Monday, September 29, 2014

The last Par 'Royal Duchy' excursion so I decided I would go to Nailsea and Backwell Station this time.
Because the train was stopping at Yatton to pick up passengers there would be no chance of catching it in 'power' and I had already taken some at Horsecastle farm crossing.
8.50ish start from Temple Meads and due at Yatton at 9.5 meant Nailsea at about 9. Not many folk there and I got a good view.

She was steaming well and the smoke was spreading along the track. I edited with Elements 3 and gave if two clicks on the 'darken highlights' to bring it out. I should have taken at higher ISO because the closest shots were blurred from her speed. I was using 1/250th but 1/500th would have been better. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

So Ken Road has been resurfaced? cooked? barbecued?.
And yes it is KEN and not Kenn as some faceless #### civil servant decided. The original nameplate in blue enamel with white letters, erected on the orders of the Local Board of Health clearly stated that on the south wall of the Clevedon Engineering Company. 
However the thrill of watching mighty machinery has long gone. I can recall the days when the steam roller of the Clevedon Urban District Council using strong steel spikes at the rear used to rip up the old road surface. The shuddering and the jarring could be felt underfoot as we kids used to watch the work going on. We were encouraged to do this because - as long as we kept out of the way - the smell of the tar that was next sprayed was reckoned to be good for the health.
It certainly never killed any of us.
Then came the spreading of the grit that came to us  (via Barnstaple) on the "Bessie" a small boat that landed its cargo at Pill.
After a couple of weeks the road surface was good for roller skating again. Traffic? what traffic? cars were few and far between, all we had to bother with was not to upset the milkmen with their carts. 
I can recall that once in the foolish days of my youth I skated as far as the railway bridge at Yatton. We had little in those days but what we had, we did look after. Trouble today is that plastic breaks so easily

It seems to have formed an attitude in today's kids of "Here today gone tomorrow" and though it might be good for business it has started a throw away habit throughout the world.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia,  is now showing its Autumn colouring. Soon there will be nothing but the bare vines against the wooden fence and the concrete block wall.

The little berries show against the brilliant red of the leaves looking like miniature pills.
I am tempted to take some and plant out but apart from cover for small birds and insects, Virginia Creeper isn't a productive plant as far as wildlife is concerned. 
"Mile a Minute" as it is sometimes called doesn't have petalled flowers producing food for bees etc. although perhaps the berries are a food for winter feeding.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Surprise - surprise
I suppose that to any regular readers of my blog - if there are any - it has sunk in that I am rather Rabid about macro shots of flowers and also pictures of steam locomotives. After all there isn't a lot of difference in the two. (Is there?) 
However this year in my wander around the magnificent lake and grounds, at the Golden Tulip Hotel, I spotted what I thought was a Bloody Cranesbill plant creeping up through flower leaves, un-noticed by their eagle eyed gardener. 

I had not brought my Tamron 90mm macro lens but relied on my set of Fox dioptre lenses. The following morning I took the short half-way-round walk to where I had spotted the solitary flower. I was fully expecting to see that the weed had been ripped out, or eaten by slugs or snails, however it was still there untouched. As it was rather breezy I couldn't take a pic of it in-situ so carefully snipped it off and rested it on one of the many seats placed around the lake. I added the 10 dioptre lens to the Tamron 18-270 tele-photo and got a successful set, Leaves (although rather small) Flower and type of calyx.

Once again a beautiful little flower that we call a weed. Yet through perpetual destruction we have made them more hardy than some of the so-called precious flowers that we plant.

Back from Holland in a good time.

We came back via Nijmegen Eindhoven way and missed of lot of the traffic jams. I was home by just after nine. Best time yet I think.
There were so many folk at the official occurances that I didn't get any pix at the Para drop at Ginkel Heath. The cemetery had run out of programmes and the last 20 minutes before the service started they closed the gates to all but veterans and parties. Dutch folk that wanted to enter were told that if they 
moved around the perimeter OUTSIDE of the cemetery they would be able to see and take part in the service. They wound up about 6 deep all around the small hedge and at the gates.
I managed to move over to the grass plot where the Polish servicemen's graves are and got shots of the children moving through with the flowers.
The seats in the 'gatehouse' were all taken and standing for the whole length of the service and more was very tiring.
This year it was the turn of some of the senior pupils to line the Polish grave stretch. The facial expressions are held back rather than shown and it is obvious to me that some of the younger children are really affected by their thoughts as they wait for the time to come to lay their flowers at the stones edge.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Decided that Sunday morning was best time to get a shot of the new development at the Regent site.
No traffic about and no interruptions of workmen or pedestrians. Used the Tamron 11-18 mm lens and had to tilt to get it all in.
Then set up Geometric in PSP 8 to correct the vertical elevation bias.

Thought while I was there to get a sweep shot to show the relationship to the other buildings in Hill Road.
I don't know if erecting a new shop will help to save the shopping centre up there. However as far as the owners are concerned they will be able to have at least 3 flats above because the shop storage space can be below. If it were myself I would have said 5 luxury flats with lock-up allocated garages beneath would have been a better prospect.
Either as rental or for sale it would be a more profitable idea.

There is someone up there that protects fools and idiots.
As Tangmere was going to stop at Yatton to pick up passengers for Par, I decided I would go to Nailsea and Backwell station to get shots of her running at full steam.
Got there with time to spare but found that there was a diesel charted to stop at 10.20. Remembered when the A4 class was running all I could get was a shot of it pulling away because I could not run to the end of the platform.

What shall I do?

Mud Lane Claverham, is too far in miles. The only thing is Station Road at Flax Bouton. Off I went. When I got there I found two cars parked in the gateway to the tank depot. Bugger !.
Went over the bridge and parked on a wider stretch of the narrow lane.
Walked back to the bridge. Two photographers there in the best places. Sod it. ! !
Took up a position and then yet another one came along. Steam in the distance, low and behold she was running at least 5 minutes early. I could have chanced a stop at Nailsea/Backwell after all.
However I had got a series of pix that were quite good. Took in 16x9 format instead of 3x2, to send pix to BBC Weather.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bath is a lovely city, as well as old buildings and the ancient Roman Baths there are many people wandering around the streets.
Shoppers, tourists of all nationalities, and people with cameras like myself. It can be the ideal place to get candid shots as long as you can stop the subjects from realising that you are taking pictures of them.

                          "Where are we?  Why we are here, where I am pointing."
When folk are taken up with what they are doing, the world around them ceases to exist. 
Their thoughts and mind are in another world. Perhaps they fantasize on something in a shop  window, imagining themselves wearing, or using the item they are viewing.
Maybe they are searching for a particular thing and are comparing a "nearly it" in their mind to see if it could be made to do the task required.
Whatever it is they are far away from a busy arcade shopping centre in Bath City. It would probably need a bomb going off to bring them back to earth.
In the mean-time they have been captured on film and the moment has been frozen for ever in my little Olympus Pen D half frame camera. Quiet and unobtrusive with no clapping mirror or shutter blinds, just a little click and they are mine. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

What a little treasure ! In the last lot of negatives I found some strips of half-frames. It was when I was visiting Bath with friends and I was experimenting with candid shots.
The Pen D series of Olympus cameras had a fairly wide angle lens; plus automatic exposure linkage.
I was winding on and then holding the camera down by my side and pressing the shutter. I took a lot in the M&S superstore and folk didn't even know I was taking. After all as far as they were concerned you have to hold the camera to your face to take a pic. Don't you?
The heading pic is the bottom half of a neg, so really it is a 1/4 frame rather than 1/2.

I used Adox Klien-bild 17 film and developed in Beutler developer. Virtually no grain problems and a sharp definition. Many stores don't like pictures being taken inside 
Although they don't put up notices saying "No photography permitted in this store" someone will ask you not to take pix. However no-one noticed because the film wind-on was so simple to work without raising the camera and I took the pix with a simple setting for focal length and exposure.
Maybe I should try doing it with the digital camera? Extra wide angle and auto focus should work together OK. I will have to get a bottom fix strap to make sure I don't drop it though.


9 shots posted on Flickr.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Decided to go to the farm crossing in Wemberham Lane at Yatton.

Glad I did because Tangmere stopped to pick up at Yatton station for the Royal Duchy trip.

If I had been there I couldn't have got pix of the smoke as they pulled away.

Unfortunately when Bittern cruised through she was running with no effort but I did get a reasonable pic as she approached the farm crossing.

Very nice to see two steams running on the same day. I had considered Mud Lane but after the last times diesel running late I thought better of it. I got there just right too;. only one chap there when I arrived. I took my place when he was dodging about like he had 'ants in his pants' backwards and forwards. By the time the train arrived there were around 9 or 10 there but I had set my little tripod seat up where no-one could get in front of me. One more next Sunday and then I will be in Holland when the next double takes place.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I came on a few pix that I took when on an Exmoor trip. Back in the 60's I was capable of getting down into the stream to look up Weir Water beneath Robber's bridge.
I wouldn't like to try doing that today. Probably not only would I fall in but would not be able to get back out again.

It was so beautiful down there before the crowds started visiting, quiet and peaceful. It was possible to go for miles without seeing another vehicle or person. Just chugging along on the B31 on the little side roads. "If only" is an impossible wish now though. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

And yet more turn up

Found another set of Adox R17 negatives. 4 strips with 12 pix of the seawall work in the early 60's. They were taken on my Agiflex III camera. 

and show the work done when Kelting was still the chief engineer for the Somerset Rivers Board. Using a new system (I think thought up by one of his juniors) of binding loose hard core with a bitumastic, held with a wire mesh.

It certainly worked OK because it was still holding when the last job done by the Environment Agency took place over 40 years later.
I think I will post all 12  to the Clevedon Group on Flickr.
It will certainly make a change from the never ending "Pier at sunset" etc. postings.