Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a little night music

I have always enjoyed going for walks at night. For some people this might seem a bit strange and it is true that you do not meet a lot of people walking at night but I recently discovered that Coleridge and Wordsworth and their friends would often go for long walks at night, so it seems that this has been happening for quite some time and I am in good company after all.

One of the things that I like about walking at night is the lack of people and traffic, so it is nice and peaceful and it seems that you have most places to yourself. People have asked me whether I am worried that I might meet somebody frightening out walking at night but I point out that I am usually the scariest looking person out and about then, so I don't really have anything much to fear though I can fully understand why women might not feel safe out walking at night.

I had a small insight into this when I threw my back out one time and I had to go out. I realised that if anyone wanted to have a pop at me there was nothing that I could do to defend myself and I thought that this is a sense of vulnerability that women or elderly people might feel all the time, not a pleasant experience. Many years ago I was mugged at knifepoint by three men and since then I have been much more aware of what goes on around me, behind me and so on.

I like to try and take photos at night and although I have been doing this on and off for quite a while I am still learning here so it is always an experiment for me. Here is a small selection of some of my night photographs which I hope you will enjoy.

I had a lot of fun one night trying to photograph an electrical storm. Standing under slight cover for about three hours I managed to get one photograph that actually had some lightning in it (above) a meagre reward photographically but an interesting evening for me all the same. Unfortunately there are not very many of these storms around here which is a shame for me as I find them excellent entertainment and also an interesting photographic subject.

There is also a dusk photo, dusk being one of my favourite times to be out walking and lastly a descending sun picture that I took a while ago which I think is rather pretty, so that goes in here too, seeing as it's the end of the year and just past the solstice. Good luck to you all for next year.


john said...

Oh and many thanks to The Chef for bringing us some lovely bottles of sloe gin and damson gin on Christmas Day, much appreciated. How anyone can cook all those Christmas dinners and make 500 mince pies is beyond my comprehension, well done!

Skye said...

Very beautiful photos John! I too enjoy walking at night it simply the most beautiful and peaceful time of day. Cheers and a Happy New Year to you :)

john said...

Hello there Skye! and thanks, I was wondering how you were doing.

So there is someone else who enjoys walking at night so I'm not on me own on that one, excellent.

Hope all is going well with you and Happy New Year to you too, not far off now. Cheers, John.

nina said...

Its a very fine artist who can capture sundown in so many unique ways, all worthy of contemplation, all beautiful.

Thanks John and as the Trouts' said "May the best of your past be the worst of your future."


john said...

Cheers Nina and thanks very much.

I forgot to say in the post that photos 1 and 5 are moonrises. Depending on the time of the year the sun and moon both rise out of the sea.

You have lots of really good links on your blog Nina, yesterday I was having a look at the Trout Clan blog which I hadn't seen before, there are a lot of interesting comments going on there, all interesting stuff and I recognised a lot of the names from your own blog and Les Visibles.

It is interesting for me to see what is happening in the USA and the comments give me a good insight into events on the ground there and what people are thinking. Hope you have a good new years eve. All the best to you and yours for next year, john.

the Silverfish said...

The nights here have been simply beautiful of late ,what with two full moons this month and all. News years eve, that would be last night was just fantastic, with all of the fresh snow and the full moon it was actually bright enough outside at midnight to read a newspaper. It's simply wonderful to see the moon cast such dark shadows of trees on the snow.

Skye and I brought in the New year by going out snowshoeing in the valley, it was cold -35c but still well worth it as there was absolutely no wind. Besides the Scotch and wine helped keep us nice and snuggly warm.
Have a Good one John and Happy New Year.

john said...

Cheers Silverfish

That sounds like a fantastic walk on New Years Eve, what a great way to see the new year in, I expect the woods look fantastic in the moonlight. It sounds well cold there.

We too have had very bright moonlight lately though we don't get much snow down here, just very heavy frosts but it did snow around parts of Devon again last night.

All the best to you Silverfish and a Happy New Year to you too.

queenofthenile said...

Stunning photos john. A real coup to get the lightning. Beautiful delicate light in all of them. My favourite is the first, with its red light & the moon. Are those light streaks in the fourth one planes? shooting stars?

nobody said...

Gee Whiz John - spookily beautiful. I love the first, the last, and the second last. But they're all good. Those long exposure night shots are begging to be turned into a painting. Or blown up and framed. Or something. What rez do you take tham at?

I didn't notice the word tripod in amongst it, but you use one surely? Except on the middle electric-reindeer-parade of course.

Otherwise, really inspiring John.

john said...

Cheers QOTN and thanks very much. I hope that you had a good visit to NZ after all the baggage kerfuffalation.

The lurid orange in the first picture is the result of not adjusting the cameras white balance for the artificial lights, which can be quite a bit of fun sometimes.

For photography nerds like myself right clicking a lot of photographs and going into the properties can bring some interesting information up, unfortunately blogger doesn't let you see any of these.

I have discovered that when attempting to photograph lightning that is happening all around you it would be best to have a wide angle lens of some sort as otherwise you tend to miss most of it, though if a storm is off in the distance the lens supplied with the camera is fine.

Yes, the streaks in the fourth photo are planes and just below in the middle is the planet Venus, this photo was taken handheld I think, the camera being good at these dusky low light conditions.

All good fun for me anyway thanks.

john said...

Cheers nobody and ta v. much.

I have printed some of the photos and they come out really nice and sharp, good colours and all. In this digital age many of the photos just get viewed on the computer but they do print well, so it is still worth doing.

The resolution is 300dpi and the size is 3872 by 2592. So far I have only printed them in small sizes but I would be interested to see how sharp they are bigger.

I used to rest the camera on walls and stones quite a bit for night photos but you do end up with lots of wonky photos (photo 7) so I take out Mr Big Tripod sometimes though I have been having my eye turned by Ms Quite Small Tripod in the shop windows, she looks lighter and as though she might be a lot of fun.

I don't know if you check Dave McGowans website very often but I don't as I got used to his infrequent postings, so I was surprised to see the other day that he has been carrying on with his Wagging The Moon Doggie all this time without telling me and even put one up on the 30th Dec, the cheeky blighter.

And nobody, Jewbu's? first I've bloody 'eard of it. sounds like their really getting the hang of that Buddhism. Anyway the whole place is covered in snow here now and yes it is brass monkey weather.

Penny said...

Hey John!

did you get to mars?

Penny said...

oh yeah, I saw that too over at Dave's and I am like, christmas holidays and you don't keep up!

I haven't read the piece yet, but, got to hear him on Meria's show.

I will likely post a bit about it soon enough...

Hopefully will have time to read the piece...

oh, and mince pies, you know I like those, but I am the only one in my house that does....
So I had no mince pie at christmas, so I am thinking I will by an eccles pastry which has mince in it, just to have some around the holiday..
also no eggnog this year, hmmm...
sorry for the wandering :)

john said...

Cheers Penny, nice to hear from you.

Yes it does look like Mars around here, we have a lot of the similar red iron earth.

What! No mince pies, it's never too late to eat some mince pies. we've still got loads here maybe I'll pop some in the post for you. eggnog eh? I'm not sure about that stuff, but each to their own I reckon. actually I'm trying not to think about alcohol at the moment, trying to lay of it for a bit.

The whole country here is a shambles as apparently snow preperation is not glamourous enough for TPTB here to consider, so while the main roads have been gritted and salted all the country lanes are still impassable.

None of the pavements have been salted however, so they have turned into sheets of very slippery ice and are really dangerous to walk on. Consequently nobody is going out shopping and the shops are deserted.

The hospital in Plymouth has now run out of crutches due to the number of injuries. So to save a few quid on salting the pavements they'd rather everybody was out injuring themselves and ending up in hospital putting the already stretched NHS under increased pressure. A false economy it seems to me.

We need to kick all these useless people out of power in this country and organise these things ourselves as they are obviously not to be trusted with even basic preperations.

Luckily locally people are organising themselves and helping each other out with shopping and looking out for each other.

Despite our leaders being utterly useless pricks the people here know how to keep things moving as best they can. Power to the people! Freedom for Tooting! etc.

nobody said...

Yeah, free the Car-Horn Seven! Toot Toot!

john said...

Ha ha! I think my Citizen Smith references might be a bit out of date nobody, 70's British sitcoms and all that.