Sunday, 16 June 2013

Lihou Island

After an Image Appraisal workshop on the Sunday morning, we then had the afternoon free before dinner with Carl and Gill in St Peter Port.  Given the fortuitous timing of low tide, we decided to walk across the causeway to Lihou Island, just off the Western coast of Guernsey.

There was Thrift everywhere on the island.

Other plants too, although not being botanically inclined I've no idea what they are.  No doubt someone will put me out of my misery.

[Later:  Indeed, a wise man has informed me that the plant in question is "Umbilicus rupestris", also known as "Navelwort" and "Wall Pennywort".  Consider my misery well and truly ended.]


Presumably this is Cow Parsley.

I'm on firmer ground with Homo photographicus.  Jan, Gill, Ann, David and Carl were all in evidence.

There were lots of Gulls nesting on the island.  Mainly Lesser Black-backed,  but also others including several Herring Gulls.

The "natives" weren't all that friendly, however, given that it was the nesting season.  As a result, everyone was attacked as they walked close to the nesting area.

A quiet sit-down at the end of a hot afternoon before walking back across the causeway.  The concrete monstrosity on the hillside is one of the many Martello Towers (*) on Guernsey, left over from the German occupation during the Second World War.

* [Later:  I was suspicious when I wrote the last sentence, as I thought that the Martello Towers were earlier than WWII.  I checked with my friend Mr Google, and the search threw up pictures of the German gun emplacements in addition to the real Martello towers which are Napoleonic.  Serves me right for being lazy and only looking at the pictures; if I'd read the small print, my original suspicions would have been confirmed.]

By this point we'd built up quite an appetite for dinner - especially having skipped lunch in order to catch the tide!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Low Light Workshop

Fortified by our afternoon off, our intrepid band got well wrapped up against the cold wind and headed for the Pea Stacks, a group of rocks at the South-East corner of Guernsey.  A beautiful location, but the sun was setting rapidly and would soon cast the rocks in shadow.  Some people managed to take pictures of the scene while others were still working out what to do with their cameras!

A view looking East, with Sark in the distance.

We then moved around to St Peter Port harbour, where the docks and Castle Cornet looked spectacular in the twilight.

A view looking back into the town, taken from the harbour wall.  Very beautiful, but also perishing cold!

By this time, many of our troop had left the harbour for the relative shelter of the bathing pools.  I decided to follow, as the moon had come up by this point.  The rest of the images were taken around the bathing pools exclusively by moonlight.

By this point (around 10:30) we had all lost touch with our respective fingers and toes, so headed back home to warm up a bit. 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Sainte Apolline's Chapel

Friday in Guernsey was a complete write-off as far as photography was concerned.  During the day we ran a Photoshop course: approximately 50% of the one we run over three days in Cambridge, so it was fairly intense for everyone concerned.  In the evening, Ann and I each gave a talk to some dedicated souls from the collected camera clubs of the island, so it was midnight before I managed to crawl into bed.  The image below was taken on an iPhone during Ann's part of the evening.  It was a scary prospect to be following the quality of her superb nature images.

Saturday was rather easier in that we had the afternoon off.  The morning was spent giving an Advanced Image Processing course and the evening was spent running a Low Light workshop, but between the two we managed to get to Sainte Apolline's Chapel in St Saviour.  Three of us, including camera bags and tripods, managed to squeeze into the tiny 14th century church, famous for its wall paintings.  Time for a spot of HDR, methinks...

The paintings themselves were quite faint, but a bit of digital jiggery-pokery makes them much more visible.

Two shots taken down the "length" of the nave with a 17mm lens.  The second shot shows Carl Symes, with whom I was staying, setting up a set of HDR shots on his new D800.

 There was some serious mixed lighting inside the church, so white balance was a bit of an issue.

The (modern) altar was made from a beautiful fossiliferous limestone.

I don't know why, but I kept being attracted to the rather elegant metallic vase and its multiple shadows.

Sainte Apolline (and, no, I hadn't heard of her either) is, apparently, the patron saint of dentists.   One of the stained glass windows depicts an angel pointing to her molars...

It was a beautifully sunny afternoon, although still rather chilly.  Quite a shock to photograph a clear blue sky after months of overbearing grey clouds.

Another  couple of shots of the west end of the chapel, complete with a single bell, and the very elegant modern door made from etched glass.