From winter to spring

I started a new job in January, and what with a nasty cold virus that wouldn’t go away and all those dark nights, I haven’t had much time to do a blog post, but now I have some time off so I can update you on some photographic highlights.

At weekends I try to go for walks, and am particularly fond of taking pictures of the waterfowl in Burgess Park!

Work trips have given me some variety. I went to St Beuno’s in Wales for the first time in late January, surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Also fitted in a trip to Whipsnade, where it was a winter wonderland!

I have also taken a few urban shots as I’m out and about

And I’m now fortunate to work next to the beautiful Farm Street Church DSCF0209

Golden autumn

I remember during my year abroad in Russia that the local people talked about Золотая осень (“golden autumn”), mostly because of the almost metallic glitter of birches as they change colour, especially against blue skies.

Autumn so far has been mostly dry and bright, although as we go into November it begins to bite.

Here’s a selection of my photos from October.

Oh did I say golden? Quite a lot of reds too!

The changing colours of autumn brought out by autumnal sunshine. Fortunately, I have managed to make time for lots of strolls.

Bath looking lovely in the autumn sunshine.

 

Last but not least, we managed a trip to Leigh-on-Sea before the clocks went back and the evenings drew in. A very beautiful place that made me wish I was a painter!

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First autumn stroll after the clocks change and the nights are drawing in.dscf9176

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Squirrel Season and other September Delights

As you will see, I’ve been focusing my September photos on strolls amid autumn leaves, and squirrels. Yes, squirrels. They are a consistently available subject at this time of year!

I like to enjoy each season to the full although it is not always possible, and much depends on other commitments and what the weather throws at us. I can’t complain about September though, which was mostly mild and relatively sunny.

The first day of October has been blustery and changeable, I wonder what lies ahead?

 

 

 

 

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Sunlight through leaves…

Harebell at Whipsnade dscf8542

A few urban shots on my lunchtime and post-work strolls.

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The clouds gather…

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Winter is coming!

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Summer Outings

As summer draws to a close, (though we’re all hoping for a golden autumn) I am looking back on some of the places I visited over the last few weeks of British summer.

Here’s some pictures from a trip to Downside Abbey, Somerset, and Glastonbury Tor.

 

Herne Hill and Brockwell Park – part of my exploring London’s parks and open spaces series!

 

Lewes, a beautiful little town in East Sussex. Photographer’s haven.

 

One of Lewes’ more ‘ordinary streets’: DSCF8158

Bletchley and beyond

I fulfilled a long term ambition recently to visit Bletchley Park, with some friends of mine. The photos don’t really do it justice, but I thought I’d share them with you anyway, plus a few of other things I’ve been doing in London.

I’ve every admiration for the team at Bletchley and the volunteers working there. They have collected and displayed some very interesting exhibits, with the use of various types of interpretation to bring them to life (including audio-visual displays). There was also an explanation and demonstration of codebreaking using the reconstructed Bombe machine, which really showed how a great deal of hard graft combined with fine logic, a few strokes of genius and (I add) the skills of various linguists saved millions of lives during the Second World War. The exhibit on Alun Turing is also particularly touching and a reminder of how much times have changed in this country.

 

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Radio mast, Bletchley Park
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Shed No. 3

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The interpretation for the exhibits is very good, and brings the place to life. 

Remnants of code breaking, including a reconstructed Bombe machine, built for breaking the Enigma code, and Alan Turing’s teddy bear. A truly inspiring place to visit. I heartily recommend it.

 

Meanwhile in London, I’ve caught a few flora and fauna on camera…

 

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The evening of the Referendum, just before 6pm.
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I don’t know who was the owner, but what a car!

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Walworth

On my meanderings on my days off,  I found this view of Kings Cross. Despite having walked past St Pancras every day for several years while at UCL, I’d never gone up those steps before.

A reminder that London has some wonderful landscapes and architecture, if you know where to look.

 

I’ll leave you with the weathervane from Bletchley though.

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Spring Strolls

As spring turns to summer – whatever the weather will be, I suppose we’ll still call it summer! – a chance to reflect on the last few months, with some shots of London and a few from the south west, where I grew up.

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One of my favourite shots of this year.

 

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I got lucky with this plucky young fox out in the daytime enjoying the sunshine. Walworth is full of foxes.

A few from around the Southbank …

Bank holiday weekend – a chance to spend some time in the garden at home and parks of Bristol.

Finally, a stroll in the Cotswolds.

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2016 so far

Usual abject apologies for not posting enough… I’ve transferred a lot of the photo posts over to the Facebook page and Twitter in the last few months.

Winter isn’t a great time for photography, if, like me, you work 5/6 days a week, don’t do night photography too well and miss the sunlight and flowers!

I was offered the opportunity to upgrade my camera but decided to stick with the current one in the meanwhile, while I try to improve my technique.

I’ve tried to make the most of the hours of daylight and practise some night photography too.

I’ve been discovering a local park and taken a few shots there:

I’ve been taking a few ‘vintage’ style shots like these:

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Pimlico

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Bloomsbury

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Also, since the weather has been so grey, there’s been some more opportunities to practise black and white photography:

I’ve also taken some evening walks… more work to do on night photography.

Lastly, I’ve tried to capture some fauna! DSCF6357

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Taken through the window at work – real photo opportunism!

I’ve also been to try a lot harder to be patient, take more of the same shot, and to concentrate more on composition.

It has been a fairly eclectic 2016 so far but all in all I am looking forward to sunshine and spring weather. Hopefully another blog to ensue soon.

Kiev

I have been to Kiev 4 times, and it was a city I fell in love with straight away. In the summer months it is a green city and one which has many views – because like some of my other favourite cities, it has lots of hills. A wonderful city to walk around (although it has a good metro system) with the wide blue Dnipr river running through it.

St Andrew's Church, standing atop a hill.
St Andrew’s Church, standing atop a hill


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First view of St Sophia’s as you come up the hill.DSCF4118 DSCF4121 DSCF4136DSCF4175 DSCF4179 DSCF4180 DSCF4181 DSCF4182 DSCF4184

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The bells of St Sophia's
The bells of St Sophia’s
St Michael's
St Michael’s
View of St Sophia's from the bell tower
View of St Sophia’s from the bell tower

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Mosaics in Kiev's main train station
Mosaics in Kiev’s main train station

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View of the Lavra
View of the Lavra

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The Funicular

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Random man on horse statue!
Random man on horse statue!
The deepest Metro station in the world
The deepest Metro station in the world
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Metro station “Dnipro”
The modern centre of Kiev, the Maidan
The modern centre of Kiev, the Maidan
Eternal flame
Eternal flame