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

OMD-EM10 vs K20D – Olympus vs Pentax

My Olympus OMD-EM10 is out of action at the moment. I think the lens is broken but the camera has gone haywire because of it. I’ve gone back to using my Pentax K20D as my main carry-anywhere camera.

K20D vs OMD-EM10

It’s interesting to compare the experience of using the two. I’d been using the Olympus is my carry-anywhere. If I went out specifically for a photography trip I’d take both but I’d use the Olympus more often during the day. I tended to use the Pentax when I needed to use filters, for which I don’t have the necessary adapters for the OMD.

Although neither camera is current, the comparison would still be relevant to a choice between any modern DSLR and mirrorless alternatives. Continue reading


My Olympus is broken. I’ve had it for about two and a half years from new, bought with the kit lens. It’s had a couple of breakages before this – the battery compartment cover didn’t last long at all and some time last year the manual focus ring just disintegrated.

This time, there are a variety of symptoms of misbehaviour – no image on screen or EVF, lens hunting through the zoom range without me asking it to, won’t focus, won’t take a shot, etc. All intermittent, but it just won’t work. I think it might be the lens. I’m going to go to a shop and try it with another lens. If so, that’s not a long life-span for a lens. It’s the M.Zuiko 14-42 pancake zoom. A very nice lens image-wise, and very small and light, and cheap as a kit lens (not cheap to buy on it’s own though). However, not the most solidly built piece of kit. I’ll see if I can get another on ebay, assuming that’s the cause. I hope so, because I’d be really disappointed if the body has given up after such a short time.

Welsh Moods

Monday was supposed to be a bright sunny day in Snowdonia. It was just that as I arrived at Conwy for my morning coffee, a perfect mix of puffy clouds and bright winter sunshine. There’s a saying though that the mountains make their own weather. As I headed inland the clouds got thicker and more continuous. The tops were engulfed. The valleys were grey. Continue reading

Beddgelert sunset

Some shots taken last week looking toward the end of the Snowdon range, with Lliwedd and Yr Aran prominent. Lliwedd is the double headed peak, and part of the famous Snowdon horseshoe.

The location is a relatively small but very rugged hill immediately south of the lovely village of Beddgelert, supposedly named for being “Gelert’s grave”, Gelert being “the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great.” Whatever the history, it’s great walking country, wild and difficult of navigation. The weather was changeable, which makes for dramatic photography.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10

Finding Names

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Names


I wasn’t looking for names today. I just came across it by accident. I went out chasing the sunset at a beauty spot outside Macclesfield called Tegg’s Nose. It’s a high spot right on the edge of the Peak District escarpment and faces out across the Cheshire plain with amazing views. Shooting conditions were “challenging”, with very high winds making it difficult to stand up straight, let alone hold the camera still. I walked around the hill looking for the best views and some shelter. On the lee side I found this piece of industrial heritage next to an abandoned gritstone quarry.


The blue machine is obviously a crane. The smaller cream/white machine is a stone cutting saw. The shapes and colours would make an ideal subject for an introductory photography workshop group but it was the name that caught my eye. I didn’t have anything to submit for this week’s Daily Post challenge and this was a very obvious candidate.

There’s a fair bit of information on-line about John Smith, Makers, Keighley. Just put that into Google and you’ll get some interesting results. The particular machine seen here is intended to cut large blocks of gritstone into thin slabs. It wasn’t originally sited here but someone (the council perhaps) has gone to the expense of installing this machinery by the quarry here as a sort of museum installation piece.