Category Archives: General

­­­­­­­2015 – Captured

Light years past the roll-over into 2016 I’ve finally pulled a selection of images together that I shot during 2015. It’s always an ‘interesting’ exercise to rummage through the hard drives and pull a selection of shots together that collectively sum-up a years of photographic effort. Even the best made photographic plans change – sometimes, it seems, no sooner than they’ve been hatched. And so it was for me in 2015 when a couple of major projects rolled effortlessly over the threshold into 2016. No matter really, that offered opportunities for others to come forward.

02_2015_F-BO15_017_DSC_8594

Apart from capturing some winter scenery, my first photo shoot proper in 2015 was F-BO15; otherwise known as the Foundry’s 2015 Bouldering Open competition. Shooting climbing comps is more often than not nails; the action is fast moving, the ambient lighting at best challenging and the use of artificial lighting difficult in crowded locations. Finally, getting a good angle/shooting position is usually nigh on impossible. It’s usual therefore to ‘shoot on the fly’ which is pretty difficult but when it works it’s pretty satisfying. The year before, at F-BO14, I’d caught Stuart Littlefair attempting one of the 2014 problems feet-first. There was none of that in F-BO15 but there was some ‘swinging ball action’ that was pretty interesting to shoot. Shooting super-low, I managed to capture Ethan Walker just coming off the swinging ball. A suitably positioned chalk bag provided some nice foreground interest and hence depth in the shot; result! In F-BO14 Stuart had taken Ben Moon’s place in the final but Ben Moon v.2015 was there in force – in fact he crushed all before him turning in a (well-deserved) winning performance. Ben’s company sponsors one of the walls at The Foundry and I managed to get a shot Ben powering up the hardest bloc with his logo on the wall behind clearly in shot; I thought it was a nice bit of ‘later wow’ though I doubt many other folks even spotted it. C’est la vie…05_2015_Beddgelert_DSC_0074_capture

Following F-BO15, a wet and soggy walk down an in-spate Padley Gorge seemed to signal the end of winter. Spring always seems so fresh and the light so clear after the misty, muggy days of winter; the woods turn blue with blue bells and it was all rather pleasant. Even a cloudy day didn’t spoil a rare solar eclipse – in fact it gave it a haunting look. Spring 2015 went past in a flash to be honest; I find that’s what happens when I get engrossed in a climbing project. Success nearly came in April but I managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of success so the process of turning up and trying hard soaked up time; time that should really have been spent elsewhere. Finally, following a trip to a scenic Wales, the Eastwood Double was done and I could move on.

06_2015_Scotland_06_DSC03468Moving on took the form of starting my limestone campaign for the year plus a couple of trips away; firstly to Scotland and then back to Wales. Scotland first. This was a four-day trip with Paul, a grand master of the ‘quick hit’. The weather was fantastic so for Day#1 it had to be a monster 12-hour outing onto Cairn Dearg Buttress on the North East face of Ben Nevis. Torro, a totally fantastic E2 – maybe even one of the best on a big mountain cliff anywhere in the UK – was our reward. An amazing route up the middle of the crag just left of Centurion; I’ll happily recommend Torro to anyone climbing at that grade and looking for a full-on mountain experience. It’s perhaps worth knowing that sorting a belay at the06_2015_Scotland_44_DSC03726_alt end of Pitch 3 is ‘rather interesting’, that the fourth crux pitch suffers a bit from seepage ad the final pitch is definitely a sting in the tail. Overall it’s a great route; defo a four-star experience. The descent afterwards wasn’t totally straight forward; dropping into the gully which was still full of snow was quite interesting in trainers! The Isle of Skye called next and over the bridge we went; sadly, arriving with the doggie weather. Rain stopped us from getting involved at Kilt Rock but dry rock near Niest Point was duly located along with Bad Dreams (E3 5b, 5c) and that felt more than adequate as a consolation prize. And the views over Niest Point were stunning. Equally excellent was Whispering Crack (E3/4 5a, 5c) at Rubha Hunish – the most northerly point on Skye – which provided the entertainment the following day; a day so cold and windy that a t-shirt, a thermal, a fleece and then an outer wind stopper together with two pairs of trousers seemed scant protection against with the fresh connies yet way too many clothes to be wearing for leading a

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

hard and physical crack pitch. And what a pitch as well; amazing in fact, the best 45m crack pitch I’ve lead for ages. And still the wind blew on Day#4 – so much so in fact that we sacked-off our intended target and instead slunk off to Glen Nevis were we collected a couple of fine E2’s – including Plague of Blazes (E2 5c) – for our troubles before heading south.

I’m embarrassed to admit that in all my years of climbing – 40+ now and counting – Cloggy is one of the cliffs that had passed me by. The forecast suggested a settled period and a plan was duly hatched. We left Sheffield just after 4am. By 7am we were walking into Cloggy up the railway track; a lifelong ambition was unfolding. Occasionally, a photograph of a climber on an iconic route is etched into your mind’s eye. Ken Wilsons’ shot of Ed Drummond on the first pitch of Great Wall was such a photo for me; the cliff all dark and moody and Drummond dressed in seemingly virgin-like white. It didn’t need any discussion; Great Wall was the #1 target. I got the first pitch and Paul lead the second. Both were quite different and thoroughly enjoyable. We could discuss, as hundreds already have, whether Great Wall is a stiff E3 or an easy E4; in a way it doesn’t matter as long as it’s suitably described – either way it’s an absolute crac07_2015_Cloggy_DSC03791_lo resking route, sustained and interesting. Hacking up the vegetation above to top out was a bit of a downer mind you, but it’s not too long a scramble and it’s alright really. The Axe (E4 6a) seemed like a sensible follow-up pitch. Paul’s lead was suitable steady although I think I may have heard a few squeals of anxiety now and then. Seconding, I was grateful that had any of the thin and seemingly hollow flakes actually parted company then I’d be swinging out in space rather than taking a ride downwards onto a doggy cam sat behind some doggy flake. Another great route – especially to second!

July came round pr07_2015_BBC 2015_015_DSC_1129etty fast and with it the BBCs – British Bouldering Championships – at Cliffhanger, Sheffield. It was a pretty fancy set-up at Cliffhanger again and, not surprisingly, the respective titles were keenly contested. Photographically, the white tarp which covered the temporary wall acted like a giant diffusor so – for once – there was plenty of light which at least solved that problem. Access was, sadly, the usual nightmare however; swinging around on scaffolding and scrambling up the back of the wall avoiding the business end of literally hundreds of screws! It’s always pot-luck whether to shoot from the floor or hanging off the top of the wall and I usually mix it up a bit to get some variety. As it was I got lucky on one of the blocs as I was shooting straight down as Shauna was eye-balling a finishing hold. Part way through the finals I dropped down to the mats and shot a bunch of problems at floor level which gave a totally different perspective, not least as I switched to a long lens and used a wide aperture. It was a great afternoon and Shauna Coxsey and Tyler Landman were the worthy winners.

07_2015_Everglades_DSC_1550_lo resIn late July we set-off to go to the USA. The plan was pretty simple; fly into Orlando, pick up a car and then nip down to the Everglades to check-out some of the local wildlife, back up to Florida for a day at Universal Studios, pull an evening visit to Cape Canaveral to watch a launch, cruse up to Charleston, then hop on an internal flight to Boston and then finally back down to The Big Apple. A simple plan I’m sure you’ll agree; what could go wrong?! Actually, it did roll out pretty much as per the blue-print; save the launch at Cape Canaveral which was binned-off at the last minute due to doggy weather at launch site. It’s tricky pulling out favs or best memories – we seem to get so many in the trip. The ‘gators in the Everglades were well-worth seeing and pretty much as billed; what was a bonus though was the sunrises/sunsets over the waterfronts. The Ringling Museum and Ca’D’Zan in Sarasota Bay was something of an oasis and defo worth a look. Being Stateside, a trip to a baseball match was clearly in order; in the end we caught two although watching the Red Soxs play in Fenway Park was very much the real deal as well as a 08_2015_New York_42_DSC_3287_alt2great opportunity to capture some totally different action. Ditto, some of the sights in Boston; I’m thinking mainly of the Holocaust Memorial and the War Memorial to the US fallen soldiers were especially haunting and reminders of a past. An afternoon walking round the Harvard University complex restored a little balance. New York was crammed with things to visit. Staying longer and doing more would perhaps have been overdoing it and we lift happy with what we’d seen; Grand Central, Times Square, Central park, Rockafella Centre, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, State of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and last but definitely not least, Manhattan skyline at night.

09_2015_Nettle_DSC_3850_lo resPeak limestone is bread and butter for me photographically and climbing wise. The climbing connies during September and October were pretty flipping good – right up there in fact with the best it’s been for quite a few years – and when it’s that good Chee Dale is the place to be; especially The Cornice. My long-term climbing project there grabbed my attention so photography suffered a kick-back to be honest – it’s super hard to focus (no pun intented) to do both. I did manage to get some shots thought – not only at The Cornice, but also at the altogether more demure Nettle Buttress. It’s great to shoot at these places mid-week when it’s quiet – but you have to take your opportunities when they present themselves. Oh, nearly forgot, some nice fungi down there too in the autumn.

Looking back now the back end of 2015  wasn’t especially productive on the photographic front. However, a weekend visit to Buttermere in the Lake District proved rewarding on several fronts –10_2015_Buttermere_07_DSC_4696 defo photographically. For starters, let’s say that the weather was changeable; both days started with rain and both days finished with glorious sunsets – the autumnal colours were, as expected, pretty intense. Buttermere is one of the more photographed locations in the Lakes and its pretty obvious when you go you’ll see why – a great photo op around every corner; loved it! Rather more ‘off-subject’ for me was a trip to MIMA – Middlesborough Institute of Modern Arts to be exact. It was a flying visit but an interesting one nevertheless. Recommended if you’re in the area.

With 2015 coming rapidly to an end some disparate climbing subjects wrapped up the year for me. I’d got a couple of the Crusher Hold new Slaves to test and review and needed a couple of product shots to accompany said review. A straight product shot plus a product in use provided a rare opportunity to get a little bit creative with some close-ups. Finally, shooting some promo shots for The Foundry for marketing and then the Mammut University Lead Challenge finished the year almost where it had begun! I’ll blame the lousy weather in the autumn for my totally lack of outdoor shots but, in truth, I think it was a poor show on my part for not making the best of what was available.

For the full gallery of shots from 2015 Captured click through here

Also posted in Adventure, Climbing, Events, Photography, Travel

July 3rd… The Big Tamale…

After what seems like forever, tomorrow is the big tamale a.k.a. Le Grand Depart or in simple words, the start of The 2014 Tour de France, arguably the greatest bike race on the planet…

It been a long time coming, but it’s here at last, Yorkshire’s big moment on the big stage that is the TDF. For months yellow bikes have been hung on/off most conceivable vantage points the length and breadth of Yorkshire. Farmers have painted their sheep yellow.  One café owner has covered the outside of their emporium in monster red dots! The roads have been re-surfaced and hitherto common grazing fields turned into one-off campsites. Sheffield’s ‘un-known’ Jenkin Road has been dragged from quiet suburbia and trust into the lime-light and is (very nearly) rubbing shoulders with Alpe d’Huez, or Mont Ventoux!

It’s fair to say that many will be out there over the weekend getting involved but fair play to you if you’re staying at home watching the footie or Wimbledon.  I’m off to Jawbone Hill. Wherever you go, let’s hope it a good ‘un…

Not every bike will be on the Yorkshire roads this weekend...Yorkshire - the roof of the TDF?Opps - boot anyone?

Also posted in Cycling

April 7th: Shine a light…

Although it’s a tad retrospective now – the last month or so has just disappeared – March’s copy of Climber magazine carried my review of the latest in so-called hands-free (aka head torches) lighting. From the uber Mammut X-Sun (a 950 lumen monster) through to the delimitative Petzl e+Lite (a 25 lumen emergency unit) there really is a headtorch for every occasion…

Without a doubt, headtorches are an essential part of climbers’ kit-bags. Today, cheap headtorches are sold in main stream supermarkets from as little as a fiver a pop whilst the specialised shops sell the top-end units costing anything up to £250 quid. They’re used for all manner of activities – anything from dog-walking to emergency services through to elite athletes for climbing or other extreme sports. As power and functionality vary, so does size and cost. The review covered fifteen different units as well as giving the low-down on the plethora of batteries and LED types currently in use. If you don’t want to be left in the dark (I know – crap pun…) then check the review out.

Incidentally, as part of the review I dug-out my old Petzl Zoom headtorch from the bottom of the wardrobe and compared it with the X-Sun and the e+Lite (mentioned above). The results show quite plainly exactly what the R&D departments have achieved in the 30 odd years since Petzl first brought their legendary Zoom to market. Take a look for yourself at the pixs below and the difference is obvious. For the geeks amongst us, the e+Lite delivers the same (25 Lumen) output as the Zoom albeit at a fraction of the size/weight whilst the X-Sun knocks out over whooping 38 times more light than the Zoom.  The times sure are a changing…

And here’s a shot of the X-Sun and the e+Lite alongside the old past master, the Zoom…

 

DSC_5521_lo res

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Reviews

2013 Captured

Twenty Thirteen is behind us now for sure and I’ve been working hard to clear the decks and get the ship ready for 2014. Wrapping up 2013 photographically means putting last year’s shots both in perspective and into the archive.

If figures were the only metric, then I had was one heck of a year in 2013; 7,500 images totalling 263 GB of disk space – the largest volume of images I’ve ever shot in a year. Whilst the bulk were captured using my D800, some were taken with my Sony RX100, my go-to, shirt pocket compact. File sizes from the RX100 are pretty big (20MB) but nothing compared to the files (36MB) off the D800.  It’s a good job that hard-drive space is relatively cheap!

However, 2013 stands out in my mind as significant for entirely different reasons. Firstly, that the better weather broadened the possible scoop of climbing subjects/locations as many of the crags dried out during the summer. The better weather also meant that it was possible to include some of the cracking scenic backdrops into the images which in turn widened composition possibilities. Finally, I was also able to push the boundaries back a bit on my usual subjects by shooting a wider gambit of sports.

Winnats Pass_DSC_7118January into February are often about snow and ice and 2013 was no exception. A wintery snap in late January plastered the Dark Peak in snow. Returning from a family walk with the dog, a lone winter boulderer rocked up to Mother Cap and it seemed rude not to grab a snap or two. In as many seconds, the first shot for the 2014 calendar was in the bag – result! Farther west, Mam Tor and Winnats Pass were striking, if sombre, in winter garb. The Grand Massif in February for a skiing trip was very enjoyable but in no time it was Easter and a road trip around the climbing fleshpots of France underway. Following the traditional Font stop-off, a few days each at Vanasque, St Leger and Gorge du Tarn chalked up some successes, some failures and, perhaps more importantly, some more shots for the calendar. On a less positive note, I also chalked up the first of the season’s injuries – doh! It was, however, my first visit to the Gorge du Tarn and an interesting one as well. Before I head back though I’ll work my pocket strength on the Beastmaker!

Malham is a favourite early-season venue for many. Most visitors are captivated by the seemingly blank walls; the same walls that frustrate the heck out of climbers, yet draw them repeated in. The Malham scene was noticeable in 2013 given Steve McClure added a new super desperate route above the Catwalk, Batman (F9a/+), Jordon Buys repeated Rainshadow (F9a) whilst Cry Freedom (F8c) and Batroute (Fc) were respectively red-pointed by Paul Reeve and Buster Martin, two climbers operating at opposite ends of the age spectrum.Sheffield GP_021_DSC_9934

Early summer family trips into Sherwood Forest and then north to almost the farthest northwest tip of Scotland along with the Sheffield Cliffhanger and cycling Grand Prix soaked up a good month all told but give some cracking photo opportunities. Shooting fast moving action on the Sheffield GP was an interesting (read, in-at-the-deep-end…) experience. It’s great to mix it up though and I was pretty happy with the images I captured of the town-centre race. I’ve been up to Scotland many times before but never quite so far north. Scotland really is immense and the scenery and wildlife specular. A wee hike up Ben Nevis, a drop-in at the Newtonmore Games, a visit to a Scottish Heritage Museum as well as the long hike into the far-flung golden sands of Sandwood Bay were all perfectly memorable and rewarding, but standing on the pebble spit at Cantorny Point watching the dolphins feast on the inbound Atlantic salmon in the gathering dusk is a sight that I won’t forget in a hurry!

True Moments_DSC_2112A solid month of photography saw the 2014 calendar finished and the images over the design studio. The weather was kind for once and I grabbed the opportunity to include as much of the surroundings within the images as possible. For me, a climbing shot works best when it has not only the climber and the route clearly visible but also as much of the surrounding as possible – assuming that the backdrop is of scenic merit. One of my shots which ‘speaks to me the most’ in the Climbing 2014 collection is the shot of Ben Meakin cruising the classic DWS, Electric Blue. I like the rock and the sea but it’s the sea kayak that makes the shot though for me – I totally lucked-up on that one as a group of kayaker paddled off leaving a solitary kayaker sitting peacefully facing the crag and watching Ben casually stroll up Electric Blue. I couldn’t have planned it better had I tried!

Most of my calendar shoots require considerable advance preparation in order to get everything lined up just right; right location, best light, best clothes etc.. The days themselves though are basically about going climbing – albeit I have to capture the moment. Most times though, I can turn around and see some other captivating action unfolding just behind or off camera and I manage to pick-up additional shots that are every bit as good as the calendar shots. I’ve included a selection of these as well in the 2013 Captured gallery. The shot of Paul Philips on pitch 2 of True Moments or the shot of the team on Wendigo both just fell into my lap during a lull in shoot the images of Neil Foster on Hanging out at Glastonbury. I love it when that happens!

SF_Running_DSC_3258September was racing by and with it I added some running shots to my portfolio. A climbing mate was going over to the other side (running that is…) and was opening a store here in Sheffield and needed a running image for his holding page on his website. The Green Drive was our chosen venue but the grey and somewhat grim evening we’d selected for the shoot was totally uninspiring. Suddenly however, the evening burst into life when a sky fest opened up in front of our very eyes. A single strobe was all it took to get some light where it was needed – ie on Steve’s running shoes and lower torso – and hey presto, Front Runner had it’s holding page shot and I was rather chuffed with my first running shoot! Further running shots of the Edale Skyline fell race as well as a set of Steve running off Stanage complete my running action shots from 2013. More will follow I can assure you!

London Calling_DSC_4459

Autumn was soon here and with it came a trip down south to London. The closure of the rail network following the St Jude storm inspired a long-awaited trip to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford which, I have to say, is one heck of a venue – a genuine ‘must visit’ spot. London itself, with iconic sights like the Millennium Eye or Westminster Abbey are well worth the effort – especially on a sunny day! Totally by a fluke though did we drop into King’s Cross Station as night fell – the new roof there looking simply amazing under artificial light!

 

 

 

DSC_4998_007_web resOne of the last shoots of the year was a non-climbing, family affair when Vicky, one of my older progenies graduated from uni and a very obliging Robin (of the red breast variety) posed next to her in the grounds of York Minster. I don’t do much portrait work but I reckon it’ll be a while before I get another shot that I like as much as the shot of Vicky and the Robin; a cracking end to a cracking photographic year. Here’s a link to the 2103 Captured collection. Oh, and see if you can spot the images off the RX100 – I’ll bet you can’t…

 

 

 

Dec 16th: Last Post – oh, and Twin Pack killer deal…

Climbing 2013_December So, if you’ve not started your crimbal shopping yet (err… that’ll be me then folks!!) then you’re almost in deep do-doh… However, as Ms December (Leah Crane) from Climbing:2013 will tell you, there’s still four (on-line) shopping days left to order Climbing:2014 AND still get it in time for the big day (for UK orders) so all isn’t lost yet …

Yes folks, the elves in the dispatch department in KSP Towers will be sending out orders right up to the wire again which this year is Friday the 20th so get your calendar/year planner orders in before last knockings and the team will get said order into the system and you’ll be home and dry!! Please submit orders for all books in the KSP on-line shop by close of play on Thursday 19th for delivery pre-Xmas.

And nearly forgot, Climbing:2014 Twin Pack is now available as a killer ‘buy one, get one half price’ deal. Just the deal if you fancy a copy of Climbing:2014 for the work place as well as for home, or if you wanna say thanks to your bessie mate for all his/her top belaying all year. Click through here to go straight to the Twin Pack – that’ll put a smile on their face…DSC_9062

Also posted in KSP Publications

July 11th: Its another cliffhanger…

Cliffhanger, and hence the BBC’s (a.k.a. the British Bouldering Championships), rolled into Sheffield last weekend bringing with it some of the strongest boulderers in the UK. In complete contrast to last year’s event which was (literally) a washout, this year’s Cliffhanger event was a total roaster. Bloc-misters, setters, officials, photogs/film-makers and spectators alike gasped for air, as well as holds, beneath the giant marquee adding an additional (and un-usual) twist to the fierce competition.

Shauna Coxsey shooting for yet another top-out in the final

The two-day event kicked-off with the qualification round on the Saturday. The competition, like the ambient conditions was red-hot, and the 80-odd competitors were halved ahead of the semi final round. Sunday, a.k.a. the business day, saw the setters produce some particularly tricky blocs to cut the competitors back to six for the final round. As the results show, the men’s semi was especially savage and very few competitors topped-out the problems; Stewart Watson alone claiming 2 ‘tops’. Hard on the heels of Watson came two young guns, Dominic Burns and James Garden whilst defending champ, Dave Barrans just survived the cut to qualify for the finals in sixth spot. It looked like a major upset was about to happen. In contrast, the women’s semi-final comp produced a more even spread of results although it was defending champ, Shauna Coxsey, that topped-out on all four problems. The mighty Alex Puccio finished second with Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Leah Crane coming in third and fourth respectively.

Dave Barrans winding up a big rock-over in the men’s final

By the time the final and deciding round kicked-off many in the audience smelt drama in the air – if not in Graves Park itself then certainly down in SW19! Climbing two at a time, the combined men and women’s final was a heart-stopping affair all round. The setting team, as usual contained Percy Bishton and Ian Vickers, dished-up a fiendish mix of delicate and balancy problems as well as some funky and powerful blocs using loads of volumes with a few skanky holds thrown in for good measure. Problem #1 of the women’s circuit tackled a slightly off vertical panel (of all things) and as predicted the super-sloping holds caused major problems and frustrations for some. Problem #2 of the men’s circuit looked equally funky – a side-ways dyno off a poor collection of non-holds! No self-respecting comp these days is complete without a boat load of blobs and volumes and right on queue, blobs aplenty featured on the later blocs. Flexibility, as well as strength was tested to the max on these problems; the setters wringing out the full deployment of tricks and then some from the finalists.

Ultimately, the 2012 champions, Shana Coxsey and Dave Barrans, retained their top-gun status. Dave Barran’s truly pulled the rabbit out of the hat to leap-frog ahead of the entire field finish in top slot. Like Dave, James Garden, Ben West and Jon Partridge all topped-out on two problems apiece – the only deciding factor came from the number of attempts they had taken. Like the women’s semis, Shauna dominated the final round pulling all four tops in just four decisive attempts. Shauna’s bid for bloc dominance both in the domestic and international arena moves inextricable closer it seems! Mina pipped Alex to second place whilst Leah had to contend with fourth place and hence finished sans silver. Andy Murray meanwhile had done the business down in London all of which seemed to rekindle something of the sporting glow that started back in 2012 at the Oly Games. Notwithstanding the obvious ability of all the final competitors, the real delight was the strength in depth – as football commentators would say – in the rest of the field plus the strong results from the young-guns! It all bodes well for the future.Here’s a gallery of shots from the final along with the final places:

Men:

  1. Dave Barrans
  2. James Garden
  3. Ben West
  4. Jon Partridge
  5. Dominic Burns
  6. Stewart Watson

Women:

  1. Shauna Coxsey
  2. Mina Leslie-Wujastyk
  3. Alex Puccio
  4. Leah Crane
  5. Gill Peet
  6. Jennifer Wood

Cliffhanger_2013_000_DSC_9196.jpgCliffhanger_2013_001_DSC_9227.jpgCliffhanger_2013_002_DSC_9243.jpgCliffhanger_2013_003_DSC_9246.jpgCliffhanger_2013_004_DSC_9248.jpgCliffhanger_2013_005_DSC_9255.jpgCliffhanger_2013_007_DSC_9275.jpgCliffhanger_2013_008_DSC_9296.jpgCliffhanger_2013_009_DSC_9301.jpgCliffhanger_2013_010_DSC_9309.jpgCliffhanger_2013_012_DSC_9318.jpgCliffhanger_2013_013_DSC_9319.jpgCliffhanger_2013_014_DSC_9329.jpgCliffhanger_2013_015_DSC_9344.jpgCliffhanger_2013_016_DSC_9361.jpgCliffhanger_2013_017_DSC_9374.jpgCliffhanger_2013_018_DSC_9386.jpgCliffhanger_2013_020_DSC_9397.jpgCliffhanger_2013_021_DSC_9435.jpgCliffhanger_2013_022_DSC_9438.jpgCliffhanger_2013_023_DSC_9452.jpgCliffhanger_2013_024_DSC_9509.jpgCliffhanger_2013_026_DSC_9522.jpgCliffhanger_2013_027_DSC_9535.jpgCliffhanger_2013_028_DSC_9540.jpgCliffhanger_2013_029_DSC_9559.jpgCliffhanger_2013_030_DSC_9591.jpgCliffhanger_2013_031_DSC_9596.jpg

Also posted in Events

Merry Xmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Xmas!!

 

Also posted in Events

Dec 13th: Last Post…

It’s getting towards the time that a certain sex are finishing their Xmas shopping so it must be that time when the rest of us are thinking about starting…

Either way, Postman Pat doesn’t distinguish when he’s delivering the post – providing of course we hit certain dates. And those dates this year are as follows:

First Class = Thursday 20th

Special Delivery = Saturday 22nd

This means that all UK-only calendar orders received before noon on Thursday 20th will be shipped out First Class Post (P&P included) within the £12.99 calendar tag price and should arrive before the big day.

All UKcalendar orders received after noon on Thursday 20th and on Friday 21st will be posted via Special Delivery Next Day service for an additional charge of £4.00.

All orders received after noon on Saturday 22nd will be shipped to arrive post Xmas at the standard rates, ie P&P included for allUK deliveries, £1 intoEurope and £2 Rest of World…

Time to get cracking then. Oh, and by the way, here’s a shot of one of my local post boxes from a couple of years back when we had a monster dump of snow right before Xmas. Pretty ain’t it?

Also posted in KSP Publications

Nov 17th: For Peat’s Sake…

Anyone out and about in the Peak District recently might well have noticed some rather strange activity going on. Never in the 35+ years that I’ve lived close-by and visited the Peak do I recall seeing anything quite like it…

I’m talking about the excavators and dozens of monster white ‘lifting bags’ scattered like confetti on some of the Dark Peak moors. The latest locale I’ve seen them is on Burbage and Houndkirk Moor just east of Burbage North. A couple of weeks back they were on Big Moor just by the Barbrook Reservoir west of Owler Bar. On occasion, you even see a helicopter buzzing about lifting the bags to a collection point.

So just what is going on? Turns out, according to the sign nailed to an adjacent fencepost, its environmental works which is transplanting heather from the lush lowland moors (sic…) to the bleakness that is Kinder. The work, which is sponsored by United Utilities, Natural England and the National Trust, is aiming to help stabilise eroding areas up on Kinder. The idea is that the heather brash will be spread over the bare peat and will act as a mulch to allow grasses to grow. Seeds from the cut heather will help re-establish heather. Paradoxically, the donor moors will also benefit given that the diversity will be increased as young heathers grow which will benefit the wildlife; a so-called win-win.

So does the end justify the means? Well I guess that depends on you viewpoint. For sure it looks pretty odd seeing big excavators sat in the midst of the moor and hundreds of white bags everywhere but at least we know what is going on and that there’s a good cause behind it all…

Burbage and Hondkirk Moor Heather Works #01Burbage and Hondkirk Moor Heather Works #02

Also posted in Environmental

May 24th : Summer’s here (happy snappy)…

Sure looks as though summer’s here – at last – which coincides nicely with clearing the decks on other commitments (more anon…) so that work on photo acquisition on a whole variety of projects can get seriously underway…

I’m still figuring the whistles and bells out on the D800 and I’ve even shot a few video clips with it as well. I’m finding that it’s a real knock-out for shooting in low light. That said, the sun was out yesterday I was in happy snappy mode grabbing a few totally random shots during the day.

First up was the school run which finished at the English Institute of Sport in theDonValley. The former brown-field site now hosts a whole raft of monster hangers in which are housed any number of facilities. Incidentally, the site was part of the steel village for whichSheffieldwas rightly famous. So why did the school run end at the EIofS? Simple, ‘sport’s day’, and what a place to have the school sport’s day in – inspirational.

Second up was a few shots of a rapeseed field; the bright yellow flowering member of the Brassicaceae Family. Yeph, it sure is bright and yellow – plus it represents the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world, apparently. Makes a half decent pix too especially when set against a convenient line of trees and a blue sky.

Finally, the limestone dales of the Peak are in bloom at the moment, feed by the streams which run through them. You have to be careful though getting into position to capture them; bend down too much and you’ll sure find the stinging nettles!

 

DSC_0850.jpgDSC_0857.jpgDSC_0899.jpg