5 Stags

I don’t often take a great deal of notice of artwork which I have in the workshop, to frame.  More often than not it is another piece of work – unless the subject particularly catches my eye.
And yesterday, a gentleman spoke to me outside my workshop, asking if I was ‘the picture framer’.  I conceded that yes, I was.  He asked if I could frame a photo for him.
And what a photo it was.
Five pristine Triumph Stags, lined up together.  In a parking bay which looked as if it had been designed specifically for them.  (if you don’t know what a Triumph Stag is – Google is your friend)

We agreed on a frame profile – and a price for the work.  And I reluctantly suggested that he could return for the finished article today.
Reluctantly, because when I was in my 20s – a long time ago – the Triumph Stag was one of the vehicles that I coverted, and longed for.
(I settled instead for an ex police Triumph 2.5 PI)

My friend, who lives across the road, and is approximately the same age as myself, responded to the photo in exactly the manner that I did.  And during yesterday afternoon and this morning until I started work on it, there have been a succession of similarly aged ‘memory laners’ through my workshop to oggle at the photo.
Suffice to say, the photo has been mounted, glazed and framed and returned to its owner.  But I did enjoy it whilst it was in my care.

So, thank you Marcus, from each of the locality’s ‘old-fogies’.
May your picture always hang straight.


I have always loved horses.  Apart from Fatty Lumpkin type Shetland ponies, there is something graceful and athletically wild about a horse.  No matter how domesticated, work or sport orientated it is.

So when asked if I would take my cameras to the stables and get some shots of Emily, I was more than happy to do so.
By the time I arrived home there was a definite ‘hum’ of horse about me and I was liberally covered in white hair (from the moulting rump of one very affectionate mare)
But I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Now I’m waiting to find out what Emily thinks of the photos.   :-D

If you would like to see them, you will find them in the Photos section, under the sub-heading ‘Animals’

The Photography Show

I went to The Photography Show at the NEC, near Birmingham, yesterday.
I was advised to attend either on Monday or Tuesday, as those two days were set aside for seminars and demos etc, for the benefit of trade visitors.  Nevertheless, it was heaving with all manner of people – whose common interest was photography.  So regardless of whether they were, or were not trade visitors, their participation demonstrated the immense following which photography generates amongst the general public.

I attended specifically because I wanted to see the new generation of lightweight full-frame cameras coming onto the market for the professional as well as the dedicated consumer.  If you’re not a pro tog you have to be a dedicated consumer nowadays, as a body alone will set you back in the region of £2500.  Then there are the lenses …….   :roll: :-D

Years ago, in the days of the Nikon F5 pro film camera, and its Canon contemporary, it was the norm for the price tag, to the newspaper groups, depending upon how many units they were purchasing at any one time, to be £4-5000 each.  And dedicated consumers, in that respect, were a species of the future.  How the price was justified is open to speculation.  And one answer of course is that the content of the body was, in electronic wizardry terms, pretty well cutting edge stuff.
Now, when you buy a camera body, what you are in fact purchasing, is a light receptive and processing computer, with the facility, at the front, upon which to attach a lens.

And this becomes obvious when you pick up a camera on a stand, take a shot and view the image on the rear screen.  There is no requirement upon you to have any expertise whatsoever other than the simple motor skills ability to point the lens in the right direction and press the shutter button   :-P   to produce an image that Ansell Adams would have sold his soul for.
But what is blindingly apparent is the weight of the body unit.  I did like the Samsung offerings.  They appeared to be well made.  They were certainly light.  They produced pin sharp shots, with great clarity and definition.
The trouble is that I’m set up for Nikon.  In terms of both bodies and numerous lenses.
The Samsung is unquestionably featherlight.  In fact, so light that with anything other than a 50mm f1.8 prime lens on, the most likely shot that you would take, would be of your feet.  :oops:

So I had a look at the Df ~ the computerized retro-body-styled offering from Nikon.   It was reliably, and satisfyingly, immediately identifiable as a Nikon.  I felt at home with it.
Only the aperture ring was slightly different.  Oh, and the ISO and shutter speeds settings which have reverted to top of the camera position, as knobs.  And no top screen.
But otherwise ………   :-)

The downside was that, in my opinion, when viewing the rear screen, the shot taken was nothing like as good as the ones which I took of my feet.

Oh well.  Back to the drawing board.  Perhaps I’ll just stick to my F5, FE, D300 & D3.
[for which I have all the lenses I could ever possibly need]
And, my bank account will maintain a sense of perfect equilibrium. :lol:


Every photographers nightmare.

This afternoon I dropped one of my lenses onto the floor.
Don’t ask me how it happened.  I have no idea.
One moment it was in my right hand, having taken it out of its case and I was about to fit it onto the D3 body.  And the next moment it had slipped out of my hand, and was falling.
I only just resisted the temptation to stick my foot out to attempt to break its fall.  I know from experience that when I’ve tried to do that in the past I’ve just made matters worse.

The lens hit the floor – front cap first with a sickening crash accompanied by the inevitable sound of tinkling glass.  My heart sank.
One of my really good lenses.  If it had been a relatively cheap AF 28-70 f4+, I wouldn’t have been quite so dismayed.
But it was my AF D 20-35 f2.8 ED IF.
A really good quality landscape wide angled lens.

I picked it up.  The front cap had bounced off.  The Hoya filter was now a black metal ring surrounding what appeared to be hundreds of small pieces of glass.
I looked at the lens, expecting to see the innards glaring back at me.  Not a thing.  Not a mark.  It looked as good as the day it was bought.

I couldn’t believe it.  I fitted it to the D3 body, expecting to look through the viewfinder to see thousands of tiny particles swirling around inside the lens.
No.  It was as good as if it had never left my hand.
I took several shots with it.  Perfect.  It appeared that the lens itself was quite unperturbed by its collision with the floor.  It didn’t even express any recriminations about having been dropped.  It just viewed me, with its single eye, in exactly the same manner that it always has done so far.
Very forgiving.
I fitted a new filter to the front and checked the lens cap.  That was OK too.

I know that I always maintain that Nikon pro lenses are unburstable, but it is such a relief when they prove themselves to be exactly that.
Oh ye of little faith.  :oops: :-)

Thank you Nikon.  I will never say rude things about you ever again  :mrgreen:

It does also vindicate the use of a sacrificial filter on the front of a lens.

It’s two hours ago since I dropped the lens and my heartbeat has just about returned to normal.  My insides still feel a bit queasy though.  :roll:

Several years ago I saw a guy trip up a small flight of concrete steps adjacent to our local river lock gates.  Around his neck was a brand new Canon strap to which was attached a brand new £5000 Canon camera body and attached to that was a brand new £2500 Canon lens.  And both made an horrendous impact with the concrete steps.  £7500 worth of kit smashed beyond repair.    As he sat on the concrete steps, surrounded by the remains of his precious kit, his hands and leg cut and bloodied, he explained to me that he had only taken delivery of it the previous day, and this was his first time out with it.
He was a gentleman in his fifties, I would imagine, but he sat on the steps, desolated, and unashamedly cried his heart out.    I felt so sorry for him.
I couldn’t have walked off and left him, even if I’d wanted to.  I eventually walked back with him to his car, and only left him when he had assured me that he was OK to drive home.

I’ve never forgotten that event – and I don’t think I ever will.

The fairy-tale ending to that story is that I later spoke to him and his insurance company reimbursed him for the loss of his kit, under his home contents policy.

It is one of those occasions when, no matter how sympathetic you feel, you’re just so glad it has happened to someone else, and not yourself.  Selfish, I know: but very human.

And today, it didn’t happen to me.  :-D :lol:

Earls Barton Church

Under the Photos drop-down Menu is included a photographic depiction of the All Saints church at Earls Barton in Northamptonshire.  Significant parts of it are Saxon in origin, and it is a fascinating church to visit and view, as is the village of Earls Barton itself.
The village is quite close to Brixworth, which is the home of the oldest Saxon church in the country – AD642 – so a visit to both is well worth a day out.

I will shortly be uploading a similar set of images of the Brixworth church.