Category Archives: photographs

Philosophy, Photographs and Puffins

The featured image shows my first attempt at using the Panorama setting on the camera. It just goes to show that a boring photograph is a boring photograph, no matter how you dress it up.

The wheelbarrow is quite interesting, as barrows go, and is a lot easier to use than a conventional  barrow if you have mobility problems. The recycled BBQ/herb planter adds a splash of colour. Apart from that the view from the front door of the container/office/canteen is very dull. Julia has plans for this and I’m hoping to document them over the coming year.

What starts as a dull picture therefore has potential to become an interesting  series of dull pictures., though it would be foolish to ignore the possibility of producing a dull series of dull pictures.

It is likely that in next month’s photo the barrow may have moved, but will that simple change be enough, or will I have to include another item in the picture to ensure  that people keep looking?

I also used the Self Portrait feature. I’m not actually sure what it does. In a break with tradition, I wasn’t wearing my selfie shirt, so maybe it is just a liberating setting to break people out of a rut. It certainly doesn’t make bad haircuts look better. After a few practice shots  I have now learned how to avoid the Fungus the Bogeyman look (wide in the chin and narrow at the top) and can make my head vary in shape quite considerably, but that, again, has nothing to do with the setting, just experimentation.

They say the camera never lies, which is true, as the camera, philosophically speaking, cannot form the intention to mislead. It can, however, give a false picture, depending on the angle you take your selfie from. I won’t show any of these shots as you suffered enough last time, so here’s another Puffin. People like Puffins, and it gives me a chance to work three P’s into the title (though a Phalarope would have fitted better). At times they can look very sad. This one appears to be thinking of ending it all…

Goodbye, cruel world

Goodbye, cruel world

 

 

 

 

Man, Mirror, Monkey, Selfie

They say that if you give typewriters to a roomful of monkeys they will eventually write Hamlet.

If you give a single monkey a mirror the results will be more immediate and more amusing.

If you give a man with time on his hands a digital camera, despite the supposed gulf in evolution and technology, you are firmly back in mirror/monkey territory.

I generally try to strike a pose that marks me out as a leader of men. This is easier with a camera than a phone as the phone invariably shows me looking sideways due to the placement of the lens. That makes me look shifty. Depending on the angle of head and camera I can also look like Mr Potato Head. Or a shifty Mr Potato Head.

I also find that I look older from one side than from the other, and serve as a terrible warning about cutting your own hair.

Having said that, if you buy cheap clippers you only need to cut it twice to be in profit. Once I qualify for senior citizen offers I may let a barber do it again as the costings will change.

I’m going to gloss over the matter of nasal hair (though I won’t be shooting from that angle again) but there can be problems with the degree of zoom and with holding the camera steady.

So that leaves this one. To be honest it looks less “leader of men” and more “pining for a decent haircut” but it’s the best I can do.

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Best of a bad lot

Julia says next time I pick her up from work she’s going to leave a mirror outside and see what develops.

Fifty minutes

This morning I dropped Julia at work and, fifty minutes later, was back at home.

In the garden I listened to the faulty strimmer and revealed a basic difference between the sexes, before taking some more flower photos.

Julia has many talents. She could probably, if her ambition lay in that direction, do a better job of running the country than Theresa May. I, on the other hand, have to plan in advance just to get my socks on. However, when called upon to diagnose the problem with the strimmer in the Mencap garden, I was able to spot the problem straight away.

I’m not an expert on strimmers but I could spot that the high-pitched grinding sound was a bad sign.

To be fair, Julia, who is completely deaf to the sound of mechanical agony, doesn’t need to know this as she has me for all that technical stuff.

I, in turn, use a mower shop for repairs as my efforts usually end up with a puzzled look and a tin of leftover bits.

Most of the rest of the journey home involved traffic and queues. One hold up was caused by an ambulance parked across the road as the crew treated a man lying on the road. I took some photos as we waited because  I had the camera handy.

I could see his feet moving so I didn’t feel too intrusive. Anyway, there were a lot of people hanging round so I wasn’t the only voyeur. As I drove past, I noted he was wearing a helmet and a bicycle was propped up against a tree. That is the price of reducing traffic and pollution.

I’m happy to report that he seemed quite lively, and hope he wasn’t badly hurt.

There is a question, though, about the ethics of taking pictures of accidents. There’s a long tradition of postcards showing various disasters including train crashes, mining disasters and fires, but does that make it right?

Is the picture journalism, local history or just intrusive?

It took me back 40 years to a Sunday lunchtime (the accident, not the photography) when the driver of a red Austin Maxi overtook me on my Vespa 200 (yes, I had a scooter at one time) and pulled over before passing me properly. Result – me in gutter with the knee injury that still bothers me today.

Accident on Woodborough Road , Nottingham

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It’s amazing what you can pack into less than an hour.

 

Feeling Better Already

The foot still hurts, but I’m feeling a lot more cheerful and I’m actually starting to think again, even though it’s only a couple of hours from my last post. Julia says I’m also looking pink again after several days of looking grey.

While I was in the surgery this afternoon, despite having a book in my pocket, I just didn’t have the energy to read it. This is much more of an indicator of my wellbeing than a temperature measurement, because, as we saw earlier, I didn’t actually notice I had a temperature.

I’ve been missing my photography recently so I’ve decided to post a few of my favourite photos.

The featured image is one of the mice off a wheatsheaf loaf. I always liked making them, both the loaves and the mice. It’s actually very simple, though I never did get the knack of drying them out properly, so they had a tendency to curl up and go mouldy.

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Little and Large!

I couldn’t do without a picture of the Odd Couple. I haven’t been able to visit for a few weeks now, but I’ll be going as soon as I can walk.

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Nuthatch at Rufford Abbey

I like Nuthatches, and we had a good day at Rufford on this particular day. In fact we’ve never had a better day photographing birds in the woods at Rufford. However, I live in hope.

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Julia at Clumber Park

There are other subjects for photography apart from birds, wives for instance. This is a particularly fine example, and I would probably have starved to death if she hadn’t been here to look after me over the last few weeks.

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I forget the name of this one, but it’s quite impressive.

I’m going to miss the garden this year, it was so easy to pop out when the sun shone. Our own garden needs a bit of work after being ignored for years.

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Right place, right time

I may have to enhance the rainbow, but it’s still a favourite shot of mine.

More photographs in a day or two.

 

The missing Whitby Photos

Do you remember around a month ago I lost a camera card? At the time I said it held some great photos of Whitby.

Well, I found the card. Unfortunately I found it while looking for another card which I dropped. I found the old one, but now I can’t find the one I dropped. To make things worse, the photos aren’t as good as I thought they were as the light was going and many of them are blurred. Added to that the composition and effects didn’t seem as good as I remembered.

It’s always the same isn’t it? As Shakespeare pointed out, old men remember with advantages. Or in sporting terms – the older I get, the better I was.

To add insult to injury I just posted a half-finished post – I just can’t get used to the Publish button being next to Post Settings.

I used several of the buttons for altering the camera settings as it was growing dark and it’s very tempting to add to the general Dracula feeling of the town by using the “dramatic” setting (though it really just darkens things).

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The new Whitby war memorial

The new memorial was erected in 2013 when people realised that there was no town war memorial, apart from the War Memorial Hospital, which had been demolished (though the original plaque was moved to the new hospital) and the memorial boards in the church. I think they really meant there was no place for them to hold a ceremony.

It is made from Norwegian green granite, which is significant as the local regiment (The Green Howards) served in the Norwegian campaign in 1940. The campaign lasted 62 days, which doesn’t seem long but, according to Wikipedia, was longer than any other nation resisted the Germans apart from the USSR.

This seems unfair on Norway as I’m pretty sure that the USSR started by dividing Poland up with the Germans, so their record of resistance is patchy.

Finally we have an attempt at an arty shot of crab pots and a portrait of Julia taken as an experiment.

 

I think I may stick to portraits and crab pots in future as pictures of War Memorials encourage thoughts of politics which is bad for my blood pressure.

Pictures Loaded, Menu Sorted

I finally worked out how to load pictures from my phone to the blog. I’m sure a five-year-old could do it, but I can’t. When I was that age telephones were attached to walls at home, or red boxes when you were out and about, and you took photos with cameras which had film in them. Just to complete the picture of the technological desert of the 1960s, computers were so big they had their own rooms and TVs showed black and white pictures from a choice of two stations.

Makes you wonder how we got by.

So yesterday’s post now has photos.

It’s time to cook now – Pea and Mint soup (again) for a couple of weekday lunches, Cottage Pie for tonight with lots of healthy green veg, meatballs to be precooked for tomorrow, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry to be refrigerated for Tuesday.

I’d better stop watching Pointless and get cooking before I pick Julia up from work or I’ll be in trouble. The fact I got a pointless answer won’t impress a hungry woman.

Rainy Day at Rufford

It was clear that with rain, mist and low light levels I wasn’t going to be taking many high quality photographs. The first few attempts confirmed this so I decided to have a go with the various settings. The Landscape setting, which enhances the greens in a scene, seemed to work quite well.

Can you tell which is which?

The soft focus effect isn’t due to a cunning use of settings. That’s due to carrying the camera round in my pocket when it’s wet.

As you can see, the Great Crested Grebes and Black Headed Gulls are moving into breeding plumage. The pheasant, I see from the photo, has a crossed beak, though he still seemed able to feed by plucking the seeds from teasel heads. As for the Robin – just one of many that seemed to follow me round.

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Did I mention it was raining?