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.


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