The Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is an outdoor theatre overlooking the sea at Porthcurno in Cornwall.
It was the life’s work of Rowena Cade from the first performance of “The Tempest” in 1932 until her death in 1983 at the age of 89.  Initially assisted by her gardener, Billy Rawlings, Miss Cade was subsequently helped by Charles Angove.  The theatre is now managed by a charitable trust and puts on events from Easter to October every year.
The theatre is open to visit on days when there is no performance.

IMG_9177View of the bay from the top of the cliff, just outside the theatre.

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Looking down onto the beach.

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Once inside, this is the view down to the stage.

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Moving down further…

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…and further.

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Looking back up to where the audience will sit on the grass-covered seats.

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Seats on the other side – each showing the name and year of a past production.

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The stage, with the spectacular view of the bay behind.

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All photographs were taken using a Canon EOS 60D with the 18-55mm “kit” lens and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

Sharpenhoe Butterflies

Another Hitchin Camera Club summer meeting saw us heading off to Sharpenhoe Clappers in the Chiltern Hills to do some ‘butterfly hunting’.

I used my 100mm Macro lens and set the camera to underexpose by two stops to darken the background but then used the camera’s pop-up flash to light up the subjects.  I believe the butterflies were all Chalk Hill Blues.

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Two for the price of one.

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IMG_9034This was a bee, not a butterfly!

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Dan and Mike

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The Sun sets over the Bedfordshire countryside and it’s time to go to the pub!

 

 

Birthday Bug Hunt

How else should you spend the morning of your 60th birthday but go on a bug-hunt with members of your camera club at a local nature reserve?
Duck End Nature Reserve in Maulden is only about 15 minutes drive from where I live, but I hadn’t known it was there before.

All photographs were taken with a Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, but some serious cropping was needed on some of them!

Damselfly
Damselfly
Grasshopper and Bindweed
Grasshopper and Bindweed
Ringlet
Ringlet
Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly
Fly on Blossom
Fly on Blossom
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Fellow Bug-Hunters
Fellow Bug-Hunters

 

Seaside Rendezvous

As part of the Polperro Festival, Cornish Queen tribute band “The Good old Fashioned Lover Boys” played a free set in a marquee in the village square.  I had no idea what to expect but they were actually really good!

IMG_8677Tim Kellow as Freddie Mercury

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Scott Lawlor as Brian May

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Liam Bennett as Roger Taylor

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Sian Kelly as John Deacon

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Jack Callow as Spike Edney

And – always good to turn the camera on the crowd!

Cornwall – June 2019

Another visit to our favourite place in the world – Cornwall!

Looe
We stayed in a cottage just north of Looe.  The twin towns of East and West Looe are separated by the estuary.

Jamaica Inn
The old coaching inn in the middle of Bodmin Moor was made famous by Daphne Du Maurier in her novel of the same name.

 

Mevagissey
The fishing port of Mevagissey lies around 5 miles south of St. Austell.  The village has very narrow streets so it’s best to leave your car at the car park at the top and walk down into the village.  The twin harbour is very distinctive.

 

Polperro
Another fishing village with narrow streets, Polperro is just down the road from Looe.  It was the week of the Polperro Festival while we were down there and we witnessed an excellent performance by a Cornish “Queen” tribute band – that deserves its own blog post so more on that later!

Boscastle
Boscastle is another fishing village – this time on the north coast.   Now fully rebuilt after the devastating flash flood that washed cars and buildings into the sea in 2004.

One week in Cornwall isn’t long enough.  We shall return….

 

Bedford River

The river embankment in Bedford is always a pleasant place for a Sunday-afternoon walk with the camera.

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The Embankment Bridge

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View from the Embankment Bridge

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The Longholme – a good place to stop for a coffee and a cake.  They also hire out boats.

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The boating lake – view from the Longholme.

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The Butterfly Bridge

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Some cygnets on the grass next to the river.

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But don’t get too close – Dad is keeping guard.

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A crowd of Canadians – I think a group of geese is called a “gaggle”.

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The waterfowl are occasionally disturbed by the odd canoe.

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And back again.

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The Swan Hotel.

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The Weir.   Why are those logs there?

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View From a Bridge – the boat had just passed underneath.

Whitwell Steam Fair 2019

The first Whitwell Steam Fair was held in 1998, in the village of Whitwell from which it takes its name, before moving to a larger site owned by the Bowes Lyon family in nearby St. Paul’s Walden.  Since 2008 it has been held in Mansell’s Farm in Codicote.  The Steam Fair is held to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support and features working steam engines as well as classic cars, tractors, military vehicles & motorcycles.

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Crimson Lady  – a Burrell Traction Engine, built in 1927.

IMG_8445-EditStanley Steam Car – c.1911

IMG_8403Hogwart – half-size model based on the famous road locomotive ‘Boadicea’ which was a WW1 heavy gun towing engine.

IMG_8420-EditThe Gaffer – Clayton & Shuttleworth General Purpose Engine, built in 1910

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Fortunately not much to do for the medic!

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Dad’s Army?  A display by the Hertfordshire Home Guard Living History Group

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John Fowler

IMG_8457-EditThe Blacksmith

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The Gaffer (again)

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Keeping it clean & Shiny

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Crimson Wheel

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Green spinning wheels.

IMG_8511-EditThe Little Giant

IMG_8413-EditHaving a chat

IMG_8513-EditFoden C Type scale model

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Enjoying the ride!  (They’re in a carriage being pulled by a horse.)

Scavenger Hunt

The first of Hitchin Camera Club’s summer meetings was a “Scavenger Hunt” around the streets of Hitchin.   About 20 of us took part and we had two hours to find and photograph 25 items on a list, before retiring to the Cooper’s Arms in Tilehouse Street for a pint (or two!).

The intention was to shoot the images with a view to cropping them into a square format so they could be displayed as a 5 x 5 grid.  I used my Panasonic DMC-TZ70 rather than my DSLR because I could set that to shoot in square format.  This was a big help in framing the shot when I took it and also saved a lot of time cropping later!

I found a bit of creativity was needed to get some of the subjects.  Here are my efforts:

01 Gareth BluePlaque
A Blue plaque

02 Gareth Brick
The word “Brick”

03 Gareth TwoPhotogs
Two photographers

04 Gareth StrangeHand
A stranger’s hand

05 Gareth reflect
Your reflection

06 Gareth YellowFlower
A yellow flower

07 Gareth OldWriting
Old Writing

08 Gareth RepeatPattern
A repeating pattern

09 Gareth GoingGreen
“Going Green”

10 Gareth Symmetry
Symmetry

11 Gareth Pushmepullyounicorn
An animal with 6 or more legs

12 Gareth Bird
A bird in flight

13 Gareth Empty
Something empty

14 Gareth RadialLines
Radial Lines

15 Gareth Q(ueenStreet)
Something beginning with Q

16 Gareth YellowDoor
A yellow front door

17 Gareth Graffiti
Graffiti

18 Gareth Spanish
Something Spanish

19 Gareth Logo
The Hitchin logo

20 Gareth Window
A small window

21 Gareth StreetLight
An interesting street light

22 Gareth ColouredTiles
A coloured tile

23 Gareth Time
The Time

24 Gareth Ironworks
Ironworks

25 Gareth HistoricDate
A historic date

Luton Carnival 2019

It was the late May bank holiday weekend which meant that it was time for the Luton Carnival.  As per the last few years, the carnival procession took a circular route around Wardown Park, starting and ending on the New Bedford Road.  This year I positioned myself near the start rather than half-way round as I had done in previous years.  Besides meaning there was less waiting for the procession to arrive, it also meant that the various groups were a bit closer together and they hadn’t had the time to spread out along the route.

All photographs taken with a Canon EOS 60D with a Tamron 70-300 lens and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

Lavenham

Lavenham is a picturesque village in Suffolk with a large number of Tudor buildings.

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The Priory

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Lamp and Beams

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Wisteria Wall

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The Crooked House – now a tea room

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De Vere House – once stayed in by Henry VII and also used in the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

P1020484The conversation

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There was a 1940s weekend on at the time.

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Hats

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Red and White

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I thought this close up of a wall made a good “abstract”

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Stained glass window in the church.

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Lavenham Lady – cropped from the “Hats” photograph above.

All photographs taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70.