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Hoping to shake off some of the Christmas holiday period cobwebs Mrs M and I went on a morning visit to Charlecote Park. There had been a heavy frost the night before, the car was thoroughly iced up before we started and there was a thick, cold, fog laying low over the houses. The sun was trying to shine through but was being severely diffused by the pea-souper.
When we got to Charlecote, we found it too was laying beneath a thick fog and frost with the sun trying desperately and ineffectually to burn it off. The light that sifted through the fog though was glorious. Softened, it gave the trees and surrounding parkland an eerie, unearthly feel.
This image was taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 18-135, f/3.5 – 5.6 lens. I overexposed by a stop to ensure that I got the glow from the sun, and you can see that the sun itself, diffused by the fog, looks huge in the sky.
It was a visit to the Black Country Living Museum for today’s photo-meet. It really is such a good place to take photographs. You have historic housing, canals, industrial buildings from the late Victorian and early 20th centuries and people dressed in the period costumes wandering around – currently First World War – and all this on a 26 acre site. There is a pub with sawdust on the floor with great beer, a traditional fish and chip shop and a restaurant that serves Black Country faggots and peas. What’s not to like.
The other good thing is that when you go you automatically get a pass for the museum that last the whole of the year – entry free of charge.
The image below is of the supports for the mining wheel of the Racecourse colliery. It was a glorious day with blue skies and autumn sun. Walking past the supports I looked up and could see the sun behind the tower, silhouetting the thick, wooden support beams of the wheel, I stepped on to the edge of the shadows of the tower on the ground and moved back and forth to the side until I could just see the sun around the edge of the structure. A small aperture set on the camera then ensured that I got the starburst effect.
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm, 1/250sec, f/16.0
Today I took a trip to the Midland Air Museum and was very impressed with the aircraft they had there. I’m not an aeroplane fan-boy, what I know about military aircraft comes from Airfix modelling in the days of my youth, but I did recognize some of the aircraft on show. A couple of English Electric fighters (far bigger than I expected), an American Phantom (a scary looking plane), the beautiful Sea Harrier and the grand dame of them all the iconic, awesome-looking Vulcan bomber – which is huge – were the favourites for me from quite a large collection on show.
I also got to sit in the cockpit of a Meteor F.4 fighter and then just had to supply the museum with aircraft sound effects including my rendition of machine-gun noises and jet sounds as I waggled the joystick about and pressed the (inactive) firing buttons.
The shoot was a time for abstracts and close-ups rather than shots of the jets in their entirety. The picture below was taken with a Fuji X-T1 and the 18-135mm F3.5 – 5.6 lens.
As you can guess from the interval between my last post and this one, I’m a little bit behind at the moment with processing images. However I do have another here from my time in Northumbria a few weeks ago.
This was taken in the harbour of the town of Seahouses where we were staying. As in any working harbour, there were lots of paraphernalia relating to boats and fishing all over the quay. There were also several boats on the quayside which obviously were out of the sea during the winter for repair and re-painting. These boats were supported by blocks of concrete, metal supports or wooden blocks in order to keep them upright and to not roll over whilst on dry land. I noticed the thick wooden supports of one boat and the paint that the boat owner had splashed on them as he was renovating his craft. With the dark shadow behind, the oxide red of the side of the boat above and the colour splashed on the blocks, I thought it looked like an abstract art installation.
The photograph was taken with my Fuji X-T1 and the Fujinon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. In post processing I darkened the shadow under the boat and saturated the colours a little. I call it Singular Support.
For the last few days I have been in the north of England with my new Fuji’s. I have been to Northumberland a few times before and it is truly a beautiful rugged county.
It so happens that the trip coincided with one of the coldest snaps that the UK has seen for a few years at this time of year, and in Northumberland, with the wind coming off the North Sea, it only took a few minutes of exposing your fingers to the un-seasonably strong and freezing wind for them to go numb and for your mouth to feel like it would never work properly again.
Staying in a stone cottage in Seahouses on the coast, I was woken most nights with the wind howling around the roof and once a hail storm that I thought was going to smash through the velux windows in the roof.
Seahouses itself is a small holiday town with a working harbour and on the first afternoon I wandered around taking photographs in-between sticking my hands back in my pockets to try and force some feeling back into them. The following image is of a scene that I spotted and amused me before eventually giving the harbour over to the wind and cold and after securing some delicious fish and chips, heading back to the cottage for a whisky – or two.
The picture was taken with the Fuji X-T1 and the rather excellent 18 – 135mm lens.