Friday 31 October 2008

The very edge of the weather - # 08/257

Mariners and those who live in wide open spaces may see this often, but it's rarer in the smaller more contained horizons around here. Looking up I was suddenly surprised to see this clear difference between the weather I was getting and what was being enjoyed not very far away.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Will it be me, or will it be him, or will it be both of us? - # 08/256

The annual cull of deer begins on November 1st. The Park will be closed at night while the shooting takes place using search lights and rifles mounted on a truck.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

....and yet another form of self-torture - # 08/255

......."skiing" up and down and down the slopes on roller skis. Just another way of using the Park. Notice in the fuzzy background, the deer who seem to be totally unimpressed.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Yet more ways of torturing yourself - # 08/254

I couldn't believe my eyes. This tricycle thingy has no visible means of propulsion. It appears that you drive it forward by making strenuous undulatory movements of your body that rock the footplates from side to side. Looks like far too much hard work to me. Has anyone else seen these exercise toys? How much do they cost?

Monday 27 October 2008

Total dedication to The Cause - # 08/253

Going into Richmond Park to "hunt" for deer and mushrooms and other seasonal signs I discovered another very seasonal activity.......the Cross Country Running Season.

Enough said.

Sunday 26 October 2008

Fruits of Autumn # 2- # 08/252

26 October....thick grey clouds and rain. Hmmm......seems like Summer, except that the rain's rather fresh and bracing: less warm than it was in the Summer. But the grey cloud! Well, at least it's "seasonal" now, whereas in the Summer it was just a miserable unseasonal nuisance blocking the sun. Wouldn't it be nice if I owned a villa in the South of France, or perhaps in Kerala, South India (yes, very nice indeed). Dubai is too hot now and in any case it's just "London in the Desert with Funky Buildings": interesting but..........??? Australia or New Zealand would be OK, or perhaps Argentina by the South Atlantic.

So, here are the fallen apples, all raked into neat piles for the squirrels and large birds to devour. They are hard at it and the fruits will soon be gone.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Fruits of Autumn # 1 - # 08/251

The fungus.

Everyone has something to eat. The fungus is eating the fallen, rotting wood and returning the sugars to the soil. The animals are nibbling the fungus. I have friends who are experts and love foraging at this time, but on the whole, I think that mushroom hunting and understanding are lost wisdom in modern Britain.

That's one reason why it is nice to visit the Continent at this time, where the understanding of the mushroom is better exploited by cooks. What's better than wild boar, venison and forest fruits? The traditional winter cooking of Europe - so fortifying in cold weather - now comes into it's own. It's now clear that I'm not a vegetarian.

Friday 24 October 2008

The Polo Pupil - # 08/250

Blogger seems to have a problem - it's posting small pictures and refuses to obey commands. Anyway, just click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy the expressions of concentration and enjoyment on the riders' faces.

Having solved the sizing issue I can be a little more descriptive.........the photo shows a keen pupil being coached by his Argentine Master on the so-called "Stick and Ball Field" which is the special name for a polopractice area. The Agentines are a regular sight at the Polo ground.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Spectacular Nature - # 08/249

The slow flowing waters around Teddington Lock reflect the blue sky and the green of the bushes and trees on the river bank. Take a stunningly clear sky, brilliant late October sunshine, add in a couple of floating leaves and a tiny touch of cloud in the blue sky and you get a magical photo.

Monday 20 October 2008

Harriers in the Park - # 08/248

A large running club out for an afternoon of masochistic enjoyment.

The runners make a fine contrast as they string out and move up towards the 18th century mansion that houses the Royal Ballet School in the centre of Richmond Park.

(A difficult exposure with all the shadows and contrasts, but it came out nicely.)

Sunday 19 October 2008

The model boat - # 08/247

Stay with me, Son! I'll get it going soon. Now, hmmm, let me see........hmmm. Gosh, these "olde timers" are really fun to fiddle with!!

Friday 17 October 2008

Light on water, Pen Ponds, Richmond Park - # 08/246

A tiny f 22 lens aperture and a high shutter speed broke up the continuous carpet of glare from late afternoon sun to form a sprinkle of magic dust particles scattered across the water. The birds posed in nicely co-ordinated positions and the long grasses parted conveniently to allow the camera a nice low view point. Just for once the camera captured the magic I saw, but that may not be the case for everyone who sees the photo.

Thursday 16 October 2008

The Glamour Shoot - # 08/245

Some people just turn their back on all this.

(I like the way the girl's face came out with just a hint of the eyes and mouth, and I like the prominence of the black camera. For the rest I like the way the tones develop - bottom left the equipment and the cupboard and ceiling at top right. The forward lunge of the massive photographer as opposed to the backward tilt of the model is interesting and this action is set against the total indifference of the assistant at the lap top busy processing while it all goes on.)

Camera: Olympus C7070 wz

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Another string of pearls - # 08/244

Yesterday the navigation code lights of the airliner appeared in the long-exposure photo. I called them "a string of pearls" in the night sky.

Here you will recognise the "pearls" of morning mist captured on the spider's web (also featured a few days ago). Isn't the natural world amazing? By the way; the spider has moved on and the web has gone.

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Richmond Riverside with airliner overhead (night) - # 08/243

A chilly night beside the river is a good opportunity for photography but be careful that the swiftly rising tide does not catch your feet and dampen your shoes!

Discussion: the "string of pearls" is a fortunate accident as the plane came over set up for landing at Heathrow. I chose not to crop the image, preferring to leave the mass of darkness in the left foreground because it symbolises the dark rushing river and contrasts dramatically with the (false??) security of the lights of the bars and restaurants. I set the aperture at f16 to provoke the attractive little star burst effect in the street lamps. It begins around f8 on this lens.

(On this occasion no police arrived to ask if I was a terrorist because I was using a tripod to support a giant camera. Do terrorists always use tripods and highly conspicuous cameras when they pretend to be doing perfectly legal things?)

Technical (for those who want to know): Camera Olympus E3 set to Manual, ISO125, Aperture f16, Shutter held open for 19 seconds, Plus 1.5 Exposure Values added in post processing to brighten it up a, a 30-35 second exposure may have been a better choice first time round. Lens Olympus 14-35mm f1:2.

Monday 13 October 2008

Taxi! - # 08/242

Groping my way forward into "available light" photography I venture into town with a fellow enthusiast, tripod on shoulder, and massive low-light f2 wide angle lens attached to the mighty E3. (Actually a light weight point and shoot would probably do quite well enough. Why do I torture myself?).

This is my interpretation of the taxi rank outside Richmond Railway Station. It's busy and plenty of traditional London-style "black cabs" are lined up and waiting for customers.

The highlight of the evening was a "Police Community Support Officer" who asked me if I was a terrorist "because I had a big camera with a big lens" (Ho, ho, and much laughter from our side). Quite what the Metropolitain Police think they will achieve by this approach to public safety puzzles me. Legal and responsible amateur photography can be a positive benefit to the Police. They should assist it, not harrass it in silly poorly thought through ways.

Camera E3, Lens 1:2 14-35mm (28-70 35mm equivalent), Setting Manual f 8 3.2sec ISO125

Sunday 12 October 2008

The sleeping stag - # 08/241

The Autumn leaves have suddenly fallen and the sunlight now floods through the wood at a low angle casting delightful patches of light and shade and highlighting the contrasts of early Autumn colours. Some greens still persist, some half green half golden brown shows where Summer is making a last stand against winter.

Pressing deep into the secluded woods of Richmond Park we find deer and squirrels feeding on fallen chestnuts, and suddenly come across the unexpected..........a stag, around 12 or more years old judging by his points (they are hard to count accurately), is fast asleep.

Saturday 11 October 2008

The play of light on a great picture - # 08/240

I love the way that the sun floods in through the east facing window and the outline of the window frame is reflected. The masterpiece (Venus and Adonis) hides in the gloom of the great stairway, but for a brief period it shines in the light.

I've made several attempts to catch this tricky exposure, and finally managed it. It is worth clicking on the picture to enlarge it and admire the colour and the expression on the faces.

The story: Adonis is keen to go hunting wild boar. Venus fears for his safety and begs him not to go. The boar kills him and Venus is distraught.

Friday 10 October 2008

Study in curve, shape, structure and tonal effect, with cobweb - # 08/239

I couldn't resist trying to capture this vision as the bright sun streamed through the cellar window.

Thursday 9 October 2008

Both safe and sure - # 08/238

The umbrella dumped in the rubbish bin was one thing, but this takes your mind into another realm altogether.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

The Spider - # 08/237

This spider has been camping in the front garden for over a week. I wanted to photograph its face, but my tripod was not high enough and hand-holding the camera was difficult.

Finally, the spider got fed up with posing nicely and waiting for me. It slunk off into the corner of its web and hid under a leaf. This was the best I could do.

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Expression of disgust - # 08/236

Recent observation on a wet day.

Monday 6 October 2008

Wind on water - # 08/235

I know we see lots of these "wind on water" effects, and this is one is nothing special. But, the undeniable thing is that people enjoy just sitting and waiting to see what the wind will do next. We can conclude that this has been done by Man for thousands of years. That's interesting. It forms a long thread of common experience that we forget at our peril.

In yesterday's Richmond upon Thames Photo we enjoyed the shine of the rain on a wet footpath. Here we have the wind on one of the many ponds in Richmond Park. This is England in October. The sky was grey, so the water is grey. The rest of this week might be sunny. I wonder if Cave Men ever complained about being "stuck indoors all day" because of the bad weather? At least I'm finding October more photogenic than the past months of a bad Summer. Is that just my mood, or is it "real"?

Sunday 5 October 2008

30 days hath September - # -08/234

On the last day of September it rained. That is an understatement! Today, 5th October, it's raining again......hard!

Anyway; the benefit is a nice shiny surface, coloured leaves dropping, and at the far end a market trader sitting glumly inside, deprived of customers. His neighbour has already shut up shop and gone home.

The scene is Kingston market glimpsed from the church yard. Kingston is next door to Richmond. The town was the place where Saxon Kings were crowned over 1,000 years ago.

Friday 3 October 2008

Squares and diagonals - # 08/233

Walking through the gloom of Ham House (shutters closed before being opened for the daily influx of visitors) I came to a door into a room flooded with natural light. The chair has been up-ended for repair by a skilled restoration expert. I was immediately struck by the multitude of patterns in the floor, panelling and the chair. The sunlight (coming through special UV resistant blinds) creates a special kind of illumination, giving the interiors a special quality that I love to capture. Here we see the preservation of 17th century heritage as a daily task.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Reflection of marker-post in the water at Teddington lock - # 08/232

The 26th September brought us the last moments of hot and brilliant sunshine before the strong winds of Autumn fell upon us.