On The Beach

I love walking along the beach, especially after a storm. You just don’t know what you are likely to find. This one is a strange one because someone has taken time to prop it up with some stones. I wonder why?


Sliders Sunday – 29th April

An out of box image of a blue tit sitting on a branch with a greyed out background

It’s Sunday again and I can’t believe it has come round so fast. Which means it’s time for another Sliders Sunday. I was wondering what to do this week and thought I really need something that I can do pretty quickly as I’ve got a lot on today. What with post-processing the images from the River Clwyd shoot yesterday and getting an HDR image together for HDR Spotting.

It’s been a while since I did an Out of Box and they don’t particularly take that long to do, especially if you cheat like me and use an action. So I’d like to introduce you to PanosFX Photoshop Actions. Panos Efstathiadis has a  site dedicated to Photoshop professionals and enthusiasts where you can find some great commercial and free Photoshop actions, tips and tutorials as well as other free downloads and resources. Many of the actions will work with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and they are really easy to install and use.

For those of you who might be interested in Sliders Sunday…..

Sliders Sunday is a Flickr Group devoted to having fun pushing those sliders in your digital photography program. Group rules are quite simple

  1. You are not allowed to post SOOC pictures
  2. You should have had fun experimenting with processing the picture you post
  3. You can only post on Sunday
  4. You must describe or tag your shot as intended for this group by either describing your processing or by tagging it HSS or “sliders sunday.”
  5. Please take a moment and comment on other group members
  6. One Shot per Week

52/2012 Week 17

A group of Sandpipers in flight over water

This week wasn’t looking too good for me to get a photograph for this weeks challenge. The weather has been appalling with heavy rain and very grey skies. So this afternoon, with a break in the weather, I seized the opportunity  to visit the banks of the River Clywd which usually has a variety of feeding birds in the estuary and mud flats. Of course these birds never fly towards you it’s always away, so you have to be quick in getting the photograph.

Camera details for this image, Focal Length 500mm, ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/1500 sec, F-Stop 6.7

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

For this weeks challenge I thought about putting in some photographs from a wedding I recently attended, or maybe a photograph of my two dogs together, but somehow it’s just not me. Instead I have chosen to show you some photographs from an Air Show I attended last year. All of the photographs were taken be me using an extremely large lens fitted to my camera. Unusually for me I have chosen to show more than one photograph but I’m sure you will enjoy them and they all represent “Together” to me.

First up is this photograph of the Red Arrows flying in a Diamond Nine formation…these guys have to be precise or they might come Together in totally the wrong way.

The famous Royal Air Force Red Arrows flying in Diamond Nine Formation

The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force. The Red Arrows badge shows the aircraft in their trademark diamond nine formation, with the motto Éclat, a French word meaning “brilliance” or “excellence”.

During displays, the aircraft do not fly directly over the crowd apart from entering the display area by flying over the crowd from behind; any manoeuvres in front of and parallel to the audience can be as low as 300 feet, the ‘synchro pair’ can go as low as 100 feet straight and level, or 150 feet when in inverted flight.

After the Red Arrows I thought you might like to have a look at the Breitling Wing Walkers who represent to me the ultimate togetherness between man, well woman actually, and machine. I wouldn’t climb out there and be thrown around the sky performing the stunts they do. How about you? Would you do it?

The Breitling Wing-Walkers performing at Rhyl Air Show in 2011

AeroSuperBatics Ltd is a British aerobatics and wing walking team. As of 2011, they perform as the Breitling Wingwalkers following a sponsorship agreement with the Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling. They previously performed as Team Guinot, the Utterly Butterly Wing-walking Display Team and the Crunchie Wing-walking Display Team according to their sponsors at the time.

AeroSuperBatics was founded in 1989 by Vic Norman, a veteran aerobatics pilot. It operates four Boeing-Stearman Model 75 biplanes and employs five pilots. The team’s shows consist of two or four planes performing aerobatic manoeuvres while female athletes, attached to a post above the wings, engage in acrobatics.

Next I thought you might like to see a helicopter from the Royal Air Force Rescue and a Royal National Lifeboat Institute as they get Together to transfer a rescued person. In this case it was an exercise but without these two great services many a person would have lost their life, either at sea or on land.

RNLI Lifeboat and Royal Air Force Rescue Helicopter practice transferring rescued person from helicopter to lifeboat

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways.

The RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, with Royal Patronage from King George IV of Great Britain and Ireland. It was given the prefix ‘Royal’ and its current name in 1854 byQueen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. It has official charity status in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The RAF Search and Rescue Force (SARF or SAR Force) is the Royal Air Force organisation which provides around-the-clock aeronautical search and rescue cover in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. The SARF’s primary roles are military search and rescue, and the provision of rescue for civilian aircraft in distress under the 1948 Chicago Convention. The military role involves the rescuing of aircrew who have ejected or parachuted from, or crash-landed their aircraft. Although established with a primary role of military search and rescue, most of SARF’s operational missions are spent in its secondary role, conducting civil search and rescue. This entails the rescue of civilians from the sea, on mountains, from flooded regions or other locations on land.

Finally I’d like to give you this image of an RAF Red Arrow silhouetted against the sun, but for this one I’m going to be different.

I’d like to invite you to give me your ideas why I have chosen this one to represent Together. There aren’t any prizes, or anything like that, but next Friday I will let you know why I chose this image as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Facebook, Yet Again…

I know I’m going to regret it, but I’ve created a new Facebook profile, yet again. Over the years I have had a love/hate relationship with Facebook and I’ve terminated my account several times. So why go back? Well one reason is that one of the software companies I use tends to publish more information to Facebook than they do their main web-site. Second reason is  several Photography Forums I’m a member of use Facebook for all sorts of things.


Mike Hardisty | Create your badge

Danger Sinking Mud

Warning sign silhouetted against the sunset on Weston-super-Mare advising of the danger of walking on sinking mud

Weston-super-Mare has some great sandy beaches, but venture beyond the signs in this image and you could soon find yourself stuck in thick cloying mud. Owing to the large tidal range in the Bristol Channel, the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about a mile from the seafront and this low tide uncovers areas of thick mud, hence the colloquial name, Weston-super-Mud. These mudflats are very dangerous to walk in, and yet, tourists still continue to walk beyond these signs and end up having to be rescued.

Although not generally known, Weston has the second highest tidal range in the world at a massive 15 meters, and when that tide starts to come in, it comes in fast.

HDR processing was done with Machinery HDR Effects on a bracket of 5 exposures (-2 to +2). Post processing was done in Adobe Photoshop Elements with NIK Color Efex, Detail Extractor and Tonal Contrast

Pin Mill – Bodnant Garden

The Pin Mill in Bodnant Garden, reflected in the water of the Canal Terrace

Bodnant Garden (Welsh: Gardd Bodnant) is a National Trust property near Tal-y-Cafn, in the county borough of Conwy, Wales. Bodnant Garden is situated above the River Conwy and overlooks the Conwy valley towards the Carneddau range of mountains.

The Pin Mill was imported from the Cotswolds in 1938, for use as a garden pavilion on the Canal Terrace.