Thursday, 30 September 2010

Lake District Photography Course

We are in the Lake District for a landscape photography course, finishing Sunday afternoon. There is no mobile signal but the Stanley House b&b that we stay in provides free wifi which let's me blog and send emails. It was a lovely day today as we drove up but forecast not good for Friday and Sunday. Still weather often very localised so fingers crossed it will be good between showers rather than persistent rain. The waterfalls will be great, that's for sure.

We had the welcome meet tonight and I gave out the Ilford and Harman freebies, my photo and Photoshop crib sheet and then gave a talk illustrated with 40 prints, mostly from the Lake District and including quite a few from the locations that we will be visiting.

Back home the builders are making good progress. They expect to finish within 2 weeks. Still lots of plastering needed in main gallery plus new floor, heating and electrics. We will be relieved when it is finished. Doesn't help that the plasterers have just gone on holiday! Dave

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New Computer

I finally had to admit defeat. The new PC that Tim from Whaley Bridge, had built for me was fast but still had the same faults that had caused me to buy a new pc in the first case - programs crashing and hanging for no good reason. Tim tried very hard but it appeared to be the configuration that I needed to run caused the problems. Lots of Adobe programs, as well as Microsoft Outlook and Excel, gave problems with the Windows 7 machine. They took it back 2 or 3 times to try and fix but each time it was no better. In frustration I asked Tim to take it back - permanently, which he did. I don't think it is anything Tim did that caused the problems since they were the same ones I had on the old pc and they spent hours changing hardware and reloading software all to no avail. Looks more like Microsoft and Adobe incompatibilities. That left me with my old problem-ridden pc for the last 3 weeks. I decided to approach the problem from the other side and went for a chat with Andy, the resident computer man at Bob Rigby Photographic, my closest and best pro photographic dealer just 5 miles away in Bollington. After an hour or two I was convinced I should switch to Mac computers from Windows. Just the £1400 later I'm busy trying to set it up. Jolly clear screen. Will continue to run the ailing pc for my Microsoft Office programs for the time being, although I could run on the Mac if need be.

Fortunately, Tim set up a network drive for me, a raid system for auto backups, and that means I can access the same files and images from the 2 computers. I just have Lightroom 3 image editing software to use at the moment. I had bought the Photoshop CS5 upgrade for the new windows pc but am now working my way through the Adobe system for swapping from one platform to another. Hope they sort it for me soon as I rely so much on Photoshop.

I loaded Vuescan to run my Nikon 9000 film scanner and will try running that soon. This was the software that I had to use on the new pc as Nikon no longer support new software, like Windows 7, or Mac for that matter.

Fingers crossed I'm back in action. In the meantime there are 14 new images on the web site of Hamburg and Stockholm, scanned about a month ago on the new pc.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Buxton Gallery in the Gardens

I am in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. Paul Tavernor is on with me today so we are having a chat and telling a few tall tales, well it wouldn't do to be miserable!

I walked here, as usual, this time in the rain the whole way. It's a 12 miles round trip across the tops. Great views across the Goyt Valley on a good day. We have just had a torrential rain and hail storm here. It was sunny and warm just a few minutes before then it went very dark with very loud thunder claps before the storm really let loose. The water ran in the back of Pavilion Gardens like a river and soaked the carpet in the new Arts Centre here. It opens for the first time tomorrow. Hope it isn't that heavy as I walk home at 5pm.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Darkroom Printing

I have been in the darkroom for a couple of hours today catching up with print orders received over the last couple of weeks.

I have printed a new winter version of Descent to the Vallee Blanche and Yosemite Valley.

Tomorrow I walk the 12 mile round trip to Buxton for a day in the Gallery in the Garden. Be good to get some exercise.

Trying Opera browser to post this. Hope it works.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mobile Blogging with a Blackberry

Most of my blog entries are made using my Blackberry smartphone. Unfortunately, it hasn't been easy as screen displays wrap strangely or not at all, buttons don't work reliably and simple things simply fail to work and I lose all of the text. I even changed Blackberry models to try and improve matters.

Over the last few months the problems mostly seem to relate to software. I now have a couple of other apps to use as alternatives to the built in Browser, which still doesn't work and resulted in a blank blog being sent out on Sunday.

This has been written and hopefully sent with Bolt software. Fingers crossed it works! I needed to sort as we have a 4 week trip to New Zealand fast approaching. Will try and get back to regular posts, assuming everything works.

Isn't modern technology wonderful! And people wonder why I still use manual film cameras. Dave Butcher

Lake District Landscape Photography Course - Last Place

The last Lake District Landscape Photography course is just over a week away and there is just 1 place left. We are based in Eskdale and also visit Wasdale and the nearby coast. It is suitable for people of any ability and with any camera, digital or film. There will be 5 students and 2 tutors for the full 3 days of the course. Accommodation is included and a partner or spouse is welcome to come too for a small additional charge and they are welcome to join us for the evenings. Either book through the web site or contact me for a chat if you need more detail. Dave

New Lecture in Warrington

Lake Light, my new lecture, will be presented for a second time Tuesday evening at Warrington Photographic Society. Drop by if you can. It's a mixture of cities and landscapes.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Beer Festival and Art Fair

It is the Buxton Artist and Designers Fair this weekend. There is also a beer festival at the Old Hall Inn in Whitehough near Chapel-en-le-Frith. Difficult to fit everything in but we made time last night after the show ended and we had eaten, to walk over Eccles Pike to the pub. It was a bit wet but walking the 5 miles gave us some exercise and meant neither of us had to drive so we could both have a drink. It was very busy and lots of beers and ciders to choose from, 36 in fact. I started with Absolution (always good to start with this!), then moved on to Salem Porter, Old Slug Porter finishing with Bishops Tipple. All in good form. A good night then we jjust had to walk back over the hill and home by torchlight.
Now in Buxton for last day of the fair. We are here until 4.30pm, drop by for a chat if you can. Dave Butcher

Friday, 17 September 2010

Lecture to Hoylake Photographic Society

Just on way home from Hoylake on the Wirral having given my Peak Light lecture. Very appreciative friendly audience. Looks like we will be home about midnight. That's 2 this week as I lectured to East Midlands Monochrome Group (near Northampton) Wednesday. Art Fair in Buxton this weekend. Fortunately we set up stand this afternoon so can have a lie in to 7.30am tomorrow.

Friday, 3 September 2010

New Trip Diaries

I finally added several of the trip diaries that were referred to on the web site but never appeared. They are a mixture of ski mountaineering and treks that I have done over the years. I also edited some of the older diaries, to add more detail. The photos will be added later but for now they have a link to the relevant photographs already included in the gallery.
They include:
Tour de Mont Blanc trek, 2 trips, one in each direction
Alpine Pass Route, a trek from Grindelwald to Montreux
Glasgow to Cape Wrath trek including my version of the West HIghland Way and 19 Munro's (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet).
Gran Paradiso Ski Tour, including the ascent of the 4000m peak Gran Paradiso and two 3000m peaks
Otztal Alps Ski Tour, including the ascent of the Wildspitz and 4 other 3000m peaks
Vanoise Alps Ski Tour, including five 3000m peaks
Haute Route Ski Tour from Chamonix to Zermatt (actually from Argentiere just up the valley from Chamonix) including two 3000m peaks - I added lots more detail.
Bernese Oberland Ski Tour from Jungfraujoch above Grindelwald to Reckingen in the south near Brig including four 3000m peaks

If you are interested in this sort of thing I hope you enjoy them.