How I wish, how I wish you were here.

Well it’s too late. Goose Fair finished yesterday. It was, possibly still is, the largest travelling fair in Europe.  Well versed in the art of extracting money with impossible shooting ranges, where you fire corks that spin off in all directions – other than the one direction that might win you a prize.  Every type of food stall, including the Goose Fair classics of mushy peas with mint sauce and a cock on a stick.  Not to be eaten together, that would be really gross.  As the fair goes on from Wednesday to Sunday the prices on the rides inch higher – a £3 ride on Wednesday evening when I went alone was a £4 ride on Saturday afternoon when I went with the family.

But if you go with nearly empty pockets, and an eye for the photo opportunities it is really quite good fun when the sun sets and the lights and noise, and smoke machines, bombard the senses. Especially when you can use your bus pass for a free ride on the tram that stops right outside the fairground site.  Yes, if you look back in my archives you will find I did the same last year, but hopefully these images stand alone. All handheld – a tripod would not survive the crowds…

Goose Fair--_1

The promise of things to come as the sun sets.

Goose Fair--_7

Goose Fair--_17

Goose Fair--_16

Goose Fair--_22

So Goose Fair is over for another year, so now I have my fingers crossed that is stops raining long enough to fulfill (auto-corrected – I thought fulfil only had one l at the end?) two more autumn imperatives – the deer rut and maybe some woodland/waterfalls with the non-green leaves.

Until then…


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

I was staring straight into the shining sun

This is another of those posts where I regret pinning my hopes on Pink Floyd to provide a suitable lyric.  Luckily there is a photo taken straight into the shining sun, but I would have been happier with a more obvious fairground reference. No turning back now though, no reflecting “on the turning away” from the decision made in haste and in a moment of madness.

Once again it has been a long while since the last post, but there will be another after May 3rd, I promise. The Easter weekend brought two separate funfairs to the area. One that included a donut stall, and thereby automatically my favourite, and one that was “traditional”.  Evidently donuts are not traditional, so this one only had candy floss. The clincher was that the traditional option was based at Wollaton Park, so as well as the fair itself there were several other options for things to do and places to eat.

No traditional fairground is complete without a Punch and Judy show (apparently)


But I did mention the fair was in the grounds of Wollaton Hall, otherwise known as Wayne Manor? This photo was whilst they were setting up – there was no tape round the rides on the day. Just in case you thought Health and Safety had gone mad. Again.


I bow to political correctness here. My wife does not like having her photo shown, and my grandson is very young, so should not have his image on social media (give me strength!). Fortunately I like contre jour, and I did promise it in the title of the blog post



To avoid burning my eyeballs out, I also took a couple of images with more traditional lighting. It was a Traditional fair after all, for traditional people… That is if you can call a grandson in a fox mask traditional?




As usual, all these images are on Flickr in full resolution.  Until next time, when hopefully I can find a suitable lyric, or change my mind about the theming process. have fun.

The thin ice of modern life

I have been struggling to find a lyric to cover our trip to London this week. We came back with photographs of the lights, Selfridge’s window display, London skyline, plus an amazing exhibition at the Tate Modern.  That exhibition, Ice Watch,  may or may not be there now – totally dependent on the weather, so we were lucky to come across it when we did.  Twenty four small ice floes harvested from the seas around Greenland, each weighing between one and 5 tonnes, and arranged in a circle outside the Tate Modern to melt, as a statement about climate change. They are amazing. The colours and textures, and the quiet sound of them cracking as they slowly disappear.




These really need to be seen bigger, so please click on them to see the original in Flickr.

Now of course I have a problem. I really like some of the London images, day and night, but do not want to hijack the Ice Watch.  But then I need to find another Pink Floyd lyric.  Watch this space – I might just think of one before Christmas…

I was staring straight into the shining sun

Don’t do that – you’ll burn your eyes out!  Well I can’t believe it is just about a month since my last post. I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself, but I’m probably not.

Last week we took a break in search of some sun in the Mediterranean island of Malta, and Gozo and Comino but they were only for a couple of hours each.  I took with me a polarising filter, which I had bought for my forthcoming trip to Australia, and ended up feeling it added close to zero value. So that will make my packing lighter.  Malta will keep me going for a couple of themed posts, as I had the chance to do seascapes, architecture, night/low light, as well as general interest photographs, in different lighting – though the main purpose of the holiday was to relax. I say relax, but on our “chill out and do very little” day we still managed to walk around 10 miles.

So, straight into the shining sun, on the cruise back from Gozo and Comino:


And the Triton statue at the entrance to the city of Valletta:


The Triton statue is the first thing you see when you get off the bus, and is a bit of a draw for the camera




Malta is overrun with churches, and is historically a Catholic country. The result of that is the populace having to donate 10% of their income to fund the enormous amount of gold in those churches. So next post will cover some of the lavishness in this, the smallest country in the EU.  Till then, remember to click on the image to see a bigger version in Flickr.

Winding, finding places to go. And then one day – hooray!

Yes it is a Pink Floyd lyric, but where from? As a clue – this is not Roger Waters, but Syd Barrett, so that dates it a bit.

But leave the lyric, I am excited. Finally, after a lot of failures, and trying more than one location, I have managed to get a kingfisher! Up till now I have considered the kingfisher to be a mythical creature along with dragons and unicorns – but less fiery and less horny. Well I say that, but I guess a kingfisher’s private life is its own. This week has finally laid that belief to rest, and I have first hand evidence they really do exist.

This little beauty was perched exactly where it was told to – outside the Delta hide at Attenborough Nature Reserve, then flew off about 20 feet to the middle of the lake to fish and came back to the perch.  I say fish, but it actually caught a newt, so is that fishing? Newting? Newting’s first law of fishing?  So it played around the perch for about 15 minutes and then went, not to return again over the next two hours before I gave up and left.  Just goes to show how much luck was involved in getting the timing right. Oh, and one thing I have learned is that when they move they move quickly, and 1/800 second is not a fast enough shutter speed, so excuse the blur on the diver.  Please click on each image to see it bigger in Flickr…





When that fat old sun in the sky is falling, Summer evenin’ birds are calling

Well the visit to Cornwall came and went. Copious alcohol was consumed, but I still managed to take some photos.  Yes I take photos, I do not make them – I still think that sounds pretentious.

The extreme south west of Cornwall is like a convention of ruined tin mine workings. The nice thing about them is that they are “planned ruins”, with the missing stone having been removed deliberately in order to create other buildings. One famous landmark, which I had not seen before, is the Botallack mine, and particularly the Count house. The Count house is well photographed, and my version is based upon the light at the time, and the foliage at the time. I am sure it looks better with the colourful shrift in the foreground and a nice setting sun, but it was not there.




This does beg the question in landscape photography – light or composition?  For me, light can make a good composition stunning, but a poor composition is still a poor composition regardless of blue hour / golden hour sunlight.

Having said that, after the visit to Botallack we had fish and chips on the cliffs overlooking Sennen Cove, and stayed till sunset. The light was beautiful over Cape Cornwall, touching the clouds, and the grasses on the cliff managed to give a little interest to the composition for the sunset.



At the end of the second day we did celebrate the reunion a little heavily, and after getting to bed at around 2am, my loving wife woke me at 6:30. Of course this was just what I needed as I was facing a 300 mile journey home, which ended up taking eight and a half hours.  But I was awake, so I got dressed and went for a wander. The early morning light was still low enough to provide some nice light, colour, and shadow in the glass studio of our host.



So now it is time for my liver to recover for a few weeks. I am not saying “never again” because I know that is not true, but maybe withdrawal for a few days might be a good idea.  Until next time, and don’t forget to click on the images to open a bigger version in Flickr. Feel free to click and follow. There is no advantage to you, but it makes me feel good 🙂