A season in pictures…

Last year one of the things I wanted to do was try out a bit of sports photography.  After taking some photographs of one of the Preston North End Ladies FC games, I was asked by their manager, Simon Woodford if I fancied taking pictures for them on a regular basis.

So that’s how I came to put together this short video of a season in pictures. It’s only just over a minute long but it features a few black and white pictures from some of the games I’ve attended. They’re a great bunch of ladies and I’ve really enjoyed watching the team this last year. I’m already looking forward to the new season!

Here’s a link to the short vid.  https://spark.adobe.com/video/lzYJ9gi430qEr/embed“>A season in pictures

In Pictures: Penrith AFC Ladies-v-PNE Ladies FC

The final game of the season for PNE Ladies ended in defeat at Penrith today. It was always going to be a tough game with Penrith pushing for the league title.  It ended 5-1 to the hosts but the scoreline did flatter Penrith somewhat.

Preston gave away some sloppy goals in the first half and conceded a couple of own goals but they played some good football and competed well at times, particularly in the second half.

Here are the pictures from the game. Click on any photograph to enter slideshow view.

 

The Bus Station Car Park

Preston’s iconic bus station is undergoing a bit of a transformation at present.  One of the most noticeable changes is the newly refurbished upper floors to the car park.  From high up at the top of the building you don’t really see the brutalist characteristics but it does have its own peculiar charm from a photographic point of view.

I’ve included a few photographs below of the top level of the car park. I’d originally envisaged the photos in black and white only but I quite liked some of the colour versions too, so have included a few of these as well.

Fuji XT-2, XF50mm f2 and XF10-24mm

Here they are…

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48 hours in Bristol

I’d always heard good things about Bristol but never visited. Last week we put that right.

With 48 hours to explore, we set out armed with the official visitor guide from Tourist Information and my trusty Fuji cameras.

There are various ways you can do the tourist thing, including the usual open top bus tour and boat trips on the river, but we like to walk and our first port of call, if you’ll pardon the pun was the harbourside district.

It’s a fascinating mix of old and new, of leisure and business, but it works because they have managed to retain the character and charm of the area.  It’s here where you will find Brunel’s SS Great Britain – probably Bristol’s biggest visitor attraction.

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Many of the old harbour buildings have been converted now. Some are modern museums or offices, others are restaurants and bars. At night there is an added vibrancy to the area which makes it a fascinating place to explore.

 

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Move away from the harbour, towards the central area of Bristol and you are reminded of the City’s affluent past. Magnificent buildings greet you at every turn. City Hall and the imposing Bristol Cathedral alongside College Green are two examples but there is so much more of architectural interest.

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Another very noticeable building which can be seen standing proud above the City is Cabot Tower, atop Brandon Hill. It’s a nice walk through a park area up the hill to the tower which you can ascend via a narrow, stone staircase for views across the City.

 

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From the Tower we made our way to another of Bristol’s ‘must see’ sights – the Clifton Suspension Bridge. You can walk across the bridge and also view this engineering marvel from various observation points.

Bristol is also where the artist Banksy hails from and you can see examples of his work around the city. Street art is a bit of a thing here . You can even go on street art tours but we will have to save that for another time.

Bristol also has a diverse range of shops, from small independent traders in charming markets to the large chain stores.

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Our time in Bristol was short but enjoyable. The only slight negative impression was the number of homeless people sleeping rough and begging during the day. Sad to say that this seems to be a feature of most large cities these days. It doesn’t feel right.

 

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‘A Passion for Fashion’ at Blenheim Palace

For anyone interested in fashion, a visit to Blenheim Palace now offers an added attraction in the form of a new exhibition which celebrates 300 years of style at the stately home.

Not surprisingly, the house has strong associations with the world’s top fashion houses. A number of fashion shows have been held at the house and in the library a TV plays highlights from a couple of those shows. It was interesting to see how in the shows from decades past the models seemed to move more freely and look happy. In the modern shows the models march up and down like robots with no sense of enjoyment.

Among the clothes on display as you make your way around the house is Diana’s little black number which caused so much controversy at the time. There are also some fascinating displays of shoes, gloves and hats. You can’t help but marvel at how slim the ladies waists were and how tiny their feet. A passion for fashion is an interesting addition to the Blenheim tour. Here are a few photos from our visit. Click on any picture to enter ‘slideshow view’.

 

Fuji XF50mm F2 WR – first impressions

The latest lens from Fuji for the X-Series of cameras is the XF50mF2 R WR. It has been described by some as a slightly strange focal length. In 35mm terms, it is a short telephoto lens which falls a bit short of what is generally thought to be the ideal for portraits.

I’m not sure who Fuji had in mind as the target audience for this lens but I thought I’d share with you my reasons for buying it, together with a few photos and first impressions.

I already own two lenses that cover this focal length (18-55mm and 50-140mm) plus I also have the 60mm macro lens. So, let me explain my reasons for adding the 50mm f2.

In the last 12 months I have been taking quite a lot of photos of my grandchildren. Quite a number of these photos have been taken inside in low light conditions where space is limited. This is where I believe the new lens will offer some benefits over my existing kit.

The 50mm is small and light with a reasonably wide f2 aperture.  This for me beats the bulk and f2.8 aperture of the excellent 50-140mm lens, which I see more as a professional tool for events etc.

Another benefit is the autofocus speed. The 50mm lens acquires focus faster than any other Fuji lens I own and I hope it will be ideal for unpredictable children. I’ve used the 60mm lens to take portraits in the past and the results are excellent but it’s not the fastest lens when it comes to focussing, even after various software updates on the latest generation of cameras. My main camera these days is the Fuji X-T2.

As regards build quality, the lens feels extremely well made. The aperture clicks and manual focus ring are the smoothest I’ve come across on the Fuji lenses with just the right amount of resistance.

So that’s my rational for buying the lens together with a few first impressions. As I’ve only had the lens a couple of days I haven’t had chance to try it out on the grandchildren yet. Nor have I had time to take many photos with this lens but here are a few images I have taken with it in the last couple of days. I don’t get into pixel peeping but so far, I can say I’m happy with my latest purchase.

I’ll follow up this post with more pictures and impressions of the 50mm f2 in the near future.

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