Thursday, February 28, 2008

Where'd the airplane photos go?

It has come to my attention through discussions with both readers and other blogger colleagues that my blog American Yank in England is actually fulfilling two purposes: the original intent of documenting my interactions with the rural aspect of living in England and my love of aviation photography. The two sides, while not totally exclusive of each other, do deserve their own spot in the big game so to speak.

So, over the next couple of days I'll be migrating the aviation posts to the new aviation blog and let the two sites stand on their own.

An upgrade you might be excited about is that I'll be featuring larger photos. There will be a very subtle watermark across them because there are idiots in the world who feel anything on the Internet is fair game to take without asking (or in my case paying a licensing fee). As always, I appreciate your input and comments and hope to continue to hear from you in the future.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Frosted Garden

Following on the footsteps of our foggy mornings I posted about earlier was one of my favorite weather phenomenae: ice fog. While living in Alaska I came to know it as hoar frost but as the linked Wikipedia article informed me there are loads of names by which it can be known by. Not matter what you call it, ice fog creates some of the very best conditions for garden photography especially if it happens when life is just starting to spring to life.

It didn't take long once outside my door to see how a thin deposit of ice crystals had transformed my plain old yard into something special. There was just a hint of wind (thus the very shallow depth-of-field in this series) but otherwise all was still. No birds flying about, even the farm animals were surprisingly quiet.

And my prize of the morning was a single rose that had been frosted, almost painted as if by Jack Frost personally that sat at the far end of the garden. One could almost see thousands of tiny jewels reflecting the scant light of the early morning. It was simply stunning.

A complete gallery of images from this morning are available for viewing at my ImageKind gallery and co-incidentally is the first gallery to utilize the newest ImageKind product line of greeting cards from within this gallery.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Fog Days of Winter

England is reknowned for fog. Just about every war movie made concerning the European theater has the same scene where "the boys" are grounded for days on end because the fog has the field or the coast or the enemy target "socked in" by fog. Recently we experienced these events in the here-and-now with school starting late 3 days in a row (great for the kids, not so great for their Dad). It was unbelievable how you couldn't see anything past the hood (bonnet) of your car. Much like being in white-out conditions during a mid-western blizzard except there isn't going to be a snowman in your future when it's all over.

Flights at both military and civilian airfields were disrupted as you might imagine. At one point I was parked just outside a field that was an airfield during WWII and if you strained to listen, you could almost swear you heard a bunch of young cocky kids joking about their last flight over Bremmen or Munich or the like. It was just plain spooky a couple of times. As the day wore on the sun tried to burn off the fog and along one stretch of road it almost succeeded.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Stars at Night

As the day's fog cleared it became apparent that there would be yet another night of crystal clear skies before the "mist and murk" began to seep through the countryside. As there is a wonderful array of farm buildings around I've been working on ways to feature them in some images. success as you can see below. During the exposure of the second image the sky was lit up quite brilliantly by a fireball meteor that burned for nearly 2 seconds. I though one of the military jets was dropping flares, gave me quite the start.

Here's to more equipment tests!


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nice couple of days

The snow has gone (OK, it went right after it came) and the temps are back into the 50s which really seems wrong since it's just turned February, but the sights this time of year are still spectacular. Driving through the countryside you will, at very odd times, come across the iconic British phone booth. I found this one yesterday not far from Camp Bodney, a British army base due south of us.

Monday, February 04, 2008


It wasn't much, it didn't last long, but it was glorious to stand outside in the crisp wind and be lighted upon by:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Signs of Spring

In typical atypical weather prediction fashion the Met Office is issuing severe weather warnings for wind, rain, sleet, snow and I thought I heard them say flying pigs (but I'm sure that's a mistake on my part) as I'm sitting down and editing photos of Blue Peter crocus that are in full bloom on my back patio. Also in bloom are daffodils and I saw the first batch of snow drops under a tree in the backyard. I just don't understand the weather anymore. Its gone all wonky.

I'm starting to get the "feel" of this nifty little Lansbaby and what it does when you squeeze and point the lens element off-axis. In the photo above the center bloom is tack-sharp while the further away you go the more "slurred" it gets. Don't know if I could make a living by doing it exclusively but it is a neat little tool to add to my optics arsenal. If you're thinking about picking one up yourself, be sure to get the supplimentary telephoto and wide-angle lenses. They really do round out the useful range of the Lensbaby 3G.