An unreliable memoir

Archive for February, 2016

Up The Creek

Up The Creek

Although it didn’t exist during my lifetime, in my childhood the folk memory of the tide mill that stood on this very spot was still strong. Now a petrol filling station stands on the site. Sustainable, clean, low tech, inexhaustible energy has gone for ever – they filled in the creek and built a Morrisons on it. The future is up the creek.

Story of the shot
Access was very restricted, behind a wall at the head of the creek. Ideally I would like to have shot from lower down – close to water level – but that wasn’t possible. The dimensions of the creek allowed me to emphasise perspective using a vertically oriented shot and a short focal length (20mm). I only had a few feet on either side to change the composition but I’m reasonably happy with position of the leading line provided by the channel. The light was tricky – clouds meant it kept changing. I underexposed by one stop (f8) to avoid burning out the sky but still got 1/750th exposure on ISO 100, so hand held. Minimal post processing other than using a gradient to notch back the exposure on the clouds slightly and black and while conversion and tweaking via an Adjustment Layer. Probably would have been better to tweak the sky with a polarizing filter but it was starting to rain so I didn’t – it was also darn cold and I needed to go to Morrison’s.


Little Egret

One day I’ll post a picture of a Little Egret and write a really interesting description to go with it.

But not today.

They’re beautiful birds, I’ve just run out of things to say about them. Although if you know egrets, you can see that this one is doing the “foot shuffling to disturb prey” thing with its left leg.

A Hedgehog

Hedgehog Springtail

Hedgehog Springtail, Orchesella villosa.

A fairly big species, nearly 5mm long. Hairy little fellow.



The sky’s on fire again

Sky on fire


Waiting for Godot

Afternoon spent waiting for lift engineer to free trapped person.

Evening spent waiting for Godot.

Final Score: Lift Engineer 1 : 0 Godot

HDR Primrose

HDR Primrose

I’m pretty happy with my focus stacking efforts now – it doesn’t always work but that’s the nature of the beast. HDR remains an elusive mystery to me. It must be time to register at the University of YouTube again…

Reach for the skies

Intermediate Screw-moss, Syntrichia intermedia

Intermediate Screw-moss, Syntrichia intermedia.

Intermediate Screw-moss

Great Hairy Screw-moss

Great Hairy Screw-moss

And who among us doesn’t like a great hairy screw? I’m sorry for all the moss at the moment, but they have such beautiful photogenic shapes, especially when the sun strikes them like this.

Even if I did have to hang over a reservoir wall by my ankles to get this shot of this base-loving moss on the limestone.

Great Hairy Screw-moss, Syntrichia ruralis subsp. ruralis.

Red Alert

Rough-stalked Feather-moss

Nearly dead but very red. The closer you look the more you see.

Rough-stalked Feather-moss, Brachythecium rutabulum.

Rough-stalked Feather-moss