I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images 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

Saturday 30 October 2010


We have moved , not far, to an area that inspired John Sell Cotman, Turner, Walter Scott, Dickens, Puff Daddy and Johnny Rotten. Okay you spoil sports, forget the last two.

We went out for a stroll, almost a walk at three miles to get inspiration from some real artists. I didn’t though we did have a good walk………..dogs seemed to enjoy it. Loads of pheasant to annoy and sadly one to despatch as it had been shot and couldn’t fly. We met a couple of game keepers and I had a word. They do their best to clear up after a shoot but even the dogs can miss the odd flying wounded.

I really can’t make my mind up over hunting shooting and fishing, I tend to think the good outweighs the bad but I really don’t like the corporate days out that these shoots depend on. They do however provide a vast income which by and large is ploughed back into the rural environment. Do away with that and start charging ramblers………it is not going to happen! Irresponsible walkers and their canine companions do as much damage as the shoots and put sod all back other than litter. I know my dogs run amok but only through autumn and winter. During nesting time they are on a lead. Or under control, with Terriers the lead is the only option.

Enough. Bet you want to know where we are. I’m sitting on a fence!



imageGreta Bridge by John Sell Cotman………Bet you thought I painted it………………NO!…………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Greta Bridge by Adrian………….My balustrades are better than his. It is a wonderful bridge but I can’t get at it. It’s a wellies and waders job, touching the forelock job.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Balustrades still okay and the bridge over the river Greta leads to this…………….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The pub where Charles Dickens wrote Nicholas Nickleby. I thought he was just a superb novelist………..damned handy with a brush and candy pink paint……a man of many talents.

On we wander to the Meeting of the Waters………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere the Greta meets the Tees. A spectacular place but you will have to take my word for it or be patient. I fully intend coming back wet suited and wellied and getting down and dirty here, in my case, down and clean. It is a stunning bit of river or stunning bit of two rivers.

I’ll leave you to enjoy your weekend with the only good shot of the day and it is a hop skip and a jump from my front window.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I tell fibs as well………..The inspiration that all the notables drew on, their muse even, was the A66………….


That’s all.

Thursday 28 October 2010


We are back in Stockton on Tees if you would like to see a map click HERE. The site is jam packed full so we can only stay a couple of nights…….every cloud has a silver lining. I will return when the children are back at school. Portrack nature reserve is next door. There did not seem to be much about this morning but we will have another look when it's quieter.

I went out as it was getting light to shoot traffic trails of the vehicles crossing the river Tees on the A19 bridge. Not a great success as the bridge is a bit too far away. Still I’ll share what I got.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Portrack Marsh in the foreground the A19 road bridge and somewhere on the horizon the most distinctive hill for miles. It also has a grand name Roseberry Topping………sounds  like a brand of instant blancmange.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Middlesbrough by night. There is beauty everywhere. There is also plenty of frost

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    The structure breaking the horizon is Middlesbrough Newport Bridge built in 1911 and it used to carry the railway I believe…maybe it still does, it’s a lifting bridge and it is down every time I see it.

We came back in only slightly delayed by the dogs creeping off rabbiting whilst I was concentrating on focus and exposure. Little devils, took me twenty minutes to locate them. Amazing how quiet they can be when it suits. What’s more they failed in their quest so I had to feed them when we got back……….more expense!

I think I may have a serious illness, known only to half the population………..Man Flu, well I have a headache and with a little effort managed a couple of sneezes and I’m sure with a bit more concentration I could rustle up a runny nose. I’m being brave. We set out on an exploratory stroll to the Infinity Bridge, just above the Tees Barrage. It’s a nightmare at the moment as they are rebuilding the slalom canoe course. Why? For the 2012 Olympics…….thought they were in London? Oh well! I am sure it will be nice when finished.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Some bridge, at night it is illuminated and casts a reflection in the river. it looks like a lemniscate or infinity sign or a figure of 8 flipped ninety degrees. This was not commissioned to commemorate anything but purely to stop folk getting their feet wet crossing the river. I like that.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I also like the bridge, it’s a bit of whimsy, it supposedly connects a Durham university campus with a technology park. They have not got round to the technology park bit. Not to worry it saves wear and tear on the bridge and one day they will.

I was going out again this evening to shoot it in all it’s glory but it is blowing half a gale and rain is forecast so it will have to await another day.

No idea where we will be tomorrow. You, like I will have to see.

Tuesday 26 October 2010

I’M A LUNATIC (26/10/10)

I feel I should not be posting these as it might make me look slightly mad.  Never stopped me posting before so here goes….. Ladieees and Gentlemennn………….I Give You The MOON!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I have had Photoshop Elements 9 since the day it was released and for the first time they have offered layer masks to us paupers. They always did but you had to steal a mask from the adjustment layers and fiddle about.

Today having got soaked before breakfast, got soaked after breakfast, got damp at lunch time and soaked again on our pre dusk walk I thought I would have a play. These are both two photographs blended, the following one has about the same level of artistic merit but far less competence in it’s execution……Does my moon look big in these…..Nah! course not!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The first went reasonably well, encouraged by this I got over ambitious…Technology maketh not the man……..Who said that? Not Bill Gates! That’s for sure. Must have been me just now!  I’m barking at the moon. There is an old clich├ęd expression.’ Aim for the moon and you will hit the stars’…………can’t be right …….’Aim for the stars and you will hit the moon.’ That’s it. On this showing I’ll be lucky to make cloud base. Cloud base being about twice my six foot four inches.

The other project for today has been to capture rain. I have, after exhaustive trials with second curtain flash at all powers, decided it requires another experiment or six this evening. This will be bulb exposure and off camera flash on manual……………You think you have problems course you do, everyone does, many have real problems. Good job I’m mad. I have opportunities.

We are off to Stockton tomorrow, hopefully to capture magnificent images of overwintering and migrating birds. If that fails then there are some rare sights to be seen on Asda’s car park.

Monday 25 October 2010

DEJA VU (25/10/10/)

You must be getting heartily sick of dawn over Derwentwater. It won’t last but whilst it does I am addicted to  standing out there freezing to death and praying the camera battery doesn’t die on me. It really was cool this morning . The temperature inversion over the water providing more Will O’ The Wisps than yesterday but still not enough to produce a Lady bearing a sword. Perhaps it is just myth and legend………that really would be sad. On the other hand it could be just the wrong lake……that would be alright.

Two panoramas to get me started.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There’s not a breath of wind, it really is beautiful.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShould I live to be a hundred then I shall never forget this week it has been absolutely superb. Hopefully good enough to see me through the winter.

Just in case you think that I’ve gone nocturnal we were out yesterday afternoon and wandered up the lakeside. The path was so busy it had hiker jams…….they will have to think of installing rambler lights or making the route one way only. There is a path of sorts that follows the shoreline we took it and never saw another soul. That was a result and a half.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       A Scots Pine a few miles from it’s native country. I just notice I’ve got muck on the filter, sorry about that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       The view looking up Borrowdale.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Derwentwater, Keswick and Skiddaw. They are forecasting rain later…….that’ll be a change.

That’s all for today, We will see what tomorrow sends our way.


Sunday 24 October 2010


It is a magnificent day here on the shore of Derwentwater. We were out in time to see the dawn, a light frost on the ground and mist rising from the lake. Not quite enough of it but in the romantic mood I was in I was dreaming of The Lady of the Lake. The Arthurian one……Excalibur, Merlin and Lancelot. Not that twaddle by Sir Walter Scott. The latter would fill posts from now to doomsday and I’d have far fewer readers than I do now……if any at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The moon was setting behind Maiden Moor. This is two images both shot this morning but I took one for the moon and one for the background cut the moon out and plonked it in here. Pretty much as it appeared to me but not at all how it appeared to the camera.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  There is a slight wispy mist on the water………..obviously not enough as there was not a sign of any  sword bearing maidens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   It’s almost dawn the first of the sun catching the clouds swirling around the summit of Blencathra and reflecting in the lake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA brilliant stroll before breakfast. We are off out again but so will be hoards of others. Not to worry it’s a good day no matter what happens now.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Saturday 23 October 2010


It rained most of the night, we got out later than usual and the light under the cloud ceiling was remarkably good. Ominously clear………you guessed…. it was about to rain again…. a nasty cold rain, fortunately without any serious wind. It has to be a day off.

I suspect it may be half term for schools.

Why don’t education authorities double class sizes and keep the wee devils in education all year. The staff, were this scheme implemented, would get longer holidays than they currently enjoy and life on camp sites would be peaceful. I’m giving the wrong impression here; I love children………..as long as they are cooked properly!

No chance of birds or squirrels they have taken to the tree tops and hills. Alfie is in disgrace, he has rolled in fox crap…….he says he tripped and it was an accident……….worse than the kids he is.

If that isn’t enough I am suffering BMW man lapping the campsite. Must have just been promoted to area under manager to the under manager and gone up in the world from a Ford. They do right to tax his toy………should double it! I hope he has a tyre contract because if he doesn’t desist come the morning he won’t be going anywhere unless it’s fitted with runflats.

Tomorrow is forecast fine and still so we will head back to the falls and get wonderful images. Or not!

Today this is what we have.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The south end of Derwentwater the trees get better by the day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  It also gets wetter by the day, this was our way home a couple of days ago. We went out again this afternoon by hell it was dark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  A one and a half second exposure looking north and then…………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Rain drops are falling on my filter but that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turning red, cryings not for me…..etc.*

* I apologise to Hal David for pinching and quoting his lyric incorrectly. ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ It’s the sound track…………..In my prime then. Hard to believe it was forty years ago. The version I enjoy the most is by The Manic Street Preachers one of the best things to emanate from Wales. Don’t go there! It’s a grand country…Promise……There’s coal or was…Shirley Bassey and well…………loads of things……leeks and well loads more…….sheep and loads loads more………………………ladies with funny bonnets and men with a chip or three on their shoulders………tis a grand place and thank the lord heading towards total independence.

That’s all for today. I ramble on but ignore me. Life is good.

Friday 22 October 2010


I hope that got your attention……..I’m in trouble….. No pictures.

I took the cab into town as there is only so much porridge, tuna, rice and couscous I can stand. I also had a parcel to post, the value of it’s content being about a third of what it has cost to despatch it.

Looking out from the van window…my hide…… I have been putting nuts down in a couple of locations with a nice backdrop. Three things I want, some definitive pictures of, a Red Squirrel, a Jay, a Magpie and what do I get ……the fattest Wood Pigeon in England and it crawled, belly dragging, behind some autumnal Docks…….Not lost my sense of humour…. Entirely……..the docks are dead really but so are the leaves I Oooo and Arghhh about.

(I’m into the second kilo of nuts and am a little worried as they feed the birds here but as far as I know not after the first of November when the site closes.)

Kewick is a town overwhelmed by it’s location. There are some excellent shops selling outdoor clothing but for every one there are three or four rip off merchants selling tat. I find it confusing, I really need a new pair of winter walking trousers but when faced with a range in price from twenty pounds to near two hundred the purchase becomes a chore not worth pursuing.

Into Booths an excellent supermarket, prices a bit steep for a Yorkshireman but quality is what matters, venison tonight, chicken tomorrow, and chicken liver as a warm pate Sunday.

I’ll post some pictures whilst I await the elusive birds and squirrels. Just got the Magpie bum on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   If I spread my wings I know I’ll crash, I wish birds could burp….daft beggar putting all those nuts down at once! The thief….the Wood Pigeon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Bit dark for our constitutional dad……Just get on with it…………..I’ve to go to Keswick.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Go I did as you know. The Market Hall, Court, Prison it’s been a few things but is now the tourist information centre. It is also a bit of a fake as most of it was reclaimed from an island in Derwentwater……that sort of place is Keswick.

That sort of place is the Lake District we now have kids on scooters and mothers and fathers, so we can forget the wild life pictures…………..Could perhaps shoot snaps of the parents………Nah! Not pretty enough. Here to finish off is the Magpie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       Stealer of my nuts. Along with the pigeon…..little devils!

Just one of those days…………………….Have a wonderful weekend…….we will and if we have to suffer this weekend then I just hope it rains and pours and torrents on the noisy beggars next door.

Thursday 21 October 2010


I really hope this title is spelt right…..no spell check in the title box so after numerous attempts I Googled it…..then forgot to write it down! Today is not a day for photography, it’s barely light but after heavy rain last night I thought a wander to the Lodore Falls would be worthwhile. I vaguely recalled this poem by Robert Southey and was lucky enough to find it printed in it’s original form……..If you look at the pattern of the lines it does, with a little imagination, resemble a waterfall. it is fun and worth reading….I promise. There are some pictures after it………not that they amount to much.

The Cataract of Lodore

"How does the Water
Come down at Lodore?"
My little boy ask'd me
Thus, once on a time;
And moreover he task'd me
To tell him in rhyme.
Anon at the word
There came first one daughter
And then came another,
To second and third
The request of their brother
And to hear how the water
Comes down at Lodore
With its rush and its roar,
As many a time
They had seen it before.
So I told them in rhyme,
For of rhymes I had store:
And 'twas in my vocation
For their recreation
That so should I sing
Because I was Laureate
To them and the King.
From its sources which well
In the Tarn on the fell;
From its fountains
In the mountains,
Its rills and its gills;
Through moss and through brake,
It runs and it creeps
For awhile till it sleeps
In its own little Lake.
And thence at departing,
Awakening and starting,
It runs through the reeds
And away it proceeds,
Through meadow and glade,
In sun and in shade,
And through the wood-shelter,
Among crags in its flurry,
Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling;
Now smoking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,
Till in this rapid race
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its steep descent.

The Cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging
As if a war waging
Its caverns and rocks among:
Rising and leaping,
Sinking and creeping,
Swelling and sweeping,
Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound!
Smiting and fighting,
A sight to delight in;
Confounding, astounding,
Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound.
Collecting, projecting,
Receding and speeding,
And shocking and rocking,
And darting and parting,
And threading and spreading,
And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and splitting,
And shining and twining,
And rattling and battling,
And shaking and quaking,
And pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving,
And tossing and crossing,
And flowing and going,
And running and stunning,
And foaming and roaming,
And dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping,
And working and jerking,
And guggling and struggling,
And heaving and cleaving,
And moaning and groaning;
And glittering and frittering,
And gathering and feathering,
And whitening and brightening,
And quivering and shivering,
And hurrying and scurrying,
And thundering and floundering,
Dividing and gliding and sliding,
And falling and brawling and sprawling,
And diving and riving and striving,
And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
And sounding and bounding and rounding,
And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,
And clattering and battering and shattering;
Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling,
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
And so never ending, but always descending,
Sounds and motions for ever and ever are blending,
All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar,
And this way the water comes down at Lodore

Robert Southey. (Keswick, 1820)

Didn’t I promise……….the beggar must have swallowed a dictionary and a thesaurus and most likely a lexicon……he’s got me at it now. I just wish I could imbibe whatever it was he was on……………must have been a magic brew!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Lodore Falls. There is not enough water and they are difficult to get a good angle on. There is more rain forecast so I will go back and get soaked in the stream bed to try and do them justice.

PA217646_47_48_49_50_tonemapped_edited-1  Fairy country. The falls are surrounded by enchanting woodland…..dark, damp, enchanting woodland.

PA217659_60_61_62_63_tonemapped This one is HDR, as is the previous one, pretty enough but not exciting enough. Waterfalls need water, the more of it the better they are. This cataract is a hundred feet tall…………we will be back it’s only a short walk round the south end of Derwent Water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   We crossed the river Derwent and it started to rain fortunately not as hard as the sudden reduction in light level would have had me believe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    There is really nothing to do on a day like this other than accept that without them it would be impossible to appreciate the magical days. This is looking north up Derwent Water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    As we neared home it started to brighten.

We are having a wonderful time here. I was supposed to go shopping today. Oh well tinned tuna and rice will suffice…………………It will have to.

Tomorrow is definitely, shopping day………..unless anything more interesting crops up. I could do with Tesco…….You Shop We Drop………I used it once… like a bran tub or lucky dip. Exciting if one has little concern for ones diet.

Wednesday 20 October 2010


Mountains and I go back an awfully long time. It’s forty six years ago that saw me complete the accent of the three highest peaks in the UK. Over the years accident and injury not to mention Marlboro Reds and the odd drink, only the odd hour.. every hour or so, have taken their toll. It was okay for that cowboy sitting there large as life on a horse puffing away. He had a four legged friend to cart him about…………bet he wheezed a bit mounting it though. Little devils horses can be, many is the time I’ve had a nip on the backside whilst hopping about with my left leg in a stirrup at earhole height. There is always a horsewoman there to advise. ‘Keep the right rein tight’…………smartarses!….mine used to….serious teeth have horses… How did I get here?……This is about the accent of Cat Bells, not even a mountain at one thousand four hundred and a few feet high. At the weekend we drove the truck a good two hundred feet higher, had a pub, a pub lunch and didn’t have to lug cameras up steep paths whilst trying to dissuade the dogs that sheep have every much right as they have to enjoy a peaceful and stress free life on the fells.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A panorama from Cat bells looking north Skiddaw is the peak in the centre, the ridge with the dead bracken on……Sorry!… Golden autumn colour….. is Skelgill Bank. Derwent Water to the right with Keswick at it’s head and to the left  Bassenthwaite Lake where Ospreys breed. They will have disappeared to warmer climes by now… their loss, the fishes gain; nowt wrong with the weather here. I like minus two and a gentle northerly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother panorama from the summit on the right is the Newlands Valley with I think the highest mountain being Robinson the ridge in shadow leads to High Spy. I can see this turning into a right can of worms. Should anyone fancy a quiz then I will re post this shot with numbers and arrows. Clear?  It doesn’t come clearer you can see it all. ‘cept in the shadows!

Now I seem to have got all backwards going forwards. We left about an hour after dawn. Dawn in a valley is relative as the sun has to clear the hills to the east.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The first false summit, most hills have loads of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   This is going fine, dogs are happy, I am happy?.. Pigs are flying!… and we’ve cleared the tree line. For those interested the mountain to the right is Blencathra, the one to the left is Skiddaw. Keswick is in the middle-middle ground at the end of Derwent Water. There’s not a lot in Keswick unless you are in dire need of a new fleece. Fleeced you won’t be. Every second shop sells them and boots and knapsacks and torches that don’t need batteries and……… Oh!….Go see it for yourself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Molly the mountaineer on the right and Alfie the alpinist on the left….’Ta Alf for breaking the ice nothing like a drink after a hard pull up hill’.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     At last rising above everything is the summit of Cat Bells…………You think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill…………Okay I am but I was so pleased to get up here. Thought those days were gone and I could look forward to life terrorising pedestrians with a mobility scooter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA It is steep, this is the view from the col a third of the way down. We are staying amongst the tall pines in the frost at the the top dead centre of this picture. We could have walked back via Hawes Head but I don’t like being in the hills, or valleys and walking on plastic. I understand it is the lesser of evils but we went down as we came up.

Weather a bit on the good side for photos…………..Shut up now you fool………..it will rain till June.

The panorama from Cat Bells is the best in the Lakes no other summit seems to have the same contrast and variety in at least three quadrants of the compass and it’s not awful in the forth looking south. You didn’t get any pictures today as that’s where the low sun was.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Fine…………I gave it a go, yes I do have lens hoods but not big enough so I used my hand….As folk say!…… Any comments pursuing the last sentence will be deleted.

Shopping in Keswick tomorrow, that should be fun…………two dogs out on retail therapy!