Monday, November 02, 2009

After the rugby, the drinking

Rugby is thirsty work

My world

Well you have all seen the images of the Rugby matches dotted about the blog, but what about afterwards? What happens when the game is done? It's drinks of course in the clubhouse. These lads were the chosen few downing yards of ale and such like for dubious or not so honours such as "Man of the Match" etc. As you can see along with the game, this is also what we call here a spectator sport. Also good for the thirsty photographer, because yes photography is thirsty work, to gain a few extra after the main event images too. What you thought I just went home after the match? Don't be silly there is drink on offer. Be rude not to partake of the odd glass of cider would it not? Yes that is rhetorical. Also gives me an opportunity to show you people of Ramsey which seems to be what you most want to see here, after sunsets, beaches and woods. So today that's what you get a completely random image taken by a drunken photographer who has supposedly put the camera down after her work is done. No such thing. There is always something, someone to photograph and the best social documentary images are the ones you get when you socialize, not work. More my world images can be seen here

Can you drink a yard of ale though?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pink, Pink ,Sunshine - Skywatch

A river usually runs through it


Following on from the image earlier this week of the golden mud (well it is when the sun hits the right spot) another from the same day, this time shooting towards the sun. That would be that circle of white light struggling to be viewed behind the clouds. You can see how the mud really looks now, dull flat brown with a little dingy green growth of some kind. Yes the camera lies all the time, you just need to know how to make it lie best for you. Same with the pink tinged sky. Just have your setting that apply turned way down low, manual of course) and shoot. The illusion of a pink/lilac light emanating from the clouds whilst retaining the natural blue of the sky is thus achieved with a little manipulation of the camera. Auto would just bleach that sky and lighten the mud and you would get a nasty sun flare quite central. Sunflares can be useful but only under certain conditions. There you go, not so much smoke, mirrors and Photoshop but lens magic. Of course it could be Manx Magic again as it is the month of Halloween. I'll let you decide.

That usu sally is a river, The Sulby. Sure the other images will pop up at some point for you to compare. That's it short and sweet. For other skies around the world click here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

N is for new

New dawn, new day, and I'm feeling good

Get well soon Wilma! Wilma is Mrs Nesbitt's dog the creator of ABC

Click on image to see larger.No Manx words to day. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a simple study of seasonal growth. Yes it's Autumn and all the leaves are turning brown. Not just brown, golds reds, yellows and the new berries are bursting onto the scene with rich ripe succulent colours. Time to get the camera out down the bridle path and wander the woods looking for the gorgeous Autumn tones and misty dawn mornings. So it's all about new. New dawn, new day, new season, new growth, new housing development, new regeneration of the high street, and at time of taking new lens. Lovely portrait lens to create the clarity on the focal point of the central berry and soften to fade of the day dawning.

I'm slowly getting back into blogging but the real world still needs a little more attention. For more Abc's see here and do check in with Mrs Nesbitt and poor Wilma the dog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunlit river bed - My World

Mud glorious mud!

My World

This is typical. I had this image planned for Blog Action Day, something I very much wanted to be part of. You were all going to get a rant about looking after the place you live re Climate change but of course Blogger was not being at all cooperative and decided my scheduled post just wouldn't get published. However many times I tried to re submit it get kicking the image out. Never mind you get the image of the Sulby River, riverbed at it's lowest I've seen it for a very long time. Go back over my previous image and you will see this is usually quite a swollen river. Well will do get more than our fair share of rain here. Normally I wouldn't be able to actually walk this far down and sink into the mud but I just couldn't resist those delicious golden golden and bronze tones bouncing around off the sunlight, leaving that tiny patch of blue in the centre puddle. That's how you can tell this is afternoon, not evening, the blue sky. Trick is shoot with your back to the sun, and the image will naturally darken and you can just bounce the light around in those watery puddles. Image is a little bigger than normal so you can have a better view. Who say mud isn't pretty? A pain to clean off thought. Photography dirty job, but someone has to do it.

For more images from the globe click here for My World.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Manx Money Laundering Monkey Business - ABC

Abc- M

Whose been a naughty Manx boy then?

Trevor Baines Tycoon infamous Tycoon of the Isle Of Man has today been convicted of a multi-million dollar money laundering scam. He was so shocked at the verdict he actually collapsed and was taken to the local hospital. The image above, by my partner Gary, you know the Political cartoonist depicts this scene with a little gag. That's what a topical illustrator does. Clever boy.

Baines was accused of transferring $175 million to bank accounts in the Isle of Man,(just like Tony Soprano did) knowing or at least suspecting that the money was from the proceeds of ill gotten(are there any other type?) of crimes. Tut Tut!

The funds had been accrued dishonestly by Roys Poyiadjis, who just happened to be the bent senior executive of American software firm AremisSoft. He fooled many Wall Street investors by inflating the share price, thus inflating the companies overall wealth. Or what we call a nice little earner in these pasts which found it's way here, via Trevor Baines and the Isle of Man Banking Industry. Oh dear. Obama was right after all. Those rules and regs do need tightening.

So there you go. That's my Abc Money Laundering, and you thought I lived on a sleepy little island. Thanks to Gary for doing the illustration in record time today for this post. Now that is real talent. You can see more of his work here. For other Abc's of a less fraudulent type here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's raining again - My World

Wet, Wet, Wet

My World

This is what you call an unplanned post. Bear with me as they all too frequently say in customer (non) services. Having a little camera trouble. I know what a nightmare. Just my favourite telephoto lens seems to be unwell. Now I do of course have a collection of lenses but it's the big guns lens I need to shoot distances at close range( you know perspective, zoom images, sport etc) and non distorted building. So you may be getting lots of landscapes for the time being. Ah well, every day will be a skywatch day then. What about today though?

Nothing special in the scenery here. This is Shoprite (our local supermarket) car park on a very dreary wet and windy grey day. A very real down to earth day. Taken with the point and shoot Olympus. Remember Big Nikon baby is not allowed out in the rain. Still it does the job. Does get you to think about the composition more, taking in that bike and of course it helps catching the red coat in the optimum part of the image too. I admit to waiting for them to get into position. You see the shot before you take it. Of course this is an image that is also made a little more interesting by those watery reflections. See even the most appalling weather, light and point and shoot photography in a boring supermarket car park can be a little bit of magic. Of course being a witch and hanging out with Manx fairies helps too.

For other My World contributions click here

Monday, October 05, 2009

Poyll Dooey - Attack of the Killer JCB - My World

Look at what has happened to The Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve

A Killer JCB is on the loose in Ramsey...

In the name of Progress!

Let the images do most of the talking tonight. I have many more be warned. I did warn you last week that the beautiful nature reserve is being torn and apart, for what we don't know? Housing supposedly. We need houses in the town. We need a wildlife haven here. Not that complicated an idea to grasp is it? Even heard a suggestion it could be a Supermarket. What next paving paradise for a car park? So if you know what the hell is happening to this heavenly area, apart from the land being savagely destroyed let us all know, as the people ripping it up don't seem to know either. Just "doing their job." Now where have I heard that before. MHK's, anyone in charge, anyone know anything- answers here. Now! You know I won't shut up about it until you do, and neither will my readers.

For less belligerent images from My World click here

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Frankly my dears I do give a damn - Skywatch

Align LeftGone with wind, no a JCB

See that scene. Gorgeous or what. Well that might be one of the last times you see it. You know my favourite place. The place I always bang on about. You know the one with the rabbits, and fairy folk
(well I am stretching the truth maybe with the fairy folk but I wanna believe) and birds and dog poo (not white though since the 70's) and the river blah, blah. The one place where I can wander with my camera and not have little old ladies thinking I'm stealing their soul (they should be so lucky) by shooting them for the blog, yes that place. Yes the Poyll Dooey nature reserve. As if you didn't know by now. Well it's being ripped up by a JCB.

Well so far this is all I can tell you. Land has been levelled off one of the fields. This I'm told is for site access. For what you ask? The new house building going on. Ok so far, but not this. Diggers have ploughed a track over to the picnic site. Why? To make access to the picnic area. Trees are being hacked down. Large segments of the cultivated nature trail as well as the fields which have deliberately been left to fallow (for nature's sake, obvioulsy) are being ripped up too. Why? Likely for laying of pipes, possibly sewage outlets for the new houses.

May I suggest instead of ripping up the place that is a haven for wildlife, the powers that be actually look to the town to renovate existing derelict buildings and relevant plots. We need affordable accommodation in the town centre, not in the middle of a out of town fallow field at over inflated prices. I hope the fairy folk and Ginnie the Witch and of course myself curse your powers that be sorry asses.

Talk about can't see the wood for the trees! For less belligerent skywatch skies see here

Tuesday, September 29, 2009



Abc K

Keeirid is another one of those Manx words. Twighlight to you or dusk. No prizes for guessing I was deep in the woods to get that shot. Where else. Has been a while since we had a Manx word but as I ran into Adrain Cain today, The Manx Language Development Officer, in the big city (now don't laugh Douglas is big compared to Ramsey) and thought why not have one or two tonight. So there you go. Cain by the way is a proper homegrown Manx surname.

Just for a change I will shut up and leave you with some new words to drop into conversation sometime. There you go it's not everyday you can speak a new language. Well you can if it is dusk to dawn. Don't tell the Vampire Hunter though. She might get the wrong idea.

keeiragh - dusky, darkish, twilight, gloaming, nightfall, evening twilight
keeiragh (ny hoie) - dusk
keeiragh yn laa - daylight
keeiraghey ny hoie - nightfall
keeiraght - blackishness, nightfall, twilight
keeiraght ny h-oie - evening just before dark
keeiraght yn laa - break of day
keeirid - twilight, dusk

For more K's in a variety of languages see here

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boys don't cry

Don't think, shoot.

My World - Ramsey Rugby

Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time and better still you have your camera with you. Forget the light being too low for the speed of the game. Forget it's raining casting that misty glow. Forget the light breeze knocking you off balance. Forget you have no tripod. No excuses. If you take images of people, sport photography, your kids school games, listen up. You get one chance and like that rugby ball you had better grab it with both hands and just have faith in your manual setting, and most of all yourself and just shoot the scene in front of you. One second later you've lost the shot, so don't pussyfoot around just point the damned camera and get that classic pose. One second either side of this shot and you've lost it and they are not coming back around for you to create the right conditions. You get the shot. You're onto the next one.

Ramsey are the boys in blue. Unfortunately we lost(well I do actually support them being an honorary Ramsey girl) I still don't get this game in the way I get football(soccer to my American friends out there) but I have an instinct for what is going on. Enough anyway to follow the action and just know when to shoot. If you really want the best advice on how to get this shot other than getting you speed right to freeze the action(novices try sport mode), setting the right ISO for the conditions, choosing the right weather setting remember this. Footwear. You don't wear killer heels(leave those for the pub) you wear your trainers and you run your ass off and follow the action. OK, not for the whole game but, not that committed but you get the gist. So what if you get a ball in the face, you also get the shot. Black eyes lasts for a week, the image lasts a lifetime. Rugby, like photography is not for wimps! Only joking.

Ooh it's good to be back.

More my world images can be seen here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Black crow is not hard to handle - critters

What is it with me and birds?


Jealous again are you about the strange image. No you are not seeing things. That is a crow eating a tissue. Not sure that is the best remedy. No, not one iota of manipulation apart from the desaturation to monochrome in Raw. No photoshopped tissues into the already taken image. That's just how it is with me and the birds. Sister luck when it comes to critters and how cooperative they can be. They sit on my hand, they behave oddly around me. Seem to even dare I say it pose for me.Maybe it's Manx magic, little bit of Ginnie Witchcraft. I dunno, but whatever it is but I never find black crows hard to handle. Or should that be Black Crowes?

Yes, yes I'm sort of back. Well posting, rather than visiting. Not really into shooting around Ramsey at the moment, or blogging in general so an archive for you from a batch I shot of this beautiful bird, a carrion crow to be precise, over the local park. Sure the other images to compare will pop up on the links. For other critters around the globe click here. Honestly I don't make these birds do these things, they just do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

J is for Juxtaposition

It's not the ducks.


Juxtaposition in a nutshell, well in terms of art a photography and Babooshka speak is basically placement of objects or elements side by side. Artistically it is with the intention of highlighting a specific quality or creating an effect, particularly when two contrasting or opposing elements are used within one image. The viewer's attention is drawn (hopefully) to the similarities or differences between the elements depicted within the given scene. That is just the blah,blah speak. Just a fancy pants way of saying this is such a beautiful landscape of the Sulby river spoiled by the ugly discarded tyre in the foreground left hand corner. I could delve deeper into all the juxtaposed reasoning, but you can do a little thought processing too. No I didn't plant it there just to get you thinking. I don't ever walk around with arty rubbish. I just chose to take the image and not crop out the garbage that people throw in the river to create an aesthetically pleasing landscape. What you see is what you get, naturally beautiful, man made ugly. Simple as that. If you prefer to think I am an artistic genius to create such an interesting juxtaposition for you to mull over, go right ahead. I really will not stop you.

Blogging is still not paramount in my life presently.I'm dipping in and out as and when I can. I'm around, but the real world and people in it need a little more attention than I first thought. Watch out though. You never know when I will just jump out at you with a Babooshka rant, rave or otherwise comment. The soapbox is still here. Better the devil you know after all as the rude little old woman in Douglas today would have you believe I am a close friend. Oh that. Another story for another day. If I can just get her picture...... For more J's in the virtual world click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunshine on a cloudy day - Skywatch

Even clouds have a lighter side

Today not my words of wisdom, just another oh so cloudy day taken in the nature reserve, looking over the hedge. Well more like through at my height. I know you love the thoughts of Queen B, my rants, raves and dark, dark humour, but I noticed this comment left yesterday by a fellow blogger.and as they have a closed blog gives me here the opportunity to answer the question. Yes I am out of breath after that sentence. Sure you are too.

Here's the comment.

I found your blog quite by accident while looking for the name of a fish and chip shop in the center of Ramsey. I'm from the US, and lived on the IOM from early 2005 until mid-2007 and back in the states now. I miss the island incredibly and loved reading your blog. It's brought back so many familiar memories and emotions. Thanks for that.


Don't blush Ellen being the star of the blog today. Not often I turn the precious blog over verbally to another. To answer the question the chippy is the Trawlerman. I will have to sneak a pic for you and next time I have a bag of chips I'll let you know. You can email me anytime if you have anything you want to know. Just wanted to reply to this lovely, genuine comment. Now stop blushing Ellen.

More fabulous skies can be seen here

Still a little non bloggy. My real life needs by attention too at the moment. I know it's a drag for you, but I do get to catch up with some very old friends.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I is for icon

Patrick Swayze was here

Patrick Swayze has sadly died. Very sorry to here that around these parts. He is yet another film star who graced our humble shores here filming the rom/com "Keeping Mom" on the island. He described my island as "a magical place with magical people". Now who am I to disagree with a Hollywood Icon? Also chuffed to say he was to be seen doing a spot of the old " dirty dancing" at the legendary nightspot Nightlife, the image you see above.

Some of you may know the alternative names of "Fightlife" or no can't say that one. Put it this way it begins with SH.. Nonetheless it remains as Ramsey's most premier, iconic nightclub. Perhaps premier is manipulating the truth somewhat, but iconic it certainly is. Ramsey only has one nightclub you see. That sort of makes it legendary and iconic. It's a real throwback to a bygone era of sticking to sodden beery carpet twirling lights and people behaving like a whirring dervish. It attracts absolutely all comers. Age, musical taste, locals, tourists, fairy folk, witches, wizards, Frank the rabbit and of course iconic film stars when in town. You will find the population of Ramsey, who haven't stayed in or still standing after the pubs close, doing there own version of dirty dancing into the small hours. Be warned no trainers, but otherwise, if you the entrance fee and a pulse you are most certainly welcome and no one will put you in the corner.

Sorry for the really horrid, poor quality image. Not my usual standard at all. Only one of nightlife I had to hand. For other abc's see here

Monday, September 14, 2009

Living on an island - My World

Dave, this is why

Yes I have been off the blog again. Sometimes it's called having a life, other times it's when the server is being erratic here and I have no time to sit and wait for it to behave. Sometimes that pile of ironing will not iron it's self, and however much I beg the fairy folk here to help with the housework they point blank refuse. A little of all of those things. Island life for you. Has it's upside and certainly it's down.

Good things about living on an island can be many, safety for one. We joke here we live in a time warp. Well who wouldn't want to live in the past a little when today's UK crime rate is at it's peak(despite how they massage the figures)and you still know names of local police, you can walk streets home at night, you do not fear sitting upstairs on public transport. You know your neighbour. Your house will be watched over when you are on holiday. It's quiet. Quieter than big bustling cities. People have time for each other. The scenery in places is stunning. Beaches, woodlands, parks. We have local shops, local produce. Smaller schools. Our news is not dominated with bad things, but community spirited events. Laid back. Time enough as they say here, but of course there is a flip side.

It can be cloying. Everyone knows everyone. It can be hard for new people to integrate into such tight knit communities. Sometimes you want to splurge the cash, or you really need something for the home that is not provided on the island. You need the Internet for these, but the net is not always reliable. Transportation costs to get off the island are astronomical. Cost of living, housing too. To be an artist, a photographer is hard. The market is small, and if you come over like us then the help, the buyers, the clients back away. We need the worldwide market, but as I said the Internet can be erratic. It can be hard to survive, financially. It can be hard to survive emotionally isolated. I am lucky, I did not come over alone, I have the artist. Sometimes you just get cabin fever and crave the anonymity of the suburbs, the big neon garish city Then you see the beach, the woods, breathe the fresh air or take a walk chasing rabbits to photograph by the river and it passes.

Dedicated to my long lost friend Dave. That's why and not why.

For more of others My world's clickety click here

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Almost heavenly rays

Almost a sunny day


This is going to be the last image for a while from the point and shoot Olympus stylus 300. I was aksed what camera it was so there you go. The sun is shines and while we still have a few weeks left of what is supposed to be the back of summer, the Nikon will be back out. It's been fun and I will keep the point and shoot handy in the handbag for a sneaky shot, but there is nothing like holding a bigger camera for shots like this. Saying that, the little camera does the job well enough. It's not so good with low light and rain like this, but then again you can get a sweeping glassy reflection of those clouds across the lake, a softening of the buildings in the distance and a moody blue colour naturally. That'll do for this week. Not as flash an image as usual, but a Skywatch image nonetheless. As you can see I'm still on the quiet side of blogging, but I did get a great quote from a visitor to these shores, and no it wasn't nice, but she did have a point. Put it this way. It always happens at the cinema.

For more of those wonderful skies around the globe click below


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hillside flowers - H

A flower!


This is not what I had planned at all. I did want herbaceous border, but no it's not happening this week. Try finding anything in this weather. Those borders out there are not being very herbaceous, perennial yes, but that's not for today being we are not having a p, so to speak. I was not having harbour, high, or any Manx H word again. Just not doing it. So I found a little Hillside spot I am keeping to myself for now, and found this sweet little carpet of flowers just waiting to be snapped. Now me being me of course no I haven't a clue what any of them are called. Sure you can name them, or some of them you gardeners out there. They are not wild, this was a purpose planted plot.

Again it's the little point and shoot, the Olympus stylus 300. Oldish. 7 years but handles the reds and greens well. Actually is a really sharp macro mode, should you have one or the 400 give it ago, looking for the little flower symbol, naturally.

For more H words click Mrs N's little bag of tricks below


Monday, September 07, 2009

Artist captures artist - My world

Murial it's a mural

My World

It has finally stopped raining, but I did say I would be treating you to some point and shoot camera work rather than the fancy footwork of the big almighty bow down to the power of the Nikon images. So I had better stick to my guns (camera ones, obvioulsy) hadn't I. So my world this week is photographing the artist at work.

You may recall this place from way back last year. on Parliament Street. At the time it was an empty space made way by the demolition of a building with hoarding around which the the school kids had painted on see here for that shot. Rumours abounded as to what this plot was to be, a hotel to replace the grand, a restaurant, a picnic garden. Well it has been turfed over(grass to you) and there are benches. Always full at lunchtime and seems to be a regular meeting place now. One thing having the little point and shoot is you can whip the thing out slyly, take a pic, and pop back in the handbag before anyone is aware. Here is the artist at work on whatever that mural will turn 0ut to be. Luck would have it I was this way, and got to snap the ongoing job at work. Of course I will bring you the finished article, well I will if I can sneak another incognito pic.

More works of my world art can be found here

Taking some time out to concentrate on a couple of little projects and catch up with friends. Let's just say one involves a camera and self portraits and the other the past and hunting for photos. Both involve my time, and my alcohol.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Why does it always rain on me - Critters

Poor doggie

This week we are starting a little experiment on the blog. As it has constantly rained here the big all dancing Nikon and it's numerous lenses and paraphernalia has not been allowed out to play. Instead I have had to use a few archive images. What to do? Get out the old faithful point and shoot Olympus. So here is the first image this poor bedraggled little Yorkshire Terrier that was waiting faithfully outside Shoprite(our local supermarket) for his or her owner to finish their shopping and collect them. Poor little thing. Don't you just want to scoop the wee one up and dry him off. I am a sucker for a dog, any dog. Just adorable.

So for a while I will be using the Olympus for the blog, and the Nikon for work like the motorbikes and such like. Good thing about the tiny point and shoot is well many things. It fits snugly in a handbag. No extra lens, hoods, etc. It can be surreptitiously be dragged out to sneakily get a quick image, like this. As you can see they don't come more natural than this, just point shoot, ans slip back in the bag. No one any the wiser. Bad points are, the setting are not brilliant and the lighter can be a little harsh and obviously not quite the finesse of the Nikon. As I always advocate it's the photographer not the camera that creates the photo, I will put my money were my mouth is and upload some pics. C0uld be interesting.

I'd like to thank the blokes who very kindly saved me a spot to take the Grand Prix pics yesterday. I was late getting there and when I arrived, my usual spot was taken. All four graciously moved aside and made more than enough space for me. Cheers for that. Not everyone would do that.

Misty is the place to click for more cute critters.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Manannan is skywatching

Celtic magic, not manipulation

I cannot take this torrential rain much longer so you get another of those spectacular sunsets from last year. Before those that don't know and ask, yes that is natural, no filters, and no manipulation. It is what it is a bewitching multi coloured sunset over the island. We get some stunners here, but only ones like this rarely.Could it be Manannan and a little Celtic magic or those Manx fairies on the loose with the paintbox. Don't know, don't care, but it's far more appealing than the hellish grey water sodden skies we have had through out the week, and I know which one I'd rather have.

I mention the Celts as along with the Vikings remember the island has those very deep Pagan roots. Don't forget the vampire hunter I met here too (place is apparently crawling with them) the Fenodyree, and how you have to say hello to the fairies when crossing Fairy bridge. Also my own bit of witchcraft with encouraging wild injured birds to sit on my hand. Well when I look at that sky I can believe that Mannanan has lifted his cloak here and weaving a little Manx magic. On the other hand, I just got lucky one night. Now if I can just get to photograph those vampires, fairies and ghosts that haunt the island I'd make a bloody fortune.

Other bewitching skies can be seen here . Hopefully the rain will stop and I can photograph tomorrow, those modern day Vikings, the bikers.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Manx Grand Prix - Abc G

The boys are back in town

The G letter shot

You thought you were safe here didn't you, I mean you thought those noisy motorbikes had left the island after the TT. Well you are right they had. So what's with choosing more bikes again for the lettter. Well what we have this week is the Manx Grand Prix. Well what we should have. You know that rain that just won't stop here, well it's still going on an on an on, unlike the motorbikes which are crashing and coming to standstills. So apologies but this is an archive of the race a few years ago. Does give me the chance to show you something about the image. The red number plates.

So what's special about those then you ask. They indicate that this is a practise race. So there. I may not be able to show you any racing from the Grand Prix just yet(or at all working elsewhere) from this year but you got to learn something. Riveting eh! Oh yes the rider with number 2, Shane Connor. Now more stuff you don't know. See this image. Well the high res version large frame of this image hangs on the very wall of the very room of the very hotel he stayed in, and I , yes I have held his winning garland. Now that would have been a great G shot.

For more G shots try here.

September Theme Day - Big - Queens Pier - My World

Peer at the Pier

September Theme Day Big, My world

Has it been a month already since our last theme day. It appears so. As I reside in a teenie tiny town beside the seaside, which I do like to be by I had little option but to choose, the bridge, the beach or the pier for the image of big. Not my usual lateral thinking involved today for the theme, play it straight down the line with a simple long shot towards the horizon with the illusion of the pier going on forever and cutting through the sky. I have already used the pun from"from pier to eternity before" so I won't say it again. Oops just have. Went for a black and white today too which suits the aging old queen, the pier that is.

You may have noticed I have been awol again from the blog, well net in general. It has rained everyday since my return from hols and no way does my camera go out and play in a down pour. More than two raindrops and the merest hint off a breeze seems to affect the server too. I kid you not it's been hellish here and I will be using archives for a while as I realky have no places of interest to show you inside. Not unless I do a pub tour of course. Well if you really want me too....
Align Left

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants for the Theme Day. Go on you know you want to.

For more My World see here

Is it me or has this been the most dreadful UK Summer?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Now that Babooshka's back in town - Skywatch

My clouded view


Yep that's right, the teeth are sharpened along with the pen and lens and Ramsey had better look out....Babooshka's back. Her pearly whites are ready to draw those scarlet billows with nevah a trace of red in the aftermath. Isle of Man bigwigs cowering at the thought I may be coming for them (verbally of course) are quaking in their three legged boots. Lets be 'aving ya then. What's been occurring in my absence?

Ah. My absence? That was my little sojourn to the South of France, with purposely a computer free zone. It was of course fabulous. Very hot, laid back, fun, and so relaxing despite the bruised knees. Blame in on the Baltic. Even spending the day photographing St Cyprien Plage for work was not a chore. How could it be. Have you seen that beach! Man alive it's gorgeous. Want to see it? Want to know why the bruised knees? Well not here, you'll just have to wait for my new blog sweeties with a French flavour. Back to Ramsey.

Needless to say we arrived to the tail end of Hurricane Bill. Yes as if it doesn't persist down with water enough here we had to catch the back end of that. Not happy with Bill. Spent a day working sodden through to the bone for a company I should have known better than to work for again. Only for two weeks, but lets just say what a complete bunch of ungrateful, rude, ignorant, incompetent Bankers.

Well the bridge is still swinging, the clouds still rollings, more shops still closing. Same old scene. Stop press exciting news, the Grand Prix, (more motorbikes to you) is here and we have, whoopie doo, a new ice cream parlour. So I do then have something new to show you. In the meantime today is all about the skies and I have somewhere up there on this page my offering of Sky Hill this week or for other skywatchers see here

Thank you all for the lovely emails and comments in my hiatus and forgive my lack of going anywhere near a computer to respond. Time out over and normal service has been resumed. Hand me the soapbox, duck and cover, Babooshka's back in town.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ramsey Swing Bridge - Skywatch

Twenty three


So while I'm not here I just had to leave with the most iconic bridge in the world. Well the most iconic bridge in my world anyway. You all know by now what this about, why the bridge again, and again and of course again. This then would be twenty three shimmering and shining in a blue glaze. For those of you who know what I'm else I'm on about you can also see a dolphin, but not your usual kind. The clouds just obliged nicely by planting themselves at varied intervals around the sky just for aesthetic effect.

Again I hope you are seeing these OK. I'm not here, I'm lost in France on holiday. I know lucky girl, but I do have a photography assignment while I'm there, so not all fun. Who am I kidding. Photographing France, never a chore.

For more skies around the world do take a peek here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

E is for elegance - abc

Swan lake

Abc this week is an taking a E

Well hopefully these scheduled posts are working out and you should be seeing an elegant swan glides effortlessly in an eclectic mix of floating debris for my E this week. Well I hope that's image you've got. Why scheduled, I'm not here folks. Hopefully having lots of wine, and crepes while you lot slave away on me jolly holiday.

You know where this is my now the harbour. The floating debris might not be the most graceful setting but I'm sure you'll agree swans are always elegant. Well that is when that are not being bad tempered about a camera being shoved in there face for a photo to be captured.

More abc' s can be found here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Name the alien finger plant. Monochrome. My world



My World

Most of you know as this post is published I am on my way to Merry Old England overnight, then onto wonderful, wonderful France for a week. Hallelujah. Can't wait. In the meantime just leave you with a few simple images. Today I am killing two nemes with one stone, Monochrome Weekly,
My World. I'll obviously not be around to catch up with you, but I may just take a break from the French sunshine and find an internet cafe.

Following on from yesterday, another question for you. Can you name this plant. I know it's in black and white, which it not the best for identity purposes, but do your best. It was a creamy yellowish colour with sage greenish colours stems. It was also covered in a very peculiar red insect, which I will show you another time. It could of course just be an alien outstretched finger. Phone home anyone.

For more Monochromes see here
For more My World see here

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Butterfly in a depth of field - Critters

How to capture this image


Can anyone identify this butterfly? Not a clue this end. As you can see by it's wings the poor thing is a little worse for wear, quite small and flat, dull brown throughout. Can't tell you what the underside of the wing looked like as the little blighter never flipped or fluttered for me. Also at quite a distance so this isn't a macro image. That though leads me onto what kind of image we would call this, and that would be use of depth of field, or as you may often see it abbreviated to dof.

It sounds far more scary and technical than it actually is. Not at all. If you were viewing this image with your own eyes rather than through my lens then your eyes and brain would adjust the sharpness and clarity of everything you see in the frame, so all would be in focus. With depth of field all you are doing is concentrating focus onto one point. In this case the butterfly. As the eyes move back through the image and around it you will notice the softening or blurring(usually referred to as soft focus) of the leaves, giving a 3D effect to the photo. Easily done. As I was at a distance I just adjusted the lens until I got the desired focal point for the butterfly. Needless to say this was on a manual setting. You can do this on any part of the image, but one thing you must get right is the sharp focus on the subject. If you don't get that right then the image will just be flat and blurry throughout. Easier to demonstrate and more dramatic on two opposing colours, but chose a nature image with muted colours as it's a shot often used in nature photography.

A while since we've had photography tips on the blog, but this is a question I get asked a lot, so there you go. Quite a sensible post for me too. Now go and practice and remember people I want results or you could just go and click Misty to see more cute critters.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Au revoir - Skywatch

Beyond the sea


Au revoir for a week or so my little Bloggers. This time next week I will be in France not lost in France, though I would like to be. Yes finally off to the South of France, St Cyprien and Perpignan for a week. Never been to this particular part so anyone been this way shout out. Simply can't wait now 'til Sunday. So next week I will hopefully have some scheduled posts appear but I won't be around to link in to anything. You'll have to check out the blog for me instead and amuse me with your comments and questions. While you do that I will have travelled beyond the sea, over to England, the strip of land you see on the horizon and under the low cloud and then onto France. I don't expect to see this lilac haze sky reflected on the water we get here for another week or so. Instead I'll be swapping it for azures, aquas, a pea greens and of course a darned sight warmer that the somewhat bracing chilly water we have here. Don't be fooled by the lapping silky smooth gently rippling tide rolling in. It's freezing. As you can see too the scene was disturbed by the onset of rain, those little dots in the centre of the image. That of course is when the Nikon goes back in the case. Of course we do not expect any rain in France. The Nikon will be happy.

Off to do some chores before we go. Of course I may not actually come back. Anyone want to offer me a job out there absolutely fine my me, and of course Gary the artist click here too. Artists and photographers like us need live and work in France. Simply the best. I digress. This is about skies, and to see more of those around the world click here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Drainpipes are a slim fit.

Were you expecting a pair of Jeans

Wednesday into Thursday seem to have turned into the unofficial ugly (or to be politically correct, pretty challenged) part of town photograph. Not the intention just the way the images fall when I am mooching for a daily pic. So once more unto the alley. Well another alley. Instead of going all the way inside and down into the bowels of the damp dark back passage we stand on the edge looking up, Parliament Street side. Slim isn't it? All the alleyways are here. You lose weight or your walk round. Simple as that. 19th century passageways were not built for 21st century fast food diets. I'm sure the sky would have the same delphinium (fancy named purple shade to you don't ya know) hue peeking above and through the two building. Sure the dilapidated hanging basket would not have been there then either or the drainpipes to catch and release the rainfall. Those are the grey pipes in case drainpipes confused you.

Not exactly the most drop dead gorgeous photo of Ramsey, but part of the fabric of the town nonetheless. Besides I am sucker for a purple haze sky and I am preparing for a holiday. Oh yes. It's France.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dolphin of a different kind - abc

Not what you were expecting

We are dipping into d for abc

Not your usual kind of dolphin is it? Until fairly recently I would have referred to this as some kind of wooden structure sat in the harbour for the seagulls to eat and poop on(not at the same time of course) and the cormorant to hunt for cornered fish. Well both of those still happen but there is more to this structure than that. So what is it?

A dolphin is usually a wooden structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed in a normally circular upright pattern and bound together with wire rope as I have found out. What is it used for though? They are used as part of a larger dock structure or landing port. It is also used as a navigation tool too on a very minor level. The aim is for fixing vessels to a particular body of water to make ready and secure for loading of goods and materials once berthed alongside it. As the harbour is I am proud to say still a working dock (albeit a small one) I can now see and understand the need for this little kind of dolphin as more than just a bird pooping perch. Not sure the birds see it that way though.

To discover more delightful d's dive into here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea - My World

Hands up all those who said it was a Catholic Church

My World

Actually that is not the full name. That would be, Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and St Maughold - Ramsey. As you can see that would have been a rather long title so I went with the slightly abridged version. So who guessed from yesterday's image of the front that this was actually a Catholic Church? I said some of you might be surprised and my reading the comments I see some did however get it. Just where the man turning the corner is would be the part of the church I showed in black and white at such an angle this top flattened. That may have fooled some. It doesn't look as austere in colour though does it?

A snippet of history.In 1863, a disused warehouse was converted into a what was then a small chapel. Fundraising was organised by Father Barton who tried to gee up the parishioners to cough up the pennies. Unfortunately he died before work on the church could begin. His efforts in raising the funds for the church though went ahead. The new church was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott with work starting 1909 and completion in 1910.The princely sum total for £3,000. Wonder what that would relate to now? Structural repairs where made to the facade in the 1980's mainly due to the coastal damage from the salty sea air and occasional wave crash. Did I mention this church literally is on Queens Promenade sea front. How about that for a wedding backdrop? Especially on a blue sky day like this.

So there you go. A little bit of spirituality that is not the bottled kind. Well at least it's a change from the beach. For more from others My world images see here.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Church, pub or both?

Wish you were here or having a beer


It's Sunday. My Sunday has consisted of nothing much this week. I wonder how many people in Ramsey went here, above though this Sunday for morning worship? Not going into details about this image(it's Sunday remember a quiet day), other than to say it's one of the many churches we have in town. Only recently has it occurred to me we have quite a few dotted around town. From what I can recall I have only shown you one image of a church before as far back as the dawning of the blog. We also have several pubs of course. Strangely( not really I hear you cry) I have shown you more pubs though. Perhaps I need to redress the balance a little. It seems the spiritual needs of the townsfolk are well catered for one way or another. Something for a another theme sometime to delve into. Of course there are many churches now that have long since lost their flock and have been sold to breweries and turned into pub or wine bars. Not a fate that has happened to any religious buildings so far here, but I have noticed at least one church closed for business and under new management so to speak.

Here's a question for you though. What denomination do you think this is? Does the religion dictate the architecture? Just curious. Another is why do all churches, without exception, look creepy and Gothic in black and white. For other black and whites to delight all week click here.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Birds, bridges, and blue skies - Skywatch

Can you tell what it is yet?

Ramsey Swing Bridge 22 in view

You know what day it is on the blog circuit. Yep! the one where we all crane our necks to get that particular image of the sky above and beyond, lost horizon, or in the clouds. For those in the elusive club though that grace my ever so 'umble blog with your presence we have the other special day. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more and don't forget the secret handshake. All I can reveal is we are up to number 22(or in the terms of bingo speak two little ducks, whatever that means) of the game we know as 100 images, 1 subject. Or how I am slowly going mad photographing the same metal structure over, and over, and over again from many (so, so, many) different... wait for it perspectives, angles, compositions and of course juxtaposition just to prove a point. The point being it can be done, they can all be individual unique images and you can stay sane. Not actually sure about the last one. So here it is 22, oh so blue, with a bird atop the bridge girders too.

I'm sure the other bridge photos will pop up at bottom of the post for you to compare eventually. If it's skies you're after click here to take you on a mini tour of Skywatch.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Here, chair and everyhwere. Not anymore.

This it not my artistic statement just a load of rubbish

Long, long, ago we had the tale( should I say one of my more ferocious rants) about this pile of crap you see above. You all read the hullabaloo of me happening upon this unwanted chair and kids trolley just dumped in the nature reserve. You also read my pleas for idiot scum( they are not human beings) to not chuck out their unwanted furnishing but maybe pass onto charity, and certainly not dump it in a rural area. You also read and have re read by pleas to our Government here to clean up the area and remove all the garbage that gets dumped in what should be an area for wildlife, not the local wildlife's trash. So do I have to ask again....

..... No! I walked through there today(without the camera oops) and couldn't believe my eyes. Finally the chair has been removed. Don't know where, don't know when, hope we won't meet again don't know how, just know it has vanished without a trace in a lot longer than 60 seconds. About time too. Also good to see that there is some general maintenance going on and some tree planting. I know some of you assumed it was my Tracey Emin style art project but no it was a pile of crap( I never said what you are thinking, but I just might agree) and if it was, I could have earned a fortune by those who can't distinguish art from garbage. All I know is sofa so good. So long.

Do you get this in your area?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Collins Lane, curiously- abc

What Old Curiosity Shop?

Today the letter is a mainly a C

Curiosity led me to this little back passage. We do like crawling around a back passage here in these parts you know. Wherever you find a seaport you find the narrow little pathways like these. Who said smuggler's. I floated that idea before and was told that there is a story or two to be told. Today we just have Collins Lane though. It is another of those wee, single file only alleyways that connect Parliament Street(where I took the image from) to the quayside harbour, that being the far side white light calling you. In keeping with the other alleyways I have shown you we have one whitewash wall and one local stone wall. As a bonus with this one you get a timber roof joists. If I knew more I would tell you. I'll just have to find out then.

The sign on the wall? Well do as it says follow the arrow. On the left hand side of the passage way you will find Isabel's Curiosity Shop. Exactly as it says on the wall sign an eclectic mix of bric a brac and antiques. The sort of place you could drop your mother in and collect five hours later having purchased every trinket in sight and then realizing she can't actually board the plane with it all.Put it this way if you like to mooch for antiques and rummage around for a bargain bit of furniture then you'd love it here. Suppose I will have to photograph the actual shop for you now won't I. Undercover of course. Until then just use your curious imagination won't you.

If you are still curious you can check out more C words here

Monday, August 03, 2009

Singing the Blues because it's raining again - My World

Here we go again

My World

It is absolutely horrible weather here. This is colloquially know unaffectionately as typical British Summer weather- rain rain and er more rain. So I am most definitely not out and about with the camera. Until it improves we will be plundering the recent archives. Recent as in the last couple of months. As far back as May and a little something today from a musical event you may recall me showing you called the Laxey Blues Festival.

This is an event I like very much as I really love live music, both working as a photographer and purely as a fan. I tend to juggle the fun with the work, camera in one hand drink in another. You can get some fun results. Here is quite an early image of one of the first acts on at the marquee, Shore Hotel. A lone singer who entertained with a diverse range of songs. Anyone on the island can name this person that would be great. In fact you have seen him before as a silhouetted image in black and white. Now he's out of the shadows. Does he remind you of anyone who may of looked like this if he had still been alive? I'll leave you with that. I'll also leave you to take a peek into other my world's here

Sunday, August 02, 2009

On the road again

Last one gets the drinks in


Very late posting tonight. As it's Sunday I have decided not to do any internet or camera work all day. Finally picked up the laptop and went straight for a file of images that I am working on tonight. Well that is if I can be bothered of course or don't get distracted by other sites. Back to the image.Pulled one at random that shows you a familiar place on the blog, but from a very different angle. This is Parliament Square. This is the opposite way round to my usual photography spot for a scene like this. Also a far wider angle than you are used to seeing, those very tight close ups of the motorbikes. As you can see from where I was shooting I had the advantage capturing them leaving towards the Mountain road, or capturing them approaching me. A tip for you here is the leaving is better than the approach due to the shadow of the tree at this time of day obscuring much of the detail on those close ups. Some of you may find that useful for next year, but I can't give all my secrets aways now can I. It is a useful tip though, better for evening than lunchtime photography here.

Want to know what this event was and why I was photographing it click here, or here or even here though I know many of you have already guessed anyway. Looks a lot safer from this view doesn't it than the others. You can also see it really is just ordinary roads that are used and not a race track.

For other monochromes by black and white maniacs click here. No dash you have all week.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

August Theme Day - Night


We are at that time of the month again when a bunch of us select an image to interpret a given theme. This first day of this month the challenge was simply "night." Good for me to experiment with a little midnight moonlighting as opposed to the safer daytime images.Well not quite midnight. I'm not that dedicated. Die hard that I am photographing the extreme, not even I would want to be hanging around an empty harbour quite so late in the evening. I've done this before shooting through the masts early evening with golden sunlight and I find it works well at most hours of the day. I could give you the technical reasons that there is no such thing as moonlight but simply the brightness of the sun hitting the moon to reflect the light but why get bogged down on the science bit. Let's just view the image for what it is, my take on a moonbeam dancing over the river. Would that be a moon river then or a moon dance? Apologises for the low res small image but I have to ward off those that take what does not belong to them. Hope you can still enjoy.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Many more from fellow bloggers participating today. Do pay them a visit if you can, and maybe leave a comment for someone you have never visited before or simply an image that just grabs you. As always I can guarantee you the array of photos will be as individual as the bloggers themselves.

Thanks as always for stopping by.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flying the Manx Flag- Skywatch

Three legged doubled edged crane

Last week I had pretty pinks and purples washing over a satin look river sunset. This week a little more down to earth. A laid back, subtle, muted early summer evening sky. You can see the gentle blues are about to be overpowered by the gathering greys of the swirling rain clouds. You can see too by those proudly waving flags that we had more than a gentle breeze. We often do.

Not gone for beauty tonight, but for more a dramatic statement. A two crane fingered salute or maybe peace sign with the flag of the Isle of Man displaying. Or maybe it's just Ramsey Harbour on a dull evening, a bland sky and I just got lucky with the billowing wind fluffing out the flag to add the icing on the composition cake. I hope the "transport lady" enjoys this little offering from the person who photographs the town, shows the world all good and bad anonymously. Wonder what she has done for the island lately other than moan about visitors? You want to come back sometime and see here to put the image in context. A picture says a thousand words of course and v signed cranes to me are just about the most perfect ones tonight. Not born here, but I live here now amongst the three legged people flying the flag.

Want to see more from around the virtual world. Click here for more skywatch images. I seem to have got these weird double spaces again. No idea why. Always seems to happen in draft form.
Oh well, never mind.


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