Two Trees, West Sussex

Two Trees, West Sussex June 2020

I think I have missed my morning walk once during lockdown. Yesterday, it was quite cool and misty early on – but by the time I went out for my walk, the Sun was up and throwing long, dark shadows. And there is a contrast with the morning mist, which is slowly being burned off.

Leaves, West Sussex

Sycamore Leaves, West Sussex May 2020

Like most people, my outdoor photography has been restricted by the lock-down. Which is why I have been posting pictures of things I’ve seen on my exercise walks. I could post things from the past – places I’ve been – but it feels irrelvant at the moment.

This is a picture of some leaves on a sycamore tree. Initially I thought it was a maple (because of the shape), but if you look closely, you can see some seeds – which is the giveaway.

Red Leaves and Blue Sky

Tree, West Sussex, 1st May 2020

I’m trying to remember which philosopher it was who talked about the power of being able to see the world a-new. Right now, we are all quite restricted where we can go and I find myself trying to find a new view of familar places. This morning I was rewarded with a blue sky to contrast with the red leaves. If I am being a techie, I notice that the scene shows additive primary colours (RGB).

What have you been intersted in during the lockdown?

Where I live (quite rural but near a large town), I see lots of families walking and riding bicycles in the sunshine.

Morning Walk, West Sussex

West Sussex, April 2020

In the UK, we are in lockdown, which means we are all spending a lot more time at home. This picture is from my morning exercise walk through some park land near where I live. The whole situation at the moment is pretty difficult, but the weather has been beautiful.

Mountains in Yunnan

Dali, Yunnan, China 2015

This is another photo from my trip to Yunnan in 2015. Yes, I have this as my banner, but thought I would write about it.

The path the photo was taken from led to a large lake. In the foreground, you can see paddies which were in cultivation. In the background, you can the mountains which surround Dali, casting shadows, which when mixed with a little dust make interesting patterns of light.

This all came about because we could see the lake and naively believed “it couldn’t be that far away”. Well, it could. It could be a good 2 1/2 hour walk, with the sun slowly setting behind us as we arrived. I remember thinking, “It’s a bit cold now”. And then it was night…..

Technical info. This photo is a composite of 3 pictures from the X100. It looks like a fairly faithful rendering of the view from the road. Perhaps next year, my New Year’s Resolution will be to carry a studio tripod with me (like one of those people who say: My sharpest lens is a tripod). Might not make it to make the next lot of resolutions!

View from the Shinkansen, Japan

Mt Fuji, Japan 2018

This is just an a photograph of Mt. Fuji from the shinkansen going to Kyoto from Tokyo. On the train, you catch a glinpse of it quite early and the train takes you closer and closer – until – you have this view. If you fly into or out of Narita airport, you also get a good view (I might post that view at some point). Looking at photographs on line, you can see that Mt. Fuji has a little cloud for a hat. It is bigger than it looks and commands its landscape, silently challenging.

I believe it is possible to climb Mt. Fuji at certain times of the year – and right now – I would really like to go there and give it a try.

Buckminster Fuller’s Room, Penang

Buckminster Fuller’s Room, Bellevue Hotel, Penang 2014

Penang Hill is really a group of hills which overlook the rest of Penang and parts of the Malaysian mainland.

Before the invention of air conditioning, it was popular with expatriates, because in the height of the Malaysian summer, it was always appreciably cooler than in George Town (where many businesses had offices). So a number of houses, hotels and a school (Uplands) were built there (you can see the remains in you go there, slowly being overgrown.

The Bellevue Hotel is a remnant of this era and if I were visiting Penang, I might be tempted to spend a couple of nights there, with its lovely view and cooler temperature. Like much of Penang, it evokes another era – perhaps 100 years ago.

There are a number of ways to get to the top of Penang Hill, the most popular is via the funicular railway (state-of-the-art, air conditioned glass carriages fairly rapidly ascending a steep hill. Vehicles must travel up a very steep road called the jeep track (transmissons screaming as they go). But, if you are feeling brave, you could try following one of the many trails which lead to the peak. If you are going to do this, remember it will take 4 or 5 hours walking and scambling through jungle. Leeches.

Once you are at the top, there are various fair type attractions (having your photo taken with a snake or an owl) and food stalls. For people with slightly deeper pockets, there is a restaurant called “Browns”, where they serve a very nice afternoon tea with scones, jam and clotted cream. Again, something which is remeniscent of another time.

View of George Town from Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia 2015

Tree, St. James’s Park

Tree, St. James’s Park, London 2019

St James’s Park, is probably my favourite in London. In the Summer it gets very crowded, but first thing in the morning as the sun comes up, it really is lovely.

This picture isn’t first thing in the morning, but I do like the contrast between the soft pink of the blossoms and the deep green of the grass. Yes, that is the MoD Building behind the trees.

Edit – 20.06.20

As usual, when I posted this, I avoided mentioning that this was the first day of the lockdown. I wonder if posting a picture of an almost empty public space was a way of commenting on this.

Gnomes! Bath

Gomes, Holbourne Museum Bath 2016

As a picturesque city, popular with tourists, Bath has a number of small museums. The Holbourne Museum is probably the prettiest of all of them. A few years ago it had a major renovation and now boasts a very attractive cafe with views of Sydney Gardens and the canal. They regularly host medium sized exhibitions on mix of themes. Here as you can see – on gnomes – I should have gone in and had a look.