Tag Archives: england


Another couple of shots from my trip to St Albans Cathedral. One thing that always gets me about these places is while everyone gawps at the vast spaces inside, fewer people look at the details- the stonework, the detailing on the pews etc.

I came across a bench with some amazing scrolling woodwork on the ends . I don’t know how old it was, but bearing in mind that I walked past a “poor box” later on ( these are where people would give alms to the destitute) that dated from the 1600’s,it could have been hundreds of years old.

It was pretty dark in there so I whacked the ISO up to 1600, with an f-stop of 2.8 and handheld (as neither tripods or flash are allowed) at 1/6 sec. I’m amazed I managed to get it in focus at that speed to be honest!

As I was leaving by the south transcept door,I wanted to get a shot of that as well. Again handheld by increasing the ISO to max ( 1600 on my Canon 550d) and a exposure time of 1/4 sec. There is some blur on this I’ll be honest but I thought I’d add it anyway!





I thought this picture was appropriate at this time of year. It’s from within St Albans Cathedral, which was built in the 11th century , after St Alban who lived in Roman St Albans in the 3rd century.

It’s a beautiful old building, set in an a very picturesque market town. (I posted some pictures from the St Albans conservation area a few months back, and it really is an olde-worlde English look). What made it more attractive the day I went was to escape from the Christmas shopping crowds; there was a marked difference between the streets outside and within the cathedral.

This is an image of the Lady Chapel, on the eastern side of the cathedral. The nave was busy as there was a carol service about to start, but I particularly liked this one, it seems the best fit today. Some time out from consumerism and five minutes to think.


Red sky at night

This is a quick post, I found some shots from a couple of years ago when I really didn’t know what I was doing ( or less than I do now!).

I’d seen this fantastic red sky around 4pm out the window around Christmas time, when we were staying with relatives in Yorkshire, and knew I had to try and capture it. I leapt in the car and drove to the edge of the village where this glowing salmon-pink sky was looming over the fields.

Unfortunately the image is very low-res as over the past two years I’ve got rid of the RAW file ( I said I was really green back then!). I’ve also had a go at removing the phone lines out of the picture with Content Aware fill from Elements.


Brownsea Island part 3

As my final part from Brownsea, we’d taken a walk along the beach, thankfully low tide, and through the forest. The area used to be known for pottery many years ago, and there were the remains of these 100 year old brick kilns that were being eroded along the high water mark. However for some reason my SD card went screwy and I can’t access those shots- at least it didn’t corrupt the whole batch!

From the beach you can see Sandbanks, which is a millionaire’s paradise- £5million houses to retire to! Apparently it’s some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Then we went inland, where I’ve taken a few different shots.Hope you enjoy them!


Sandbanks in the background






Random tree graffiti!





327 years old before it came down in a storm…


Brownsea Island part 2

Well I’ve picked through the hundreds of shots I took in a 3 hour period (!!) and have chosen the ones I like the best.

I think I mentioned before that the island is reached by a ferry, it’s just off the English south coast near the seaside town of Bournemouth, a well known retirement town. It’s a nature reserve so there’s animals there that are very rare in the the rest of the UK- no sooner had we got off the boat and walked through the entrance than we saw a red squirrel! These guys are pretty rare here as the grey squirrel has taken over in the UK mainland, you’ll see them on some islands and Scotland but nowhere else. This one pretty much wanted his picture taken! Unfortunately I’d left my 70-300 behind so this is the closest I could get, but to find one just by the path, I was amazed.

I’ve also shown some from the ferry itself, basically a 50 seater boat. We were blessed with March sunshine so it looks warmer than it was!

Will share more soon.








He’s not very big but he’s definitely there!



Brownsea Island part 1

Back from the New Forest ( on England’s South Coast) where armed with my EFS 17-55 2.8 ( which I’ve said is generally my walkabout lens),my 50mm prime and an EF 70-200 3.5-5.6(which never made it out the bag as it’s huge) I used everything I’ve learned over the past few months and I can see an improvement since my last trip.

I’ll post the best few of the trip over a few posts, but this post is also about where I’ve been experimenting with B&W vs colour as well.

This shot is from Brownsea Island which is off the coast near Bournemouth and Poole, again on the south coast. It can only be reached by a small ferry, and is a nature reserve. It’s a real mix of landscapes even though it’s only a mile across- marshes, woodland and beaches. I looked specifically for interesting shapes and textures while there to convert to monochrome and the shot below works best I think. I’m no software whizz so all I did was desaturate in Elements to convert to B&W.




Here’s the original for comparison.


Will share more in the next few days.

Ancient history

A couple of weeks ago I took the camera ( and myself) to St.Albans, which is an old Roman town near London. Think York, which everyone’s heard of, but smaller. It still has winding streets, plenty of old pubs and cottages, some that are probably 500 years or more.

I didn’t make it as far as the cathedral (which is probably as old and not much smaller than York Minster as far as I know) but am hoping to go back and shoot that another day.