Going Clubbing

Monday evenings are usually spent at a camera club where there are picture shows, competitions and wise photographers imparting their knowledge in various ways; this week we did something different.

Still life photography using artifacts set up by members of the club. Setting off on the challenge I set the camera to manual, read the menus on the viewer and tried my best; here are some of the resulting shots.

Not a bad night’s work, four pics worth a second look.


Behind The Camera 5

Sutton Bingham Reservoir

The  journey to the south west of Yeovil started well with a clear blue sky and hopefully a good light for taking pictures of wildlife on water. Once again club colleague Michael and I were going to test ourselves against the prevailing conditions of unpredictable winter weather. On arrival at the approach road to Sutton Bingham we stopped on a hill overlooking the meandering stretch of water. Here we found the first problem of the day, the sun mistified the view we wished to capture.

As is visible here the white hazy backdrop did nothing to enhance the picture and, unfortunately, the access to a better viewing spot was behind a high fence.  Next we moved down to the road that cuts across the water to be greeted by a posted line of gulls seen here, with the sun behind us clearer images became available.

 Quite a selection had gathered by the shoreline,as this is a popular site for birdwatchers to throw food,

many birds stay around here all day.



Moving away from the water we found some spectacular beech trees which were made more photogenic by the low sun and shadow. The same trees when pictured from the field on the left of this shot took on a whole new persona; as can be seen on the next picture down.


To finish up this post just a couple of shots of the vista looking away from the water.

And one below that the water gives a hint of an impressionist painting.


A Visit To Exmoor

On August 16th 1952 a storm deposited nine inches of rain in two days on Exmoor. A vast amount of the water naturally followed a route to the sea via the East and West Lyn rivers, which came together in a valley that led into Lynmouth; a coastal town on the Bristol Channel.

The map above shows the deep gorges where the rivers run towards Lynmouth, unfortunately the rushing torrent picked up trees and rocks on the journey creating several temporary dams at the sites of many small bridges. As the pressure built the dams gave way releasing an inland tidal wave that wiped out over a hundred homes and killed thirty-four in the town. The reason this event is being talked about here is to acknowledge the depth of feeling that still remains in the older generation’s consciousness; I was only seven at the time but memory of the newspaper, black and white tv, and cinema newsreel images stayed with me. Stark reminders of those images were brought up to date 52 years later when on August 16th 2004 seven inches of rain created a similar event at Boscastle in Cornwall; there too a hundred houses were damaged but fortunately nobody died.

Watersmeet is not an accidental naming for  a place where two extensive gorges guide water into a single channel forming the East Lyn river. The site is owned by the National Trust who maintain access roads and Watersmeet House, which is used as an information centre and tea room.

Watersmeet is a place of rugged natural beauty and the thought that this scene of tranquility can be turned into a maelstrom causing such devastating results as the Lynmouth flood brings on a considered respect for the power of nature.

We were there on a relatively quiet day with  average, seasonal water levels. The point to note is how the cutting power of the river has carved a channel through solid rock.

Down river from the house the effect from the steepening hillside becomes more noticeable with the size of the rocks, that have been moved from above, showing  example of  how the force of water can brush aside stone bridges.

Definitely not a position to stand if nine inches of rain had fallen.

The modern bridge above shows the lesson learnt about avoiding fallen arches.

The road to Lynmouth runs parallel to the river and requires a regular use of the brakes; fast moving water only has limited friction to check its speed, no wonder at times it becomes unstoppable.

Forest of Dean



One Fine day

A visit to Jane’s home town of Coleford Gloucestershire happened in November 2011, we were lucky to have time, on the one day of good weather, to get into the forest and capture pictures of a very colourful autumn. Starting at Symonds Yat, to take advantage of the high viewpoint, we then moved on to Speech House to delve into the forest where the trees gave a fine show, especially when seen against the blue sky.


I think the pictures say it all, there is not enough space here for the words that would be needed to appreciate what we saw.


Just This Morning

Babylon Hill Sunrise – 11 Jan  2012

To the south of Yeovil is the county border line with North Dorset and the imposing Babylon hill. The views seen here are taken from our attic bedroom which affords the benefit of being able to witness the full years sunrises. The most civilised timing for this is, from my own preference, in December and January, as seen at about 8am this morning.  The range of colours to be discerned is quite spectacular, which, when juxtaposed to the first glimpse of the sun create scenes well worth climbing the staicase to see.

Now that is a good way to start the day.

Behind the Camera 4

Wells Not Far to Go.

Out and about with Michael takes us to the Somerset city of Wells, a place of renown due to the cathedral and the adjoining bishop’s palace. There is not much need of a commentary as the quality of the workmanship coupled with buildings sizeable presence can be seen easily from the photographs.

At the side of the cathedral is the bishops palace which has the unusual attribute of being surrounded by a moat. Luckily the day we went conditions prevailed to get reasonable reflections which enhanced our photographic efforts.

Finally a portrait of one resident living in the moat.

So where is next? Will keep you posted.