Lake District Landscapes

The weather wasn’t fantastic when I was in the Lake District, Cumbria, lately.  It wasn’t always raining as heavily as it was when I visited the owls at Muncaster castle, but dense overcast with insistent drizzle, occasionally becoming rain, was the order of the day.  It mostly looked like this:




One evening did buck the trend and showed off with some glorious light…

Near Derwent Water

… for about 10 mins, and that was it.


Street Photography – some personal favourites

Recently, I’ve begun to get into street photography – mostly on my lunch break.  Have a look at what I’ve been doing on Flickr.  Purists will grumble, but it’s an entirely digital workflow.  I use an eye-fi card to transmit on capture to my phone where the picture is processed and posted to flickr (which  auto-posts to twitter too).

Some of my personal favourites are below:

Even Greener than electric vehicles

UPS introduced an electric fleet to London a while ago – it looks like they’ve gone one further.


What have they noticed?

A group of tourists at St. Paul’s cathedral (on one of the rare days with direct sunlight in London this year).



I just love the range of expressions in this one.


Please hold the line

I think I got spotted …

EchoCalc: 11,000+ downloads & Android version too

EchoCalc (mentioned elsewhere on this blog), still on a rock-solid version 1.1, has over 11,000 downloads. The (now obligatory) world map now has 89 countries in EchoCalc green and looks like this:

Both the UK and USA have over 2,000 downloads each, Italy has over 1,000, and a total of 16 countries have over 100 downloads.


But it gets better…

Not only has EchoCalc for iOS exceeded all expectations of success, EchoCalc is now available on Google Play too.

The Android version was inspired by, and is closely modelled on, the iOS version.  It was developed by Dr Allan Harkness.

Owls at Muncaster Castle

I was in the Lake District recently, and popped into Muncaster Castle.  The castle is a wonderful place that is still lived in (to the point where the library has Alan Titchmarsh books in it), and has an obligatory ghost or two (one of which may have been caused by the man who possibly gave his name to tomfoolery, apparently).  Photography is not allowed indoors though – shame!

The really good part, however, is the World Owl Centre, home of the World Owl Trust (WOT) – the downside was that it was raining quite heavily, and insistently.

Some of the owls were surprisingly small – like the Burrowing Owl.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owls

(The owls on the left and right are a bit soft because I had to shoot wide open through chain link to make the fencing disappear, but I like the picture, so damn the sharpness.)

Some of the owls, like young Spectacled Owls, were found to be exceedingly cute by the Art Director.

Spectacled Owl

There is also an opportunity to see the birds flying, and slightly closer during a daily talk, involving keepers and some of the birds that can’t be released to the wild (including a buzzard with a fear of heights – she runs after stunt rabbits).  The two shots below were taken during this talk, so no chain link in the way, but it was absolutely p*ssing down – a shower cap was deployed.

Sparky the Barn Owl

Chocolate the European Eagle Owl

This guy is huuuugge.  It turns out, though, that whilst Chocolate weighs 5 lbs, in the wild the individuals of the species can grow to 10 lbs, and can handle capturing young deer (which I can believe – Chocolate was eyeing up a golden labrador whilst ‘on parade’.  The dog looked worried.).

If you get the chance, go to Muncaster Castle.

More to come from the Lake District … maybe … if you’re lucky.