Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hopwas Woods

Went down to Tamworth on Sunday to see my Uncles Tony and Clive.   Tony had been telling me about what they used to get up to as kids and Hopwas Woods was a favourite haunt where he used to find the wood for his catapults.  Apparently he could knock out a street light from 200 feet!!!!

Anyway here are a few of the photos I took while visiting his old haunts.

So off we went Tony in the lead followed by sister Sue  and me bringing up the rear with the camera!!

The hedges had just recently been cut so I thought a close up with a shallow depth of field to blur the scene behind.

Many of the trees along the way were covered with ivy in various stages of growth.

So I felt a closer look was needed!

Extremely vigorous in its efforts to reach the tops of the trees.   But what happens when it reaches the top??
I loved the blue of the river visible through the trees.

I was trying to capture the reflection in the canal here, you can see the ivy ever present.
Eventually we reached the bridge that would let us get into the wood but we decided to stay on the drier canal path.  Again I was trying to get the reflection here.

It was a lovely crisp morning and the view of the river through the trees was much more exhilarating than my picture suggests.

There were interesting colours to be found everywhere this is just one example.

And the presence of ivy persisted.

At this point this was the nearest I had got to any fungi but I was hoping to find some mushrooms somewhere along the way.

Eventually we reached the place that was vivid in Uncle Tony's mind - many a stone had been catapulted here!!!!

 While we were there a canal boat passed by at a leisurely pace.

I think the dog was wanting a lift home!

With all the photography going on Uncle Tony thought he would try to get a picture with his mobile phone.

So we took the opportunity to photograph him!!!

Well I think he got it.

Although he does not look too sure!!!!!

Anyway we set off back as we were feeling a little peckish by now.
More practice on getting the right depth of field in this next shot.

Yet more ivy - should perhaps rename the wood to Tanglewood!!

This was another of the things Tony had remembered, a relic from the war,  but it was occupied as we passed it before - fortunately there were no occupants as we walked back so I managed to get a it from a couple of angles.

This was the entrance and I think you could still get in if you wanted to ( we decided against trying !!!).

This was at the corner of the bridge into the woods I thought the gnarled tree was a sharp contrast to the wooden signpost.

A view from the bridge.

And at last after a little exploration of the woods ..........................

More depth of field practise  - interesting cross section of the tree.  Looks almost to have maggots incarcerated in it.

I suppose that is nothing compared to having a metal fence embedded in the tree!

By now it was getting a little warmer  as the sun decided to come out for midday.

Tamworth flats in the distance.

Back at the start in the other direction trying to get more reflections.

Not sure why this was in the side of the bridge.

Almost back to the pub for lunch now but just time for one final shot again experimenting with the depth of field.  Merry Xmas!!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Recent visit to Hollingworth Lake

I have just noticed  that posts and pages do not seem to behave as I expected.  So it seems that my blog has three pages all of which can have new posts?  I did not realise that was how it would work!!

Popped over to Hollingworth lake after a reunion of  retirees at a pub lunch last month.  Tried to get some photos taken.

I think I need to develop my wildlife photography skills as the birds wont perform to order and I am rather slow at deciding on my settings!!!!  Here are some of my better attempts so far.

The gulls were quite obliging and tried to sit still long enough for me to focus and set the right exposure settings but I am not sure that I got it right some of the time - some shots have a bluish caste because I discovered after the event that I had left my white balance set on indoor  and so with some of the images I have tried using the adjust colour tool in Picasa  although I have retained the bluish caste on some as I quite liked the effect.

The next shot I was quite pleased with considering how fast they came in to land  but I have cropped it as there were others not quite as in focus as these two.

The photo above has been cropped as there was rather a lot of water in the shot!!

Not sure how the duck above got his head to twist that far round !

 Again the picture above has been cropped ( been reading and listening to varying opinions about whether you should or not - think at the moment my lack of skill means cropping is a necessary step with some photos.  

I love the next photo it just made me smile as the big bird seems to be following the little bird - the sort of photo begging for a caption!!

It was much easier to get a shot of the sailors than the birds!!

I got very excited when this chap came within range  ( don't know what the fascination is with rooks and ravens and crows etc )  and  I was pleased to have managed to get this shot.

He did not seem too impressed with me and soon turned tail!

I like this next one as you can see the delicate nature of the feathers and the feet.

Hope you have enjoyed my limited attempts at bird photography - hope to get better with practice ( is that the right way to spell practice????   and does it matter anymore as I no longer have to write reports !! )