Lush Green Fields in the Peak District

Hope Valley, Peak District

My wondering around Yangshou

This day was was quite simply stunning. I hired a bike and headed out without a map or compass to explore the crazy limestone karst landscape around Yangshou with my then brand new Nikon D70 which I had picked up in Hong Kong. In fact I'd deliberately re-ordered my visit here specifically so that I would have my new camera with me in order to capture the landscape. I'm really glad I did. While my photography skills have since improved (I like to think), these images are so much richer and more impressive than the previous ones taken with my old Fuji. Can this really be exactly ten years ago today?
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
bamboo rafts on the river in Yangshou, Guilin
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
limestone karst landscape of Yangshou
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
a sweaty picture of me cycling in the heat
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
more landscape of Yangshou
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
lunch of fish fresh from the river and cooked by a local lady
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
mountains a round s unset
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
Yangshou kast infinite
Yangshou near Guilin. © Nick Bailey
sunset back on the river crossing before a mad cycle back to town
2014-09-20

Scotland

As the sun sets here in England after a glorious late summer day I'm left wondering what will happen to the country I grew up in tomorrow. I like the UK. I like the fact that we are a union, working together despite our differences. If Scotland leaves then it will be a sad day, the breakup of a part of who I am, or at least a move closer to having to declare my nationality as English rather than British. But perhaps this is all simply my imperialistic tendencies and I should accept the future of independence for all rather than a One World Village utopia. I hope the UK is still together tomorrow. Good night.
2014-09-18

Stag Beetle

I came across this set of photos I'd taken of a stag beetle years ago (over nine in fact!). They are still quite pleasing and a nice change from flies.
. © Nick Bailey
Female stag beetle (I think)
. © Nick Bailey
clutching a blade of grass I'd given it (this image has deliberate motion blur)
. © Nick Bailey
close up of its leg
2014-09-18

ennoyance

A new term for the annoyance due specifically to technology.
2014-09-02

Astrophotography tip of the day

Last night I think I learnt a valuable lesson when it comes to astrophotography - leave long exposure noise reduction off. Two things this does, firstly it speeds up the whole affair meaning that after a 30 second exposure you don't gave to wait another minute while "job nr" displays before you can see if the image was any good. This also saves a heap on battery life. Instantly you can check if the composition was gold and if you got the white balance anywhere near something sensible. Secondly the image is not devoid of stars. Yes the black of night is not a lush deep smooth black, but then that's pretty much what I'm after - stars, which to a machine look a lot like digital noise. The other win last night was the raw K white balance setting allowing a far greater gamut of colours from 2500K to 10000K. I settled on about 3500 toy give the green of trees and the blue of the night sky. Results to be posted later.
2014-09-01