Archive for the 'England' Category

01
Sep
10

9/1/2010: Rutland Water UK

I had to crawl between a tent and flap, where, strictly speaking I was not supposed to be, to get to this image out over Rutland Water at the British Birding Fair, but honestly, who could resist? This is England at its best…or maybe on its best behavior, at least as far as weather goes. And, of course, it only lasted a few moments. Within 30 the sky closed and within 60 it was raining again. I especially like the mottled sun on the foreground.

iPhone 4 HDR, two exposures in ProHDR (which now has an auto mode that analyzes the dynamic range of the image and computes its own two exposures), sharpened and contrast adjusted in PhotoGene and uploaded to my SmugMug site with SmugShot.

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31
Aug
10

8/31/2010: English butterflies

Predictably, I spent my first day in England in a meeting room at the Greetham Valley Golf and Country Club (it was a working trip after all). We only got let out for lunch…and only 30 minutes at that due to a tight agenda. Still, when I got to the dinning room and looked out the window to see my first ever European Peacock butterfly, I had to run back to my room to get a camera with a longer lens! (Simon King, well known British naturalist and film-maker was among our number, and he identified the butterflies for me.) The wind was blowing hard and the rainy day light was subdued. The butterflies were hanging on the flowers for dear life as they tossed wildly about, and staying closed up tight most of the time in the wind. Still I managed a couple of more or less record shots of the Peacock (top) and the Little Tortoiseshell (bottom)…both life butterflies for me. And yes, I still managed to get my lunch down and back to the meeting room in time!

Long-tel-macro threw the background well out of focus for both shots. In the  top shot the butterfly is framed against the hill 300 yards behind, but even the leaves inches behind the Tortoiseshell show good bokeh. That is the magic of the long-tel-macro.

Canon SX20IS @ 560mm equivalent and macro @ 1) f5.7 @ 1/320th @ ISO 160 and 2) f5.7 @ 1/200th @ ISO 400. Programmed auto.

A bit of Recovery in Lightroom for the flowers, more than usual Fill Light for the colors in the wings in the subdued light, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Germany and England 2010.

30
Aug
10

8/30/2010: English Mushroom

Just a simple straightforward portrait of an interesting mushroom found on my walk through the golf courses at Greetham Valley Country Club in the UK. A view from slightly above ground level to catch as much of the form as possible, taken with the flip out LCD and a medium long tel-macro setting on the Canon SX20IS.  It is all about those curves and that texture! The clover head gives a bit a of scale. This was a big mushroom.

190mm equivalent field of view and Macro @ f5.0 @ 1/125th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, slight cropping for composition, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Germany and England 2010.

29
Aug
10

8/29/2010: Greetham Valley Country Club

Happy Sunday!

I visit the Oakham area of England once a year for the British Birding Fair, the largest gathering of birders in the known universe (for more on the BBF take a look at my post on the ZEISS blog). It is held at Rutland Water, a reservoir, which is home to the Anglian Water Reserve. Oakham, small sleepy one-pub town that it is, surrounded by small sleepy one-pub towns, is not exactly equipped for the annual inundation of birders. Those of us who have to stay there are for the three days fill every available hotel space. The local schools rent out space for sleeping bags on the gym floors. We used to stay at the Barnsdale Resort (not to be confused with the Barnsdale Lodge), on the hill overlooking Rutland Water on the other side from the Fair, but this year we moved to a golf club and convention center, a bit further away, near the village of Greetham.

And all that is to explain  why I have taken photos of a golf course…not something I am in the habit of doing…but during the BBF (which is work for me) I get only a few moments a day to consider photography…and it is my one visit a year to England, so I do, always, consider photography. I take what I can get, and within walking distance of the hotel this year, golf course was all you could get.

This is an HDR image from two exposures on the Canon SX20IS, combined in Photomatix Lite, and refined in Lightroom.

I actually like it, despite its obvious golf-courseishness, for the range of greens, and the variety of textures and shapes. No one can say the designer of the course was insensitive to the particular English beauty of the countryside. He (or she) preserved enough of the natural landscape and existing trees so that the native beauty comes through, and actually augmented it with the decorative pools and paths. Very English.

It is an idealized English landscape, under one of England’s typical skies, looking most like a well mannered 19th century painting on the drawing room wall.

I am tempted, being Sunday, to liken it to some folks vision of the Garden of Eden, but then all I would be left with saying is that, while I can appreciate its beauty and appeal, it is not mine. I’d like to think I could be at home in a much wilder Eden, without feeling the need to making it so homey…if you know what I mean.

But then, I am not a golfer, even of the Sunday variety.

05
Sep
09

9/5/2009

Late Light Across Rutland Water

Late Light Across Rutland Water

Being limited to the early evening all my shots of Rutland Water (Leichestershire UK) share a similar light. This was not taken on the same day as the sheep shots, and you can see it was a bit later. Could not resist the view though. This is a mild telephoto shot, and the perspective is flattened by the lens setting, and you can see the effects of the atmosphere (never completely free of moisture in England) between me and the lake.

Sony DSC H50 at about 120mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/500 @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

From Rutland Water.

04
Sep
09

9/4/2009

Rutland Water with Sky!

Rutland Water with Sky!

A brooding sky over Rutland Water. This one is all about atmosphere. Raining on and off. Dark earth, dark water, dark sky.

Sony DSC H50 at 31mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/400th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Recovery in Lightroom for the sky. Punch and Sharpen Landscape presets. Blackpoint to the right.

From Rutand Water.

03
Sep
09

9/3/2009

Late Light and Sheep along Rutland Water

Late Light and Sheep along Rutland Water

We leave the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, and 2005 for that matter, but we stay in England. While at the British Birding Fair this year, I had precious little time for anything non-work related, but I did get out for an hour or so between the close of the fair and gathering for dinner each day…when the English light is liquid and flows over the landscape like honey.

Okay, a bit much…but it is special light, and when, as on this early evening, the sheep are out on the shore and the clouds are piled over the hills, and the water is blue in the mid-ground it is irresistible. I took way too many pics.

Sony DSC H50 at about 60mm equivalent. F5.6 @ 1/320th @ ISO 100. Programed auto.

Punch and Sharpen landscape presets in Lightroom. Blackpoint just to the right.

From Rutland Water.