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With the wet weather we’ve been having lately, it’s been very difficult to get out and about without having to get into scuba gear. Today though, the clouds cleared and we actually had sunshine, so I took a trip over to Stratford. I thought that though the water level of the river Avon may be high, there would still be opportunities to wander around the banks of the river by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I was correct, for although water levels were only just below the paths, and there was plenty of evidence that the river had flooded over its banks, the river did seem to have receded slightly.

The picture below was taken with the Nikon D800 and the 24-120 f/4.0 lens. It shows part of the old paving stones around the theatre filled with rainwater.



I was out and about in Stratford today, expressly for the purpose of testing the new 18-55 lens I had just got for my Fujifilm X-E2.  It was a dreadfully dark monotone day.  The kind of grey, lifeless and chilly day that Britain seems to do very well at times.  As a result, camera shutter speeds were slow, apertures wide and ISO’s high.

I’m still getting used to the controls of the X-E2 and like every camera it has its little idiosyncrasies.  I always shoot exposure fully manual and on my Nikon’s I can use the EV compensation button to just tip exposure up and down when I need to.

Yes, I do know that I can just alter the shutter or aperture settings to do the same thing, but after years on aperture priority using the EV compensation is virtually a muscle memory for me now and I just wish I could do that on the X-E2.  But I can’t.  The rather lovely looking retro EV dial doesn’t work in manual exposure mode.  There are rumours of a software update to the X-E2 at the end of the year, I hope that they look at the use of the EV dial in manual mode.

So the picture below was taken on the X-E2 with the 18-55  f/2.8-4 zoom lens.



I actually managed to get five images for the first of the 12 by 12 projects from my trip to Stratford as mentioned a couple of days ago . I presented them to the Flickr group as square photographs with the River Avon and its attractions as the main theme.

I was quite happy with them, and the subject could obviously have been expanded and polished a little more, but it was the immediacy of the project that I enjoyed.

I have to formulate a project for the photographic group, S13, that  I belong to every month, so having to complete one that has been set by someone else has made a nice change and was an excellent exercise.

Below is one of the finished images that I uploaded to 12 by 12.



This morning I decided to have a try and getting the images for the 12by12 project on Flickr. Each month a well-known photographer sets a project for people to undertake. The first project of the series, is set by British photographer Vanessa Winship and the brief is: photograph someone or something every 100 or so steps.

I went to Stratford and had a go. It’s very hard. Firstly I was getting strange looks whilst walking along and repeatedly shouting out the number of steps up to a hundred. Then, when you reach the century you have to look around and find something to photograph. The picture below was at step 100 on the bank of the river opposite the Shakespeare Theatre.




The basin in Stratford today was frozen over. The commercial barges that lay at berth were locked in by the ice and the ever-present ducks and swans looked bemused as they ambled about wondering why the water which hitherto they had floated on, had gone hard.

The sun was bright, and obviously showing-off, but it’s mild winter warmth was completely ineffective against the froze blast of the wind which cut its way across the river like an icy scalpel.

The ice in the basin was made of large pieces of a previous freeze, which had broken and moved randomly and then frozen again.




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