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Scottish Airshow 2014

The Scottish Airshow, was held in Ayr, this year, during early September.

It was an incredible performance that was enjoyed by around 50,000 spectators soaking up the atmosphere and the great weather.

Many thanks to all involved for a superb day.

A small sample of my images are shown below.


Caitlin – My Wee Granddaughter

A “Wee Cracker”. born on 24th July.

A Poem for Caitlin

Cis for child so wonderful and new

A is for apple of my eye she is too

Iis for innocence you see in her face

Tis for tenderness and so full of grace

Lis for love, unconditional and pure

Iwill protect her and love her, for sure

No words can express my joy and elation

Caitlin’s arrived …. she’s a sensation!

 


Whitby

From York, on my previous post, we travelled on to the picturesque fishing town of Whitby, on Yorkshire’s east coast, at the mouth of the river Esk. What a beautiful town, well known for it’s black Jade jewellery, favoured by Queen Victoria and its association with Captain James Cook  the famous British explorer.

We stayed about 5 hours in Whitby and while my “better half” visited the local shops, I spent time capturing a few images.   We also took the time to enjoy a superb pub lunch of fresh fish and chips. A great day out!

More information on Whitby at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitby


York

This famous historic walled city, with its odd-looking medieval buildings in the “Shambles” to the majestic historic attractions of York Minster, has much to offer both the “casual” tourist, photographer and the historian.

The city was founded in Roman times circa 71AD and grew as a wool trading centre. In the 19th Century, York was a world-famous centre for confectionary, with Rowntrees and Terrys the main suppliers. As a “chocoholic”, I was fortunate to visit both factories, on company business, in the mid 1980s and was fascinated by the manufacturing processes and the history.

We spent a relaxed couple of days here, but really needed a week to do it justice. Below are a few of the images captured on our recent visit. (both the “old” and the “new”)

For more detailed information on York, please follow this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York


Beamish Museum – Co. Durham

You can’t visit Durham and not visit the nearby Beamish Museum. This “living museum” is a superb example of urban and rural life that existed in the early 20th century in N.E England.

We had previously visited some 15 – 20 years ago, when our children were young and it was great to return, a few weeks ago, and remind ourselves how amazing the Beamish is. We were only there for a day and really did not get a chance to see all of the exhibits, but we will most definitely return in the near future.

Below are a few images, including some of the interiors of the houses in the old Victorian town.

Detailed information about The Beamish Museum can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beamish_Museum


Merchant City Festival – Glasgow

My “better half” and I have attended this superb event over the last 2 years and have been amazed by diversity and quality of this festival, which presents “best of the best” in theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance, film, fashion and the food scene.

Looking forward to the next one. which runs from 24th to 28th July 2013

Brazilian Beauty

Brazilian Beauty

Please follow my link below to see more images of  this annual, “not to be missed” event.

http://wp.me/P1WKsc-oI


Trees in Winter

My wife commented that the wintry scene in this image looked like a Christmas Card.

So I am posting this today to wish all my fellow bloggers, “Complements of the Season and Best Wishes for 2013”

Trees in Winter

Trees in Winter

For some of my other landscape images please follow this link http://wp.me/P1WKsc-M


Autumn “Peaks” in the Highlands of Scotland

Last week we were fortunate to spend a few days in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

The end of October/beginning of November is the “height” of autumn here.

I am always amazed at the vivid colours, in the landscape, which is the result of high rainfall (often too much) and the excellent quality of light at this time of year. If you are lucky you may just get a “dusting” of snow on the moutains, which really is the “icing on the cake”

We spent 4 nights in the 2nd lodge, in the image, and travelled into Glencoe and the local countryside in search of beautiful scenery.

The mountain rising, just above the”scotch mist”, about a third in from the left in the image, is Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland (4,409 ft above sea level)

What an idyllic place ………………… I am now completely “chilled out”

“Scotch Mist” in Glen Nevis

For some of my other landscape images please follow this link http://wp.me/P1WKsc-M


Roman Holiday – Inside The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums, located inside Vatican City, contain some of the greatest sculptures and classical art in the world. I was utterly amazed at the vibrance  and detail in the paintings and sculpture, considering their age.

Below are a few images that are my personal favourites, but they in no way do justice to seeing the “real thing”


Roman Holiday – Inside The Vatican

Continuing on the theme “Roman Holiday”; we went into the Vatican during our visit to Rome. Here are a few images.

The first image is Michelangelo’s La Pieta, which is the only sculpture that he ever signed. It depicts the body of Christ in  Mary’s lap after the crucifixion.

The second image is the Main Dome inside the Vatican. Michelangelo designed the dome in 1547 and it was completed in 1590 by Giacomo della Porta and Fontana.

The third image, the Cathedra Petri or ” the Throne of St Peter” is surrounded by an enormous statue of bronze produced by Bernini.

More information can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter’s_Basilica


Roman Holiday – Swiss Guard

The Swiss Guard has existed since the late 15th century. As guardians of the gates to Vatican City, the Papal Swiss Guard, founded in 1506, is the only remaining Swiss Guard in the world.

Swiss Guard

More information at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/swiss_guard/swissguard/storia_en.htm


St Mary and St Finnan’s Church – Glenfinnan

This beautiful church is built on  the banks of Loch Shiel. It is a memorial to the Macdonalds of Glenaladale. It is believed that Charles Edward Stuart, “Bonnie Prince Charlie” stayed with the Macdonalds before raising the Jacobite standard in 1745.

St Mary’s and St Finnon’s Church – Glenfinnan


Oban View

We visited Oban during a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands. Oban, located on the mainland, at the northern end of The Firth of Lorn near the entrance to Loch Linnhe, is known as the “Gateway to the Isles”. It is also recognised as the “Seafood capital of Scotland”.

And while I love fresh seafood, for the chocoholics like me, I recommend a visit to the Oban Chocolate Company, who offer a range of delicious hand made chocolates manufactured in their factory in Oban.

More information at http://www.oban.org.uk/

Oban


Mallaig Harbour – “The Jacobite’s” Destination

The fishing port of Mallaig is the destination of the “The Jacobite” the vintage steam train, featured in last week’s post.

This peaceful view over Mallaig Harbour, shows the islands of Rum and Eigg on the horizon. In the foreground is the Caledonian MacBrayne car ferry to Skye

Mallaig Harbour


“The Jacobite”

“The Jacobite” is the vintage steam train which runs from Fort William, through some of the most beautiful countryside in Scotland, to the picturesque fishing port of Mallaig.

While this trip has always been a popular attraction with tourists visiting the Scottish highlands, the “Harry Potter” movies where the ” Hogwarts Express” crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct has helped boost the popularity of this nostalgic journey. On its journey the “Jacobite” does cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct just like in the movies.

The image of the train below, was captured last week, during a short visit to the Scottish Highlands, as it travelled along the shoreline of Loch Eil, 4 – 5 miles from Fort William, on its way to Mallaig

More details at http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/Jacobite_Details.html and for a journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct on “The Jacobite” click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_GjT9nlAeM&feature=related

The Jacobite


Sir Walter Scott Monument; Edinburgh

This image of Sir Walter Scott’s Monument, erected for his contribution to Scottish Literature is captured, just before sunset, from “The Mound” (the old Bank of Scotland Headquarters; Edinburgh)

The monument, inaugurated in 1846, is 200ft high. A sculpture in marble, of the man himself, can be seen through the centre arch.

Sir Walter Scott Monument; Edinburgh

More information can be found at http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/scott_monument.htm


Blackrock Cottage “Close-up” (Monochrome) Version – Glencoe

Just thought I’d also post the monochrome “close-up” version. What do you think?

Blackrock Cottage_mono


Blackrock Cottage – Glencoe

One of the most beautiful and most photographed scenes in the Scottish Highlands.

Because of the wide variation in weather conditions,  in this region, the “character” of this peaceful tranquil scene can quickly be transformed,  into one of the bleakest, stormy, landscapes in Scotland.

Blackrock Cottage


Memories of Venice

San Marco

I fell in love with Venice, when I first visited some 10 years ago.  At that time, I worked for a company that had a manufacturing site in Bologna and I was attending a factory tour along with some UK clients. Venice is only a 60 minute train journey from Bologna, so we took the opportunity to visit that weekend. I was “hooked”

This amazing visit to Venice, a few years ago, was a birthday celebration for Doreen, my better half.

We spent 4 nights at the Dona Palace Hotel, in the centre of Venice. A great hotel with lovely large room, fabulous breakfasts and only 2 minutes walk from St Mark’s Square.

This famous Italian city, built originally on a mosquito infested lagoon has it all; ambience, history, and an “olde world” feel to it that is totally unique.

When dining out, if you can eat in a restaurant away from the main tourist areas, the food and service is usually superb. Although it tends to be expensive to eat in the San Marco and Rialto areas, to enjoy the romantic atmosphere, that “is” Venice, I recommend that you eat in a restaurant on the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge and take a gondola ride, at least once during your visit.

We visited early October, when the temperature was around 24C (~75F) which was very comfortable for sightseeing and for “chilling out” with a nice bottle of wine in the cafes at the front in San Marco or on the Grand Canal.

Entertainment at night was provided at different hotels and restaurants throughout the city. We found that the small orchestras, playing in outdoor cafes and at hotel entrances in St Mark’s Square, were excellent and created a superb “classical” fun atmosphere in this most famous historical square.

We purchased 24 hour water bus (Vaporetto) passes and jumped on and off on a regular basis.  A great way to see round this “magical” place. On several occasions we stayed on the water bus and had a tour of the whole lagoon. A good few of my images were shot from the rear of the water bus which was completely uncovered.

I can’t wait to go back, maybe later this year or early 2013.

I hope you enjoy the images which were shot with my smaller EOS 30D – 8MP camera. (I didn’t have my EOS 5DMK2 at that time)

For larger images, please “click” on the photos below.

Ciao


Rueppells Griffon Vulture

Classified as a “near threatened” species,  this vulture, named after the German explorer and Zoologist, Eduard Ruppell. is believed to be the worlds highest flying bird and has been found at altitudes around 36,000 ft (~ 11,000 metres), although they are found more often ~20,000 ft (~6,000 metres)

As inhabitants of North Africa, America, India, Australia and Nepal, they tend to nest in large flocks in the dry mountainous regions.

Additional information can be found at http://www.phoenixzoo.org/visit/animal_news.aspx?ARTICLE_ID=100566

Rueppell's Griffon Vulture (Gyps Rueppelli)


Down the Pit – Coal Mining

Coal miners of the 19th and early 20th century worked below ground in difficult hot humid and cramped conditions, manually extracting coal from the seam which were often no higher than 3 – 4 ft high.

In this image, which is a re-creation of a 19/20th century pit,  showing a coal miner ” shoring up” the roof of the mine,  I have tried to create the dark and dank  atmosphere of the working conditions that he endured, in order to feed and clothe his family. Additional information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_mining

This image was captured in total darkness, illuminated only by low level flash and processed in CS5

Down the Pit

The interior of a typical miner’s cottage showing the poor standard of living conditions compared with todays “comfortable” “hi-tech” environment.

Living Room

And of course the “communal” wash house, showing the coal fired boiler and the “mangle”

Wash House

All above images captured at Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge. http://www.monklands.co.uk/summerlee/


Eurasian Buzzard – (Buteo buteo)

The Eurasian Buzzard’s habitat tends to be in forest or mountainous regions, but always close to open spaces. This raptor, which breeds in Europe, tends to eat mainly small mammals caught on the ground but also does eat birds, small reptiles and insects.

For more information, please follow this link http://www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-eurasian-buzzard.html

Eurasian Buzzard


Bald Eagle – National Symbol of the United States of America

Since 1782, the Bald Eagle has been the national symbol of the United States of America (as if you didn’t know).

This is an image of an immature bald eagle with its mouth open wide in anticipation of being fed. When fully mature, about 5 years old, the head feathers become completely white, and when viewed from a distance give the eagle its “bald” appearance.

More information at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/birds/bald-eagles.asp


Tawny Owl

The Tawny Owl is one of the most common birds of prey in Britain.

I just could not resist making an image of this little chap. But don’t be fooled in by the cute appearance. Tawny Owls are silent efficient killers which hunt their prey during the hours of darkness.

For more information http://www.newforestexplorersguide.co.uk/sitefolders/wildlife/birds/tawny/tawnypage.html

Tawny Owl