As I have made my way to work over the last few days, a spell of icy weather has given us some cold frosty mornings, as the weekend approached, I was hoping that there may be a chance for me to capture the beauty that winter provides all too rarely these days.
As my alarm went off at a leisurely six forty five, I was still somewhat reluctant to remove myself from the warmth of my cosy bed but the forecast was good and I would not be happy to miss out on the chance of some wintry images.
It was clear that just a few minutes in that today was to be one of those fabulous photographic days where there is something at every turn, the early glow of the sun, the dusting of hoar frost coating anything it touches with its icy sprinkles, the sheer joy of seeing the day come to life.
I managed a ten mile hike on today’s walk and offer a selection of today’s offerings, there may well be a second post from this wonderful winter walk.
In autumn last year I posted a blog about always carrying a compact camera of some description while travelling to and from work during the week.
Through the autumn months, I took plenty of images of the changing colours as I walked through local parks and public gardens, from mid November the Christmas markets, were easy fodder, food stalls, vibrant displays of Christmas decorations adorning the many and varied stalls.
January will always be more of a challenge, often grey wet days do their best to deter my short impromptu photography walks but today I was determined to buck the trend and attempt to keep the habit going.
My bus journey from work takes me to St, David’s station, from there my walk home takes around 15 minutes, it is this area of my home city that I decide to capture a few frames of what to me is familiar ground but trying to capture the grey bleakness of a January afternoon.
The images were taken with my Canon s95, one of my bargain purchases last year but a camera I often reach for on my daily commute and a camera that is just fun to use.
As the new year approaches, I look fondly back at my photographic year, it started with my ’50mm for fifty days ‘ project, a way of keeping my gear to a minimum , while challenging my creativity.
The minimal idea worked very well until August, that’s how long it took to reach the fiftieth day, then I decided to ‘adopt’ and use some older cameras bought for bargain prices, this is where my collection started to grow quite rapidly.
One such camera to find its way into my collection was a Leica X1, my first foray into the world of the famous ‘red dot’, some purists may argue this camera is not a ‘true’ Leica but I care not a jot, I have come to really love using this camera.
Just as the Fujifilm Xpro 1 and the original Fujifil X100, the X1 was described as slow and clunky but the images produced by its fixed 23mm (35mm full Frame) are exceptional.
Known for it’s exceptional monochrome rendition, Leica cameras are legendary, so I thought I would explore for myself as I took just the X1 for a camera walk around the River Exe yesterday.
The remnants of the earlier rain showers were perfect for shooting monochrome, so no better time to see exactly what the X1 could do.
If I decide to embark upon some sort of project in 2023, there is a good chance the X1 may form a part, for now, I will continue to enjoy the gems I acquired in 2022.
Perhaps I could set myself the goal of buying no more gear in 2023, I think there would be a good chance that I might fail miserably!
As a final word of this year, I wish all my followers and fellow bloggers a very happy and creative 2023!
As the Christmas cold bug from hell finally consigns itself to a back stage role, today was the first time in a couple of weeks that I have felt like getting out with the camera.
It may have just been a gentle stroll along the banks of the River Exe but it was the perfect tonic from a constant feeling of lethargy and a complete lack of creative spark.
Not wishing to lug a huge camera with me, my Lumix GF2 with a 20mm (40 mm for those that like equivalence figures) was the perfect tool to capture a few images along my route.
My walk was accompanied by some late December sunshine, a welcome visitor after seemingly endless days of grey skies but there was a keen chill to the air, to give enough incentive to keep a brisk pace.
Today’s walk was more about getting a few miles under my belt and getting back to a sense of normality but it’s always good to capture a few images and feel that my creative mojo is on the mend.
December 21st, my first blog entry for this month, which even by my own irregular posting patterns is somewhat tardy.
While I have taken plenty of photos, I seemed to have lacked the spark to weave the words around the images, the story behind the picture, you get my drift, we shall call it a December malaise.
The majority of December’s images have been from my walk back from work, taking in the Christmas market and the high street as the festive season gets closer, there are also a few out of town shots, my walk via the canal side back home for that welcome post work brew.
Most of these shots are taken with either my GF2, GF6 and canon s95, g11 , or Lumix LX5 cameras, the stars of my 2022 photographic year
A sunny Friday in November, the perfect recipe for a seaside photo walk in the East Devon town of Sidmouth.
If ambling around the coast in the off season months is a pleasure, that pleasure is twofold when it is before the weekend, almost as though it’s an exclusive members only club.
With my Canon S95 taking a day off, I use the Lumix LX5 for many of today’s shots, I love using this camera with its multi aspect ratio switch, where I choose to shoot a good few 1:1 square images alongside the usual 4:3.
The more I use these compact cameras, the more I am amazed at how good they are and just how much enjoyment I get in using them, they have become the latest chapter in my photographic journey.
This time last year I would have never imagined that some of my favourite images would come from using a small digicam but my foray into the world of older photography gear has been an absolute joy.
Today’s favourite image comes from a trip to the Seaside town of Sidmouth in East Devon, as I was walking along the beach, there are a number of shelters along the sea front. Glancing up, I immediately saw the potential of the candid nature of this shot, using a compact camera would not draw that much attention.
It was when I looked back at the shot later that I noticed a rare phenomenon, there was not a mobile phone in sight, this was a good old fashioned face to face chat between a group of people who may or may not have known one another, social media old style!
Up to just a few months ago, my photography was limited to my weekends off, an unintended barrier between work and play but since diving both feet first into the world of old digital compact cameras, I carry one with me most days, including work days.
Today was no exception, my Lumix LX5 takes little space in my daily rucksack,however I did not hold out much hope of getting many photos this morning at 4am, as the heavens were at their widest aperture, allowing a deluge of heavy rain to soak anything it touched within a few seconds.
Reaching my bus stop in a record time, I had more time than I anticipated and immediately saw the raindrops on the shelter windows and the street lamp reflections on the wet ground, snap!
It had to be black and white, no other edit would convey the sense of atmosphere these wet, dark mornings have at this time of year.
I was hoping for kinder weather on the way home after work, back at St David’s station bus stop, it was groundhog day as the skies opened up once more with another deluge. I could play the waiting game this time, no place to be anytime soon, the LX5 came out as I sheltered under the station awning, what stories could I tell while the rain fell?
Just outside the station, some have a sense of urgency, while others increase their screen time statistics, waiting patiently for the rain to ease.
A quick dash to the station but the brolly offers little or no protection.
This deluge could last for a while, it’s barely 3pm but it looks like daylight has been stolen!
It could be brightening up a little ….
Five more minutes and I will leg it home.
Definitely not the best composition but the orange against the grey sky was striking, the workman by the fence carrying on as though nothing had happened.
The more I shoot with these tiny cameras, the more I am enjoying what they are capable of, their limitations are also improving my photographic skills on a daily basis, what’s not to like about that?
At this time of year, there are a number of places that I like to visit to take in the autumnal colours, today sees a walk around an old favourite but the first visit here in at least four years, Fingle bridge near Drewsteignton, a national trust owned woodland, where the River Teign runs alongside the well trodden foot path.
Today’s lens of choice is probably my favourite vintage lens, the Pentacon 50mm F1.8, the ideal lens for woodland photography as I like the colour rendition and softer corner edges wide open.
After a recent spate of strong winds, I was expecting to see a lot of skeletal looking trees, bereft of their autumn foliage but was pleasantly surprised to see the golds and oranges still very much in place.
The path itself is a carpet of bronze, sandwiched either side with banks of green, which are randomly peppered with this arboreal snowfall.
My walk is just under five miles, perhaps nearer six and a half with my various detours off the main path but it still takes a good three hours as I stop and start constantly in search of my next shot.
My recent 50mm for fifty days project saw me using a 50mm lens on an older camera body (canon 5d MKII), as I simply no longer wanted to participate in the race to keep up with all the latest gear, it was a chance to use camera gear that I would have liked when it was new but was simply financially out of reach, or in the case of the small point and shoots I now have, simply not even considered.
Those flagship cameras of a decade or more ago have long since been superceded by newer and more advanced versions, where they can be bought for a fraction of the price, this is where I acquired a collection of varied older cameras that had been left in a box and unused, until now.
I have posted a number of blogs of photos taken with a Canon G11, Canon s95 and the two more recent additions a Leica X1 and Dlux-6 but I had one more to try from my original box of goodies, a lumix GF2 which I paired with a Panasonic 20mm F1.7 that I had retained from my dalliance with the Micro four thirds system.
Wanting to take a smaller camera with me on a seaside walk last weekend, I finally packed the GF2 and 20mm into my bag and rarely used the 5dII as I was enjoying the smaller combo so much.
The 20mm lens is spoken in high regard with many of the Micro four thirds fraternity, it is not hard to see why, this unobtrusive lens is sharp even at the widest aperture, what’s not to like?
A few years ago, a camera without a viewfinder would not have found its way into my camera bag, since then, I have come to love how not having a viewfinder helps me see shots I may not have seen with the camera at my eye.
Enough about the gear, the images of my walk around Teignmouth were a very enjoyable way of spending a couple of hours by the coast.