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

Monday 31 January 2011

DENT (31/01/11)


image We are in a hard to get to place……..one I’ve wanted to visit for a while. This morning we awoke to clear skies and a moderate frost so off we toddled to the new lakes……..nothing….Hey! That’s gone and saved me making a fool of myself with bad bird pictures.

The road in here is very narrow and twisty………It’s bin day……..milk collection day…..builders merchants delivery day……Beer topping up day….I spent more time in reverse than forward. No new dents so the job was satisfactory.

This place is a village rather than a town but I’m glad I came. Cobbled streets, a massive church and two pubs. The industry is tourism but  at this time of year in thick fog Dent is gorgeous. Previously the source of income was wool……………big knitters they are round here.

As is my want we got parked up, had a brew and went for a wander. Loads to photograph here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALots of cloning out to do as well. Railings in this case.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   The Wesleyan Chapel…………..Looks more Quaker to me but that’s what it says it is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We didn’t go in but it does look inviting………It’s dog friendly…….Pity I haven’t a horse they have a mounting block. Nothing to tie the horse to though. I’ll drop in for a drop tomorrow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Any hostelry I can make look good  or they can, in fog, has got to be worth a visit.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt does have it’s twee side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The church of Saint Andrew………….is it me or was he the favoured saint in the Yorkshire Dales. A conundrum….wasn’t he one of the fishermen disciples? Could be me I may be thinking of another.

The following pair of images are hand held exposure blended and fired off at massive ISO numbers. The church is okay but not fantastic.


_1311326_27_28_29_30_tonemapped_edited-1Laugh away…………..My church interiors are on a par with my bird pictures…………….It was awful dark in there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInto the light……………..It is awful hard snapping in fog.


A grand little village. It will do me for a week or more……………….I have WiFi and it only cost a pound. Tis a tad slow but…………..but, but what…………..it works.

I’ll prey on the prayers for their influence over the weather gods.

Visibility is down to a couple of hundred metres. This valley lies east west…………Should be stunning at dawn or dusk. You have fun. all the best. 


Sunday 30 January 2011

POPPED OUT (30/01/11)

We have been out three times today and have little to show for it. The lakes were frozen and shrouded in fog. The shooters are out so that hasn’t helped. We are back at Thorpe Farm which used to be an intensive piggery. They have flooded six acres of meadow and planted several hundreds of trees. Gradually they are tidying the place up and it gets better every time I come. There are areas full of scrap and general rubbish so to fit my mood I went scraping and then enjoyed myself colour popping the results.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Not scrap at all but expensive shovel loader buckets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANor is this but it had some colour to pop.

I was undecided whether to post the Llama images as one is a little distressing. Sorry about it but it is life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Mum…………..’If you come any closer I will either bite you or spit at you I’m undecided which but I promise you will find neither a pleasant experience’.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   They were both perfectly happy chatting to Molly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      Something has chewed this poor crias’ ears off. That is why they have been moved from the rest of the herd. Peculiar behaviour as they are well fed and have acres of space to wander and graze in. It seems happy enough so it will survive.

Tomorrow I’ll have another wander down to the wetlands then we are off to a small town in the Yorkshire Dales called Dent. I suspect internet connection will be dodgy to non existent. So I’ll be back towards the weekend.

Have a good week, all the best.


Friday 28 January 2011

HAPPY AGAIN (28/01/11)

This afternoon the sun came out but the birds had departed for rivers new. I went out with a fisheye lens to bask in the warmth and take a final few shots of Finchale Priory. When I returned the dogs had pinched the sausage I was saving for supper so it was cheese on toast and a good cursing for the thieving little beasts……………worth it, I suspect, they thought!

Having fisheyed I couldn’t leave things there so all these images are heavily processed.  Corners of the Priory Ortonised and selectively re sharpened follow.





_1281212_3_4_5_6_tonemapped_edited-1That’s it for the Priory. Tomorrow we move on to pastures or ponds new.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sunlight in the woods on the banks of the river Wear.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Finally star trails from the camper…….as you can see it’s not far to the priory. Looking north so the star in the middle is Polaris or the Pole Star……………..I rather enjoy doing these. The Priory walls were lit with a torch during one of thirty nine one minute exposures.

Back to birding again tomorrow, all the best.


DEEPLY DIPPY (28/01/11)

The title is pinched, it’s a song by a puerile band called Right Said Fred. The photographs aren’t any better than the band though I did find one Dipper and a pair of Goosander so a hundred per cent improvement on yesterday. It is just so dark and misty. A day for ultra fast four or five hundred millimetre lenses. Does anyone own one? Be good to know. A millionaire reading my ramblings….Wow!

Despite rain over night the river was lower again and one Dipper was available. I shot the following then moved in a large circle to creep closer……………waste of time creeping it flitted off not to be seen again.



These photographs will enlarge and are uncropped so much better than my earlier attempt. They are however very noisy so there is still much scope for improvement.

The Goosander are little better but the female is indulging in very strange behaviour……Who said……’Goes without saying?’……Away and wash your mouth out. I thought she had become entangled in fishing line or something but it appears she was just showing off………….little hussy! Had me worried for a while.


She does look as if she’s drowning…………..if it’s courtship it seems a little extreme. Wasted on him……He’s busy dreaming of fish.


They are very timid and unlike Mallard don’t eat bread so short of scattering tinned sardines on the water it’s difficult to tempt them closer………………….Suspect they would find it difficult to open the tin in any case. Good job they don’t eat corned beef!!

It’s getting brighter as I write this so I’ll swap lenses and go and have another look at the Priory.

We are back to the wetlands at Thorpe Farm tomorrow. Whooper Swan and Lapwing country………..Hark at me! Forever the optimist. The reality will be half a dozen Rooks and a couple of Wood Pigeon.

Have a great weekend, all the best. 


Thursday 27 January 2011


Several hours hunting for Dippers has proved futile. The river had risen about a foot during the night so the rocks they usually perch on were under water…………..We had a good walk up and down either bank but not a Dipper or Dipper feather in sight.

There are two pairs of Goosander but they were flying past low and fast. They can’t half get a move on. Where they were going I don’t know but it was nowhere within a mile of me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   At least I managed a couple of blurry shots. They do fly beautifully.

Thank the Gods for Mallard, like the Robins of the River. They are quite happy to be photographed.


As is the peacock…………..he was displaying but not for me and his tail is a bit scruffy……..he impressed the dogs though.


I'm not surprised he is bigger than they are and almost as noisy.

I was going to move on tomorrow but as the forecast is reasonable I’ll stop an extra day and have another Dipper expedition. They can’t have gone far.

All shots will enlarge if you so desire. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

A DAY LATE (26/01/11)

Today is what is known by the newspaper industry as a slow news day. It’s also freezing cold, raining and generally horrible.

Last night was Burns Night so below is the first verse of his poem Address to the Haggis. The original is in Scots language. An English translation is below.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

Fair full your honest, happy face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The haggis is my favourite sausage so next time I go shopping a purchase is assured. I must remember to buy a turnip, potatoes and a bottle of whiskey. I will then enjoy my own belated Burns Night sans Piper. That bit I won’t miss. If I desire supper accompanied by that racket I’ll throttle a cat.

Today was a birding day………….I have had my customary success so you proper birders out there still have no competition. We have seen a Sparrow Hawk and the remains of a pigeon that it had for lunch. The Kingfisher is hiding in a hole in a wall. We sat for a while hoping it would do hopping onto a branch. It didn’t.

The following pictures are I think of a crossbred Mallard but it is much warier than Mallard so could be something else…………..a Goosander  maybe. It did seem bigger than a Mallard.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy bird images get worse by the day……….it would be funny were it not so sad.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA pair of Dippers………….I am, perversely, quite proud of these……….my best ever Dipper images. Given time I could get closer to them as they only flit up and down a short stretch of river and their downstream perch of choice is just next to the footbridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      The Priory is constructed from a soft sandstone. Much of it almost a shale. It weathers into wonderful patterns. The only reason this building still stands is that it was bonded together with  hot lime mortar. It is a tenacious but wet mix so either large pebbles or Oyster shells were introduced into it to stop the weight of the masonry squeezing the cement out.

This is all for today…………..not one of the best. Tomorrow we are back exhaust hunting but will have another go at the birds first…………..Now there’s something for you to look forward to!


Tuesday 25 January 2011


I’m not sure what sort of a job I’ve done on the Priory. I couldn’t  tune in or settle to my satisfaction. I have seen a pair of Shell Duck this morning………no pictures but we’ll have a go later. There was also the flash over the river of what I’m hoping was a Kingfisher………….I will probably ignore that little blighter…….I still subscribe some value to what remains of my sanity. Trying to photograph a Kingfisher could well tip the balance to my detriment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         What smart dogs……………..They should be, I could have had a hair transplant for the cost of two dog trims. Molly looks less than happy with hers.

_1251040_1_2_3_4_tonemapped_edited-1     A wander round the Priory what bit of the Priory this is I’m not sure. It’s the big bit.

_1251065_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1   This I found interesting…………..Beautiful columns incorporated into a later  wall………….They must have had the equivalent of double glazing salesmen in medieval times….. I can reduce your heating bills by half………..sign up now and I’ll leave you to get on with your Vespers……………….This is a closer view.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       The crypt is still superb if a bit dark…………..Crypts are. They are underground!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      Superb vaulting…………..I am not happy …….Fill flash with a GN 36 flash gun………..I did use a food bag full of micro fibre to diffuse it. There must have been a gap to the left of the bag…….Ho Hum! Or perhaps I’m just a cheap skate and should invest in proper diffusers.

_1251055_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1      This one is exposure blended……………….Should have soft processed this.  I love these buildings and have reservations when it comes to tampering with the masons art. They knew what they were doing…..I wish I could say the same.

_1251045_6_7_8_9_tonemapped_edited-1It’s as if they were going to build a steeple or tower there are the remains of two of these massive columns. When they were first constructed they would have been smooth. The small square holes were scaffold anchorages and would have been filled after construction finished. Endless opportunity for macro photography here as the stone is porous and weathers into superb texture. Tell that to the masons at Durham Cathedral just upstream. They would love you for it.


_1251030_1_2_3_4_tonemapped_edited-1                                           A couple of framed shots to finish……………….What!……………I have got taste………….bad taste!……..I also gave all my lenses and filters a good polish last night. Took my tripod and did my bestest.

All the very best with whatever you are up to………….Off to find the Kingfisher!