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 basis. But she (and the hotel) was very welcoming, the rooms were comfortable and the food was great. Just ask about the Steak pies – they’re wonderful.

We’d chosen a number of different venues to photograph, Skelwith Bridge itself, Elterwater, River Brathay, The Langdales Crummock Water and Buttermere. A good time had by all and some excellent photographs too. Here’s a selection.

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 share with you few images taken from the Summer Session.

We managed to get to Bempton for the gannets and puffins, The Marina in Hull, a selection of sites on the Hockney Trail, North Cave Wetlands & an outdoor model shoot in Hessle. The remainder of the time was spent utilising Zoom for various on line challenges and presentations

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 arrived where I needed to be and grabbed a coffee and waited for Dave & Tina. I took a seat on the lawn at the Petwood Hotel, home of the Dambusters. If I’d been a Dambuster I’d have lived there myself. What a charming hotel. I sat and listened to Heather Marie singing war era songs very well and dozed a bit in the lovely sunshine. There had been talk of the Lancaster flying over but it had only just been repaired from an engine fire some time ago and it was thought unlikely. However, it was being put through it’s paces in the sky although a long way up and away from the village – just being careful I guess. Someone near me said he thought that it probably wouldn’t have the necessary paperwork in place to enable it to fly at a display yet.

I decided to take a wander across the road into the park and look at everything going on there. US tanks and vehicles, 40’s fire engines and a huge number of folk in period costume which looked spectacular. Had a text from Dave saying they’d had a late night at the Kinema in the Woods – they arrived a while later and we had breakfast/lunch.

There was a war re-enactment at the Petwood but as we were having lunch – we missed it, although we heard the explosions of course. In any event, there was another re-enactment at the Golf Hotel just round the corner later, so we went to that one instead. One the way there, we saw Mr Churchill just getting into his Humber motorcar on the way to address his public at the Golf Hotel. After the Golf Hotel I decided to make a move in order to avoid the traffic. The flypast advertised for 2pm hadn’t happened so I assumed it wasn’t going to. Just as we stood up to go, a throaty Merlin engine noise came from above and we saw a beautiful Spitfire fly over.I waited just in case anything else came but it didn’t so off I went. I’d just got in the car and put everything away when another plane came over and I missed it – never mind, I’d had such a great day. Not many images to show for it but I hope you like them. Taken with the Panasonic Lumix GX8 – it’s light and portable to walk around with. PS – if anyone recognises the two ladies taking a selfie at the Petwood, if they contact me I’ll let them have a copy of the image.

Red Squirrels

5am on a Sunday morning at -1°C when you haven’t slept isn’t a good way to start the day. Neither is a 2½ hour drive along roads you accept because Satnav “told you so” and can’t get your brain into gear yourself.

Anyway, arrival in Hawes with my friend Rosanna (we belong f4 Photographic Group in Cottingham – a club dedicated to photography and drinking but not necessarily in that order) – we met Simon from WildDales with whom we’d organised a day photographing red squirrels and other wild creatures, from the peace and quiet of one of his hides. We’d chosen the reflection pool, but, because of the temperature and overnight snow, it was frozen. So the couple in the woodland hide kindly agreed that we could share their hide for an hour until Simon assured us the reflection pool would be thawed out. There were running poles, tree stumps and other features to attract the wildlife and we were engrossed in it for what seemed like 5 minutes when Simon came back to take us down to the other hide. Big enough for two people only and still with a light covering of broken slivers of ice we settled down and waited for only a short while before more critters came to join us. Lots of small wild birds and a pair of pheasant.

At 2pm and a few thousand images later we trekked up the hill to the land rover and said our goodbyes. A beautifully peaceful site which has been well thought out and developed by Simon over a number of years – can’t wait to go back.

Red Squirrel 3 1800px watermarked

International Bird of Prey Centre, Duncombe Park.

I had a great day out with some of my chums from f4 Photographic Group on Saturday at the International Bird of Prey Centre, Duncombe Park, Helmsley. The weather stayed largely fine, except for a short sharp shower, captured in one fine photo I’ve seen from Paul Lazenby.

There were a variety of birds flying, some large but mainly small fast things which are a tester. I hadn’t been to the IBPC before but had been round Duncombe Park itself, so was surprised to see such a huge variety of birds.

I can’t wait for another trip – hope you like the images.

Owl in training 1440px Owl in training 4 Owl in training 3 Owl in training 2 Lanner Falcon 1440px Kite Kite 2 1440px Burrowing owl 2 1440px Burrowing Owl Dunno 1440px Eagle 2 1440px Eurasian buzzard 1440px

f4 Photography group – Practical evening.

At f4, we have a variety of activities and recently had a practical evening. One of our members, Cain, is active in airsoft and he brought down his gear so that we could take some studio posed shots. We set up a couple of  lighting kits and smoke machine and had a good session.

Here’s a couple of images from the evening :-

Cain 3 1440x960 Cain 1440x960


f4 Photographic Group

Had a trip with f4 last week. We went down to the Peak District over the weekend to take a few decent landscapes. However, the weather was distinctly unkind to us and the first two days were wet. The third day we managed a visit to Padley Gorge and were after a sunset to finish off with but didn’t materialise. Still, a trip on the Peak Rail steam service between Matlock and Rowsley was worth it and also a short stop to Masson Mills where we went into the museum. Plenty of interesting features there.

Bobbins Padley Gorge 1 Peak Rail Matlock

Holy Trinity Church, Kingston upon Hull.

Deserves its Sunday name I think, a beautiful church and well worth a visit. I went on Thursday evening with a group from f4photographic club. I wasn’t disappointed, but as it wasn’t my first trip here, I decided to look for something slightly different and the evening light was shining on this marble lady as she was sleeping.Marble lady asleep 1800x1200

Isle of Mull

Just spent three great days on the Isle of Mull with the f4 photographic group. We were taking pictures of eagles, puffins and anything else that came our way. I stayed at the Strongarbh House in Tobermory, run by Adrian and Jane who were suberb hosts and the house is thoroughly recommended.

We took two trips out on the Lady Jayne, skippered by Martin, who showed us some beautiful sights, knew where all the best places were and we came back with a bag full of good images. Mind you, my camera was playing up a bit so I binned more than I saved. Can’t wait for the next time.

Nearly made it Salen boats Tobermory simple pano White tailed eagle 3 White tailed eagle 7 White Tailed Eagle