January 2017: An Overview

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All the photos!

  • 01  – Overlooking Morpeth from Ha’ Hill (former Motte) on New Year’s Day.
  • 02 – Sunrise over Oldgate, Morpeth (Clock Tower in the distance).
  • 03 – Back to work (Newcastle University).
  • 04 – River Wansbeck, Morpeth, at night.
  • 05 – Sunset over Newcastle University.
  • 06 – Bakehouse Stepping Stones, Morpeth, at night.
  • 07 – Coquet Island, Northumberland.
  • 08 – The wreck of Beechfield House, Morpeth.
  • 09 – Doctorate congratulatory present.
  • 10 – Cirrocumulus clouds over Kensington Terrace, Newcastle.
  • 11 – Fisheye View of the Ringing Chamber of Morpeth Clock Tower.
  • 12 – I Work with a Bunch of Muppets.
  • 13 – Angel of the North, Gateshead.
  • 14 – Center Parcs Trees, Nottinghamshire.
  • 15 – Center Parcs Trees (Part Deux), Nottinghamshire.
  • 16 – Tyne Bridge Arch Hinge Joint, Gateshead.
  • 17 – New Toy for Digitising Old Slides.
  • 18 – Chantry Footbridge, Morpeth, at night.
  • 19 – W. D. Stephens Memorial Fountain, Jesmond, Newcastle.
  • 20 – Salted Caramel Popcorn Tiffin from Olive and Bean, Newcastle.
  • 21 – Apposite Reading.
  • 22 – Grainger Street Architecture in the Late Afternoon Glow, Newcastle.
  • 23 – Civic Centre, Newcastle, at night.
  • 24 – Sunset over Ilford Road, High West Jesmond, Newcastle.
  • 25 – Devonshire Building Time-Capsule, Newcastle University.
  • 26 – Jazzy Light Fitting.
  • 27 – Morpeth Railway Station, at night.
  • 28 – A New WWI Memorial Bench is Dedicated in Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth.
  • 29 – Blue Tit (RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend), Morpeth.
  • 30 – St Andrew’s Church Interior, Newgate Street, Newcastle.
  • 31 – People Watching on Northumberland Street, Newcastle.

1st January – Overlooking Morpeth from Ha’ Hill (former Motte Castle)


This photograph was taken around midday on New Year’s Day. Ha’ Hill is a great vantage point to overlook the old part of Morpeth. In this photo, the main buildings that can be seen are the Clock Tower (1634), YMCA Building (1905) and Town Hall (1714). The sun was at its strongest point of the day and produced some good shadows to define the lines of buildings. I increased the contrast to really bring this definition out.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/30 sec exposure
  • f/27 160 mm
  • ISO 200

2nd January – Sunrise over Oldgate, Morpeth

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Quite a tricky shot this one. I got up early on this cold and icy morning to capture this photo. Achieving the correct exposure proved difficult. In the end I went with a fairly quick exposure and edited the photograph in paint.net to lighten the buildings. While I’m pleased with the composition, the editing has messed the clouds up. Again, the Clock Tower can be seen with its dramatic setting in the middle of the street. Oldgate has many fine Georgian town houses.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/15 sec exposure
  • f/11 21 mm
  • ISO 200

5th January – Sunset over Newcastle University

05 Jan.jpg

This was quite a fun shoot. It was literally taken out of the kitchen window at work. I used a linear polarising filter to bring out the colours of the sunset.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/30 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 73 mm
  • ISO 200

6th January – Bakehouse Stepping Stones, Morpeth, at night

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It is said that to be a true Morpethian, one must fall in (be baptised in) the River Wansbeck at this location! A long exposure photo, I increased the ISO slightly to get a slightly sharper image. The trade-off is that the sky is slightly more grainy.  Additionally, I increased the light and contrast to give more definition to the image.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 6 sec exposure
  • f/5.6 35 mm
  • ISO 400

7th January – Coquet Island

07 Jan.jpg

Pronounced ‘Co-ket’, Coquet Island is a small (6 ha) island, 1.2 km off the Northumbrian coast at Amble. Originally a Benedictine monastic cell dating from the 14th century was sited on the island. However, in 1841, its remains were incorporated into the lighthouse. It is quite an usual lighthouse due to its square plan. The day I visited the sky was overcast, however, the cloud broke to the south and the sun shone through the gap. This highlighted the island and lighthouse and I got this cool shot. Again, I increased the brightness and contrast to really show off the lighthouse and make the sky look moodier.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/320 sec exposure
  • f/13 200 mm
  • ISO 400

11th January – Morpeth Clock Tower Ringing Chamber

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Quite a fun one for 11th January. I have a fisheye lens for my phone (amongst others) that rarely gets used, but I thought it would be perfect for this photo. I had to use the flash to get the camera to focus.

  • Device – Samsung Galaxy S5
  • 1/30 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 4.8 mm
  • ISO 125
  • Fisheye lens

22nd January – Grainger Street Architecture, Newcastle upon Tyne

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At the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne is the historic Grainger Town, designed by Richard Grainger between 1824 and 1841. Of the 450 surviving buildings, 250 are listed, including 29 Grade I and 49 Grade II* listed buildings. I happened to be town this day and by the late afternoon the sun was producing this awesome glow on the buildings. This building is on Grainger Street. I’m not sure why it is dated 1874. It may have been restored or rebuilt at this time.

  • Device – Samsung Galaxy S5
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 48 mm
  • ISO 64

23rd January – Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, at night

23 Jan.jpg

Newcastle Civic Centre was built between 1960 and 1968 and is a very interesting piece of post-WWII architecture. Many people mistakenly believe that the tower is concrete when it is actually faced with Portland Stone. I particularly like the blue lighting at night.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 3 sec exposure
  • f/8 21 mm
  • ISO 200

27th January – Morpeth Railway Station, at night

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Morpeth railway station opened on 1st March 1847 (nearly 170 years ago) on the Berwick and Newcastle railway (part of the modern day ECML). A Grade II listed building, it was designed by Benjamin Green the Scottish Baronial style. It is due to undergo a major refurbishment in 2017 that has been funded by Greater Morpeth Development Trust (GMDT). I have finally figured out that for night photography, if the scene is not very well lit, it is necessary to slightly over expose the photograph and increase the aperture a bit more than I would expect to.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 10 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 28 mm
  • ISO 200

29th January – Blue tit (RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch Weekend)

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A first attempt a wildlife photography. Unfortunately I do not possess the fancy telescopic lenses required for professional wildlife photography. However, despite the graininess of this photograph, I am still quite pleased with the result.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/250 sec exposure
  • f/5.6 200 mm
  • ISO 3,200

30th January – St Andrew’s Church interior, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Reputed to be the oldest parish church in Newcastle, St Andrew’s is a peaceful oasis to escape from the city (even for this agnostic). I particularly love the very fine Norman chancel arch.

  • Device – Samsung Galaxy S5
  • 1/15 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 4.8 mm
  • ISO 1,000




The beginning of a journey.

Welcome all to my new blog. I started this blog to share my photographs with a wider audience. On 1st January 2017 I embarked on a 365 day photograph challenge. The aim is to take at least one photograph on every day of the year. It has been done many times before and there are many examples of blogs that have documented this fun challenge. I first heard about the challenge in 2009 from a housemate at university.

Having recently inherited a DSLR, I thought this challenge would be a great way to make use of it, practice using it, and hopefully improve my photography. Please follow to see how I am getting on. Please respect that these photographs are my own and that if you would like to use or share them, you will need to ask for my permission to do so.07-jan

Coquet Island, Northumberland, 7th January 2017

In addition, I will be exploring and discovering the less well known spots in the beautiful county of Northumberland on my photographic journey. This segment of the blog will be called, ‘Hidden Northumberland.’ I hope it encourages you to go out and discover the gems of your local patch, too.

A final project (if I ever manage to find time) is to digitise and archive old 35 mm slides belonging to the family. We have 30 years’ worth of slides dating from c. 1960 to 1990 (when slides were all the rage). In the digital age it is important to preserve these precious windows on history. They offer a fascinating glimpse of social history in the mid to late 20th century – when we could only have dreamed of a global digital archive.