Monday, 17 December 2012

Southwark Bridge, London and Santacon

Walked along the South Bank at the weekend, breathing in the smell of cheap gluwein and hot dogs whilst travelling in the opposite direction to the epic Santacon - a flash-mob of thousands of Santas.

We must have brushed shoulders with hundreds if not thousands of santas making their way along the South Bank, occassionally stopping for the odd beverage.

Anyway, came to Southwark Bridge at twilight and it looked great.  It's  just been restored.  I'm such a sucker for colourful lights.  Pathetic really.  I had no camera on me, just my old iPhone to take a few snaps:

Southwark Bridge London at Night

Southwark Bridge London at Night

Southwark Bridge London at Night

Friday, 7 December 2012

Dartmoor after the Rain

It has been wet start to winter on Dartmoor.  More squelching and squerching with Cosmo.  Roll on some snow.
Dartmoor in Black and White

I'm getting all excited about Infra-Red photography again, after all these years.

Infra-red photography is when you use black and white film that has an extended sensisitivity to the "Near Infra-Red".  Normally, film is sensitive just to the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum (between about 250 to 680 nm wavelength), these are called 'panchromatic' films.  Infra-red films extend this sensitivity by another 200 nm, passed the red and into the near infra-red. (BTW, beyond that is the "Far infra-red" which is what we feel as heat.)

The effect is that colours come out differently; blues reflect virtually no IR light, so appear void of light (ie black) whilst greens reflect lots and appear very light.

Although I am using digital RAW files, their spectral sensitivity enables me to play with digital 'filters' to achieve similar effects.

Anyway, I'll be doing more, so next time, you'll know why they photographs look different.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Dartmoor Granite

There's nothing quite like the unmistakeable look of weathered granite; Dartmoor's knobbly hilltops or 'Tors' are the exposed part of a massive granite intrusion known as a batholith. ("Excuse me, said the sedimentaries, we were here first, leave us alone." "No" said the granite.)  This was about 300 million years ago, when manners weren't as finely tuned.

No prizes for the three main minerals - feldspar, quartz and mica.  But who knows what the really big feldspar crystals are called?   Anyone?  You at the back?  Yes! "phenocrysts".  I didn't know that, either.

The Dartmoor tor shape was formed mainly around 50 million years ago during a time of hot humid climate (yeah, right) when intense weathering shaped the granite.

Dartmoor Granite Tor

Apparently, for the last 2 million years we have been in the grip of 'ice-age' conditions, with little bits of warmer weather in-between.  Well, I beg to differ.  I think a new geological era known as "Wetocene" should be recognised.  Let's face it, we are in the 'grip' of a maxi rain-age with little bits of dry in between.