Busy, chilly day in York, walking walls, visiting Vikings and climbing castles.

York is great. So much to see, do and learn. It’s even better when the weather is crisp and clear:



We’re grabbing a quick pizza before the kids fall asleep in the car on the way back to Sheffield. This will happen, because I have marched them all over the city for the past eight hours.

It has been fun though.

Winter Landscape Photography Tips

Yes, I’m aware that it’s not winter in South Africa, but it’s very wintery here and if you are here, you might need to take some landscape pictures to record just how wintery it is right now. Fortunately, 500px has all the hints and tips you need to to take the perfect winter lanscape photograph. Unfortunately, much like their previous tutorials, it does seem to be advantageous to live in Scandinavia as a starting point. This effort of the Lofoten Islands by Stian Klo refers:


Sadly, we’re fresh out of fjords here right now.
Still, while out on the hunt for snow this morning in the hills above Sheffield, I did get this, which I quite like:

It would probably look even better if I hadn’t just juxtaposed it with the best example of a professional landscape photographer’s winter landscape photography like I just did. Honest.

But it was bleak up there at Redmires this morning, so there wasn’t much opportunity to get much else as the wet, cold, near-horizontally blown snow closed in and chilled the kids towards an ugly and early hypothermic death. They’re not used to those sort of temperatures and I have to admit that I was struggling to hold the camera (or anything else) in the face of the icy blast. It wasn’t even nice snow – it was wet and heavy – but that didn’t bother them. They’ve never seen anything like it before and it was fascinating to watch their reactions.

As for my winter landscape photography, it’s back to the drawing board – and the holiday home in Norway – for me.
(Although in the meantime, I continue to update this Flickr set.)

Photos up

For those who have been eagerly awaiting some photos from our trip, they’re now available on Flickr.

Look, it’s winter and it’s cold, but we have already had a few nice days and today isn’t looking too bad either.


But the cold and the winter is what we’re here for, so that’s just perfect.

Today: a bit of local industrial heritage at the Kelham Island Museum in town. Tomorrow, some Viking stuff in York.

Oh no we didn’t…

Fantastic treat for the kids (and for the adults) today as we went down to see Dick Whittington at the Lyceum in Sheffield.


It was typically loud and brash, with plenty of audience participation and an excellent bawdy Dame with so many off the cuff quips which the kids missed completely, thank goodness.

Times be busy, yo, but for those who are interested, I’ll try and get some photos onto Flickr this evening (although I promise nothing).

Old & New

This is from late last month on the now infamous (for 6000 miles… readers, at least) BrianMicklethwaitDotCom blog, and I also shared it on twitter, but I really do like it and since we’re due in London shortly, I think it needs a mention on here as well.


Click for bigger.

That’s one of the Towers of the Tower of London in the foreground. As Brian’s post explains:

It is not clear exactly when work started on the Conqueror’s White Tower or precisely when it was finished but the first phase of building work was certainly underway in the 1070s.
Nothing quite like it had ever been seen in England before. The building was immense, at 36m x 32.5m (118 x 106ft) across, and on the south side where the ground is lowest, 27.5m (90ft) tall. The Tower dominated the skyline for miles around.

And of course the Shard in the background (at 308m (1010ft) in height), also dominating the skyline for miles around. But that’s where the similarities end. It’s actually a photo full of contrasts: old opposed with new, short with tall, dark against light, solidity versus crystalline translucence. I love it.

And for all our technological progress, I have to ask – will the Shard still be there in 940 years?
I doubt it.