Black & white Wednesday

This week its a B&W butterfly the Pieris rapae, small white or Small Cabbage White.

This was shot using a Nikon D7200 and Sigma 105 macro lens. Converted to B&W in Lightroom.

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Thank you for visiting and please feel free to comment, like or dislike.

Have a great day,

George

Black and White Wednesday

My shot this week is from a short tour of North Wales. This  signal box was shot in the setting sun at Porthmadog. The light reflecting off the track leads the eye into the shot.

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Thank you for visiting and feel free to comment, what you like or dislike.

George.

Portmeirion, North Wales

This is the first post in a short series on my motorcycle tour of North Wales. I include a couple of links on the history of Portmeirion and the filming of the Prisoner, a cult 1960’s television series filmed there.

Portmeirion history.

The Prisoner

My Photo essay a walk through Portmeirion.

Parking the motorcycle in the car park and entering a place I recall from television. It was a little overcast but warm has I start my photo essay.

 

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Lets enter, notice the painted ceiling in the archway.

 

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One of the bikers I was travelling with.

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Tides out, the following photos off a young blackbird are taken at the railings on top of the round platform in the photograph.

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Moving on.

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Up into the village.

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Through the archway and into the gardens.

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I liked the scale this child gives to the chest pieces.

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A short climb back up into the village.

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A short stop to play my respects to the Buddha.

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He had a great view across the gardens from his lofty perch.

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some little teasers of  the garden has I make my way around the village.

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The garden from another view.

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It ‘s down hill from here, with a steep decline to the shore.

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Things aren’t always what they seem.

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With the last shot looking at the climb back up to the motorcycle, but not before a coffee and a short chat with other visitors.

Thank you for company on the walk around Portmeirion, Hope you enjoyed it and I’ll spare you the walk back up that hill. There are some longer walk in the grounds around Portmeirion, but walking in motorcycle gear is not recommended. Well that’s my excuse…

Feel free to comment, good or bad let me know, have a good weekend.

George.

 

 

 

 

 

Bee’s and butterflies

It’s been a while since I last posted, I had planned to stop this blog due to a number of things. Number one on the list was no motivation, so now having rested and with the support from friends plus followers from the blog, let’s continue. Thank you all.

Bee’s and Butterflies. 

We have had a hot summer here in Ireland, not much rain. Hosepipe ban’s and a lot of native people with a tan. Both rare in Ireland. With all this sunshine the butterflies are around in large numbers. The other thing I have been photographing is bee’s. Not to hard a subject has they flirt with the Blackberry flowers in the hedgerows.

 

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I liked the fly which was captured in this shot.

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This is a Ringlet  which is getting a little worn looking.

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So I decided bee’s flying would be a good subject to try, have you ever tried to photograph them in flight. It great fun and the hours disappear. So armed with a Nikon D7200 and a Sigma 105mm Macro lens fitted, a nice sunny day to keep shutter speeds up into battle I went.

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Why do bee’s always take off facing the wrong way, this kind of shot was the flavor off the first hour or so. I don’t give in easy.  A coffee break and it was back to the front line. I started to notice bee’s lift the rear end up slightly before take off. Which didn’t help when they are going the wrong direction. So in between the bee’s I got some other close up’s ( these a chopped in post).

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Hover fly.

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Clover flower caught in a light breeze. Yes it’s the effect of the slight movement that I like in this shot.

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Not a hundred percent on this plant but I think it’s English Plantain. These plant shots were taken by lying on the ground with the camera. Focusing  in live view, use the self timer and press the shutter release. Right back to the bee’s.

 

 

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After about two hours my success rate way getting better. I enjoyed this little challenge and will give it another try. Might try flash the next time. Now on to some butterflies. The next shots are Large Cabbage whites.

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The large cabbage white from different angles. Was going to try shooting these in flight but did not get one sharp shot. Bee’s are easy compared to butterflies.

For the final photo I’ll leave you with my favourite, a close up of one feeding.

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Thank you for joining me in the garden, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear your thoughts or tips on shooting these subjects.

George.

 

 

Ring Necked Pheasant.

Had the pleasure one evening watching a Ring necked Pheasant as it and a couple of hen Pheasants fed while crossing some scrub ground. While the hens kept under cover in the longer grasses the cock remained in the open, like me was keeping watch.

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Here he stands in the warm evening sun light showing off his well tailored suit and face markings.

They make a range of sounds has they communicate with each other, from crowing to beating there wings. Sometimes both at the same time.

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The above sequence of shots show the wing beating without the crowing. Below a couple of photographs from him crowing Pheasant calling

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These Photographs where taken over a half hour period where I used a fence post has a make shift tripod. Shot with a Nikon D7200 and a Sigma 150 – 600 mm Telephoto lens. Processed and cropped in Lightroom. My last shot of the evening was where I caught him crossing a break in the ground cover and the warm light on his back.

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I put the camera down and spent the last ten minutes just enjoying the scene.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful bird with me and thank you for visiting.

George.

Two more photo rally points.

For those that don’t know the Photo rally points are, they are from The Irish Photo Rally 2018. Info about the photo rally and a map with the photo points on it are HERE .

So my route for my first photo today take me across Ireland toward the west coast. It’s number 21 on the map and it’s in county Sligo. It was a foggy start to the morning but traffic was light and after 30 mile the sun had broke through. It was going to be warm, my first stop for a coffee and fuel was in Enniskillen . Jacket air vents opened it was southwest to the village of Belcoo

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Lough MaCnean

then Manorhamiton.  A few miles pass Manorhamilton I turn onto the R826 , pass the shore of Lough Gill and on to the town of Drumahair. I followed small single track roads till i was south of Sligo Town. Back roads around to the Beach Bar and follow the coast through Easky where another coffee had my name on it. Continuing on the R297  till i was south of Enniscrone at the Photo rally point ‘ The Black pig’

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The Black Pig.

With the photo taken another motorcyclist arrived and a few minutes chatting about the rally points and where I was going next. Well my next point was number 23 on the map, County Rosscommon . Put the coordinates into the Sat-nav  and set it of winding roads. Love doing this for it takes all the small roads that winds through the country side. I stopped a service area to get a bite to eat and refuel the bike. Sitting outside in the sun this Blacksmiths workshop was across the road.

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I looked the internet and found he is an artist/blacksmith. a link to some of his WORK.

One of my problems while riding is I enjoy it so much, I forget to stop and take photos. I keep saying I will but ….. so not a lot to show on this next leg of my trip. My next point was the Albert Lock.

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The lock on the left with Lough Nanoge in the background. The lough os part of the river Shannon network.Photo rally 2018-3240.jpg

The Lock keeper’s cottage.

A chat with the lock keeper and the chance to see a boat using it it was time for a long ride home. That ride would see me cover another six counties. Near 12 hours on the road that day, it was a tired body that walked into the house.

Thank you for visiting and joining me on my trips.

George.

Youth Moto X.

Not far from where I live there is a Moto X track, today the Temple Motorcycle Club where running a youth meeting. It’s the first time I have been to a off road race in twenty years. I use to race in my teens but I think a couple of sun’s have burnt themselves out since then. We have had great weather this week and today it continued, so with the camera gear packed I walked over to the meeting. I can’t tell you who are in the photos has I did not have an event program. So here’s a few photos from today.

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Love the expression on the young racers face standing beside the flag marshal.

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Plenty of big air time off the jumps and in case you don’t notice I’ll point out the dust.

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Getting artistic here, I focus on the post and then turn off the auto-focus on the lens.

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Number 56 provided some great action.

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A close up of a young teenager.

 

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Had to do a B&W one.

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Did I tell you about the dust. The racing was called off with 5 or 6 races still to be run due to the dust and wind. Visibility around the track got so bad it became unsafe for the riders to continue. So I’ll leave you with my final shots.

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Thank you for visiting and feel free to comment, likes or dislikes.

George.

Portmore Lough

Portmore lough is in County Antrim here in the north of Ireland. It is one of the RSPB nature reserve’s I like to visit Portmore a few times a year. Spring time brings in the Common Tern to the nesting rafts on the lough and so on a hot sunny spring day ( note these are not words we use a lot in Ireland ) I arrive at the reserve. With only a few cars parked up it meant the hide by the lough would be quiet. The walk to the hide showed butterflies and damselflies were out, but a breeze blowing made closeups difficult.

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Blue Damselfly. Getting  a shot of this was hard work, even this one could have been sharper.

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Yep it’s a red Damselfly.  These seemed to land on the ground which helped with the wind, but hard on the knees.

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Black-veined  white butterfly. This one is a little battered, it was the only shot I got plus a workout. Then it was into the bird hide or bird blind depending when you are from. Two women were there and after a short update on what was seen I set up the camera. There are three nesting rafts and has well as Common Tern’s there was Blacked Gulls nesting.

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A Common Tern bring in lunch. I sat and watched the coming and goings around the rafts for an hour. I find by spending time studying these birds, patterns arise. This helps to get photographs, so lets meet the Common Tern and Black Headed gull.

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This photograph shows the Common Tern ( left) and the Black Headed Gull.

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This gull is a young immature Black headed gull. On the way back to the car park I stopped close to the feeders and shot this Sparrow.

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I believe this is a House sparrow. So it was back to the car and pack my gear away and the 40 minute drive home.

Thank you for visiting.

George.