I Can’t Think Of A Title This Week

Saturday saw me at the UK National Cycling Championships held in the magnificent Manchester Velodrome, part of SPORTCITY and home of British Cycling since 1994. Now you might be thinking at this point “what’s this got to do with this weeks theme” Previously the site was in use as industrial land and Bradford colliery.

It seemed the perfect excuse to have a go with the Olympus 75-300mm lens, especially as you can walk around the spectator area of the velodrome and find a good spot. During the time trials the cyclists get a push to start them off then they have a couple of laps to get up to speed before the timing starts. They need a good time on record before progressing to the later race stages.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They get a fair speed up so you have to lock the focus and make sure you track them as they go around the track, excuse the pun. Fortunately the Olympus E-M1 camera has a Continuous Auto Focus with Tracking function. It’s not so good for bird photography, because it sometimes strays away from the intended target, but with larger objects like cycles and planes I get a good hit rate. Is that another pun…?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like this type of race. Team Pursuit. At the opposite side of the track is another team. They both set of at the same time and in simplest terms the object is for one team to catch the other. However it’s more likely to go to timing and it’s the third persons time that counts at the end of the required amount of laps. That is of course unless one team catches the other, then it’s all over. does matter how many laps have been run. That red contraption is the timing equipment.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Round and Round they go. Faster and Faster. This will never catch on…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze. – Alfred Stieglitz – in 1897.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now a big race, 60 laps, riders gain points at set stages in the race for being in the leading positions. Of course there’s a lot of jockeying for position and riders at the front are constantly looking behind them to see who is challenging.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes it all goes wrong and a rider, or even a few will crash out. Ouch! That hurts…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s even tandem races. In this instance it was Paracycling. The rider behind is visually impaired, The rider at the front is not.

Jack and Jill have just climbed Le Alp de Huez on a tandem: “Phew that was a tough climb” said Jack “Thought we were never going to make it“. “Yeah good job I kept the brakes on” said Jill “or we’d have slid all the way back down!”

Seriously though both the riders do a good job and work together as a team

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Well that’s it for this weeks challenge. I hope you enjoyed the photographs.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Winter’ – DirtRoadWife
Estelea’s Blog Repurposing on the road, Filipino Style
Freddy’s Photo Project Out of the deep
The Linda Life Repurposing and Presenting Bubble Wrap
tornin2’s Blog Repurposed lights
the Ordinary Hiker Repurposed- O & E Towpath Trail
The Land Slide Photography On The Road
Half a photograph Repurposed
Doodles Collections Countertop Pathway
It’s The Little Things We Have Everything We Need If We Use Everything We Have

 

Advertisements

Talacre Dunes

Another post, using the new theme and the WordPress servers to host the photographs. Most comments said everything was OK but “It’s Just A Theory” reported having problems displaying the photographs. So could you please check and let me know if the images are displaying with the post and that you don’t have to click a link or a thumbnail to see them. Thanks in advance for checking.

So this week it’s Graceful. Those people in Automatic sure pick some weird themes at times but here we go.

The sand dunes at Talacre have always been my goto place when I want to test new equipment or a particular method of taking photographs.

Talacre Sand Dunes

Wandering amongst the dunes gives me plenty of scope to photograph wildlife, like this jay which was sitting on one of the trees that are dotted around the dunes. Beautiful birds, very intelligent and this photograph in winter plumage really doesn’t do the colours justice.

Jay

And wherever you go your sure to find little Blue Tits at the edges of the dunes, hiding in the trees. Although not this one, quite cheeky, but very nervous and surprisingly this one came quite close.

Blue Tit

However, back to the dunes, There are certain areas were a lot of conservation work is going on so you will find these areas fenced off.

Dune Protection

It may be for a rare species of plant or wildlife. Sometimes it’s just to protect the ever-changing infrastructure. Sand dunes are very susceptible to damage by us and of course the wind. I never question it. If it’s fenced off, it’s for a reason, so I see no need to enter, even if it means I have to go a longer way round.

Finally you can’t go to Talacre without taking a photograph of the abandoned lighthouse. But this time rather than go onto the beach I’ve stayed in the dunes to give me some foreground interest.

Talacre Lighthouse

Is it graceful? It might be but hey, my post my choice of photographs. Do they fit the theme….of course they do.

As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Yvette’s photography Graceful
PhotosbyGoldie Graceful in Repose
Photoessayist The Blog Graceful- A Richard Serra Sculpture
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Underwater Grace
Flight of a Seagull
Anvica’s gallery Graceful
Half a photograph Graceful
32
Vietnamese Girl in Ao Dai – Nes Felicio Photography
Sara Doolittle Gracefulness, air, and water

This Should Be Fun

So as I’ve decided to move away from Flickr I though I’d better test if writing my blog posts in this new regime was actually going to work. I’ve always used Windows Live Writer for writing my posts, for once Microsoft have created a tool that actually works, even if they don’t support it anymore. So like I said “this should be fun”

My main objective in this post is to see if I can WLW to embed the photographs, that will be uploaded to the WordPress servers instead of Flickr. So here goes.

First up is a photograph I took in Germany whilst travelling on the River Rhine.

One of the many castles and vineyards on the Rhine

Now for another one, this is all about getting those photographs on, so not much talking today. This time we are on a canal in Amsterdam, Actually I’m standing on a bridge above the canal, but you get the idea.

Cruising on the Amsterdam canals

Let’s try a night scene this time from Koblenz in Germany

Monument on the River at Koblenz

Finally another one back on the river

Onion tower shaped building on the river side

I’m not sure, there’s a lot more work involved doing it this way, well not that much but it does seem slower. Also I have to cut the file size down, otherwise I would soon use up the measly 3Gb allowance that WordPress give us for hosting our photographs, so it will be interesting to see what the quality is like. That’s if they even get to the WordPress server.

Right then, here we go, I’m pressing that “Post Draft To Blog” button to send everything from my computer to WordPress. See you on the other side……

I’m on the other side, using the on-line editor from WordPress. Looks like the photographs transferred successfully. So time to go Publish and see what the final quality looks like.

 

Something’s New

Last week I mentioned that I was changing the software I would be using for processing my photographs. This week I’ve changed the theme I use for Say It With A Camera. This will probably be the last post where I embed the photographs from Flickr. For some time now I have been worrying about the forthcoming deal between Verizon and Yahoo, who own Flickr. Verizon are a telecoms company. Are they likely to want a photo sharing site? I’m not so sure but I’ve got to start hedging my bets because if they were to drop Flickr I would have an awful lot of broken links on my blog. Just about every previous post would be without photographs.

So I’ve got to start forward planning just in case.Right then, Ambience. It’s been a while since I’ve featured any of the historic churches that we have here in North Wales. I like photographing them, especially using HDR and then in final processing softening the focus just a little. So here’s a few just for fun.

Many of these old churches are quite ornate, look at that organ in the photograph below. The design of the pipes, Victorian workmanship at it’s best.

Saint Mary - The Organ

A simple church in some ways, but the wooden rail is exquisitely carved. Look at the floor tiles as well.

Pulpit

This is a side area of another church. It’s a dedicated family area, not for families, I mean paid for by a single family, the local landowner and this is where they would worship.

Stained Glass

Yet compare those churches above with the simplicity of this one. I know what I prefer.

Llangelynnin Church

That’s it for this week, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

An Adventure A Day Friday Foto- Ambience
Ambience – Captivate Me
A Taswegian in Finland Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience
This is Another Story Weekend Retreat
Ana Linden Winter Moments – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience – Ingrid Dendievel Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Photo Challenge – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience – Marco’s Photoblog
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Ambience
The Snow Melts Somewhere Fading Light in Venezia

In Search Of Cilla Black

Yesterday I had to be in Liverpool for a very short meeting and whilst I was there I thought I’d go and see if I could find Cilla. Who, you might be asking, especially if you are not from the UK?. Cilla Black of course, long time friend of the Beatles, you must have heard of them, and a UK “pop star” in her own right.

Cilla was born in Liverpool and wanted to be an entertainer. She got a part-time job in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, made famous by it’s connection to The Beatles and her early performances impressed them. During the 60’s Cilla released a total of 37 singles and 15 studio albums making her the best-selling British female artist of her time.

Cilla Black

Unfortunately Cilla suffered a fatal accident and died at her home in Spain, aged 72. Her funeral was held in Liverpool and crowds lined to the streets to pay their final respects. During Cilla’s funeral The Beatles song “The Long And Winding Road” was played as her coffin left the church.

The statue of Cilla represents her 60’s look and was only unveiled on Monday the 16th January 2017. Paid for by her sons, it stands outside the original entrance to the Cavern Club, which featured so much in her early career. On the chequered dress are song lyrics, images and signatures Theres a little flower just to the side of her left foot and the statue is standing on a copy of one of Cilla’s most recognised songs “You’re My World”.

Speaking of The Beatles, just up the street from Cilla and almost opposite the new entrance to The Cavern Club stands a statue of John Lennon. Normally you can never get a photograph like this, because there are always tourists having their photograph taken with this iconic figure. Bot on a wet and miserable day in Liverpool and with Cilla not too far away, John has been left on his own. Good for me as I’ve been trying to get this photograph for some time now.

John Lennon

Have a look at the brick wall behind John, kind of interesting, isn’t it?

That’s it I hope you enjoyed this post – Mike

High Tide 12:04 PM 8.83 Metres

I want to show you a photograph. It’s of our local beach when the tide is out…and why would I want to do this?

Storm Damage

Because I’m now going to show you another photograph when the tide is in.

Groyne Marker

This week sees higher tides than normal hitting our coastline, here in North Wales. Todays high tide at 12:04 pm was calculated to be 8.83 metres (28.97 feet) and combined with very strong on-shore winds probably means it will be higher than that. Which means our coastal defences are going to take a bit of a battering. Those defences serve two purposes, one to protect the town from storms and high tides and two they act as a nice walking and cycle way right along the coast. This part stretches away in the distance to the Beaches hotel.  It’s a sort of tiered effect as the walkway is bordered by a low wall and the sand dunes.

Dog Walking

But of course when we get really high tides or storms, it’s a different matter. Those defences are shaped to break up the incoming waves but the sea does still get over them and that’s why we have that second wall.

Sun Is Out

My motto has always been “never put yourself in harm’s way to get a photograph”. I broke it once and paid the consequences by ending up in Accident and Emergency. So all of my photographs today have been taken with zoom lenses. I have no desire to get close to the action.

But some people do and I can never understand why. What makes you want to get close to breaking waves that can easily suck you right back out to sea?

Not Me

To show you what I mean…..just under two years ago I took this photograph of a man fishing on the sea-front during particularly stormy seas. That wave and the subsequent one behind it almost washed him off his feet.

Gone Fishin'

Only the retaining wall stopped him going. It was pretty hairy at the time and I couldn’t have helped him because I was some distance away using a zoom lens.

Stormy Seas

But back to today. It almost 12:04 pm and high tide. The waves are breaking right over the front part of the storm defences now, but the second wall is doing what it should.

Breakers

However, nothing changes, despite the waves breaking pretty high and the walkway being under water at times, people were still walking along, taking a chance. The thing is, if a rogue wave comes along, they’ve nowhere to go. They’re trapped between the sea and the second wall and the dunes. Admittedly the second wall is low about 1.2 metres (4 feet) and if a big wave did come along they should be able to scramble over it onto the dunes. But it’s all concrete there and by now it’s wet and slippery.

We're Brave

And then a cyclist came along…..

Cycling Along

So that’s it. Just a little insight into our coastal paths and see defences and how we cope with storms and exceptional high tides – Mike

What’s In A Name?

Well I’ve gone and done it. Goodbye Adobe. My contract for Adobe CC has come to an end and I’m a free man. Free to choose the software that I want to process my images. Admittedly I could have done that before but why pay for something and not use it. So why have I ditched Adobe? After all, they are probably one of the biggest names in photography software. Simple really. For some time now I have been unhappy with the quality of Olympus RAW files that I am able to process with Lightroom. Maybe it’s me being too critical, but some time back after one of those updates to Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw I noticed that images were “wishy washy” and very soft. So much so that I was really having to boost the colours and sharpening.

Right then onto Names a strange subject for this weeks challenge but there you go. Depending on how you approach this building near Lands End in Cornwall it could be as the name suggests. Lands End is the most westerly, but not southerly, point of mainland Cornwall and England. The “last” bit comes into play if you make the journey from say Scotland to Land End. My personal thoughts are it’s an over-rated tourist spot with exorbitant prices for parking, refreshments and even taking photographs. The famous Lands End Sign is owned by a local photographer and roped off. Last time I checked £10 for a photograph. I suppose a tog has got to make money some way.

First and Last House

The Duke of Lancaster, What a glorious name for a rusting hulk. I have mixed feelings about the poor “old Duke”. It’s great to photograph but it’s becoming a bit of an eye-sore….and despite what has been said I think the allowed graffiti has only made the Duke an even bigger eye-sore.

Duke of Lancaster

One of the things about living in Wales is dual language signs. As a non Welsh speaker it used to scramble my brain at first, especially with road signs. But over the years I have got used to it. Here you can see the Welsh and English versions of the word optometrist, even the building name is dual language. The truck and it’s load did make it down the narrow high street, just clearing a bank sign, out of photograph by a few millimetres

Tight Squeeze

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling in the USA, on the East Coast, Florida from the Keys to Pensacola and also up the Atlantic Coast. Feeling a little bit more adventurous I’ve managed to get up as far as Charleston, taking in Savannah on the way. On the West Coast a nice little driving trip over two weeks around California, Nevada and Arizona. One of the places that really impressed me for it’s natural beauty was the Grand Canyon, but for sheer engineering it has to be the Hoover Dam. Sure you’ve got Las Vegas with it’s gaudy high-rise hotels and casinos, all built with modern techniques and equipment. The Hoover Dam dates back to an age when the work was done mostly by an army of workers some of whom lost their lives whilst working on the dam or underground in the diversion tunnels.

Hoover Dam

My final photograph is from a small road in Yorkshire called Hardisty Hill. In a guest post on Ancestry, “What’s in a Name? Hardisty: a persistent surname”, Howard Mathieson states that

The Hardisty surname is derived from an English place name. From A Dictionary of Surnames (Hanks and Hodges), we learn that Hardisty “is a habitation name from a place in Yorks., in the parish of Fewston. The place name is recorded in 1379 as Hardolfsty, from the Old English personal name Heardwulf (composed of the elements heard hardy, brave, strong + wulf wolf) + Old English stïg path)”.

Hardisty Hill

Now I’m a Hardisty and so far I’ve managed to trace my family back to Knaresborough around about 1750. Knaresborough is only 11 miles from Fewston.

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you liked the photographs.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

The Showers of Blessings Weekly Photo Challenge – Name the Ducks
Allison’s Written Words Names and #GiantsPride
Let There be Peace on Earth Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge- Names
PHOTO THERAPY – The Driveway Cafe
RLUphoto Weekly Photo Challenge – Names
THE PETALUMA SPECTATOR PHOTO BLOG What’s In A Name-
Joe’s Musings Names – Weekly Photo Challenge – 6 Jan 2017
asnappshot A View
Memory Catcher Weekly Photo Challenge- Names
The Land Slide Photography Mose