52 in 2015 Week 34 Glass

Only one photograph this week along with a very short post.

52 in 2015 Week 34 Glass

In the grounds of Arley Hall stands a tea house where the ladies would sit and have afternoon tea. The windows look out onto the magnificent gardens of the hall.

Afternoon tea originated amongst the wealthy classes in England in the 1840’ s  and Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal.  By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes.

Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar. The sugar and caffeine of the concoction provided fortification against afternoon doldrums for the working poor of 19th and early 20th century England, who had a significantly lower calorie count and more physically demanding occupation than most Westerners today. For labourers, the tea was sometimes accompanied by a small sandwich or baked snack (such as scones) that had been packed for them in the morning. For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by luxury ingredient sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam, see cream tea) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg cake, fruit cake or Victoria sponge).  Source Wikipedia

That’s it! I hope you enjoy the photograph.


52 in 2015 Week 33 Monochrome

For this weeks challenge I thought I’d go back in time. Well not quite. But I do have a Photoshop filter that simulates old style photographs. Time to experiment.

52 in 2015 Week 33 Monochrome.

My own personal choice is mainly to photograph in colour. I’ll occasionally use Black and White for a street photograph or sometimes when I have done a long exposure and i want to add emphasis to the clouds but I’m definitely a colour advocate.

Why would anyone want to photograph an indisputably colourful world in monochrome? If colour film had been invented first, would anybody even contemplate photographing in black and white? – Russell Miller ,

Saying that, this week I am experimenting.

Old Print

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

Rhyl Air Show 2015

This years Air Show, two days of great air displays,  took place on the August Bank holiday which has just gone. Main attraction for me this year would be the Vulcan Bomber on one of it’s last flying days before it’s grounded for good.

All photographs were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the excellent M Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 R lens. Camera settings: Manual Mode, f5.6, 1/1600s, ISO 200, C-AF Tracking.

Just click on any photograph to see a larger version

First up the Hawk T2; a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft, used not only for training but also by the Red Arrows.

Hawk T2

Mainly based at RAF Valley on the island of Anglesey the Hawk is often seen flying through the valleys in Snowdonia. Don’t half give you a fright sometimes when they come screaming right over the top of your head when you’re not expecting it.

From fast jests to something more sedate. A pair of old pre WW2 biplanes also used for flying training.

Bucker Jungmann

Seen here in the livery of the Spanish Air Force the Bucker Jungmann or Bü 131 became the  basic trainer for the German Luftwaffe. Later it was adopted by the Spanish Air Force where it remained in service until 1968.

And now for something completely different. Supplied as a complete ready-to-fly-aircraft the Calidus is an Autogyro designed and produced by AutoGyro GmbH of Hildesheim, Germany.

Calidus AutoGyro

Now for some more WW2 aircraft who all put in an appearance at the air show.  The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (RAF designation) is a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War 2.

Douglas Dakota C47

The Fairey Swordfish was a biplane torpedo bomber designed by the Fairey Aviation Company and used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during World War 2. Built in the 1930’s and despite having an out-dated bi-plane design it remained in service throughout the war in Europe  Designed as a naval attack aircraft, the Swordfish was later used as an anti-submarine and training craft.

Fairey Swordfish

There’s nothing like the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine; combine it with the airframe of the Spitfire and I’m in heaven. It’s a beautiful aircraft, one I love to see and hear flying.


Right! Let’s shake it up a bit….literally. Our next performers at the air show provide spectacular displays of aerobatic flying. They really use the sky to perform some great stunts.

Flying two Pitts Special S-1D Biplanes,  the TRIG aerobatic team are sponsored by Trig Avionics. Regarded as one of the legendary light aerobatic aircraft it was designed by Curtiss Pitts in 1944. The design was so successful, famous teams like Rothmans and Marlboro adopted the Pitts are their display aircraft in the 1970’s.

Pitts Special S-1D Biplanes

Another Pitts Special, this time in a red and white livery.

Pitts Special S-1D Biplane

The Extra 260 was designed and built in Germany by Walter Extra, an aerobatic pilot.

Extra 260

My final aircraft and star of day 1 of the show is the Avro Vulcan (officially Hawker Siddeley Vulcan a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984. After retirement by the RAFXH558, named “The Spirit of Great Britain” was restored for use in display flights and air shows.

Vulcan Bomber

But sadly, this year 2015, is the last year of flying. There are several reasons for this. The airframe and systems are 10% above the hours flown by any other Vulcan. More importantly the expertise required to maintain the excellent safety record is becoming increasingly difficult to find.

That’s it! I hop you enjoyed the photographs.

52 in 2015 Week 32 Panorama

This weeks challenge is to create a panorama. Luckily the latest release of Lightroom CC has a new feature which allows for the easy creation of panoramas.

Talacre Dunes

Talacre Beach with the lighthouse and sand dunes is an ideal location to create a panorama. I can stand on the high sand dunes and photograph about 4 or 5 separate photographs making sure they slightly overlap as I turn to take in the whole scene. Lightroom will do the rest.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the photograph.

52 in 2015 Week 31 Wildlife.

According to Wikipedia

“Wildlife traditionally refers to non-domesticated animal species, but has come to include all plants, fungi, and other organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans”

With that in mind I give you this lovely little plant I found growing on a slate wall in Cwmorthin.

Moss on Slate

Cwmorthin is a remote valley in North Wales. No one lives there now and it is mainly used by walkers (not the ones you see in The Walking Dead); but people who like to get out and walk in the hills.  Moss and lichens seem particularly attracted to the remains of the slate walls of the old abandoned building.

At this time of the year the bees are buzzy, buzzy, buzzy. Working so hard to get pollen from the flowers of the lavender we have growing in the garden. It’s a natural bee attractor and on a hot sunny day the smell of lavender is really strong. We have several varieties growing in the garden.

Buzzy Bee

That’s it! As always these 52 posts are quite short. I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today Was A Good Day

Right from the start I’m going to say; to see the photographs at their best and with the least crop press the little box that looks like this [ ] at the top right hand of the MESH.

This weeks challenge asks us to experiment with a new app called MESH that creates galleries. I had previously tried it two weeks ago for the “Beneath My Feet” challenge and found some real problems with it. Mainly the drastic cropping of the images from a landscape to sort of square format.

Previously I have written about my opposition to  showing my photographs in a gallery considering the gallery to be flat and lifeless. MESH on the other hand has the potential to provide an interesting gallery showing the photographs full screen. Now that I like. However, there are still problems to resolve, such as the strange cropping of images,  and I could think of a few improvements that would make MESH a better app. But all in all I could be convinced to use MESH.

Anyway for me a good day is a walk with my camera in the Snowdonia National Park. The beauty and ruggedness, no matter what the weather, always gives me a sense of peace. Have a look and you will see what I mean.

I hope you like the photographs included in MESH and I’d love to hear your comments.

Meanwhile, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

Another week and another challenge. I suppose it’s inevitable that at some time the  challenge theme is going to repeat.  On the 1st of November 2013 Cheri asked us to write about something Eerie. It’s not too hard to jump from Eerie to Creepy which is this weeks challenge theme.

A long time ago I used to experiment with composite images and digital blending. Some of the creations I would come up with were quite creepy; like this one of a stone gargoyle from the side of a church blended with a set of human eyes. I was also into framing all of my work at the time.

Looking At You

Later I developed a more dark and sombre mood  as you can see from this next one.

The Red Monk

The good thing about this type of work; I was teaching myself to use Photoshop, blending  layers, lighting, brushes etc. All of which were to come in handy later. This next one was a composite of so many of those techniques I mentioned above. The background is a photograph of trees in the fog, layered with a blue cast and some dark textures. Next the girl was cut-out from her original background and blended into the photograph using a slightly transparent layer. Brushes were used for the lightning and the flying birds.

Girl in Blue

Talking of brushes. The next two works were created solely using Photoshop brushes. Oops! I tell a lie. The moon was mine. but everything else came from various Photoshop brushes


Definitely all brushes this time. Can you see an underlying theme to all of these works?


Finally, I give you… “Come Play With Me”. Once again, it’s a composite made of several layers of photographs combined with Photoshop brushes.

grunge industrial background

Here’s what other bloggers are writing about this subject;