simple is beautiful
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Help! Cannot sign into Mr Linky on ABC, My World Or Skywatch. Anyone else had this problem? Appreciate your help or thoughts on this one. Thanks in advance.

Ramsey Rugby. A strange game to some, only played by girls in others, or the best game in the world to many. What about you?

Ramsey are the ones in the blue shirts. I was going to upload the monochrome version, then I realised that would be no good if I said blue shirts in a black and white photo. Doh! Anyway it's Rugby Season. This was home game match( I am not allowed to mention the other team) and as you can see the lads were getting stuck in. The Rugby Pitch, Mooragh, runs alongside the Promenade. You can see the car in the background, right hand side along the promenade road. In other Rugby shots I've shown you the Mountain backdrop. I know I'm lucky. No hooligans here. It's a family sport.

This sport is a lot easier to take than the motorbikes. Another tip, know the rules of the game. This helps to take the money shot. The local paper will only take a few shots and disappear. You stay the game and you'll get the better shot. Again do not saturate the colours. The teams strip should be photographed as they wear it, not over egged.

Want to join ABC got the lovely hostess with the mostest, MRS NESBITT'S PLACE

Monday, November 17, 2008


My world is Ramsey, Isle Of Man

The Sulby River as I have mentioned before is one of those lovely Viking names they left their mark with on the island. I know this upsets a few Manxies (people born on the Isle Of Man) out there, but you know some you of you are viking stock you can't deny it. Anyway the Sulby. It's the largest river in the Isle Of Man. Starting at the hills of Tholt y will, through, Sulby Glen and Village, through deep and shallow, pooling into waterfalls, past Lezayre, Ramsey, into the harbour, and into the Irish sea. It's apparently good for salmon fishing when it's been as wet as this. Well yippe for those fisherman but bad news for me. My walkway down by the riverbanks is under water at the moment. The psot I stood on to take the image is usually not in danger of being swamped under water. Hopefully we can have a few dry days and the riverbanks won't be so swollen.

I mentioned Sulby was a place named by the Viking who firstly invaded, but secondly stayed and integrated. Here is the meaning of Sulby and a few other Isle Of Man Viking Place names.

Ramsey/Rhumsaa - as I have said before is wild garlic river
Laxey/Laxa - wild salmon river
Tynwald/Thingvollr - parliament field/assembly/ meeting place
Foxdale/Foss tal - waterfall glen
Cregneash/Krok-nes - crooked (coastline)
Sulby/Sula- by- farm by cleft fork in a river
Dalby/Dalr-by - dale town
Fleshwick - Flesjar -vik - green grassy, spot creek

Do you recognise any of these place names or similar in your area. If so the Viking were there.

For more my entries click MY WORLD and thank the skywatch gang once again for another inspired idea.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


If you were here for critters yesterday you will have seen the colour version of this shot. Normally any one of the three above, bee, butterfly or plant you would see in glorious colour. When all three appear in one shot( serendipity again, the photographer's best friend) it would seem foolish not to take advantage and produce the natural colour shot. Note I said natural colour, not manipulated colour. Nature shots, should not have tweaked colour, otherwise they they become unatural images. Anyway back to the point.

It's monochrome yes, but is it odd. For the reasons above it is odd to see an image like this in greyscale. The mind's eye immeadiately would have you snap this image in colour. Some of you will be mentally adding the tones and hues as you view and will prefer the colourful one below this post. For those who are more interested in other aspects of photography you will not be veiwing the subjects as nature, but as shapes, tones, light and contrast. Is the composition of the subject more noticeable in colour or monochrome for instance? Do you see more for the lack of colour or does this image confuse you and you need the colour in the right places to view the image?

There is no right or wrong answer. Some of us prefer colour some of us prefer none. There are myths that an image shot in black and white is an instant classic, timeless professional shot. Not so. A bad shot is a bad shot, whatever format it is shot in. This image was composed and shot in colour and black and white for two very different projects I'm working on. I know which one I prefer, and I know why. That though is my personal opinion, and professional opinion. My veiws I will keep to myself.

The daily photo project and the nemes are fun blogs and posts that just show a snapshot of our lives/ towns/ work/ family/ etc. I will say this again, but please remember not everyone out there is professional, has the right equipment or is even remotely interested in a discussion on photography. I posted this image today as a request from someone who follows the blog staunchly and has had a few problems with the black and white versus colour issue. I may be a photographer, but essentially this is a daily blog so this Brad this is for you. Now let's get back to snapshots and quirkiness of Ramsey.

Want to join the weird world of Odd Shots Monday? Then see KATNEY

Want to join the beautiful and creative world of Mononchorome Monday? Then see Aileni at LOOSE ENDS

Saturday, November 15, 2008


No this isn't the nature reserve, garden or park, but a humble, Ramsey back alley. Amazing where you find photo opportunities. Hardly seen any butterflies or bees this year and now both appear on this beautiful bush. I call this bush a buddleja( pronounced buddleha) but I've noticed in America it's called a butterfly bush. I can see why. Butterflies to swamp them. What of it's strange name though?

Buddleja is actually a spelling mistake. The plant was named after the Reverend Adam Buddle who was a botanist and a rector in Essex, England. The botanic name has been the source of some confusion. By the usual practice of botanical Latin, the spelling of a genus name made from "Buddle" would be "Buddleia". However, Linnaeus wrote it down as "Buddleja", and never changed it, so by the rule of naming priority, "Buddleja" should be preferred, though the i/j interchange could be modernized as an orthographical variant.

Several species are popular garden plants, The species are commonly known as Butterfly Bush due to their attractiveness to butterflies; they are also attractive to bees, moths and ladybirds/ ladybugs. The species of buddleia with red flowers are also attractive to hummingbirds.

Some species are commonly found as escapees from the garden. B. davidii in particular is a great coloniser of dry open ground; in towns in Britain, it often self-sows on waste ground, where it grows into a dense thicket, and it is listed as an invasive species in many areas. It is frequently seen beside railway lines, on derelict factory sites and after the Second World War on urban bomb sites. This accounts for me finding this buddleja pictured down a stoney back alley. A garden escapee I like that.

For more wonderful camera critters see MISTY DAWN Camera critters and be sure to leave a nice comment for Misty' s own outstanding posts.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I usually post a black and white after Fiday Skywatch but for a change went with colour but something a little different. Often you hear Photogrpahers/Artists use a phrase called "rule of thirds." We are talking photography rule of thirds, not scuba diving, just to add to the confusion which is something very different indeed.

The rule of thirds is a compositional rule of thumb (mainly used) in photography and a range of other visual arts such as painting and design. What is it though? The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. Think of the grid you would draw for the game of noughts and crosses. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. Proponents of this technique claim that aligning a photograph with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the feature would. I didn't say I agree, I just said that is the supposed rule.

Rule of thirds in photography is considered by many to make images more aesthetically pleasing and professional-looking. The rule of thirds can be applied by lining up subjects with the guiding lines, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line instead of the center, or allowing linear features in the photograph to flow from section to section.

So the image today adheres strickly to the rules. The horizon is the top third horizontal line, not the centre. The swallow( yep that bird is a swallow) is on the lower third horizontal line. The swallow is also in centre of the middle section of the two veritcal lines.

Personally to me rule of thirds should be used as a guideline and not the norm. I chose the most basic image I had to demonstrate the thirds rule, and the horizon is the most quoted for it's use.
Take a look at my photography and you will note the times I subscribe to the rule, mainly sunsets, otherwise no I don't. Why? I would take photographs that would bore me and if I'm bored buyers are bored. Get your technique right but think for yourselves, be creative. This image, for demonstration purposes only, was taken on the beach Ramsey, looking across to England, which is the hazy land mass you see.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Berried Sunset

Ok it should actually be sunset buried, but it was crying out for the bad pun. Apologies in advance for the groan you just made reading the title.

I actually have to thank another for this inspired skywatch shot. I was going to upload a crescent moon taken on the same night but I haven't sorted those out yet. When blog hopping I came across CHELTENHAM, MARLEY one of my regular drops and he had a beautiful berry shot(go see) and it jogged my memory about this image I took on the same night. The crescent moon was out and the sky was just awash with a palette of colours I easily rattled off a about 50 shots in about 10 mins, just adjusting the setting to eek out every last drop of light as I went along. Again this was taken over the Poyll Dooey Nature Reserve Ramsey- otherwise known as the back of my house. I know I am lucky to have this to call upon for photography. I could produce a calender or a book of images from this place, it's just so pretty and inspiring. Where is your favourite place to photograph?

Busy weekend coming up. If you are in the UK buy the Sunday Star newspaper as Gary's Cartoon will be in( under the name Barker) and watch the BARKER GALLERY BBC POLITICS SHOW as yet again they are featuring Gary's cartoon. So I am resigned to coffee and food runs while he produces 3 or 4 masterpieces, deadline by Friday lunchtime. Art and photography is like waiting for a bus. Ages for a job to come in then they all turn up at once! Unfortunately the money though doesn't all turn up at the same time.

To join skywatch go to SKYWATCH

The concept was Dot's, the next host WIGGERS WORLD the guardians of skywatch now are Tom, Imac and Sandy.

I know Tom is no longer blogging, but he does look in on us occasionally and his name will stay ont this skywatch link for me as he's the one who got me into this, was very supportive of my feldging blog when it went through a rough patch.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Lezayre Road, Ramsey

This is Lezayre Road, Ramsey. Looks very Suburban doesn't it? Actually it's a minute walk into the town high street, or if you like the downtown area. Not that we really have a downtown area. When you live on an island and a small town, everything becomes squashed, compact, within easy reach. As you can see it's also very quiet, very, very quiet.

Lezayre, ("garden of the island") is actually another Parish. This though is just it's namesake the road. Looking into the distance you are heading towards, Kirk Micheal, Curraghs Wildlife Park and the lead out to Peel. As you can see it is a very tree lined area and sunlight struggles to make an impact which is great for those Bresson shadows. In the distance you can see a footbridge, where the solitary walker and solitary car are situated underneath. On the left hand side of the footbridge (looking at the shot) you will find Ramsey Grammar school( the high School) and on the right hand side you would find the newly built, "Scoill Ree Gorre" or "King Orry's School" (infants and juniors.)

Quiet isn't it. What time of day do you think I took this image? Dawn perhaps? No it was 4.45pm. Just before the rush hour traffic. There is an optimum time for the photographs here. Before 4.30pm, it's full of school kids and school run cars, after the slight rush hour. A 15 minute window for a 5 minute walk into town. Enough time to stop at intervals and play around with the light and shadows. Keep an eye on that footbridge. It's going to to be featured in it's own post soon, with it's own quirky background story.

If you follow the TT, The Isle of Man TT Road Races, motorbikes then you are looking at part of the circuit. This is the approach into Ramsey under the footbridge, coming towards the point I've taken the image from, travelling over my shoulder out of shot and onto a right turn at the Swan Pub, the backdrop for my motorbike photos. It's a lot quieter today than it is then. A lot quieter!