Lovely old Doom and Gloom!

Righty! Managed to process some images wot I took out at Orford Ness a while back and I added them to the set “The Ness”on the website. I’ve gone back for a bit of lovely old doom and gloom, and dark and eerie mono, I was gettin far to cheerful playin around with all that colour malarky. And lets not forget that where there’s grumpy there’s creativity! Take Vlad the Impaler for example!

The Armoury. ©LeeThornberry 2012
Test Laboratories one and two. ©LeeThornberry 2012
Laboratory Row. ©LeeThornberry 2012
Bright Pagoda. ©LeeThornberry 2012

Moody Mono. . . Erm . . . Wednesday?

Was a goin through the images I fell over and took whilst up at Wicken the other weekend. Of which there were far too many. I tend, for the most part, be an opportunistic ambush happy snapper, I will blunder off with no real fixed plan and blatt away with clueless abandon until my finger hurts, and then go look for food.

On the other hand I suppose that these little fun trips could also be classed as Photo reconnaissance missions, as I often find a view, or object, or area of interest that I think, Mmmm! righty that would look good in low light, or dawn, or dusk, and then I will plan a more organised grumpymonkey outing for another day. I do plan shoots, but a lot of the time its just about gettin out and havin fun!

Well anyhoo I was trawling through reams of  general photo fodder with my finger firmly placed on the delete button, when I hadda thought. Once I’d come around and picked meself up off the floor, I thought that it was a pretty good thought. What the thought was that I thought was, What a bloody waste! Why not have a bash at doing something interesting with some of the photo fodder that you are sacrificing to the ether with out giving it a chance.

Take the first image below for example. It ain’t a terrible shot, it just hasn’t got anything about it that makes give it much of a second look. It kinda lacks any drama or atmosphere, I mean its just a handheld blatt that I thought may work and sadly didn’t.  So I decided to have a fiddle.

Ely from Wicken. Before ©LeeThornberry 2012

I opened it up and played around until I thought, yep thats got more about it. I think its pretty atmospheric now. I slung them sliders all over the shop. I even, after toning it down a bit, reintroduced some haloing ( and haloing generally sucks )around the cathedral, as it kind of works with the sunbeams that have just been made visible with the grainy effect.

Yeppity I like that, so I’m a gonna hang on to it. . . . .   Thinks to self, hang on, Ive got fahsands and fahsands (mock cockeny) of these to go through (the result of being a lazy Git) Now I’ve made a rod for my own back! . . . . . . . . . . . . Runs to end of garden to eat worms at the very thought of hours and hours of processing ahead!

Ely from Wicken. After ©LeeThornberry 2012

Next time that I have a thought I need to think about it a bit more, Bugger this one’s stuck! Ho Hum! Happy Snapping Folks 🙂

Panoramamania and a Bluebell up me shnozle!

Twas a great day for blundering about with Mr Nikon yesterday. Found meself out in the woods a scarin furry critters with my special woodlands tourettes. Went out to some lovely old woodlands and once I had cleared out all the wildlife got some great images of  beds of bluebells.

Now to be honest I’m not a great fan of flowers, I used to work as a forester and if it wern’t a tree it were a weed! However, a woodland carpeted in bluebells or snowdrops is in my humbles is a truly beautiful sight. And I got a proper faceful yesterday. I even got one up me hooter as I got right down to the deck to check out all the angles,(fell over again) which resulted in a good couple of minutes of  one nostril tramp snotting as I tried to dislodge the insecty critter that had been sunning itself upon the aforementioned flower, I bet he had a story or two to tell the larva’s when he got home.

I took several shots with a view to stitchin them together in to panoramas when I got back. I think that they turned out pretty well seeing as they were all hand held, due to the fact that I’m a lazy arse.

Bluebells in Captains Wood ©LeeThornberry 2012
Path through the Bluebells Captains wood ©LeeThornberry 2012
Bluebells in Woodland clearing. ©LeeThornberry 2012

This one is of the the fens up in Cambridgeshire from the other morning. I think that I may have to set up a new image gallery on my website for panoramas so that you can zoom in on them to get more detail. I think here on the old bloggy blog blog you will have to click on the individual images to get a larger image.

Yellow Pollen and Pillboxes

Well I went up to the fens t’other day for a beer festival at wicken. Great little do held at the village recreation ground, they had slung up a big tent, had a good selection of ales and ciders, a BBQ and a couple of bands . . .  and it didnt rain! Result!

I decided to have a little snout around the locale before every thing started to get too badly out of focus, the ale plays havoc with me auto and manual focus, perhaps it’s something that I should bring up with nikon. Perhaps their clever little boffins could come up with some sort of clever ale stabilisation system for their lens’s, I would be ever so grateful. Someone once said that I shouldn’t drink and take photographs at the same time, I told them that sadly it was the only way that I found them to be remotely photogenic, and not to let the door hit them in the arse as they left the building! Some people eh!

AnyHooo, I took a blunder around and about and up and down a few lanes and I spotted a pillbox that I thought maybe a candidate for my little “Killer Views” project. It looked to be, from where I was standing, on a slight rise. So quite probably the view from within would be pretty cool, I thought. So i decided to make an effort and get out to it. Now I’m not sure of the type of oilseed rape that they grow up there in the fens, but they seemed to have breed this nasty little yellow git with some sort of Triffid! Up me trouser legs, up me nose, wrapping around me legs, tripping, slipping and in general trying to commit alsorts of GBH to my person. Very unsporting! I eventually got there, covered in pollen, looking as if I had done 10 rounds with Crusty McCustard the world all in custard powder wrestling champeeen of the fens. That’ll be very yellow to all those not in the know.

Pillbox and Rape ©LeeThornberry 2012

Out of breath, sweating like the head of Essex Social Services after a phone call from the Home Secretary, I squaged meself in through the entrance and peered out through the firing points. . . . .  RESULT!

Killer View Wicken Church ©LeeThornberry 2012
Killer View Wicken Church. Mono ©LeeThornberry 2012

A great killer view of the village church beyond the fields of oilseed. I converted to mono in SEP2 and I think I have one for the collection.

I made my way back to the lane via a shorter less difficult route that I had completely failed to spot initially, even found a plank of wood thrown over the ditch that surrounded the field :-/ so could have saved meslf a fair amount of hassle on the journey out to the pillbox, if I had actually had my wits about me. Is the photographic eye nurtured at the expense of the common sense look where you are going eye? PAH!

So I wondered back to the ale in a slightly yellow fashion with a feeling of acomplishment. I could tuck in to the “Idle Dog”, “Woild Moild” and “Trembling Rabbit.” Stuff my face with burgers and hot dogs, pretend not to like the band, knowing that I had at least made an effort and achieved someting at least vaugely photographic during the day.

The 0430 wake up to get out and catch the sunrise over the fens was a different matter altogether! Ho Hum! 🙂

Mad Dr FanDangos Dance Studio A

And thats the reason there is a lost generation of dancers in this town folks, as many of the bright young things, with dreams and stars in there eyes, who entered through the doors of Mad Dr Fandangos Dance studio  . . . . Were never seen again!

Studio a ©LeeThornberry 2008

Although there is a sad shambling figure who frequents the park benches and hangs with the street drinkers, who occasionally  breaks out in to spasms of modern tap, before running screaming in to the shadows, amongst her screams you can just make out the words . . It was the Fandango  . . It was the Fandango!

They have now turned the place into some sort of wine bar. Which could possibly be deemed as worse 😀

Oilseed, SteamPunkery and interesting Clouds

Noticed that the fields of oilseed were all gittin nice and bright yellow, so I thought to myself, what would compliment a field of bright yellow flowers? I know I thought, My mate Mustang Sals bright red hair!  So I said to Sal, “Hey Sal, can I borrow yer  hair?” And bless she said I could, but only if she came along to make sure it was ok. I had no problem with that cos she loves to dress up and makes a perfect “frontdrop” to a field of flowers.

Well now this here April has been livin up to its habit of lots of unpredictable showers. One minute its sunshine and t-shirts and then in the blink of an eye its tryin to wash you down the street, or rattle your brains with hail. The one upside is some quite spectacular cloudage all over the place, and the morning we went out looking for a location to have us a little photo shoot that nice man in charge of interesting clouds didn’t let us down. Sal had donned a sort of Gypsy Steampunk get up which was pretty funky,  and we had sun (intermittently),  we had interesting clouds, we had red hair and we had fields of bright yellow oilseed. GET IN 🙂

We found an excellent location, a track crossroads surrounded by flowering fields on the brow of a hill. I found a ditch, ( regular readers of my blog will know that I have a tendency to fall over/into/under/on top of things) and when I had recovered,  realised that it was an excellent vantage for some low angle fun photomatography stuff. And so off we jolly well went. The light kept constantly changing so I was using lots of fill flash to try and keep up. It was loadsa fun and full of sillyness, and we had a great time. Sal isn’t a model, but she’s up for a larf!  Some of the best shots were when I got her to yell obscenities at the top of her voice, good job twas in the middle of nowhere, may have offended a passing duck, but HeyHo there you Go 😀

Here’s a few of first the to be processed. Got loads and loads more to be gettin on with, lots of experimenting to do, Thinkin Mono, thinkin textures, thinkin funkyness!  Still it keeps me off of the streets!

©LeeThornberry 2012
©LeeThornberry 2012
©LeeThornberry 2012
©LeeThornberry 2012
©LeeThornberry 2012
©LeeThornberry 2012

Looking up from the Gutter to the Stars.

Now as I have mentioned I fall over quite a lot. Me and gravity have issues, steps, logs, slippery things, Non slippery things, safety flooring, grass, twigs, cats, dogs and fresh air, all seem to become frictionless when I am in the vicinity, resulting with me spending a fair amount of time on the deck. I have become quite adept at landing without causing too much damage, all them there funny fighting classes that I took many years ago taught me how to land without hurting myself when thrown, and the knowledge seems to have stuck. I can’t remember none of them thar quadratic equations or calculus things, but I sure do know how to break a fall.

Now spending all that time down on the floor has its advantages, If no one is looking and you are out in the boonies you can, if the floor is comfy enough take an impromptu nap, and I am a big fan of naps. I take several naps a day. In fact I’m so good at taking naps sometimes people don’t even know that I am napping and continue to drone on at me oblivious to the fact that I’m on a different planet. I have excellent drool control and have overcome the “chasing rabbits twitchy sleep running” that used to be a bit of a giveaway.

Another advantage of spending so much time on the floor is you get to see things that you would normally miss whilst striding cluelessly about up there in the “normalsphere.” You get to see things from a different perspective, trees and buildings “Loom.” Dirt and leaf litter take on an otherworldly atmosphere, and as for the humble toadstool, you’ve gotta be down in the shite to properly appreciate their true wonder.

Take for example the image “Golden Glow” below. There I was have a good old blunder around the woods oblivious to the hidden wonders in the undergrowth, when all of a sudden, “Gravity Vortex!” Mid air flying sensation, BreakFall, Thud! And there I was staring up at a tree stump crowned with a hoard of Sulphur Tuft toadstools. The thing is from my low angle they were right between me and the low afternoon sun, and they glowed. Wouldn’t have seen such a gorgeous sight from anywhere but my landing site.

Golden Glow ©LeeThornberry 2010

The next image is of the same Sulphur tufts from a slightly different angle, not quite so glowy.

Sulphur Tufts

And the next image is of how you would normally see sulphur Tufts, Not glowy at all.

Sulphur Tufts

So my advice for finding alternative points of view for some photography on those days when nothing grabs you, is learn to breakfall and fling yerselves about a bit. It works for me 🙂

Remember Children’s parties and funeral warm up’s a speciality!

Shingle Street to East Lane

Quickie post from t’other days blunderings. The Row of Martello towers from Shingle Street in the north to East Lane Bawdsey in the south. The little structure in front of the furthest martello, East Lane, is the Gunnery Observation tower from the last post.

Killer Views, Ride on Mowers and unexpected Skips

Got around to a bit of processing after busyness and some sillyness and some crunchyness. Took a trip back out to Bawdsey as there is so much to poke around in out there. I had another good nose about East Lane with all its coastal defences both modern and old. Then a trundle around Bawdsey church and met an interesting character and learnt some of that there local history stuff. And then mosied on up to that thar Shingle street for a different perspective on the Martello towers of the area. All in all an excellent day and lots for Mr Nikon to be gettin on with.

I love the old WWII Gunnery observation tower situated in east Lane. It looks really grumpy, it wanted to be a Martello tower, but they ran out of curves. The top image shows the different generations of defences built up in the area over the years. In front and slightly south of it (there is actually a road running between them) can be seen a cylindrical WWI pillbox, and then to the north in the distance can be seen three Napoleonic Martello towers up as far as Shingle Street.

Generations of Defence ©LeeThornberry 2012

The next image is taken from inside the concrete encasement of the actual gun battery. That there wet sea stuff is behind me.

View from the Battery ©LeeThornberry 2012

You can still gain access to the interior of the tower, it has three floors, the external steps take you to the first floor where I took the north and south images. The ground floor is partially flooded so I gave it a miss. Couldn’t be Arsed, fair weather photographer me 🙂  To the North across the man made meres can be seen the line of Martello towers

View North ©LeeThornberry 2012

And to the South can be seen Bawdsey Martello, which has been done up all nice and cosy and is inhabited.

View south ©LeeThornberry 2012

The first thing that you notice when entering the tower is the poem on stenciled on to the far wall. After a bit of that Goggling malarky on the inteweb thingy I found out that it was part of an installation art project by artist Bettina Furnee details of which can be found Here, Prisoner of War . Its worth visiting as the text that she used, sadly no longer there, was based on the spoken memories of locals who lived in the area during the war. Some of them made me laugh out aloud.

Identification

At the end of the war the area was used as a prisoner of war camp and I its main job done the tower became part of that.

Prisoner of war
Prisoner of war reflected

I would have had these images up and running sooner, but I had a funny old day yesterday. I went to help a mate out doing some of that there gardening work. This basically entailed me zooming around on a sit on mower all day and having great fun making whooping noises, leaping small gullies and generally having the time of my life.I can now add this to the list of things that I have always wanted to do, and done 🙂 It may nor seem that big a deal, and I have in the past driven much larger scarier bits of kit, cut down trees, jumped out of aircraft, blown up stuff etc etc. But until yesterday had never driven a ride on mower. So I was pretty chuffed.

The general feeling of Chuffedness lasted until about the time I backed my car in to the mini skip that I had failed to notice, in my defence I was trying to avoid several trees and a slightly mad Great dane at the time, and the skip remained un noticed until the the car made alsorts of hitting a skip noises. HoHum! Spent the rest of the day organising insurance, replacement car and stiffling the laughter of my friends. I must say though that my mate Sally seemed to have rather too much fun attempting to release the hatchback of my car from the skip, using claw hammers, heavy duty chisels, and a bloody great crow bar! That’ll teach me to Skip over the details . . . . :-/

However! I shall return later with more Bawdseyness and some Shingly Streetness from the previous days photographic Blundering