Red Light On Router–Internet Down

Regular readers may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet here on Say It With A Camera in the last few weeks. First of all I don’t have a working internet connection. Haven’t done for 14 days now. Got up in the morning and there it was a RED light on the router. Between my ISP, the wholesaler (middleman) and the telecoms company, no one would admit they had done something to disconnect me. To cut a long story short, here we are 14 day later, I’m still disconnected, well sort of, but the telecoms company now have a dedicated faults team, whatever that means, working on it. All I can say is they work awfully slow for a dedicated team, excuse the pun.

Meanwhile my ISP finally agreed that I could buy a mobile dongle and a data allowance and they would cover the cost. Now those dongles are nothing like hi-speed broadband, they’re slow, prone to dropouts and the cost of the data package is extremely expensive, but I’ve got a connection, albeit it’s only useful for email and maybe a bit of blogging.

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Now you might be wondering what this weeks photographs are all about and that brings me to my second reason for being so quiet. A couple of weeks back I was asked to give a talk to a photographic society about some of the abandoned buildings I have visited in the last few years. “We just need a one hour session, followed by a short break for tea and coffee, and then if you could do another three-quarters of an hour that would be great” That’s a long time to fill up and first I was really reluctant. But hey I need a challenge at the moment so eventually I agreed. This week I am showing you some photographs from the talk I gave. Are the appropriate for the weekly challenge, probably not, but with my broadband still being down, with no sign of it being restored, this is it.

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The top photograph is from Porth Wen on Anglesey. Not the easiest place to get to but well worth the visit. Followed by Grwych Castle. It’s really a modern castle, built in the last 150 years, not like some of the really old one we have here which were built 8 to 9 hundred years ago.

Just below is Sheldrakes, or to be more precise, Lower Heswall. It’s a boat graveyard and all along the tidal estuary you can find old abandoned boats that are fantastic to photograph. You have to watch though, the tide comes in really fast, and I mean fast. It’s very muddy and wellie boots are required if you go walking there.

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Of course no talk about abandoned would be complete without including Dinorwic Slate Quarry, Lots of tunnels, old ruined buildings, rusty metal and fantastic views over to Snowdon.

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Way out in the middle of nowhere is Ynys-y-Pandy Slate Mill. It’s now a preserved building, so the outside views are much better. Visit on a nice day or wait for those dark brooding skies when you’ll get some amazing black and white photographs.

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Another place well worth visiting on a sunny day is Copper Mountain on the island of Anglesey. When the sun is out it seems to enhance all those reds and oranges of the rocks. The only building worth photographing though is the old windmill which sits high on the hill, where else, with commanding views over the countryside.

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Dorothea Quarry is another great source of unusual abandoned building. This is the entrance to the stables, lots of graffiti, vastly overgrown, but worth photographing.

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So why do I photograph these old buildings? For one, they are there, and two, in past times I used to do quite a lot of digital art, compositing different photographs together to give me a totally new scene. Unfortunately I’ve let that skill slip over the years, but last week I was looking at some old composites I had put together in years back and thought maybe it  was time to rebuild that skill. Especially as “winter is coming”, where have I heard that before, I go out less often to take photographs so it’s an ideal time to spend some time in front of the computer.

Below is a couple of examples of what I’m talking about. Both of the figure in these composites are stock photographs supplied by Phelan Davion who can be found on DeviantArt. The buildings are mine. The first one from Dinorwic Quarry and the second is from an abandoned industrial site called Greenfields.

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That’s it, normally I would include ten blogs here who were taking part in this weeks challenge and whom I’d visited but with the limited data allowance and slowness of the broadband circuit I’m going to skip that this week.

Fujiholics Liverpool Photowalk–Sep 2016

Saturday saw me in Liverpool for the Fujiholics Liverpool Photowalk. But with my Olympus E-M1 still in for repair I was using a 6-year-old Point and Shoot camera. Not the greatest camera in the world, with a poor battery life, but hey it takes photographs and being small is pretty discrete. But I’ve never really worked seriously with this little camera so it’s going to be interesting to see if I can get some half decent results from it. One thing though, there I am on Saturday morning, no camera bag, no heavy camera, with the advantage of total freedom. Now all I need are some good results.

Today I’m going to be using Black and White for my photographs and I’m starting with the reflection of one of the towers of the iconic Liver Building in the window of a restaurant.

Oh Me Oh My

Good start, but I’m noticing there’s quite a lot of noise with this little camera, especially in the darker areas but you have to work with what you’ve got.

Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you can spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need. – Ken Rockwell – Your Camera Does Not Matter, 2005

Tattoo Shop

What a strange photograph! The shop is in perfect focus. The two ladies are blurred, fair enough, but it almost looks like they are partially see through. I’m not knocking it in any way and if I tried to get something like this with the Olympus, I probably never could, unless I used a tripod and slowed the shutter speed right down which incidentally was 1/30 sec @f3.7

As we slowly make our way around a pre-planned route it’s inevitable that the large group we started with will break up into smaller groups as people stop to take photographs. That’s fine follow the map and you can soon catch up with everyone. But on these photowalks the route can be anywhere between 3 and 5 Km so come prepared

A photographer may not just walk the streets but he/she does a lot of walking, with a purpose, so the most important piece of equipment after the camera is a good pair of shoes. A writer can do a lot of work from a hotel room but a photographer has to be there, so he/she is in for a hell of a lot hiking. – David Hurn

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Telephones! Nowadays everyone is one the phone. You can get very close and they probably won’t notice you, especially with a little camera. But one of the things I have noticed, these are very flat, smooth. Probably because they are out of focus. Maybe I’m just too close to people.

On The Phone

Now this wasn’t intentional, because at the time I didn’t know I was getting poor results, but in the photograph below, it’s much more in focus and that’s because I was standing further away

Smokie Mo's

I like the one above. He started laughing and joking with me. He knew I was taking photographs but was quite happy for me to go ahead. Now this next one is the same. it looked so interesting and working on the principle of “if you don’t ask you don’t get” I went into the barbers and asked if it was ok. They were totally happy  to let me take some photographs and just carried on as though I wasn’t there, except of course they guy in the background who sort of started posing.

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There’s a lot of regeneration going on in Liverpool with old buildings being knocked down to make way for the new.

Regeneration

Finally I’d like to leave you with my only colour photograph of the day. . The bride knew we were coming and so a lot of photographers gathered to capture her and her husband when the emerged from Saint George’s hall. After the Pro Tog had done the official photographers we were allowed to take some as well.

The Wedding

Congratulations to the newly married couple. That’s it from me

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

I’m afraid this is going to be a quickie. I’m safely back from my trip to Germany and The Netherlands, Had a great time, got some amazing photographs but now it’s back to reality. Got to sort through all of those photographs and at the same time prepare for a talk I’ve been asked to give about some of the abandoned buildings I’ve photographed over the years. Meanwhile my beloved Olympus E-M1 has gone to Portugal for repair. It developed a fault whilst I was away, fortunately it didn’t compromise photograph quality but it means I will be using a small point and shoot camera for this Saturday’s Liverpool Photowalk. The good thing is Olympus have a great repair service. DHL pick up the camera, it’s sent to the European Repair Centre in Portugal, where it’s repaired, cleaned, usually within 10 days and then sent back to be delivered by DHL again. All done free under Warranty.

Anyway to this weeks challenge

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Reflection of a Liverpool city street from last years Photowalk….

Gotta rush – Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare

My bags are packed, batteries charged, I’ve got spare memory cards and the kit is all cleaned and ready to go. Done the online check-in, printed my boarding pass, I never trust those ones they send to your mobile. What happens if you have a problem with your phone? I’m a dinosaur, give me a hard copy any day.  I’m off on my holidays tomorrow with hopefully lots of photo opportunities as we travel through Germany and the Netherlands for a week. But before I go I was giving some thought to this weeks challenge and the more I thought about it the more I thought “all of my photographs are rare”

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. – Dorothea Lange

How true that is. Every time I press the shutter, no matter how many times I photograph the same subject, something will have changed. I will have moved, even if it’s just a little bit, or a cloud might change shape slightly, or move across the sky, tumbling water never takes the same shape, so in a way it’s not the same photograph. I’m sure sometime in the past I’ve argued this point before on a weekly challenge post.

This photograph was taken a good few years back on Talacre Beach. I was there to photograph the lighthouse as the sun was setting. I’d timed my visit to coincide with an incoming tide and this family of four decide to step in front of the camera. At the time I was annoyed but I did manage to catch several silhouette shots.

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As a back story. They missed moving their car off the beach car-park which closes at nine and it looked like they were going to be stuck until the morning. Fortunately, they were able to contact the Security Company who were willing to come and open the gates. Lucky them.

Another silhouette and another rare one. It’s me, on the beach at Weston-super-Mare. A self-portrait, nonetheless, there’s not too many of them around, thank goodness. I prefer to be behind the camera.

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Lastly, my one and only photograph of a hovering Kestrel. I was standing on the cliffs and the Kestrel was searching for something at the base. It meant it was almost level with me and I was able to get this one and only shot before it moved position

Kestrel

Right that’s it. I won’t be here for next weeks challenge or to reply to your comments. I will get round to them when I get back though – Mike

I nearly forgot to mention, I’ve been asked to give a talk on some of the abandoned buildings I have photographed on my travels through Snowdonia and North Wales. So when I come back of my holiday I’m going to be super-busy as I’ve got about ten days to prepare. That’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it. Well, I am at the moment…..

Anyway – here’s what 10 other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Japanese Lantern Lighting – From Hiding to Blogging
Wednesday Lensday- Rare Vintage – Aloada Bobbins
a night of rare decision for a dog- Dronesville’s adventure#3 – a nerd’s confession- when-iam-68
LPS 1921 – By the Wayside
Picture Worthy Aug 21, 2016 – [Sunday] WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- Rare
Typing through time – Our World In Photographs
Sea Play Photography Photo Challenge- Rare
The Land Slide Photography Food
WY Pictures Photography Blog Red Jellyfish In Blue Water
Weekly Photo Challenge- Rare – My Dog Ate a Lightbulb

The Number 11 Bus

This post has got absolutely nothing to do with a bus but it’s like the old saying, “You wait hours for a number 11 bus and then three come along all at once”. This post is rather like that. I’ve not written anything all week and having just completed the Weekly Challenge post I then follow it up with this one.

Common Lizard

I really am liking the new 75-300 mm lens. It allowed me to capture this little lizard, without disturbing it.

That’s it…oh, nearly forgot. I’m off on my holidays next week so it’s going to be kind of quiet around here for the next week or so.