My Photo Blog and Diary page
Various photo happenings and a few thoughts along the way.
December 2020. Above: Fiery December sunset at the West Turnpike, Glanton. (Camera: Lumix LX100)
Now living under Tier 3 regulations. So it goes on: there is supposed to be an easing of the rules at Christmas so that families can get together, but that will be at a price of further lock-downs in the New Year to combat the “inevitable spike”.
But we now have a vaccine just about to be rolled out. It has received emergency approval and basic safety checks. The full study and peer reviewing are yet to be completed. There are also further vaccines in the pipeline and these are expected to receive approval in the Spring next year. So there are some positive signs of some sort of an end, hopefully, in the not too far distant future.
November 2020 Above: Ingram Mill on the Breamish River. (Camera: Lumix LX100)
Lock-downs and strict control of our liberties continue and it appears that it is very unlikely for there to be any let-up until at least next Easter, when there might be the possibility of a vaccine becoming available. We shall see. In the meantime, large sections of the economy are collapsing with consequential job losses. I cannot see any chance of matters returning to how they were before Covid any time soon.
Photography is now very limited, but at least we are surrounded here, in Northumberland, by some very beautiful scenery.
October 2020 Above: Rain over the Cheviot. Camera: Lumix LX100.
Photo above: The upper reaches of the River Aln, in Northumberland. Camera: Nikon D800 with 50mm 1.8f prime lens.
We are now just a week away from the clocks going back at the end of British Summertime, and we are still living under strict rules in an attempt to control the spread of Covid-19. Deaths from the virus are now well beneath the levels of the Spring, but the experts warn that they will probably increase again, as we go into the Winter months, which probably means further controls on our freedom, possibly well into next year.
The negative overall effect, on Western economies in particular, is now becoming very serious and I have a growing suspicion that certain countries, where economies are not suffering anywhere near so badly, such as China, will seek to take maximum advantage of the situation to extend and expand their global interests and influence. The year 2021 could well be cataclysmic for Western countries.
Anyway, Autumn is now well upon us and some of the shades in the garden are very impressive this year.
Photo: Japanese maple.
Camera: iphone XR
August 15th 2020. The 75th Anniversary of VJ Day .
VJ Day was marked in Glanton by a short remembrance service held at the village flagpole at 11.00am on Saturday. This was followed by a wreath being laid on behalf of the FEPOW Family. The Church bell rang out seventy-five times to mark the occasion.
In the evening there was a short fireworks display to mark VJ Day.
The FEPOW Wreath with local members of the FEPOW Family.
(Far East Prisoners of War Family)
Click images to enlarge
Covid lock-down continues for people shielding, which includes myself, but there is a little easing of the situation expected on the 1st August, which might help getting out-and-about a bit more and with the chance to take a few pictures.
Picture above: Taken near Glanton, Northumberland. Grain harvest home and dry, despite the weather. Camera: Lumix LX100.
Because of the Covid lock-down, photography has been very much limited to subjects around the home and garden. Fortunately, being in the country, there are lots of photo opportunities. However, I have noticed that butterflies in particular are, for some reason this year, in very short supply and have, in fact, been diminishing in numbers over the past few years.
Photos above - left: Small Tortoiseshell. Right: Peacock. Camera Nikon D800.
Under strict lock-down, we have not left our house now for the better part of ten weeks.
The various resident birds, who are currently very busy bringing new families into the World, have got quite used to us in the garden and, the Robin in particular, will frequently come over to see what we are doing and to find out if there any tasty morsels on offer. We have started grinding up the odd peanut for him and his family and he now will not leave us alone!
No wonder the Robin is the English garden favourite!
May 8th was the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.
With the Country under lock-down, due to the Covid19 pandemic, the commemorative celebrations, that one could expect in normal times, were very restricted and muted.
People in my village observed the two-minute 11.00 am silence from their doorsteps.
In the late evening, a brief fireworks display was launched from the village hall that filled the night sky with brief colourful action.
For my own part and being under strict NHS "At Risk" lock-down, I am fortunate in that our house is only a short distance from the village hall launch site and I was able to capture a brief record of the display from our bedroom window.
Above: Camera: Nikon D800. Lens: 70 - 200 mm f 2-8 VR II.
On the 7th April, we witnessed a “Super Moon”. Apparently, the Moon was at its nearest point to Earth this year and therefore appeared bigger than normal.
It was certainly large and seen in a relatively cloudless sky, it presented an interesting diversion from the ongoing and increasingly worsening Coronavirus pandemic. The number of deaths is increasing at an alarming rate and even the Prime Minister is now a casualty and in intensive care.
Photographing the Moon is not simple and in order to capture the real detail it is important to set the camera on manual and use point settings focused on the Moon itself. It is in fact surprisingly bright and a standard “auto” shot will simply produce a bright and featureless orb. I typically use ISO 200 at f8 and a speed of 400. Camera used here was a Nikon D800 with a 200mm lens.
At the time of writing this blog, we are in the last week of March and living under the pandemic reality of the Coronavirus.
The winter months have been far from exciting having spent a longer than expected period in hospital, before Christmas, following a routine kidney operation that became sceptic in post-op. This was followed by a two-week bout of flu that occupied the Christmas and New year period. Consequently, virtually no photos have been taken recently. Add to all this the recent wet and very stormy weather that, although mild, certainly put the tin lid on getting out with the camera anywhere.
And now we have the pandemic which, because of my “at serious risk” status caused by Myeloma, means I must remain isolated at home and not leave here for any reason for at least twelve weeks, and this could well be extended. The prospects of a “normal” existence, travelling with camera in hand, look somewhat remote at present, as normal life for anybody looks remote.
Although we are all in the middle of a crisis, the World keeps on turning and Spring is now moving forward at full tilt. Somethings are normal, such as the nesting birds and the spring flowers, and a little bit of normality, that we can appreciate, is now especially important.
Photo: Daffs and Crocus. Camera: iphone XR.