Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

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For some reason I appear to have missed an update for the Combe race season but in fairness it wasn’t the best race day ever with both Bill’s Ibiza and Tony’s TT having major issues on the day…

As random as it may appear the picture of the moon at the top of this post was taken at Combe on Sunday…

Bill’s engine suffered from a failure due to incorrectly supplied parts (the difference wasn’t an obvious one and had no reason to believe they weren’t right!) and Tony had a turbo failure and engine fire from the oil feed working loose on the turbo… cars suck sometimes πŸ™

Race 4
Didn’t take many pics that day but here are a couple of the keepers…

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

…and to finish, a little bit of irony…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Race 5

Despite a lot of effort to try and get the car ready Bill decided not to race this time… engine has been rebuilt but oil pressure is unusually low and after just 3 hours running on the dyno an inspection of the engine showed wear on the big end shells symptomatic of low oil pressure… a quick look at the logs from the ECU and logger confirmed that oil pressure is simply not enough…

Tony’s car was there though… the weather was great, nice and sunny… not too hot… it was surprisingly empty in the paddock but that could have been due to a lot of the cars being situated in the overflow area…

First issue of the day was with James Keepin’s MG… the scrutineer wasn’t keen that the cut off switch didn’t shut things down immediately… turns out to have been a wiring issue thats always been there so this was sorted and Keepo was back out in time for qualy…

Sadly though Tony only managed 3 laps before having to pull over in a trail of white smoke… turbo had gone!!! as it turns out it went big time… turbine had destroyed itself and it along with the blades was later found in the back box (stopped by the CAT of all things!)… not a good start to the day…

As I knew I was going to be taking pictures this time round I thought I would try and use the 70-200 instead of the 100-400 to see if a faster lens would give anything to the day… I also took the AE-1 fitted with a 70-210mm f4 FD lens… in the 80’s it won awards for being a ‘sports’ camera so in the words of Barney (How I met your Mother), ‘challenge accepted!’… obviously I will have to wait a few weeks before I can post the results up as… well… its film… its needs developing… and the place I use has a two week turnaround…

Anyhoo… notable pics from the day… first of all the walk around the paddock…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

I am not a massive Porsche fan but finding myself warming to them a bit… especially this one (which features quite a bit in my images from the day lol)
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

…Tony really needs to remove that sticker!!
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

….that RSR again πŸ™‚
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Quite possibly my favourite images of the day…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Keepo…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Some teenager…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Tony with the teenager who clearly wasn’t allowed money for an icecream…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Chivy…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

The son of the stroppy teenager who is clearly trying to look like a man with his attempt at a man beard…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

After a walk round the paddock and a bit of breakfast at the Tavern I set off round the track taking pictures at various places as I went round… which wasn’t because I was knackered and had to rest for a bit πŸ™‚
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

That Porsche again πŸ™‚
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Some RSR…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

A lovely Lotus Esprit πŸ˜€
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Last one of this Porsche!!!…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

…ok… just one more but I reeeealy like this shot (and the porker was quite nice too πŸ˜€ )
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

GT’s and Saloons this time shot from Bobbies…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Bit of a crash at Avon Rise so super Dave got a chance to flash his blues and race round in the medical car…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

Thankfully nobody was hurt so wandered back to the paddock and grabbed a couple of final shots…
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

And possibly one of the only Ferrari’s I would actually consider owning… (would obvs have to grow a mahoosive moustache if I did)
Castle Combe Races 4 and 5

All in all a great day… came home rather achy, very tired and sporting a nice shade of red! πŸ™‚

The day was a bit of a try out for my photography… I used lens combos I had not tried before and was the first time I used a Black Rapid harness over the normal neck straps… I typically take two camera bodies to Combe… my 50D with the 16-35f4 on it for wide paddock shots and the 6D with the 100-400 on it for track and paddock…

I found myself using the 70-200/6D more for the paddock this time and shot in Av at f3.5… its the first time I have used this lens for anything more than the ‘odd shot’ despite it being permanently on my 6D… I absolutely love the subject isolation using a fast lens gives… I wasn’t sure if it would do much more over either the 24-105 f4 or 16-35 f4 but the 70-200 f2.8 is much better… possibly due to the affect zoom has on DOF…

On track though its a different story… Combe is quite a close track for spectators… checking the my previous shots I felt 200mm on a full frame body ‘should’ be ok but took my Kenko 1.4x teleconverter as well just in case…

Positioned at the exit of the Esses it had enough reach for panning past my position but some of the shots I took of cars exiting the chicane needed a fair bit of cropping to get a decent composure…

I tried the 1.4x TC on too… was a little concerned about its affect on image quality but unless you are a pixel peeper I was very pleased with the results…

On round to Bobbies and panning was much easier due to the slower exit speeds out after the first part of the chicane but still found I had to crop the pics quite a bit.

The Black Rapid hybrid strap was impeccable… didn’t suffer from the normal neck ache of hanging two heavy DSLR’s round my neck… I also had a medium back pack but just had my pepsi max and little fold up chair in it so that wasn’t heavy..

I used the AE-1 at the Esses exit spot as this was close enough to get a decent frame filling shot… I used it in Tv mode so 1/200th and set the lens to ‘A’ so the camera will work out the aperture…

Pre-focused as best I could and started taking shots… boy that was hard work!!… the focus and zoom is a twisty push pull affair… its also very loose so I have no idea if if went out of focus at all and remembering to wind the film wasn’t intuitive at first lol..

Will be sending the film off tomorrow and will post up the results (good or bad) when I get the scans back.

Next time I’ll take both the 70-200 and the 100-400 and will try the Nikon next time… that has AF and a motor drive so maybe a little less stressful lol… I will have to do a lens swap but its something that will need to be done πŸ™‚

<tuffty/>

Short break in the Isle of Wight

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Spent the last week on a short break to the Isle of Wight… went there a fair few years back when the kids were much younger but this time only my youngest came with us…

We stayed in a ‘comfort’ chalet at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park… was ok to be honest but then you only tend to sleep in places like that if you are doing your holiday right πŸ™‚

Short break in the Isle of Wight

The roads took a little getting used to and the sat nav would take use all over the place for the ‘quickest’ route which included some iffy single track lanes etc… the high hedgerows made reading the undulating/twisting roads quite tricky and so spent most of my time at 30/40mph even when there was a national speed limit as you would be constantly breaking for blind corners!.. doesn’t help that I have no sense of direction and seem to lose the ability to recall left from right when under pressure to make a spontaneous turn!! πŸ™‚

Ah well… a good time was had by all at the end of the day so here are a few select pics from the week… I tried not to spend too much time hunting for photo opps as the ladies would get bored waiting so took mostly ‘holiday’ pics but did try to get at least one slightly ‘creative’ shot a day…

Day 1… Sandown..
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

The beach presented an opportunity for a long exposure shot…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…tweaked the shot for a B&W…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…not sure which I like best but happy with the results… (B&W one obvs lol)

Day 2… Went to Ryde… weather was a bit dull and kinda made the place seem a little dreary tbh but grabs some shots anyway…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

The hovercraft were cool but sadly far too many people were in the way to get a decent shot as I really wanted one of it leaving or arriving for the drama of the spray etc…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

The girls went off to find the beach…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…and then had a sit down waiting for some pillock with a camera…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

A little disappointed with Ryde we headed back to Whitecliff Bay and stopped off at the Bembridge Windmill on the way…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

I wanted to try for a sunset (as I do) and left the girls at the pub πŸ™‚
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…took a walk down the coastal path to try to capture the beach… the sun wouldn’t be in frame unfortunately but was hoping it would colour the skies enough… didn’t work out as I had planned but got some shots anyway…

Pre sunset…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…sunset long exposure…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…managed to grab some proper colour though once I had walked back to the holiday sites pub…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…and then sat down with the girls to finish the evening off with a drink πŸ™‚
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Day 3… Blackgang Chine, Freshwater Beach and a quick trip to the Needles…

Word of warning… Blackgang Chine is primarily for families with young children and its not cheap… Β£20 a head!… bit more than I recall tbh but ponied up anyway… did I mention its suited for families with young children?

Anyhoo… grabbed a few snaps…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Made a new friend though… thought I might get him a job as my personal assistant so he can discuss ‘requirements’ with the business πŸ˜‰
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…so… you want to change the requirements on the report again? lets sit down and talk about that shall we?
Short break in the Isle of Wight

This little dude was catching some rays…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…seemed like a good idea…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Views were nice…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Next we moved onto Freshwater Bay… the drive was epic!… the coast road was a revelation compared the inland roads…

While the girls chilled on the beach…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…I went off togging πŸ™‚
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

…my little beach babe πŸ™‚
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Wrapped up the day chasing a sunset at The Needles… sadly it looked like more of a trek than I anticipated to get the shot I had planned… ended up with some a little more average than I wanted :/
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Day 4… Trip to Ventnor then on to Shanklin Beach…

Had a quick walk around Ventnor to find a beach…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Found it…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

..little un wanted sand… so we made our excuses and left and went on to Shanklin… she was happy… the wife not so much as she hates sand lol…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

When we got back to the holiday park I nipped down to the beach to see if I could catch a moonrise…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

…however the sea had a low level mist so all I got was a few ships…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Shame as it was our last night in the chalet… so grabbed a parting shot from the chalets decking..
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Day 5… Last day on the island… trip to Cowes and The Needles before catching the ferry back to the mainland..

Cowes was nice but unless you are a yachtist not much happening…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

We then went back to the Needles to check out the glass blowing and sweet shop πŸ™‚
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

Short break in the Isle of Wight

We managed to catch an earlier ferry, I managed to take us round the houses a little with my ‘excellent’ navigation skills but we got home in one piece…
Short break in the Isle of Wight

Feeling rather tired, not walked so much in one week lol…

<tuffty/>

Pics of the week 17-22…

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I have been quite lazy recently and not taken many pictures… this is due to numerous reasons… weather, tired, weather… you get the (no pun intended) picture…

I have taken a few though so I thought I would post them up… I think I will try and make a little bit more of an effort to take some random images… seems like a decent way to keep on top of my photography skills (what there is of them lol) so I might start a regular ‘pics of the week’ post (although it may well turn into pics of the month!) so I can try and keep both my skills and blog updated (for the one or two regular visitors I get… and by regular I mean after I have sent them the link! πŸ™‚ )

Couple of snaps of the girls in the garden…
Pics of the week 17-22...

Pics of the week 17-22...

Wouldn’t be complete without a moon shot… first one includes Jupiter in the bottom left corner..
Pics of the week 17-22...

This one is a handheld shot with the 6D rather than the 50D and bracket…
Pics of the week 17-22...

To round up I really fancied a sunset… I was too lazy to go on the clearest night of the past week which I am kicking myself about… was providing taxi services for my youngest that night and didn’t take my camera with me… golden to blue hour was glorious…. ah well… I went out on the Sunday night instead and grabbed these…
Pics of the week 17-22...

Pics of the week 17-22...

Pics of the week 17-22...

Will try and sort my shizzle out and take more pictures of ‘stuff’ πŸ™‚

<tuffty/>

Where has all the time gone!!

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So it would appear that I haven’t posted for some time… to be honest there has not been a load to post about as I have not taken many pictures and been busy fixing cars and work related fun and games…

As mentioned in “Last post of 2016” the S3 was broken… turns out it wasn’t the rear diff/haldex after all but the centre CV of the prop… the cage had shattered and it was pretty much carnage in there..

Where has all the time gone!

Joys of owing a car with power… didn’t help as the trusty daily A2 developed a fuel leak from the tandem pump and made all the coolant hoses swell and leak… so ended up with two broken cars at the same time!!

Both are now fixed and working as they should… for now at least lol..

Inspired by borrowing my dads old Nikon film camera I grabbed a cheap Canon AE-1 from eBay… came with a couple of lenses and needed a proper clean so the detailer in me got to work… pleased with the results of what is essentially a 37 year old camera

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Have loaded some Ilford HP5 B&W film in and will post the results when I have finished the roll… the main downside of actual film photography is the whole end to end process of taking pictures to getting the final images can be so protracted for casual use…

I recently managed to acquire a cheap tracking mount… I have been looking at these for some time now but they are generally too expensive to justify the amount of use I time to give it at the moment.

The Sky Watcher Star Adventurer comes as a kit of everything you are likely to need to get started… I won’t go into detail in this post but you can have a read of Phil Harts review here…. I will do a write up at a later date when I have had a chance to produce some results… It will warrant a post of its own as tracked astro photography can get quite involved.

I did a quick test at the weekend to get my head around polar alignment and the basics of setting it all up… The moon is up at the moment so wide field stuff was off the table for now plus the Milkyway’s core is visible at around 3am this time of year… not much chance of that happening on a school night.

The velux in my loft office is north facing so meant I could do a test setup in relative comfort.. using a combination of Stellarium and a Polar Finder app on the phone I got the mount polar aligned (hopefully)

I tried a variety of settings and exposure times… not quite hit the sweet spot yet I feel but its close and will of course be largely dependant on conditions on the night of shooting…

I used my 6D body and the 70-200f2.8 for the test… typical exposure time for this using the 500 rule would be around 2.5 seconds before star trailing would potentially start to creep in… the shot below was taken over 2 minutes on the tracker!!

Where has all the time gone!

Some more editing would have gotten rid of the glow but tbh it was more to push exposure times and validate polar alignment… 2 minute exposures would be the extreme to be honest as DSLR sensors heat up on long exposures causing noise…

The mount also had a lunar setting so had to try that too… with lunar tracking engaged it appeared to keep the moon in frame pretty much all the time… this is ideal as it gives you more chance of getting focus spot on…

Took 5 shots using the intervolmeter as the trigger… all were in the same spot in frame and all sharp.

Where has all the time gone!

I have some time off work soon so plan to explore getting a Moon rise, Milkyway and a DSO (deep sky object) shot of the Andromeda galaxy…

Thats about it for now… I should be updating a little more regularly now the weather is getting better… I will feel more like getting out shooting… plus I need to use up the B&W films and get them developed…

Here are a few pics I have taken over the past couple of months though… nothing spectacular but I like them πŸ™‚

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

Where has all the time gone!

<tuffty/>