Showing posts from January, 2013

Isaac Newton Statue and the Guildhall Clock

Grantham's famous son Sir Isaac Newton was actually born on Christmas Day in 1642  in the village of Woolsthorpe, 6 miles south of  Grantham. He studied at the King's School in the town and the original school building still forms part of the King's Grammar School.  
The statue, by William Theed, was erected in 1858 on St Peter's Hill green in front of the Guildhall, which now houses the theatre and arts centre.
This image taken on the 23rd January was used to illustrate a story run on the Grantham Matters website about the fact the Guildhall clock tends to stop in cold weather - this picture was taken at 3:30pm and the clock has stopped at 7:35am.  The clock was duly repaired the following day.

For more information on Sir Isaac Newton CLICK HERE
Image taken on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 and 19mm f2 lens (WCL-X100 converter fitted) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finding Little Gems in the Archives

I have thousands upon thousands of digital images stored on hard drives (and thousands more on slide and negative film) and I do like to go back through the archives every so often to see what I can turn up.
Take this shot taken in September 2006 on a Nikon D50 and 18-55mm lens of Plymouth Hoe from the top of a Ferris Wheel.  The view from the top was pretty spectacular but this shot was never used for some reason.

Plymouth Hoe is perhaps best known for the story that Sir Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls here in 1588 while waiting for the tide to change before sailing out with the English fleet to engage with the Spanish Armada. 
A prominent landmark on the Hoe is Smeaton's Tower. This is the upper portion of John Smeaton's Eddystone Lighthouse, which was originally built on the Eddystone Rocks (22.5 km south) in 1759. It was dismantled in 1877 and moved, stone by stone, to the Hoe where it was re-erected.
A statue of Sir Francis Drake by Joseph Boehm (a copy of the o…

TEST: X100 Macro Function

Yesterday evening one of the contributors on a Facebook group I belong to saw yesterday's blog on the X100 and asked how close the macro facility would focus.  I wasn't sure, so I set up one of my non scientific tests to find out.

I had to use something that would be instantly recognisable for size and I decided to use a one dollar bill that I had from my trip to Florida last March.  Setting the Fuji on a tripod I set about getting the closest focus I could using the macro facility.  I switched the camera to manual focus and set it at its minimum focus distance.  
I then set the camera on the tripod and moved the centre column up and down until the camera focused on the dollar bill.  I measured the distance between the camera and the object and the answer came out at 8cm or 3.2 inches.
This is pretty impressive for a small camera.

However to compare these results with a true 1:1 macro lens, I took a shot of the dollar bill with my Nikon D700 and a Nikon 60mm f2.8 AF-D micro lens s…

REVIEW: First Three Months with the Fuji X100

It is now three months since I bought my Fujifilm Finepix X100 Black Limited Edition from Park Cameras and in that time I’ve taken nearly 4000 images with this professional level compact digital camera, with its beautiful retro rangefinder looks with 21st century technology within.I’ve also taken this camera to Shanghai, Istanbul, Marrakech and Paris and it is my constant photographic companion.

So what do I think of the X100? How do I rate the camera for ease of use and the quality of the images it produces?Well I am impressed, I’ve not enjoyed my photography so much in a long time and I love my Nikon DSLRs and the flexibility they offer but they are heavy and not exactly discrete.

While the X100 is lighter than a DSLR it is still an all metal, high quality construction, with beautifully weighted, old fashioned, dials. 

For some the lack of a zoom would be a problem but I love shoot with a wide angle lens and with this camera you have to think about your photography a lot more.  I’ll ad…

Tall Trees

Anyone who is a regular visitor here will know I have a thing about photographing trees.  I love the shapes and textures that change with the seasons.  
Yesterday I was capturing some landscape images of the snow in the Vale of Belvoir before it all melted and I found myself in the woods on the hill above Woolsthorpe by Belvoir.  The low sun was creating some fantastic light amongst the trees so I stopped to get some shots.

The tall trees heading towards the sky caught my eye so I had to try and capturing this as an image.  Using the Nikon D700 and a 17-35 wide angle zoom on the 17mm end of the range I was able to get the shot I was looking for with the sun coming through the trees.
I then set about capturing the textures that were highlighted by the strong almost horizontal sunlight, using the Nikon with an 80-200 f2.8 telephoto lens and my Fuji X100 with the 19mm wide angle lens, before heading back to the car to move locations to capture some more snowy images up by Belvoir Castle, wh…

The Last Snowfall

Last night we had some more snow in Grantham but this morning the thaw had started to set in, so I headed out to the Vale of Belvoir to capture some last images of the snow before it melted away.

I headed up to Woolsthorpe by Belvoir to take some images of the village but decided to stop at Denton on the way to get some shots of St Andrew's Church for my records.  The sun was still quite low, as it always is at this time of year. This created a scene with deep contrast and I has to be careful with the exposure.

After 30 minutes and several shots in the bag I headed to Woolsthorpe and trudged up the hill in the snow to get some shots across the valley towards Belvoir Castle on the opposite side.

Finally I headed the other side of the castle to get some shots of the snowy fields and also some of the castle.  While I was there I saw a Red Kite soaring overhead and a quick change of lens resulted in some nice images of this beautiful bird of prey.

I headed back to the car and the areas th…

Up and Down Monte Baldo in Lake Garda

On our trip to Lake Garda in 2010 we visited the top of Monte Baldo, which stands at over 1700m and has impressive views of the lake and the surrounding area.  You can even see all the way to Switzerland on most days.

We drove up to the mid point cable car station, which was located a few hundred metres higher up from our apartment we had hired for the week, but because of the windy Italian roads it was a few miles to get to the station.  Tickets purchased and we found our way to the top of the mountain and were treated to some glorious views over Malcesine and Garda.

We walked along the well worn paths on the top of the mountain, even stopping at a cafe which was located near the summit cable car station and had a coffee while taking in the views.

It was time to head back to the cable car and back to the apartment.  However there were some people who had more extreme ways of getting down the mountain.  There were some who had brought mountain bikes up in the cable car and were heading b…

Wall Hangers

How many of us take pictures but never go further than downloading them to a computer to view on a LCD screen?  I have terrabytes of hard drive space dedicated to the images I have taken over the years.  Most of these pictures are displayed online on Facebook, Flickr, 500px or on the MacLean Photographic website, but I also choose my some of best images to print, or display in a photobook. I am proud of the work I produce and I find there is nothing better than seeing one of these shots as a large image on the wall.

This week I took delivery of the three latest canvas prints from Nottinghamshire based firm Grangeprint - a 16" x 12" print of the Pont des Arts, and two panoramic canvas prints of Belvoir Castle and Elgol on the Isle of Skye.  I have put them on the walls around the house so I can remind myself of the places I've been.  
My favourite image is a 30" x 12 " framed panoramic print of the Isle of Mull that I took on the 2nd January 2012 from the ferry as…

Close Up and Frozen

After two days of taking snowy landscapes I decided to get the macro lens out of the camera bag and take some shots of the snow crystals and icicles.  The miniature world of the snow flake and ice is quite amazing and the close up images were lit by an off camera flash gun, which was positioned to highlight the wonderful shapes.

Here are some of the results -

All images taken on a Nikon D700, Nikon 60mm f2.8 AF-D Micro using a Nikon SB-600 flashgun on remote commander mode, except for the 'red berries' which was taken on a Fuji X100 on macro mode.

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