Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Graptodytes sp

I have been sent some water beetles by Will Watson which are proving quite hard to photograph. They are only a few millimetres in length and are a member of the Dytiscidae which are diving beetles. The difficulty is that they will not keep still for more than a few seconds and seem to be constantly on the go.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Alpujarra holiday

A refreshing breeze blows through the olive groves at Alan and Tina's house at the western end of the Alpujarra valley near Orgive in Spain. I have just witnessed the weekly event of water cascading down the acequias which are irrigation channels built by the Romans. The temperature is 36 degees Centigrade and the Cicadas are singing their heads off. The water splits into smaller channels and ends up as pools of water in the vegetable garden or washing around the roots of mature trees.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Retro Blog 1960

The children are on a walk in Surrey heathland probably Tunnel Hill, Angus Ekserdjian is on the left, he became an eminent barrister, next is Richard Ramage he is a senior librarian, Julian Stammers is a musician and artist, David Ekserdjian on the right is Professor of Art History at Leicester University.

A family walk while on holiday in Cornwall, from the left my sister Susie who worked in the pop music industry during the sixties and had a long association with the Rolling Stones, Julian, mum, dad, Mabs Ekserdjian and David Ekserdjian.

The watersplash or ford in Chobham on the river Bourne was a favourite spot for picnics, my father had the bright idea of driving along the river, which we had done before but this time he underestimated the depth and got stuck, hence the disgruntled looks!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Art Exhibition

The vibrancy of Eloise Govier's work speaks for itself, with broad strokes of the palette knife she creates canvases of arresting beauty. Pendre Art Gallery Cardigan info@pendreart.com

Monday, 29 June 2009

Blasts from the Past

I have discovered a quick and easy way to digitize old negatives using a nikon PS5,PB4 bellows, and D300 camera. Although a film scanner will give a superior result, it is a real faff to use and takes ten times as long, by using a DSLR you literally take a photograph of each negative and then invert them and clean them up in photoshop. For many years I have been wanting to review all the millions of photos that I have taken over the past fifty years or so, but by using a film scanner this would be a daunting task. Therefore I intend to take a few pages of negatives from my film archive every day and with minimum messing about blast through them with my d300 and publish as a retro blog. It is a bit like peeling back the layers of a geological deposit the oldest records are at the bottom and the youngest are at the top. So I will begin the retro blog with the first photographs I ever took as a child, my first camera at the age of eleven years was a Kodak folding camera bought at a jumble sale, quickly followed by an Agfa Isolette which was then exchanged for a Kodak Retina. All of which took acceptable pictures but when I was about thirteen my father bought me for my birthday a secondhand Zeiss Ikon Contaflex which was a twin lens reflex 35mm camera with a fantastic quality lens. So I was very lucky to have a decent camera at a young age, I remember my Englsh teacher at St Andrews prep school, Chris Mertens, said he was very envious!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Recently bought the original edition of Directory of British Fossiliferous Localities on ebay, it mentions an interesting fossil collecting site at HaroldstonWest on the south Pembrokeshire coast. After an hours drive to Broadhaven, my friend Marek and myself head off North along the beach looking at the rocks. The sea was very rough with impressive white horses in dazzling spring sunshine. We were looking for features mentioned in the guide such as Sleek Rock,Black Nose and Settling Nose.
The first feature before Sleek rock was a sea stack made of Carboniferous shales, this had a number of Choughs flying over it battling with the high wind.
After enjoying the views headed on to Settling Rock which is noted for a marine band of Goniatites called Gastrioceras subcrenatum, on the way a local told us that there was a minor earthquake there a hundred years ago which has exposed lots of bedrock which is still in an unsettled state - hence the name.
The walk down the scree slope was fairly hazardous but also very beautiful with well exposed layers of sandstone and shale. A good search revealed no Goniatites although they must be there somewhere, next time maybe! After returning home had a great meal of scallops with chilled white wine