Out and about in the Lake District in 1998

Following on from my last blog post, here are the final pictures from that Lake District trip. It was rather cold up there and every so often you would see something that reminded you of this, this frozen waterfall is a good example.



I loved how this bridge was more than just stones as the local fauna dover the sides, making it look like a living bridge.


This is one of those images that has uses for presentations that talk about barriers. It was used to keep the sheep in the field…


One thing you find a lot of in the Lake District are sheep!



Some more holiday pics from Normandy.


I’ve already published some blog posts about a trip I took to Normandy in the 1990s. In the first I talked about Honfleur and the second was on Caen. Here are the remaining pictures. Back then of course I was using film in my 35mm SLR, which I was quite conservative about the number of photographs I would take and in some cases there would also be prints with the little stickers that the developers would place on those underexposed, blurred images that I would occasionally take.

There was something quite special (as well as quite annoying) in taking photographs with film and then once you had handed it into Boots (or similar place) and then a few days later, collected your prints in the wallet, leafing through them as you walked through the town to see how they turned out. We seemed to have less coffee shops back then too, otherwise I am sure I would have sat down in one of those, ordered a coffee and looked over the photographs. These images, looking at the “box” they came in, were sent off for developing and the postman would have delivered them to the house. In today’s digital world, I now take substantially more images (as I did on a recent visit to London) and there is more instant gratification, as you see them on the small screen on the back of the camera (or phone); or as you load them onto the computer or laptop.

The first stop of the trip was arriving into Ouistreham, it serves as the port of the city of Caen. We had undertaken an overnight trip to France and this was the early morning arival at the port.



As well as serving large ferries, many sailboats also are moored in Ouistreham, used for cruising up and down the Normandy coast.


Of course with no GPS, I have no idea where the following images were taken. I remember stopping at a cafe for coffee and a croissant for breakfast. Knowing the journey we took from Ouistreham to Honfleur, before driving back to Caen, I would guess this was Cabourg, but could be Houlgate, or somewhere different. I did take a quick look at Google Maps and Streetview, but to be honest there was so much to look through I didn’t think it was worth the effort.




I do think that this final shot is Honfleur, but I could be wrong…


Looking back over these old photographs, makes me realise how much I enjoyed visiting Normandy back then, so I think I might start planning a return visit soon.

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

I have taken quite a few photographs of Ludlow Castle, but I have never actually visited the castle itself.

Ludlow Castle

These were taken back in 2000 (or possibly earlier).

Ludlow Castle

Click the images for larger versions.

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…


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.

Out and about in the Lake District

Back in 1998 I made a visit the Lake District, after quite a few years of visiting the place on a regular basis. These photographs are from that  trip, I posted some other photographs from this trip in an earlier blog post.

Click the images to see larger versions.

This is on the way down to Wasdale Head coming from the direction of Buttermere.


On the way down to Wasdale Head.






Caen in Normandy

In the late 1990s I made a weekend trip to Normandy, and we stayed in Caen having first visited Honfleur. On this trip I had taken my relatively new at the time, 35mm SLR and took some photographs.

All down the Normandy coast are marinas full of boats, this appears to be very much part of the culture of the place, but also they welcome hordes of visiting sailing boats from the south of England, as well as Spanish, Belgian and Dutch seafarers.


One of my overwhelming memories of that trip was a visit to the local market in Cane and the smell of tomatoes. You could smell them from some distance away from the stall.


Even today I have never found an English market come close to those that I found in Normandy on that trip. Certaiinly the Italian markets I visited at the same kind of time were similar, full of fresh produce.


There were things there that you would never find in the British markets (or supermarkets) at the time, but things have changed.


I wonder if these markets still exist?


I remember at the time noticing this jeep like car, only later did I know it was a Citroën Méhari.


The Citroën Méhari is a light utility car and off-roader produced by the French automaker Citroën, a variant of the Citroën 2CV. nearly 150,000 Méharis were built between the car’s French launch in May 1968 and 1988 when production stopped. This means that this car was at least ten years old, but may have been even older. In case you didn’t know a méhari is a type of fast-running dromedary camel, which can be used for racing or transport.

Illustrated Harry Potter

If your reason for not buying (or reading) the Harry Potter books was, there wasn’t enough pictures, then you will be pleased to hear that there are now new fully illustrated versions of the books.

Harry Potter

All seven books will be made available. The first is the first one… and Amazon have it for half price.

I read them many years ago now, I found the first few books quite lightweight and actually didn’t read them until the films started to come out.. I did enjoy the later darker books which had more depth.

Looking over the samples, I am not sure how much these illustrated versions add to the originals, but I suspect if you are a Harry Potter fan, a completists, you will buy these copies to go alongside the different print versions you already have…

These versions are also available as digital versions from iBooks. These Enhanced Editions include J.K. Rowling’s full original text, with animations, beautiful artwork and interactions, bringing the unforgettable moments from the stories to life.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Mountains and hills in the Lake District

Back in 1998 I made one of my last visits to the Lake District, after quite a few years of visiting the place on a regular basis. These photographs are from that final trip, where in the Lake District, to be honest I have no real idea, but I think some of these are around Buttermere.

Click the images to see larger versions.


This was down by one of the lakes, no idea which one, but I think it’s Buttermere.


Even then I wasn’t sure where we were, just went with the flow with the group I was with at the time. This may have been after leaving Buttermere on the way to Wasdale Head.




This is from a walk around Buttermere.


Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part One

Back when I was teaching at a college in Bristol, I use to undertake regular field trips to the Bristol Harbourside as part of a unit on urban regeneration. There was at the time to much happening down there after years of inaction that it was an ideal place to demonstrate the impact of investment and change of use. Bristol had been an important port for hundreds of years, this all came to a halt in the 1970s and regeneration plans were developed. Not much happened for twenty years, but in the last twenty years we have seen major regeneration of the area, massive building of offices, business, residential and entertainment, as well as visitor attractions such as at-Bristol (where incidentally I worked for a while when it opened).

During one of those field trips, I took my SLR camera with me, and digging around a box in the garage I found the prints, which I have since scanned in.

Bristol Harbourside

They show a different harbourside to what you can see today, but also different to how the working docks were in the 1950s and 1960s. Above you can see the Watershed, which is still around. Here is another view of the Watershed, it hasn’t changed, but the bars and cafés underneath do seem to swap and change on a regular basis.


This view hasn’t changed much in the last twenty years.

Bristol Harbourside

Whereas on the other side, we can see major construction work underway, on what is now Za Za Bazaar, but has been many different establishments over the years.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

At this time, there was no Pero’s Bridge either, so it was always a long walk from the LloydsTSB building amphitheatre to the Arnolfini round by the top of the harbourside. Another view, a bit further down the water.

Bristol Harbourside

Looking back over the photographs (and I may post more in a later blog post) shows how things have changed over the last twenty years (has it really been that long) and how somethings change and something remain the same.