A few drone images from Llyn Padarn

Just because … no special reason ūüôā

By the way, if you Google (other search engines are available) ¬†“lone tree llyn padarn” you will be told via Google Maps that it is an historical monument – fancy that! It’s been shot to death over the years so I figured a few more from a slightly different angle wouldn’t hurt it.

© Dave Whenham

Was pleased with how well this contre-jour shot turned out

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The much-photographed lone tree

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You’d have to jump pretty high for this angle

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Lone tree complete with photographer in position (mono at foot of page)

© Dave Whenham

Looking up the length of the lake

© Dave Whenham

A large crop but still holds up well

© Dave Whenham

A mono to finish

63-2017

I’m now 15 days into the 63-2017 project and have created a Flickr album to house the growing collection of images in the 63-2017 series at¬†https://flic.kr/s/aHskr3ELaY

With a lot of domestic and club responsibilities this week I can honestly say that without the focus of the picture-a-day challenge the cameras may well have stayed in the bag this week. Instead, I have awoken each day with the thought in my head that I need to find my image. I am determined not to snap the garden at 11pm or grab a quick shot of baby eating tea just to fulfil the brief. It’s very satisfying therefore to note that most of this weeks images were pre-planned to a greater or lesser extent.

63-2017-9 is a case in point. I had this in mind from the start of the day and kept a close eye on the light as tea time drew near knowing I wanted a little bit of the blue hour to complement the orangey tinges to the night time streets.

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-9

63-2017-10 was the result of checking the weather apps the night before. It is shot from¬†190 feet above Marsden Moor as the sun rises and was a¬†pre-planned image which saw me setting the alarm for an early start to drive to the moors. I was not expecting any frost based on the forecast but there was just a hint of the white stuff which reflected the first rays of the day. With the temperature down to 1¬įC and a bit of a breeze I soon lost all feeling in my ungloved fingers. Once the drone got above 200 feet (ie more than 1500 feet above sea-level at this location) the wind turbulence was too high for successful photography so with real pain in my finger tips I was probably grateful to bring the drone home and land it just a couple of feet from the car.

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-10 (re-edited from original)

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-11

63-2017-11 – the River Calder from Elland Bridge is a favourite spot for images that I have visited countless times over the years. It involves a short but steep ascent of Got Hill one of the oldest streets in the town which is mostly cobbled and therefore lethal on wet autumn days with decaying leaves added to the mix.

I had originally intended taking a shot over the weir looking in the opposite direction but in the event decided to leave that shot for another day and to make a mental note to take a small tripod and neutral density filter with me to slow the shutter speed down. I also decided on the square composition to use so that is another 63-2017 image opportunity stored away for the right conditions. Despite having shot in these locations many many times in recent years it’s amazing what opportunities are still available with some thought.

63-2017-12 ¬†“A Warm Reception?” ¬†The windows were glowing warmly but the heavy front door was firmly shut and the sign says visitors must have a prior appointment.¬†Number 12 in my 63/2017 series is one where I simply went for a wander to see what I could see and is the first in this series where the title came first and the image was made second. It’s a simple image but perhaps it tells us something about our society whereby a reception can look both warm and yet uninviting at the same time. I won’t ponder too much in case it gets pretentious!

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-12

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-13

63-2017-13 ¬†This is quite simply an homage to one of my favourite photographers although when he was here in 1937 he was shooting the scene in B&W. I’ve written about this part of Halifax dozens of times over the years and it was inevitable that I’d be drawn to create another image for the 63-2017 project. I have a different composition in mind that calls for some snow so we will see if 365-2018 provides the opportunity.

63-2017-14 was something I’d had in the back of my mind for a while. Amanda and I always observe the two-minutes silence on the 11th November and also on Remembrance Sunday when the two do not coincide. We also stand to watch the parade pass our front door on their way to the war memorial for the laying of wreathes and poppies before marching back to the church for the Sunday service. I have often wanted to create a photograph from the event but wanted something other than the usual images with poppies or veterans with rows of medals gleaming in the autumn sun. ¬†Inspiration came when I saw Amanda looking out of the bedroom window as they marched past on their way to the memorial and thus when they returned I was at said window watching and hoping that I would get a large enough gap in the procession to highlight some long shadows. This was the result and hopefully it is a poignant image especially on Remembrance Sunday and particularly when linked to its title of “The past casts long shadows”.

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-14 “The past casts long shadows”

63-2017-15 So to number 15 in the series, todays image as I type this. I set off this morning with an image in mind but this was not it. A slight misunderstanding over timings meant I was not able to get to my chosen location after dropping my wife at work so I decided to make the best of the situation and shoot at the planned time but in a totally different location.

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63-2017-15

The biggest part of the challenge for me is not necessarily to take an image a day, although that will be tough I suspect, ¬†but to find something new to photograph every day when I am unavoidably confined to the house and therefore my shooting opportunities of necessity will be restricted to Elland. ¬†There are a few indoor projects on the cards for the winter months and on those days it will be easier but I don’t want to post an image of a water splash for seven consecutive days now do I?

I enter the third week of the 63-2017 Challenge in a good frame of mind and already have tomorrows image in the back of my mind. It won’t be long though until 365-2018 starts and I suspect that will be an even bigger challenge – or opportunity if you prefer.

Random images

Just a few random images from Buckstones Edge. Taken sat down as the wind was rather strong and someone myself was getting buffeted about and had already blown the tripod over once. I used my knees and elbows to brace the camera but still felt myself being blown about.

© Dave WhenhamBuckstones-D800E_DWE3187Buckstones-mono--D800E_DWE3192Buckstones-mono-D800E_DWE3195

Cogitating – 365

I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve applied to join a 365 group from 1st January and over the last weekend I had a good look at their Flickr groups. An impressive collection of images but more than that a testament to their doggedness and determination – I realised that some of them have been doing this for up to ten years solid! I’m not sure if that’s determination or insanity but I’m impressed nevertheless.

© Dave Whenham

63-2017-1.

I have (or had!) 63 days in which to think about the challenge and contemplate my own impending insanity. The image I posted in my last blog post (left) was labelled 63-2017-1 which was my shorthand for 63-days in 2017 image number 1.

I’ve decided to start the daily posting habit now, with sixty three days left in 2017, to enable me to work out the pitfalls and hopefully establish a routine to set me up well for the 365-2018.

As yet I’ve not been posting these daily although I think that’s the next logical step in the process. But what haveI learnt in these first eight days? It might be easier to think about it by posting the first set of images and jotting down my thoughts alongside each.

63-2017-1: this image (above) was taken on the day I decided to embark on this project. It was taken with the Fuji X100t which is normally to be found in my coat pocket or a small shoulder bag. It reflects an all too familiar scene on the high streets of small towns such as Elland. For Sale and To Let boards adorn many once thriving businesses. There are no more banks and we have just the one butcher now. A handful of cars can often be seen in the short-term parking bays but you don’t see many people wandering the hight street these days. A sad sight but sadly one that is becoming more common. It is almost certain that there will be more images from Elland town centre in the coming months.

© Dave Whenham

Catch! 63-2017-2

63-2017-2: this image (above) was pre-planned from very early in the day. Knowing that we were going to be eating at this local restaurant for the first time that evening I thought it would be the perfect image for the day. I didn’t actually leave the house that day until the evening but first thing that morning I put the Fuji X100t in the pocket of the jacket I’d be wearing to make sure I wasn’t going to be relying on my iPhone. Pre-planned since breakfast this was a good second image in the series and good discipline too.

Dave Whenham

Dear Zoo. 63-2017-3

63-2017-3: November did not start too well as I left the house for the day without my camera! I had left it on my desk the night before intending to download the image from that evening and then got distracted. I had decided that today’s image should be one of Zac, one of two live-in grandsons, on a trip to the garden centre. The Fuji would have been ideal but at least I did still have my iPhone however which was just as well. They say the best camera is the one you have with you and I had to be content with that homily for image number three in the series.

 

63-2017-4: Thursdays are going to be a challenge, particularly in bad weather. I have four grandsons. Two live with me, one spends the weekend here and the other spends every Thursday here. So I woke up on Thursday knowing that my image would of necessity involve Ted unless I opted for a night time shot. However, as capturing semi-candid images of Ted is a regular photographic activity for me I thought it appropriate to get one in during the first week.

© Dave Whenham

Ted. 63-2017-4

This was taken with the Fuji X-T20 at f4, ISO 3200 and handheld at 1/10th of a second. It is a little soft and there are definite signs of camera shake but it’s still an engaging portrait. Shooting into the sun coming through the window I opened up by two stops compared to the metered reading; I wonder if I should have opted for a faster shutter speed and brought the exposure up in post? Still, a reasonable outcome and a pre-planned one too. The challenge for 2018-365, as if that weren’t challenging enough, will be to find different images for Thursdays that don’t necessarily involve Ted.

I did actually take a second image (see below) for the 63-2017-4 slot which is actually a far better image in my view and also ties in nicely with 63-2017-1. However, it was taken with my iPhone and as I want to limit the amount of times I fall back on this device I opted for the image above as the “official” Day 4 image.

© Dave Whenham

An alternative 63-2017-4 image.

© Dave Whenham

Jakob. 63-2017-5

63-2017-5:¬†I had no firm plan for Friday but kept the Fuji X-T20 by my side throughout the day as I pottered about doing household chores. It was the last day of half-term and Jakob had arrived that morning, slightly earlier than usual for his weekend stay. When his Dad took him outside to wash the cars I saw the opportunity and captured this abstract of Jakob (above) cleaning my car. I deliberately framed it with the view to a square crop eliminating all recognisably car elements. This was an image that would not have happened if I’d not been thinking “image a day” as I’d have simply thanked Jakob but not bothered to capture a record.

63-2017-6:¬†The first Saturday of the challenge and I had planned to take the drone out on to Marsden Moor for a flight and to capture that days image from the air. In the event I was on child-minding duties at short notice so decided to make it an I-Phone day and to try to find an image that captured both Autumn and child-minding. Just because one is using a phone doesn’t mean that composition, thought and camera craft need all go out of the proverbial window.

© Dave Whenham

Autumnal Ted. 63-2017-6

63-2017-7: I knew exactly what image I wanted today from the moment I looked out of the bedroom window and saw the crisp blue sky. I’d seen the potential yesterday and knew the conditions were right. It was the second thing I did that day, immediately after enjoying my morning mug of black coffee. I wanted to show a truly autumnal image without heading into the woods or countryside. Mission accomplished!

© Dave Whenham

Autumn in the Town. 63-2017-7

63-2017-8: And so we come to this morning. I went to bed last night fully intending to get up early today. With the chance of frost, low lying mist and bright sunshine it would be an ideal opportunity for some bright, misty images. It was indeed as forecast which makes ¬†the fact that I slept through my alarm double galling. I cannot remember the last time I slept through the alarm and when I crawled out of bed at 8:30am I could see that the day had indeed started as forecast but was rapidly clearing into a bright, sunny morning with a clear blue sky. ¬†My first instinct was to say “sod it” and forget about photography but just as quickly the thought came into my head that I might still get something worthwhile for Day 8. Which was why twenty minutes later I was pulling the car over at the roadside to grab a quick image of¬†Bower’s Mill in Barkisland. Built in the 18th century this was a water-powered fulling mill although it was later converted for other processes: corn mill, worsted mill, woollen mill. ¬†The 5-storey mill ¬†has since been converted for use by small businesses. I captured my image with a Nikon D7100 and a 300mm lens to compress the scene and accentuate the contrast between the still frosty mill and surrounding ¬†buildings in the valley with the sunlit houses on the valley side.

© Dave Whenham

Bowers Mill. 63-2017-8

So there we have it. An eclectic mix from the last eight days. At least three of these images (Day 2, Day 5 and Day 8) would not have been taken without the thought of the daily challenge to spur me on. A couple would not have happened had I not had my iPhone with me and whilst I am going to try to limit the amount of images I capture with that device I did find that knowing the images were part of my daily challenge did make me think more creatively; Day 6 is a good example of this.