Apr 18: photo of the month

DSC00238This is a nice photo of how people should work together voluntarily to improve our communities. This is just a few of those who turned up to do a big litter pick in Orchard Park mid month. The event was organised by Andrew Chan (4th right; now chair of the community council) and Amanda Haywood (extreme right aka Mandy Moo community environment activist).  Also present were district council election candidates Steve Hunt (third right; now a district councillor) and Darren Cotterell (second right).

This photo was taken with my Sony Alpha 77 II f9 at 1/200th and a focal length of 20mm (why didn’t I stand further away?). I confess to post-processing to remove a shadow in the foreground.

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on my radar …

DSC00632It didn’t last very long. I started what I thought might be a weekly review back in September last year (https://wp.me/phtcF-IZ). I wrote just 2. Maybe it should be an occasional review. Anyway here’s one for the past week.

1 photography. I’ve been an avid photographer for a long time and I learnt the basics from my father way back. Of course it’s helped that I’ve done my fair share of physics so I understand how cameras work. I’ve had an SLR since 1974 or thereabouts. That was a Minolta and that’s why I’m now with Sony.

I’ve recently worked with Chris Sidell who’s a good, I mean good, photographer. He’s mastered the technique of setting up the shot (art direction) and then he’s also pretty good when it comes to post processing. I’m not a great fan of the latter but I do now pay a little more attention to the way that I frame the shot and don’t always simply take the camera chosen exposure settings.

I’ve been on holiday to Sardinia recently and have just posted a selection of photographs from the trip (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiBCBGe).

2 local government. Early in the month most of the country went to the polls to elect new district councils. South Cambs was no different but the result was quite extraordinary. The Lib Dems took control with a yellow tide which swept all before it across the district. In Histon & Impington we elected 3 Lib Dems where previously there’s been 2 Independants and a Tory.

Last Wednesday was the first meeting of the new Council and it was good to see the Leader of the Lib Dem Group, now the Leader of the Council, talking in inclusive terms about the how she wanted the Council to operate. In any contest the winners will win most if they can avoid alienating those that they’ve defeated. It should be about bringing everyone together and not about imposing the will of the majority on the rest. Check out https://wp.me/p7tuu7-1Oc for my take on the meeting.

3 football. It’s a cruel game especially in cup tournaments because the result is so digital. You win and it’s good or you lose and it’s like the world has come to an end. So it was with Liverpool on Saturday. For many reasons I wanted Liverpool to win: I grew up close to the city, I really like and respect the manager Jurgen Klopp, I’m delighted at the success that Mohamed Salah has had, and I think it’s time that Real Madrid moved over and let someone else enjoy the glory.

It was not to be but the one positive to take from it is that Liverpool was beaten by a flash of brilliance from Gareth Bale. OK I grew up close to Liverpool but my home was still in Wales and Gareth is a fellow Welshman (and he went to school with Sam Warburton). He’s a great team player, he turns out for Wales and always seems to raise the game of those with whom he plays.

4 book. I’ve read lots of John Grisham. I wouldn’t say he authors great literature but his books are always well written with good solid three dimensional characters and well-researched plots. On my recent holiday it was the turn of Camino Island. It was good enough for the purpose but I really would have liked a stronger ending. It was all a bit convenient with nobody getting hurt, a bit like those TV series which all too frequently set up the next series.

5 TV. It seems that more good TV is being broadcast outside the mainstream UK channels these days. The critics talk about the good stuff being made by Netflix, Amazon and the like but I’ve not yet got hooked into it mainly because it’s all on subscription and there’s a limit to the number of £10 a month fees I can afford.

I like watching TV as a part of my unwind process in the evening. However recently I’ve been disappointed by the drama on offer so I was interested by the ‘all stars’ production of Crooked House on Channel 5 last night. For once it was not a case of ‘all stars no actors’ because it was done rather well although it fell flat in the end. Did the little girl really have to due? As an Agatha Christie mystery it had little depth. Fortunately for me I did get to see another performance by Gillian Anderson, albeit a cameo. She really has performed well in her post X files days especially in the contrasting roles in Great Expectations and The Fall.

Jan 18: photo of the month

2018-01-31 13.02.27It seems to have been a rather humdrum month for photos. Plenty of worthy photos related to activity during the month but nothing exceptional from a photographic standpoint so this is the best of a perhaps average bunch.

The photo is of fish and chips at the Red Lion. It’s a feature of the Wednesday lunchtime menu and it’s a treat. This was taken with my Sony Xperia XZ1, f2 at 1/50th. No post processing, perhaps I should have lightened it a tad, not even a crop.

Dec 17: photo of the month

2017-12-10 08.54.48I got a new phone towards the end of last year and I’m really pleased with the photos I’m getting with it. You’ve still got the disadvantage of a single fixed focus lens of course but as long as you’re looking for a shot with a dominant foreground or one that asks for a good depth of focus it does a great job.

This is one of the first photos I took with it and it’s a classic point and shoot to capture the moment. It was early morning after a snowfall and I had to hang around a bit whilst the Co-Op cooked another batch of croissants. Serendipity again.

My new phone’s a Sony Xperia and this shot was taken at 1/50th f2. You can almost feel how cold the morning was …

Nov 17: photo of the month

DSC09228I could do with posting a few more pieces about life in general because this is the third monthly photo in a row which doesn’t say much for the variety of my life!

November seems to have been rather over supplied by wine and beer photos with no special events. Here’s the best of the wine photos taken with my Sony A56 DSLR 1/80th sec at f6.3 with a focal length of 210mm. I’m getting better at setting up these shots to keep the background out of focus. There’s been no post processing.

Oct 17: photo of the month

DSC08701Lots of candidates for this month  with some epic (by my standards) pictures from my stay in Australia and some good ones too following my return. But this one gets the nod because I reckon it’s technically good (would benefit a little from cropping in) and I guess I got it by doing what the professionals would do: taking lots of shots and trusting to serendipity that some will come out pretty good.

It was taken at Surfers’ Beach at Kalbarri, Western Australia with my Sony A56 DSLR. My telephoto was at 280mm with a 1/640th exposure time at f8 and ISO100.