Category: photography

30 Mar

Confined to Barracks: Day 14

Bruce Little / landscape / / 0 Comments

First world problems strike today. With first world solutions.

While working from home I’m drinking many more hot beverages than at work. At work I typically treat myself to one Costa coffee per day. At home I seem to gravitate towards the kettle every time I take a screen break.

Today the kettle caught fire!

My wife spotted it first, picking up on a strange noise from the kitchen. First I was aware of it were her crys of “Oh my God!” and a swift departure into the kitchen to rescue it. Or at least rescue us from it. It was ruined.

This is where Amazon Prime came to the rescue. No sooner was it cooling down, safely outside the back door, than its replacement had been ordered. Search / Buy Now / Confirm. Boom! new kettle ordered. Is it “essential” that we get a new one delivered? In the grand scheme of things if I had to be totally objective, probably not, but going without a hot cuppa for most of the summer seems unthinkable.

That was probably the biggest thing of note today. Other than me being knackered. I really tried to fit too much into the weekend and I feel exhausted now. Usual paranoia struck of course. But no cough, no fever, just me feeling tired.

Despite that, son #2 really wanted his lunchtime cycle ride again so it was up to the top of the village, where we took a short break and I stared wistfully at the dome of Cosdon Hill in the far distance (to the top left of the ivy-covered post in the phone snap), before returning to the house and an afternoon’s work.

Dinner tonight is stir fry chicken. Thanks for asking 🙂

29 Mar

Confined to barracks: Day 13

Bruce Little / landscape / / 0 Comments

I wake up knackered and look at my phone. How can I have slept in until almost 8? Ah yes, the clocks have gone forward. My body is on “almost 7” time. I wish the clocks could go forward to 2021 but that’s in the realms of sci-fi and the deep recesses of my wishful head. Here I am, yet two weeks into government-imposed exile and there’s a long way to go.

To be honest it’s not that bad. Yet. We spend a lot of time at home in LaU (Life as usual) and, when looking for fun at the weekends, only normally go out to wide open spaces, e.g. Dartmoor or the coast path. It’s not like we miss shopping, the cinema, or the nightlife. Yet I do miss social interaction. Work would normally provide that most days, the pub every other Wednesday for quiz night, and the twice weekly “taxi service” taking the boys to swimming and Scouts complete the picture. Perhaps the cheery “hello” and “goodbye” in the local shops of a weekend as well.

I wonder. When the boys have left home and I’ve retired, is this what life is going to be like? Is this what I’ve really longed for when work has got on top of me and I want it to all be over? Perhaps time to rethink.

The Tesco order arrives late morning. Only two more pre-booked ones before there are no more. The cheerful delivery man drops it in the drive, maintaining the requisite 2m distance, and we transport it to the house. Anything non-perishable gets put in the quarantine box in the garage for a few days. Anything perishable gets washed before storage. then we both wash our hands for the requisite 20 seconds.

Despite being tired from yesterday, I do a bit more in the garden and son #2 wants his daily bike ride. We head up to the crossroads at the top of the village – further than yesterday, and then head back. This is great father & son time and I’m really happy that he’s enjoying cycling. It’s also an odd positive side effect of the current situation that there is very little traffic on the roads. This is therefore a great time to get him used to road cycling. He wants to do it again tomorrow, which is good but tricky. Tomorrow is a work day. Perhaps at lunchtime.

Dinner is Lancashire hotpot, made from some frozen roast lamb leftovers I found in the freezer yesterday.

21 Oct

Topsham Sunrise

It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed a Topsham sunrise. My original plan was to go to Dartmoor, as the late sunrise time would have allowed me to venture deep into the moor and still get a reasonable amount of sleep. When I woke at 5 o’clock I checked the forecast and looked out of the window. Claggy low cloud. No sign of it shifting until 8 or later on the moor. No way was I wasting considerable fuel, time, and sleep on a wasted journey to the west moor. So I claimed another 90 minute’s sleep and headed to Topsham. There was a faint chance of a gap in the clouds and therefore a dramatic sunrise.

Well, as it turned out, it was all a bit subtle. I chose to play with three focal lengths – a wide 24mm, a medium-ish 105mm and, finally, the big gun, a 300mm prime with a 1.4x converter for a 420mm pano. By the time I took the pano of a distant Exmouth the subtle pinks had all but gone. Maybe I’ll be back another time when sunrise looks more promising.

Each of the images below is a slight crop to 16:9 or beyond as the standard 3:2 featured too much sky in my opinion. Please click on each one for a larger view

Thanks for reading …

04 Jan

10 stop Kase filter – First Impressions

I ventured out this morning almost reluctantly. Even with a late, post 8 a.m, sunrise I was tired and didn’t want to get out of bed. Combine that with indications of cloud cover being all (Dartmoor) or nothing (East Devon coast) and I was even less enthusiastic to rise from my slumbers. However, I had some new toys to play with in the shape of some Kase filters, including a 10 stop, which had turned up on Thursday and I wanted to see how they performed.

Read more
03 Jan

Longaford Tor, New Year’s Day

Longaford Tor taken on New Year's Day afternoon, 2019
Longaford Tor taken on New Year’s Day afternoon, 2019

I went for a New Year’s Day stomp on Dartmoor to make the best of the good weather after a few overcast days. My destination was Higher White Tor via Littaford Tor and Longaford Tor as, having visited a few times on walks, I am yet to get a “nice light” photo from there.

Read more
01 Jan

My Favourite Photos of 2017

These are my favourite photos of 2017. It wasn’t a prolific year for me but I am quite pleased with several of the photos I managed to get. There are possibly a number of reasons why it wasn’t a prolific year, but one must be the weather. I remember during late winter and early spring having a frustrating time of it at weekends, with few opportunities to get out due to rain. Another frustration was autumn – I normally love getting out into autumnal woodlands, but somehow this year it passed me by. Or maybe I let it?

Despite the infrequent nature of my outings, I am pleased with a number of the resulting photos. They may not all be technically perfect but they are personal favourites. One common theme is that many were

Read more

09 Dec

A Quick Stop at Start Point

A very quick blog post to accompany a very quick visit to Start Point.

I had to be in Plymouth just after the shops opened. I thought, therefore, that I would take the chance to take my camera little further afield than usual. My first choice was somewhere on southern Dartmoor but as I drove down the A38 there was a big bank of cloud ruining that idea. At South Brent I hung a left and headed for Start Point. The South Hams are somewhere that I need a sat-nav to negotiate. Trouble is that sat-navs choose the shortest route and there are some damn tiny roads in the South Hams.

Anyway, a “grass in the middle of the road” adventure later, I arrived at the lighthouse. I had no time to waste as the sun was nearly up. Given a little more time I would perhaps re-compose this image. Why? well, the grassy area in the bottom left is a little dominant. However I’m not really complaining as this was an opportunity realised and my glass was half full.

I would have liked to have stayed a little longer, but the light went quickly as the sun rose and I had to be elsewhere. Another time perhaps …

26 Nov
Great Mis Tor on a snowy morningThe North Hessary Tor transmitter mast in the snowLeeden Tor on a snowy morningDartmoor ponies at Leeden Tor outcrop

Leeden Snow, Leeden Snow, Leeden Snow

They say the weather outside is frightful
But I think it’s quite delightful
There’s simply one place to go
Leeden snow, Leeden snow, Leeden snow.

With apologies to, well, anyone really. I couldn’t resist it.

Leeden Tor is somewhere I’ve been to a few times but I’ve yet to get a decent photo there. And it wasn’t really on my radar for Saturday morning’s visit to Dartmoor either.

With snow showers likely overnight I was keen to get up to Dartmoor to have a look first thing. My destination was Read more

23 Nov
Dawn at Teigmnouth PierDawn skies and breaking wave at Teignmouth Pier

Pier Pressure – Teignmouth Pier or Bust

The last place I expected to find myself last weekend was Teignmouth pier. After all, I’d photographed it several times before and the attraction of a return visit wasn’t obvious. I am also trying to avoid heading out purely for red skies and prefer looking for other opportunities. Golden hour side-lighting, or foggy mornings for example. However I’d had a really frustrating weekend with the camera and was desperate to photograph something. Not quite anything, but something. I’d taken Friday off to head to Dartmoor and shoot autumnal scenes. That came to nought as I had a cloudless sunrise and my woodland walk – up the Erme from Ivybridge – was bereft of bronze and yellow foliage.Read more

11 Nov

Hay Up! Sunrise at Hay Tor

Hay Tor was the last place I was expecting to end up on this particular morning. Well, I guess that’s not strictly true as, Dartmoor-wise, Fur Tor would have been a little less likely, but “boring old Hay Tor” wasn’t high on my list of destinations.

It’s been a slow autumn for my photography. I’ve had little chance to take time off work when the weather has looked promising so I’m depending on weekends to get out and about, and the conditions haven’t favoured me.

Still, a Saturday morning a couple of weekends ago looked OK. A front had passed during the evening and overnight; showers and strong winds followed in the morning and I hoped to get up to the moor and get some early morning rainbow action.Read more