The tolling of the iron bell calls the faithful to their knees, to hear the softly spoken magic spells

The lyric leads to me bringing out my thoughts in reverse order, but I can cope with that and you would never know. So all is good with the world. After one previously failed attempt to find anywhere to park, and with some help of a resident with inside knowledge, we finally made it to Beverley at the weekend. The main reason was to see an exhibition of the winning entries in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. As usual, a mix of really extraordinary images and others that made me think “how did you have the nerve to enter that, and which drugs were the judges on when they made it Commended?” After that we went to the Minster. Now the title makes sense?

They charge £3 for a photography permit in the minster. I don’t mind paying it at all, and I got a sticker that made me feel like a pro photographer, which was a bonus. I love the little quiet spaces, briefly illuminated by a shaft of light, almost like night photography in the way it draws the eye to the subject.

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For some reason the Minster had a well polished piano, in addition to the massive organ. Maybe for those small intimate services, for which you need a massive cathedral structure?  Anyhow, the reflections were nice

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And finally this little guy

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The visit to Beverley was made on the way home from a weekend at the caravan on the coast, which is why I mentioned my thoughts being in reverse order. I did get a few images earlier in the weekend, but to be totally honest I had been waiting to use that lyric title for a while, so the Minster pushed in.  I will look for Floyd lyrics referring to gentle rivers and streams and post again soon with some from earlier in the weekend.

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And that you’d never lose that light in your eyes

I feel bad about the title really. I firmly believe there is no such thing as normal, and that we should celebrate differences of all kinds. But I am not sure I apply the same philosophy to biscuits (not cookies, biscuits of the proper kind). Garibaldi biscuits are just wrong – dead flies in the guise of confection is just unacceptable. Even so I do feel a little guilty in christening this one Barry the boss eyed Biscuit.

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Back in the real world…

Last weekend we went to sunny Cornwall for a wedding, which we enjoyed. I took my camera, not for the wedding, but in case we found anything on the way home that was worth photographing – it was Cornwall after all. I took a few images in pretty little harbours but really did not like them. They were ok, but a bit bleh. Bleh is a local word that means nothing wrong with them but nothing particularly original or striking about them either. A bit postcardish. Here is an example to show you what I mean.

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So, realising I need to keep at this blog, and realising that a comedy biscuit probably is not enough, here is a macro shot of a clematis flower in our garden. For the geeky few who are interested in the gear I do not own a macro lens – this was with the Olympus 12-100 f/4 Pro lens on the Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk2, which is an absolutely fantastic lens. In my humble opinion, of course.

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Marooned

Good heavens David, that was quick. Another post so soon?  Well I am in a good mood; my free tripod from Amateur Photographer magazine has arrived, and we just had a really nice weekend near Scarborough. During that weekend we did a little exploring around Flamborough Head, finding both North and South Landings.

At the head of the cliff leading down to the beach at North Landing is a fishing boat looking the worse for wear. As I have now moved away from the Adobe products, and I am editing in On1, I thought I might add a little texture layer, subtly though – this is a fishing boat not a circus.

Past its use by date by David Baker

The path down is quite steep, but thankfully there are steps alongside the concrete launching ramp, so the going is easy. The little bay that is North Landing is surrounded by limestone cliffs, similar to those found at Bempton, just a few miles away. Those cliffs are also home to puffins.  Don’t get your hopes up – I was unaware of this and had not brought an appropriately long lens.  Note to self – avoid words like appropriately (d’oh!) as the letter ‘p’ sticks on my keyboard… From the bay they provide boat trips for tourists, which come in and disgorge their customers at one of the most treacherous landing stages ever. It, and the surrounding rocks (no path), is covered with damp slippery seaweed which has to be negotiated to reach safety. Not ideal. Whilst we were there, and my better half was chilling on a boulder, one such boat came in at the end of its day. I was able to capture a few shots of it reversing into position to be collected by a tractor and dragged up the beach.  No warning voice to say “this vehicle is reversing”, which was a disappointment.  PLEASE click on the images to view them, as for some reason it looks like the link from 500 px is cropping the images square so it is not displaying correctly.  Must look to see if there is a way around that.

Backing up by David Baker

Wet hookup by David Baker

Preserving the hull by David Baker

All clear by David Baker

Remember the flowers I sent.

When I found this lyric it took me by surprise a little because I did not realise it was there. The question is where? At least this time it is fully representative of the content so that makes a pleasant change.

This week I relented. I had decided that I was not going to take any photographs of the poppies, but then again I had also decided the same about bluebells and we know how far that got me. So I went out to the local wildflower farm at Langar.  My better half and I had discussed going previously, but the poppy crop is a little unreliable each year and we had decided against a visit. But I had an urge, an itch that needed scratching, so I went anyway.  If the worst came to the worst there is a pond where I could have a go at getting some dragonflies instead.

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I was happy with the shot above, and even my wife (who does not always share my tastes) liked it a lot.

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As Mary Berry would say, some lovely ‘lairs’ in this next one, and some nice backlighting. Not sure how Mary feels about backlighting but I find it appealing.

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I did find some dragonflies, but I also managed to find some gear stupidity.  For some reason my 100-400 lens would not focus on the little blighters and I was getting really frustrated, until I noticed that I had accidentally flicked the switch on the lens that limits the focus range to being greater than 5 metres.  By the time I spotted it and corrected it the dragonflies had decided to take a lunch break.  Seriously, there were at least half a dozen flying around, and then I looked up from fixing the lens and nothing. I waited a few minutes but still nothing. So I decided to stick to poppies for the day.

But my day was not over.  Walking around the pond I came across a guy sleeping on one of the benches. Not so unusual, except he had a parrot asleep on his chest! I was deciding on whether to take a sneaky photo just as he woke up. That gave me the opportunity to ask for a photo “otherwise my wife will never believe me”.

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And yes I agree that bit of grass is a little distracting, but I was hardly going to ask him to wait till I had removed it.

A man lies and dreams of green fields and rivers

This is becoming a string of “almost there” titles. Green fields is okay, but it was more a lake than a river. Well it was a a lake. Absolutely a lake. Not ‘more a lake’ at all.

Do you have those periods in your life when you feel like you are waiting for something? Restless and uneasy, but you have no idea what you are waiting for? The solution for me seems to be to get off my lazy backside and out with the camera. The deer are calving around now, so I set off for Wayne Manor to see if the local herds were co-operating.  Of course they aren’t. Then again, giving birth is possibly a little private, so maybe they go off somewhere quiet. Even so, no sign of any fawns.

However, the fallow deer, who are normally quite timid, and off in a corner somewhere, were a lot braver, and quite close to where the public walk.

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The red deer are also looking good, and it seems some of them are starting to show signs of the velvet splitting off. However, despite the 10 foot banners in the park telling people to keep 50 metres from the deer, some either cannot read, or choose to ignore the signs.  Just hoping that particular gene pool is dried up.

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You know how very young children play hide and seek, and cover their faces; on the basis that if they can’t see you then you can’t see them? Well…

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And to complete this little “tour of Wollaton Park aka Wayne Manor gardens in order to get out and do something positive”, have you ever seen a coot chick? I had not, but they are amazing. Bearing in mind the coot is a “boring apart from the funny nose shield” black and white bird, the chicks are fiery.  So enjoy these amazing youngsters, until next time.

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Summer evenin’ birds are calling

Again I mislead you, but for some reason Pink Floyd did not compose a lyric where the spring birds are calling in the late morning, probably because they were waiting for lunch. I know, you are as surprised as I am, right?

This last week (this last? Does that even make sense? It sounded right in my head, but not so much so when I see it written. But I digress…) we were up at our static caravan on the East coast, and took the chance to call in at the RSPB site at Bempton Cliffs looking for birds to shoot… with my camera.  Now Bempton is run and maintained by the RSPB, which costs money. So they charge an entry fee unless you are a member.  BUT the perimeter is not secure. You can park up the road and walk along the coast path and enter for free, or you can walk from Flamborough Head – as long as you remember you then have to walk back again. We joined the RSPB so we count as good people, but it does seem a little remiss to not secure the borders. Now if Donald Trump was Chairman of the RSPB he would have a wall up in no time, and cauldrons of boiling oil to pour down on anyone foolish enough to try and scale the cliffs.  Then you would see the revenues climb, especially if he got the Mexicans to pay for the wall, so the RSPB didn’t have to. I guess the boiling oil could come out of the entrance fees. Actually, scrap the oil. I just realised it is slightly counter to the RSPB mission if we start polluting the sea with oil. Just a wall then.  Not that The Donald cares about polluting the water, but we do. Right?

So getting back to the point, we managed to see quite a few puffins, kittiwakes, seagulls, gannets, and jackdaws. And cows, but they don’t count as they have no wings. These puffins are hardy Yorkshire puffins. Normally they nest in burrows, dug out from the soil, as on the Farne Islands and Skomer. These at Bempton manage to find crevices in the limestone cliff to make their nests – just to make life difficult. I have come across this before though, Yorkshire people are very pro-Yorkshire. I can hear the puffins saying ” I am a Yorkshire puffin and I am going to nest in a Yorkshire nest on a Yorkshire cliff, not like these softies who burrow in soil. That is just for wimps”.

But, getting to the point, again, some images from the day for your delectation and delight:

Have the paparazzi gone?

Gone Fishing

Catching the rays

Togetherness

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We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl

First an apology, though you probably didn’t notice. I thought I would post around the 3rd, and it is a little late. Although the title is a little watery, the subject is more open seas than bowls.

A few weeks a go I saw a post on Facebook ( I know, I am down with the kids) asking for people to apply for  a reader shootout challenge with Digital Camera magazine at Swanage pier. Being retired, as you could guess, and free (or very reasonably priced) I sent off an email.  Twenty minutes later it was on. Clearly Swanage was not popular with the readers of Digital Camera magazine.  There were supposed to be two of us, but the other one had obviously seen my blog and Instagram, and realised from the outset that she stood no chance. So an hour before dawn on the scheduled day there was just me waiting for the magazine team to arrive. I was early, but hey, once you are awake you might as well get going.

Needless to say I won every challenge, though I take no credit for that bearing in mind the aforementioned lack of competition. But I had a great day, and I am thinking of changing my name so I can do it again. A few shots from the day, some published and some not.

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