Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dyffryn Gardens (and house) part 4

Heres the last part of the Dyffryn Gardens images, the next pics will be from St Fagans I think, I have a busy few days ahead so not sure when the next update will be.

A nice day and film review.

I had a really lovely day today, I went for a nice walk with a friend to 3 cliffs in the Gower (pics to follow soon) then I had a nice dinner made for me, then we went to the pictures in the evening, hence the film review.

Film review.
The Final Destination.
This is the fourth (and last?) of the Final Destination series, directed by David R Ellis.
The basic plot is about a small group of people whose lives are saved by a premonition, trouble is they then start dying in obscure ways as death claws back it's escaped victims, the film is a series of horrific accidents claiming the lives one by one.
People are burned, crushed, and mangled in a series of different and inventive ways as they try to cheat death, whether they do in the end I'm not saying, see the film.
Waynes rating.
Gore factor 85%
Special effects 90%
Enjoyability 80%
All in all it's a good watch, especially if you saw the earlier films of the series, but it will stand alone if you haven't. I quite enjoyed it.

Breakfast TV.

I usually watch breakfast TV in the mornings, it's nice to know who I'm supposed to be at war with today. However the choices are giving me some concern.
There's the BBC who have serious presenters (usually dressed like school teachers) trouble is all they do is spout the governments party line, you'll get obesity, global warming, latest health scare and how wonderful the government is doing, even when the countries falling apart.
Then there's ITV, whose presenters tend to favor a little more colour in their dress, and a lot more colour in the fake tans, tango man comes to mind.
Trouble is here, while you'll get a slightly more balanced version of the news, it's inter-cut with crap like "win a car" or a deadly serious news item about 500 dead, will be interrupted with "on a lighter note Eastenders star will be with us later" and the presenters will be beaming about how good life is, well not for the 500 who died it wasn't.
I could watch CNN and find out how bad things are in the USA (and who I'm at war with today) but it doesn't cover much in the UK and as that's where I am unfortunate enough to live that's a bit of a drawback.
About the only other choice is Al Jazeera the Arabic station, they will tell me who I'm at war with, but they will make me wonder why I'm at war with them in the first place.
So it's back to the internet for the news then!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dyffryn Gardens (and house) part 3

For the last few days I have wrongly been calling Dyffryn Gardens Dyffryn house, anyway I have got it right now.
Here are a few more from the shoot, tomorrows batch will probably be the last I'll post before I move on to St Fagans shots. Wayne

Dyffryn Garden (and house) part 2.

Here are a few more shots from yesterdays shoot at Dyffryn house, theres a lot of statues theres, many with dogs, although why theres a doggy theme I couldn't find out.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dyffryn Gardens (house) part 1.

Dyffryn house is claimed to be one of Wales best kept secrets, certainly I'd never heard of it before being asked to take some photos there.
Situated near-ish Cowbridge/Barry and actually only about a mile or two from St Fagans, it consists of a large house and gardens, with a faintly Italian theme, there's a lily canal, several water features and lots of statues.
It normally costs £6 for adults, which I personally feel is too much, especially this time of year when a lot of the flowers have died back, maybe a more realistic price would be £3-4.
Well worth a photographic vist when it's quiet like it was when I went.
I'll post more pics over the next few days. Wayne

Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is the conker season, but some people just have to take things too far.

Contestants at the Poulton International Conkers Tournament have been warned that they face searches and police-style checks if judges suspect foul play. Conkers collected and checked by the contest committee will be handed to competitors to use in the tournament.
They will be marked with a special fluorescent pen, similar to that used by police forces to highlight stolen property.
The winning team will then have their conkers checked by a special light to verify that they are not substitutes.
Organiser Phil Heneghan said officials are on the lookout for 'illegal' conkers and may also bring in footwear checks.
"It is truly incredible what lengths some contestants will go to in their attempts to win the championship," he said.
"All conkers used will be supplied to competitors by the committee, after being individually drilled and strung, in an effort to avoid the dishonest substitutions experienced in the past.
"We got the idea for the fluorescent marking from the police scheme to ensure that the conkers are genuine and have not been substituted with conkers that have been soaked in vinegar or put in the oven."

Phil your taking life far too seriously! it's a bloody childrens game for heaven sake, how sad that grown men are going to be searching each other for dodgy conkers, GET A LIFE YOU LOOSERS!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The ice is melting.

According to the BBC (bbc= global warming paranoia group), the Greenland glacier is getting smaller, it seems the ICESAT a satellite for monitoring the ice (bet you worked that one out already) has been measuring the ice from space with a laser
This raises two questions with me, one wouldn't it be easier and a damm site cheaper to monitor it from the ground where you can measure it properly. Secondly I saw Goldfinger and what that laser did to the gold table Bond was fastened too, whats the laser doing to the ice? did nobody tell them that lasers can melt things? Yes ok I know it probably doesn't really melt it, but these things are dangerous, a bloke was jailed recently for shining a laser pen (those crap toy ones) at an aircraft. Ok it was a monumentally stupid thing to do, but you can't help but wonder whats being beamed at us from space, and what harm they do, you can bet they are more powerfull than the toy ones you get out of a Christmas cracker.

Pennard castle and dog owners.

I took a trip to Pennard castle in the Gower today, I went down early this morning to get a few pics, it was cloudy, just right for a dramatic sky.
When on my walk today I couldn't help noticing lots of little plastic bags hanging from the trees. It seems some dog owners are picking up their dogs mess in plastic bags and hanging it from the trees like filthy stinking Christmas baubles.
Why for goodness sake? Do they think the clean-up fairy comes around and picks up their dogs feces at night?
It's your mess take it home with you you lazy sods, I don't want to see the country littered with dog crap, especially when it's in party wrappings! It's the few thats getting the rest of you a bad name.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Castell Coch, or "Red Castle"

I went to Castell Coch the other week, here are a few pics I took while there checking the place out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cardiff and a few pics.

I went to Cardiff yesterday, home of Dr Who. He travels by TARDIS, and after yesterday I can see why. The traffics chaos, more stop than go, it took me ages to get in and out.
The pics were taken on a day out, we went for a wander with the cameras.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What happened to plain English?

When did the English language slip away? was it last night while I was asleep or years ago?
Your probably wondering what on earth I'm babbling on about, I'll explain.
We seem to have lost the English language, now people talk "tech speak" this recent report says it all.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it attended a "high impact crash", and said the incident was understood to have happened "at speed". All that from a plane crash, why not just say the fire brigade attended a plane crash, why do they need to be called a "fire and rescue service"? We know they rescue people, indeed they always have, even before they were called a fire "and rescue service". And why a high impact crash? what bloody wrong with the words plane crash?, we can guess it's lightly to involve impact, things falling from the sky often do, something to do with gravity I'm told. Then we have "at speed", do planes fall out of the sky slowly then? No I didn't think so either.
If you read their report you'd be hard put to know a plane was involved, yet I personally think it's a fairly major part of the story.
Can we please get back to plain English,.

Some pics from the last few days.

Here are a few shots from the last few days, I went back to the abandoned village, I doubt it'll be there much longer if I'm honest, another buildings been burnt down by vandals, and there's sings of burning in others too, seems like someone want the place cleared. There's also for sale notices up there now.

Religion is bad for your health.

Religion is bad for your health, or at least it is if your a nurse in The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS trust hospital. Nurse Shirley Chaplin was told her Christian cross necklace was a health and safety risk and she's facing disciplinary action if she doesn't remove it.
Yes I can see where the hospital is coming from, if there was a large explosion the cross could become shrapnel, or if a tidal wave struck the hospital poor nurse Shirley could be dragged down by the weight of a small cross and chain. Truth is if either of these happened a cross and chain would be the least of nurse Shirleys problems.
To me this sounds more like too many managers with not enough proper work to do, coupled with a hefty dose (pun intended) of positive discrimination. I can't help wondering if nurse Shirley was a Muslim whether they would be so quick to try and stop her wearing a burqe, I suspect not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lotus track day.

I went to a Lotus track day today, just for a wander, got a few nice pics from there, I haven't really had tme to go through them properly, so these are just a few of the 2 cards full I shot in an hour.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eels in crisis.

It seems our eels are in crisis, the Environment Agency claims they have suffered a 95% decline in the last 25 years (the eels not the Environment Agency sadly) nobody seems sure of the cause.
Personally I blame bad press. Think about it, eels have never really had any good press have they, they are never on TV saving small children from drowning, or dragging survivors from plane crashes, no they are always shown as slimey sneaky things who hide in our rivers and look far too much like their even worse cousins the snake! Lets face it they are never going to get on in life with a reputation like that. Wayne


Now I was never a fan of Baywatch, to be honest, when I want a lifeguard I don't want them to run in slow motion.
I mean if you need a lifeguard you REALLY need a lifeguard, not one who's playing look at how slow I can run. I want one who can break the 2 minute mile if I'm honest, and fortunately with the RNLI lifeguards you'll get one who at the very least runs at normal speed. These guys and girls are not there to play silly beggars, they are there to save lives, a job they do for free as volunteers, and long may they do it.

Some HDR.

I took a few new HDR shots today, I liked the look of this building, it had a sort of tatty faded look to it, just right for a bit of high dynamic range photography.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Brecon Beacons.

We went for a good walk in the Brecon Beacons today, we did about 15k so a reasonable little walk, the sun was out it was lovely.
The stone oblisk is dedicated to little 5 year old Tommy Jones who died near there in 1900, it's a well known spot in the beacons, the other pics are Sam my youngest, and my nephews Cameron and Thomas, then theres the grumpy one of me lol.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

RNLI Porthcawl.

Today the RNLI at Porthcawl are naming their new inshore lifeboat, here are a few pics of it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Won again.

I won the competition between a few of us local togs, my prize was a nice bottle of whisky, which works for me as I do like a "wee dram" now and again, in moderation of course. I think the bottle I had last Christmas run out about a month back, so I'm not exactly a heavy drinker.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Contrast Master.

Contrast master is the last of a series of photoshop plug ins by photo wiz I have been testing over the last few weeks, basically a contrast/shadow highlight adjuster, it has quite a number of sliders making it a little confusing to use, it starts to make more sense after watching the video tutorial. In use it works well giving lots of control over the various settings. Wayne

Busy week coming.

I have a busy week lurking, 2 days with the St Johns, a training day and maybe a second one (don't know yet haven't finished sorting it out) and thats witout any editing.
Todays image, this is another scrambling one, here I went for a line drawing type effect, personally I quite like the effect, but I suspect it's not to everybodies taste. Wayne

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Courious wedding.

I had a strange wedding today.
I was second photographer covering the boys, but they didn't want me at the house, just straight to the church, which is fine with me, one less place to find.
Anyway I get to the church plenty early, and there waiting is the other photographer, who I thought was supposed to be at the brides house? I did try to find out why he hadn't gone there but never did get a sensible answer.
Later on at the wedding while I was shooting with the long lens, he asked me why his camera (different to mine) has 2 settings for the shutter sync speed, I wasn't sure but guessed one was the minimum speed the camera would set with flash in program mode. He then proceeded to experiment by altering it.... now it's not a great plan to experiment actually during the wedding, after all you don't get a second chance. If you do decide to experiment, it really helps if you remember to put the settings back BEFORE the cutting the cake, unlike this guy. Luckily I half anticipated this problem and shot alongside him, just as well as he'd set 1/15 th of a second shutter speed with flash, so a double image sort of, the ambient light being bright enough to give a secondary exposure with the movement.
The final oddity was who ate the best mans desert, I mean who would scoff a blokes strawberry gateau while he was at the bar, I can't say here on a public blog...... but it was jolly tasty!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Michael Jacksons funeral.

It's good to see that Michael Jackson's funeral was a purely family affair, well except for all the TV cameras and family hangers on that is. Trust them to turn even that into a 3 ring circus, wasn't the memorial service enough of a media event for them.
Disgusted Wayne

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moody black and white.

Here are a couple of moody black and white shots of a church I took today, I'm feeling a bit moody so these fit nicely with my mood.