Sunday, 31 March 2013

2 More Days Book Signing in Buxton!

I was so busy book signing yesterday that I have decided to do 2 more days, today and tomorrow. If you're in Buxton come to the Pavilion Gardens Tourist Information Centre. You can't miss me, I'm right by the TIC/till area.

Despite suggestions yesterday that my signature was too cheap it remains free with every book bought!

I have all 4 books here. City Light is £ 15, Peak Light, Lake Light and High Light are £10.

I'm here 10am to 5pm both days.

Jan is running our stand in the Easter Fair in a different part of Pavilion Gardens. Lots of pictures and show prices. Over 70 exhibitors selling art,  craft, food and drinks!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Book Signing Buxton Pavilion Gardens Tourist Information Centre Today

I'm in Buxton Pavilion Gardens Tourist Information Centre all day today doing a book signing. City Light available in Buxton for first time since publication earlier this month. I have all 4 books here. City Light is £15, the other 3 are £10. Free signature with every book!

Friday, 29 March 2013

March Newsletter Out Now!

I just managed to fit in doing a newsletter before the end of March. Here is a link to it on the iContact web site, this is the company I use to send my bulk emails. News of the next 2 events, quite a bit on my new City Light book, news of the next photo and darkroom courses, a couple of new local images and notes about some changes to my web site.
Bakewell Old Bridge

Monday, 25 March 2013

Winter Returns to the Peak District

After 2 days of snow and strong winds we ventured out into the local Peak District hills for a walk from our home in Tunstead Milton. The snow had stopped but the wind was still gusting up to 30mph. We turned back after about 3/4 mile. The snow drifts were well over 6 feet high and effectively impassable to walkers. We returned home for our snowshoes, normally reserved for use in the Alps or Rockies and just a few occasions in the Peaks.

Our snowshoes, MSR Lightning Ascents, were perfect for the conditions. Quick to put on and light and stable, even when crossing 8 foot high drifts on the tops. The main difficulty was in negotiating the stiles!
Taken by Dave Butcher on Samsung Galaxy S2 phone.

The strange thing was the lack of snow on the fields but big drifts on the roads and tracks as well as near fences and walls. The back roads around Combs village, near Chapel-en-le-Frith, were all blocked by lots of big drifts.
 Taken by Jan Butcher on Blackberry Curve phone.
Taken by Jan Butcher on Blackberry Curve phone.

In all we walked about 9 miles, it felt more like 15 because of the extra effort needed! 
Taken by Dave Butcher on Samsung Galaxy S2 phone.

I took a roll of Ilford FP4 120 film (10 negatives) with my Mamiya 7 camera and 65mm lens, all hand-held because I didn't want to carry the weight of a tripod as my back was aching before we started. Had to be careful not to put anything too close to the lens as I couldn't have much depth of field, I needed at least 1/60 sec exposure, with a dark yellow filter, to avoid camera shake.

Tomorrow I should have been running a private landscape photography course but we have rescheduled for 3 weeks time. It will take a while to clear the side roads.

If you can get out in the hills it's a good time for photos, especially black and white ones. Don't plan to use any side roads though as they may well be blocked by snow, even the A6 was blocked into Buxton for part of today.

More snow and cold temperatures are forecast for the rest of this week. 

Have fun!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Snowy Drive Home and 30 Rolls Ilford FP4

After a good day for photos yesterday the forecast was for heavy snow for the Dumfries area where we were staying as well as the Peak District.

We decided to leave early to try and escape before the worst arrived. This meant we were on our way before 7am. All the roads were fine, just about. Home by 10.30am.

The Peak District is white with a few inches of snow. Walking tomorrow.

Posted 30 rolls Ilford FP4 120 film to Ilford Lab Direct for processing. Saves me a day in the darkroom and I trust them to do a good job for me.

Hopefully will get them back next week and look forward to seeing what photos I have from Durham, Newcastle, Whitley Bay, Teesdale Waterfalls (forgot to mention great fish and chips in Middleton in Teesdale!), Edinburgh, Dumfries and the Galloway coast.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Walk in Glen Trool and a Photography Day

Yesterday we walked in Glen Trool in Galloway. It was mainly a grey day but I managed a few waterfall photos. More importantly no rain!

I took a shot on my phone of Merrick, the highest peak in the area, from beside Loch Trool. It was well snow covered,  see photo.

Today was mostly sunny so we decided to make it a photo day. Started with Dumfries then down to Kirkcudbright followed by Brighouse Bay and Kippford. I walked out the half mile to Rough Island from Kippford even though tide only 2.5 hours from high.
Finished the day with a curry and a couple of pints at Wetherspoons in Dumfries.
Snowy Merrick in the background

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Edinburgh Blizzards, Dumfries Rain

We had bad weather for pretty much the whole time that we were in Edinburgh. Rain and sleet to start with then snow, well blizzards actually. Not many photos as difficult to keep the rain and snow off the lens with the wind behind it.

Took a few last night but no idea if usable. Lost last 2 shots as Mamiya 7 camera closed shutter before end of exposures. It wasn't the cable release so I guess it's time for a service.

Today we left Edinburgh before the forecast heavy snow arrived. We just got through the road from Edinburgh before we heard on the radio that it was blocked by snow.

Now in Dumfries and we are back to rain. No photos here yet. Walking the hills tomorrow for some exercise. Fingers crossed for better weather.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

It's Raining in Edinburgh

It was sunny as we arrived. It's raining now so decided on early break for sustenance in Wetherspoons Alexander Graham Bell.

Night shots later.

Angel of the North

Forecast was for rain but we had sunny spells. Good for photos. Started with Durham then checked out and drove to the Angel of the North.

The shot below was taken on my phone. Proper photos were taken on my Mamiya 7 camera using Ilford FP4 120 film.

Jan now driving us to Edinburgh for a few days.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Coast, Newcastle, Durham Cathedral and Teesdale Waterfalls

Yesterday was a grey day so we started late and headed to the coast south of Sunderland. No photos so made for Tynemouth. Some sunshine here. Photos of castle, pier and Victorian station. Then on to Whitley Bay and St Mary's Lighthouse which is joined to the mainland by a Causeway,returned here closer to high tide too. Spanish City too, a big white domed building.

In the evening we drove in to Newcastle for some dusk and night shots. Started with the bridges over the Tyne then into the city for shots of Central Arcade, Grey's monument, theatre, skyline from Tyne bridge and a few others. Forgot to take photos on my mobile so no pics until my films are processed.

Today again started grey so another late start then walked down into Durham and along river for photos of cathedral. Waited about 40 minutes for some brightness, then the sun came out briefly. Made all the difference.

It looked pretty set as a grey day so we decided to go for a walk. Teesdale is about an hour away and there are lots of waterfalls, great subjects for grey days. We walked about 5 miles in total, taking in High Force and Low Force. The photos here were taken by Jan, including me in one.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Durham Photos

We are in Durham for a couple of days, staying in our usual corporate hotel - Travelodge!

Night photographs of the castle and cathedral before checking out curry night at the Bishop's Mill Wetherspoons.

It's quiet here, not many people walking into my pictures. Not that well lit. Needed some long exposures.

Weather forecast not good, hope it's wrong.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Buxton Gallery in the Gardens New Display

I have changed my display of framed photographs in the Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. There is a strong bias to cities to tie in with my City Light book launch.
Locations now include Rome, London, Oxford and Paris as well as some local ones.

I forgot to photograph the display but here are a couple of the images, you'll just have to imagine what the narrow black frames and white mounts look like!

St Peter's Basilica and River Tiber at Night, Rome

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

By the way, I will be doing a City Light book signing in the Buxton Tourist Information Centre on Easter Saturday.

Monday, 11 March 2013

40th Anniversary of Wainwright's Coast to Coast Book

Just found out that it was the 40th anniversary of Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk book first being published on 10th March.

I didn't realise in 1978 that we were walking it so soon after the book was published. I finish walking it for a second time in August, this time with good friend Al from Gloucester. We divided it into 3 sections, St Bees to Shap in 2011, Shap to Danby Wiske last year and it will be Danby Wiske to Robin Hood's Bay to finish.

I still think it's a good walk. Lots of variety in the landscapes and lots of pubs!

Here's a shot of Robin Hood's Bay where the walk ends, on the Yorkshire coast.


Monday, 4 March 2013

City Light available through Dave Butcher site and Amazon UK.

My new book City Light is now available through the Dave Butcher web site as well as Amazon UK

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Focus on Imaging Day 1

The first day of Focus on Imaging is over. My new City Light book was officially launched. We saw lots of old friends and met many new ones.

I took some photos on my mobile of the stand before the show started and expected to do this post shortly afterwards. We were busy from the start so just finding the time now at almost midnight.

Still 3 days to go. We are on the Ilford Photo stand C2 hall 9 at the Birmingham NEC. Discounts on books and courses. Ilford/Harman have big show discounts on film, paper and inkjet media if you can get down here. Also a new low priced pinhole camera, obscura, as well as the Titan pair of pinholes for 5x4 and 10 x 8 in.

There is even a full blown darkroom with a film processing machine, an enlarger and a paper processor.

Staying with good friends Peter and Sally and their family in Kenilworth. Lot more enjoyable than the normal NEC show!