Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day in Walsall

It was particularly cold and wet today so I decided to revisit the New Art Gallery at Walsall, having greatly enjoyed exploring it a few years ago. It houses the Garman Ryan Collection - Kathleen Garman was Jacob Epstein's long-term Mistress (and eventually wife) and mother of three of his five children. The collection has lots of fine sculptures but also pictures by Epstein and by his son Theo Garman who died at the age of 30. Having soaked up all the wonderful images in the Gallery it was the toilets, which are lit with a purple light, that made a lasting impression. In the second image the cubicles can be seen reflected in the pedal bin lid.

The art galery itself is very photogenic with lots of warm wood floors, walls and ceilings and staircases.
I also went round the town and felt the Victorian Arcade was in complete contrast to the modern Art Gallery

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Spent a while at a captive bird place and decided to concentrate on the various feather patterns. The feathers belong to a demoiselle crane, a grey pheasant peacock, a pelican and a small black and white cormorant.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tilt and Shift in Northampton

As the weather was pretty uninspiring today, I decided to give one of my under-used toys an outing. By using the lens shifted sideways with some tilt you can get some candid shots with only the subject sharp.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kites from the Thame Travelodge

These kites are probably the most dramatic view so far from my Travelodge series. The light was poor and the sky very featureless but still good to see their antics.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fowlmere Tree Creeper and Garden Dunnock

No sign of the Kingfisher from the Spring Hide but a very close Tree Creeper was some compensation. It pulled a grub out from the bark.

The Dunnock was in full song in the garden this morning along with the first ChiffChaff of this spring.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lichens in Toft Wood

Toft Wood was first planted in 1995 so it is less than 20 years old but the lichens are flourishing on the trees. The yellow one is Xanthoria parietina or similar species and the grey one a Lecanora species. It is thought that the large increase in these particular
families of lichens is due to the increase in nitrogen levels from vehicles etc.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Emperor Moth

I tried various methods in an attempt to photograph a Female Emperor Moth. The moths are on the wing from April onwards - this female has hatched from a pupa that was kept indoors over the winter (thanks Bryan!). It is a day-flying moth although the females do not fly much at all being quite content to sit on a twig, smelling nice and waiting for the males to flock in.
In our area the caterpillars feed on hawthorn, blackthorn, meadow sweet etc .
I like the first picture best though I know black backgrounds are generally frowned on. I placed some black paper against the window directly behind the moth so there is light coming through the wings. I used 1/32 power ring flash to slightly boost the colours. The second attempt has natural light through the wings and has picked up the green colours of the background. The one on the log is again a combination of very low power flash and natural light. All taken with 50 mm macro lens.

Monday, March 22, 2010

M6 Services

Not sure quite what attracted me to this scene but crossed the bridge at the M6 services and felt this lonely sign sort of summed up the place.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Images from Bath

Just to show I didn't restrict myself totally to the Fisheye - I had a 50mm lens with me as well. I hoped to find more chair pictures but these were the only two that appealed. I liked the row of red chairs just waiting for someone to visit them.

This single chair abandonned outside a warehouse has a continental feel to it. Looks hot and sunny but was actually quite chilly.

They are rebuilding the lower part of Bath near the Bus and Railway station and have completed the first phase. So far they have created an attractive area by using pale stone and very traditional shaped arcades. It will be interesting to revisit when the next phase is completed later in the year

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Evening Pictures from Bath

A couple of images taken on a walk along the river at Bath - loved the strange candy sticks that the slow shutterspeed and unsteady hand have produced.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Travels with a Fish-Eye

Five images taken during my train journey to Bath.

The first two are of Royston station.The motion blur go-faster stripes painted on the train make it look as if it is moving but the lettering confirms that it is stationary.

The third image is St Pancras with the International terminus to the left. I like the complimentary colours in the brickwork and ironwork. Even the lady's suitcase matched.

The fourth image was taken on the Circle line to Paddington. I managed to get central to the open door and it was lucky that a person sat on each side of the frame and are both using ipods.

The fifth image is another take on 'Mind the Gap' with a Great Western train at Paddington. This one needs a larger image as ther are lots of interesting cameos inside the train.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Trip into Cambridge

We arranged a club outing to Cambridge today and were rewarded with some wonderful skies and storm lighting though the threatened showers did not arrive till after we had finished. The dark sky and brightly lit buildings as we walked out of Clare College were amazing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birds at Wimpole

A few pictures of Mallards on the Lake at Wimpole this morning. The light was very good.
The male Mallards spent a lot of time abusing the females.

Any ideas on this raptor - most likely Sparrowhawk but does look very 'chunky' and was gliding very effortlessly so wondered about Goshawk

Friday, March 12, 2010

More Images from Clumber Park

The sun came out towards the end of the morning and I am pleased with the picture that I took of the solitary Oystercatcher. The image of the Greylag Geese is beautifully rim lit but does make it look as if the bird has been pasted onto the background. The Black-Headed Gull had quite a green cast reflected from the vegetation so works a lot better in monochrome.

Landing techniques in birds

I spent a bit of time at Clumber Park on the way to Spalding and attempted pictures of the birds in flight and landing on the lake. The various techniques used by the birds depends very much on the shape of the feet. The Canada Geese used their large webbed feet like water skies and were very elegant as they came into land. The Moorhen's long toes without webs cut into the water so they generally use the technique of running very fast across the surface.
The light was far from perfect so I intend to revisit the topic on another occasion.

The composite of the swan landing is for Phil just to show it is not just airplanes that sometimes do a double bounce landing (click on the image and it is large enough to make out the impressive belly flop).

Ann Miles Photography - My Favourite Images of the Past10 years or so