Tag Archives: puffin

Five Favourite Photos

I’ve decided on a post to cover up my lack of recent photography. I will, of course, be dressing it up as a listing of my favourite photographs. It will also make a change of pace from the last post,

Common Blue

Male Common Blue

I was on the way to visit Men in Sheds when I stopped to take a picture of round bales. We have a Hockney post card showing a scene like this and I keep trying to reproduce it photographically. So far I haven’t managed, but this Common Blue flew past and after twenty minutes of stalking I had a couple of decent shots. That’s about as good as it gets – butterfly photography can be tricky.

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Small Copper on castor oil plant

This was one Julia spotted in the front garden. It’s a small garden and relies on self-seeded red valerian to attract butterflies, though it has plenty of marigold and allysum as back up. We’ve had quite a variety this year, with the favourites being the Hummingbird Hawk Moths.

Though they are great things to see, they are very difficult to photograph, so they haven’t made the cut.

This was the opposite of the previous photograph – no stalking needed. All I did was get the camera out as I walked from the car to the door.

Goodbye, cruel world

A Puffin thinks about ending it all

I know it’s only contemplating flight, but it does seem forlorn as it looks down. The clown face adds to the general air of despair. This photograph was taken as a group of birds loafed about just below a viewing platform at Bempton Cliffs.

We also went to Flamborough Head that day, and spent an enjoyable time on the cliffs there too. With a mixture of poor health, work and creaking knee we’ve not been out and about much this year – which makes the good days all the more special.

Bee-eater at East Leake quarry

Bee-eater at East Leake

This is a poor photo, but we had an interesting trip out and saw, albeit distantly, some exotic birds. The quality of a photograph, for me, lies in the memories of the day it was taken on, as much as in obtaining a pin-sharp picture of an event. Even people with top quality equipment were struggling because the heat was making the air shimmer and at the distance we were working this was causing problems. With low quality optics and a dirty lens I never expect perfection…

They were very much on the edge of their range, despite global warming and the nests failed in the end, but it was a brave attempt.

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This one always  cheers me up. The photo, that is. The subject of the photo always has a list of jobs for me.

This was taken as a new profile photo when Julia started the new job at the Mencap Garden. It’s a typical pose – outdoors, dressed for gardening and with that enigmatic smile. It’s a smile that shows how happy she is to have been married to me for all this time.

Well, I think that’s what it means.

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

 

 

 

 

Another trip to Bempton Cliffs

We went to Bempton Cliffs today. It was a testing drive after months of being virtually housebound but it has, we thought, the best paths and least walking of all the places we visit.

We only saw a couple of Puffins which flew directly into burrows, so they were probably males on the way back with food.

I cheated on the Featured Image, as the second picture shows.

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Puffin Poster – Bempton Cliffs

More to follow tomorrow but here’s a video of Gannets…

An auksome day out

We had a day off today; it’s getting to be a habit. We decided on Scarborough again (well, Julia did, I just drove), but started off sooner and dropped in at Bempton Cliffs on the way. They seem to have spent a lot of money since we last came, with nice flat paths making it easy to walk round, even for a fat man with arthritic feet.

Unfortunately this also allowed all sorts of undesirables to access the reserve and get in my way. There was one particular woman who seemed to make it a point of honour to get in front of me and block the best view. When I got fed up and walked on she seemed to immediately give up and slip in front of me at the next good spot.

If it had been an episode of something by Agatha Christie the third occasion would have seen a body spiralling into the sea, hundreds of feet below. I can see the shot now…

However, that’s more of a comment on my favoured reading matter rather than the Bempton Cliffs experience.

We only saw one species of butterfly on the cliff top – ringlets! Would be wouldn’t it? They flew low, sheltering in the tops of the grass from the stiffish breeze so I couldn’t get a decent photo. The breeze was quite handy, as it was blowing out to sea, and taking the stench of fishy bird excrement with it. On a hot windless day, this can be a memorable part of the visit.

Here are some pictures – I’ll let them speak for themselves. Puffins are looking a bit dull after rearing a family – next year we will visit sooner.