A blog on gardening, life by the sea, photography and wildlife

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ipheion Uniflorum Spring Starflower

Funny winter so far ventured out onto a rain saturated garden and discovered the spring starflowers flowering before the snowdrops.

Looking at the foliage I can see why it is related to the onion family

Sunday, 27 January 2013

A walk to Butts Brow

Butts Brow is part of the South Downs and overlooks Willingdon Eastbourne it is a popular spot with walkers dog owners cyclists and car owners who just sit in the car park with a flask and snack.
It`s elevated position gives fine 180` panoramic views of the surrounding area.
We visited today for a walk and a chance for some fresh air, the weather was cold and windy with a watery sun so I took a few photographs while the sun was in the right position.
I was sad to see there is now a charge to park a car and I didn`t like the barbed wire that was obvious in several places.

A sign of the times and nasty barbed wire too

I can only assume it tasted fine

The afternoon mist was beginning to form when I took this

Friday, 11 January 2013

My photography from film to digital

Thinking back to the way we take photographs today with smart phones and digital cameras of all kinds I thought about the three advancements in  technology that had the most importance to me over my fifty years plus taking pictures.

Bronica S2a  my first medium format 120 roll film SLR camera, no autofocus or light meter and no batteries all metal built like a tank and very heavy, spare backs meant you could pre load film, one turn of the crank handle cocked the shutter and advanced the film one frame of twelve exposures.

I acquired at the same time a bargain used Leitz enlarger Rolls Royce quality and expensive when new.

This enabled me to set up a darkroom in the spare bedroom and develop and print black and white photographs such as the two below, I also experimented with dodging and burning when printing, very rewarding under the red safe light to watch prints slowly appear in the developer before fixing rinsing and drying.

                 My then teenage daughter and cavalier king Charles spaniel in the garden of our house

               Folkstone harbour with the Grand Burstin hotel shaped like a boat in the background

                                                     Sparrowhawk 200mm VR lens

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Eastbourne to Seaford via Birling Gap

Judi and I went to Seaford today we drove by the scenic route over Beachy Head past the Belle Tout lighthouse to Birling Gap onto East Dean village, past the Seven Sisters country park and the sheep centre and finally to Seaford a nice town with free parking! It was a dull day and not ideal for taking photos with a point and shoot camera so I`ve warmed them with a bit of colour temperature.

Belle Tout lighthouse had to be moved back from the cliff edge (due to erosion) some years ago quite an engineering feat it`s not in use as a lighthouse any more and is now a B and B with fine views, once again it`s getting closer to the edge, wonder if they can move it back again if so the owner is in for a big bill.

Birling Gap with a view of Seven sisters looking West

Birling Gap looking East to the left you will see a buttressed flank wall of a coast guard cottage and the gardens to the rear. Beachy Head lighthouse can`t be seen from this vantage point, but is further round to the East.

The coast guard cottages one or two have already been lost due to cliff erosion and one assumes over time they all will be, an artist purchased the end one for a £6,000 some years ago I believe and is just waiting for the day to arrive.........no insurance that`s for sure

Seven Sisters sheep centre toward East Dean village

The ewes will be lambing soon

Lush greenery with all the rain

The Tiger Inn pub East Dean

East Dean village square and monument the pole is used for Maypole dancing on  May day every year

The entrance to some magical walking right down to the sea, the Seven sisters country park the sun sadly was low and to the right which meant a photo was not possible looking down to the sea

Sunday, 6 January 2013

January 2013 at Wellcome

Well after all the rain we have finally had a few dry days in a row, too wet still for working on the plot but nice enough for a visit to the beach and on the way home visit the plot to check on things in general.
It does look bare at this time of year.
I visited the Holywell Eastbourne beach at low water and walked along the shoreline with my little pocket camera to take a few snaps and get a bit of sea air, we have both been really housebound more than we would like with all the rain.
The site in January

The simple things in life at the beach, water was freezing

Shot against the sun

rocks on the beach worn smooth over the years

Shot with the sun behind