ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Saturday, 31 May 2014

BOOGERED. (31/05/14)

Yesterday afternoon Google kindly signed me out of Blogger. I signed back in and had nothing on the dashboard and no reading list. I then tried to access my gmail account and couldn’t sign in. I went to help and they were insisting I fill a form in for connecting to friends, It appears I am in circles. I never knew what it meant but I do now; Boogering dizzy I was. I eventually found a page to put my blog address in. They told me it was invalid. I went to bed.

This morning I opened my blog signed out and signed back in with a defunct e-mail address and password. Bingo…the Dashboard was back to normal but still no gmail. I signed in with what I think is my new Google ID and password. I have gmail and Dashboard. I’ve un-boogered myself.

It was too cloudy last night for star trails. Thank God, I needed some sleep.

image   I meant to include this yesterday. It’s a very useful bit of software if you are a travelling photographer. It’s free so even better. It works all over the world including Loch Ness as you can see.

_MG_1884    Another beautiful summers day. Summer is forecast to last until late afternoon.

_MG_1887   Two men in a boat away after Salmon. I think it may be a bit sunny for them. There are plenty of midges and mayflies so they may get lucky.

I came back fed the dogs and had a quick look at the crossword. Then out I went Macroing. I couldn’t find the adapter for the ring flash. I have a box of adapters for this and that but was it there… was it Boogery. I got on to SRB Griturn; the source of all things like that. No they don’t make them. I got hold of Harrison Cameras and they haven’t got a Canon one but are expecting some in. Twenty seven boogling pounds. They will post it for nothing. Boogled again.

_MG_1897 I’ll have to sort out Bumble Bee identification. this one is either a White Tailed or Buff-tailed. I suspect they are one and the same. It crash landed and started doing the ‘I’m too full dance.’ I popped it on a fence post to recover.

buttercup Buttercup. It’s a Meadow one I think.

herbrobert Herb Robert. I will have to get a new umbrella. I was using the old one to aid my recovery to a vertical posture but it bent in the middle; it is the last thing I’m buying from the Pound Shop.

rhododendron  Rhododendron…..What make I don’t know. They are terribly invasive but do have beautiful flowers.

change fmn  Changeable Forget-me-not. Ta Trevor.

cowparsley  A plant that is called a Compound Umbel. I think this one is Cow Parsley. They are the very devil to tell apart. Angelica is easy as it has a red stalk. Giant Hogweed is a doddle as it is taller than me. I bet someone has written a book on Umbrellas. I wrote a sentence earlier.

That’s all I’m off to sit in the sun whilst it lasts.

Friday, 30 May 2014

COURTING DISASTER. (30/05/14)

I was up all night. We only get about four hours of darkness here so I decided to go for broke. I succeeded in that ambition at least. Next time I’ll pop the camera on Aperture priority and start a bit later. The battery ran out just to add to the joys of life.

I really hope I can master this business but I’ve a long way to go.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

BLOOMING. (29/05/14)

We have had a couple of grand wanders this morning. It is windless and about 10oC. Lot’s of flowers coming into bloom, I rescued three White Tailed Bumble Bees and popped them on branches. I also found a much smaller Bumble bee which didn’t want to be saved; quite cross it got.

All the images today are flowers or plants. All were shot with the Canon 100mm-400mm. It is a cracking lens and weighs next to nothing. It has a minimum focus distance of about 2m and is a bit slow at a stop +/- f5. It does the job.

I’ve a project in mind for either dusk or dawn if the weather clears to leave just a few clouds and the wind picks up a bit. If that fails then I’ll go out flora-ing again but take a macro lens and ring flash.

I’d like to mention MARIA for the inspiration for the style. I always enjoy her posts. I am not in her league so go and have a look at her flowers and plants.

Here we go…………………………

hawthorn    Hawthorn coming into blossom.

marestail    Mares Tail and a few Bluebells. This is a really ancient plant which has been on earth since the flood or maybe long before. I’m talking Noah not Somerset.

combistort     Common Bistort……I hope, it’s leaves didn’t look wide enough for Bistort.

wcolumbine     White Campion. The leaves are edible if boiled for a while. They are good chopped finely in an omelette or better still in a tortilla which is Spanish for an omelette with chopped potatoes in. Use them like Spinach. Do not eat raw, they have that toxin which begins with an ‘S’ that red beans have.

notaclue     This is ‘I Haven’t Got A Clue’ plant. It is a little cracker it will be Common Haven’t Got a Clue. I never find things that are uncommon.

I’m still waiting for the new door handle, I’m hoping that Dragonflies will soon be on the wing. There are a few Mayflies about so the Dragons shouldn’t be long.

That’s all for today.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

BRIAN. (27/05/14)

I’ve had a really good weekend. Ben and Anna came to see me. Ben is my son or I think he is, it’s a wise child that is certain who it’s father is and visa versa for paters. It’s one of those things that has to be taken on trust. Anna is someone else's daughter. I hope she is, I should have asked her what her mum is called. Anna is Ben’s girlfriend and after this trip I hope she is my friend. I’ve met her a couple of times before and she was very quiet. She was fine this weekend, just right, chatty and just falling short of bossy, a perfect lass. I expect that will change if I'm not careful, I’ll have to limit her exposure to me and stop exposing myself when she is around.  _MG_1883 Ben.

I fed them like royalty, showed them the sights. The waterfall was pathetic, a trickle of itself when it’s in spate, the weather was misty and dull.

_MG_1882   Foyers Gorge is impressive but difficult to get a clear shot of as the leaves are coming out. They were impressed and I love this area.

_MG_1868 I think this is a young House Sparrow.

_MG_1879   Male Chaffinch.

_MG_1874

_MG_1873  They missed the calm weather and the birds. I guess they have better things to do first thing in a morning.

I didn’t take many photographs, it’s an anti-social habit. This morning I collected some Dock leaves, Grasses and what I think was a Copse Snail it shot in it’s shell so I said Brian stay there, you’ll be fine and popped him in my jacket  pocket. I don’t know where he’s gone. He isn’t a small snail about an inch across inside his shell and much bigger going along. Lord knows where he is. I was going to set him up with food and time lapse him. I never thought I could lose a snail.

I’m waiting for a new outside door handle. I don’t know for sure who broke it but I suspect his name begins with a ‘B’ and the second letter wasn’t a ‘R’. It’s been an expensive weekend.

Have a great week.

Friday, 23 May 2014

PRODIGAL. (23/05/14)

I am a masochist. The weather is middling. Neither too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. One thing it lacks is dramatic light, thunder and lightening or sunshine. I’ve been beating myself to get some pictures and failing , I mean really trying. Onanism is a sin. Perchance I am a wanker, if I am it hasn’t helped with my photography.

I’ve been listening to our government leaders all week taking credit for things outside their control and ignoring questions that concern matters within their control. What would I do on damp days without them? Makes me feel that I have being a tosser under control.

Theresa May. Oh; may oh may May become our leader, she isn’t a fat smuggy.

She gave the Police Federation hell. Told them their conduct was unacceptable. Told them unless they fell in line she would no longer pay their wages, one more investigation into to a right of centre person and that was it. She sited a long list of events where the Police had been economical with the truth. Told them to get their act in order.

She forgot to mention the cuts in the CPS and the legal aid budget.

(I can’t recall exactly but I think Dithery did mention fair and fair and fair and punishment for folk that weren’t fair, he mentions something new every week, I get confused. He must have a similar affliction).

I assumed the CPS and Legal aid looked after that bit. I am silly. She has two times decimated them.

(This is not some numpty here, Decimation is taking a tenth out for failure. Justice is a thing of the past. Where to put the malefactors. We cannot send them to Australia, Canada or America…..The Isle of White? A suggestion. Sounds fine to me. Northern Ireland would be a good place. Full of factions and crooks it is. A few hundred more would may be in time alter the gene pool.)

To support her contention she mentioned the bad policepersons lies over Hillsborough, Leveson, Stephen Laurence, a dozen others and Andrew Mitchell which had led to the sacking of serving police officers who she named. Iron Hard she is. What she failed to mention was why she could equate the injustice of Hillsborough, or Laurence with the sacking of Andrew Mitchell.

It is explicable Dithery Dave sacked him but months after the event. Dithery is a coward. He tries his best to run the country. He would try his best to run a KFC. Basically he’s an idle, incompetent, good egg. He should have given Andrew a good slap for going out of Number Ten pissed and aggressive, told the Police people on duty to behave, slipped them a twenty each, given them a slap or better still sent Samantha out to the Bussies and pissed up Mitchell. Job done; it’s what proper leaders do, delegate.

It would have been nice to hear an apology for the Police behaviour during the Miners Strike. I struggle to think how she omitted that. Happen it was just an oversight. Political speech writers are a strange breed. She must know that, just as thespians know to read the script. If you don’t you may look a bit daft.

She also informed them that a third of the population were convinced the Police don’t always tell the truth. I did wonder if she had looked at a similar survey of the population regarding politicians and failed to mention it. Theresa; with a good Catholic name like Theresa, couldn’t tell anything but the whole truth.   She has a wonderfully mobile face and is a beauty. I’m in love with her Craic. If she fails as a politician she could have me and become a stand up comic. She delivers the lines imperfect but I have never worked all the tenses out.

The Conservatives haven’t had a good week , year or lots of years. She only has to ask and she can buy me a pint. I’d give her the benefit of my ignorance. I love strong folk and she was set up by the machine that is ‘Silly old Boys’. Why they thought she should be the one to say ridiculous things that half made sense……..I just can’t imagine. They do it so well on their own.

Rant over, I enjoy ranting. I don’t enjoy seeing Red Deer swimming and failing to get a picture.

I don’t enjoy seeing a Pine Marten; donating eggs and having naughty Crows fly off with them. I set the Wildcam up three nights running.IMAG0018  Bad,bad, naughty, naughty Crow. Not to worry, it likes my eggs.

_MG_1863   Moll hiding. It doesn’t matter if a walk is half an hour or three hours she still hides when I say.

“This Way Now.”

_MG_1856    The woods not ten minutes away are brilliant. Wild Garlic, Bluebells and Ferns various.

_MG_1852   This is Loch Ness. I can see Fort Augustus. I can see a pair of Sandpipers I can see Swallows, Dippers and House Martins. No use to man nor beast if the camera can’t. Selfish I am.

Molly is still frog hunting and has yet to catch one. Daft dog nudges them into the water, then watches…….. then.

_MG_1865    …..Pounces…..She is dafter than Dithery. She has them in the long grass but wants to see them swim.

I am here for another week. My son comes tomorrow. The cow is tied up and ready for slaughter. Fortunately I am appreciated here and have more work on. I am in the back of beyond so there isn’t much competition from the big, posh, competent snappers. I do like taking photos for folk.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

BLUE. (20/05/14)

I’m struggling a bit at the moment. On Sunday I tripped and banged my hip on a rock. It could have been worse. There was no camera damage and there wasn’t anyone around to laugh.

I’ve spent two days playing in Photoshop and reading.

I have sorted the time lapse workflow now all I have to do is use the technique to create something with artistic quality. This will be the hard bit for me. I have been doing time lapse for a while and video off and on for a few years. I’ve never been happy with my videos. Come to think I’m not all that enamoured with my photographs. I’m more A William Topaz McGonagall than a Roger McGough and not only because I have two Christian names. Topaz? He was born in the early 1800s. I thought it was a modern affectation to give children daft names. I used to curse my parents for Christening me Adrian John. I quite like them now that I’ve learnt to spell.

At vast expense I purchased a book by fellow Blogger NEIL THURSBY. ‘The Headland’. Once I’d got a chapter in I really enjoyed it. It’s a book to be enjoyed by children and big children. I was a more than a little awed that someone that is kind enough to read my rubbish can write a proper book and a good one at that. If you don’t like a Kindle book then hard luck. I’ve spent much more on a bad pint and getting rank beer swapped takes more skill than a hostage negotiator has.

I decided to take the MP-E 65mm out for an airing. I took the whole caboodle, tripod, macro plate, cable release and ring flash. I took an angle finder. I should have plugged the whole job lot into the laptop so I could see what I was doing. I was going to do some focus stacked images but it was too windy. We naturists have to watch the weather. It can play havoc with dangly bits and things like flowers.bbell Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Not a favourite of mine but they do put on a good show and smell much better than wet dog. Non-scripta is Latin for unwritten. I guess you can’t make ink out of it. I’m happy with that. I only use ink for making notes and filling in crosswords. I get my ink free from the giveaway pens in the dog food supply shed. A sack of working dog food costs £15.00p to £19.00p per 15kg. A  sack lasts my two about six weeks in winter and two months in summer. Cheap dogs to run. The pens seem to last as long as a sack of dog food. Synchronicity I think it’s called. Whatever, it is fortuitous.

germander Germander Speedwell; Veronica chamaedrys. I hope. It is a Figwort of some sort. There are quite a lot of Figworts. I pinched the idea for these digital matts from TREVOR but as is my wont went much too far with them.

Have fun, tomorrow it looks set fine so I will go Ottering. The water levels are a bit high at the moment but should drop by the morning.

Monday, 19 May 2014

WHAT A PALAVER. (19/05/14)

I am getting addicted to time lapse videos. This one is a bit like watching paint dry as I picked the wrong flowers. I did manage to shoot small RAW images for almost six hours at one every ten seconds.

Yesterday I got in a real muddle. Everything was going wrong.I loaded six tracks into CS6 then resized them using the Free Transform tool. I then pulled them all into one track, added a cross fade and the frame size altered. Then I started adding key frames to zoom and they disappeared.

On and on it went. I don’t really think this one is worth it but it is short and I hopefully learnt a bit more about the job. The odd jumps are the dogs banging the tripod. They were trying to help. It is fatal to curse them as they then give it another nudge whilst coming to apologise.

Flowers of Foyers.

I’m here for yet another week. My son is coming up for the weekend. I’ll get some pictures. Next Tuesday I really am going to go to Skye then head north for the rest of the summer.

Have fun.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

NOT TO PLAN. (18/05/14)

I was hoping to show you my definitive video today. It took a smidgen under six hours to take and unfortunately went tits up eight times during editing. Bugger me, I’ve been messing for over fourteen hours. Not chosen the music or done a voice over. I’ll try to post it tomorrow. It is hard. How anyone does posh video is beyond me. I need a bigger computer or I have to get better. There must be a better expression than ‘The Jobs gone ‘Tits Up’; it happens in this camper a lot so suggestions are welcome. Come to ponder ‘ Bugger Me’ is not something I'd relish so in future I’ll try and use; ‘I’ll go to the bottom of my Grandmas gennel’.

  _MG_1850  A crap shot of a Welsh Poppy in Scotland. I have lots of naff shots of this flower. It has a very thin stem and blows about. It may be something else.

This is my tame garden. I dug it up and put it in a dark place. I have discarded the fridge as a holding place as they don’t like the cold. I put it in my crockery cupboard.

_V0G0876   As you can see it is nothing more nor nothing less than a dug up bit of meadow. I know what most of it is but the straggley ones have got me baffled. (Do not ask me to identify the clovers and grasses).They have tiny flowers 2mm across and in the flower cluster the colour varies from white through blues to an indigo hue.  They tend to curls up as well as you can see. Bonny wee mites. thanks to TREVOR The lord of knowledge on such matters I now know it is a Changeable forget-me-not.

_V0G0879

_V0G0882     Speedwell no. Help please. Too small to be a Vetch. It seems to have flowers with five petals; the flowers are always from white through to an indigo colour in a little cluster . It seems to grow about six inches tall. Sorry for the naff pictures but the light is bad, I couldn’t be arsed with a strobe and some bright person will know what it is. It is a cunning little thing .

Have fun.

 

Friday, 16 May 2014

LACK OF LIGHT. (16/05/14)

Things have been a bit quiet in Foyers this week. The weather has been cloudy with very flat light.

_MG_1846 It’s not nasty, it is a bit, all much the same.

The bright spots come when I walk under the new leaf canopy.

_MG_1835_MG_1836

It is a magical time of year.

_MG_1838     I think this is one of the Oyster Mushrooms but it is one I have never eaten so unless I can find a mushroom person I’ll leave it where it is and not eat it. It does look and smell nice. Perhaps I’ll cook a little bit and see what happens when I feed it to the obnoxious little boy just a few vans away. His mother keeps apologising on his behalf. He has a problem called Evil Little Bugger Syndrome. He bangs on the van to annoy the dogs and tried to throw a stone at them yesterday. His mum explained his behaviour to me. She said I shouldn’t have called him an evil little bugger he has H.A.D.I.T. or some such problem. He should be on a lead like the dogs.

_MG_1841

_MG_1843    A Song Thrush, I can’t remember it’s full Latin name but having a lavatorial bent I do know it is Turdus something not a lot of help to scholars as everything this size from Blackbirds to Redwings are Turdus. There is also a Mistle Thrush here, that’s a Turdus too but it sits miles up in the top of a pine tree singing a wonderful song.

I’m glad I made the decision to swap the big 400mm for the much more practical 100mm-400mm. It weighs next to nothing and is sharp up to a hundred feet. After that it is a tripod job. I’ll have to give the other lenses an airing, they don’t like being left in the van.

This looks as if it will be the last dry day for a while so I’ve made a little indoor garden with clover, daisies, buttercups and a tiny blue flower, it is a fraction of the size of a forget-me-not. I can’t find it in my books but I’ll have a look on-line for micro+flowers+blue. I’ll do another time lapse video over the next day or so. I’ll also try and polish up the editing. I may have to switch to Lightworks as CS6 can’t do fast RAM renders. I’ve looked on-line and Adobe want me to hire After Effects. They can get lost. I’ve spent enough money with them. I find it difficult to envisage what the rendered version will look like so quick renders are a real boon. I guess the more I play the more intuitive it will become. I also use between four and five video layers plus adjustment layers so start to run out of screen space. I will also start to have trouble with processor power but that is a long way into the future. I hope. Last night I was playing in Blender for a shattered flower effect. That makes the fans hum. Popping UV modifiers on TIFF files makes her whirr.

Have a great weekend. I’ve got some work on. Proper work not playtime work.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

CHRISTMAS. (13/05/14)

It was damn chilly first thing with a touch of frost on the grass. No wind so not jacket or gloves weather. We had a grand walk watching distant Dippers, Common Sandpipers, gulls various and a lonely Pheasant.

Pheasants are daft birds. It actually walked up to the dogs, they were nonplussed and retreated. Brilliant. I should have got some video. I would have but I don’t have a video camera. By the time I’d got the 5D set up to shoot movies the encounter was over. The dogs were bemused as it wandered past on it’s way. They are so used to diving into undergrowth and hearing the pheasants wings clatter and it’s strident alarm call that I guess because it behaved like a domestic bird a domestic bird it was. They are dogs.

I did lose Molly when she was a month or two old. After an hours searching she emerged from under a goose’s wings with four goslings. The goose had, during her nap in the warm swum into the pond. Moll has been able to swim ever since. She comes to me in times of trouble but I wouldn’t say she is a loyal dog. Alf comes now to a whistle from me…Unless he is trying to catch a Red Deer.

That is an achievement in the training of any terrier……I should be at Crofts or Crufts. I may be. I’ll enter the West Highland Terrors class and learn them to jump through hoops and not run off to speak to other dogs, people, the ice cream man……No that would be a step too far. Not worth the effort just to see Birmingham.

As you may have gathered from the blather I missed the otters today. Nothing new there. I’ve had a bit of trouble with a Robin. So the last three days I’ve carried some suet pellets. He likes those. I’m perched on a wet log with my feet in water he now lets me enter his bit of river bank without kicking off a right racket. I sat for two hours waiting for an otter. Not a ripple on the water. But the Robin was almost a star. Here is the Robin._MG_1822 Not yet you fool I’m still cleaning up.

_MG_1824 Does my bum look big in this? I’m saying nowt but no dear.

_MG_1825   Side view….Perfect, I told it.

_MG_1826   Front view. Front view with a twig. That’s art. I told her.

Even with an acquiescent bird like the Robin I manage to foul up or fowl up. It isn’t hand tame but does recognise me and follow me through the undergrowth to my otter watching log. It even sings above my head and only craps on my jumper now and again.

I have explained to the dogs they can’t come Ottering. They don’t mind if I tell them it’s a Supermarket job I’m on and I take them a walk when I get back.

Have fun. It’s hard being a birder. I’m half tempted to tackle a Lady again.

Monday, 12 May 2014

TURNED OUT A GOOD ONE. (12/05/15)

This morning was clear and bright. I walked east along the loch shore to see how the Bluebells were doing.

_MG_1795      They are doing fine. Not the cover that one see in other parts but compressed up with a telephoto they look acceptable.

There was a wonderful smell in the air. Amazing what a day without a cigarette does. I haven’t stopped I have just run out.

_MG_1796     Wild Garlic. I’ll pick some tomorrow and use it in a pasta with the chicken I’ll get when I go to the shop for Marlboro, milk, bread and a few other odds and ends. The shop is a three day camel march up hill so I’ll see if Donald will give me a lift.

_V0G8796      There are hundreds of Rabbits about. They are doing no harm at the moment but it does seem a bit daft buying chicken when they are in such plentiful supply. No dafter than buying cigarettes though.

I got a lift up the hill and purchased enough food and fags to last till Thursday. On the way back I looked at the river Foyers from the cab of the pickup truck and saw a splash. Out I hopped and crept through the undergrowth.

_MG_1805    The Otter swimming about. I managed half a dozen shots of which this one is the best. It was busy fishing so I also have a dozen or more shots of ripples and splashes. I have being trying to get this close for over a fortnight. Great to watch it. It tends to stay at the foot of the gorge and it’s dark.

_V0G8767

_V0G8769   There are plenty of worse places to sit and Otter watch the insects can be a problem but they were acceptable this morning.

It is giving another fine day tomorrow so I’ll pop down and see if I can see it again. I could do with a Bells or two to celebrate but the archaic laws here mean you can’t get any Carryouts till ten o’clock it was a bit early when I was at the shop.

That’s all for today, tomorrow I hope to have some close ups of the little beauty eating a Salmon.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

ANOTHER MISTY MORNING. (11/05/14)

I’ve been at it again. I have taken time lapse of Marsh Violets and Lesser Celandine. Neither did anything very much so I resorted to a Daisy again. That didn’t do much either.

It’s been a grim few days with heavy rain showers. It’s turned out grand now though.

I’ll give these videos a rest for a while. They are fine for passing several hours on on miserable days but do involve work out of all proportion to their entertainment value.

MISTY MORNING
 

I have no Otter images but am here until Thursday so there is time yet.

I’m going to watch the Grand Prix now so have a good week.

Friday, 9 May 2014

MISTY MORNING. (09/05/14)

It looks as if we are going to enjoy a few days of heavy showers interspersed with persistent rain.

I’m still trying to get close to the Otters. I still haven’t succeeded. I went out before breakfast and didn’t get wet so not a bad start to the day.

_MG_8290   If you look carefully you can just see the van just left of centre.

_MG_8289 Loch Ness.

_MG_8288   Loch Ness again.

If this weather doesn’t improve I’ll do some more time lapse. I’ve a few ideas to inflict upon you.

Have a great weekend.