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Ah Fred! Shame you Missed it….

A Long time missed thrill came back to me today as we drove into Marazion.. after noticing the crowds hanging over the wall and on the platform and surrounding area’s at Penzance Station, we came across them again at the Bridge  near Jordans..

Sudden thoughts of steam splashed into my head and at good speed we drove to the charity car park at the far end of the marsh and I set off through the marsh camera’s in hand to find out just what was going on froma secret location in the middle of the marsh I had a great view of the railway..

Glorious sunshine was beating down causing a haze over the lines as I clambered the fence and set up my tripod alongside the tracks (in a safe place obviously) and then the wait began.. not really a problem as it was sheltered from the onshore wind and surrounded by long tailed and blue tits chiffchaffs and great tits flitting backwards and forwards and being all the while entertained by the sweet songs of the Cettis and sedge warblers.

I was eventually joined by a couple of others and found out to my great delight that not one but 2 of our historic steam engines would be pulling out of Penzance station any minute to start the Great Britain II tour, an incredible steam hauled journey from Penzance to Kyle of Lochalsh taking 8 days.

The Tour would start with a double header by 70013 Oliver Cromwell and 5029 Nunney Castle engines.

70013 Oliver Cromwell at York following restoration, June 2008

70013 Oliver Cromwell at York following restoration, June 2008

70013 Oliver Cromwell, is a British Railways standard class 7 (also known as the Britannia class) preserved steam locomotive. The locomotive is notable as one of four steam locomotives to work the last steam railtour on British Rail (BR) in 1968 before the introduction of a steam ban.

Tangmere leading the procession with Oliver Cromwell

The Nunney Castle appears to have been switched for the 34067 Tangmere due to firebox problems as far as I heard. so we see here the Tangmere fronting the train followed by the Oliver Cromwell.

First out of the Station was the D1015 Western Champion (The Mule) a 1963 Diesel Traction Engine started life on the 21st january 1963 fresh out of the Swindon works, and finished its life before restoration to its current glory on the 13th December 1976 after a derailment caused damage to an air tank front valance and bogey at Castle carey down yard. Here she is restored to glory heading for Plymouth today…

The Western Champion (The Mule)

The Western Champion (The Mule)

 

There she goes

There she goes

A short while after the standard service train sped by as we awaiting the whistle stop call as the Great Britain II tour left the station.. I could feel the adreniline rush I’d felt so many times before as the first clouds of white steam belched over the trees.. by the time it came into view my hand was shaking on the shutter.. making sure I got the right shot I quickly switched on the 7 shot bracket and continued to fire 7 shot bursts as they thundered up the track…

13+ years since I last stood by the railway and felt the ground shudder as the wind almost blew you over and I’d forgotten the thrill the excitement and the nostalgia and romance that came with a fleeting glimpse of one of these great masterpieces of engineering that I’d once loved so much..
The wind made my eys water a little and I tipped my hat to a great man and an absolute engineering bloody genius who’d explained so much to me at many steam fairs and told me so many wonderful stories in my childhood, Youth and early adulthood.. the Late Great Fred Dibnah … how he would have loved this afternoon…..

Enjoy the shots…

And of course no Steam railway experience would be complete without the classic Black and white shot….

Ah Fred!  Shame you Missed it Old Boy!!
Ah Fred! Shame you Missed it Old Boy!!

Mel

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Bob Sharples who was round the other side by the Marsh in the car park managed to grab a few shots as the trains came through and has kindly given us these to add to the blog.. check out Bobs wildlife shots at his site  Bobsharplesphotography.co.uk


Many thanks for those Bob

Newlyn SkyScrapers

Thought I’d continue with a bit more Black & White as I enjoyed it so much and the weather was a bit dismal anyhow so there was a good homely atmosphere about the harbour.. so after a brief trip out to the Estuary at Hayle we returned via Marazion and I bagged the D2Xs and picked up my D200 and wandered into the harbour with filters attached…. First a view over the rivermouth, St Michaels Moun and a little pano of 3 shots of Mousehole to Penzance..

Hayle Estuary from the Saltings
Hayle Estuary from the Saltings
St Michaels Mount from the wall
St Michaels Mount from the wall

 Panorama using 3 shots

Onto the Harbour at Newlyn as the weather closed in a bit, there’s something about all those towering beams and masts when the fleet are in that just feels so homely..

Masts of Newlyn Harbour
Masts of Newlyn Harbour
Newlyn Harbour
Newlyn Harbour
The Old and the New
The Old and the New
The Old Lugger Ripple
The Old Lugger Ripple
One of the Fleet
One of the Fleet
Part of the Newlyn Fleet
Part of the Newlyn Fleet
Newlyn across the harbour

Newlyn across the harbour

The pride

The pride & Dignity

Newlyn Skyscrapers

Newlyn Skyscrapers

The amazing Ripple

The amazing Ripple

 and finally the baskets that bring home the bread (or shellfish in this case) showing the romance of this working harbour..

The Bread of Newlyn

The Bread of Newlyn

Hope you enjoyed… there will be more .. one day :)

Moods in Monochrome

Felt like a bit of a change from the ordinary so after much research into the techniques of the masters like Ansell Adams it was time to load the amber filters into the kood hood and head off on a walkabout..
I’d come to love the mastery of tone and contrast shown in images like ‘Lake tenaya’ and ‘Jeffreys Pine’ and wanted to see what I could produce locally usi8ng subjects closer to home..

St Erth Church offered me the first opportunity, basically it was a perfect subject in Bright sunshine (a rarity these days reflecting off the harsh granite surrounded by the stark trees Leafless in the early spring. I loved the softness of the sky in this image and the way the vapour trails from some airbus scarred their way across it.. there was so much texture to play with in this image and here’s the result for your own conclusions.

St Erth Village Church using Ansell's Techniques of contrast
St Erth Village Church

Next it was back home that I spotted a good opportunity, the wind was howling and there was a lone Kitesurfer on the beach.. again the sun was bleaching the skies and sand and there was something naturally Ansell about this image so again I loaded the filters, switched to B&W and took my chances..

Its Kind of impossible to be on the beach there and not take a shot of probably the most photographed spot in the area, St Michaels Mount.. so naturally being rigged for Monochrome shooting I took the opportunity..

Whilst reviewing the shot a couple walked up the beach and I spotted this opportunity and it (for me) brought the image to life.. these are the opportunities many of us miss in todays Big Brother Style environment where every photographer is looked at suspiciously…

 Turning round I spotted the bridge and thought I’d try a close up shot in Monochrome

Well that almost draws this post to a close, though I’ve no doubts at all I’ll be back to this as there’s so much more to learn and explore in the world of Monochrome, but the mood needs to be right :).. here’s my final shot from this sequence, Hells mouth farm, or more to the point the wonderful Scots Pine(I think) Jinned by nature giving perfect contrast to the landscape.. Hope you enjoyed my little experiment.. I certainly did.

Cheers – Mel

Harbour Lights

Less Publicised than its Neighbour, but in many ways more meaningful serene and if anything more full of feeling are the Lights at Newlyn Harbour..

I’d been reading some things on White Balance and realised that these twinkling Lights that we’ve often tried to photograph and never really got the true feeling into the shots, were actually Tungsten – Incandescant, and as such maybe the same white balance setting as for Tungsten Lamps in the studio might just enhance them.. well worth a try at Least.

I called in at Newlyn Tonight and took a walk around the harbour, if you haven’t done that at Dusk as the harbour starts to sleep from the days Bustle, then I can heartily recommend it.. to be honest by the time I got back to the van I cared little as to whether the shots were good or not. there’s a beautiful tranquil feeling dwells in the harbour at night and I suppose in many ways its like the mothers arms caring holding protecting and keeping safe all those who rest in there.

So all in all I was pleased to see on my return home and offloading the Raw images that Yes they were much more sparkly, more alive and the reflections too jumped out of the water at you, the only problem was… Next time I’ll use a tripod lol.. 20th/sec at 800 ISO.. not easyto avoid camera shake.. still there’s a couple of the better ones here for you.. make your own judgement…

Harbour Lights 2

Harbour Lights 2

Mel

Hello Friends

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