The Donkey Said “What’s Behind Me”

Last Saturday was Prestatyn’s annual carnival day and amazingly in the seven years I have lived here I’ve never attended. So with the challenge this week being unusual, I thought there might be a good photo opportunity.. How wrong I was. First of all there were loads of children in the floats and also in the marching bands. I don’t photograph children period. In this country you are likely to be accused of photographing for nefarious reasons, so it’s better to just switch the camera off.

But I did manage to get some photographs, not my normal landscapes or street photography, Something just a little different.

Behind You

Along with the carnival parade there’s also a fun-fare and donkeys. I love donkeys, sadly we don’t see them on the beach at Prestatyn, so I don’t know where this one has come from.

Of course there are loads of food stalls, Ice cream, well that whipped chemical they call ice-cream is popular, but give me the real stuff any day.

Ice Cream

…and they even do healthy smoothies, amazing. Good old Micky for thinking of people’s health.

Food Glorius Food

What do I want to capture most in my photographs ? Human emotion and the essence of human being. I am less interested in forcing my subjects into a visually interesting form or putting them against an unusual background. – Philippe Halsman

Lots of charities trying to raise a pound or two, good luck to them, make the most of it. Higher, Higher, Lower, Higher…….Bust

Play Your Cards Right

And the Town Crier was there too. I never even knew Prestatyn had a Town Crier. I never seen him in the town.

Oyez! Oyez!

Well, that’s it for this week. As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

The World Is a Book… Era of Impressionism
Live life; make meaning. Bird Bridge
Yvette’s photography Unusual
Change Is Hard WordPress Photo Challenge- Unusual
Ana Linden Unusual
Unusual – By Sarah
Photography- Finding Beauty in the Unusual – Sumyanna Writes
Musings of a Random Mind Weekly Photo Challenge- Unusual
A Submerged Town – MY TIME AND I
Shi Yali Photography Ride the Duck Bus

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A Bit Of Everything This Week

I sometimes wonder what the guys who dream up the WordPress Weekly Challenge themes are on. So they take a photograph, dream up some vague relationship to time passing and then name the theme Delta. Seriously! So here’s my alternative. By the way, if you want to see a larger version of any photograph, just click on it. You’ll be taken to my Flickr photostream where you can view the larger version.

Over the last week I’ve been out an about the Olympus E-M1 Mark II testing some settings for photographing birds in flight. I’ve also been doing a bit of street photography and took the opportunity to capture some birds of prey in captivity, which were on display at Llandudno. As far as I know they are all rescued birds who have got in difficulty.

First up this beautiful Harris Hawk. He’s a male, great to photograph, when he kept still. Their natural hunters and Llandudno has it’s fair share of gulls and pigeons. He kept moving his head to watch them fly over.

Male Harris Hawk

Being in captivity, I was able to get very close, so the level of detail is amazing. For this photograph I used the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75‑300mm 1:4.8‑6.7 II lens.

Using the same lens on another day I was out trying to see if I could actually capture Birds in Flight. Now down at Prestatyn Beach you can always find gulls, flying around, but not this day. Only the odd one about and flying pretty far away. Wing definition is not too bad but it could be sharper.

Over The Top

Back to Llandudno and another little beauty, a Barn Owl, I’m pretty sure this one is a male.

Barn owl

Now to a bit of street photography, which I did on the same day as the bird of prey. This time using my goto lens the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12‑40mm 1:2.8 PRO. I tried this time to get really close to my victims err subjects before firing the shutter. There’s more chance of error this way but it makes for a better photograph.

Over There

I’m quite pleased with these ones

Red Headed Girl

Yes I do photograph men as well

He's Not Seen Me

I think she knew because that sardonic little smile just appeared.

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And now for a real beauty. A Eurasian Eagle Owl, this one is a female and is apparently a runt being only two-thirds of the size it could be. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a big bird.

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Another bird in flight. A bit sharper this time.

Gull in Flight

I’ve obviously got the shutter speed just right because the wings aren’t blurring when they are moving. I just have to get the focus sharp enough now

A shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. A little blur in a moving subject will often aid to giving the impression of action and motion. – Alfred Stieglitz – “The Hand Camera” (1897)

Not with birds in flight Alfred. I’m using 1/1000th second to ensure that the wings aren’t blurred.

Landing Now

And finally today’s weather here in North Wales. A dark grey day with very light rain coming in from the sea. You can see the wind turbines in the background fading away as the rain comes in, they almost look like shadows against a grey backdrop.

Ghosts in the Mist

Well, that it for this week and I’d like to leave you with this final thought.

A great photo happens when a photographer sees a situation unfolding in front of them that evokes an emotion that the photographer feels deep down, in the middle of their chest. And in a split second, they then make a conscious choice of exposure, lens, depth of field, lighting, body language, composition, etc., and releases the shutter. The film is then processed, scanned, laid out on a page, printed on a press, driven across town to the newspaper carrier who throws it on some guy’s porch, who then opens the newspaper and looks down at that photo … and if that guy gets the same feeling deep down in the middle of his chest that the photographer did when they viewed the situation in the first place, they have made a great photo. – Anonymous

Hopefully, you liked one my photographs this week, maybe enough that you thought it was a great photograph.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delta – Seafield Castle Beach – Eye For A Pic
Madame Zenista Delta- Illusory like…
Cellular Jail – Through the Lens
Delta- December to June – Time of Transition… – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
Change – More 2 Explore
McKenzie Falls – By Sarah
Delta – Optimistic Odyssey
Leya WPC- Delta
Transition & Change – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Erin’s Big World Weekly Photo Challenge- Delta

It’s Saturday–Time For Black And White

The last three weeks have been pretty hectic with not much time for photography. A quick trip to Big Pool Wood and Talacre lighthouse to test the new camera and last Saturday I managed to arrange a day In Chester to take some photographs….and as usual the best laid plans etc. It was raining, dark grey skies, really overcast, but “plans is plans” and off I went. A good few weeks back I did a post about Chester Cathedral and Saturday was supposed to have been the architecture, Chester has some amazing Black and White buildings and covered walkways, called The Rows. The E-M1 Mk2 is weather-proof, so rain doesn’t really matter too much, apart from getting spots of water on the lens front, guaranteed to happen if you are shooting architecture, so Plan B, I always have a plan, was dusted off and brought into action. Street Photography.

The lovely thing about street photography is the best of is absolutely no way you can stage or even think of – it just like – it happened and isn’t it weird and it is gone.. I think the crazies stuff is the stuff that is generally real and the stuff you can make up is less impressive. – Matt Stuart

If you understand what Matt was saying, let me know.

Wet Chester

See what I mean about those lovely Black and White buildings, another day, maybe. I found a good spot to stand, it’s directly opposite me just to the left of the steps and two windows in. One it was out of the rain, you can see the dry spot on the street, and two it was ideal for catching my victims unwilling subjects as they came round the corner.

No matter what city you are in, at least here in the UK, Saturday is always good for Hen and Stag parties as the next two photographs show.

Strange People

Here comes the bride, can’t understand why she has shut her eyes, maybe it’s a surprise

Bride To Be

Chester is one of those town, they see so many tourists and photographers that they really don’t pay that much attention to another fool with a camera…..

I'm On The Phone

…..and those Black and White buildings are really fantastic to photograph. Just a shame people get in the way.

Friends

I’ve heard of The Leaning Tower Of Pisa, even been and visited it, but this is some serious lean. Ooops! It’s me. I haven’t got the horizon straight.

The Tower

Coffee time, at this point in the day I could do with one myself. This is another nice spot to take a photograph. People seem totally unaware that I’m standing there.

Coffee Time

On the same street, just a little bit further up and another convenient spot to take photographs.

Street photography is a renewable resource. If you don’t like what you see wait 5 minutes or walk a hundred feet. – Craig Coverdale

The Two Of Us

Watch out! They’re coming. On a wet day like Saturday he was doing a roaring trade in selling umbrella’s.

Smoke Time

….and there were lots of them about. Big ones, small one, all designed to poke your eye out. I’m tall and when I walk about in areas where there are lots of umbrellas I have to keep a constant eye, excuse the pun, for someone with their head down, scurrying along, underneath an umbrella.

Tourists

In Chester, there is a great area called The Rows. It’s a series of covered walkways with shops on one side that allow you to get about without getting wet. Well that’s how I look at it….

The Rows - Chester

Of course there are those who don’t mind getting wet, I other the other hand do like to keep dry, so this was taken from that nice little sheltered spot I mentioned earlier.

Happy Clappy

My final photograph for this week . I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I did taking them – Mike

The Two Of Us Again

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

SAM_3298-Edit.jpg

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.

Haircut

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: 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: Jubilant

Better late than never, but having only just got home I’ve been struggling to get this weeks challenge completed in time, especially as I really wanted to show you some photographs from Lindisfarne, the Holy Island. So a quick compromise. One photograph taken several years back during a photowalk around Liverpool.

Photograph Me

That’s all folks, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Jubilant – The Lounge
Through the Lens of my Life Jubilant!
The Good Life Jubliant
R and P Photography Weekly Photo Challenge – Jubilant
PUTUJUĆI blog Great moves on the streets of Manchester
Jennifer Sawicky Photography 2016-05-24- WPC Jubilant
O’Neill Photography & Design
Jubilant … – Nenny’s Corner
Jubilant – Cassie’s Stories
Chasing Serenity with a Lens Weekly Photo Challenge- Jubilant

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

Short one this week. I’ve been so busy with everything but photography. Whilst on my Berlin trip I came upon this man and his dog. From the way he dresses he looks like he could be down on his luck, but the dog looks well fed and very muscular. Who am I to say though? I don’t really know his circumstances.

One Man And His Dog

Anyway he hangs around Alexander Platz in the centre of Berlin and for a donation he will get the dog to sort of perform on the skate-board. Or you can buy a bratwurst from one of the street vendors who frequent this area which he shares with the dog.

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

The Photographer Smiled… Souvenir of a love
One Love – Where I Ought To Be
Michelle Lunato Photography Family. Together With One Love
Hot Dogs and Marmalade First Grandchild
Ain’t Mine No More Weekly Photo Challenge- One Love
Street Art- Don’t Hate! – Susan Rushton
Jonathan Dudley Photography WPC – One Love
Anna Begins One Love
Jude’s Photography Weekly Photo Challenge- One Love
Maria Morera Johnson WPC- One Love