Thursday, 12 November 2015

Dog Owners, a rule unto themselves

So #BuryStEdmunds dog owners, how many of you actually read this and comply??? Every time I go for a walk in Hardwick Heath I can guarantee that at least 3 (if not more) dogs will come bounding up to me whilst their owners are at least 50-100 yards away.

Monday, 9 November 2015

How do you get inspired to take photos on a grey day?

OK, there's been a lot of grey damp days of late, so many that my mojo was taking a serious battering. So this was the plan, take one of my older lenses, just one, and see how it performed in low light. So I chose to take my SMC Pentax-F 70-210 lens out with me. This lens was produced between 1987 ~ 1991, so it's at least 24 years old, if not older.

This isn't a review of the lens, it's just me taking it for a walk. It's a solid feeling lens, quick to focus, but it does tend to focus with a bit of a thud. Now I'm sure I could have got better examples had it been a lovely sunny day and had I had a tripod, but hey, where's the challenge in that? Did I get inspired? Not sure really, I'll let you folk decide. Meanwhile I have to decide which lens to take for a walk next time.

Direct Link to photos.(For those with Flash disabled)

Monday, 2 November 2015

October Plenty 2015

Once again this annual festival was a great deal of fun, excellently organised and run by The Lion's Part. October Plenty had a bit of everything harvest related. It all starts with a procession to the Globe theatre on Bankside. An integral part of the procession is a huge Corn Queene effigy made from various Autumnal fruits, vegetables, and grains. Then there are the Goddesses, musicians, the Hobby Horse, mummers, morris dancers and of course The Berry man.

On arrival at the Globe the onlookers are gathered together and ushered in to the theatre, there follows singing, Morris dancing, a short play and general merriment. After this the players lead a procession to Borough Market where apple day is being celebrated. At the market there is apple tasting, apple bobbing, conker fights, morris dancing, story telling, another play, and more music and merriment.

Towards the end of the day the Corn Queene is stripped of her plenty, this is distributed to the crowd, with some parts of her being auctioned to raise money for The Lion's Part who put the event on for nothing. Finally the Berry man leads a procession to Crossbones Graveyard in Southwark where a short ceremony is held.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, though I don't think I was on form re my photos, never-the-less there are quite a few here that I hope will give a flavour of the day and the event.

Click to view photos on Google+

Pumpkins, Punts and Other Things

Since our holiday my mojo has been a bit lacking. The grey skies that reappeared as soon as we returned home probably didn't help. Yesterday we decided to potter off to Cambridge. I took the camera but wasn't overly worried about taking photos. We started by walking along the river, it was foggy but that fog gradually gave way to some sunshine and some beautiful blue skies. I had only one lens with me, an old film era SMC Pentax-F 28-80mm F3.5-4.5. It's a fun little lens that doesn't get high reviews so I was somewhat surprised when I realized around 50% of the photos I took were OK. Mind you the marvelously carved pumpkins placed around the green of Christ's College helped add to that number.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Boring Holiday Blog Day 8

Day 8
It's our last day but we are in no hurry to get back to Suffolk. Tine for one more walk to Palm Bay to catch our last sunrise before leaving. Again it was another beautiful one. Then back to the apartment to have breakfast and pack up. As we were loading the car Mr A spotted a little costume jewellery heart that must have fallen out of a necklace, he gave it to me and said, it's a sign. I gave it a rinse under the tap and popped it in my pocket, thinking that I may be able to make a photo project out of it. A couple of experimental shots later in the day and I got the one I wanted.

We had to hand the keys in at 11, so we wandered down to the pub to do so, took a few more photos on the way, including a couple dressed up to the nine's in 40's gear. We then drove off to the cemetery in the hope once more of catching a bit of wildlife, a magpie, a squirrel, a great tit and a bee. It didn't matter though because the cemetery is one of those places that is restful (no pun intended) and magical to be in.

From there we headed off to Broadstairs. The food fair was in full swing but to be honest the smell of so much cooking meat made me feel ill, as we exited I noticed a little van selling vegan food, got myself a lovely roast veg salad from there. We wandered back towards the harbour and there bumped into Graham again, he was sharing his lunch with a dozen or so Broadstairs inhabitants. We wandered around together taking more photos, as we did so we bumped in Maurice Morris, who's picture I had seen at numerous Thanet events. We chatted for a while and then continued on our way. before Graham and I headed off in different directions we swapped cameras. Have to say I prefer my Pentax to his Canon. ;-)

Mr A and I still weren't ready to go home so we wandered along the top to Dumpton Gap, then back along the lower path through Louisa Bay, Viking Bay and then Stone Bay. Mr A wiped his feet before he left, and I buried the little heart in some scrubby grass on the cliffs - so I truly did leave my heart in Broadstairs.

Day 8 photos

Friday, 16 October 2015

Boring Holiday Blog Day 7

Day 7

It was suggested we visit Grove Ferry and the nearby Stodmarsh nature reserve near Canterbury. We like to visit at least one place we haven't been to before so with Beryl Bigmos aboard off we went. We parked at Grove Ferry and walked across the road to Stodmarsh, not being ones to follow the set routes we just wandered along what seemed to be rarely trodden paths. This is one of the hotspots for birds in Kent but we saw very little,maybe we should have kept to the trodden paths

We saw some raptors (marsh harriers I think) but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get any decent pictures of them. A pair of dragonflies, a pair of bullfinches, a pair of swans and a cormorant were the total haul.

After a picnic lunch and a walk at Grove ferry it started to cloud over, so we drove to Broadstairs where we were sure we would find the sun. We did indeed find the sun there but we were too late to catch the high tide waves.

Of course the day wouldn't be complete without catching the sunset. Tomorrow we head home so this is the last sunset (for now). Margate did us proud, this last sunset was super-dramatic and served to remind me once again why I love this area of the country so much.

Day 7 Photos

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Boring Holiday Blog Day 6

Day 6 and it's Mr A's birthday.

But first the sunrise (of course) where I discovered the Tak is just as good at sunrises as it is at sunsets. Back to the apartment where presents and cards were delivered to Mr A (I had sneaked them into the suitcase.)

As it was his birthday Mr A chose where to go, he chose Broadstairs and a picnic lunch overlooking the sea. We had previously discovered The Old Bakehouse who did a lovely cup of takeaway coffee, and a nice line in cheese straws. Mr A also had a piece of bread pudding from them - that was his birthday cake.

As we ate we were serenaded by someone playing a violin on the next bench along. I supect he had been told to go outside and play :-) Oddly enough he was sitting opposite a banner advertising Fiddler on the Roof.

It was quite a windy day which meant that at high tide the waves were even bigger than the day before. Whilst Mr A sat and read in the sunshine I ran around catching a few waves - it the photographic sense that is. Later we drove through to Joss bay where we watched some surfers and then on to Botany Bay where there were some wind surfers.

Later we decided to head off to Minnis Bay to see what the sunset was like there - unfortunately there wasn't much cloud in the sky so the sunset wasn't as dramatic as previous evenings. It was then back to our apartment where Mr A celebrated another year with a glass of Jameson's.

Day 6 photos