The Silver Birch Woods

Yesterday we went to Alyn Waters in Llay which is just outside Wrexham and as usual I took my camera.  Its an old water works transformed into a nature walk with 2 sides, one is an old wood; oak trees and a stream where as the other side is a silver birch wood which I have never walked before so we went to check it out.

I only took a few pictures but the contrast and colours turned out really well using my little 1000d.  I’m becoming really confident using it and usilising it to its highest potential however I feel I could achieve a lot more so I have begun to save and research for a new camera with an L series lens.

‘Fog’tography

I live in North Wales and its a bit out the way; just enough to get to the big towns and cities but only a stone throw from the peace and green serenity of the country side. One thing I can never get my head around is the light pollution in the area and one of the things I hope this blog will highlight is exactly how a large town can have so much. I can see the stars on a clear night quite well, to be fair I can’t remember the last time I went to a big city and actually thought about how disappointing it is to look up to see nothing on a clear night.

Just one more thing, I just cant stop using my 50mm f1.8 lens, I recently bought a 28mm f2.8 hoping for some better images over Christmas to take indoors of my family but I was a little disappointed because it was just too slop. It is a great lens but only really for landscapes and this night was too dark. I didn’t want to walk around town with a tripod especially with so many youths about (last thing I wanted was to use it as a weapon). I’ve also been using the aperture priority function on my camera which I like to do when I want semi control over the speed, I’m still getting used to the shutter speeds so it really comes in handy to take out my camera and snap away with only a little of the control down to the cameras CPU with out the flash going nuts on auto.

The Big Thaw…

I do love a bit of snow every once in a while, I live in one of those areas that looks like a christmas card, very pretty. But I am glad when it’s gone.

IMG_7513Bumps

Well, I left work on Friday feeling confident that the light flurry’s through the day were the last we had seen of the snow however when I opened the door to make a quick trip to the garage I could not believe my eyes. Within 2 hours around another 2 inches of show had fallen and every drop had stuck.

IMG_7520On Fri

I just wanted it gone now, i’d had enough. The next day the temperature rose to about 5 degrees and there was a high prospect of sun through the day.

IMG_7538Birds

I wasn’t dissappointed. And then last night the heavens opened and it rained like It did before christmas in West Wales. I know i’ve complained a lot in this post but you know what us Brits are like, we don’t do extreme weather conditions very well.

IMG_7557 BUMPS

Snow in the UK = Pandamonium, Panic and… Well, Beauty

I’ve been away for some time, my broken camera was depressing me and photography became a chore (such a hissy fit as it was still easier than using a 35mm) but I have still been taking pictures over the last 10 months. Then just before christmas I “bit it” and sent my Canon off to a place in Kent who kindly repaired and serviced it for £70 less than Canon. I’m so glad we had a photogenic christmas.

Anyway, we’ve had about 4 inches of snow and I entered myself into a winter wonderland photo contest with a colleague in work and I have 3 entries of which I’m proud to say I took in Raw and set up all the levels myself, I just hope they are good.

Old Farm

The business park where I work was once an old working estate and right in the middle there is an old farm, perhaps 200 years old and as you can see one of its beautiful entrances.

 

 

 

Mini Drift

The snow this year has created mini drifts everywhere, It was very calming with a constant breeze and as you can see here there is a “snow gutter”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icicle

At the farm shop that I have pictured on this blog previously, it has a corregated steel roof on a slant that formed a row of icicles about 2 feet long, there was one on its own. I tried to capture a raindrop dripping off its tip.

 

Patchwork camera repairs and Zoo days.

A bit of stuff has happened lately, my camera isn’t fixed and probably won’t be as I’ve decided to upgrade at the end of summer rendering my little 1000D forever in a debilitated state however to my surprise its not out of the game.  I’m sure if you’re familiar with the error 99 message on Canon cameras, It could mean that any one of a list of problems have occurred and according to H Lehmann of Stoke On Trent (who I rate very highly) my 1000D is in need of a new shutter which will set me back £162 and in my honest opinion I feel that this is somewhat excessive for the age and model of camera I have despite for that price, Lehmann’s also provide a full service and a 6 month guarantee on the whole camera.  But to me its just not financially viable.

Anyway after collecting my camera from the post office yesterday I was able to alter a few of the settings which has maintained my ability to capture my memories and experiment with the only form of art I really enjoy creating.  I also think its time for a quarterly update on  how I’m progressing in the world of photography.

So today we went to Chester Zoo for a few hours and I managed to capture some great stills.  I’ve been experimenting with a lot with the user defined setting on my camera and I rarely shoot out of manual mode which from reading information on the internet is a positive step.  As you have may already know I love this light in the spring months and not just to take pictures of what’s happening in my life but also Isabel and I are planting an array of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs and she seems to love gardening with me as you can see.

Here is Isabel watering the Strawberries that funnily enough are a year older than her, I planted them the year before she was born and they seem to have lasted very well.  The still itself is what I’m typically trying to achieve; a simple image that tells a little story.  I love the simplicity of the colour and the way the spring light highlights all that pink.  I’m still yet to enter into the routine of cropping and the blue tarpauline covering my wheelbarrow could have been dealt with but I kind of like it, its a perfect image of what goes on in my garden.

And the Zoo

I didn’t really spend a lot of time going crazy in the zoo, I did discover that my camera fits in the pocket of my coat its that small (its not like a compact SLR but its still little). As the day went on I did alter some of the settings to get it back to how it was before it broke.  The Meerkats were very much on form today and if it wasn’t for the triangle roof of the Rhino house in the background it would be easy to think you’re not in the heart of Cheshire.  Again more cropping could be achieved and the more pictures I take the more I feel I should spend more time on touching up but that will come in time. When I talk about the settings, I have been messing with the white balance a lot and depending on where I am depends on how my camera is set but generally living in North Wales there is a lot of green outside and I love to highlight this, its a really big part of where I live. I also like the warm oranges and reds so I tend to have the white balance on my camera set between green and magenta.

I do love the spectacle bear, they seem so placid and laid back and there was a time I would see them every time I would visit the zoo and then all of a sudden they disappeared. I was in for a treat today, one was out playing in full view and I managed to capture the moment when the bear stepped over a stream, i’m well chuffed with this.

Finally

This is what digital photography is all about for me, I take a thousand photos and and if I had to choose one this would be it. I’m very proud of this picture and It will definitely make its way on a wall in my house.  I am reluctant to post this on the internet, I may be biased but this is fantastic to me and my little (broken) Canon 1000D and the amazing 50mm f1.8 Canon lens has really shown what can be achieved.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Why I like the Tax Man today

I really do enjoy spring and there are a few reasons why that you might not expect. Firstly the clocks change next week so its lighter I the evening, secondly it gets warmer; spring time has already been good to us with a bit of heat but I just hope it lasts until September. Finally I really like the tax man this time of year?? Not only because we get a two month break in paying our council tax but also the 100,000 daffodils that were planted in our county paid for by the tax payer. It was done a few years ago and unlikely to be done in the current climate but they don’t just represent Wales, they give everyone a boost knowing that sprig time is finally here. Here are some pictures on how the tax man has very simply made our county much more beautiful for about 10 weeks of the year.

I love it, such a small thing that makes such a difference.