More fisheye adventures

london underground

f/5.6, 1/10, 8mm, ISO 400

Two more shots from my adventures with my Samyang 8mm fisheye last Saturday.  A trip on London’s public transport just got a lot more fun.

Waterloo station

f/5.6, 1/70, 8mm, ISO 400

For my 365 redux, I have had to resort to 2009 once again, the year of my original 365. I am looking forward to getting past winter so I have more images from which to choose.  Anyway, the reality of 365’s demands was just settling in back in 2009 and, on the upside, it was beginning to force me to look hard for images everywhere I went, including the top of the local supermarket’s carpark, and the lights on the ceiling of my kitchen.

car park




Remembering the floods



For my 365/13 and 14, I have turned back the clock by just a year. This time last year Surrey was suffering the second of three bouts of severe flooding. I was very busy, documenting my changed local landscape. It was an absorbing project, although always tinged with sadness for those more directly affected. In January, we did not know that the worst was yet to come.

I didn’t share these two pictures at the time, preferring to concentrate on images that showed the severity of the floods to everyone, not just those who know this area.  So it is nice to go back and give these others an airing now.



For those who like to know, the top shot has a shutter speed of 246 seconds, at f/11, using my 10-stop ND filter (aka the Big Stopper).

To Infinity and Bakerloo

London underground

f/5.6, 1/6, 8mm, ISO 400.

My Samyang 8mm fisheye lens (Fuji fit) is one of the best value for money lenses I have.  It’s manual focus only, but at 8mm and f/5.6, it’s actually quite hard to make anything out of focus. Paired with my little Fuji X-E1, it’s a cracking set up for taking down into the London Underground. This shot is from Saturday, at Regent’s Park station, on the Bakerloo line.  Best to see it larger to appreciate the photoshop fun I had with it after I got home (the clue is in the title).

I was scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit for my 365/12 as it appears I do not often take photos on 12th January!  I had only one in the last 7 years (the extent of my digital image-making life).  It is from 2009, the year of my real, as opposed to redux, 365.  I can only guess that it was a day much like today, wet and miserable, that made me resort to photographing soap.





Of treaties, Shakespeare and 365



Time to catch up on my ‘project 365 redux’. This image is from 11th January 2009.  It is the Magna Carta memorial at Runnymede.  This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, at Runnymede, on 15 June 1215.  Originally an attempt to settle the disputes between King John and his barons, Magna Carta has, over the centuries and through many reissues, renewals and reimaginings, become a symbol of liberty. Lord Denning described it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot” (Wikipedia).

London street photography


This image, from 10th January 2014, called ‘I, Coriolanus’, was captured in London’s Seven Dials area. It is in the tradition of street photography, a genre with conventions that include ‘blur, over-exposure, unwanted elements [that] intrude upon the scene [I could add noise and under-exposure]’ (Inigo Taylor, Black and White Photography magazine, Jan 2015).  The poster is for the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role, directed by Josie Rourke.

The image seemed an appropriate companion for the Magna Carta picture. Shakespeare’s tragedy (1605-8) is based on the life of Caius Marcius Coriolanus, a Roman general turned politician who, after being deposed, schemes to exert his own will upon Rome. He rails against the idea of allowing plebeians to have a say in politics and leads an assault against Rome.  Ultimately, he is persuaded to sign a peace treaty.  However, like the despotic King John, his alliances become his burden; he is murdered by conspirators from within.

King John died in 1216.  Most historical accounts give the cause as dysentery contracted while on campaign against the barons (the first agreement of Magna Carta having been dishonoured by both sides).  However, in another Shakespeare play, King John, he is poisoned by a monk within his own cortege.

The plots of not only Shakespeare’s histories but also his tragedies often came from history books of his time, most notably Holinshed’s Chronicles.  They are history redux. Thus the link with my very much more humble 365 redux was impossible to ignore!

Definitely Surrey!

Surrey landscape

f/11, 1/80, 70mm, ISO 400

Every Tuesday I go out shooting with Jenifer Bunnett, another Surrey landscape photographer. This week we went to Frensham Great Pond.  It had been years since I was last there.

Surrey landscape

f/11, 1/125, 70mm, ISO 200

The weather started inauspiciously so we strolled around the lake scouting locations for another day.  Finally, we happened upon the charming chaps of Frensham Pond Model Yacht Group who were happy to let us take a few pictures of their beautiful yachts in action.  We hope to go back and capture more pictures there in better light.

Surrey landscape

f/8, 15″. 125mm, ISO 200

I experimented with a long exposure to try to capture something of the blustery, drizzling conditions.  And then we retreated to the Frensham Pond Hotel for a very welcome cuppa, or two.

Surrey Landscape

f/11, 1/100, 35mm, ISO 400

When we set out again, the weather was still dreary but, then, it started to clear.

Surrey Landscape

f/11, 1/4, 16mm, ISO 100

One of the things I love about this country is the way the weather changes so swiftly and unexpectedly.  One minute the landscape was grey and oppressive, the next it basked in golden light.  These two shots of the same view were taken 20 minutes apart.

Surrey landscape

f/11, 1/10, 16mm, ISO 100

That last shot has surprised people; they think it looks more like something from the Lake District than Surrey.  People constantly underestimate this county.  It’s not famous for its landscapes; there are no dramatic mountains or windswept coastline.  But beauty is still there, for those with an eye to see it.

Surrey landscape

f/10, 1/10, 16mm, ISO 100

After its inauspicious start, the day turned out to be a great success. The sunset was as spectacular as one could ask but Mummy-duties required me to leave 20 minutes before it (frustrating!).  I just had time to snatch a last shot of Jen, who had longer, still doing her thing.

Surrey landscape

f/9, 1/50, 25mm, ISO 200

On sharing some of my pictures on Twitter, I have been told that Frensham Little Pond is even prettier.  Guess where we’re going next Tuesday.


Today’s 365 is from 9th January 2010.  Tea lights in snow.  Well, why not?

tea lights in snow


Echoes of times past



Today’s 365 is from 2009.  It’s quite handy that I did a project 365 in 2009, as there are images from every day; helpful when I find that I didn’t shoot on that particular date in any other year I have on file.  But still, I have to come up with a new image, or a re-edit at least.  Some days when I did my first 365, I struggled to find one image worth downloading.  Luckily, on 8th January I went for a stroll along my local waterway, the Wey Navigation, and took several pictures. Here’s one I hadn’t processed until now.  It is a fitting image to choose in the context of a project that involves revisiting the past; the building reflected in this picture is a modern apartment block built as a pastiche to echo the Victorian mill that used to stand here.   The original building could not be renovated as it burned down in 1963, in the last of many fires on this site (the perils of milling seed oil).

Murmuration triptych


365/6 and 7

Last winter, I happened upon a small local murmuration of starlings. This year, by all accounts, there are far fewer starlings, only a fraction of the host shown here.  This ‘inverted’ triptych is from images made on both 6th and 7th January 2014.  Yes, I went two days in a row.  Small though it was by national standards, this murmuration was still a breathtaking and very exciting show.

Happy snapping Sunday

West Wittering

f/7.1, 1/60. 25mm, ISO 200

This is why I didn’t post yesterday: an epic full day of shooting in West Sussex.  More anon.   Yesterday’s and today’s 365 at the end.

 West Wittering

f/7.1, 1/80, 19mm, ISO 200

 West Wittering

f/7.1, 1/50, 35mm, ISO 200

 West Wittering

f/11, 0.3″, 16mm, ISO 100

 West Wittering

f/11, 0.3″, 16mm, ISO 100

365/4 and 5 are from January 2009.  I was a digital newbie, just learning my way around pixels and processing.  I would convert to shooting exclusively RAW later that month.  Never looked back really.





Drive, reboot

light trails


Today’s image is from this day two years ago.  We were driving back from an lovely few days in Dartmouth and I was playing with the Sony NEX 7 which I had hired for the trip.  I reviewed the camera here; it remains one of my most-viewed posts.  I was thinking of buying a compact system camera and the Sony was on the shortlist.  It was a powerful little camera, and I enjoyed using it.  However, I actually ended up buying the Fuji X-E1 because I preferred its dials and buttons rather than the more menu-based operation of the Sony.

In other news, I am pleased to be supporting Guildford Green Belt Group with my images. Here’s the New Years card they sent to their supporters:

Wisley AIrfield

Three Farms Meadows

Dubai, colourless.

sculpture in Dubai

365/2 – Dubai Divers

This day last year, we were in Dubai, having stopped off on our way back from Australia.  I wish I could say I loved Dubai.  It’s just not my kind of place.  In fact, it reminded me strongly of my least favourite place in the whole world, Las Vegas.  I did quite like this sculpture of diving figures in the otherwise overwhelming temple of excess that is the Dubai Mall.

We thought it might be interesting to take a tour into the desert, but the more than 3 hours round trip just to get to a scrubby bit of dirty sand and some very smelly camels inside a wire fence did rather take the gloss off the experience.  Still, I liked these strange little bushes with their roots exposed.  They looked as if, at night, they might secretly tiptoe across the sand.

desert scene

365/2 – Dubai desert