A few thoughts and ideas

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 4

A few more photos of Bude’s main beach (Summerleaze).

Beach huts overlooking Summerleaze Beach at Bude.
Barrel Rock from the base of the Ocean Pool
Another angle of Barrel Rock from the rocks at the base of the Bude Ocean Pool.
A rock, Bude Breakwater and Compass Point in the distance
Ebbingford Manor, my accomodation during my stay.
This is Upper Tamar Lake, I used to do fly-fishing for trout at the lake when I was a teenager. On the first weekend at Bude, I did the Tamar Lake Park Run – it was freezing and windy.

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 3

During my trip I took a few landscape photos around Bude. The next couple of posts will contain a few of my attempts.

Near Bude’s breakwater is Whale Rock, named for obvious reasons.

Taking photos around the beaches and headlands was a trial with strong gusty winds causing significant vibration. The lighting was also difficult with cloud cover taking a lot of colour from the scenes.

This is where the river and mouth of the Bude Canal meet. Photo taken at low tide.
This was taken from above the previous photo. This is the arm for the last canal lock.
Crab and lobster fishing are active industries for the area.
Barrel Rock at the end of Bude’s breakwater. See the seat for scale.
A view of the Bude breakwater.
The Compass Point building looking out to Lundy Island.
Another view of Compass Point and Lundy in the distance.

On the day I took these photos, I walked from Bude along the downs toward Widemouth Bay. I didn’t get far though as the strong wind was bringing a few significant squalls and the light was fading. After a few hundred metres I turned around and returned to Bude. I didn’t escape getting soaked, but only on one side due to the wind.

Visit to UK: 2019 – Part 1

In December I visited the UK particularly to see my mum but also to catch up with some of my brothers, my sister and their families.

It was great to go on a couple of trips with my brother Matthew, it reminded me of when we were kids and Matthew and I used to walk or bicycle to local fishing spots.

The following are a few photos of my trip – they are in the order I processed them and not necessarily the order I took them.

Matthew and me at Hartland Point.

I got to catch up with my sister and her family.

Sylvia and Mike in their new house with our Mum and the kids.

It rained a lot in Cornwall during my stay but some days had a bit of sun. On one of these sunnier days Matthew, Mum and I went for a drive to Crackington Haven. We stopped for a photo of Widemouth Bay. Here is Matthew attempting, in a raging wind (which was freezing), to take a photo.

Matthew taking photos and Mum (very sensibly) in the car.

This was what we were seeing.

It was blowing a gale and here is my very sensible mum snug in the car – the reflection is me getting jostled and pushed by the wind.

Earlier in the week, first full day in Bude (the nearest town to my mum’s house), I went for a walk. I re-familiarised myself with Summerleaze Beach, the Breakwater, Ocean Pool and the Canal.

A photo taken on a windy December day across the Bude beach, river mouth toward the Ocean Pool and Crooklets Beach in the distance. Photo taken from the headland above the Breakwater and Barrel Rock (on left with steps and pole).

More to follow as I develop my photos.

Happy New Year 2018

This is Wellington Point in Queensland at sunrise on New Year’s Day 2018. Although the jetty is a popular local photo location, New Year’s Day sunrise is not really the time to take the ‘best’ shot. The jetty and foreshore is often teeming with sightseers and fellow photographers all wanting that first shot of the year.

Anyway, this is my attempt. The photo is processed from the camera’s RAW file (a RAW file is the format that is equivalent to a film negative) using a program called Darktable.  This is an ‘open source’ and free RAW photo editor that has recently been ported to Windows. Darktable is a wonderful piece of software with a different approach to many RAW editors such as Lightroom (Adobe).

I learned to use Darktable when I was using Linux as my operating system for most of last year. At that time Darktable was only available on Linux and on Mac operating systems. Unfortunately, most of my work requires (or is more convenient when using) the Windows operating system, consequently I reloaded Windows on my home computer and stopped using Darktable. With the software now available on Windows, I can now resume using Darktable.

Good  luck and best wishes to all for 2018.

 

 

First edit in Darktable

New Year's Day Sunrise

New Year’s Day Sunrise

Just for kicks, I decided to upgrade my computer so it can boot into Windows and Linux (Ubuntu). I use Adobe Lightroom for processing my photos under Windows, I wanted to try Darktable which is only available for Mac and Linux. This is my first Darktable edit. It isn’t brilliant but it still looks like the scene I pointed my camera at!

The picture is of the first sunrise of the year.

In Darktable I used parametric masking – which Lightroom doesn’t do in any great way – to adjust saturation, exposure and contrast. I also used colour reconstruction which is quite good, it allows you to put back colour in areas that are ‘blown out’, for example the disk of the sun.

Bicycle Tour – Day 1

Day 1 of the tour was a grueling circuit of Toowoomba.

BQ Tour 2015 5th Sept-1

The morning was quite pleasant, though a little cool – nothing like the cold that we had in Warwick later though!

BQ Tour 2015 5th Sept-2

A morning coffee was an essential, this is something we decided right at the beginning!  Luckily the coffee wagon was part of the camp set up and even followed us to lunch stops on the way during the 9 days.

BQ Tour 2015 5th Sept-3 Read More

First day of Bicycle Qld Tour

This year, during my long-service leave Jane and I have completed the 2015 Bicycle Queensland 9-day tour. Though the tour starts officially tomorrow we arrived at the USQ campus in Toowoomba around 2pm on Friday 4th September.

This is us just ready to leave.

First me.
Alex ready to leave.

And my wife, Jane

Jane ready to leave. Read More

Jim Moore

Jim was a person I met at the Helensvale Goodlife Gym.

Jim, trainer at Helensvale Gym

Jim, trainer at Helensvale Gym

He was the personal trainer who was tasked with showing me the equipment when I joined the gym. Later, Jane (my wife) suggested I try a personal trainer to get me motivated toward my fitness. I had been impressed by Jim’s introductory session at the Helensvale Goodlife club and, consequently, asked him to be my personal trainer for a few months. This was during the same year that my wife and her mum were off visiting relatives in the UK.

Read More

Swans

Swan and Chick 3

Swans, a set on Flickr.

These are from our local lake (pond) at Pacific Pines. Unfortunately, the cygnets disappeared a few days after this. With cats, eels and people these birds have a hard time.

Via Flickr:
Black Swans