365 Day Photograph Challenge: March Part II

Summary 17th – 31st March

  • 17 – The Key Building, Science Central, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 18 – The Wedding of Chris and Tessa, Burbage, Leicestershire
  • 19 – Nuthatch, Coombe Country Park, Warwickshire
  • 20 – Robin of Pegswood, near Morpeth
  • 21 – Wylam Brewery, Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 22 – Leazes Park Gates on a Stormy Evening, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 23 – Cheerful Daffodils in Leazes Park after the Storm
  • 24 – St George’s URC Rose Window, Morpeth
  • 25 – Guisborough Priory, North Yorkshire
  • 26 – Azalea Sylvester
  • 27 – Elswick Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 28 – Daffodil Close-up
  • 29 – Academic Waste, Art Installation by Helena Lacey, Newcastle University
  • 30 – Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 31 – Cumulus Congestus Clouds near Stannington, Northumberland

19th March – Nuthatch, Coombe Country Park

19 March

Taken the morning after the wedding and after my friend’s and I had seen the newly weds off for their honeymoon. We took a stroll in Coombe Country Park which is down the road from the wedding venue. I was really pleased to get this snap of a nuthatch while we were there.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/200 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 200 mm
  • ISO 200

20th March – Robin of Pegswood

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Officially called, ‘Fire,’ it is known locally as Robin of Pegswood due to the pose of the bronze miner. It was designed by local artist, Tom Maley, stands 36 ft high and was unveiled on 10th September 2009. I captured this shot just after sunset.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 10 sec exposure
  • f/19 88 mm
  • ISO 200

21st March – Wylam Brewery

21 March

Originally built as an exhibition venue in 1929, Wylam Brewery is a good example of Art Deco architecture. As such, it is Grade II Listed by Historic England. I particularly liked the light at this time of the day as the shadows helped to define the lines of the building.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/16 43 mm
  • ISO 200

24th March – St George’s URC Rose Window

24 March

A bit of a hidden gem this one. The rose window of this church is no longer visible from the inside of the church as a mezzanine floor was constructed in 1962 to host the church hall. I was wandering around Morpeth on the evening of 24th March looking for interesting photographs. The church hall was in use and the lights from inside the hall lit up the window to viewers such as myself on the pavement below. I happily took this cheeky close up.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 4 sec exposure
  • f/4.5 105 mm
  • ISO 200

27th March – Elswick Riverside

27 March.jpg

An interesting cityscape on the north bank of the River Tyne. There are three phases of construction that comprise 140 years. The tower of St Stephen’s church dates from 1878, the high rise flats of Cruddas Park date from 1963 and the riverside apartments have been built within the last 10 years. It had been an overcast day, but I quite liked the glow from the setting sun as it peeped through the clouds and the reflections in the mud flats.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/60 sec exposure
  • f/9.5 58 mm
  • ISO 200

30th March – Great North Museum

30 March.jpg

A little detour through one of my favourite childhood museums one lunchtime. It has been recently refurbished (in the last 10 years) and rebranded as the Great North Museum and is much better than when I was a kid.

  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • 1/15 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 48 mm
  • ISO 500
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365 Day Photograph Challenge: March Part I

All the photos (1st – 15th March 2017)

  • 1st March – Morpeth Clock Tower Clock, floodlit at dusk.
  • 2nd March – Star Wars night (original theatrical release, naturally).
  • 3rd March – Bandanas for Brain Tumours (brain tumour awareness month).
  • 4th March – Bothal Castle, dusk.
  • 5th March – Morpeth Riverside.
  • 6th March – Morpeth Courthouse, night.
  • 7th March – Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Quayside, dusk.
  • 8th March – Newcastle Airport, sunset.
  • 9th March – Unsolvable Rubik’s Cube (clue is the yellow and white squares).
  • 10th March – Blagdon Bridge (ugly 80s’ engineering, grafting a modern bridge onto the side of an old estate bridge).
  • 11th March – Wallington Walled Garden Crocuses.
  • 12th March – Sycamore Sunset.
  • 13th March – Horse Entry (one of Morpeth’s curious old alleyways).
  • 14th March – Newcastle Castle, sunset (I preferred the old one haha!).
  • 15th March – Unity (modern art raising HIV/AIDs awareness, designed by Lilian Nabulime).

5th March – Morpeth Riverside

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Perhaps one of the most photographed scenes in my hometown. Morpeth riverside looking towards St George’s URC Church (opened 1860). Oliver’s Mill, the tall red brick building on the left is a former flour mill powered by a water wheel connected to the weir. Notice how the north bank premises are protected with a flood wall. The last flood occurred in 2008. Hard to imagine the river as a raging torrent on a beautiful, clear day such as the day this photograph was taken on.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/1,000 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 43 mm
  • ISO 200

8th March – Sunset over Newcastle Airport

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Perhaps not the most exciting subject matter. The airport control tower does, however, produce some interesting shapes against the sunset. I quite liked the haze in the distance, it gave the composition a little extra interest. I deliberately chose a white balance setting to emphasise the colour of the sunset. I further enhanced this by increasing the saturation in post-editing.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/13 160 mm
  • ISO 200

12th March – Sycamore Sunset

12 March.jpg

I quite liked this photograph because it is possible to turn fairly unexceptional photographs taken on the phone camera into more vivid ones by carefully playing around with the brightness, contrast and saturation. Before editing the tree definition was not as clear and the colours of the sky were very washed out.

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Before editing

  • Device – Samsung Galaxy S5
  • 1/30 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 4.8 mm
  • ISO 40

14th March – Newcastle Castle at Sunset

14 March (2).jpg

The fortress that gives Newcastle its name. Literally the New Castle. It was built in 1080 as a Motte and Bailey Castle after the Norman Conquest and replaced the Roman fort of Pons Aelius. Today, only the (later) Medieval castle keep and Black Gate (Gatehouse) survive. In Victorian times the railway was ploughed between the two structures. That’s progress for you!

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/50 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 20 mm
  • ISO 200

365 Day Photograph Challenge: Day 66

An ambition fulfilled.

It has been a long-held ambition of mine to photograph the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside at night. The Tyne crossings are amazing feats of engineering and they all complement each other. Even The Sage, a live music and performing arts venue that opened in 2004, was designed to be an accompaniment to the bridges. Undoubtedly, the quayside must be one of the most photographed locations in the city, and it is easy to see why as the architecture is stunning!

My photographs may not break new ground, but it was great fun to finally get to do a night shoot on the quayside, and to practise my night photography.

The Sage.jpg

The Sage – A landmark live music venue for Gateshead, Newcastle and the North East (opened 2004).

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Gateshead Millennium Bridge – “the blinking eye bridge” (opened 2001).

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The majestic Tyne Bridge rises high above the waters of the Tyne (opened 1928). Further upstream the Swing Bridge (1876), High Level Bridge (1849) and QEII Metro Bridge (1981) can be seen.

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The Tyne Bridge with the Millennium Bridge and The Sage Gateshead in the distance.

I hope to be back for round two, soon!

365 Day Photograph Challenge: February (Part Deux)

All the photos (15th – 28th February)

  • 15th Feb – The 1875 bandstand in Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 16th Feb – Armstrong Building stairwell, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 17th Feb – Northumbrian Piper, Alistair Anderson
  • 18th Feb – The historic shop front of John Smail & Sons, Morpeth
  • 19th Feb – Morpeth townscape from St James’ Church tower, Morpeth
  • 20th Feb – Armstrong memorial, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 21st Feb – Quirky camel tea pot, throwing up the tea…
  • 22nd Feb – Car behaving like a devil
  • 23rd Feb – Philosophical graffiti, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 24th Feb – The Lodge, Carlisle Park, Morpeth
  • 25th Feb – Barter Books, Alnwick
  • 26th Feb – Curly Kews, Morpeth
  • 27th Feb – Eclectic still life
  • 28th Feb – Blossom in Exhibition Park, Newcastle upon Tyne

16th February – Armstrong Building Architecture

16 Feb.jpg

The Armstrong Building is the oldest building on Newcastle University campus. It was constructed in three phases between 1887 and 1906. Originally designed by R. J. Johnson in 1887, architects F. W. Rich and W. H. Knowles contributed to its design following Johnson’s death in 1892. It is a grand Victorian building in Gothic Revival Architecture.

In this photograph I am looking up the main stair well from the entrance hall. I put the phone on timer and let it do the rest! Felt like such a pillock, but took solace in the fact that as I walked in, two students were taking exactly the same photograph.

  • Device – Samsung Galaxy GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/2.2 4.8 mm
  • ISO 40

19th February – Morpeth Townscape

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A very rare view over Morpeth. I was very kindly given access to the tower of St James’ Church by the vicar. To access the roof, one must crawl underneath the church bell that is hung at the top of the tower stair turret. Thankfully the vicar had cleared out all the pigeon muck before we went up!

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/250 sec exposure
  • f/4 18 mm
  • ISO 200

25th February – Barter Books, Alnwick

25 Feb (2).JPG

Barter Books is an incredible second hand book shop, situated in Alnwick. It is based in the former railway station building. The owners have made it really warm and welcoming and it is the perfect place to visit on a cold and/or wet winter’s day. The words suspended on the banners between the bookcases are from the Song of Solomon 2:10, Old Testament.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/50 sec exposure
  • f/4 26 mm
  • ISO 800

26th February – Curly Kews, Morpeth

26 Feb (2).JPG

The poetically named Curly Kews was opened in the 1960s to allow access to the newly built housing estate at the top of the bank. I didn’t think I would get out to do any photography as it rained most of the day. By early evening it had stopped and I took the camera and tripod out. Really pleased with this light trail. The only thing that could have made it better would be if I had captured the passing car as it crossed the bridge.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 20 sec exposure
  • f/16 33 mm
  • ISO 200

365 Day Photograph Challenge: February (Part 1)

All the photos (1st – 14th February)!

  • 1st Feb – The Quadrangle, Newcastle University (the pretty part of campus).
  • 2nd Feb – The newly refurbished Central Station Metro Station, Newcastle.
  • 3rd Feb – Microbiology revision!
  • 4th Feb – Beautiful Warkworth on the Northumberland Coast.
  • 5th Feb – The Arches, Newcastle University Campus.
  • 6th Feb – Marking the Sapphire Jubilee of Elizabeth II with memorabilia (cheap tat) from the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
  • 7th Feb – Morpeth Cenotaph by night.
  • 8th Feb – Date inscription on the 6th bell (of 8) hung in Morpeth Clock Tower.
  • 9th Feb – Daffodil (sadly shop bought).
  • 10th Feb – Cockle Park Pele Tower in the snow (see Hidden Northumberland post).
  • 11th Feb – Warming pub fire on a cold wet day.
  • 12th Feb – St Mary’s Church, Morpeth (see earlier 365 Photo Challenge post).
  • 13th Feb – Morpeth’s Ancient Chantry at night.
  • 14th Feb – Morpeth Market Place at night.

4th February – Warkworth Village

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Warkworth is a beautiful and ancient village set in an idyllic location in a meander of the River Coquet, not far from the river mouth. The river is very popular with water sports enthusiasts in the summer months and is also great for walking along for the less adventurous. Warkworth beach is just a short walk from the village. At the other end of the village, the medieval castle dominates the landscape. It really is a super little spot on the coast and I highly recommend it. The day I went up, it was a gorgeous winter day with few clouds in the sky.

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/1,600 sec exposure
  • f/11 50 mm
  • ISO 800

5th February – The Arches, Newcastle University Campus

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Arguably one of the most iconic features on Newcastle University campus. The Arches are part of the quadrangle area and were built in the early 20th century as part of Armstrong College. In the distance, the church of St Thomas the Martyr can be seen. This church is the base of the university’s chaplaincy. Designed by John Dobson, it opened in 1830.

I’m relatively happy with this photo. I used the linear polarising filter, although it was probably not necessary. Despite it being a Sunday, there were still many people walking around on campus and the LP filter automatically darkens the photograph. To compensate I had to increase the ISO and use a relatively short exposure for night photography. If I hadn’t used the filter, I could’ve used a lower ISO. The compromise is that the photograph is grainier than I would have liked.

  • Device – Samung GX-1S
  • 3 sec exposure
  • f/5.6 26 mm
  • ISO 800

13th February – The Chantry, Morpeth, at night

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The Chantry is the oldest building extant in Morpeth. It was constructed around A.D. 1300 as All Saints’ Chantry Chapel. Over the centuries it has had many uses including a school, a mineral water factory, a museum and craft centre. Originally it would have been cruciform (cross-shaped) when it was built. However, the transepts were demolished in the 18th century to make way for an extension that was built in 1738 in facsimile architecture on the south side of the building.

I was particularly pleased with this photograph as there were no cars parked in Chantry Place (a first!). Sadly, there were roadworks signs on Bridge Street (I suppose beggars can’t be choosers!).

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 1 sec exposure
  • f/5.6 18 mm
  • ISO 200

14th February – Morpeth Market Place at night

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The focal point of Morpeth’s history, the Market Place. In this photograph you can see the front of the 1714 Town Hall (left), the 1634 Clock Tower, and the 1905 YMCA Building (far right).

There was a mist in the air the night I took this photo and I like the way the floodlights highlighted it. The Clock Tower is flood lit and looks very orange at night. It was very difficult to adjust the white balance for this. I guess the photograph still looks a little on the yellow-side…

  • Device – Samsung GX-1S
  • 15 sec exposure
  • f/13 23 mm
  • ISO 200

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)

01-jan

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

02 Jan.jpg

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

06 Jan.jpg

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

11 Jan.jpg

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

22 Jan.jpg

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)

29 Jan.jpg

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