Week 21 – Abstract and Flight

I took my car to have the rear tyres replaced and set off for a coffee in my local supermarket.  While waiting I spotted this elderly couple sitting together and looking out of the window.  It was a special sort of moment, good or bad, and I snapped the scene.  I used a bit of processing to isolate the subjects further.  This was my 18-135 zoom on my Fuji X-T2.

A couple seated near a window
Dreaming, perhaps

And in the same week I took a favourite student of mine flying; it was her last flight and we enjoyed a celebratory photo afterwards.

Two pilots stand back-to-back in front of a white aircraft
Pilots young and old

Week 24 – The Garden as Backup

This was a sparse week for photos, perhaps because I forgot to take some, or perhaps because I didn’t happen across any likely subjects, animate or otherwise.  Anyway, here is a shot of oats, moving intentionally, but with a little colour to add interest:

Moving vegetation
Oats, lit and moving

And here is an osteospermum, at least partly in focus.  Well, the ribs of the petals appear to be and very attractive they are.  My excuse for not completing the job is that I’m on the road as I write this, using my MacBook and an incomplete copy of my 2017 photo library; the library is very difficult to maintain on two different computers, particularly when one is an iMac and the other a MacBook (admittedly the 2017 version, so quite powerful).  The catalog, in this case a Capture One catalog, is pretty large and takes a while to copy from one computer to another.

Purple flower, osteospermum
Osteospermum

Week 20 – Election coming

This week was one of working towards the General Election.  I delivered some leaflets to all 80-odd houses on an estate in my village.  This is not the estate, it’s the main street, with a former pub (now an Indian restaurant) in the background.  The Election was a waste of money, but the result was reassuring . . .

Party Political Poster

And I found a church in a beautiful setting by taking the long way back from where I fly at RAF Wittering:

Church-field-sky

Week 17 – West Country of England

I booked a day’s workshop with ImageSeen, to be held at Westonbirt Arboretum.  It was called Impressions of Westonbirt, and the subject was closeups and “intentional camera movement” (ICM); but it didn’t really matter as it was going to be good to concentrate on photography, whatever the subject matter.  In the event it was very good fun and quite rewarding; I learned a few new techniques and remembered a few old . . .

Blurred bluebells and pink azaleas at Westonbirt
Zoom burst and swing – bluebells and pink azaleas
Skeleton of a dead leaf with pink showing through from underneath
Dead leaf with pink flower behind
Dead flower in silhouette
Silhouette

Westonbirt is not far from the “oldest town in England”, Malmesbury, where are situated some historic buildings and their gardens. The Abbey House Gardens was a delight.

Old house facade
Abbey House in Malmesbury
Old house facade
Abbey House in Malmesbury
Monolith with inscription: "Treat the Earth well / It was not given to you by your parents / it was loaned to you by your children"
“Treat the Earth well / It was not given to you by your parents / it was loaned to you by your children”

Finally, I found two delightful scenes:

Carnations and Union Jack cushion
A happy couple in denim
A couple, enjoying life

Week 19 – sparse

I took much fewer good shots this week, but I kept up the shooting nonetheless.  This is ranunculus, I gather.

Uppingham

This seemed to be tempting curiosity somewhat, but I took the photo anyway.

iMac or Art?

We visited a pub in Kings Cliffe, the Cross Keys; this beer was locally brewed to the landlord’s specification and it was delicious!  The jar contained a sample for people to see how it looked before buying.

Cross Keys own brew

Week 18 – the start of Summer?

We were in Malmesbury for a few days, a lovely town in a beautiful part of England; I’ve long wanted to take a photo like this, rather like some of the archetypal scenes from the 1960s . . .

Dandelion clocks with sun setting
Dandelion field

A visit to Bath is something I haven’t for many years; it’s a beautiful place and the Abbey a great place to visit.  The floor of the Abbey is collapsing owing to the deterioration of the graves beneath it and some serious repair has to take place.  But in the meantime it still looks great.

Abbey with choir, congregation and West Front window
Bath Abbey with choir and congregation
Votive candles in Bath Abbey with one extinguished
Votive candle extinguished
A small chapel with cross in Bath Abbey
Birde’s Chantry Chapel

Finally, lunch at Le Comptoir Libanais was well worth it, both for the food and for the visual impression.

People at table in a colourful restaurant
Colourful  lunching

Back to Westonbirt arboretum and I had a go at twisting the camera during a longish exposure.

Circular movement of bluebells
Spin with a long exposure

Before finding this charming couple at the restaurant, clearly enjoying each other’s company . . .

Two people, dressed in denim, smiling
Caught Couple

Week 16, early bluebells

When bluebells bloom in our woods (we have 5 or so ancient woodlands near us) it brings more visitors to see the sights.  Unfortunately, some of the visitors let their dogs loose to trample the flowers, while others walk through the patches to get a better photo, each of which activities can ruin a patch of bluebells for later visitors; but I managed to get to Waresley Wood before too many new paths had been trodden.

Bluebells in woods
Waresley Wood bluebells
Bluebell cluster
Bluebell closeup in Waresley Wood

Two small people whom I know quite well also enjoyed a walk in the woods.

Two small boys walk along a path in the woods, bluebells behind.
Little boys in the woods

And I happened upon a practice flying day at Old Warden airfield, near Biggleswade.  It’s the home of the Shuttleworth Collection.

Second World biplane on the grass at Old Warden airfield
Polikarpov Po2 at Old Warden
A second world war monoplane on the grass
Lysander at Old Warden airfield

Week 15 and Easter is here . . .

Easter for Christians consists of a culmination of the 40 days of Lent with a celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection.  It is the most important period of the Church’s calendar.  Our church, a Roman Catholic church in Biggleswade in the UK, celebrated the 3 days of the Triduum in fine style, but here is the simple cross on display after the Resurrection Mass.

The Cross of Easter

In the garden the flowers are blooming.  We have mixtures of tulip colours and the medley is very effective in adding glorious colour to the garden.

Tulip with droplets
Victoria and tulips –Zuiko 135/2.8-f4
Tulips
Tulips — yellow_red_white_pink

And finally, here is a sight that pleases me greatly: my wife’s wonderful sourdough bread, with a little taken off to check that it’s still good  . . .

Sourdough bread

Week 14 – A trip to the City of London

I’m at an age where birthdays are less important than the indication that time is passing – way too quickly; but my wife treated me to a photographic expedition with lunch.  We travelled to the City of London to the address 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie.  She had booked a trip to the Sky Garden, on the 36th floor.  This is over 500ft above ground and gave us an excellent view of London, from Canary Wharf to our east, through the Shard and Strata Tower and the Thames to the smarter parts of London to our west, seeing both south and north banks of the Thames, along with many of the bridges.

London to the south of the river
Shard and lesser towers
A view south of London from 500ft up.
South of the Thames from 20 Fenchurch Street
People viewing the Thames form 500ft above ground
Thames from Sky Garden

It was a great place to be with a camera and I had my newly acquired Fujifilm X-T2.  Photographically the light was quite difficult: the glass of the building, the sun through the haze and the time of day contrived to make everything appear bluer than was natural.  I used Capture One Pro (from Phase One software) to adjust the colour tone so that it’s the sort of scene that I remember.  I didn’t adjust an image of 20 Fenchurch Street from street level, except to add one in monochrome:

A curved building soars towards the sky
The building at 20 Fenchurch Street, London
A curved building soars towards the sky
The building at 20 Fenchurch Street, London

After a great lunch in the Darwin Brasserie (for which we needed a bank loan), we walked to St Paul’s Cathedral, where some sort of wedding function was under way.  I think that this (very young) couple were using the venue for some romantic shots for their album; we saw no guests:

A young couple pose in wedding dress
Posing at St Paul’s Cathedral
A young couple poses for a photo
Posing at St Paul’s Cathedral
A young couple in wedding dress running towards a photographer.
A wedding photo on the run

We finally reached the South Bank of the Thames, to meet our son and his family; they posed reasonably willingly:

Parents with their two children next to the Thames
A young family and an ice cream.

Week 13 – Northamptonshire and flowers

I drove home from Wittering on Friday taking the long way.  It was a beautiful route through parts of Northamptonshire.  I’ve long flown over Oundle and wanted to visit; it’s a lovely small town.  Here is a café, with a variety of customers . . .

Oundle Café

I spotted several beautiful churches on the way, but this was delightful and was close to the main road.  It’s the Church of St Swithin at Old Weston

Church with spire
Country church with spire

Our garden is looking increasingly beautiful with the onset of Spring.  The gardener is keen on nature, and the tulips are looking great, as is a cherry tree (from which we harvest no cherries – the birds always beat us to it).

I’m giving Nature a Home3
Tulip composite
Cherry blossom
Cherry Blossom