• Wales
    Sue and I went to Wales recently – it was planned that we’d go to South Wales first as she was born there but hadn’t physically seen the place because the family moved when she was a baby. We stayed in Crickhowell and used it as a base to cover walking by the River Usk and the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. The weather was forecast to be rainy but we managed to dodge it and find a few good places. We then went up to Betws-y-Coed for a few days and did the same. Lovely hotel just by the River … Continue reading
  • Breaks in the Lakes
    Only 3 days away but how we managed to recharge the batteries a bit mentally. On the other hand, not having had much exercise for a little while we drained the physical ones. Easedale Tarn, Elterwater, The Coffin Route, Rydal Caves and Rydal Water together with Grasmere meant that we had a series of good sleeps! Here’s a few images :-
  • A Day Out
    What a great day yesterday was. A full day with the camera, in a hide, photographing wildlife. I went to a farm just outside York to photograph kestrels, hare and owls. No owls and only 2 hare but the kestrels were fabulous. Here’s a few images from the day. Another day there is called for, perhaps when the chicks hatch and the parents are coming down for food.
  • Last Photo Competitions of the Season
    The Competition Season for my Club, The f4 Photographic Group, has now finished for 2020/2021 and we re-commence in March for the new 2021/2022 season. I had some success during the whole year but finished off the season with a win in Round 9 of the PDI (Projected Digital Images) competition “Table Top & Macro Photography” with this image – “Bee in Flight” We’re changing our Competition categories this year in order to widen the scope from just subjects defined by the external competitions we enter so hopefully some additional interest will be created.
  • Merry Christmas
    This year has been very difficult for a lot of people and some will have fewer family members owing to the Corona virus which is affecting everyone in some way. I have meant to photograph this house for a number of years – it is a welcome sight at Christmas and makes people happy. The owner takes great pride in putting on a show and adds new pieces, like the Merry Christmas feature this year. Whilst I was there at least a half dozen walked by and looked and that was only over a 15 minute timespan. I only took … Continue reading
  • f4 Photographic Group Annual Trip
    This year, the decision was made to go to the Lake District. We hadn’t been there for a number of years and it seemed like a good idea at the time. All the arrangements were made fairly early in the year with the assumption that the Covid-19 situation would have eased and around 10 members signed up and booked. There were no signs of anything improving so one by one members cancelled out until a hardy 4 were left. I felt sorry for Cathryn from Skelwith Bridge Hotel who put up with me changing arrangements , sometimes on a daily … Continue reading
  • Papplewick Pumping Station Model Shoot
    Back in September I booked a Model Shoot through TimeLineEvents – just before we went to Mull for my 70th. I’d never been there before and found that the place itself was just a great place to photograph and must go back and do it one day. The models, Illyana and Emma were just brilliant to work with and had a range of outfits and poses and needed little guidance. There was a reduced number of photographers allowed at the shoot because of the regulations for Covid-19 in place at the time. Here’s a few shots from the day.
  • Majestic Cruise Line – Mull
    For my 70th Birthday Sue took me on the Glen Etive, owned by Majestic Cruise Lines. The cruise was called “Mull – her inlets and islands”. It is a small ship – usually sailing with maximum 14 travellers in 7 cabins – yes, it’s intimate. Owing to Covid-19 regulations, we sailed with just 10 passengers in total, plus 4 crew. We were due to sail from Oban but decided to break the journey by staying at Duck Bay next to Loch Lomond. I had used this hotel before when on business in Scotland. As we were due to sail late … Continue reading
  • f4 Photographic Group – Summer Outings
    At f4 Photographic Group we normally have a 12 or 13 week Summer programme of outings to go and photograph things of interest. Various topics and genres – generally something to suit everyone and it’s planned well in advance. This year of uncertainty has brought a great deal of unhappiness to so many people so the fact that our activities have been curtailed to some extent is more of a minor irritation compared to severe illnesses and isolation. However, the small number of outings we’ve managed have been attended well and after a long period of non-posting, I thought I … Continue reading
  • f4 Photographic Group – Staying at Home
    All we are being asked to do is stay home, stay safe, eat, drink, sleep and look after ourselves. It doesn’t sound that hard does it but we’re all getting cabin fever to some degree. At f4 Photographic, we’ve started to hold on line meetings via Zoom and of course we’ve had to change our programme to reflect the remote access via laptops. We had a “Photographs I took this week” competition which was quite interesting and we incorporated a macro inspired “Can you guess what it is yet?” element as well. We’re managing to hold our internal club PDI … Continue reading
  • Walking Netball
    Sue and the ladies of Haltemprice Walking Netball had a tournament last week with a couple of other fairly local teams. It was held at the Hull University facility where I photographed Men City recently. A brilliant place which caters for many different sports. There were supposed to be 5 teams taking part but 2 were coming from well out of town and with the current uncertainty about coronavirus I think they were erring on the cautious side, so 3 teams turned up. The ladies had a good session and for some players, the term walking hasn’t quite filtered down. … Continue reading
  • Men City
    No, it’s not a typo! Men City is a not for profit project that aims to encourage more men to play football. Taking place four times a week, the sessions are relaxed but competetive and encourage men of all ages, abilities and fitness levels to participate in the beautiful game. there is no pressure to turn up every week with participants invited to attend as and when they are available. Here is a link to their Facebook page where you can see more information, but to whet your appetite, here are a few images from last week.  
  • Hull Floodlight Football Cup Final
    I was asked by Chris Johnson of the East Riding FA – Clubs and Participation Development Officer, to cover the Hull Floodlight Football winter cup final between HUBS and Malet 2.0. It was a cold evening but the rain that had been forecast kept away until a 30 second flurry at the very end of the game. Here are some images from the evening, the game having been won by Malet 2.0 3-2.  
  • Christmas in The Lake District
    It’s a while since I posted anything – I’ve had one of these viruses that seem to last forever and the inspiration just hasn’t been there. Christmas presents the opportunity to relax and enjoy the time of year with family and friends so Bowness on a sunny Christmas Day was lovely. We met our “Christmas Friends” Martin and Maxine at Bowness for a good catch up and to enjoy our hotel on Lake Windermere. As the weather on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day wasn’t very accommodating we didn’t walk very far and didn’t go on the Boxing Day lake cruise, … Continue reading
  • Saga Cruise to Norway
    For my birthday this year Sue booked a cruise on the Saga Spirit of Discovery. We looked and booked about a year ago and there weren’t many cabins left then. The ship looked beautiful in the brochures and didn’t disappoint when we got to Dover. The whole experience with them was just great. I must admit that I was wary about how old our fellow passengers would be but was quite relieved when the Captain said that the average passenger age was 56. We came down to earth a bit when he said that this included the crew… (only joking). … Continue reading
  • The Sesh 2019
    I suddenly realised I hadn’t posted any pictures of the Sesh this year. There were some great bands on and I walked my legs off, hopefully to great effect. I think some of the bands I photographed enjoyed the images by the feedback I got so that’s great!
  • Walking Netball Festival
    Sue asked me to go along to a walking netball festival at Hull University last week. There were 4 teams playing, Haltemprice, The Cavers, Withernsea and Age Concern. It was a competetive affair with Haltemprice winning a trophy but it’s fair to say that it was a close session. The teams were celebrating the beginning of walking netball for them 4 years ago. There are more and more teams starting up in the area which can only be a good thing. Here’s some photos from the day :-
  • Salo – Lake Garda
    Gardone, where we’ve been to a number of times, is a pretty little place and we’ve enjoyed going there. Salo, just a couple of kilometers away, is a bit busier and has a lovely long promenade to stroll along – we decided to give it a go. The weather was hovering around and just above 30 degrees C for the time we were there – it was extremely sticky – and, unlike a lot of hotels, we couldn’t get the airconditioning down to “stun” setting. Lovely room though with a large lake view balcony. Thanks to a great set of … Continue reading
  • f4 Photographic Group – Holland
    We continue our travels from Keukenhof via an unnecessary ferry crossing, to Zaanse Schans, arriving a good 30 minutes after everyone else. SatNav also had a hand in our being late in arriving at the hotel for the evening in Apeldoorn, but that was down to user error. I apparently put in the co-ordinates for Apenheul Primate Park rather than the hotel. Before that, we had also taken a long detour because of very slow traffic on the road to Apeldoorn and satnav calculated that we would take a minor road which would circumnavigate the problem and get us there … Continue reading
  • Holland – Keukenhof Gardens
    Early last month I went to Holland on a short trip with some of my f4 photogs. We started off from Hull, travelling overnight to Rotterdam on the ferry. The first planned stop was the Keukenhof Gardens at Lisse. We’d just missed the enormous display of flowers in the fields, but the show in the gardens was still just amazing. Here are a few images from there before we moved on to our second port of call Zaanse Schans, where we stopped to photograph the windmills and small visitor centre. Some of us took a ferry to get from Keukenhof … Continue reading
  • Picos de Europa
    Last year I was looking on the web for somewhere different to photograph. I also wanted a variety of subject matter. A friend in my photography club had been to northern Spain and I decided to give it a look. The terrain on a map looks quite mountainous and there are good walks, lush vegetation and some wildlife. I trawled the net for a short photographic break and came across Imber Court Photo Training, run by Ashley Gardner. I asked for details and got a speedy response and enrolled on a break with him. In total there were 5 plus … Continue reading
  • Croatia – Places & other stuff
    Further to my last post, here are some of the places we went to see. The Krka Falls are just spectacular and although there were plenty of people there, it was too early in the season for the swimmers so there was no roped off foreground where they were allowed to swim. The church and monastery on Vis by night was beautiful and looked so tranquil. Sue found the monument in Vodice to the Victims of Communist Yugoslavia particularly poignant. I liked the Monument to the Sun in Zadar – it is solar powered and lights up at night with … Continue reading
  • Croatia 2019 – people we met.
    We enjoyed 2018 so when we saw a cruise around the Croatian Islands on a small (36 passenger) cruise ship, we thought it would be a great idea. Photos of places and the ship to follow but here are some of the people we met :-
  • Clumber Park
    I booked a day out with Fuji-X ambassador, Chris Upton. I’ve had my X-T3 for a while now and am enjoying it but thought a few tips and tricks from someone who knows the camera inside out would help. I spent some time with Chris working through menus and shortcuts and learnt a few goodies and then we went into Clumber Park to take a few images. When we returned, we processed a few images, had lunch and went our separate ways – the day vanished somewhere just like that. Thanks for a great day Chris.
  • Bordeaux River Cruise
    We saw this cruise a long while ago and Sue said it would be a great break for her birthday so we booked. The first time we’d been with Viking and the first time down to Bordeaux. The cabins on River cruise ships are mostly smaller than on ocean going ships but they didn’t waste any space when they designed them – a place for everything. We had a couple of days in one cabin then were upgraded because our old cabin was in need of some work. We ended up with a lovely cabin with balcony. We had been … Continue reading
  • Snowdrops at Burton Agnes
    I’ve been quite lazy with the camera so far this year. There’s lots going on later but at the moment when it’s cold wet and miserable I don’t really feel happy. It was dry yesterday though so I ventured as far as Burton Agnes to see the lovely show of Snowdrops on the woodland walk. I didn’t take many photographs but at least I got out.
  • Merry Christmas
    Yes – it was! We went to Bowness again to the Belsfield Hotel where we went last year. Not many new things to take pictures of but we met our friends Martin & Maxine Shelmerdine again and had a good catch up. The weather was quite kind but a lot of mist on one of the days curtailed the walking. Still, a nice trek up Brantfell gave us a good view over Windermere and burned off a few Christmas calories. As you can see, one of the 12 drummers drumming got left behind – probably too much prosecco on Christmas … Continue reading
  • Rhodes
    “We’ve never been to Rhodes” was the wistful murmur. I knew what was coming so got the credit card out. “I’ve seen this hotel” – I turned the computer on. “I need some sun before winter” – we made the booking. I was looking forward to this as well. We stayed in a hotel just outside Lindos, it was built into the side of a mountain and the people at the hotel were just lovely – nothing too much trouble. The room was spacious with good sea view as well. We hadn’t planned to do much, other than get the … Continue reading
  • Lisbon
    My birthday treat from Sue was to go to Lisbon. We flew from Liverpool with EasyJet which was quite painless and got us into Lisbon early afternoon. We went to the information desk to get some Lisbon cards to make best use of buses, trams and trains and asked where the taxi rank was. There were hundreds of people just outside the entrance milling around and we found out that the taxi drivers were on an 8 day strike, protesting at Uber being given more licences than the official taxi drivers. We opted for the bus and waited in the … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • 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 … Continue reading
  • Horn Mill Trout Farm
    I’ve not done a lot of bird photography so I was reading a report about Horn Mill Trout Farm from Greg Coyne and thought I’d like to give it a try. I knew there’d be an early start but getting up at 3am for a 4am stroll down to the hide was rather alien to me – probably also some of the other guys with me – although it has to be said that they sounded as though they’d done a lot more bird photography than I have. Anyway, we set up in a well kitted out hide, comfy chairs, … Continue reading
  • Croatia – Dubrovnik
    We’ve had 3 attempts now at getting to Dubrovnik. The first was a couple of years ago aboard a ship that couldn’t get into port because of a bad storm, the second was a hotel we wanted to stay at that didn’t have a room at the time we wanted to go and this was the third. You can understand some trepidation considering the past failures. However, no such troubles need have concerned us. The flight went well, the transfer was smooth and efficient and we were on board the CroisiEurope ship – La Belle de L’Adriatique by early afternoon. … Continue reading
  • Haworth
    “Let’s go to Haworth – we’ve not been there before” – OK, I reply, we can see the little cobble streets, the Bronte Falls, Top Withens and Hardcastle Crags. So that’s the plan. We settled for a small hotel in the centre of Haworth called The Old Registry and manage to book the last room. A small room with a lovely view of the hills in the distance through a tilting skylight window. A pleasant drive later we start to notice a lot of cars on the way into Haworth and crawling traffic. Something must be on this week-end we … Continue reading
  • Butterfly World
    Following on from our Birds of Prey experience, Pete and I had organised a trip to Butterfly World at Stockton-on-Tees. I’d not been in one before and had heard all about humidity but wasn’t prepared for it. I misted up, the camera misted up and so did the Fuji 80mm macro lens that I’d hired especially for the day. After about 20 minutes when we were acclimatised, we had a good search around. Search is probably the wrong word, it was wall to wall butterflies of every size and colour. We had both seen an extremely large pale blue butterfly … Continue reading
  • Thorpe Perrow Birds of Prey
    My buddy Pete Stockton and I decided to take a Birds of Prey experience at Thorpe Perrow arboretum. It was the first one they’d done specifically for photographers. It was a 4 hour event with lunch provided but Ollie, who was handling the birds, overran the programme to give extra bird time for us all. Some of the displays in the morning were static/short flight, carried out in the aviary area. These were for a variety of species of owl. The next display was out in the woods and we then adjourned for lunch. A hawk walk followed lunch and … Continue reading
  • Madeira 2018
    It’s a while since we went to Madeira but we chose a trip for Sue’s birthday and it was a pleasant change from freezing weather at home. We had all sorts of flowers coming into bloom and could have done with a trip up into the forest and some gardens but it was a chill type of holiday rather than action. We’d decided that although we liked the previous places we’ve stayed at, we’d like to try the Hotel Porto Santa Maria on the seafront at the old end of Funchal town – what a lovely place, great facilities, better … Continue reading
  • Hull Raceway
    I needed some action shots for a club competition so asked the guys at Hull Raceway if I could pop down and take some pictures. This would be a test of my panning, focussing and lowlight camera skills. For the technically minded, I found myself in a variety of lighting levels, ranging from ISO 2500 (using the 56mm f1.2 Fujinon) and ISO12800 (using the 50-140 f2.8 on my Fuji X-T2. The guys were really helpful and there was non-stop action all the time that I was there. Here are a few of the images I took – comments welcome!  
  • Natasha J Bella
    “How do you fancy a good day out doing some studio photography”, said Paul. “Sounds good to me I said”. Well it was. I went to Natasha J Bella‘s studio with my f4 Photographic Group chum, Paul Lazenby and we had an extremely entertaining and rewarding day out, photographing a very attractive and professional Natasha in her own studio. Lots of clothes changes, great make up and a choice of shooting backgrounds. I suffered a little with my RAW files in what has been a well documented phenomenon the internet. The images on the computer screen when I downloaded the … Continue reading
  • Christmas 2017
    We decided to try somewhere new this year for Christmas. Grasmere was good for 3 years but a few niggles persuaded us, together with our friends Martin & Maxine Shelmerdine, to look for another venue. We had not looked at Bowness seriously until we visited there last year whilst “out and about” and Sue liked the looks of The Belsfield Hotel, just in front of the pier. Our friends decided to try it out earlier in the year and we booked following their trip. It’s a good hotel, the staff are helpful and pleasant, the restaurant was very well decorated … Continue reading
  • f4 Photographic Group – Annual Trip
    My fellow f4 chums and I had arranged to go to Killarney this year for our annual trip. Blue skies, an Indian Summer and Guinness were on the cards. A fly in the ointment called Storm Brian decided to intervene and we got one out of the three – Guinness. It was blowing a gale and we had rain – one day was decidedly bad but we certainly had rain in small quantities the rest of the time as well. Fortunately we had decided upon a variety of places to photograph, some inside, notable Muckross Abbey and Killarney Cathedral (which … Continue reading
  • Newport
    This will be a short page – by now, full of cold so Sue went out with her phone and came back with pics. She had a good walk around Newport and said I’d have liked it. There – told you it was short. Image of lighthouse with what is a very large bridge in the background but unfortunately it was that foggy you couldn’t see anything. Image 2 was a home for aged men which she kindly offered to send me to if I didn’t start feeling better soon….
  • Boston
    If Bar Harbor was busy because of Columbus week-end, then we should have expected Boston to be as well. The coach trip from harbourside to drop off point, normally a 15 minute journey, lasted  1 hr +. The airconditioning on the coach had also broken and we were sat in almost 30 degrees and high humidity stuck in traffic. There was a huge parade for the celebrations and the Police were closing off streets systematically in order to allow the parade to take place. We could have walked it in 25 minutes. When we got to our designated drop off … Continue reading
  • Bar Harbor
    If there was ever a place dedicated to tourism, this was it. Lots of shops, selling the same souvenirs, just waiting for cruise ship passengers to descend upon them. It was Columbus week-end when we got there so the whole place was hopping. Another lobster sandwich anyone? Maple syrup anyone? Whale watching tour – no problem. There’s just so much to see and do here and if you ignore the touristy bits and go inland to Acadia National Park, it’s stunning. We took a coach tour around the National Park and saw the colours starting to change, went to see … Continue reading
  • St John, Bay of Fundy
    Another day, another stop. This time we woke in time for a glorious sunrise just before docking. I had booked a days photography with a local photographer around Bay of Fundy. We were scheduled to see Reversing Rapids, Lepreau Falls and whatever else would be available dependent upon weather and tides. First things first though – breakfast and a game of shuffleboard and table tennis, followed by lunch on board. A good number of us climbed on board a 28 seater coach for the afternoon and our guide, Lance Timmons, explained what we were going to see and we set … Continue reading
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
      A leisurely overnight journey took us further down the coast to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Still the Celtic links and none more obvious than when we got to the Citadel, a fortified building at the top of a hill, encircled by cannons, guarded by soldiers in bearskins and kilts. Changing of the guard every hour and the noonday cannon made it a popular tourist destination, mind you there was another cruise ship in with us in Halifax. An amusing sight of Routemaster buses being used as hop-on hop-off transport from the central pier area at Pier 21, up to the … Continue reading
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia
    After a long day at sea watching for anything at all of interest, it was great to dock in Sydney, Nova Scotia. As the name says, New Scotland – they’re proud of their Celtic history here too. We were at tender here – another cruise ship had taken what I presume to be the only quayside berth available so a short tender ride in and we tied up next to a giant violin. A 10 tonne monument to the folk music and traditions of the Celtic community. There are a number of sculptures and monuments in and around Sydney harbour … Continue reading
  • Montreal to New York – part 2
    After leaving Quebec we headed to Saguenay, a City of 144,000 people with a small town feel – its main industries in minerals, bauxite and aluminium. Over 98% of the population are French speaking as seems to be the norm in Quebec. We moored at the terminal in La Baie, one of the cities that combined in 2002 to make Saguenay. We hadn’t made arrangements to visit anywhere, just to go walkabout. La Baie is very small and has a quaint feel to it. When we walked off the ship we were greeted by families in old traditional costumes with … Continue reading
  • Montreal to New York – part 1.
    My birthday treat this year was a cruise on Oceania Cruises “Insignia”, taking in Canada and US ports of call in the fall. We had booked Oceania because they operate smaller ships, like the Azamara Quest and Journey which we’ve travelled on before. The Insignia is identical to the Quest and Journey so we felt we knew the ship as soon as we boarded. However, we first went down to Heathrow for an Air Canada 777 flight to Montreal which worked really well. We stopped overnight at Heathrow so that we weren’t rushing the next morning on the M1/M25. Air … Continue reading
  • Northumberland
    Sue and I had been talking for a while about going up to Northumberland and visiting Holy Island, Alnwick, Bamburgh and Seahouses, to look at the castles & churches and to take a walk along the beaches. The few days we chose weren’t very friendly weatherwise but at least it was just overcast rather than persisting it down. The trip across to Holy Island was relatively uneventful and we had a decent walk around and lunch at one of the local hotels. After lunch, a visit to Bamburgh Castle completed the day. Next day we went into Alnwick and went … Continue reading
  • Woodhall Spa 40’s weekend
    I had a great week-end down in Woodhall Spa with my f4 pal Dave Robson and girlfriend Tina Cranfield. I’d done some stuff solo because my foot was still playing up, but joined them at the Petwood Hotel for lunch and re-enactment later. The rain was persistent but armed with brolly and camera, I braved the high street to take some images of a beautiful selection on lovingly cared for vintage motor cars (and a bike).  I’m looking forward to next year already but will take a longer lens for the planes – they didn’t get down the High Street … Continue reading
  • RAF Holmpton – Visitthebunker
    I won’t bore anyone with the reason I’ve not posted for a while, suffice to say I can almost walk properly again so can get out with the camera. My f4 Photographic chums and I went for an evening to RAF Holmpton to Visit the Bunker.  To quote their website “A simple bungalow hides the entrance to an underground nuclear bunker. Descend the stairs and venture along the 120 metre long tunnel, pass through the blast doors to find yourself immersed in the once secret world of cold war defence.” The bungalow certainly hides what lies beneath – there are … Continue reading
  • Prague 2017
    Sue and I went to Prague last month and despite a number of hiccups with both travel and personal belongings, we had a great time. We went with long time buddies Doug & Anna Thurlow and Tony and Anita Trotman-Beasty – I used to work with both the guys in bands over a number of years. Over a 4 day period we managed to get round most of the major touristy bits but we need to go back to see the rest – it’s just a lovely City and one of the best breaks I’ve had. Despite there being 6 … Continue reading
  • Art Nude course with John Denton and Isla Rose
    John Denton is a local photographer who runs Art Nude photography courses amongst other things. He came to our f4 Photography club a while ago and treated us to a selection of images. My fellow photog Paul Lazenby and I decided to take part in one of John’s courses out at Bishop Burton one Sunday with the very lovely Isla Rose as our model for the day. We used a number of different locations, lighting styles and accessories and there are a few images here to give you a flavour. Thanks to Isla for wonderful teamaking as well and for … Continue reading
  • Newbridge Lakes wildlife
    Sometimes when the fishing goes through a quiet spell, it’s good to look around at the wildlife on the lake. There’s been a heron on the peg opposite to us for the past few weeks now. I think it’s watching for some tips on how to do it. I’ve not seen it pay for a peg yet though and will report it if it doesn’t. There’s also been a lot of activity by the gulls, feeding on duckling chicks. I saw one in action today – not very nice but the mother and father duck were nowhere to be seen … Continue reading
  • Tornado at Ribblehead Viaduct
    Not a physical tornado but Tornado – A1 class locomotive. I went with my photo buddy Pete Stockton for a day west of Hawes when we saw that Tornado was running. The day started with us looking at some lone trees on limestone pavement stuff at Southerscales and then having a bit of a trek up the hill to get a better vantage point of Tornado. We were standing around for a while and it was fairly cold so a good job we were layered up. It was also a good job that I’d had a decent breakfast, having stayed … Continue reading
  • Paul Smith to J.K Rowling – Hull University
    I’ve been working as a volunteer for Hull City of Culture and took on a number of shifts at the Brynmor Jones library at Hull University, where the “Paul Smith to J.K. Rowling” exhibition is showing until June 11th. These works have all been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery as part of the first prize of the BP Portrait Award. This award is now in its 27th year and is aimed at encouraging artists to develop portraiture within their work. We are extremely lucky in Hull to have so many of these commissions in one place at one time. There is … Continue reading
  • Hull City of Culture – Lego Daffodils
    I figured that the best time to catch the Lego daffodil site in Hull, in a relatively people free manner, would be early morning and as it was Easter Monday today – I thought – even better. Even so, at 8.20am this morning, people were starting to congregate and I had to be quite quick. One couple looking at the flowers told me they’d just got off the ferry from Rotterdam and that although they’d set off around Europe from Dover, some 17 days ago, they always planned to come back through Hull to see what the City of Culture … Continue reading
  • Mediterranean Cruise – Norwegian Spirit
    We hadn’t been with NCL before so took a break with them at the end of March for Sue’s birthday, departing and returning to Barcelona. We tagged on an extra night in Barcelona as we hadn’t been there before and we took the opportunity to use the hop-on hop-off bus to get around. To be fair, we used the bus in a few places to make the most of our time – they’re excellent value and a great way of doing justice to what is really a very short time on shore in any one place. The pre-cruise was interesting … Continue reading
  • North Ferriby United vs Woking
    I decided to try something different yesterday. I rang North Ferriby United to see if I could take some images of their match with Woking. I was given some advice on how to obtain a Media pass for the National League which I found very useful and also was allowed to go down for the match. North Ferriby won 2-1 which will help in their fight to stay up. Here are a few images from the day :-
  • Fire Engine for Hull City of Culture
    I’d forgotten about this. There was a newly painted Fire Engine  launched in January in Trinity Square to celebrate Hull City of Culture 2017. Martin Green, CEO and Director of Hull UK City of Culture was present, as were a number of personnel from the Fire Service and news coverage from Radio Humberside.  
  • Queen Victoria Square
    We decided to take a wander around the Ferens Art Gallery as it has recently re-opened. Splendid job they’ve done too. I thought the standard of exhibits in the 2017 Open Exhibition was particularly good. I hadn’t put anything in this year but I’ll make an effort next year again. The sculpture in the entrance hall was very striking and I expected it to start moving at any time. Whilst my assistant was shopping, I took the opportunity to take a few images of the Blade again, using a couple of buildings as reference points. It’s strange to think how … Continue reading
  • Close ups
    I can’t wait for the new Fuji macro lens to come out. I have a 16mm extension but it’s not as good as a real macro lens I don’t think. Anyway, I asked my buddy Tony Beasty if I could do a few close ups of some of his excellent guitars and we had a good session together yesterday. I particularly liked the first two he brought out, and spent most of the time on those. The headstocks on both of them were attractive in their own ways, the Rickenbacker because of the machine head configuration and the Fender because … Continue reading
  • The Back Room – Cottingham
    So, I found myself last night frequenting The Back Room, splendid venue owned by very long time friend Paul Sutton and his wife Gilly. Paul puts on a lot of live music and it’s great quality too. Headlining last night the excellent Amanda Rheaume Band, supported by the extremely talented Dennis Ellsworth. An all Canadian bill and not surprisingly they didn’t know of each other before they arrived (well it IS a big country so they say). Apparently the drive from Edinburgh to Hull for Amanda and her band was a bit like going to the shops in Canada…. I’d … Continue reading
  • The Fork Handles at The Duke of Cumberland
    A rare visit for me to see some old chums from my playing days, including Phil Tebbs who was up from darn sarf for a few days. I’d been to F4 Photographic Group meeting at King Billy and as Dunc had told me the Forks were gigging at The Duke of Cumberland for an evening to see how it went, with a view to a permanent Thursday gig – I took the camera down. Very dark in there so the images are a bit grainy. The boys played wonderfully well and the huge crowd in there, lots of them regular … Continue reading
  • Hull City of Culture – The Blade
    I took a trip down to Hull yesterday morning to see what all the fuss was about. It’s BIG. I hope it doesn’t slip off the stand, it’ll ruin the new paving. The Blade is something that looked as though it was drawing comment from the scores of people standing looking, so from that point of view I suppose it can be considered as art. I heard one elderly lady comment to a friend that rather than dismantle all the bits and pieces that they had to in order for it to be manoeuvoured  into place, they’d be better spending … Continue reading
  • Hull City of Culture 2017 – Made in Hull
    The first major event to start off the Hull City of Culture 2017 was “Made in Hull” – a huge projection in Queen Victoria Square, projected simultaneously on the City Hall, The Ferens Art Gallery and The Maritime Museum. Sue and I went into Hull by train to save parking problems. We got the last two standing room only places on the two carriage train for the 10 minutes ride into Hull. There were people left on Cottingham station as the demand was that high – they would miss the 4pm start but as the show repeated itself until 9pm, … Continue reading
  • Hull City of Culture 2017 – Fireworks Display
    Having chosen our spot at Goxhill, three of us arrived early at 6pm in order to park up and wait. The first 50 or so folk were already there, braving the freezing cold wind blowing straight in our faces. This was going to be difficult. We sat in the warm car for a couple of hours and waited until shortly before 8pm and then ventured along the river bank for some considerable distance until there was a clear spot. I think there could well have been 500+ people along the bank. Many tripods, many head torches, much anticipation. Anyway, here … Continue reading
  • Happy New Year
    Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you have a healthy and prosperous 2017. I shall be starting photography with a bang, as the fireworks go off over Hull, City of Culture 2017. I went to the opposite side of the River Humber to check out possible places to photograph from and came up with this site which I hope is going to enable me to do the show justice. Taken with the new Fuji XT-2 and 100-400 lens.
  • Grasmere Christmas
    We decided to go to Grasmere again and stay at the Wordsworth Hotel and be looked after by the excellent team there. On Christmas Eve we walked around Grasmere itself accompanied by four of the Grasmere staff who served mulled wine, prosecco and cake halfway round, before the heavens opened for five minutes, then we walked the last bit back and got dried out.   Christmas Day was full of good cheer and so were we. The camera stayed put and waited until Boxing Day where I wanted to capture the famous Wordsworth Duck Race. As my ducks from 2015 … Continue reading
  • Change is gonna come….
    Well that’s it then. I never thought I’d change – but the sheer weight of gear has directed me to look at a new camera system. My decision wasn’t easy, I like my Canon stuff and I’ve built up a decent selection of gear over the years, but, as alluded to in a previous post, my tree hugging days have seen , well, better days to be honest. There are forums, magazines, videos and leaflets, big shops and little shops, all giving you advice, letting you try B4 you buy and offering exchanges and Black Friday deals and the like. … Continue reading
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  • Falling Foss
    I’ve never considered myself to be a mountain goat and yesterday proved the point. My mate Pete Stockton and I, had decided to make another trip to Falling Foss. It is a pretty place with a lovely tea room serving wonderful home make cakes and other tasty treats (it was shut). Never mind, Pete had been to get some pies from Stokesly on the way and we had something to drink so all was well. The last time we ventured there we encountered a woodland nymph crashing through the undergrowth in a pair of hiking boots with mud up to … Continue reading
  • Madeira around Funchal
    After the tour with HitTheRoadTours on our first day in Funchal, we decided we weren’t going to do much – a relaxing week in prospect. So we walked around Funchal and I took lots more pictures of doors which weren’t there (or I missed) the last time we visited. We also went up to Monte in the cable car and looked around the gardens at the top – so having covered a good 5 miles around the gardens, it wasn’t relaxing at all. We stayed at Albergaria Dias – a small family run hotel in Funchal old town. We were … Continue reading
  • Doors in Madeira – part 2
    I photographed a few doors in Madeira last year and as more have been painted by residents, I took the opportunity to add to my collection when we visited recently :-
  • Madeira with HitTheRoad Tours
    Madeira with HitTheRoad Tours I’d seen reviews of this Company on Trip Advisor and FB and thought it might be a good idea to do a tour with them up to the western side of Madeira. So I arranged to get picked up bright and early and I was the first of 5 to be picked up. Thiago, the main man, said we had another 2 pick ups and we headed off to the Lido area to pick up a Canadian couple called Sara(h) and Michael. We waited, and waited a bit more, then waited a bit more but no … Continue reading
  • Red Squirrels
    They don’t stay still very long and they’re very cute – so they make for a great day out. Up in Hawes again with red squirrels. The last time I was here, the weather in Hawes car park started off at -1°C. Fortunately it was very pleasant on Sunday morning, despite having not slept very well. Excellent Dales breakfast at the Cornlee Guest House with my mate Pete Stockton set us up for the day. Superb pies for lunch which Pete brought from Stokesley – yummy!    
  • North Yorkshire Waterfalls+
    My friend Pete Stockton and I, decided to have a day photographing red squirrels in Hawes – that post comes later. We needed something to fill our first day so naturally, waterfalls and landscapes were the order of the day. We started fairly late after brunch in Leyburn and then went up to West Burton. Not as much water there as we thought – considering there had been a stack of water the preceding day, not too far away where Pete lives. Nevertheless, we had a good couple of hours there, then moved on to Cotter Force and finally up … Continue reading
  • RPS/Line & Light architectural Photography day
    I looked at the email from the Royal Photographic Society and thought – “I’ve not been on a course for a while” – so I paid the money and charged my batteries. A day of architectural photography with Martine Hamilton Knight down at Nottingham Trent University. I had been told that the park and ride/tram into Nottingham was the easiest way in and it really was simple. Park at Phoenix Park, return tram fare for the day £4 and just simple. Trent University is a great building with lots of lines and light (maybe why Martine chose it) and after … Continue reading
  • North Wales – 2016
    Images from Llandudno, Rhos on Sea and Bodnant gardens taken during our recent break away.
  • North Wales
    We decided to visit Llandudno for a few days as the weather was mainly forecast to be on our side. The first afternoon was a bit dull but we managed a fair walk and were set up for more on Monday. We tried a new restaurant, nearly next door to Sue’s brother who lives there. Carlo’s – brilliant food and service so we’ll go again sometime. Monday morning and it’s chucking it down with rain but we’ve got a decent sized brolly so we’ll brave the elements. We decided on the west shore and set off in light drizzle. 200 yards … Continue reading
  • Hull – UK City of Culture 2017
    I thought it might be a good idea to try and help to make our City of Culture year a success in whatever small way I could – so I volunteered to be a … volunteer. So, a couple of training sessions later I’m a little more knowledgeable and looking forward to whatever comes my way. One of the sessions included a walking tour of the old town with Guide, Paul Schofield. I’d never thought about a walking tour of Hull or what it might entail but it was both informative and entertaining. I took the opportunity to take the … Continue reading
  • The Sesh, Hull, 2016
    As well as the band related images I took, here are a selection of “general” images, ranging from the wonderful pastries outside 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, to first thing in the morning – setting up the gin bar outside The Minerva, to one of the sound engineers on stage rolling up his trousers for some fresh air – either that or he thought the Hokey Cokey was about to start. On a more serious note, a first responder cycle ready for action, reminding us of the brilliant job the emergency services do for us all. Then – the MAN himself, … Continue reading
  • The Sesh, Hull, 2016
    Well, if you wanted culture last weekend and probably the best place to be for live music in the world, THIS was it! A brilliant line-up of bands and solo artistes, great street food, entertainers and all put together by a really pro, dedicated team. I didn’t get chance to see all the bands that I intended to – by early evening I was flagging and after 6+ miles walking around, the feet had had enough. Fab fish & chips at The Minerva served by a super girl who looked after my camera gear whilst I waited at the bar to … Continue reading
  • Sunderland Air Show – beach assault
    In a break from the air display, we were treated to a battle re-enactment by troops from HMS Bulwark. The story was that reconnaissance had been carried out by troops from the Ship and commandos had sent a couple of advance commandos ashore in order to gather information as to how they should take the beach position under defence from artillery. Two inflatable craft were sent to recover the commandos and then after plans were drawn up, they attacked the beach position and captured it. One of the beach party tried to evade capture by dressing up as a blonde … Continue reading
  • Fosse Hill Jetski & Caravan Park
    There was an event on at Fosse Hill on Saturday and I took the opportunity to practise a bit of sport photography on the site. There were a number of competitions, novice riders, including John – a young at heart 62, and more experienced riders later, followed by the “Show us your best trick” competition. I had to leave before the results were announced but here’s a sample of what went on :-
  • Sunderland Air Show 2016
    My fellow photographer Pete Stockton asked me if I wanted to go to the Sunderland air show. It’s a free show held on the seafront and had a great programme of events so I said yes. The weather was awful – the sky was either grey or white or both and it was raining most of the day. I got wet, he got wet, the cameras got wet, despite having raincoats on them and we stood from 9:00am until shortly after 4 when the show finished. Sensibly, the organisers had brought the flying displays forward in an effort to try … Continue reading
  • Woodhall Spa 40’s event
    I’d seen this event advertised a long while ago and decided to go take a look. I then saw a post from an f4 chum, Dave Robson, who had said that he was going as his girlfriend Tina lives there. The drive through Lincolnshire countryside was peaceful apart from the numerous motorbikes on the winding roads – I’m sure they enjoyed it too. Once in Woodhall Spa I parked up in a field and asked how far the walk was into town – “400 yards” he said. Well according to the iPhone app, nearly a mile and a half later I … Continue reading
  • Rome to Athens (part 2)
    With our adventures in Rome behind us, we were transferred to Civitavecchia where we were due to board the Azamara Journey. It was our first time on this ship – but we had been on the Azamara Quest twice before. It is surprising to find everything exactly in the same place as on the Quest. The Captain is excellent as is his twin brother (for those who have travelled on Azamara Journey before you’ll appreciate the shot I took of them having lunch). Upon arrival at Civitavecchia we were greeted by the sight of the largest cruise liner in the … Continue reading
  • Rome to Athens (part 1)
    We decided to take a cruise from Rome to Athens this year for our Pearl Wedding Anniversary. As we hadn’t been to Rome before, we asked our travel agent, Bolsover Cruise Club, to organise a couple of nights in Rome before the cruise departed from Civitavecchia. I had booked a Vatican City tour for the afternoon we arrived in Rome but we made it by the skin of our teeth. Plane late, transfer late, room not ready, wrong directions for meeting place, been there, got the T-shirt…. Anyway, to the credit of the Company organizing the tour, they left someone … Continue reading
  • Katrina’s Zumba at Cottingham Day 2016
    I went to Cottingham Day as usual and despite the rain, Katrina and her Zumba classes managed to put on a great display, finishing with her inviting willing and unwilliing participants from the audience. If I hadn’t have been carrying my camera gear – I’d have joined in!
  • Bempton Cliffs
    I took a day out to go up to Bempton with my friend Pete Stockton – he’d not been before. The weather was strange – a cold breeze meant that I had a few layers on to keep warm, but when I got home I found I’d got a bit burnt as well. Never mind, a good day with Pete – we finished off at North Landing and Flamborough Lighthouse after a good session at Bempton and lunch in a local pub. Here are a few images from Bempton :-