Sound Cafe Request

You’ll need to know a few things for this blog post:

1. There’s a place on the Isle of Man called The Sound. There’s a cafe there.
2. On the cafe building is a webcam, which one can view through the Manx Radio Webcams page (it’s the one on the bottom left, between Port Erin and Port St Mary).
3. It was very hot in Cape Town yesterday, and very cold in the Isle of Man. I wanted to apply this principle. But the webcam lens was very dirty (sea spray, rain, sleet etc).

Problem.

Or was it? Because I dropped the cafe a quick message on Facebook:

Fastyr mie from Cape Town, South Africa. It’s 40-odd degrees here and I’m craving something cooler. I recognise that it’s pretty chilly there today and I’m not sure how accessible it is, but if you could give the webcam lens a quick wipe, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

(Fastyr mie being Manx gaelic for Good Afternoon – I can like to be locally polite in my salutations.)

And almost instantaneously, got this back:

We’ll have a go…. it’s not exactly accessible but we’ll give it a whirl ?

That, I think I am right in saying, is the spirit.

And they did it too, before responding again:

Marginally better… ?

But it was actually much better:

Allowing me not only to see the drama of the waves crashing onto Kitterland, but even the (rather less dramatic) Stena Precision en route to Belfast from Birkenhead (on the horizon, far left).

And yes, there’s still a bit of muck in the corners, but the weather is clearly a bit wild there at the moment and like they said, the webcam is “not exactly accessible”.

All in all, a great effort and really amazing service.

Aquarium blog inclusion (part II)

After my Pink Meanie photos illustrated the Aquarium’s Pink Meanie blog post a couple of months ago, some of my Yoshi photos (and a bit of my blog) (the bit mentioning a beagle) have made it onto their Yoshi memories blog post.

All of which is… you know… turtley brilliant.

2017’s 100 “Top Tweets”

There’s still over a month of 2017 to go, but Buzzfeed has already gone for something of a Top 100 with their:

100 Tweets That Made British People Piss Themselves In 2017

list, boldly proclaiming that:

These tweets were the only good things to happen this year

I am not a fan of these sort of listicles, but I was irritated to find myself actually enjoying some (or more) of these. And in the vast majority of cases, you don’t have to be a British People to find them funny.

Stuff like (best done in Stephen Fry voice):

and:

Plenty of fun for all the family. Go and have a look.
(And note that you’ve still got the whole of December to get yourself a place on the list!)

Galactic editing

After I posted a photo I took over the weekend, long-suffering reader and all-round top ‘tog Chris J Wormwell (you may remember him from such posts as Chris’ PoA sky & lighthouse p0rn and The photo that I wanted to share yesterday but couldn’t because the dog ate the internet) got in touch with some sage advice:

This was a huge help and step forward for me recently: https://www.lonelyspeck.com/how-to-process-milky-way-astrophotography-in-adobe-lightroom/

I clicked through, and was rewarded with a step-by-step guide to making this photo:

look better:

And it only took me ten minutes or so.

Some points from my experience:
I think the photo looks much better.
Note that all that stuff was there in the original – you just couldn’t see it.
If I can do it, so can you.
The guide was really helpful.
I now know that I will need to take a better photo next time if I want to make it even better.
But also, I now know how to do that.
There are loads of other ideas for night photography on that site that I haven’t had chance to look at yet.

A(nother) new door has been opened. Thanks, Chris.

Landscapes

If I take photos of local mountains and stuff, a lot of the time, they are actually landsCapes, because of where I live: Cape Town. So, landsCapes… Capes.

Geddit?

Fortuitously, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the recently announced Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 awards in the UK, “showcasing Britain’s eclectic landscapes”, and being reported about in The Guardian.

Now obviously, all the images that they’ve given us in the article are really good, they’re unlikely to lob an Owen Crompton in there or anything, so having looked at the brief, I’ve chosen a couple of my favourites which fit it nicely to share here. Click through on the link above if you want to see the rest. It’s not rocket science, folks.

First up, George Robertson’s The Cauldron, the industrial landscape of Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. It won the “Urban” category:

And then, about 150km south of there, across the border into civilisation (although you might not think it by comparing the images), Ken Rennie’s The Raven. (That being the name of the boat in the photograph.)

Quite glorious, both. And a reminder that while South Africa and other countries may have the natural features, the outstanding beauty and the drama on an altogether more impressive scale, the UK can still have its moments.