Kitesurfers on Barassie Beach
On a windy, but sunny February morning, a few of us from Ayr Photographic Society, met on Barassie Beach to enjoy the acrobatic activities of the local kitesurfing training school, run by Grant Clayton
Below are some of my action-packed images, captured with the new Sony zoom lens
What an amazing performance. Superb !!!!!
Good old Santa – Sony FE 200-600mm
I must have been a good boy, as I’m now the proud owner of this great lens. Here’s a few more local wildlife/bird images, shot with my new lens.
I hope you like them.
Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers
Sony FE200-600mm f5.6/f6.3 Trial
I had the opportunity to trial this lens at the end of last week, at Rozelle Park, in Ayr, where I manage to shoot some “active “dog images and a few images of some local birds
Although a little heavier than my Canon FE70-200mm f2.8 IS USM, with metabones e-mount adapter, I found it easier to handle than expected.
The reach and quality of this Sony lens was superb, and the continuous autofocus, on the subjects was extremely accurate. I hope Santa will be good to me, this Xmas so that I can add it to my photography kit bag
Here are a few sample images which I hope you will like
Dumfries House Estate – Another Day Out
Earlier this year, we visited Dumfries House Estate, located near Cumnock, in East Ayrshire. The first visit was towards the end of summer and then again later in the Autumn.
A great place to “chill out”, wandering in the well maintained woodland and garden areas, giving you a real sense of peace and tranquility
Below are a few images taken during our visits
Fireworks Near Burns Monument
The annual fireworks display, to commemorate Guy Fawkes’ attempt to blow-up The Houses of Parliament in 1605, was held recently at the grounds of Ayr Rugby Club.
Here are a few images, of the local firework display, shot near Burns Monument, overlooking “Brig O’ Doon” Hotel.
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
“C” is for child so wonderful and new
“A“ is for apple of my eye she is too
“I” is for innocence you see in her face
“T” is for tenderness and so full of grace
“L” is for love, unconditional and pure
“I” will protect her and love her, for sure
“N“o words can express my joy and elation
Caitlin’s arrived …. she’s a sensation!
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
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
Please follow my link below to see more images of this annual, “not to be missed” event.
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”
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”
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.
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.
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/
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
“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
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.
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 – 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.
Memories of Venice
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.