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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


Eilean Donan Castle

One of the most photographed castles in  the world, Eilean Donan Castle can be found on the road to Kyle of Lochalsh; where Loch Alsh, Loch Duich and Loch Long combine.

The historical beginnings of Eilean Donan are believed to date back as early as the 7th century AD, at a time when Christianity was just being introduced in this area of Scotland.  Details can be found at http://www.eileandonancastle.com/home.htm

This famous castle features in a number of Hollywood movies. The ones that come to mind are “Highlander” in 1986,  with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErjCcqKzr0k  and more recently, in 2008, “Made of Honor” with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E72ZeWEMP90

Today the castle is a beautiful, historical and romantic setting, owned by the Conchara Charitable Trust. It is open to the public during the months of March to October. It is also a popular wedding venue.

Eilean Donan Castle


Landing Bee – Summer 2011

It took me ages to capture this one. Unfortunately bees do not fly in a predictable flight path and are constantly “buzzing” in and out behind the flower heads.

So again I just had to wait for one to pass in front of the camera viewfinder to capture it.

Landing Bee

One of my few attempts at “macro” …. exposure settings –  iso400, t1600, f4.o (subject distance 0.4m, lens focal length 105mm)


Reflections of Bruges

I visited Bruges with a small group of work colleagues, about 18 months ago.

This beautiful walled city is located in the Flanders region of Belgium. It is often called the “Venice of the North” as a canal encircles the city. For a modest sum of money, you can take a boat tour which passes through some very picturesque areas.

If you are a chocoholic, like me, you will of course want to sample the famous Belgian chocolates. I brought home about 4 Kgs of the addictive confectionary and managed to eat them within a few weeks. (I did, of course share a few with my family)

The image below is known as Canal Rozenhoedkaai and shows the Belfry of Bruges (bell tower) illuminated in he background.

Reflections of Bruges

Image captured at 22.35 on a July summer evening (hand-held, leaning against a post for support, with image stabliser on, at iso800,  f8 / 0.8s)


Rooftop Sunset

This image, captured  last year, is a view through the skylight window in my attic.

The mixture of deep reds, yellow and blue along with the dark “threatening” tones convey a sense of anger in the sky.

Rooftop Sunset


Rusty Old Bicycle

While travelling through Glen Etive, in the Scottish Highlands, during a field photography trip, in autumn 2010, we came across this old rusty bicycle, leaning against an old locked shed. (probably set up for us “budding photographers”)

Apart from the quaint appearance of the rusty old fashioned bicycle, the “bleached” wood on the shed had the appearance of having been neglected for many years. It did however have some very interesting textures that I have tried to bring this out in this image.

I hope you like it.

Locked Out


Swans’ Mating Ritual

The image shows a cob and pen “walking/treading water” after mating.

Swans' Mating Ritual