Category Archives: photography

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2016

Across this blog I wrote fifteen posts in 2016. As might not be expected most of the top ten posts that year were from 2016, and I was pleased to see how popular my 1990s photographs of the Bristol Harbourside were.

I visited Legoland in 2013 and felt that it was A bit tired and this was the tenth most popular post, dropping one place from last year.

Also about Legoland Miniland was the ninth post.

The eighth post was about Time travelling by train which was a post on the newly painted GWR High Speed Train in the classic 1970s blue and yellow.

Inter City 125

The seventh popular post was inspired by a newspaper article and talked about the many Changes at the railway station in Weston-super-Mare.

The sixth placed post was from my 2012 series of Cinematic Advent Calendar posts, this one was #07 – The Eagle has Landed. There were quite a few films in the advent calendar that have significant memories over and above the film itself. Queuing for Star Wars was significant for example. With The Eagle has Landed I went to see it at the Aldeburgh cinema with my grandparents.

When I used film, I didn’t take than many photographs, but I did take a fair few of the Bristol Harbourside, so the fifth post was of the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, circa 1999.

Three of the next four posts were similar and all contain photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

Fourth was this post Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s and third was this one: Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s (second part).

The second most popular post was a comparison of Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s and the view today.

The most popular post of the year on the Stuff blog was a series of photographs of Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

So quite a few posts from 2016 in the 2016 top ten.

Buongiorno Italia

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Back in the mid to late 1990s I visited Italy quite a bit, usually going twice a year, once for the carnival and once in the summer. I initially would take my 35mm SLR film camera, but in later years replaced this with the first HP PhotoSmart Camera. These images are from my 35mm camera, which were developed and then scanned into the computer.

On many of those visits I went to Venice, but I have very few photographs of that place from my 35mm collection, though I have some digital ones from the PhotoSmart camera. I really liked Venice and though it was full of tourists, one of the advantages of having a friend who was  a local, was finding those really nice places for coffee, cake and pasta, that were frequented by locals. So yes you could spend €4 for a coffee in St Marks Square, the places we went to, you paid €1 for an espresso.  This photograph is one of the Grand Canal.

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The local restaurant in Venice we went to, was more of a cafe then a restaurant, but served some delicious food, the seafood pasta I had was great with clams, prawns, squid and lobster.

Another place in the area I visited was Verona.

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This is Piazza Bra in the heart of Verona.

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This is the Arena di Verona, which is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona. Back in Roman times, nearly 30,000 people could sit inside, despite its age, today 15,000 people can sit inside.

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The one place where I spent most of my time when visiting Italy was Padua.

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An early morning walk with the mist slow rising before the hot summer day.

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Interestingly from a technical perspective, the prints from those trips are still with me (in a box) however the original digital images seemed to have gone missing, they were probably backed up to a series of floppy disks that I discarded many years ago when moving house (this was in the days before cloud storage became ubiquitous and a quick and easy way to backup and store digital photographs). What I do remember from those images was how awful the quality was, 0.3MP or similar if I recall correctly.

Shooting the Moon

The Moon

When we had the recent super red moon, I did think about taking some photographs, then I realised I would need to get up at 3am so made the decision to stay in bed.

However the evening before I decided I would try and take some photographs of the moon and you can see from this first attempt, I failed miserably…

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After doing some reading, I realised that I really should use a tripod and change the settings on my camera.

I used my 75-300mm lense on my Canon EOS400D DSLR. I used full manual settings, the ISO setting was set to 200, f10 and a shutter speed of 1/200.

As it is night we often forget how bright the moon actually is, so though I might usually use a higher ISO, with the bright moon, you can set this right down to ISO 200 or 100.

I didn’t want the aperture too closed, but still needed a reasonable amount of time for the shutter to be open. As a result I used full manual settings to set both the aperture and the shutter speed. Rotate the dial to the M setting to get to the full manual setting. You can then use the rotating dial to set the shutter speed. Holding down the exposure compensation button you can use the rotating dial to set the aperture (the f number).

This is what the exposure compensation button looks like on the camera.

exposure compensation button

I also used a tripod and a remote control. This kept the camera steady and avoided any blurring from moving the camera.

The end result I was quite pleased with, not perfect, but much better than previous attempts to photograph the moon. Click the image for a larger version.

Shooting the Moon

I did crop it for posting onto Instagram, which is the photo at the top of this blog post.

Gloucester Docks

This is still one of my favourite photographs of the Gloucester Docks.

Gloucester Docks

I like the use of the Instagram Rise filter and the way it has enhanced elements of the image notably the bright light from the sun. There is almost a painting quality to the photograph.

Can you take my photo?

Can you take my photo of me and my buddy?