Moon rise attempt 2

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Have been itching to get out and do some astro… been practicing with the tracker and watching loads of videos on youtube on image stacking and other such astrophotography related fun and games… I plan to have a go at the Andromeda Galaxy at the next available opportunity…

The weather has been pants but tonight (the night of the full moon!) its was forecast clear… being in the full moon phase kills any chance of astrophotography without special filters (H-Alpha) so decided to try for a moon rise…

What I didn’t realise until I got back home to edit was that this was in fact the Harvest Moon…

Happy with the result πŸ™‚

Moon rise attempt 2

I have some time off towards the end of the month so planning some splash pics and hoping for a clear night or two..

<tuffty/>

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/>

7 day ‘Nature’ photography challenge

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I am not big on Facebook viral challenges… the ones where you have to do something then nominate one or more of your friends to do the same… however… I got nominated to post a picture a day for 7 days on the theme of ‘nature’… seeing as I have a vague interest in photography and at least seven friends (or people unfortunate enough to have accepted my friend request) I gave it a go…

Please note that I used the definition of ‘nature’ fairly loosely πŸ™‚

Day 1 – Rodborough Common
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 1

Day 2 – Some houses cleverly disguised as trees…
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 2

Day 3 – Last minute image containing green things and a waxing crescent moon (as I was more interested in capturing the sunset)
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 3

Day 4 – Sunrise on Minchinhampton Common
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 4

Day 5 – The Moon (was inevitable really)
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 5

Day 6 – Lovely country lane… with a slight twist..
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 6

Day 7 – Fields of gold (two images to finish with a flourish)
7 day Nature photography challenge Day 7

7 day Nature photography challenge Day 7

Was actually a lot of fun to do to be fair and actually had to put some thought and effort into a couple of the shots which added to the challenge.

Hope you like them πŸ™‚

<tuffty/>

Transit of Mercury across the sun

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So today Mercury passed in front of the sun making it visible with the appropriate equipment…

I took the day off with the intention of taking up to half a dozen shots so that I could put them together to give the even perspective… however… as this is the UK the weather (which looked ok in Fridays forecast) had other ideas and I was greeted with an endless blanket of grey skies….

I did try planning to travel further up the country to find somewhere I could at least grab a few shots but sadly without travelling half way across the country (not something I was looking to do unless there were other photo opportunities available so had resigned myself to the fact it wasn’t going to happen… until… the cloud cover thinned and the sun popped out around 12.30pm (BST) so I set up and grabbed a shot… this is around the time that Mercury was first visible…

Mercury's transit across the sun

Sadly this was the only shot I could get all day as it shortly clouded over again…

Facking weather!!!

Massive disappointment tbh but thats the way it goes…

Mercury is quite a small dot of course so fired up Photoshop anyway to make something of what I had..

Mercury's transit across the sun

Still… I got a lay in this morning so not a total bust lol..

<tuffty/>

Day off photography….

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Continuing one from this mornings sunrise and silhouettes fun and games I had to drop my youngest daughter into town so had a drive around afterwards to find something else to photograph…

First up was a disused factory building…

On the way back from there I went up over the top to look down at the Stroud valleys…

Always willing to experiment I tried the following shot with both the Samyang @ f2.8…

…and @ f4 with the Canon 16-35L…

Quite a difference in DOF….

Despite being awake since 4am this morning its been a throughly good day off… Dominoes, Netflix and an early night I think… good job the moon is out else I may have had to do some nightscapes too πŸ™‚

<tuffty/>

CASTLE COMBE RACE 2 2016

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Early start (was up at 5.30am!) and off to a sunny Castle Combe for Race 2… although technically not had Race 1 yet πŸ™‚

We were in a different paddock today which was more of a mud pit than anything else but it was a busy meeting and this is where they put us so meh…

Bill went out for the very early qualy but developed a strange noise from the gearbox which possibly could have been damage caused by the accident last year so he decided to retire rather than chance wrecking the box…

This meant I could concentrate of taking pics for the rest of the day and enjoy the racing…

Here are a few from the day… apologies in advance as the last time I have really done panning shots was some years ago so still a little rusty..

There was a nasty accident involving the three lead cars in the first couple of laps of the CC Saloons which looks to have taken the main championship contenders out for a little while…

Disappointing to say the least but no one was hurt

<tuffty/>

Last minute nightscapes…

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As of yesterday morning the weather report for a potential new dark(ish) site local to me looked good… so I planned a shoot more to see if this could be worth a revisit if the shots looked promising…

As the day progressed the weather report started looking a little iffy with it changing from clear skies to light cloud and by 9.30pm I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen… after a quick chat with someone I know who lived in the village near where I planned to shoot I decided to take a chance and set out…

Kinda glad I did as I am pleased with the results… the area is no where near as dark as it needs to be but managed to play with the settings to get some decent results… I really wish the Samyang would report back the f-stop to the camera as it would save me trying to remember which picture was set to what but I started at f2.8 finishing on f1.4… I also tried a few different ISO settings to see what the results would come out like…

Not as happy with the composure on them though and I think I will revisit during the day to get a better idea of whats there and have another go…

So… the pics…

You can just about make out the Milkyway in this shot (at least I hope its the Milkyway lol)

Definitely like to have another go at that location to sort composure… I am sure I can get it looking a little better πŸ™‚

…just not on a school night as I R knackered!

<tuffty/>