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.

Weekly Photo Challenge Family

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge - Selfie

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fun

I can’t believe it’s Friday and I’m sitting in my office not having completed this weeks challenge, well I can. Of late I have been really tardy in getting the challenge in but life seems to be getting in the way at the moment. But better late than never.

Where is the picture? Deadline is less than an hour away, this is a multi-million dollar operation…….. and it waits for no one! – Anonymous

I wish I was a multi-million dollar operation, although thinking about it, I’d probably get bored if I was, a multi-millionaire, that is.

Anyway. Fun! Let’s get started. I’ve always liked this photograph of a father and son diving off the pier into Loch Lomond. It was purely a grab shot for me that I took on a trip back to Scotland to see my father. With a few hours off I paid a quick trip to Loch Lomond, just north of Glasgow. I have fond memories of here, walking up Ben Lomond, the mountain you can see in the background, shrouded by cloud. It’s where I first took up photography as a kid, really expensive then, not like today’s digital age.

Water Fun

I don’t know who spotted who first. I was lurking, waiting to take some street photographs in Liverpool, down near the Albert Docks. This gentleman saw me and started posing. I couldn’t really refuse. I even showed him the photograph, I think he liked it

Photograph Me

A photographer from a well know national magazine was assigned to cover the fires at Yellowstone National Park. The magazine wanted to show some of the heroic work of the fire fighters as they battled the blaze. When the photographer arrived, he realized that the smoke was so thick that it would seriously impede or make it impossible for him to photograph anything from ground level. He requested permission to rent a plane and take photos from the air. His request was approved and arrangements were made. He was told to report to a nearby airport where a plane would be waiting for him. He arrived at the airport and saw a plane warming up near the gate. He jumped in with his bag and shouted, “Let’s go!” The pilot swung the little plane into the wind, and within minutes they were in the air. The photographer said, “Fly over the park and make two or three low passes so I can take some pictures.” “Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I am a photographer,” he responded, “and photographers take photographs.” The pilot was silent for a moment; finally he stammered, “You mean you’re not the flight instructor?” – Anonymous

Fire

OK! The joke is corny and predictable, but hey, this week’s challenge is fun. Which takes me to my next photograph. Look how happy they are, performing at the Llandudno air-show. These girls could sing and with their 40’s style music they were certainly attracting a lot of attention on the sea-front

The Siren Sisters

Who can’t have fun with bubbles? They’re great to photograph I know that.

Bubbles

Anyone for cake. I found these little stickers whilst wandering around the venue for a wedding. Just thought it would go well with the absolutely scrumptious wedding cake. OK, it was a bit of an opportunistic grab shot taken with my little point and shoot camera. I never take my pro camera to weddings. I don’t want to be Uncle Bob. Trust me, you see them at every wedding. The little point and shoot is great for those photographs that the official tog is not interested in. Uncle Bob doing his thing on the dance floor, Auntie Jane having more than her fair share of “nippy sweeties” and afterwards ending up as a right “nippy sweetie”. You’re going to have to Google that one. I’m not explaining it. Besides I need the clicks….

52 in 2015 Week 40 Food

OK! Last one for this week. I have never seen the attraction of paddling a boat, especially when you are likely to get wet or fall out and bang your head or worse still, swallow a lot of water that contains all sorts of bugs and stuff. Nope! Dry land for me. But it does make for a good action photograph.

52 in 2015 Week 46 Motion

Right that’s it for this week and as usual here’s some bloggers who are writing about this very same subject. Amazing that.

I used to be indecisive… Weekly photo challenge- Forties Fun
The Harlequin Tea Set Camden Town’s Colourful Street Art
lindylecoq ~ Weekly Photo Challenge – Fun! ~
Photocracy It’s fun!
Dot knows! (elleturner4) Weekly Photo Challenge- Fun
Mantis Mayhem – DirtRoadWife
Annika Kellner foto Weekly Photo Challenge – Fun
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Party Animal
Nature & Travel Photos WPC – FUN
Weekly Photo Challenge- Fun

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

It’s 6:55 am and I’ve just stirred. Got a lot to do today. Sort through a load of photographs I’ve took yesterday with the new Olympus Lens, the M Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II. I’ve bought it specifically for wildlife and those low flying aircraft that fly through the valleys here in North Wales. I’ve also got to start preparing my talk, with photographs of course, on “Abandoned Industrial Buildings in Snowdonia”. Strange as it may seem the National Park, known for it’s mountains and lakes also had an industrial heritage, mainly Slate mining.

Anyway time to get out of bed and get to work…..

Morning.jpg

Alright – maybe that’s not my bedroom but I wanted to show you this anyway.

I’m probably at my most productive first thing in the morning. The house is quiet, I can think and write without interruption for about an hour before my wife stirs. Yesterday I paid a visit to Conwy Bird Reserve. Like the Mach Loop it’s hit and miss what you might see in the lagoons or the estuary. The birds are wild, they choose to be there because they can find food, if there’s nothing they will move elsewhere. It’s not too far away from me so it’s a good place to practice with the new lens and see it’s limitation if any.

Tit75x300.jpg

Dotted around the reserve are some bird feeders, they attract the smaller nervous birds who will fly in quick, grab seeds and fly back into the trees. I was standing about 10 metres from the feeder which is surrounded by trees on three sides, making the area pretty dark. In an ideal world a good test would be to try to catch them in flight, not as easy as it sounds. I failed miserably yesterday, but that was down to me having the wrong shutter speed on the camera. If it’s too slow the wings just look a blurry mess. Thank goodness aircraft are much easier to photograph. Lock the focus, track the aircraft, fire the shutter. Easy in theory but the low flying military jet is moving pretty fast through the sky so you have to be spot on with getting that focus locked and that’s down to the lens. It has to be fast and not hunt.

Down on the estuary this junior Black Headed Gull had settled down to wait for the incoming tide which brings fish and nutrients with it. Probably about 70 metres away from me.

Gull75x300.jpg

Walking through the reserve woods I came upon this Green Finch sitting on a branch about 5 metres from me. I’m surprised I didn’t startle it. Hanging out of it’s mouth is the wing of some insect. I managed to take a couple of photographs before it flew off. But this was a good test for snap focusing and getting a useable photograph.

Green-Tit-75x300.jpg

Out on the lagoons the Little Egrets were doing their usual fishing routine about 50 metres from me. They disturb the silt by moving their feet, that’s why there are bubbles, then they dive in with that long beak and catch their food.

Egret75x300.jpg

At another feeder I found this Bullfinch. It’s colours are not as bright as they can be, mainly down to looking after their babies. See them in the Spring and the colours are so vibrant.

Bullfinch75x300.jpg

Way across the lagoon I spotted this Grey Heron standing on a large stone. Probably trying to get a bit more height to see if there are any fish about. In reality it was far too far away to get a decent photograph

Grey Heron Far Away

but surprisingly I was able to crop in to get a photograph I could use for FaceBook, Instagram or Blogging. It doesn’t look it in the photograph because I have already zoomed in but that Heron was about 200 metres from me

Heron75x300.jpg

My final photograph for this morning is of a junior Green Finch. To be honest I had no idea what this was, my ability or lack of it to identify birds is well-known, I had to ask one of the reserve wardens  what it was. This was a real close-up. It didn’t seem to have any fear but I was able to get to about three metres from it.

Junior75x300.jpg

So there you go, the first part of my morning has come and gone. Time for a nice cup of tea and then I need to look at the industrial ruins for that talk I’m giving in September. Oh! and a heads up. I will be away at the end of the month travelling through Germany and the Netherlands for a week of  photography along the River Rhine.

Right here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Weekly Photo – Monsoon Mornings – Joel Locaylocay Photography
Weekly Photo Challenge- Morning – Liz McCafferty
Morning Menu – Laura’s Photos
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Morning
The Land Slide Photography Morning
Olssons universum Photo challenge- I feel good!
Westport lake views – Kee Wynne Photography
Mama Cormier WPC – Morning
hereisandrea weekly photo challenge- morning
Rebecca Gillum Photography See the day Begin

Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow

The last of our summer visitors have gone and whilst it’s been fun having them we need to get ready for our vacation at the end of the month. Meanwhile I need to get this weeks challenge article written and as usual I’m late.

In Conwy there is a house so small it’s been classified as the smallest house in Britain. No one lives in it now, it’s mainly a tourist attraction which attracts a lot of visitors and , as you can guess, gets photographed a lot.

The Smallest House

It’s not the white one at the side , that’s a completely different house, it’s just that little red one……….

Smallest House

…..and just to give you an idea of how small, here it is with people in the photograph.

The Smallest House

That’s it for this week. Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Mr H Narrow minded…
Simply Photos Tightening Trail
Sara Doolittle
Weekly Photo Challenge-Narrow
Narrow- Weekly Photo Challenge – Sunni Buchanan Photography
Third Person Travel Narrow
Path of Self Discovery – Girl With A Tripod
Solfatara Entrance – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery
Danny’s Photographs Narrow
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Narrow