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Mostly photography and some other musings.

Posts tagged Great Britain

 


Another small gallery of pictures I’ve taken in the last year. Basically, places with trees. I am always attracted to trees, I don’t know why, I like to take pictures of them. What I’ve noticed too selecting this pictures is that they are very dark. I guess it comes with the mood of this last year.  Comes to my mind too, that some day I’d like to visit Iceland. I see pictures of waterfalls  and northern lights there and the news about volcanoes ready to erupt, and it all seems fascinating to me. Music from Bjork or Sigur Ros is quite often in my headphones while working or relaxing at home. TV shows like Trapped give me the shivers (literally) with those cold landscapes and its crime mysteries. But there are not many trees there, I heard. Perhaps it is an interesting place to escape from all this BREXIT nonsense. Have you been in Iceland?

A small gallery of pictures I took in Dunwich Heath, in Suffolk coast, a while ago. As usually happens, the weather wasn’t very nice. I yet have to visit one of this coast places with good weather. Maybe in Summer? One thing that caught me by surprise was the Sizewell nuclear power station. I had no idea it was there. There is something about nuclear plants that doesn’t make me feel good. I know, they are efficient, cleaner in the long-term than other means of energy production, etc. But nuclear waste is still an issue and when one of this things goes nuts, the damage is immense, in size and time. Just take a look at recent examples like Chernobyl and Fukushima. I joked with a colleague at work about my fear of swimming in that place, not because of the cold, but the power station proximity. The guy told me he did fish there! His point was that the water around the plant is of the most pure quality you can find.

Ok, maybe…

Ps. This blog is already 2 years old! Yay! 🙂

 

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Some beach pictures taken here in UK. From top to bottom, and from full colour to black and white: Felixtowe, Hunstanston, and Whitby. The last one is not a beach, strictly speaking, but I liked the landscape. I still know very little about this country’s geography, but I find the variety of coastlines quite interesting. And the coast here is close to any place. I recently knew about this Sea Change project and I found it fascinating. Photographer Michael Marten has travelled the entire British coast, taking pictures of places where the differences between low and high tides are dramatic. The pictures are great. The seascape/landscape changes completely in a matter of hours. The entire project took 8 years to make.

If you are planning on doing a similar project, areas in reddish colours in this map are the ones with highest tides.  It’s interesting to see how in the middle of the ocean there is almost no variation in the sea level. And not all the coastal areas behave the same. I wonder which area seems interesting for a next sea change project? 😉

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Taken in Hunstanston, another beach place here in UK.

When I visited this place, the tide was low. Far in the horizon you can see the ferry wheel in the amusements park. This concrete wall that cuts diagonally the picture was really impressive. I can imagine that differences between high and low tides are big in this place. It was a grey day, not too cold, but rainy at times. This one needed black and white processing.

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This first picture is in a park close to my place. A park where I usually go to play with my daughter and sometimes it gets late without noticing.

souvenirs

The second one, with those striking neon lights, is in London. I cannot remember exactly where. Sometimes I have thought about living in London. So far, I have visited London a few times only, as a tourist. It is quite close, in something more than an hour you can get there. The thing is, London seems too big. Too chaotic and stressful. I have already lived in a big city, and I found Cambridge to be like a return to the countryside. That’s a bit of an exaggeration of course, there are more than 100.000 persons living here. But I already know how life is in a big city. And I’m not sure wanting that again. Too many souvenir shops. But it could be fun… 😉

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Tower at the entrance on Leeds Castle.

It was a bit late and we were going back home when I saw this tower. The cloudy and dark day with those two mysterious persons under the light grabbed my attention. I liked this one in black and white. It’s a bit of a contrast with the colourful carnival we found close to this spot. Apart from the mood of the day, one of the reasons for this processing was a really high ISO setting. The noise in the colour version wasn’t too good looking to my eye. So I added contrast, changed some channel mixing values, and I got this almost Kodak Tri-X look. Did I mention I am a fan of Anton Corbijn photography?. One day I would like to try film photography. I have an old Yashica Electro 35 that needs some love, any tips?

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In my last weekend I took a few of pictures in the rooms of this house.

Here, an exit door in Wimpole Hall. Trying to get enough contrast in the light, but not killing completely the shadows. Also, I avoid the HDR look, that I don’t like too much, to be honest… I liked the symmetry of the chairs. Other tourists that were walking along with me in this place were a bit surprised of why I was taking a picture of two chairs. Usually happens that way. It’s just something that grabs my attention.

There must be something weird happening with the weather. Yes, I have already complained about it, but I feel this is far more important. Spiders haven’t appeared yet! This is one of the best kept secrets about UK. At least, is something nobody told me when I decided to come here. Most of the inhabitants of the UK are spiders. Yes, there are loads of them. Living in houses, gardens, in your loft. Everywhere.

People here are perfectly used to them. They have even ways of dealing with the ones that appear crawling in the kitchen cupboard or wall. You must use an empty glass and a piece of  paper,  to trap and throw the poor animal gently out to the garden. “Do it gently” they say. I’m more used to just kill them, stomping my shoe on for better effect. I know that looks a bit violent towards the poor insect, but that’s my first reaction when I see a spider.

Children here see spiders as something completely normal. Spiders are everywhere for them. Nursery rhymes, toys, tale books, TV shows… My mother had once an issue when my daughter showed her an innocent spider toy that she loved.  She was having nightmares during all her stay. Maybe that’s the reason she have not visited us for a while. So, that’s one thing to keep in mind if you plan to come to the UK. Deal with your arachnophobia.

After a few months and some scary episodes, all became normal again. For instance, if I see a big spider in our bedroom, I just set up a glass trap, like they do here, and gently throw her out of the window. In the mornings when I grab my bike for work, chances are that a spider web ends in my face. The spider will come with me to the office, attached somewhere, and it will crawl over my shoulder at some point during the day. There is no need to make a fuss. Just get rid of it, gently.

In fact, these spiders are appreciated by gardening enthusiasts. They can talk to you for hours about the complex relationships between the spiders, the ladybirds, who eats who and how this improves the health of your plants, flowers and all the stuff that usually grows in gardens. Gardening is another big topic here in the UK, I will talk about it in a future post. So, how do you deal with spiders, glass or shoe?

The pictures above are some friends that lived in my garden. I miss them (my friends, not the spiders).