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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Lucky Shot

Some photographs are about great planning while others are luck.

I'm planning a great picture of a local canal around 11 March 2013. The Sun is due to set on a bearing of 259 degrees on that day and that's the direction of the canal. I know these things because of careful measurement of the canal on the relevant OS map and the Heavens Above site  to find out what the Sun is up to.

The picture below had more luck in it. During the afternoon, I'd noticed the clearing sky and thought it would be a great opportunity for sunset and related pictures so I went up Cleeve Hill. The powers that be have dotted the place with quite nice iron benches and I spotted one on the skyline - and a couple of people nearby, zoomed in and click!

The Panasonic TZ20 camera I used doesn't have a viewfinder, just a screen on the back so I had no idea exactly what I'd got until I got home and put it up on the PC.

A lesson I'm taking away from this is to make more use of the "burst" mode on the camera when pointing it at people. This picture was a single "snap" but going for a burst ups your chances of getting a good one.

Picture details
F5.9, 1/100, ISO-100, 504mm(35mm eq) cropped from 4320x3240 down to 4320x2170

Sunday, 4 November 2012


The village of Sharpness might, by some definitions be the least visited village in Gloucestershire. It's not really on the way to anywhere. It's where the B4066 ends. A railway line terminates here without the bother of a station. It used to go on to the Severn Railway Bridge and reached Lydney in the Forest of Dean but in 1960, a barge, err, barged into it.

Water connections are more important and give the place a character best described as mixed. It's got a port on the Severn and there's the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. Now, some ports and canals are "historic", get the full heritage treatment, are made pretty and become full of "desirable residences". Sharpness hasn't reached that stage yet. For a start, it's still a serious, working port with non-prestigious cargo..

There's a lot of decay

Old crane parts

Old cranes
Actually, not decay: This is lichen covered swing-bridge indicates clean air
My attempt to get a "pretty" photo of the docks
This disused navigation light has some charm

You need to turn to the nearby River Severn for more pretty sights....

This picture is a bit of a cheat - I used the Picasa 3 "I'm feeling lucky" button to get these vivid water and mud colours

Sunset over one of the piers at the harbour entrance

There is some wildlife
The canal basin (foreground) River Severn (middle distance) Forest of Dean (background)

Local shop
The large "Sharpness Dockers Club"
One of several derelict houses
Riverside footpath leading to the defunct nuclear power station

Harbour mouth

View over the river to the various Severn bridges