f4 Photographic Group go to Maldon

An f4 trip to somewhere new. Fresh challenges like, what do we photograph, what’s the beer like, what have I forgotten, have I remembered to register my car with reception, where’s the nearest ATM – all spring to mind. Discussions earlier in the year led us to Maldon. Colchester with it’s history, Maldon and West Mersea with the Thames barges and numerous coastal landscape spots, a potential photographer’s feast.

The weather was reasonably kind to us, with the notable exception of when we visited Walton on the Naze. I was expecting more from the tower at one end but the pier at the other, together with a sudden onset of fog, made for some interesting results. We visited a couple of good restaurants, one on the seafront at West Mersea and the other, a Thai restaurant in Colchester. The third was an Indian restaurant in Colchester and I have to say that even a sardine would have felt uncomfortably squashed, there was that little room.

Anyway, here are a few images from the break, including the one that won “Best of the Annual Trip” – “Thick Fog at Walton”.

East Riding County FA

Having had the pleasure of photographing the Hull Floodlight Football Summer League across this summer with the f4 Photographic Group, courtesy of Chris Johnson at ERCFA, I was asked to cover one of their under 7’s days at the Roy West Centre in Hull. There are a number of 3G surfaced pitches, well laid out and ideal for the kids to have a really good day out – and it was. There were between 30 – 40 teams and up to 9 matches all going on at the same time. A morning session and then an afternoon session. Hull City Manager Nigel Adkins was there, as was Roary, the Tigers’ mascot and Hull City legend Dean Windass came along too. They were interviewed for TV and videoed for a programme to be aired later in the day. All in all, a great way to get kids enthused about the health benefits of sport (including Smokefree sidelines) and also to teach them about team spirit and working together. ERCFA are also looking to promote football in other areas –  girls and womens football are now especially popular in light of the recent success of the womens’ national team. Here’s a selection of “action” shots from the day – if you want the whole lot, including teams, they’re over on Flickr – here.


The Shuttleworth Collection

“This looks like a good day out”,  said Pete, “Yes”, I replied. “Let’s take the girls” – so we did.

The Shuttleworth Collection, down at Old Warden, is a collection of vintage cars and aircraft, together with The Swiss Garden and the house – and it makes a lovely day oout, especially when they are having a flying day, which is what my photography pal Pete Stockton and I wanted.

We stayed at a small pub just outside the village and arrived at the venue early next morning. Some planes were already up and enjoying themselves and there was a good display of old cars and motorbikes, together with a great amount of nostalgic stuff. We took a charabanc trip up to the house and had a look around, followed by a look around the Swiss garden and lunch. The air display started at 2pm and went on until 6 and there were a lot of old planes in the air. What a great time, fab weather and we all really enjoyed it. A thoroughly well recommended visit. Here’s some pics from the air show, garden stuff to follow.

Hull Floodlight Football Summer League

This year in the f4 Photographic Group, we looked for some extra photo opportunities around us and one suggestion was to look for sporting events. I asked around various places and found Chris Johnson at the East Riding FA. He was very helpful and said that we could go down to photograph the Summer League on a Monday evening, and, with a programme running over a few months, it was ideal for sustained practise at something different. They are at Hull #FFL on Facebook. There are some of the f4 images on the FB page – here are some of mine.

Linton in Craven

Sue read a review about The Fountaine Inn in Linton in Craven and thought a few days away walking would re-charge the batteries after the extreme heat we’ve been having. A pleasant drive through North Yorkshire saw us arrive at lunchtime where we shared a ploughman’s lunch. Lovely meal and beer later we decided to go for a quick walk and there are plenty of them in the area. Grassington is only a stroll away and there is also an easy path along the river to Burnsall where we had a refreshing cuppa at the Red Lion. In order to get there you have to cross the river by means of a very bouncy suspension bridge – Sue didn’t like that. She also didn’t like being stung by a wasp when we were having lunch sat outside the pub – her hand swelled up like a balloon.

The next morning we went to Gargrave to walk the Leeds/Liverpool canal path into Skipton but first got some antihistamines and cream to help with the swelling which had started to go up her arm and was very itchy. It seemed to have sorted the trick by the next morning.

This is a really picturesque part of the County and well worth a stay – we really enjoyed ourselves – the food was excellent and the people were very welcoming.

Croatia – Korcula

The weather decided to turn as we were on our way into Korcula. We were due to be there for the morning and then to sail in to Mljet in the afternoon before ending our holiday back in Dubrovnik. It was raining on and off and a breeze got up as well. Still, intrepid explorers that we are, we took a walk around Korcula and found it to be another of these Croatian towns with plenty to see, some good harbourside restaurants and cafes and lots of steps and alleyways.

Marco Polo lived here – I guess that is the island’s real claim to fame. There’s a museum here and his house is there as well, although I found that quite amusing because having done all that seafaring he’d hardly have been at home. Mrs Polo (if there was one) would constantly have been chucking his tea away because it was burnt.

Earlier in the day, the captain got us all together for a meeting – apparently the weather was too bad in Mljet (it’s only a small harbour) for us to land safely so we had to sail past it and headed directly to Dubrovnik. We really enjoyed this holiday and I have to say that the ship and crew were very very good.


Croatia – Hvar and Vis

Another day and more Islands (read churches and castles) to explore. Hvar Island was very pretty and again we ventured up hundreds of millions of steps up to a hilltop castle overlooking a pretty harbour. There ought to be a prettiest view from a hilltop competition in Croatia – there’s an awful lot to choose from. You can tell how steep the climb was because someone has kindly stuck a number of recliners half way up so you can have a rest. Then we got to Vis – Mammia Mia! cute little island, didn’t stay long, I think we were looking forward to Korcula the next day although we were a little sad that we were coming to the end of a lovely holiday.

Croatia – Trogir & Split

I wasn’t sure what to expect in Trogir as we were landing by tender – would it be as small as I thought, would there be much there apart from the obligatory churches, castles and touristy things. ON the other hand, we’d seen some great images of Split and were looking forward to it. As usual, things don’t work out as you expect and we found Trogir charming with more narrow streets to shield us from the sun, welcoming cafes, low flying aircraft coming into/taking off from Split airport, someone towing a capsized boat and a good walk around the harbour.

Split on the other hand was extremely windy, full of tourists (yes I know) – and lots of market stalls. Plus it was probably around 32C and not good to walk around in. I’m pleased we saw it and it might be better on another visit. Here’s a few images :-

Croatia – Sibenik

As we cruised in towards Sibenik there were a number of small rocky islands and outcrops and on one of them was a sign welcoming everyone to Sibenik. I thought this could be either touristy and nasty or a genuine welcome. After seeing the place and the people I came to the conclusion it was the latter. A lovely long harbour front with access to the old town halfway down. It had quaint narrow streets that we were now getting used to seeing, and, walking in the heat of the day one could see why they’d been built like that to shelter people from the sun. We had a good walk around after docking and returned for a quick glass of something before ouor one and only “official” excursion to the Krka Waterfalls. The whole area of the Krka National Park is vast, The falls we went to were the Skradinski Buk Falls which are the bottom end of the park – we walked for quite some time on well laid out decked routes with trout (forbidden to catch them) in almost every bit of water we saw. They weren’t bothered by our presence at all. There were 240 steps down and 240 back up again which tested the tendons but fortunately we managed it easily. I wondered how much time we could spend touring the whole of the park – a good month I guess. The view of the main falls is hampered by the scores of people bathing in the front of the falls but it is still a stunningly beautiful place. We really enjoyed Sibenik – a lot.

Montenegro – Kotor

The last time we were in Kotor we were almost fogbound on an Azamara cruise. This time the sun was shining and the church I took a picture of in the fog was in plain sight. Kotor is a lovely place and certainly justifies its world heritage site position.

We walked along a bit of the walls and got an excellent view of just how small our 200 passenger Belle de l’Adriatique was compared to the huge MSC cruise ship moored next to us. We were nearly tempted to walk up the 2000 steps to the church but thought better of it in the heat. Maybe next time.