Sunday, 30 November 2014

Cambridge Folk Museum

Friday afternoon was spent at the Cambridge Folk Museum, photographing some of their collection with three other members of Cambridge Camera Club.  We were brought a succession of varied and fascinating artefacts, each of which presented their own particular challenge.  Some were also incredibly fragile (such as the toy train and the porcelain head) so needed very careful handling.

When the ivory back-scratcher was brought out, I was instantly transported back to my grandfather's house aged about 6, as he had one which was identical that always fascinated me.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Falconry Display

Probably the highlight of our trip to Leeds Castle was a falconry display in the afternoon.  Three birds were flown by two handlers, with another providing a running commentary.  Challenging to photograph, though: partly because of the speed the birds flew at; but also because, wherever they landed, it seemed that there was always a member of the audience wearing a bright pink T-shirt directly behind!

First up was a Snowy Owl.

I love the bird's expression in the next one, as though she'd just spotted the idiot with the camera...

Next up was a Kestrel, which was a real contrast to the owl given its relatively small size and increased agility.

The final bird was a Harris Hawk, whose party piece was to fly straight into one of the cat basket which was used to transport the birds.

What amazing animals, and a really well produced show.  A good test for the 5DmkIII as well, since the mkII would definitely have struggled under the same conditions.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Leeds Castle

September 15th was our 30th wedding anniversary, and, to celebrate, Harriet and I spent a long weekend staying in Rye, exploring Kent and Sussex.  We decided to break the outward journey at Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, on what turned out to be a very hot and sunny day.  The castle is just as beautiful as I expected it to be, but the grounds were equally spectacular.  I really wish I lived a bit closer, as our tickets would allow us unlimited access for a whole year.

There was no objection to me taking pictures inside the castle, which was a little surprising given that it is privately owned.  The building is actively used for weddings and conferences, as can be seen from the two long tables which were being set for the evening meal.

As with my previous National Trust interiors, these are all three-shot HDRs taken hand-held at ISO 2500 or thereabouts.