Friday, 29 May 2009

CCC outing to Grantchester

On a beautiful late Spring/early Summer evening, a bunch of CCC members went for a walk through Grantchester Meadows. There were, of course, the usual punts and canoeists (the example below looking particularly smug, as one of his colleagues had just fallen in!).

The insect life was abundant - especially damsel flies and mayflies. Being a camera club, people lined up in order to "have a go" at photographing them. Ann had the right idea, however: one of the mayflies had got itself stuck in a spider's web, and consequently wasn't going anywhere!

As the sun went down, the view through the trees towards Trumpington was amazing ...

... as was the amount of washing up which hadn't been done at the Orchard Tea Rooms. The results of a day's dedicated consumption were piled high, and the local chaffinch population was having a great time as a result. Being a truly dedicated photographer, I spent some time taking pictures of the devastation while others went down the pub. Outrageous!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

First poppies of the season

A welcome relief from the endless yellow of the oil seed rape, a few poppies have started to flower in the fields where I walk Amber in the mornings. Pictures of poppies are a bit hackneyed, I know, but they're still very attractive and cry out to be photographed. Who cares if it's all been done before?

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

RPS Advisory Day

There was an RPS Eastern Region "Advisory Day" (aka distinctions workshop) in Bildeston on Sunday, at which I was helping. This is a picture of Paul Foley FRPS, extolling the virtues of Sue's prospective "A" panel and tinkering with the layout of the prints. The rather spooky lighting is the result of some low-level industrial halogen lamps.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Lumix close-up

The Leica lens on the Lumix LX3 is really pretty impressive - especially for close-ups. Being such a small sensor, the depth of field is significantly higher than it would be for an SLR at the same aperture. The resolving power is excellent too, as can be seen in the 100% crop from the dandelion picture.

More from Bletchley Park

Another picture of Don, our guide, doing what all Irishmen do best: talking! He made a reference to having a military background during the morning, so we assumed he was wearing some kind of regimental tie. On closer inspection, it's clear he belongs to the local golf club instead!

Two pictures of homo photographicus specimens in their natural habitats. The first is Tony, our club secretary, with a miniature submarine for scale; the second is Lorne, obviously in contemplative mood (or simply cream crackered, perhaps).

Detail of the wiring in the Bombe room - truly a work of art, as well as being important historically.

Examples of some of the graceful dilapidation to be found by the bucket-load at Bletchley Park. It would be wonderful to get inside some of the huts, but I imagine that Health & Safety concerns would soon put a stop to that. Pity...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Rutland Water

These pictures were taken at Rutland Water on Sunday morning, around 7:30 or so. It started as a fabulously sunny and windless day - so much so that the yacht racing was cancelled, and the fishermen (sorry, fisherpeople) had the water to themselves. As can be seen from the first image, there was a hot air balloon drifting slowly by - the views must have been spectacular. By 3 in the afternoon, however, it was "blowing a hooley" (not sure of the spelling for this technical angling term!) and had gone very cold. Still, with 8 fish in the bag, it was a Grand Day Out.

And the lion shall lay down with the lamb...

...or, in this case, Amber the labrador shall lay down with Hecate (aka Squirt, because of her diminutive size). Dog and cats seem to coexist perfectly happily indoors; outside the cats are "fair game", however, and are repeatedly chased up trees, over fences, and through the cat flap at something approaching Mach 3!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Bletchley Park

I've been very remiss when it comes to posting lately, but this can be put down to important events like Harriet's 50th birthday celebrations (and going fishing several times too, of course).

Cambridge Camera Club had a highly enjoyable outing to Bletchley Park last Wednesday, and here are a few of the pictures from that day. It's a fascinating place, and we had an excellent guide for the day - so much so that I spent more time contemplating the history of the establishment than taking photos.

This is Don, our guide, explaining the derivation of the word Bombe, and a couple of close-ups of the amazing electro-mechanical device which was used to help crack the Enigma code.

Since it was a Camera Club outing, there were plenty of homo photographicus specimens to be found around the grounds. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to go inside any of the derelict huts, so these two had to make do with shooting through the window instead. What's great about Bletchley Park is that it's decaying in a rather graceful way, and has managed to avoid being turned into a "theme park". How much longer this will last is debatable, however...

We were allowed to take pictures inside the "mansion", provided we didn't interfere with a conference which was taking place at the same time. The ballroom had a superb ceiling, but unfortunately it was also the location of the conference dinner - hence I had to make do with looking into the room from the doorway.

The final example of homo photographicus (this time with its mate, which is relatively rare) was observed looking for a natural history subject on an otherwise historical trip! The bluebells in question were growing by the side of the lake.