Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Year in Prague 2017

Its New Years Eve ,5.50 pm , Jan and myself have arrived in Prague for a short break over New Year and its FOGGY!!!!!!!!! Arghhhhhhh     that kind of ruins my plans for photographing the fireworks with the beautiful Prague Castle in the background.
 Any how, after taking the airport transfer taxi to our hotel  the "Residence Green Lobster"   Yes   what a name that it is !   We are on the top floor, and the lift , in which you have to keep the "up" button continuously pressed while its moving  only goes to the 3rd floor !    Mmmmm   don't think will use it again , rather walk up !     After settling in, we have gone out to find a restaurant, the hotel is right below the castle so we know the area from our last visit and find one quite close.After dinner   its now just after 10 pm , so we are going to walk down over Charles Bridge and through to  "Old Town Square"  where the Christmas tree and Markets are , we must keep moving as its still 2 hours until midnight and its currently minus 6 degrees!!!

                       On  Charles Bridge , long exposure ghosted out most of the moving people.

 Its really busy already , with fireworks being set of all around  , we have arrived in Old Town Square , here is the view with the Astronomical clock on the corner of the square.

 Its packed with people , with bangers going off all around and there is a rock concert underway on the stage in the far corner.

I am just taking a image of the Fabulous Christmas tree when a couple of big fireworks are set off , and i caught one in my long exposure shot :)

Time to leave here and go back to Charles Bridge i think , getting a bit too crowded here and with bangers being thrown probably Not the safest place to be , even the police have face guards  lol 

                                                                 Mulled wine for Jan :)

Back over the bridge and a quick stop to watch the fireworks that are now being set of with greater frequency in the square we have just left.

Over the bridge and down onto the river side to take a shot of the bridge.   the fog is clearing slightly but that will get worse as the fireworks go off in greater numbers.

 We have decided to stay on the bridge for the display, the castle is shrouded in fog and would not be very visible in my planned location up river on the opposite side .  standing on the bridge people are letting of big fireworks in the distance and from the next bridge down river.

The atmosphere is fantastic ,  bangers going off everywhere and large Chinese lanterns are rising up and Falling from the bridge!   Oops

Its almost midnight , the bridge is completely packed , as is asfar as i can see.    These fireworks are a bit early!

                                                                 " HAPPY NEW YEAR"

                              Load of river cruise boats have moored to watch the displays.

                                                              Fog getting thicker now :(

Fabulous celebrations in Prague , fireworks are being set of as far as we can see .  Leaving the bridge i want to go down by the river and shoot the bridge in the fog and hopefully get a few explosions in the frame too.

                                                                    "Charles Bridge"

                                  A long exposure has caught one of the boats as it passed .
There are people throwing fireworks into the rive next to me , and on the ground less than 6 ft away , have to get out of here , this is not safe!

Its about 2 am now, time to go back to the hotel , its been a very long day.....................

                      Images shot with canon 5dsr & 17-40 L on Gitzo  traveller tripod

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Perch Rock Sunset Aug 16 th 2016

Having a hunch that there was going to be good sunset coinciding with an almost high tide at Perch Rock i drove down for an evening shoot.  What i suspected  was correct, a good looking sky already turning colour!  

The water was already up to the base of the rocks to the right of the breakwater so i headed straight to the rocks .   the tide is coming in fast which is usual here so i need to be quick setting up.

 Its very calm , not a breath of wind tonight!     with a long exposure to smooth out the water even more it looks like this ...........

                                    15 seconds with Lee little stopper     a 6 stop nd filter

         Wonderful afterglow tonight now the sun has set ,   this is 30 seconds at the peak colour.  

                                   A comparison image without the long exposure   1/8 th second

                                   Another 30 second exposure as the colour starts to fade .
   and then i and a couple of other photogs had to wade back to shore as the tide cut us off on the rocks   Ooops

Monday, 12 December 2016

Bug Hunt at Prees Heath, Shropshire july 22

Today i am going on a bug hunt to Prees Heath , its too late for the Silver Studded Blue butterflies now but there should be some dragonflies around hopefully , But   the weather is not looking too good.    cloudy and quite breezy.

 I am walking across the airfield site towards the pond , which was only dug a couple of years ago.

 I have just found a couple of blue Damselflies , its a bit too breezy to get sharp images hand held with my 5dsr , think i should have brought the 5dmk2 instead.  

 The wind is blowing across the water into the thick scrub over on this side towards the road, this is where most of the Dragonflies will be i guess.

 Yes  i have already spooked a couple of Common Darters , i managed to keep this one in sight and followed it until it landed.

      And another one ,   might try putting the mpe-65 macro lens on and try for a close up portrait.

                A single frame with flash , no chance of preventing a black background unfortunately.

After a couple of minutes i spot a darker Dragonfly fly off and land nearby......  now What was it?

 I have spotted it on a thistle leaf very close to the ground , it is a Black Tailed Skimmer ,  with the mpe-65 on again i am lying down on the ground to get the lens within 2 inches to get a good portrait , and it is just staying still for me.

                                                       This is a 5 frame focus stack .

 and moving in a bit closer a 10 frame focus stack , resting the lens barrel on my hand while holding the stem between my fingers keeps everything fairly well aligned when shooting all the individual frames.

       That was a great half hour , and i have finished with an on the finger shot before it flew off .

                   Now i have moved to near the road where a ditch gives shelter from the wind.

                                         A Gatekeeper ,  2 frames focus stacked with mpe-65

                                                  a nicely coloured garden cross spider .

               Time to head back to the car now , the wind has increased and its drizzling with rain.

                      A quick shot of a Noonday Fly , wonderful bright gold colour on these flies

 I am near the car park but will take a look at the Oak trees , these may be a couple of Purple Hairstreak butterflies low down to see.

I have spotted 2 quite close in but they have flown up into the Oak ,  but i have just spotted another one  , a bit tatty but its a good end of the day...........

or is it?       a Crab Spider must have fallen on my arm .  good opportunity for a quick close up on my hand.   6 frames focus stacked.

                                                          The end of a great day .

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Cornwall St Michaels mount and Bedruthan Sunset 25 th May 2016

This morning we are heading to the south cornish coast to St Michaels mount., its looking sunny for most part with increasing cloud,  but who believes the forecast anyhow  .

The Causeway , which is covered by the sea at high tide.

Across the laws to go into the gardens, which have been constructed on the steep rock cliffs below the castle

The plants are all sub tropical, not frost hardy so the good drainage is vital and there are no frosts here being surrounded by water.

                                        HDR image of the castle and gardens below :)

                                                  Now a selection of images from the garden.

                Now time to leave , we are heading to NT Trengwainton Gardens near Penzance .

                                                        The tree ferns are amazing!!!!!!!

                                                  Azalias still in flower at end of May!

                                            The Hollywell Horrors look bored   haha

 We have now driven back to Bedruthan Steps for sunset ,i was hoping the sea would have been further out to shoot from the beach , but its still right up to the base of the steps :(   So i have set up on at point with loads of flower for foreground interest.

             Big stopper has lengthened the exposure to smooth out the sea .  10 seconds at f16

 It appears there is not going to be a good sunset tonight ,  i think i will go down the steps and shoot some long exposure images after the sun has dropped below the horizon.

 I am half way down the steps and have a nice composition , this is a 2 frame merged image . 30 seconds for the sea, and 13 seconds for the sky.

                                                   The "Blue Hour"    after sundown
                                         2 frames   61 seconds and 15 seconds merged.

                                                     the end of a superb day in Cornwall.