New year’s eve wander

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well happy new year to you. My new year will be largely taken up with restocking after a bumper set of Christmas markets and starting to think about moving house, which means decluttering, DIY and such like to make our current house look as desirable and saleable as possible. Hopefully I’ll still have time for some photography in between.

In the meantime here are a few shots I took on a local wander around the back lanes where I live on new year’s eve. I put my Olympus OMD-EM10 into JPEG mode and black and white, just to see what would happen. As usual when I do such things I was surprised that I got several quite nice shots.

A little bit of snow

By coincidence I exchanged comments a day or so ago with a reader from Helsinki who had posted a YouTube link showing his driving in snow. I responded that with so much snow Britain would grind to a halt. Today we had about an inch of snow and there was chaos on the roads and trains cancelled. My wife’s one hour journey to work turned into three hours. Britain doesn’t understand snow. Continue reading

Shining Tor

 

Sunset and Moonrise from Shining Tor looking east.
Sunset and Moonrise from Shining Tor looking east.

Shining Tor is the highest hill in Cheshire, just to the east of Macclesfield. Looking west you see the long miles of the Cheshire plain. Not surprisingly it’s a good spot for sunset shots, as long as you can stand up against the ever-present wind that seems to rear up from the plain and accelerate as it encounters the first hills since Wales.

These shots were from mid-November. I was doing christmas markets every week through November and December so didn’t manage to get out shooting much but now it’s new year (happy new year!) hopefully I’ll be able to get out and experience the hills again.

More Cheshire Autumn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This has been a great autumn and it isn’t over yet. I went back to the woods at Alderley Edge and found them full of colour and with the perfect overcast sky.

There’s a legend about these woods. About a wizard. You can see how these woods could produce such a legend, they’re full of character. There are beautiful individual trees, both mature and sapling. I found myself strolling very slowly, waiting for compositions to arrange themselves. A good sign.


The Olympus OMD-EM10 is perfect for this type of shooting. Using a tripod, the day is dull enough that the rear screen is easily seen and composing on a large, high-resolution screen is really nice. It also lets me compose using my crop of choice – 1:1 or 16:9 or the native 4:3.

 

Shining Tor

Shining Tor is the highest point in Cheshire. It has great views (on a clear day) across the Cheshire plain. This wasn’t such a clear day but had some nice textures and moods for a black and white treatment.

On some of the shots you can see what looks like the moon. It’s actually the sun, which was behaving quite strangely that day. It was reported in most of the papers. It was dim and orange, an effect caused, I seem to remember, by dust in the atmosphere from somewhere?

In my back yard

When photographing I spend most of my time in Snowdonia, the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, etc. Hilly places of obvious scenic spectacle. Where I live is Cheshire, not far from Manchester. It has no hills and no spectacle. It doesn’t much inspire me, if I’m honest. But season, weather, and light can create spectacle and drama. On such a morning I went out a couple of months ago to a little lake just round the corner from my house.

Cheshire Plain

Cheshire is mostly flat. I lived in hilly areas for twenty years so I’m having to recalibrate my photographic eye to get the best out of this area. As I’ve said before, it seems to lend itself to monochrome treatment. I’d forgotten this set, which I took about a year ago and came across yesterday. Taken with my still-broken Olympus OMD-EM10, which I really enjoy using for square format black and white. Continue reading

Finding beauty in less obvious places

Yesterday I went walking around the waterside areas around Frodsham. This is a small town near the inland end of the Mersey estuary. The areas around Frodsham are a mix of countryside, rivers, canals, and industrial. The River Weaver flows into the Mersey at Frodsham and the Weaver Navigation (i.e. canal) flows alongside it.

I don’t usually go looking for subjects like this but I do like them. I’ve driven past this area for years as the M56 goes right over it on a flyover. I’ve seen it many times in dramatic light or weather, usually early or late on my way to or from the welsh mountains. Each time I see some dramatic light or mist I think I should go and take a look. Yesterday wasn’t dramatic and I couldn’t wait around for the sunset but it was a beautiful day and I really like the mix of industrial, waterside, and rough green land. I’ll definitely go back and look for more dramatic conditions.