2015 – June – Dedridge

Messing around with long exposures at the local pond.
The weir is in full flow with both flood routes active beside the 3 main sluices, leading to a horse-shoe shape of white water.
These shots were taken in the evening. When I returned in the morning with the dog, the weir was back to it’s normal trickle

Under the Bridge
Under the Bridge
Beside the Bridge
Beside the Bridge
The Monarch at Sunset
The Monarch at Sunset

2015 – May – Macro Flowers

I’ve downloaded a bit of software for my phone called Slingshot (www.brainylantern.com) that enables me to control the Canon 7d through my phone as if tethered to a computer. This gives me full control over the camera without having to be near it, as I can view it all on the screen of my Android device.
It can be pretty handy, especially when used on a 7″ or above tablet for checking focus on small objects as you can enlarge them on a bigger screen.

Anyway, I wanted to test the software, so off I went in to the woods; I don’t have a macro lens yet, so these were shot using an old MD fit manual lens, a MD to MA adapter and a Sony to Canon adapter.

Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods
Flowers in the woods

2015 – April – Becky

I wanted to tryout my homemade beauty-dish prior to a shoot I have next month.

Becky, my beautiful eldest daughter volunteered – ok, was press ganged – in to coming out and standing in front of the lens.

2015 – March – Alternative Lighting

There was some major sun-spot activity, and increased sun-spots means an increase in the Northern Lights activity.

There had been solar-storm warnings, and this was expected to make the Lights visible as far south as Estonia.
So, armed with camera and tripod, off I went.

I didn’t go far, as the fog had come in, and the sky was 100% cloud.
So I shot this instead …

Misty night
Misty night

 

Staying local, there is a large old Scots Pine (if it wasn’t for the fog you could see it in the image above) near me that I’ve been wanting to shoot for a while … but make it different.

No cloud, no moon … hmm why not.

Off I trundled, camera, tripod and timer in hand and shot some star trails over the top of the tree.

This is 60 x 30 second images that have been layered together to show the motion of the Earth. I could have done this as one exposure, however the amount of light pollution would have meant a really rubbish image.

Dedrige Monarch
Dedrige Monarch

The Milky Way over the top of this tree would be a great shot, but unless there is a power cut that affects the entire central Scotland belt, I don’t think it’s going to realistically happen.

 

2015 – February – The Dragonfly and the Troublemaker

While walking the dog, I discovered that last nights mist was still lingering. So, what with it being Valentines Day, and being the hopeless romantic that I am …

I left the wife with the kids and went out for a bit with the camera down to the local pond (I’ve been here many times before, just search Dedridge Pond in the tag cloud) for a bit of dissapearing-in-to-the-mist-type stuff.

Needless to say, by the time I got back, the mist had all but vanished, but the shitty, low-laying grey cloud remained.
Not being the kind of chap that allows a bit of freedom to pass unchecked, I hung around and got these instead …

Branches overhanging the pond.  If you look really close, you can see the droplets of water on each twig. Careful! Don't bump your nose on the monitor looking
Branches overhanging the pond.
If you look really close, you can see the droplets of water on each twig.
Careful! Don’t bump your nose on the monitor looking
This chap was just so casual about things, it was a class act. As he hobbled by, he threw a load of bread into the water ... and he kept walking, not giving a rats arse about the cacophony of noise and near riots it caused. Cool beans, dude, cool beans
This chap was just so casual about things, it was a class act.
As he hobbled by, he threw a load of bread into the water … and he kept walking, not giving a rats arse about the cacophony of noise and near riots it caused.
Cool beans, dude, cool beans

2015 – January – The Dragonfly and the Coot

January has been a bit of a mixed bag so far.

It’s been cold, wet, windy and snowy. In fact, the weather has been against me as every time the skies been clear, I’ve gone out to try to re-take star trails over Dedridge Pond, and within 10 mins of setting up, the clouds have came and hidden every thing, so I’ve given up and gone home.

I set out to take some long exposures of the weir at the pond and I’d just shot this image

20140110_mucking-12-Edit
Dedridge Pond – 1/40th Second, f18

and out came the snow
Snow’s a bit of an understatement.
Blizzard, really.

So I retreated under the bridge to keep the kit dry … and to carry on shooting

Dedridge Pond
Dedridge Pond – 121 Seconds at f13

and from a slightly different angle

Dedridge Pond
Dedridge Pond – 76 seconds @f13

So I went out one night around the pond in the snow. It was clear – and bloody cold – and after I set up, out came the clouds and the clear skies vanished, along with the stars, leaving a flat, boring orange sky.

Swans
Swans – 52 seconds at f10
The Walkway
The Walkway – 61 seconds at f10
The Dragonfly and the Coot - 70 seconds at f10
The Dragonfly and the Coot – 70 seconds at f10

 

2014 – August – 2

Another pond, another orb … Simon is getting pretty good at these.

This was a test run of a new wirewool rig and it works pretty damn well.
I’m not going to go in to what we’re now using, but it’s pretty damn robust and can take a greater quantity of wool, allows for greater airflow through the wool, and as it’s heavier, you can build up greater speed.
Greater speed = further spark travel

20140905-Orb-2-1

 

Still in August …. and another pond.
Three ponds in one month. Anyone would think I like them.
This is the Dedridge Pond Dragonfly Sculpture and I thought I’d try out the new spinning rig on my own

20140909_Dedrigde Pond-5-1

Now, this didn’t work the way I wanted it to … I wanted the sparks to bounce along the sculpture (I gave myself a massive blister doing this from the spinning line. Wuss that I am), and accent the line of the tail.
This didn’t happen, despite using several grades of wool, and several images later I gave up on that idea and settled for the below shot, which to me looks like golden rain.

20140909_Dedrigde Pond-8-1

But you can make your own mind up

 

This is what the Dragonfly normally looks like (well, in a long exposure on a windy day)

Dedridge Dragonfly
Dedridge Dragonfly