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

Wednesday 30 September 2015

MORNING SCENES. (30/09/15)

We have been enjoying several beautiful days in succession. The combine has broken down again so I’ll wander down and give it the benefit of my ignorance in a minute or so. There are only six acres left to cut so with a bit of luck and bodging it should be done today.

The Moon.


Straw Bales


Two Views of the Glen.



I am hoping to get a load of film back from processing. It’s quite exciting, I only hope that it isn’t a disaster.

Monday 28 September 2015

AN INTERLUDE. (28/09/15)

I have experienced an enforced interlude from Blogland. I'll now have to catch up and that is a bit of a pain when all I really want to do is watch that American; Fast Taylor, I think she's called. I turn the sound off and delight in her moving around...Voice spoils it.
 It's been busy here and the weather is perfect for harvesting. Old Machinery breaks down; I keep telling Ken and Andrew that new machinery breaks down. We can fix old stuff but struggle with the new.
Now the combine is working the round baler has decided to wrap 'Dog Bone' bales. I was driven about looking for new grommets for it's duck beak. You think I invented this? It's gospel truth. It was working but made 'Dog Bone' bales. The Duck Beak it has to be. I was asked to give an opinion. The duck beak or the brake on the net feed. The rollers were free of bit's of net. Aaah! 
The net brake!..........Andrew bolted on a new bit of conveyor belt...Took half an hour to cut.....No bloody difference. All this work and no F..ing improvement. We had a quick smoke and a dram then looked at the instructions. 'C'.... Lever marked 'C' as to be slackened for straw or very dry hay. Take me to the bottom of my Grandma's stairs!... Who would have ever thought at looking in the instructions?.........Sophie did. Andrew's nurse/girlfriend/partner; fit as a butchers dog in mucky jeans with dirty Uggs is Sophie. How did she work it out. She spends her life in Edinburgh keeping machines going 'BEEP BEEP And not WhhwwwwSsssSheesh..Fuck!...... She looks after early born children or them what were cut out like Caesar. She knows to read the instructions. Pity the health service is top heavy with chiefs and not Indian's like her. Pity she doesn't work here.
I didn't like to say to her at five this morning that it is still buggered. Bloody machines!  We do know a lot more about round balers than we did so top marks to Sophie. Sophie has gone back to study the manual in between looking after new born children or babies as I think they are better known. She will text when she has sorted it.

Dog Bone Bales.

Just to show you that all is going pretty well despite fifteen hour days. Here is the new combine. Drop dead gorgeous it is. My sound isn't very good but I am trying...Very trying. 
Have fun.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

MAGIC. (23/09/15)

I love messing with old machines but this machine is pretty modern, the engine starts without one resorting to naughty words, Eezy Start and and the booster charger. Everything worked with the exception of the left hand disc brake…….Yes it has disc brakes, it’s a high performance machine. It arrived late yesterday afternoon and we spent from then until dusk stopped play fiddling with it. Greasing round, adjusting the odd belt tensioner and sorting the brakes out.
This combine is thirty four years old so a spring chicken amongst most of the equipment here. It managed the narrow and tortuous lanes down to the field to be harvested. All is well with the world. I can’t wait to have a drive. It may be a while as I am limited by senior management to driving old tractors and if they are desperate the Tele-Loader.
After my tea last night I was checking voltages on the old flash guns. I need a strobe for the film cameras and though the Minolta is mechanical the Bronica has an electronic leaf shutter and I can’t find out what voltage it will tolerate on either the PC cord or the flash foot. Mine vary between 9v and 113v. I decided not to risk it and get a new strobe. This one is cheap and has good reviews.
Neewer TT560
It costs £30.00p and only has 3v across the foot and sync cable. I could use a Canon 430EX II but it doesn’t have a hole for a PC cord so I’d have to mount it on a Pocket Wizard. All a bit cumbersome. This unit is not ETTL but it is not too hard to divide the guide number by the distance. I have a flash meter so if I get a couple of PC cords then I can use it to fire the strobe and get an exposure. It will trigger the Canon ones; it would if I could work out how in heaven you get Canon strobes into slave mode. Has anyone got this flash? It seems a bargain possibly too much of a gift.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

WHAT WENT WRONG. (22/09/15)

Yesterday I posted a video and the quality was appalling. YouTube seems to be very hit and miss. It must be me as other folk seem to get acceptable results.

22-09-2015 12-11-35 This is a screen grab of the YouTube video.

22-09-2015 09-01-50 This is a screen grab of the MP4 182MB video I uploaded to YouTube.

22-09-2015 10-39-20 

These are the settings I used to render the video. I didn’t sharpen it as when I’ve tried that in the past it has been much worse after uploading. The only grading I did was to boost saturation to 18 and adjust levels to add contrast.

I don’t post many videos but sometimes they are fine and other times they are awful. As usual all images will enlarge with a click.

Any ideas or help will be appreciated.

Monday 21 September 2015

FINAL CUT. (21/09/15)

As promised here is the edit of the Fahr M88 combining barley.
The sound is still not synchronised very well but I decided enough messing was enough and near enough was good enough. I did grade this video and it looks fine on the computer but I have a sneaking suspicion that YouTube have had a go themselves. It's good for folk using pads and phones but a bit of a pest when you don't. It's free so I'm grateful.

Any criticism will be more than welcome as I get a bit lost editing video. The titles are much better but there is still bleed through the mask on the left hand edge you can see it at 0.16s.

Sunday 20 September 2015

WHOOPS. (20/09/15)

I spent most of yesterday taking pictures of the new grain drying system and the old combine. Harvesting is on hold at the moment as the engine has seized solid in the combine. I feel a bit sad as it was a wonderful piece of equipment. Ken feels worse as he is away to buy a new combine...A new secondhand one.

 The trailer with the holes in the back is the grain drier.

Fill it up with barley
And reverse it up to the drier fan.

Like this


The engine warms the air and the fan blows warm air through the grain it works a treat.

I managed to get about an hours worth of combine video before it succumbed and here is a little bit of it. I have been trying to get a title style I like. I am having trouble with this as you will see. What I want is a banner a bit like the Fox News one with the video title scrolling under my name. It would be more fun to use Fox News headlines.......Corbyn Eats Babies, Trump is a Genious (sic) etc but I will try and be sensible. It all works fine but the mask is causing problems. I have adjusted it a dozen times but it always shows black. Any ideas will be gratefully received.
Screen Grab
This video is far from complete, it has the worst chopped out and lots I've shot not included. No sound, no commentary but all that will come later when I will try and video the whole process. This is what the pros call rushes and I call laziness. You will see what I mean about the title. There must be someone out there that edits video and can save me spending hours puzzling it out for myself.

Saturday 19 September 2015

NERDY AND NORMAL. (19/09/15)


The PX13 mercury cell used to be common in lightmeters and for powering exposure meters in several diverse cameras. The MRB625 is a direct replacement and being Zinc/air it is almost environmentally friendly. The problem is this Wein Cell is the only direct replacement I have found and they are expensive at £8.00p a pop delivered. I got to thinking and borrowed a 675 hearing aid battery.  These are much smaller in diameter about 4.5mm smaller and their voltage is 1.4v as against 1.35v. I had a root through Ken’s big box of small “O” rings and found one that was about 2mm diameter that fitted over the battery and dropped it in the camera. The meter works fine and I wondered if it still read the same despite the 0.05v difference. It appears to, hearing aid batteries are cheap as chips and what is more they are available everywhere with the exception of fishmongers, pubs, butchers, animal feed suppliers and greengrocers. I suspect the folk that are interested will have realised all the above and those that aren’t will not give a Tinkers Toss.


Here are a few photos from this week, they are as normal as I get.


The Edge of the Forest.


Straw Bales.


What the Butler Saw.


My cameras are not peeping perverts so I opened the door and we can now see it all, whatever it is. I have several of these shapes and the holders for them they definitely work on a 62mm lens thread but aren’t very big so much more and you may have to crop. They are free to a good home. There are arts, I mean Hearts, keyholes, a funny figure of eight shape and plenty of random squiggly shapes. They come with a wonderful holder that sort of screws into the lens with the adapter included and then folds out to accept the filter. Excellent value for nothing.

Thursday 17 September 2015

A FUNNY THING. (17/09/15)

Yesterday I was quite busy. I decided to create a folder and pop some images in it so that I could try and determine whether film was worth messing with from an aesthetic and quality point of view. It is worth it to me for the joy of handling quality old cameras.

I went out to a vantage point looking across the glen with the sun behind me and to my left. I set up a sturdy tripod…..I have yet to hear anyone say they set up a cheap flimsy tripod……and mounted the Bronica with a roll of 100 Velvia loaded. I have quite a posh Sekonic incident and flash meter, it can do almost anything with the exception of making tea or coffee. I got it some years ago as it didn’t work,  I was lucky, it transpired the battery was in the wrong way round and it didn’t have a case or instructions. It now works a treat but all I do is set the ISO and aperture, point it at the camera and see what the shutter speed bit says. It will wire into studio light set ups and remember lots of readings but I can’t understand those bits nor have I got the cords to connect it to anything or anything to connect it to.

Anyway having set the film camera and taken a couple of shots I swapped it for the Canon 1Ds and used the same settings.


Nothing much wrong with this. If the Velvia processes as well then I’ll be happy. I was packing up and then thought I’d give it a whirl with the Canons internal reflective meter. I set the camera to aperture priority and the metering mode tometer, whatever this icon is called. On this setting the camera meters about fifty or so bits of the view and comes up with an exposure.


Again an acceptable result. I then set the camera to spot metering, pointed it at the sky and pressed the tiny little button marked FEL. I did this again on the barley and on the trees. You can do this quite a few times and the camera again calculates the exposure. Very clever are those folk at Canon.


This what I got……I should have remembered to shut the eyepiece off as light leaking in had somehow confused the camera, I have never had this happen before. Must have been lucky or maybe I composed in live view previously. I usually do when the camera is tripod mounted.

The exposure meter battery for the Minolta has arrived and the meter works so next week when I send the films off for processing I’ll order some 35mm film along with some more 120. I’ve not decided what film to get yet. I’ll definitely get some FP4 and HP5, I’ll also get some Velvia 50 but it is blasted expensive. Velvia 100 is dearer still. I suspect I will have to go for 100 ISO as slow films are really not much use in Scotland; definitely not hand held unless I want the arty blurry look and I get enough of those by accident.

Ken and Andrew started combining yesterday afternoon so I wandered up the road to pick some brambles and check on progress. I met the lass from the top of the glen with the posh horses, had a good chat which was more exciting than brambling. I am a bit short of fruit for my porridge but it is a sacrifice worth enduring.




Fifty five years old and still going strong. It seems to be doing a good job as there is very little to no grain in the straw. If it doesn’t rain I’ll go and get lots of video later. I’ll also record sound. I have a story line written down and would like some time lapse in the video. This field isn’t very good for time lapse as there isn’t a good view point for the camera. I’ll wait until they do the field by the van as there is a really good vantage point in there. The video will be a good week away as it will be several days before they get round to the time lapse field and I am a very slow video and sound editor.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

TREASURE. (16/09/15)

Yesterday whilst rooting around looking for a big fan to go in the grain drier I came across a treasure chest.



I carried it out and popped it on a table. Opened it up and low and behold there was a full set of Polo equipment *. Mallets, balls but the pony was missing. It does have the big metal staples for tying my spare pony to. There are lots of Highland ponies just over the road so I’ll give Charles a ring and see if he would like a game on the slopes of Glassart Glen. It would be a right royal occasion. How many ponies do you need for a game of Polo? I guess a dozen would be fine. The equipment isn’t in the first flush of youth but then neither am I and Charlie is older still.



Does anyone read the Daily Express? If you caught Sundays early edition you may have seen this headline. If they can do this on a regular basis I may start taking it.


How can children learn to spell when a national paper can’t spell appearance. I don’t know whether they printed a picture but I wouldn’t be surprised considering both Richard Desmond’s publishing history and Kate’s propensity for flashing her bits and pieces.

*  I think Graham may have the impression that this is a Croquet set. He could be right.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

BERRIES. (15/09/15)

I really like this picture of berries. Whether I will deem it anything special tomorrow I doubt.berries
No idea what they are and I have mislaid my book on trees and shrubs. They don’t look edible as birds, squirrels and deer have ignored them. Thanks to MARGARET I now know this is St John's Wort. Very efficacious for when one is feeling a bit blue.
Hogweed seeds.
Autumn Leaves.
The Sickener.
This is one frame out of two rolls of 120 HP5. Two years ago I spent ages shooting them picking scenes with high contrast. Metering was either incident or guess. Somewhere I have equivalents shot with the Canon 1Ds III. My secretary or personal assistant has mislaid them, I’ll pop her on a bread and water diet. When I shoot film I usually expose for the shadows. It is the opposite to digital but film is much more tolerant. These are a low resolution JPEG scan of about 5MB A posh drum scan would be getting on for 1GB. 5MB is overkill for the internet a tenth of it does fine.  Now I am trying to get competent so am writing down what I shoot and what I shot it at. A pound to a penny my PA loses the piece of paper.

Sunday 13 September 2015

SUNNY DAY. (13/09/15)

Yesterday it rained pretty much all day. This morning dawned bright and cool, there were plenty of new fungi out but the puffballs have not done very much yet. I probably ate too many the other day.

We now have a proper Labour Party leader in the UK. Time will tell if he’s effective. I don’t want to go back to the policies of the Michael Foot era and even if I did they would not be applicable in the modern world. I would like to see senior executives held accountable for the results they achieve and the gambling culture in banking curtailed. Be nice if we could spend some of the defence budget on constructive endeavours and not on destructive ones. I’ll just have to wait and see if his influence is beneficial.

I had a grand walk this morning.


Blue Sky.


A few breezy days and the barley will be ready.


Molly and Amethyst Deceivers. Every time I lie down to take a picture her nose appears in the view finder. I have tried using my best Anglo Saxon command for go away but all I get is a wet tongue in my ear. I have decided that if she wants to be in the pictures she can be.


Another purple fungus this is Purple Brittlegill. Russula caerulea.


There are hundreds of these. I think they may be Fawn Shield-cap.


This one I can’t identify but it is an attractive shape.

All the fungus shots were taken with a 50mm lens and a strobe off to one side. I will keep experimenting with lighting as I am not where I want to be yet.

I really shouldn't mention this but I’m looking for another camera. I would like a 500 series Hasselblad preferably a 501CM but unfortunately so would the rest of the old camera world. The alternative is a Rollie 6000 series but not an AF model. In the meantime I’ll go and look for something to snap with the Bronica STR. I have two part rolls of film to finish off but don’t like to waste film or press the shutter for the sake of using it up.

The Canon cameras are great for macro but I don’t love them. I am enjoying a return to film and will start looking for a used scanner and a developing tank…..I mustn’t forget to get a black bag or all my efforts will look as if they been shot on a leaky Diana.

Enjoy your week.

Friday 11 September 2015

WHO WILL IT BE? (11/09/15)

Tomorrow we will find out who will be leading the opposition in the UK. Dithery Dave has waded in but as he has five years to convince the electorate he knows what he is doing I don’t know why he bothered; perhaps he hopes it will save him answering awkward questions on matters that are his concern and responsibility.
I’m not getting many pictures but here are few for the weekend.
Yesterday I went out macroing, it’s been a bit dry for fungus but there are still a few around.
I think this is Artists Fungus. Ganoderma adspersum.
Slime Mold. I am going to stop trying to time lapse this stuff. I have carried it back to the van and given it a porridge oat to eat and it always dies. I’ll have to look it up and see if there are instructions on how to cultivate and care for it.
The Sheep Ticks are a real pest at the moment, the dogs are covered after every walk as are my jacket and trousers. I was brushing them off and realised I have never taken a picture of one that isn’t engorged with blood. This is what they look like before they have dined.
They are not as revolting in this state. Enjoy your weekend, I am set up for both video and time lapse in case the weather is good enough for Barley harvesting.