Wednesday 22 February 2017

Tornado Chasing...

Been a little while since the last blog post, because we've been doing some actual artwork (shock, horror) which we'll post about in a bit.  In the mean time, some more railway photography.

As part of the effort to boost use of the Settle-Carlisle Railway (which has been severed by a landslide for over a year) new-build A1 Pacific "Tornado" was sent to operate some timetabled passenger services from the 14th-16th Feb.

Knowing the train would be arriving the night before, I (Ben) went out to get some abstract pics in the Aire Valley, specifically at Hirst Wood (where I did a long-exposure shoot last year of trains in the dark).  First stop was the riverbank to see if I could get a reflection shot in the river, but the tests didn't prove too good, as you couldn't see the reflections.

Walking up to the end of the bridge bought me to this spot...

...where the fence allows a nice rail-level shot from the public side of the boundary.

Resting the tripod against the fence showed a nice dramatic angle, but I really, really hate that equipment cabinet.

A passing class 333 multiple unit heading towards Bradford...

...and then believe it or not, this is "Tornado" in light steam, being towed by a diesel.

On Wednesday we went up to the Dales, but there were big crowds at Helweth Bridge where we thought we might visit, but a little further back down the line towards Settle brought us to a nice bridge which was deserted.  The only problems were the high parapet meaning I've have to be on my tiptoes...

...and the foliage which stuck out into the picture, and also the lens-flare caused by shooting into the sun.  I tried shading it with my hand as I don't have a flare hood for the Nikon.

Not a brilliant shot due to the aforementioned problems.

So the next day it was off to Skipton for the last day of the service, and a better spot at a level crossing just north of the town.

Just to prove the shot was taken from the public side of the crossing; there were a few photographers trespassing unfortunately.

A last bit of transport on the way back to the car, an overflight by a military training helicopter.

Shame about how the shot taken up at Settle turned out, but the Skipton pic was better.  Also nice to see timetabled steam on a local main line too.

Next time, possibly some pics from one of the art commissions we've been doing.

Friday 10 February 2017

Leeds-Liverpool Tow Path

Currently on Tuesdays I (Ben) attend a regular foster carer training/education course in Shipley, and I'm trying to combine the journey to it with the need to shift some of the Christmas Ballast off the waistline.  So I walk from Bingley to Shipley, which was my old commute three jobs back.  On horrible days it means a long walk in the rain and wind, but then sometimes you get a nice, lightly misted sunrise, like this time.

Over the Bingley Bypass...

Frozen canal, in places...

The slight sense of smug satisfaction of not being stuck in a traffic jam on the bypass.

Quite a nice walk to work, overall.

Next time, less of the photo-travel-essays, and some actual artwork for a change...

Sunday 5 February 2017

Out in the fog

I'm quite liking these foggy mornings.  Mid-Jan, and a stroll by the scenic route (alright, not that scenic) through Keighley after dropping The Childs at school gave the opportunity for a few photos.

The lighting allowed for a few moody shots with a slightly blue tint...

...but worked better in greyscale.  However, the water above blocking the path turned out to be from a burst pipe which was pumping raw sewerage onto the path (did I mention this was the scenic route?) so I beat a hasty retreat and vowed to burn my footwear as a precaution, even though I'd avoided the in-the-loosest-sense water.

Back on a nicer path, and the sun was trying to break through.

I do like how even though this is spitting distance from an industrial estate on one side and a council estate on the other, you could almost be out in the countryside.

Down by the river Worth, a shame more isn't made of this corridor of greenery, you wouldn't really know it was there if just passing.

Down in the water, the remains of a safe, which obviously wasn't very...  There's always something interesting to photograph dumped in this river, if you happen to like that sort of thing.

A final moody greyscale shot.  Maybe one of these mornings I'll be able to photograph this spot in nice sunlight.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Odds and Ends

A bit of a miscellany tonight, a few odds and ends from the start of the year, pics that don't really need a separate, complete post... starting with the above, the sunset and a flock of birds over Poppleton, in York, on the 2nd of Jan.

* * *

It was time for the traditional "Under The Bed" sale at Cupola Contemporary Art in Sheffield, and we entered a load of older work.  A big chunk of which involved re-mounting some of our big prints from previous shoots. 

We have a couple of older Ikea frames from the first run of the Britannia Model Village back in 2009, and frankly the frames are a bit hit and miss; larger than the current version, and thus the only way to accommodate the bigger prints acquired back then, but the quality of build is terrible (they're not wood, just powdered molded sawdust under a veneer)

A whole evening was spent sorting out three frames, to get the best two frames, fronts, and mounts.

An early arrival in Sheffield (far too early) which because it was an inset day meant a car full of family as well as art...

Pleasing to see only a few of the ex-Wonderland show Rocking Horse Fly pieces still in the gallery.  Hopefully shortly we'll be getting into batch production of this stuff rather than just prototypes.

* * *

No decently photogenic snow so far this winter, but a dusting one night, and a play about with the settings on the camera to try and take something very abstract, like a starscape...

* * *

A mornings walk up and down the Worth Valley resulted in a few snaps.

Reflections in the beck near Haworth, though the lighting was a bit odd.

* * *

Finally, and back in time to the start of the month, a visit out to a Garden Centre in Worcestershire.  Not really a shoot, just snapped a few pics whilst buying some odds and ends for a project.

Ending where the post began, with a sunset.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

A few train pics from the Worth Valley

Just a quick post tonight, of some recent train pics on the Worth Valley.  Not planned shoots, by any means, more just keeping our metaphorical hands in with some transport photography...

On the weekends before Christmas, the Santa Specieals were running, and whilst in Haworth I snapped a couple of quick pics whilst passing- entirely unplanned, and only had the ipod with me which couldn't cope with the lighting... a bit disappointing, but hey-ho.

Class 37 diesel pulling towards Keighley, and the Standard on the back, being dragged.

Early on in January came an opportunity to use the railway as a public transport option, so we could take The Childs for a birthday treat visit to Haworth.  Its nice to be able to use the railway in this way, and a bit more special than slogging up the hills on buses.  At least this time we'd have a better camera.  The above shot of the milk churns is... just because.  No real reason, just liked the composition really.

Being a quiet time of year, the services were in the hands of the W&M railbus.

The railbus took us up to Haworth, where we went to a place called Cobbles and Clay to do some decorating of teacups- of which, a future blog post may shed some light.

Then back home for tea and medals on a steam service, hauled by the Taff Vale tank, no.85, seen here later in the day with a service going towards Oxenhope (happy accident- hadn't intended to photograph it but I was passing when it was).

Probably won't be any more train shots until March, when the Worth Valley Steam Gala is on, though having said that "Tornado" is working some services on the Settle-Carlisle so that may be worth a look...