It was the opening night when we visited Blenheim Palace, not really knowing what to expect, but it’s fair to say that the Illuminated Trail exceeded our expectations.
Treetops glow in the dark and the colours are amazing. There are light sculptures and a constantly changing vista to keep things interesting. As you begin the trail you walk through a light tunnel glistening with 100,000 small lights – a magical experience.
The trail itself is around one mile long and as you return towards the Palace you are greeted with seasonal projections onto the house itself and search-lights dancing across the sky.
It was great to photograph, though to be honest it was also a bit of a challenge. The exposure levels varied so much between the various set pieces and it was quite busy on the opening night too.
The fantastic light experience is available to book at Blenheim Palace until the 1st January.
Preston is lucky enough to have some fabulous public parks and at this time of year they are spectacular. The Autumn colours have been good this year and it’s hard to resist the lure of a walk with the camera.
Here are a few photographs taken in Avenham/Miller Park, Moor Park and Haslam Park.
All photographs captured on either the Fuji X-T1 or X-T3.
When we head south to Cornwall we often stop at the Tewkesbury Caravan Club site.It’s just a few minutes off the motorway and there’s enough to see and do in the town. We always include a visit the historic Tewkesbury Abbey.
The Abbey played a key role in the War of the Roses. Following a battle in the town the defeated Lancastrian soldiers took refuge in the Abbey but when the York army came calling they were handed over to be hanged on the town’s main street.
Here are a few photographs from our last visit to the Abbey.
When it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would visit Blackpool, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to grab some newsworthy pictures.
The visit schedule included a 20 minute walkabout to meet the public on the promenade in front of Blackpool Tower and that’s where I headed.
The last Royal visit I covered was Prince Harry when he was in Lancashire. On that occasion I was part of the official ‘press pack’.My view however, is that unless you have a ‘Rota’ pass (a sort of access all areas thing – only a handful are made available), it doesn’t really offer much advantage and so this time I joined the public, ironically right next to the press pack to get my shots.
I was stood with a lady who had driven up from Shropshire, arriving at 6.30 in the morning to get a glimpse of the Royal couple. Considering the walkabout wasn’t scheduled to take place until 1.30pm, that is real dedication.She did assure me that it wouldn’t rain until after the walkabout had finished but she was wrong! Minutes before Kate and William arrived it started to rain and that was still a good hour before the walkabout, so a soaking for members of the public while the couple got a welcome briefing in the Tower.
Fortunately the rain stopped and the walkabout took place.William went one way around the crowd and Kate headed straight for me!Perhaps she saw my camera or more likely the small child two places along because that’s where she started to chat to people and I was lucky enough to get some shots close up.
I had two Fujifilm cameras, one with a long telephoto lens and the other with a standard zoom, so I had to quickly switch cameras as she got close.
I am reasonably happy with the photos I got but as with all things there are lessons I learned from the experience and a couple of silly errors relating to how I had the cameras set up which I can learn from. So what were the lessons?
Always carry plastic bags to use as rain covers on the cameras
Synchronise the times on the cameras – I had them slightly off and that meant the order on the computer once downloaded didn’t follow the timing of the walkabout properly.
Face recognition focussing was great for shots of the Duke and Duchess when together but as soon as Kate moved to the crowd, the focus was all over the place. Far too many faces!
At one point I needed to switch to continuous focus but forgot so some images not as sharp as they should be – include the image at the top of this blog but I like it anyway!.
Many of the photos I took are available through the Alamy Image Library but given the number of photographers taking pictures it is probably unlikely that any of mine will sell.When shooting events like this it isn’t easy to stand out from the crowd but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience.
I love a bit of drama in my landscape photographs and normally, the Lake District in February has it in abundance. Last Friday however, the clear blue skies and sunshine was more reminiscent of a fine summer day – with clear views and visitors sunbathing!
It was a day we chose to walk around Derwentwater and dramatic weather aside, it was the perfect day to be relaxing in the Lakes. A rare occasion when the weather is this good in February and too good for the type of photography I’d intended, but what’s not to like about this area of the country at anytime of year?
Here are a few photos from the walk. I’m sure anyone who has done the walk around Derwentwater will recognise these views.
When you visit the Lake District in February, you expect some photographic challenges.
On the day we arrived the sky looked typically brooding and the sun was doing its best to break through. Just the sort of day you want for landscape photography, especially as the rain was just about holding off.
I wanted to get a photo of the Millennium Stone on the shore of Derwentwater with water around it,as last time I visited it was high and dry.No danger of that this time after the recent rain and snow. The real challenge in getting the picture on this visit was going to be the wind.
The wind was absolutely battering the shore of the lake, but seemingly just in this particular cove! The normally calm lake was being whipped up into a frenzy and waves were crashing over the stone. Long exposure shots were near enough impossible to keep sharp as the tripod was also being battered.It was also bitterly cold but I did manage to get a few shots, not the greatest pictures but I’ve included a few here anyway.
My next post will feature some pictures from a circuit of the lake two days later, when the weather was, if anything too good.
According to the weather forecast it was going to be a sunny but cold day.What they forgot to mention was that you wouldn’t be able to see the sun for the freezing fog!
There was however, something hauntingly beautiful about wondering around Brockholes nature reserve in the icy-cold conditions. The photo below were all taken within the space of about two hours. Some come from the walks around the reserve, others show the visitor centre itself.
Here are the pictures…
23 January 2019. Preston UK. UK Weather. The Fog and frost lasted until the afternoon in Lancashire as temperatures hovered around zero all day. This is Brockholes Nature Reserve which is next to the M6 Motorway. Speed restrictions were in place due to the poor weather conditions.