Well its been a while since I wiped the dust from my drone and got it out the bag for a flight but tonight I did just that and headed down to the Northern Spire in the hope of capturing a fantastic sunset. Although it was nice at a point, it didn't amount to much but I did get this shot with the sun poised on top of the bridge so it was worth the flight. Even though there was a strong wind blowing down the river the Mavic Air held its own perfectly and didn't even flinch.An amazing bit of kit!
It was way back in early February when I last made an entry into my blog. It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about its just that I have neglected my website a little and it shows! So here is an update of whats been happening in my life.
February was a very busy month indeed. I took a week off to travel to Gairloch in the highlands of Scotland with friends and had a fantastic time with amazing weather too. A week easier or later and we would have been snowed in to the house we rented or worse still, unable to travel there.It's an area I have traveled to many times before but this time was extra special as it was in celebration of my 50th birthday. Wow how did that happen? A half century in life.
As a bit of a treat I decided to purchase a new bit of photography kit to add to my bag in the form of the newly released DJI Mavic Air drone. With its high resolution camera capable of shooting 4K video and stills full of detail, I can honestly say that my DSLR camera has had very little use since the Air's arrival. At first it was a very nervous experience flying this small but not cheap bit of technology over land sea and river but I get more confident the more I fly and I m starting to get images I could have only dreamed of already. Check out the 'Views from the Air" section I have just added to my Gallery page. I am sure to be adding more images after every flight.
I also was gifted another bit of kit from my very good friends Andy and Diane for my 50th. A Go-pro Hero 5. I hope to be using tis to make a few more Vlogs which seem to be getting some great feedback. I have tried to add to this section on my Youtube page but just cant seem to make the content work. More practice in this area is defiantly needed but stay tuned.
My wife organised a great day out driving a Ferrari and Lamborghini around an airfield in York for my 50th which is another tick off my bucket list. And a great night out to a comedy club in Newcastle was just the ticket from our best mates the Scotts which we all enjoyed. Couple all that with a fantastic turn out at the party and the overwhelming generosity of my friends, I can honestly say its been the best birthday I have ever had!
A return trip to the highlands was taken over the easter weekend where I was able to get some more welcome practice in with the drone in fantastic locations.
So now its nearly June and the sun is rising far to early for my liking so sunrise outings with my camera or drone will be very rear for me however I may force myself out for a sunset or two so keep watching for those images on here and especially on my Facebook page which is updated regularly.
My next traveling takes place this weekend with a trip to Chesterfield in Derbyshire, and oh I maybe taking the drone too ;)
Well this morning was a little more promising with the weather so headed down to Cat and Dog steps at Seaburn (again!) to capture some nice 'wooshery' on those rocks, apparently called Canon Ball rocks. Learn something new every day! As ever, there was a fair amount of plastic washed up on the beach amongst the Kelp. So I picked up 3 bits and put them in the bin. If we all did that it would make a difference. Funnily enough, a jogger on the beach also picked up a plastic bottle too. Not sure if he saw me doing it and followed suit but it was a great sign. We should all do the same. Only took a few moments to place it in the bin.
Up with the Lark this morning and headed down to Collywell Bay at Seaton Sluice, Northumberland for a spot of photographying..! A bit chilly on the fingers and toes not helped by standing in the water for an hour waiting for 'that' photo. Great to be out though. The afternoon seen me at Hetton Lyons Country Park where myself and the wife intended to have a lovely relaxing walk around the lake but it was FREEZING and not just on my fingers and toes this time but also the lake and everything else! couple of phone snaps then back to the warmth of home. before the blizzard conditions hit...and its still snowing...
Went to the Northern Spire bridge this afternoon as there was the chance of a nice sunset but all I got was rubbish! loads of it washed up along the shore. Plastic, mainly bottles were littered around, all of this will be heading back down the Wear into the sea when the tide comes in. Its a shame that some of we humans take no care of the waste we make. Chucking plastic bottles into the waterways rather than taking responsibility to dispose of them responsibly. We are fulling up our planets seas and oceans and killing our planets wild life. One day all this plastic will truly affect our own existence on this planet after the food chain breaks down completely and food becomes scarce.
Today the weather in the North East of England has been, well, challenging! A strong northerly winter wind has been blowing down our lovely coastline and wiping up some impressive waves as it does. So I headed off to the fishing town of Amble in Northumberland in the hope of catching an image of some of those waves, and it was rather tricky. I originally envisioned beautiful morning sunrise light striking the red and white lighthouse on the end of the pier whilst huge fierce waves shrouded the small but interesting structure. However, as the winds were defiantly strong, and the waves unforgiving, they didn't really give me the drama I was after. I had intended to make a new vlog with the visit but trying to juggle a camera, tripod and video set up was proving problematic so I put the video away and concentrated on the still images. Even the tripod went back on my back pack as the wind was just too strong for my 3 legged friend. So hand held shots dodging the waves and spray was the only way. I had hoped to get some long exposures whilst using the tripod but this is the only one that wasn't affected by the wind shaking it about as much. Unfortunately no wave crashing against the lighthouse but still a nice image.
Later in the day when the tide was on the turn, a trip to Seaham Lighthouse in county Durham was called for. Seaham always gives a great show when the waves are crashing so I knew that I would have a chance to get something dramatic. Using a long lens from a distance helps to compress the waves and lighthouse making it even more dramatic but shooting at such a distance has its draw back due to all the moisture in the air which reduces the sharpness on the image. Not to mention the strength of the wind as it tried to thwart my attempts! Still, this location was defiantly the best of the day.
Finally, the last stop of the day was Roker in Tyne and Wear as the light was starting to fade. Its a lighthouse you will have seen frequently on these pages and its so close to home but every visit yields a different image. Even though I had missed the best of the waves it was still a great sight to see as the weather gave its final daylight assault on this iconic Wearside landmark.
What a miserable day its been in the North East of England! Grey, overcast and rain, not the best combination for an outing with the camera. Still, that wasn't going to stop me coming home with at least one image I like. We took a trip to Cragside House in Northumberland and whilst driving around the estate we stopped off at this lovely waterfall. Normally the fall isn't as good as this but the persistent rain filled up the stream turning it into a stunning scene. Whilst I did take a number of other shots around the estate, unfortunately most were spoiled by rain drops on the lens no matter how hard I tried to keep it off. Ah well, heres hoping for better conditions tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
Its not something that I have mentioned very often but I actually have an online store over at Zazzle. If you are looking for something a little original and that you can't find anywhere else, head over to my Zazzle store where you can buy one of my images on anything from a mug to a phone case, a print to a hand bag! It's really easy to place an order and the products are updated regularly by our team, so theres always something new to view. Head over there now and have a look!
What a great start to 2018. I popped down to the beach this morning with my wife before we headed off to the shops for our groceries and was greeted with this fantastic sky of colour. My first outing with the camera in 2018, even though it was a short one, yielded some very nice images indeed. When the sun came up all the colour died and its been raining ever since but hey, I don't mind at all! Happy New Year everyone and I hope you have a great 2018.
Well, after popular (ish...) demand, here is episode 2 of my forays into the video blogging world. On Saturday, I took an early morning trip to Embleton Beach in the hope of retaking an image I had taken a few days before but hopefully in better lighting conditions. So out came my mobile phone, this time mounted on a gorilla pod and off I went. But did I get that morning light? Watch the video to find out. Oh and remember to subscribe to my channel and leave a comment if you like it or not as the case may be. Thanks and Enjoy the show!