Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 March 2018


Sue and I recently got around, rather hurriedly at the last minute, to entering the Austrian Alpine Club’s 2017 annual photography competition.

There are several categories:

  • General, divided into Best Mountain Landscape/Wild Country, and Best Portrait/People
  • Nature
  • Typical Austria

The entries were judged by previous winner Malcolm Imhoff FRPS who is not only one of the regular entrants to this competition but also a highly respected photographer with many national and international photographic awards.

He judged my photo taken with my Samsung S5 phone to be the Best Mountain Landscape/Wild Country image, commenting as follows:

‘A beautiful scene, well captured - a calendar shot!. The exposure is well handled and the colours nicely saturated. The image is nicely composed, with a lead in from the bottom left to the lakes, then across the mountain peaks, which are taller at the sides helping the frame the picture. There is a lovely blue sky with cumulus clouds.’

I think the S5 has to take some of the credit….


I don’t think Sue rated her ‘Edelweiss’ picture as her most likely chance of success, but Malcolm awarded her a Highly Commended Certificate in the Nature category, commenting as follows:

‘Well this jumps out at you. Edelweiss are small tatty things but these are enormous and quite beautiful, so well done to the photographer for getting in so close and capturing them. The flowers stand out well against the dark background but there are quite a few pointy blades of grass which distract and could easily be removed. It's called "gardening".’

This was a carefully composed shot using her Canon Powershot G15.


Sue’s other entries are shown below:

General: Cape Verde Angels


General: Shades of Blue


General: Washing day in Cape Verde


Nature: Feeding fritillary


Typical Austria: A cosy hearth


Typical Austria: Water power


Here are my other entries, for what they are worth…

General: Austrian Hiker


General: Morning View from Heinrich Schwaiger Haus


General: Resting below Bonn Matreier Hut


Nature: Cloud Over Kaprun


Nature: Wintergasse glacier melt


Typical Austria: Krefelder Hikers


Typical Austria: Lobbentorl


Friday, 28 July 2017

A New Camera - Panasonic Lumix TZ90


Unfortunately my Canon G16 was injured when I tripped in Austria, giving me the familiar words of death that I’ve experienced on my previous ‘G’ range of cameras:


It was nearly four years old. I could never get it to talk to our computers, nor would the wifi work, but the camera performed ok. (I don’t regard myself as a photographer.)

I clearly needed a replacement for a forthcoming trip, and an estimated repair cost for insurance purposes. Mike Parsons recommended a company called Wilkinson Cameras, who have a shop in Warrington. So I popped down there on Tuesday, got good service, and bought this new camera, which is pretty much a direct replacement for the Canon, but with a longer lens.

An engineer’s report would be needed for the repair cost of the old camera, but the shop reckoned that could be about £150. For a four year old camera – probably not worth it, but the insurers wanted that information, and my policy gives them the opportunity to apply wear and tear and depreciation costs to any claim. Anyway, I sent all the stuff off to Ageas, who deal with Snowcard Insurance’s claims. We have a £50 excess. The Canon cost £300 four years ago. So I was happy to agree to Ageas’s offer to settle the claim for £250, and the money was sent to my bank on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time I’ve claimed under our annual Snowcard policy, and all the claims have been dealt with in this speedy and effective manner.

You’ll see that I bought a hard case for the new camera. It was a surprise that my old Camera Care soft case didn’t provide sufficient protection for the G16.

Thanks go to Mike for his assistance. There are lots of products out there to choose from, and others will have different requirements from me. I just hope the TZ90 proves as easy to use as the FT4 waterproof camera that I have from Lumix – the images from that aren’t particularly high quality, but it enables me to take pictures on wet days and has accompanied me on a good many TGO Challenge walks.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Center Parcs 2016 – The Photographic Competition – The Results

Readers may recall that following the cancellation of our ‘Hydro-Bikes’ activity at Center Parcs, a Photographic Competition was initiated by way of a replacement activity.

Five of us took part, and our entries were uploaded for judging by an old friend of mine who is fresh from taking 1000 images in 1000 days. They were very good.  I’m not sure how to access them as an album, but you could try .

Alison judged the entries as follows:

Overall Winner – Sue, with ‘Looking Over the Silvery Water’


Runner up and Best Wildlife – Robert, with ‘Swan Lake (1)


Highly Commended and Best Portrait – Robert, with ‘Band Played On’


Highly Commended and Best Action – Stuart, with ‘Flying Over the Net’


Commended – Martin, with ‘The Lonely Goose’


Commended – Sue, with ‘A Sparkle Tree’


Commended – Stuart, with ‘Squirrel with a Nut’


Well done, everyone except Lyn, who will no doubt be booking herself onto another photography course sometime soon! (Hard luck, Lyn.)

The Awards will be formally presented later this year at a special ceremony.

The full album, with an indication in the captions (if you can find them in horrible Google+) of who took each picture, is .

Friday, 27 March 2015

Austrian Alpine Club Photo Competition - 2014

Readers may recall a diplomatic incident several years ago when I entered a winning photo in the AAC competition. ‘Butterflyfest’ had actually been taken by Sue!

We judged the competition the following year and submitted our 2013 entry too late. But we recently submitted a fairly random selection of snaps taken in 2014.

It’s not a big contest, and the winners simply receive certificates. This year just 21 members sent in a total of 128 images, including 4 sketches.

The hasty and random selection of the images, coupled with my very average snapping skills, meant I had no expectations of success. Sue and I each submitted 5 entries.

Yesterday the results were announced, with some 20 of the 128 images, taken by 13 of the 21 entrants, receiving awards or commendations.

Sue was pleased to discover that one of her pictures was commended, though on this occasion I missed out.

The pictures we submitted are shown in chronological order below. Can you spot Sue’s commended entry?

Wild Camp at Annat

Lochan na h-Earba

Long Flowered Primrose

Round-leaved Saxifrage

Botany Calling

Sassongher Awaits

Crocodile in Badia

Rhaetian Poppy

Mountain Houseleek

Marsh Helleborine

The Austrian Alpine Club has several thousand members. Membership includes some insurance cover and members receive 50% discounts on their accommodation in affiliated mountain huts, so it’s worth joining for no other reason if you are going to spend a week or so in such ‘huts’.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Autumn Colours


I haven’t seen too much of the autumn colours this year, but these golden beech leaves overhanging the Leeds & Liverpool Canal couldn’t fail to catch my eye today.

Monday, 30 December 2013

A New Canon G16 Camera, and ‘Nerves of Steel’


In 2008 I replaced my broken Canon Powershot S70 with a G10, which entered these pages in a blaze of publicity, here, here, and here.

The G10’s lens sadly failed whilst on Leagag on 25 September 2011.

That was replaced with the G12, which expired recently after just a shade over two years’ hard use.

I’m a sucker for punishment, so I chose the devil I knew, and ordered a G16, the latest in this series, to replace the G12, in which the lens had disintegrated internally.

Meanwhile, Sue has gone through a G9 (still functional but she scratched the lens) and is now on the G15, which was an option for me, but it would be too confusing for us to have identical cameras.

The G16 has a new sensor, and Wi-fi, so the box contents have shrunk greatly from S70/G10 days – there are no CDs, all instructions being on-line, and no leads other than the battery charger’s, which unfortunately is rather bulky.

I ordered the camera from a company called Simply Electronics, for a remarkably good price.  They took my money but nothing happened.  Queries were acknowledged and received standard, unhelpful, replies. Internet research revealed that I wasn’t the only person having problems, and I regretted not doing this research before I placed the order.

‘You need nerves of steel to deal with this company’ seemed to be the consensus.

I’d paid by credit card, so referred the problem – failure to deliver in the time scale indicated – to my bank’s Retailer Disputes Team, who were helpful.

Then, unexpectedly, the camera arrived, three weeks later than the advertised delivery time.  A pleasant surprise!  Not quite the end of the story, though, as the box didn’t contain a warranty card.  However, I’m assured by Canon that this won’t be needed if the camera does fail within twelve months.  I hope I don’t have to test that assurance.

I haven’t used the camera yet, as I’m finding my waterproof Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 to be a good performer in the showery weather.

We are still waiting for our ‘Good Customers’ award from Canon!

Friday, 17 August 2012



This image, taken on 6 July 2011 near San Giacomo in the Maritime Alps, was entered in the Austrian Alpine Club’s 2011 Photographic Competition, and gained the Nature Award.

I reported on that trip here.

But there was a serious faux pas on my part, as the photo now appears to have been taken with Sue’s camera.  I’m in trouble, especially as ‘Butterflyfest’ won the ‘First Time Entry’ category, beating ‘Reflections’ (indisputably my picture), which was Runner-up in that category.  So this year’s entries will have to be submitted in Sue’s name, but will be up against Paul, who is about to depart for Mayrhofen and takes better pictures than we do….

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012



This image, taken on 10 August 2011 at a lakelet near Cabane de Chanrion, on the Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, was entered in the Austrian Alpine Club’s 2011 Photographic Competition, and gained the Mountain Landscape/Wild Country Award, following a Slide Presentation at the Club’s AGM, 2012.

I reported on that trip here.

(This is just to cheer people up, as it’s going to rain tomorrow!)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Curious Brothers

The Curious Brothers - two ibex in the Maritime Alps

I entered this image of two young ibex in the Austrian Alpine Club Photo Competition (2011).  It didn’t win anything.

However, it’s more interesting than the pictures from Timperley this week, where I’ve been ensconced at home whilst our garden fence has been most effectively replaced by Ian, Mickey and Jay, from CL Fencing Services.  At least that gave me a chance to print our maps for next week’s TGO Challenge and order a few consumables from Bob and Rose, Webtogs, and others.  Annoyingly, the closure of Milletts in Altrincham leaves us with no local outdoors shop, so I’ll have to go into Manchester to buy new boot laces and proofer.

There still seems lots of ‘House Admin’ to do before we set off this time next week to start The Challenge, but I’ll try to make one or two postings in the meantime before the routine of daily ‘mobile blogging’ takes over.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine 'flu, a fine camera and the TGO Challenge

Now, these topics aren't related, but they are current. 

Phil's entertaining entry on:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't Panic!

is here.  It's well worth a read.

Want a good camera?  Have a look at Bill Lockhart's blog for his first impressions of what looks like a nice piece of kit.  A 'trifle' expensive though.

Bill's 'Visions from my world' video is well worth viewing.  I won't embarrass myself by adding an image to this posting, I'll leave you to click on Bill's images, which are in a different league.

The TGO Challenge.  It has come up as our next trip, so I have to busy myself over the next few days finalising our route, buying train tickets, sorting accommodation, printing some maps, gathering provisions, and throwing some kit together - I hope there's no need for anything new, as I suspect it wouldn't arrive in time.  I just hope the Toughprint paper turns up.

So these pages may go a little quiet for a few days - but I do soon hope to provide some route details.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Thursday 16 October 2008 - A Postcard

Timperley is a residential satellite of Manchester - the city centre being about 8 miles away, full of streets like this with the 3-bed semis, built on farmland in the 1930s, that are home to many of us.

Not terribly exciting, but judging by this shot most folk have employment, and beyond the houses on the right the Bridgewater Canal provides a green corridor to the countryside.  Relatively short drives lead to the Peaks, Dales, Lakes, Snowdonia and the pleasant pastures of Cheshire and Lancashire. 

It's a two minute walk to the tram station from here - the amenities of Manchester being about 20 minutes away.

Not at all a bad place to live.

Today the G10 came jogging down the canal towpath with me - these rather manky hawthorn berries being the best subject I could find for testing the camera.  The test album (camera geeks only - and not really much use to them, I suspect) is here.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Canon Powershot G10 - first test

Garden flower  1/320 ISO800 f2.8 Here's the first image - a flower in our front garden - 1/320 at ISO 800 and f4.0.

Seems ok to me!

Only camera geeks need read on:

I took two other pictures of flowers, and then indoors - 6 pictures of the same poster displayed on the monitor, using different ISO settings. For anyone interested (eg Robert, from ? - I don't recognise the language on your blog, Robert!) I have uploaded them to a Picasa album here. This album includes later experiments with the G10.
But I'm not an expert in this area - to find proper reviews of the G10 you should go elsewhere. Bill Lockhart's blog may be a good place to start. I for one will be following his reports on using this camera. I just hope I can get some photos even half as good as his. His comments on the G10 as at 19 October 2008 are here.

It was breezy outside - that's may be why the second flower (at 1/80) is poor. Rain forced me indoors where the camera was placed on its little tripod about 50 cm from the monitor. The 6 photos were taken using the AV setting and the different ISO settings from that dial. I don't have a remote shutter device, so just touching the camera may have resulted in the poor quality of the first 4 images. Those at ISO 800 and 1600 are crisper but the colours aren't as good.

I usually use photoshop to crop images and 'save for web' with a border and occasional adjustments. For the purpose of this test, the images are exactly as downloaded from the camera - set on large (4416x3312px) images.

What would you like me to do next by way of a test that is meaningful to you, Robert? I'm not used to doing this sort of thing!

22 October - here's another small album.  The pictures were taken using SCN on the mode dial and then twirling the control dial to the appropriate setting (landscape, foliage, etc).  No tripod was used, and the stitching is visible in the panorama shot (photostitch was used).  The only adjustments were a bit of cropping.  The sun was shining brightly on the information board, so I'm pleased that the text on it is readable.  The train is a photo of a 48 year old faded 5" x 3" snapshot I took on Stafford station with an old box camera.  There's a bit of reflection, and I appreciate that some effort in photoshop could improve this image; but it still looks better than the original!

5 November - I'll be putting some more images up - from our Egypt trip - soon, but these will be a mixture of G9 and G10 images.  Meanwhile Bill Lockhart has some more images here, and Michael Reichmann has some observations on the G10 here.  These two people appear to be respected photographers so I defer to their skills and recommend that those of you visiting this blog only for the purpose of seeking comments on the G10's performance should take heed of their observations and images, rather than my own. 

However, I would add that I continue to enjoy my new purchase, it is so much better than my old S70.

Monday 13 October 2008 - The Canon Powershot G10 Lands in Timperley - Hooray

1301G10Well, what a surprise!

A call from Kamera (Equipment Express) in Altrincham alerted me to their first delivery of the G10. They only had five, so I'm glad I got my name down early. The price was cheaper than expected, and as I already had a case, they kindly swapped that for a bigger memory card which indicated that it will fit over 1000 high resolution images.

The expected availability date, 31 October (see my earlier posting on the subject), was subject to change, and I assumed it would be a change for the worse. How refreshing to discover that they have actually underpromised on everything (except, I hope, quality).

I can't find any reviews of the camera, so have taken a bit of a flier I suppose, but it looks good to me.

I'm up to page 30 of the 300 page manual. The snap above was taken with the old Olympus C-220, but the G10 will soon be in action. Rather a lot more reading is necessary as well!

There are some links to images here.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Tuesday 30 September 2008 - A Real Camera Shop

3002camera Another visit to town saw me tracking down Jem Kime at The Real Camera Co, Sevendale House, 7 Dale Street, Manchester M1 1JA.

I left the old Canon S70 with them for a while and returned to find it repaired sufficiently for the lens to stay out all by itself. "The parts are very worn", I was told. So the repair won't last all that long, but at least the camera is now functioning reasonably normally for a modest outlay of £20.

The shop has masses of 'Real Cameras'. But they offered only a fiver for my old
EOS 300, so I'll hang onto that for the time being. They do seem to be enthusiasts, and may well be able to help for minor repairs, as in the case of my S70.

Jem can be contacted at [email protected]

What to do with all the old cameras???

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Canon Powershot G10 Camera


I've noticed that the G10 was announced yesterday. It should be available in the UK in November, though the staff in Wildings, Manchester, had not heard the news yesterday and told me that 'even if it is announced today' (it was) 'it will take until February or March to reach the UK'.

However, Park Cameras and Amazon both expect to have it, for £449, on 31 October, but note that the 'release date' is subject to change.

I would hope to get one from my local retailer, who is always on hand to provide help and advice, and offers prices that compete with the internet and include a 3 year guarantee.

I've been quoted nearly £90 for the repair to my old Powershot S70, so will probably soldier on with it in its broken condition (I have to hold the lens cover very firmly open to make the camera work, as the retaining spring has broken) unless I can get a cheap repair, until I can get my hands on a G10. I already have a brand new CCS protective case for it, thanks to Peewiglet's Plog, and RK Photographic.

I'm tempted to get a DSLR camera, but the bulk and weight - and the excellence of the Powershot range - leads me to favour the latter. The G10 will be more than adequate for my limited skills at taking snapshots. It's the journey I like; the photographic record is an incidental, albeit enjoyable, by-product - not an objective in its own right.

Update - 29 September 2008
I now notice that our local shop,
Kamera (Optical-Express) will be selling the G10 for £400, including 3 year warranty, 4 Gb SD card, tripod and case.

The cheapest I have found is £337 at Digitalrev (unknown provenance) - possibly around £400 when card and warranty, etc are added.

Update - 13 October 2008
It's landed - for £389.99 including 3-year warranty, tripod and 4Gb card.