Saturday, 23 June 2012

George Stephenson

North eastern railway pioneer George Stephenson has recently had his Newcastle upon Tyne based statue restored, and very good it looks too.

Stephenson's birthplace is now in the care of the National Trust and is located just outside Wylam village. I do like the foxgloves growing within the garden.

The plaque on Stephenson's cottage includes a representation of his the famous Rainhill Trials winning locomotive Rocket, a  machine which embodied most of the key design features of all subsequent steam locos.

A replica of the original, seen within Shildon Museum, shows the then novel multitubular boiler with steam collecting dome and blast pipe within the chimney. It should be noted that it was George's son Robert who is normally credited with the design of the Rocket!

Images available for sale at Alamy

Canon 5D

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Wild Flowers

The weather has been terrible of late with heavy rain and very little sunshine. The resulting soft light is good for flower shots, which can easily burn out in bright conditions. These were taken around the Gibside estate near Rowlands Gill.

Now looking for a field full of wild poppies

Canon 5DII 24-105L

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Man rushes to buy pasty !

In a place where photography is not permitted you have to be a bit surreptitious, and using a camera as large as a 5D that's a tad tricky. I had the camera at waist height and shot as I was walking past. The gods smiled on me as my movement matched that of the person going to buy his pasty and he is sharp while the background is blurred. How lucky can you get?

I don't like the concept of photography not being permitted. Taking this kind of photo doesn't hurt anyone, provided that you don't show people in compromising situations or in a bad light - which I don't. I liken this to the days when you were not allowed to walk across the moors because they were owned by a small group of wealthy individuals who resisted public access. That was broken by masses of people taking united action with an uncontrollable trespass. Now we have the right to roam.

Today the situation is a little different, faceless firms possibly owned or bankrolled by pensions companies, build shopping centres and impose unreasonable restrictions. Intolerable in my view.

It's noteworthy that the National Trust now allows photography in most of their historic houses. Is this due to the generosity of that worthy organisation? Well my cynical view is that they realised that the situation was untenable, small compacts and camera phones would record the interiors and are virtually impossible to police. My thanks to the NT however, whatever the motivation!