsided we settled into the swing of things and food was soon underway. On the menu that evening was spaghetti bolognaise and dressed salad, prepared by top camp chef Gideon (pictures later). After eating and a glass or two of vino and several cans, spotting that the weather was on the turn for the better, we headed out for a spot of night shooting.

Have to say I wasn’t overly pleased with the shots I captured and wished I had brought along my film camera for our first foray into the darkness but hey ho. Here’s a couple of shots for you to judge…

By no means my best work but there you go, we live and learn. As we stumbled back to camp, quite literally at times, we got a little lost but soon managed to locate the sound of the river that runs along the back of the campsite and back to camp. After dumping gear and kinda cursing digital as it wasn’t really playing fair with me that evening; so I got out my trusty Olympus and left a shot going for twenty or so minutes of this cracking 2CV Special whilst we downed another beer and chatted into the small hours for a while.

2CV

Only lighting I used here was literally at the start of the exposure to focus, as it was knocking on a bit and didn’t want to arouse suspicion or disturb anyone, needless to say I was busting to know what it turned out like but had to wait over a week to see the results, I was pretty pleased when I finally did!

Saturday soon sauntered through the door and begun with a hearty breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, black pudding, toms and mushrooms and the occasional fresh coffee. What more could one want to start the day and wipe the slate clean of the previous nights excursions! I had already pre-planned that we would walk to Kirk Fell circular and was most impressed when my girlfriend threw her hat into the ring for the challenge. Its not an overly strenuous trek for the experienced walker but the initial climb, I have decided is tough on anyone in any weather, particularly a smoker (me) and my girlfriend who is not a keen walker and had to take regular breaks. That said the rewards are great and the views spectacular. Gideon even manged to post a photo to flickr, as he stormed on ahead, via his iPhone.

That said this route pails in comparison to going straight up the nose of Kirk Fell, a route only attempted by idgits in my opinion.

Anyway once to the top of Beck Head which nestles between Kirk Fell and Great Gable (with routes up to both) after a short break and a sarnie we headed left up a craggy section that leads onto Kirk Fell. Once on top its a short haul across to the first (false) summit. I was deceived by this on my first trip up here, well actually my second but the story of my first trip up here is best reserved for friends! I digress, anyway the views from up here are stunning, with a completely different perspective of Gable…

Great Gable

After the initial yet forewarned slight disappointment of the false summit we headed over to the (real) summit which is nicely and very necessarily topped with a shelter, its very blustery and exposed up here. We stopped here for a quick (very smug) brew with the aid of the Pocket Rocket™ . This always proves invaluable and often has other walkers stomping off in green envy. As a friend and I once discovered when whipping up some curried Chinese noodles with fresh chilies and dried prawns up at Esk Hause shelter. Mmmmmmmm whats that lovely smell!

There was just time before we set off from the shelter for a quick shot, to celebrate my girlfriends first summit! From the summit and indeed all the way across Kirk Feel right from Beck Head to the crags at the back side are metal fence posts making it nye on impossible to get lost, again something else I wish I had known the very first time I came up here, unprepared and badly clothed. As you reach the far side of the Fell you are presented with what is probably one of my favorite descents. The initial clamber being about 5 or so feet vertical drop. I the cragy view from up here is pretty spectacular.

We all made it safely down (some slower than others) had a brief rest and then trudged off through Mosedale Valley in the direction of the pub, for a well earned beer / coke depending on your persuasion!

"I Did'nt Watch My Buddies Lay Face Down In The Mud For Nothing..."

Once back at camp, we had a wonderful BBQ of lamb burgers, sausages, potato salad, chorizo kebabs along with other culinary delights, prepared mainly by chef G and the misses, cos I was too busy p*ssing about taking photos apparently! However don’t worry I didn’t escape light handed and ended up doing the washing up all weekend and was chief brewer – upper!

Long exposure of the campsite, don’t know why I never thought of doing this before the blown out section above the tent to the left is the shower block, which shines brightly through the trees to guide weary campers and “crazy three peakers” back to their tents / cars throughout the night.  I love the torch lights that steam fro one side of the frame to the other. I think this was all we managed on the Saturday night as we over indulged on red wine round the barbie that evening and it was probably a wise move as (apparently) it rained most of the night but sadly I slept through it all :-)

There’s all Sunday to tell you about still but I think I’ll leave it for now as I have said / shown you more than enough for now, you can see “Britain’s Best Loved View” more light painting, including my first waterfall at night and more besides here

Summit and iphone accent photos by Gideon Foster

Coasting Along…

llandanwg

Ok so a couple of posts back, I mentioned I was off to the Welsh coast for a weekend, well I have a few film shots to share from my lovely old OM10. Strange that for once I managed to get film shots processed before I have even looked at my digital images…

Friday evening as we arrived in the dark, there was intermitent rain with quite heavy gusts of wind, it didnt look to promising for the rest of the weekend. In fact I am sure at one stage during the journey as we rounded the far end of Bala Lake it was snowing and hailing! WTF!

The mood however brigthened after a couple of bottles of wine and all was forgotten about the weather as we settled in for night, finally went to bed around 2AM (I think).

Saturday was spent mostly walking and drinking, we went down to the beach 3 times in all. A long walk Southwards, towards the estuary mouth first thing in the morning certainly blew away the cobwebs and despite the odd shower here and there, aswell as the generally blustery conditions, I really enjoyed the bracing walk. Conditions for photography were just as I like them, if the weather isnt gonna behave, then I would far rather it show me something mean and moody, not just flat grey dullness (I see plenty of that back in Manchester!)

Nemo

Highlights of the walk were certainly, just off the beach, as we rounded the corner along the estuary flats there were quite a few nice boats at various levels due to the tide and further up nestled in the dunes is the church of St.Tanwg  (pictures to follow). After spending a considerable time taking pictures of the Nemo (see above) an old wreck that is now craddled, embeded in the sand of the estuary’s little bay, we headed over for a quick look at the church then back to the house for a truely scrummy fried brunch.

After food, with it fast approaching mid afternoon, we decided, with the weather brightening that we should take another wander down the beach, before heading to the pub later on to watch the England game. This time we headed off in the direction of Harlech Castle, following the railway line along the beach.

More To Come…

More Photos here

Epic…

I occaisionally feel compelled to tell you about someone else’s work, particularly if I feel its worthwhile looking (it also helps if I am having a slow news day personally ;-) I was sent a link to this guys work on Twitter this morning and it is as the title suggests EPIC. Having a look through Peter Funch‘s work really opened my eyes, which was no mean feat since I drank a little too much red wine last night . His conceptual pieces are not only clever but on a huge scale.


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