Saturday, September 26, 2009

26th September 2009: Club Meet at Spring gardens, Norton

We arrived in bright sunshine yesterday and had a mild evening followed by a very cold night, at first the sky was clear and the stars were visible, but then a cold fog closed in, and it became very cold indeed, we really missed being on a mains hook up!
We went for a tour round the quiet country roads and eventually ended up at Castleton, to have lunch at our favourite cafe.
As usual it was very pleasant and I set off back over the moor road from Danby to Rosedale when Pat announced that she wanted to visit Flamingo Park, on our way back.
The last time we went there must have been at least 25 years ago and it has grown enormously since!
In those days it was just a Zoo, but now it is a very large Fair ground too, and now is described as a "Theme Park".
The price of entry was £11.50 each for us and at least twice that for adults, so it wasn't cheap, but considering the price if rides at Hull Fair and the fact that you could go on these horrendous rides as often as you dared, it probably represented good value to younger people.
Anyway we thought it worth it for the rather good Zoo!
The first animal's we spotted were the Giraffes, in the same enclosure with the Zebras.
A little further on we were enthralled by the Meerkats, in particular there was a baby that was attracting every ones interest and the visitors cameras were very busy!
This was followed by baboon island were the visitors were throwing fruit across the moat, even though they shouldn't!There were of course some Pelicans and also a couple of really impressive Pelicans, as well as chimps and Kangaroos, Ostriches, Emus, etc, etc., We had a really good time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

21 st September 2009 And a walk in the Park

Back home only a day and already glad to get out of the house, if only for a walk in the park!
I enjoyed photographing the South American Reas, not so easy with the sky being cloudy and the light rather low.
Here is a photo of an adult Rea, backlit and with he incredibly long exposure of 1/15th second, the Nikon Vibration Reduction did a fine job!
There were also some very engaging you Rea in another enclosure, here's a close up of one,
And here he is striding towards me.
and here with a sibling.
There were also some Peacocks and a couple of them hopped up onto the fence right in front of me.
And geese on the lake too.
On the way to the cafe the trees were starting to show their Autumn colours at last

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20th September, Back Home today

And would you believe it? absolutely lovely weather all day!
Still, never mind, we had a marvellous couple of weeks!
We had a good, traffic free run back and were home for lunchtime, so the aftrnoon was taken up with unpacking and Pat was busy with all that washing from the holiday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

19th September 2009: Scarborough Italian Gardens

sunny for a change, we set off for Scarborough and parked on the Esplanade for a walk down to the Italian Gardens, they are in better colour now than they have been all year, and looking good. There are still some lovely red flowers that we couldn't put a name to
We were approached by a very friendly squirrel, but sadly had nothing to give to her, still there were plenty of beach nuts all around and she soon started tucking into them.
We carried on to the Rose Gardens, they are no looking so good at this time of year, a bit sparse to be truthful.
The tide was well out and I took several shots of the bay before we rejoined the esplanade and walked along in the direction of the Grand Hotel.
Down in the Spa there was a jazz festival taking place and the music drifted up to us in snatches as we walked along, and behind us we could hear the roar of motorcycle engines on Oliver's Mount, no doubt a race or hill climb event.
We wanted to have lunch at Mcdonalds but the traffic into Scarborough was solid, so we went out on the Filey road and doubled back through Eastfield, a very sensible thing to do!
After lunch we had a leisurely ride back to the van via Forge Valley, not yet in full autumn colour, then the coast road to Whitby, where we bought an Apple Strudle at the Lidl store and baked it in the caravan to have after tea.
I did some experiments with high Dynamic Range photos on site and discovered that the problems with multiple exposure HDR's are that things that move in the breeze give real problems with "Ghosting" I leave you to guess which is which!

And concluded that since you can achieve the same result by converting a single RAW file to give higher and lower Exposure Values for conversion to HDR, for landscapes at least HDR from a single RAW is the way to go!

Friday, September 18, 2009

18th September 2009 A cloudy Day

A cloudy morning, we went inland to Guisborough to shop, then had a tour around the back lanes where I took a couple of scenic shots before we went to Castleton for the usual Pensioners lunch, which was even better than usual, we had chicken and leak pie with roast potatoes, carrots and runner beans and a Bread and Butter pudding and custard, absolutely great!
We then had a tour round the lanes in the hope that the cloudy sky would clear, but it didn't of course, so we ended up back at the caravan, and Pat rested until tea.
I meanwhile went for a walk doiwn in the direction of Falling Foss.
I was interested in the complex patterns of the wildflowers in seed, here is an exampleAnd experimeted with a shot into the sun taken the previous evening, I wanted to know if using the HDR treatment would recover some of the lost tonal range that you can't get by RAW conversions, here is the Raw conversionAnd here is the HDR

Despite the indifferent weather we had had another good day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

17th September: Whitby and two walks

Dawn came up bright and sunny, so we went down into Whitby for a walk around the old town, parking on the old customs wharf.
There's always an interesting tangle of nets and floats to photograph!AS well as a multitude of small craft
As we crossed the swing bridge we could see that dredging was taking place quite close by.
Whitby was quite busy and we enjoyed looking on the old shops.and walking along the narrow streets.
There was a large party of schoolchildren marching along the beach below in bright yellow safety jackets, whether to make them easier to locate,or warn people they were coming we couldn't say!
The old Lifeboat passed with a cargo of holiday makers as it now has a career as a pleasure boat, and we watched the antic of one of the inshore fishing trawlers as he tried repeatedly to broach the sand bar at the harbour mouth and get to the open sea.
He must have made a dozen attempts, and we had gone for lunch before I assume he made it!
We had a very pleasant luch in Elizabeth Bothams cafe and made our way back to the car park and then to camp.
Pat rested during the afternoon and I went for two walks, first down to Falling Foss waterfall, There was an interesting old stone bridge over the stream, and a man and child to give the scene scale.
then I drove down to the end of the lane at Ravenscar and walked the steep steps down to the beach to get a shot of robin hoods Bay from there.
It was sunny into the evening, so another rather shorter walk off the site filled that time!
A good day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

16th September: A cool day and Cloudy

Once again the weather wasn't as good as forecast, we set off inland and took the higher roads to Danby Beacon where we had our usual morning cuppa and I took some scenic shots though the light was poor.
There was plenty of autum colour in the brackenAnd the beginings of Autumn tinges in this distant view of Fryup DaleAnd in this looking down the footpath further along the road
And up at Danby Beacon they have replaced the old metal brazier framework with this Sculpture on a metal column

We then went to Saltburn to have lunch in the "Signals Bistro" and then out of curiosity Drove further into Saltburn than we have before, and found a place we hadn't heard of."Saltburn Valley Gardens" which turned out to be a wooded ravine with walks and gardens reminiscent of those above the Spa in Scarborough. There was a very nice Italian Garden near the bottom of the ravine,
This is the first sight of it through the trees,
And once down to the gardens, they are very picturesque

with some rather exotic plants, As well as some of the more familiar ones.

for a few minutes even the sun came out, and it was a regular sun trap!
We continued along the wooded ravine and eventually ended up back at the top of the hill close to where we had parked the car.
All in all it was very pleasant.
Hopes of going out again later in the day came to nought as the clouds and light rain returned.
But by then we had had a good day out,so we weren't too bothered.