Saturday, 30 April 2011

Highgate Cemetery

There is something about graveyards that appeals to me. I ask questions...who were they, how did they live, were they happy,sad, married, with kids, grand kids? Were they alone with no-one to care for them? What happened to them in their lives? 

Every single person in here lived a life with all of it's rich tapestries and then...gone. Save for an epitaph on a slab of stone no-one would ever know of their existence...makes you think. 

Next time you're in a graveyard, stop awhile and think.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Kings Wood, Challock, Kent

I wanted to photograph some bluebells. 

I saw a picture in the paper the other day of a glorious carpet of bluebells and it reminded of a wood I used to go to with my family when I was a nipper. My dad's aunt lived in a small village called Shamley Green in Guildford. Six tiny cottages, a pub, a hollowed out oak tree and a cricket green. The quintessential English village...

I seem to recall they used to fly the Union Jack flag  from the roof of the pub but then it became a crime against humanity and all things foreign. So they stopped it. Anyways, I wanted to photograph a carpet of bluebells but didn't fancy schlepping off to Guildford (I might have been disappointed - they say you can't go home again don't they?)

So, I found The Kings Wood in Kent. Off I toddled with my D5000, a tripod and the missus (whose not too shabby with a camera herself I can tell you!) and did these. Some are HDR, some are not. All are tweaked in various software and, I've decided to start framing and watermarking my pics. 

I kind of like the black frame because the contrast makes the colours 'pop' a little bit more.

I have a series of bluebell shots over on my website. Go on...have a look. You know you want to.

Monday, 11 April 2011


What I found impressive about using HDR is the amount of fine detail it shows. If you zoom in on this one you might get to see the dust cobwebs. These photo's have to be small I'm afraid....

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Crossness Engines

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Crossness Pumping Station which, is less that 5 minutes drive away from where I live. Funny thing is, I've lived here for 27 years and never once visited it! Never gave it a thought! Remember what I said about exploring your own neighbourhood?

I took bucket loads of pictures with the thought in mind that this subject would make good HDR's. Turns out, it was a good subject. The difficulty I had though, was that they don't allow tripods ('elf 'n' safety sir!) so I had to work hand held... some were ballsed up pretty badly but these came out ok. Have a look at the text below for a bit more info on the station.

I'll post up some more as we go on....

Crossness Pumping Station was a sewage pumping station designed by engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette and architect Charles Henry Driver. It was constructed between 1859 and 1865 as part of his redevelopment of the London sewerage system. It is located at Crossness, at the eastern end of the Southern Outfall Sewer.

The sewage was pumped up into a 27 million gallon reservoir, and was released into the Thames at high tide.

The station contains the four original pumping engines, which are thought to be the largest remaining rotative beam engines in the world, with 52 ton flywheels and 47 ton beams. The engines are named: Prince Consort, Victoria, Albert Edward, and Alexandra. Prince Consort was returned to steam in 2003 and now runs on Trust Open Days. The other engines are not in working order, although work has begun on the restoration of Victoria.

The Crossness Pumping Station was officially opened by Edward, Prince of Wales in April 1865 and the Beam Engine House is now a Grade I listed building[2] featuring spectacular ornamental cast ironwork – it has been described as "A masterpiece of engineering – a Victorian cathedral of ironwork" by Nikolaus Pevsner.

The pumping station was abandoned in the 1950s, and the building and engines were left to suffer considerable vandalism and decay.

Today the pumping station is managed by the Crossness Engines Trust, a registered charity set up in 1987 to oversee the restoration project.