Beamish Bus

Took a day out today to visit Beamish open air museum in North East England today where the past really comes to life,my grandfather first took me here as a young boy and today as a grandfather myself I took my grandson to visit this.It’s an open air museum.over acres of land where buildings from the past have been re constructed to give an insight of life in the north east with a roadway and tramway providing access to all its areas.This is a vehicle on the roadway given an authentic treatment of a view from the 1920’s if they had colour imaging in the day.DSC_0010-2a

Chelsea and I’ve changed my lens!

popped out today to collect a piece of furniture from a local store and walked past a store which deals in media,you know games,dvd’s,electrical and the like and spotted in it’s window a Sigma 17-70 f2.8.This aroused my curiosity as I use a lot of Pro glass on my D300,I’m lucky enough to have the Trinity of glass i.e 12-24 2.8.24-70 2.8 and the mighty 80-200 2.8 however I try to restrict myself here to shooting with my lovely little D70s and an 18-70 f4.5.Well this is gonna change,with a bargain price and a lowepro lens case the deal was done,but only after I’d captured a shot of the sales assistant called Chelsea.1/100 f3.4 iso400.chelsea


HDR Experiments

In the past I was never a fan of the use of HDR or High Dynamic Range processing,being an “old school” photographer,I just really struggled adjusting myself to what it was all about.I’ve been shooting digital now around 15 years and people tell me to try to move with the times,so I tried this effect,somewhat unsuccessfully using photoshop and yet again didn’t like the effect.However an inexpensive bit of software from Photomattix just may have changed my mind.Dedicated to pure HDR processing,I’m finding the results pleasing,and also a bit of fun in the process.Here’s 3 of our 7.5 ton delivery trucks on the fleet of TNT Express in the UK given the treatment.I feel it works well with bold colours.The original RAW was shot at 1/60 f11 iso200,then 4 further exposures both +/- 2 exposure stops to produce this.HDR1

North Bailey

More wanderings around the streets of Durham,if you take the street walk around the rear of the Cathedral you follow this street to cross the river wear over Prebends Bridge,this lovely cobbled street,hasn’t changed in years,although the buildings are now used by Durham University. 1/30th F11 @iso200.North Bailey

Winter sunshine in Durham

A nice Sunday afternoon around the streets of my local County capital of Durham in the northeast of England yesterday with my lovely wife and oldest grandson Joe now six who wanted to visit the beautiful Cathedral.This 900 year old Norman structure perched high above the river wear,is declared a World heritage site.Having my grandson with me evoked many memories of my own childhood,where at his age I spent many a day with my father around the same streets learning photography.Having parked my car on a hillside this time opposite the cathedral,we were greeted to this fabulous view of the cathedral just as the last rays of a winter sunshine cascaded upon its facade.Quite a lot of maintenance work is being done on the building and as such it has had scaffolding on various parts of its structure now for quite some time,but its appeal to me me is like iron filings to a magnet! I just never tire of its magnificence.Again,the little D70s at 1/30th f11 iso200DSC_0018a

31 Norfolk Street

It’s not often I get chance to visit my hometown of Sunderland,although I only live around 10 or 12 miles away.I know so much has changed over the years,I decided to visit and have a look at places I spent in my childhood.31 Norfolk street was the home of my grandparents,and my father from his teenage years till his marriage to my mother in 1960.The building looks exactly the same now as it did all those years ago,my childhood “holiday” bedroom being the furthest left top floor of the house and above the front door.I was really surprised to find the attic window still in place which has never changed at all.However Modern architecture has replaced what used to be 2 grassed and tree areas,some of which still exist,which were fenced off by iron railings with a walkway in between.Sadly my grandparents died many years ago,my father too,and to this day I still have his old photo albums of black and white “snaps” taken in the yard to the rear and its basement too.It’s converted to office accomodation now.I sat here fore quite some time thinking of them all and the happy memories of a 1960’s childhood.Again my little Nikon D70s is still performing really well.1/160th F11 iso200 at 35mm.DSC_0014

Car fire

Always on the lookout for news pictures,sometimes things just happen nearby,when you don’t expect it.I suspect this is a stolen vehicle that had been chased by Police,then abandoned and set on light on grassland to the rear of my home.wreck

Memorial to private Thomas Kenny

In the neighbouring village of Wheatley Hill a memorial stone was recently opened to the memory of Pte Thomas Kenny.He was the first soldier of the Durham Light Infantry to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the first world war,carrying his Lieutenant on his back through no mans land of the trenches of France,after he’d been wounded by a single shot from German lines in thick fog in 1915.The story makes fascinating reading as Pte Kenny was from the village in which I live.He died in 1948 aged 66 years old in Wheatley Hill after returning to his job as a coalminer and is buried in its cemetery.DSC_0001

Seaham Pier

seaham pierIt’s freezing up here in northeast England,but at least the sun has been out of late with some wonderful blue skies.1/100 f11 iso200

Wingfield Castle

Any trip to Hartlepool,Northeast England has got to include a visit to the Maritime experience in its Marina,where tales of Hartlepool of old are on display in its maritime museum and its famous historic quay containing the wonderful Frigate HMS Trincomalee. its masts can be seen here in the background. The marina quay is the berth of the SS Wingfield Castle,original a steam paddleship,now converted to a floating museum too.Make sure if you visit,to check out its’ wonderful coffee shop on board as it is among the best I’ve had (and I drink a lot of coffee!!)

This is 1/125 f16 iso 200 at around 24mm.wingfield castle