365 Day Photograph Challenge: August Part I

August 2017 was a busy month. Most photos seem to have been shot on my smartphone which indicates that I didn’t have much time to explore with the DSLR. It is nice to look back at the photos from August (and July) 2017 because they show that the weather for the UK’s summer, on the whole, was not too bad. OK, in the NE of England the weather rarely gets beyond 20 C in the summer, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most of the photos appear to have been taken on sunny days with few overcast days. Most importantly, there was little rainfall in August. As a British summer goes, not too shabby at all.

1st August 2017 – Earsdon Village

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In the far northern corner of North Tyneside is the pretty little village of Earsdon. It was formerly in Northumberland until changes to local administration came into effect in 1974. It is barely half a mile from the modern boundary.

The parish church isn’t particularly old having being rebuilt in the 1830s. In 1862 it was the scene of a horrific mining accident at Hartley Pit. 204 men and boys were lost when the beam of the mine’s pumping engine broke and fell down the shaft where it wedged and blocked all means of escape. Those not killed in the initial impact were suffocated to death over the following days as oxygen supplies dwindled. This accident lead to a change in the law that stipulated all collieries had to have a secondary shaft in the event of accidents to allow workers to escape. An imposing memorial in the church graveyard is a sobering reminder of the tragedy.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/19 73 mm
  • ISO 200

6th August 2017 – Honeybee on Fuchsia

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Shot on my Samsung Galaxy S7, so not the best quality. I was still amazed at the level of detail modern smartphone cameras can produce. From the hairs on its abdomen to the pollen sac on its hind legs, it’s all there to see!

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/1,600 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

10th August 2017 – Newcastle Civic Centre

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I shot this photo in the middle of the day on a bright and sunny summer’s day. Not ideal photography conditions as shadows become more exaggerated. This required a lot of reworking in editing.

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For comparison, here’s out it started out life.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/250 sec exposure
  • f/11 26 mm
  • ISO 200

11th August 2017 – Female Furrow Spider

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Another phone macro. This little beastie was spotted whilst out doing fieldwork for my research. One of my colleagues spotted it and my ecologist friend and colleague managed to identify ‘her’ as a female furrow spider.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

13th August 2017 – Simonside Hills

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Another hot summer’s day (although the weather was on the turn). I could barely get parked in the car park as it was very busy that day (due to the good weather). August is heather season and the Northumberland hills turn to this stunning purple colour.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/200 sec exposure
  • f/13 35 mm
  • ISO 200
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365 Day Photograph Challenge: July Part I

Summer time and cultural excursions.

A summary of the first half of July 2017.

  • 01 – Nigella
  • 02 – Broadway, Worcestershire
  • 03 – Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire
  • 04 – Hosta
  • 05 – Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire
  • 06 – Stanway Fountain, Gloucestershire
  • 07 – Coughton Court, Warwickshire
  • 08 – Overgrown Back Lawn after a Holiday
  • 09 – Morpeth Clock Tower ready for Morpeth in Bloom 2017
  • 10 – Back Garden (following lawn mowing and weeding!)
  • 11 – Graduation Day
  • 12 – Stannington Church and Lavender
  • 13 – Carlisle Park Gates
  • 14 – Steel Magnolias Program Cover (amateur production starring my sister-in-law and friends)
  • 15 – Rothbury Handbell Choir at Rothbury Traditional Music Festival

1st July – Nigella

01 July.jpg

Shot and edited on my Samsung Galaxy S7. Nigella are more or less synonymous with English Cottage Gardens.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/200 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

2nd July – Broadway, Worcestershire

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A typical Cotswold stone dwelling in Broadway, Worcestershire, covered in climbing roses.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/13 31 mm
  • ISO 200

5th July – Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire

05 July.jpg

A Medieval Castle (15th Century) near Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. The chapel is the final resting place of Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII of England. It was a blistering hot day on the day (30+ C) I visited as you can see from the photograph. The bright sunlight gave the added problem of high contrast between light and shade.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/250 sec exposure
  • f/11 26 mm
  • ISO 200

9th July – Morpeth Clock Tower

09 July.jpg

Morpeth’s most iconic landmark is the Clock Tower. It was built in the early 17th century out of recycled Medieval stone. Every summer Morpeth Town Council sponsors Morpeth in Bloom (which is judged in Northumbria in Bloom). I took this photo not long after the floral displays had been installed for the summer.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/125 sec exposure
  • f/13 55 mm
  • ISO 200

12th July – Stannington Church

12 July.jpg

I love the light at this time of day as it really creates some nice highlights and shadows. I was experimenting with the focus on the smartphone and was pretty chuffed with the result.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/2,500 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

13th July – Carlisle Park Gates

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Carlisle Park opened in Morpeth in 1929 and is currently a Green Flag Award Holder.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/50 sec exposure
  • f/9.5 125 mm
  • ISO 200

365 Day Photograph Challenge: June Part II

Summer is here. Sometimes the weather is a bit too British!

A summary of the second half of June 2017.

  • 16th June – Rose ‘Thinking of You’ (first ever bloom)
  • 17th June – Seaton Sluice Harbour
  • 18th June – Alnmouth Village
  • 19th June – Church of St Nicholas, Cramlington
  • 20th June – Northumberlandia
  • 21st June – Armstrong Building, Newcastle University Campus
  • 22nd June – Back Garden
  • 23rd June – Chimney Mill, Claremont Road, Newcastle
  • 24th June – The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor
  • 25th June – Matfen Village
  • 26th June – Sand Shopping with Liz
  • 27th June – Interesting Reading
  • 28th June – Rain, rain, rain, just a typical British Summer
  • 29th June – A Farewell to a much-loved and respected colleague
  • 30th June – New Interpretation Board for Geotechnical Experiment

17th June – Seaton Sluice Harbour

17 June

Located in the far SE corner of the county, Seaton Sluice harbour is a picturesque little spot. It is a surprising find considering it is within a densely populated area that is full to the brim of former mining collieries and associated miners’ rows.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/16 38 mm
  • ISO 200

18th June – Alnmouth Village

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Another picturesque spot on the Northumberland coast. Alnmouth village is located  within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In August it hosts an event known as ‘Volcano Night’ where teams build castles on the beach within a set time limit. The sandcastles are then set on fire and the winner is the last one on fire when the tide comes in!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/13 80 mm
  • ISO 200

21st June – Armstrong Building, Newcastle University Campus

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The Armstrong Building is easily the most impressive building on campus. A Grade II listed building, the foundation stone was laid by Sir W. G. Armstrong in 1887. It was opened by King Edward VII in 1906. It was built in three phases over the 19-year-period and was designed by, you guessed it, R. J. Johnson. Sadly neither Armstrong or Johnson lived to see its completion, having died in 1900 and 1892 respectively. The architect’s remit was subsequently taken up by F. W. Rich and W. H. Knowles.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/3,200 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

23rd June – Chimney Mill, Claremont Road, Newcastle

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Chimney Mill and Mill House (built 1782), Claremont Road, not too far from Newcastle city centre. Built as a 5-sail windmill, the golf club front was added in 1892. It is a Grade II Listed Building.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/1,250 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

24th June – The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor

24 June

According to Wikipedia, The Hoppings is an annual travelling funfair held on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the last week in June. It is one of Europe’s largest travelling funfairs. I was perched upon Cow Hill on the Town Moor to get this vantage point. From here, one can see all the way down to the coast (some 10+ miles away). Newcastle must be the only city in the UK where cattle are grazed in the city centre!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/1,600 sec exposure
  • f/11 138 mm
  • ISO 800

25th June – Matfen Village

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Matfen village is an estate village (for Matfen Hall) located in rural western Northumberland. It is quite an attractive little place and I enjoyed exploring around here for an hour or so. The parish church was built in 1842 by Sir Edward Blackett of Matfen Hall.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/16 26 mm
  • ISO 200