Friday, July 03, 2009

The Scarlet Pimpernel are out and showing well. They have spread quite a bit from last year. I pulled a sprig and put in the flash-box. took some pix of the flowers and then saw they had a greenfly on them. Tokk a shot of one of the seeds as well - only about 3mm in size.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Went down to Horsecastle Yatton and saw Oliver Cromwell with the Dartmouth Express.
Used the Sony kit lens and got 4 shots all of them passable.
Sent one to 123rf. I wonder if they will use it?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A nice sunny morning at just after 8 a.m. so I went up the Alexandra Road and took an infrared of the gardens, Then out to Nortons Wood, and on to Nailsea Wall.
I noticed the crab apple trees along Davis Lane were in bloom so I stopped on the way back and got some shots using the Tamron 90mm macro and flash.
They were doing riding practice on the tan at the equestrian centre so I got a few pix of that as well.
Quite a good mixed morning.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upwards Job 5/7
And don’t I know it.
No sooner had I got my starter motor replaced than it turned out that my battery was not holding a charge. £43 Starter £68 new battery, then I found the offside door hinges were breaking away from the fibreglass.
No way was I going to try and get a second-hand door. I had done that only 3 or 4 years back.
I managed to patch the top hinge with the door on the car and discovered the bottom one was also in a bad way.
I managed to get the door off with the help of a neighbour and did another job with the resin and hardener. My nephew came down and put the door back on with me helping and then I managed to put back all the extras that I had taken off and it works OK.
Not a pretty looking job but as long as it will hold that is all I worry about.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Went back to Nailsea Wall and tried another few exposures. Found part of the problem was switching off too soon. The processing takes much longer than normal process. If live view is used that shows on the rear screen.
With a bright exposure I can treat it by turning it to greyscale and then "Enhance picture" and auto contrast. If it not plucky enough ‘Clarify’ fixes it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

After having found out by being told on Flickr that it is possible to adjust the compression of pix when saving I had a good look at Paint Shop Pro 11 and found there is also in the later series a reasonable shadows etc. lightener.
So I decided to see what could be done with Infrared pic. Used the following for the Nailsea Wall pic.

In PSP 11 select Adjust – Colour – Red/Green/Blue
In this instance
Red 62
Green –37
Blue –39

The change to Image menu select Grayscale.

Back to Adjust - Smart fix
In this instance
Overall 28
Shadows –30
Highlights 20
Saturation 99
Focus 89
I think this will work better in future than dodging between programmes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Went out to Nailsea Wall and tried out some Infra Red pix. Some Ok but one set very bad. Will try again tomorrow perhaps.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

There was a discussion on Flickr with someone asking a question about flash. I took some pix of my flash arrangement for macro and insect stalking.

I think the Stiz bracket with the adjustable angle for the flash gives the best result.

Saw a new Phalaenopsis orchid in Morrisons and it looked quite pretty. Decided to treat myself, bought myself a bottle of cooking whisky at the same time to celebrate.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Had the squash back for one week and then the head gasket blew.

It took 10 days to get the head off after stripping the engine of superfluous stuff.

Trouble was the engine is an alloy one and there was reaction between the head studs (Iron) and the alloy of the head.

Had plenty of advice from the 'Plastic pig' club.

1st. Don't use WD40 to infiltrate and soften the gunge - Use PlusGas it is thinner.

2nd. make up a 'stretcher' to aid in lifting the head. This is a piece of iron about 10inches long 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Drill holes in it to allow the rocker studs to go through it. Put it down over the rocker studs and let it rest on the head studs. Put spacers on it and then gradually screw down on the nuts. The pressure will then lift the head.

We did this and got a good 1/4 inch gap on the spark plug side. NOW plastic is softer than alloy? cut a couple of slips from a piece of plastic around 1/32 inch thick.

Put them into the gap around halfway across the head. Meantime all this while slowly drip plusgas on the head of the studs. Don't flood them it will just run off, but three or four times a day put a couple of drops on the top of the stud. It will gradually make its way down the threads and then into the gap between the stud and the alloy.

Every time you do this take a wooden drift and bang down on first the spark plug side and then the manifold side of the head. I was advised that even if it is only half a millimetre movement this will gradually cause the gunge to let go.

It worked and the head lifted off with no more trouble after a week of this treatment.

Some had said of having to take out the engine and lift it by suspending it, others had said they had had to cut the head off. We managed without taking the engine out just using time and patience.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Got the "squash" back from MOT on Monday and on the road again. Got about in spite of the weather, snow here not as bad as other places thank goodness.

Rugby today? On or Off?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tried an experiment, I took a flash picture of a flower head using 800 ISO. Edited it with Elements 3 and slightly over sharpened it.
Then in PSP 7 I went into Effects - noise and used 'Edge preserving smooth' set at the highest resolution.
Next I went back to the original and without over sharpening it I also used Edge preserving smooth.
The result shows well in the lower pic.
This was taken from the centre of the composite.
Top left over sharpened. Top right oversharpened smoothed.
Bottom left original,
bottom right original smoothed.
It shows better viewed large there is a slight overlapping in the pasting of the copy images.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Under 13s rugby and colt news.

Under 17s match had been cancelled. I stayed to watch the under13s game at Swiss Valley. Exceedingly good game, fast and clean play. Sent two pics to the papers if they wish to use them.
Heard that the colt injured Saturday had got a hit on the back of the head. He was kept in overnight for observation but released this morning.

Colts Rugby

Went up to the school field at East Clevedon to watch the Colts Vs. Weston match. At half time the colts were winning 10 - 5, a few minutes into the second half one was badly concussed and an ambulance was called. Helicopter medics turned up match abandoned. I shall find out on Sunday what the result was when I go over to watch the under 17s game.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pics used in the paper.

Sent 2 pics of the rugby to North Somerset Times with "Compliments of Clevedon RFC & Regards from myself.
They used both.
Now I must wait and see if the Clevedon Mercury uses any. I think they had a 'photog' there but it may well have been a Bridgwater supporter.
Had a request to post one of the ones on my Flickr Rugby Pics group to a Flickr All Sports group.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Watched rugby for the first time in a month. Colts Versus Merythr Tydfil on Saturday and 1sts Vs Bridgwater development side on the Sunday, - Somerset Cup match. -

Left in a rush to get there and had the wrong lens on for the colts match. 27mm actual focal length is not too good for action shots unless you are in the middle of it.
Sunday back to the Tamron 28-300 mm lens. Good light and some good pics.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Red Skies

Following my Sunday Morning trip I looked up a few pics of sunrising on the moors.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Macro 2

Some time ago I mentioned on the "Think Camera" website the difficulty of getting a lens reverser to fit the front of my Tamron 28-300 mm lens and allow me to use a Pentax or Praktica lens reversed on the front. One of the members suggested that I could make one quite easily by using 2 cokin units glued together back to back. I did this and found it to be very useful because it eliminated any problems of binding when trying to unscrew the fitting.

I had been using my Minolta 80 px ring flash for some time on my 90mm Tamron macro lens and the thought occurred to me that it might be possible to use it on my reversing lens as well.
Unfortunately the Pentax and Praktica lenses that I had been using were too large for the ring flash to fit.

I then thought of the Takumar lens on my old Heiland Pentax. The Honeywell H2 model had the early lens that did not have the automatic re-opening mechanism and was therefore smaller in circumference. It also meant that the light button on the ring flash could be used to easily find the subject if pics were being taken with the camera hand held rather than tripod mounted. Set on the front of my Tamron 28-300 mm lens it can give an enlargement of approx. 5x life-size.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Macro 1

For macro work the inflatable diffuser is cheap yet very effective.

It will fit any size flash head because of the elastic fastening and the curve of the front panel sends light downwards even when used with a 1.7 tele extender and a 10 dioptre lens on the front of the Tamron 90 mm macro lens.

Although the 3 times life size image is close to the camera there is still enough light from the flash for small apertures.
In the picture of crab apple blossom the flower spray was mounted with a crocodile clip and stood in a white polystyrene box with a blue cartridge paper used as a background.
The flash used was a Minolta 4000AF with the diffuser on it held at approximately 10 inches away to the left at about 30-40 degree angle.
As the diffuser head measures about 8 to 9 inches across the light spread was enough to diminish shadows and give a natural appearance to the flowers.

Not much there yet.

No sign of an early spring yet. The frosty mornings are still lasting, but thank God, no snow for us here. I pruned back the Buddleia very tight in the autumn and it has started to show a few small sproutings. The birds have not taken all the Cottoneaster berries but the rowan tree berries have all gone thanks to a neighbouring blackbird.
Wandered out and took some pics for something to do. Used the Tamron 90 mm macro lens and the Minolta 80px ring flash. It works quite well and allows me to use f32 stop which at full focus transforms to f40 I believe.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Had an idea about chocolates. If I once start eating them I just keep on going, so I decided to take pics of them instead .
I was 85 yesterday and had 2 boxes of choccys given to me for my birthday.
I decided as a New Years Resolution to limit myself to 1 per day [Choccy not box] It will be a strain but I will try my best to keep to it.
Trouble is Belgian chocolates are so delicious.