Friday, 29 June 2012

Henley Royal Regatta 2012

I was lucky to visit Henley Royal Regatta on a sizzling hot humid day. In fact with the rules on gentlemen keeping their jackets on in the Stewards Enclosure it was possibly too hot!

I love spending the afternoon in the deckchairs watching the rowing. The races on Thursday were largely won by big margins, but I did manage to get a reasonable shot of Gonzaga College High School USA and Tabor Academy USA  battling it out to the finish line.

The New Orleans Paddle Steamer was taking regatta corporate guests up and down the river, although you always wonder just how interested corporate visitors are in watching the rowing?

Nature on The Thames is still an ever present during the regatta, but having to give way to the oars men and women.

The way information is relayed to spectators has changed little over the years, but it is the traditions of the regatta, which are maintained that make it so special still.

One of my photographic challenges this year was to try and capture a few more action shots and both the ladies and men came up trumps!

Aside from watching the rowing, myself and Michele had a wander along the Thames at lunchtime and then suring the afternoon tea interval we enjoyed a very welcoming and refreshing iced coffee. This year I tried out a new look with wearing glasses in public and also possible thoughts of growing my hair for the first time in a decade!

And finally a shot of the back of a deckchair insect 'n all :)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Photographic Day Out In Greenwich

All over the world time takes its settings from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. It had been over 25 years since I last went to Greenwich on a proper visit, and I have to concede that on my last trip with the school we were left to our own devices and spent an unsupervised afternoon in the pub!

These days I can't get enough of culture / our national heritage and Greenwich has this in bucket loads. The old Greenwich Naval College is now part of the University of Greenwich and is a stunning piece of architecture. I was pleased with this photo taken from the walkway between The National Maritime Museum and The Queen's House. There is also a lovely statue of Sir Walter Raleigh.

The Cutty Sark is another stunning attraction on the Thames at Greenwich and was one of the fastest and most famous tea clippers ever built back in 1869. It is on the Core Collection of the National Historic Ships Register (the nautical equivalent of a Grade 1 Listed Building). In addition to the traditional shot above I wanted to try and get a picture that replicated how sailing ships in days gone by might have appeared on the Thames skyline in London, and in the picture below I put a building the forefront and used some editing software to give the picture a black and white dated feel to it.

The National Maritime Museum is not only another stunning architectural building, but the museum itself is full of nautical wonders and we barely scratched the surface in the hour or so we spent there.

One of the showpiece attractions is Prince Fredrick's Barge, which was built for Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II in 1732.

The museum is now home to the Baltic Exchange Memorial Glass. The windows formed part of a memorial to the 60 members of the Exchange who lost their lives during World War I. On the April 10th 1992, a bomb exploded outside the Baltic Exchange killing three people and caused severe damage to the building, including Forsyth's stained glass windows. Unfortunately, the damage to the Baltic Exchange Hall was too great leading to its dismantling in 1998 so its final resting place is now the National Maritime Museum.

Greenwich Park is also to play host to some Olympic events in 2012, with the equestrian arena being constructed  by the National Maritime Museum. It is a quite spectacular setting with old and new LOndon providing a stunning backdrop, and when it is finished is going to be a fabulous venue for the Olympics.

The climb to the Royal Observatory is not only worth it to get a look at the observatory and the location of prime meridian, but also for the fabulous views of London it gives you.

The masts of the Cutty Sark dominate the local skyline and  from the Observatory you get a rather unusual view of just the masts against the backdrop of the river and penthouse apartments.

I have recently invested in a teleconversion lens for my camera and this setting gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out. The London Gherkin in the above photo was my target, and I was very impressed with the result I achieved in the photo below at maximum zoom.

The O2 is not too far away from the equestrian arena in the foreground and the impressive old Greenwich Power Station.

The day would not have been complete without my partner from my other blog twoviews as we spent a great day out with our cameras snapping away. The Blonde takes a pretty mean picture. Check out her own blog here.

Greenwich really surprised me as I loved the village feel to the place and the sights were breath taking. There was not nearly enough time to do more scratch the surface and I'm sure a return trip won't be too far away.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Twists and Turns

A time to focus on what's important, remain strong and positive, live life to full and never ever take anything for granted x