Aug2014 - December 2015 - Angelpeak Photography by Tony Meikle Photographer Alnwick Northumberland UK

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Aug2014 - December 2015

Photo Blog

My Photo Blog and Diary page
Various photo happenings and a few thoughts along the way.

Blakeney Rapids
Cross-country skiing

Winter 2015/2016


Three weeks over the Christmas holiday period spent visiting family in Ontario, Canada.

The unusually mild weather for the time of year delayed the start of the seasonal snowy weather until after Christmas. When the snow did arrive, the temperature dropped and the countryside froze. It will probably remain like this through to April.
A good opportunity to visit places previously visited during the warmer weather of late summer and early autumn. At temperatures falling well into the minuses, setting up cameras and taking photos becomes much more of a challenge.




All photos: Camera; Nikon D700, lens; Nikon 28 – 300 mm. f3.5 – 5.6 VR


Top: The Ontario Mississippi River at Blakeney Rapids.

Left: Cross-country skiing; a popular pursuit in the Canadian winter.

Below: The Ottawa River at Pinhey’s point in Ottawa County, looking across to the Gatineau Hills in Quebec Province.


Ottawa River
Church clock workings
November 2015

A request from the local church to take some photographs of building works in the belfry of the church gave me the opportunity to capture one or two interesting photos of the inner workings of the beautifully engineered clock, which is still driven by weights and pendulum.

Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: Nikon 70 – 200 mm f 2.8 VR.

Walking With The Wounded team at Alnwick
Walking With The Wounded team at Alnwick Peth
September 1st 2015.


Walking With The Wounded - Walk of Britain.

Above and left: Arriving in Alnwick, Northumberland, on day 11 of a nationwide one thousand mile journey by a team of six wounded veterans, four British and two American, to highlight the plight of the very many war wounded and the serious need for support in helping our veterans back into everyday life. 


Please donate and support their very considerable efforts at http://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/walkofbritain2015/ 


Below: The Team meet the Duchess of Northumberland at a reception at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.


All photos: Camera; Nikon D800. Lens 70 – 200 mm f2.8 VRII N Nikon.

Walking With The Wounded team at Alnwick Castle
Liz with The Apple Chill Cloggers
Alnwick International Music Festival. August 2015.

Although this year’s festival was a bit down on International Groups, the three groups that came to Alnwick lacked for nothing when it came to quality. The United States were represented by The Apple Chill Cloggers from North Carolina. They were supported by The Train Wreck String Band. Real Appalachian style clogging to traditional Appalachian music. Real foot tapping stuff with lots of interesting portraits as well.

There are further photos of mine in the regional press:

Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: 70 – 200 mm, f2.8 VR2 Nikon N.

Apple Chill Cloggers
The Apple Chill Cloggers
Nkrabea
Nkrabea
Bride and Bridesmaids

Summer 2015


The beginning of August marks the annual International Music Festival in Alnwick and an event where I have been taking photos for a number of years. This year has not been without problems for the organisers: six international groups were planned, but at the start of the festival, three had pulled out for varying reasons, two of them at the very last minute. This year was the 40th festival and everyone was hoping for something special. As it happens, the groups from Belgium, North Carolina and Ghana, that were able to come, have all been first class and have certainly maintained the spirit of the event.

This summer has so far been marked by a singular lack of decent summer weather. However, this did not spoil the Bride’s day for a local wedding in July, when I was asked to take a few pictures of the bride leaving home, with her bridesmaids, for the church wedding.


Photos above: A young performer with the Nkrabea Dance Ensemble from Ghana. An exceptionally talented and exciting group. 
The first photo was taken at an evening gala event at Alnwick Castle in very poor light. Flash was not an option meaning that a very high ISO of 2500 was needed to get any sort of a picture. Fortunately the D800 is an excellent performer at high ISO.

Camera: Nikon D800. Lens 70 – 200 mm, f2.8 Nikon N.

Photo left: The Bride with her bridesmaids. 

Camera Nikon D700. Lens: 24 – 70 mm, f2.8 Nikon N.

Ditchburn proposed windfarm
June 2015

An artist’s impression of yet another windfarm proposal to add to the existing spread of turbines in Northumberland. Whether this one will actually go ahead remains to be seen. The DECC have recently announced their intention to remove the subsidies paid to new windfarms and this will happen a year sooner than expected as the target level for green energy development, that was encouraged by the subsidies, has now been reached. Despite the fact that supporters of wind energy maintain it is the greenest and cheapest of the renewables, they now say that it cannot survive without subsidies, which leads me to question it’s validity as an affordable and serious source of future energy and the real motives behind the great rush for wind. Without the basic means to store energy produced by wind, it is fairly useless as a dependable source of base load.


Jim Clark Rally
May 31st 2015

The Jim Clark Rally. After the tragic events of last year, this year’s rally was a much simpler one day event, with the special stages all in the Kielder Forest area. The above photo is of Jock Armstrong’s Subaru Impreza just before he almost ran me over! Jock was the clear winner of all the special stages, but a one minute penalty cost him the overall victory to leave him in a final position of third.


Sir Jackie Stewart in Jim Clark's Lotus
SirJackie Stewart

May 2015

The 50th Anniversary of Jim Clark’s second World Championship was held in Duns over the weekend of May 17th. There was a very big turnout of Lotus cars from all over the country in support of the event. 

The guest of Honour was the three times motor racing Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart.
 
There was an impressive display of Lotus racing cars, both past and present, and including the cars used by Jim Clark in his two World Championship wins.


Photo above: Sir Jackie Stewart driving Jim Clark's World Championship winning Type 25 Lotus.

Photo left: Sir Jackie Stewart

Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: 28-300mm, f3.5-5.6 VR.
Jaguar E Type
Apple Blossom
Spring 2015


Mainly portrait work this spring. Some interesting sessions with people, young and old, but also cars to add a bit of variety. Website design work has also been a bit busier than normal.

Some interesting events coming up with a Formula 1 day in Duns with the Lotus team on May 17th to mark the 50th anniversary of racing driver Jim Clark’s second world championship and, at the end of the month, The Jim Clark Reivers Rally in Kielder Forest. So cars are going to feature quite a lot over the next few weeks!



Above: Jaguar 'E' Type V12. Camera: Nikon D800; lens 50mm f1.4 G prime.

Left: Apple blossom in spring. Camera: Nikon D800: lens 70-200mm f2.8 VR.
Partial solar eclipse 2015
March 2015

Total and near total eclipses of the Sun are not exactly a common occurrence anywhere, let alone in Northumberland. The last 95% eclipse was in 1999, so the promise of another this year had to mean finding suitable solar filters and being ready for a series of photos. Amazingly, and unlike many other areas of the UK, cloud was minimal and a reasonable series of photos was possible. Just as well as I gather we will have to wait until 2026 for the next opportunity to photograph a near total eclipse and for a total eclipse we will have to wait until 2090 – I don’t think I will be around for that one! It will probably be raining anyway!

The Cheviot from Barmoor
Above: The "Far Horizons" of the Cheviot as seen from Barmoor in January.

January 2015

The County of Northumberland is often referred to as the “Land of the Far Horizons”, and so it is. There are many places throughout the County with very extensive and un-obstructed views, leading to distant coasts or hills. However, this landscape, along with much of the wild vistas north of the Border in Scotland are sadly changing and being lost to the rapid industrialisation of the countryside by the development of massive windfarms.

The impetus behind this development is the need to combat man-made “Climate Change”. All those involved in the development of wind farms stand to make considerable amounts of money, provided by an over generous subsidy system, paid for by the ordinary bill payer, for the sporadic and unpredictable generation of carbon free energy. The wind, when it blows, may be carbon free but the technology used to generate it certainly isn’t.

The climate is warming and there is a great deal of conjecture and hypothesis in the media but little real evidence of man-made climate change beyond natural variations of which man is a definite part. Despite the efforts of the less scrupulous to exaggerate and amend historic climate records, there has been very little temperature change over the last seventeen years and some recent research suggests that it might in fact be slightly cooling. However, the whole issue of anthropogenic global warming has become a modern form of religion. Intelligent debate is becoming far more difficult in the face of vitriolic and personal abuse being aimed at the more sceptical with the highly inflammatory term “denier” being aimed at those who do not subscribe to the man-made climate change gospel. There is of course very significant political and monetary gain to be made from subsidised green technology and science and the furtherance of the cause is unfortunately understandable. 

I am also becoming increasingly annoyed by the constant use of fear tactics by organisations such as the BBC with phrases such as “weather bomb” and “extreme climate event”. Such sensational language is generally meaningless and inaccurate and has no relevance to actual climate science. It has everything to do with driving forward a political agenda.

At the end of the day it is all just history repeating itself.
 
Below: Part of Barmoor windfarm with the turbines of Middlemoor and Wandylaw windfarms visible on the horizon to the left.
Barmoor wind farm
The Pilgrim's Way Holy Island
December 2014

Colder weather now begining to make an appearance. An "after sunset" shot in very still anti-cyclonic conditions across the Lindisfarne Nature Reserve and the Pilgrims Way at Holy Island in Northumberland.
Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: 50mm f1.4G Prime.

Plymouth Sound
November 2014

A very brief visit to the South-West provided a liitle sunshine in an otherwise very damp and misty month. 
Photo above: Plymouth Sound Western Channel. Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: 50mm f1.4 G Prime.

Autumn in the Till Valley
November 2014

Now back in the UK and well into autumn. Not a great year for autumn colours this year as the early frosts, which stimulate the vivid colours of the fall, have been few and far between and the whole period has been generally mild – nothing unusual really.

Photo above: The Cheviot Hills in Northumberland in late afternoon. Camera: Nikon D800. Lens 50mm f1.4 G prime.
Photo below: The West Percy Hunt at their first meet for the season at Glanton, Northumberland. Camera: Nikon D800. Lens 50mm f1.4 G prime.

West Percy Hunt at Glanton
Madawaska River
At Carp Fair
September-October 2014

The better part of a month away in Ontario, staying with family at Carp near Ottawa. Good weather and very pleasantly warm, but cool enough to keep the mosquitoes down in numbers.

Plenty going on with a number of day trips in and around the area with plenty of photo opportunities of the Canadian Fall.

Carp Fair was an interesting local event and the main interest for me being the heavy horses. There were some spectacular teams of Percherons, Clydesdales etc. from a wide area including The States.


Top photo: The Madawaska River near Camel Chute in Ontario.

Middle and Right: Percheron heavy horses at Carp Fair in Ontario.

All photos: Camera: Nikon D700. Lens 28 - 300 mm. f3.5 - 5.6 VR



There are more photos at 
At Carp Fair

August 2014. Normandy, France.

Bayeux British Military Cemetry
St Mere Eglise window
British Grave, Bayeux.

This year marked the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France. At the end of August, amongst other places, we visited several of the key locations that were of importance during the days following the Allied landings on the Beaches of Normandy.

Above: The British Military Cemetery at Bayeux. A very poignant reminder of the tragic loss of life caused by war. There are 4648 graves in this cemetery alone. Click panorama image for a larger version.

Left: A commemorative stained glass window in the Church of Saint Mere Eglise, recalling the airborne invasion by the American 82nd Division and the liberation of the first village in France.

Below: The rusting remnants of invasion equipment lie half buried in the sand opposite the shattered remains of a German defence battery at Utah Beach.

Utah Beach

All photos: Camera - Nikon D700. Lens: 28 - 300mm. f3.5 - 5.6.

Ravenoville Plage


The modern-day sea-side houses at Ravenoville Plage at the northern end of Utah Beach, Normandy.


Mont Saint Michel

August 2014

The abbey of Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France. Camera: Nikon D700. Lens 28 - 300mm. f3.5 - 5.6.

Derelict fishing boat at Portbail

August 2014

A derelict fishing boat lies neglected on the sands of Portbail harbour in Normandy, France. Camera: Nikon D700. Lens: 28 - 300mm. f3.5 - 5.6.



Doinita Folk Ensemble, Romania.

Doinita Folk Ensemble from Romania in the Alnwick Garden at the Alnwick International Music Festival, August 2014. (Click image to enlarge).

Alnwick Music Festival

August 2014

The annual Alnwick International Music Festival runs for the first week of August in the town centre and is always a superb opportunity for colourful and interesting people pictures – more pictures at
 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/angelpeak/sets/72157631144867932/

Camera Nikon D800. Lens: 70 – 200mm, f2.8.


Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey

August 2014

In the height of summer, the cast and crew of the major television series “Downton Abbey” turned up in Alnwick to use the Castle and surroundings to shoot winter location scenes for the new series. Quite surreal to find a street full of snow in the middle of August!

Camera Nikon D800. Lens: 70 – 200mm, f2.8.

All Photographs and site content are the copyright of Tony Meikle (Tony AP) and AngelPeak.net
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