Some of the latest videos from the good people I follow on YouTube
Some of the latest videos from the good people I follow on YouTube
Saturday dawned bright but blustery and with the forecast inclement we headed off and visited local places of interest.We first visited a nearby village called St.Germans this is a village which stands on the River Tiddy around 5 miles away.It takes its name from the priory that is generally associated with Saint Germainus, although the church may have been associated initially with a local saint, who was gradually replaced by the 14th century.This magnificent and ancient Norman church is adjacent to the Port Elliot estate.
Next we moved on to Bodmin Moor to a place called Caradon Hill. The hill afforded us some lovely views across Cornwalls countryside so we managed to take some good shots of the views as well as the goats who were wandering about. With the weather turning warmer we returned to Carbeil for some relaxation and a night in the bar. During which the rain reappeared.
Sunday was all together different,deep blue skies and bright sunshine greeted us so we decided it was time to visit Downderry’s unofficial naturist beach about 10 minutes walk from the campsite. We set off equipped with towels sunglasses and beach shelters but without sunscreen which we’d not needed up until then. To get to the beach we walked to the end of the lane and through the footpath directly opposite this leads to the main beach. Turning left you go past the last of the beach front houses then over the big rocks immediately after that.
This is where the naturist beach is genuinely understood to start.There are numerous rocky outcrops providing good screening, making this a beach “Ideal for Naturism”. The first small shingle bay is mainly for clothed families. The second is more sandy and more for naturists. The third bay is in the words of one beach user “Paradise, a huge expanse of sand, not many people”.We clambered over these and met a elderly couple clambering gingerly downs path from the cliff tops.
The tide was in blocking access to the coves further down the beach however as we were on the naturist beach we didn’t lose any time stripping off. After days of inclement weather it’s was surprisingly warm so being nude seemed the best way to be. The other couple went for a swim in the sea which was perishingly cold, then they clambered on to two large neighbouring rocks to sunbathe.
We stayed here for around two hours and more naturists turned up waiting for the tide to go out. There were also some dog walkers who you felt were there just to prove some sort of point but they left before the tide went out. Once it had we moved around two hundred yards up the beach and set up our beach shelter by which time the lack of sunscreen was being to tell.
After a further couple of hours we’d decided to grab some food so we upped sticks and walked backed to the campsite to have a sandwich. Feeling the effects of the sun we both fell asleep until it was dinner time by that time we’d decided to go to the Smugglers Inn in Seaton. The food was let’s say only average but it filled a hole and still feeling weary we turned in early to watch a Bill Bailey DVD which was only average too.
Many people who are currently working a six day week will tell you, that far from having a day off on their only work free day, that they end up doing all the things they have little time for on the days they do have to work. Chores like going food shopping,laundry,cleaning the car,cleaning the house and if the weathers nice tidying up in the garden.
My day off last week was no different to most, although I did get a chance to set up the camera with the remote and took some good photos of Starlings,Blackbirds and a Jayhawk. It was a busy day and a productive one as I got some of the jobs done, that i’d been meaning to do and as the weather was disappointingly inclement, didn’t miss the chance to do something more enjoyable.
Even though it was my day off I got up at the normal time,made a cuppa and watched TV for just over an hour or so.Feeding the birds is a morning ritual and they thoroughly enjoyed the feast I’d put out, allowing me to get some good shots. I’d had some free Sunflower seeds that came on the front of a magazine so next up was sowing them into three pots of varying sizes. Recently I’ve also put up a mini greenhouse so watering the seedlings was next on my agenda as the weather started to look gloomy.
It was at this point I decided to drive over to the club and do some other jobs that I’d put off for far too long. I loaded up my tools as well as the recharged batteries and headed off. It was showery but again my four hour visit was productive.I managed to repair the storage box roof at the back of the cabinchaletshed with the the help of some timber i had stored and also put some new felt on making it waterproof once again and as good as new.
Next as the rain fell I headed indoors and put up the TV on a wall with the aid of a movable bracket finally after clearing out the backbox I headed home to do some more jobs. The jobs I had in mind were plumbing in a Water Butt (it filled up later in the week and didn’t leak),cutting the grass and finally I watered the Plants as the sun shone brightly.
Then it was time for dinner so much for a relaxing day off
“I am only a naturist because I love the comfort of wearing no clothes”
I have my own reasons why photography is so important to me, but I thought I would put together a list that could apply to anyone as to why you should become a photographer. This is not scientifically weighted and therefore has not been properly ordered. It’s all stream of conscientiousness. Thus, #10 is not necessarily of lesser importance than #1. Lay off, okay !
10) You don’t really know people till you’ve retouched them at 1000% – I always walk away from a retouching session caring more about people. I’m like their mother fussing over them. I lick my fingers and smooth down their cowlick. That was kind of a disgusting analogy. I seriously feel a sense of protection over them to make them feel good about themselves and have a leg up in the world when they show off their new portrait.
9) Photography opens doors – In my day job, I’m afforded many opportunities to meet famous people and travel, but it’s the fact that I’m a photographer that has truly gotten me into the inner circles. The Lord knows how many times have I been the only one with a DSLR and been able to step up and take photos of an important event or moment. Opportunity leads to opportunity if you are a dedicated, talented photographer. As an example, if you love music and you pursue photography, you can eventually start taking photos of your favourite bands. Start small and work your up. I heard a lecture by a famous music photographer and he gave this advice…”Start at small venues with crappy bands, do a professional job, build relationships, and you will get bigger gigs.”
8 ) Everyone needs an artistic outlet – I can’t even draw an adequate stick figure.I would love to paint, and I intend to pursue it, but I have a major uphill battle. My wife is a natural. She can draw with elegance and precision. I draw like a Neanderthal with a lead stick taped to his wrist. But, for some reason I get composition when I’m seeing it from behind the lens. This art appeals to my sense of order and technical mastery. I get a kick out of being around other artists when I’m wearing a business suit and I can see that they are projecting their bohemian lifestyle and judging “the stiff in the suit”. And they don’t have a clue what’s really going on in my head or what I’m creating in my mind’s eye. You can be an accountant, a lawyer, or a bus driver, and photography may be just the artistic outlet for you. If you are a person that studies the world and is fascinated by people, or details, or anything visual, then there’s a place for you in photography. We all need an outlet. There are days I can’t lay my head on the pillow without creating something.
7) We’re everywhere – I LOVE talking to other photographers about photography. There is an instant bond between photographers. When I’m at an event, I’ll run over to the photographer and shake hands and say hi. If he or she has a moment we will inevitably talk shop. When I’m the designated shooter, I always take a moment to talk to someone who comes over and asks me a question. It’s the code. We all need each other, to learn and be inspired by each other.
6) What a conversation starter – Not just will you find yourself talking to other photographers, you will strike up conversations with complete strangers. Anytime I’m taking photos at a monument or tourist spot, I’m the first one that people come up to and ask to take pictures (because I’m holding a mac-daddy camera). I’ve had some great conversations and met some great people as a result of this. In all kinds of situations, you find people that you have something in common.
5) If you like to teach… – …then this is your gig. As an extension of the previously mentioned reasons, I think this is a crucial element to improving and growing as a photographer. The people that seem to get better, faster at photography are those who ask a lot of questions and who hold no secrets. That’s why I admire people like Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Chase Jarvis, David Hobby, etc. They are industry giants because they freely share their information, and because they enjoy teaching others and the process of learning. I love to teach people about photography. I take my little 2+2 = 4 knowledge and share that, then I learn the quadratic equation, so to speak, and teach that, then I move onto the truly advanced stuff. Since I’m lousy at math that was a bad example. I don’t know what comes after the quadratic equation, so I generically said, “then I move onto the truly advanced stuff.”
4) If you like beautiful things – I am fascinated by the world around me. Being a very visual person, this is my way to interact with nature, architecture, and the most beautiful thing in the world…people. There’s nothing like capturing a moment in time and holding that forever on your hard drive (until it crashes). The better I get, the greater my anticipation is for the moment that is about to happen. One of my favorite shots was of an old Chinese Man (it’s first in my People portfolio folder). As I was walking up, I surveyed the background behind him, along with his stooped over posture and the overall composition. So in the 5 seconds it took to get around to the front of him and snap a picture, I had already set my camera and planned the frame. Kneel down, snap, snap, and bam! I’m out of there before he even knew what hit him. Every year that goes by, my anticipation gets better. But what I love about this is that even when I’m out and about without a camera, I see moments and think, “wow, that was a great moment.” Literally, my brain snaps a photo and I can see it for a while: facial expressions, flashes of light, etc. It’s a wonderful way to see the world.
3) If you love challenges – Nothing gets your adrenaline rushing like a client waiting on you while you try to figure out why your flashes won’t fire. It’s wonderful to plan a shot and pull it off. Though, there are times when you have to be like MacGyver and use duct tape and a flashlight to light a subject; whatever gets the job done. For some people this is a big reason to get into photography. The reward is very pragmatic and tangible. You put in x number of hours and you get a return on it. I love it!
2) “Can you please send that over to me?” – One day for fun I counted up how many of my photos my Facebook friends were using for their profile pics and it was 24. It’s more now, I’m sure. That makes me happy. Something I did can be a real & tangible blessing to my friends and family. I love taking pictures of my family. I love that my wife will have photos of our children at every stage of their lives. I love that I have documented the wonderful life that God has given me.
1) £££ – This is not #1 because it’s the most important, it’s just that I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how cool it is to get paid to do something you love. I am the world’s biggest advocate of mommy-togs (Stay-at-home-mom photographers) and teens using this as a part-time business. It’s hard and you have to have realistic goals, but you can bust out £200-300 for about 8 hours of time (with pre-planning, shooting, and editing). That works out to about £30-40 an hour. Be prepared that much of your profit can be eaten up by buying more gear, if you’re a gear hog like me. But knowing what I know now, I could start a business for £1,500 which would include gear (camera, 2 lenses, some flashes, modifiers, etc), software (photoshop/lightroom), and website. Can you get the pro level lenses and the latest photoshop? No, but it would be hard for the untrained eye to see the difference. I wish I had learned photography when I was a teenager. I honestly hadn’t even held an SLR till I was in my mid-20’s. That’s just sad. If you’re a teen and you want to make some nice money and not have to wait tables and if you don’t mind chilling to iTunes while you edit at midnight, then this is the gig for you.
This is a repost and was posted originally here all but the top two photos are my own
Who says the garden is boring in the wintertime ?
“The sun can warm the coldest dawn”
Up with the larks ? Well not actually, but the thought was there as I stumbled out of bed,some 20 minutes before sunrise. Recently, while driving to work, I’ve seen some wonderful sunrises and misty mornings,so today on my day off, I challenged myself to go out and record some of them.
It was a chilly start to the morning (it was only 3º Celsius) even so it wasn’t as cold and frosty as I’d hoped for.The main thing being of course, it was wonderfully bright and gloriously sunny,perfect weather conditions for photography. It is still wonderfully sunny now as I write some 25 minutes after midday,but the shadows are beginning to creep across the back garden, as the sun heads slowly down once again.
I didn’t head far away, just a little way across the countryside to a spot near Rivenhall,managing to capture the wonderful St Mary’s and All Saints church from a distance.I have to say that my photography skills can still be described as being in the amateur category, but I can say even so,I do have my moments of success.
Mostly I enjoy greatly, capturing the moment.Whether it be in the morning,evening,summer or winter, in varying weather conditions in the countryside or even in the city. For me I’m only here once so why not live this moment and why not capture it in a photograph,a video,a post or whatever medium you choose.
I realised during early spring visits to the club in 2015, that the sun can light up the sky and landscape in a wonderful way and also its never quite the same, as you go through the year,month by month. Climate plays a part too whether it’s being naked, during the warmer spring and summer months to being fully clothed, with three or more layers,thermal underwear,two pairs of socks,woolly hat and gloves (finger-less of course) in the cold winter months.
In terms of photography,I love the challenge of seeing what else or where else I can shoot and also experiencing the feeling of doing something I’ve not done before. Today I parked just down the road from the church and walked into Rivenhall Thicks,the only real wooded area visible from the road. The view across the fields to the church was excellent and with the sun in the background it gave me a great start to the day.
Then afterwards it was straight back home, into the warmth of the living room,numerous cups of coffee and a mince pie or two.To my delight as I sat at the computer, the wildlife (above) seemed to just appear at the window and afforded me another chance to shoot.Even though they’re taken through glass they came out rather well.
“Lost on a wave and then after
Dream on on to the heart of the sunrise”
Even on a wet Morning as I look out from the kitchen,there’s always so much going on in our garden probably because we live on the edge of open countryside. Starlings and Sparrows seem to love the gardens especially if we put out some seed or even some bread. Other varieties also make appearances from time to time making even a raining day special.
Encouraging birds to any garden is easy if you do just a few simple things. Provide them with shelter in the form of trees, hedges and shrubs, add a few nest boxes, make sure there is a clean source of water and of course, feed them. It’s also really important to make sure there is plenty of natural invertebrate food for many different species including warblers in the summer, but also for nestlings when birds are breeding and this means avoiding pesticides of all types in the garden.
Predators (including your birds) will soon build up in number to establish a balance in your garden and you will find you have few, if any problems with pests. Many of our native bird species are declining in number because of loss of habitat, nest sites and natural food in the wild. We can all help them by encouraging them to feed and breed in your garden. Making your garden a haven for birds can be achieved in a number of different ways.
Feeding your birds Feeding the birds with seed mixes and peanuts, which more than thirty percent of us do in one form or another, is a very important aspect of wildlife-friendly gardening and nowadays contributes to the conservation and survival of many species. It is important to use good quality mixes of seeds, sunflower seeds or peanuts, to ensure that you are not introducing disease of any kind. Cleaning your feeders and bird tables is also necessary. There are several bacterial and viral diseases that affect our birds and these can be passed from one to another in their droppings. Many types of feeder are available, but do make sure you keep them clean at all times.
Water is also vital to your garden birds. A tiny barrel pond (like this one in the picture) will bring birds of all species to drink and bath. If you have room for a bigger pond you will be creating a habitat for all manner of wildlife as well as keeping your garden birds supplied with water for bathing and drinking.If you enjoy watching the birds in your garden, and would be interested in helping with a Garden Bird Survey, the BTO runs a Garden BirdWatch scheme.
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