Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture


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20170626 – Laugh of the Kookaburra

Walk-through Aviary Re-opened

On our two previous visits to Five Sisters Zoo the walk-through aviary was closed due to the threat/possibility of avian – flu. Being a bird lover I think this is one of the best things in a zoo.  It may not be big, but it has loose flying birds which act naturally and not caged.  Admittedly there are cages birds in the zoo, may hap some day they will join the others in the walk-though aviary. On this visit it was as if the Kookaburra was celebrating the re-opening of the Aviary as his/her laughing call could be heard all over the zoo.

(1) Kookaburra

(1)  Head profile of Kookaburra- Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f6.3, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 155 mm,  Shutter 1/250th sec ISO 100 

What Plant?

As we walked up to the Bears’ enclosure we enjoyed the blooms and bushes which surround the walkways.  Indeed the Zoo has a lovely new walk “The Secret Garden” unfortunately we did not get a chance to walk through it as it was still in preparation.  One of the bushes caught our eye and we have been trying to identify it ever since.

(2) What Plant ? – Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f14, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 250 mm,  Shutter 1/320th sec ISO 1600 

(2) What plant?

 Walk with a Bear

We have been lucky this year, seeing the lions and the bears on each visit.  Today it felt as if the bear was giving us a tour of her spacious home which she shares with two other ex-circus (rescued) bears.  Believe me when you read their story you will realise that their caged area is indeed spacious.

(3) Walk with a Bear

(3) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f6.3, Sigma 150-500 mm Zoom @ 500 mm,  Shutter 1/500th sec ISO 800

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

Not far from the bear enclosure the ex circus lions have a spacious pad with a view.  However, like all cats the spend most of their time sleeping.  Seeing the size of their paws I’d just let them sleep.

(4) Let Sleeping Cats Lie

(4) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f5.6, Sigma 150-5000 mm Zoom @ 290 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 200

Stalking Wolf

Across from the lion enclosure the Arctic Wolves normally patrol the perimeter of their space.  This visit coincided with feeding time and gave me the chance to capture a wolf stalking they keeper (who was outside the fence) and the feed bin :).

(5) Stalking Wolf

(5) Stalking Wolf : Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f6.3, Sigma 150-5000 mm Zoom @ 340 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 800

Gallery

Baby fascinated by Ring Tailed Lemur

 


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20170617 – Scottish Youth Festival Final

Scottish Youth Festival Final

Regulars readers will recall that my partner, Susan is heavily involved in the Am-Drama scene in Scotland.  She holds the Posts of

  1. Edinburgh District Secretary
  2. Eastern Divisional Secretary
  3. Member of the SCDA Scene Magazine Committee
  4. Member of the Festivals Committee

SCDA – Scottish Community Drama Association more commonly called, SCDA or Scottish Community Drama hold an annual Youth Drama Festival (1-Act Plays)  and an Open Festival.  In both festivals clubs enter at district level and winners go onto Divisional level.  Winners from Divisional finals go to the Scottish final. Youth teams festival finishes with the Scottish Final.

My involvement is minimal – I take pictures and find the challenge in getting a production shot which shows the actors portrayal of character and not a posed shot and taking into account the stage lighting.

This year the Scottish Youth Final was held at Birnam Arts Centre in Dunkeld and organised by SCDA Northern Division on 17th June 2017.

Kirkintilloch Players:  The Wall

Winners and Scottish Champions SCDA 1-Act Festival 2017 Click here or on image to see full album of The Wall

(1) The Wall  – Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 160 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 3200

(1) Kirkintilloch Players 2017 Scottish Champions SCDA Youth Festival.

 Thurso Players: Box

Box by Linday Price – Performed by Thurso Players at SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival

(2) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 142 mm,  Shutter 1/160th sec ISO 1000 (Click on image for full album)

(2) Thurso Players – Box

Indelible Arts Theatre: Sparkleshark

Indelible Arts Theatre production of Philip Ridley’s Sparkleshark at the SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival

(3) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 102 mm,  Shutter 1/100th sec ISO 1000 (Click on image for full album)1/400th sec ISO 2000

(3) Indelible Arts – Sparkleshark

Unmasqued Drama Company: Remembrance

Unmasqued Drama Company’s production of Mark Rees’ Remembrance at the SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival – Scottish Final

(4) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 110 mm,  Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 320 (Click on image for full album)

(4) Unmasqued Drama Company: Remembrance

 

 


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20170615 – Steam to Scarborough

Scarborough Spa Express

My birthday was in May and my partner asked what I would like as a present. Hmm tough question with so many answers.  However, we have a bucket list, not a real fanciful one though it has one really must do before we go trip.  On our list was a trip to Scarborough behind steam.   A quick check on the net showed that West Coast Railways has an Express to Scarborough on the North route starting from Carnforth.  The route – Carnforth, Hellifield, Skipton, Keighley, Shipley, Leeds, Lancaster, Preston, Blackburn, Hebden Bridge, Brighouse, Wakefield KG and York.  Train would be deisel hauled from Carnforth to York (Network Rail’s conditions), Diesel would be swapped for steam locomotive at loop outside York and thence to Scarborough. For our trip we would be hauled by two diesel loco Type 37 and 47 and our steam locomotive would be the ex-LMS Stainier Jubilee class Express passenger engine 45699 Galatea.

(1) 37515 Loch Laidon hauls “Scarborough Spa Express” into Carnfort

(1) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 31 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 800

(2) Change of locos and power

(2) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 31 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 800

 

(3) Onto York Station

(3) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 155 mm,  Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 400

(4) Departing York

(4) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 250 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 1600

(5) On the Scarborough Line

(5) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 128 mm,  Shutter 1/200th sec ISO 200

(6) Arrival Scarborough

(6) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 128 mm,  Shutter 1/200th sec ISO 200

Gallery

Departing Scarborough

 


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20170423 – Dawyck Botanic Garden

We Talk to The Trees

After our visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh we travelled to Stobo and Dawyck Botanic Garden.  As their web site states:

“Dawyck is truly one of the world’s finest arboreta. Seasonal displays of abundant exotic and native plants provide a breathtaking backdrop of colour throughout the year. The Garden also offers an award-winning visitor centre.”

Visit Scotland has this to say on its site “Dawyck Botanic Garden is home to one of Scotland’s finest tree collections including some of Britain’s oldest and tallest trees.  The 65-acre five star Garden offers woodland and burnside walks and is renowned for its seasonal displays of snowdrops, bluebells, Himalayan poppies, rhododendrons, azaleas and autumn colour”.

With that in mind we went on the David Douglas trail:

Dawyck House is not part of the Garden and is not open to the public

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f6.3, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 140 mm,  Shutter 1/320th sec ISO 200

Wood carving of David Douglas looking towards a “Douglas Fir”

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f11, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @18 mm,  Shutter 1/200th sec ISO 200

 

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f5.6, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 92 mm,  Shutter 1/1600th sec ISO 200

A host of….

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f16, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 110 mm,  Shutter 1/160th sec ISO 200

 

Gallery

 


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20170402 – Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Spring  Sprung – Flowers Bloomed

I like photography and try various aspects of the hobby.  I’m better at some aspects than others.  I’m not a people photographer, street photographer I am not, I prefer landscapes, animals, birds and plants.  We visit the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at least twice a year.  My one problem is I forget the name of the plants.

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f6.3, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 140 mm,  Shutter 1/320th sec ISO 200

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f8, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 170 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 200

 

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f8, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 170 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 200

Technical details:  Nikon D7100,  f8, Tamron 18-270 mm Zoom @ 270 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 200

 

Gallery

 


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20170313 – Zoo Visit

Zoo Visit

We hoped to catch a glimpse of the Bears, Fishing Cat and of course Lions

On our visit to Five Sisters Zoo in January  we enjoyed looking at the 4 lions enjoying the sun (Sun Cats) as well as the Lemurs and meerkats.  On this visit we hoped to see the bears as they came out of their winter hibernation and we were in luck.  The challenge of zoo photography is to attempt to get natural shots without including any signs of cages/fence etc.  Not easy by any means.  However, I do enjoy the challenge and am very pleased when I get the shot right.

African Grey Parrot

 

African Grey Parrot: taken through glass.

 

Technical details:  Pentax K-1 (full Frame), f6.3, , Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 58mm, Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 200

 

 

Brown Bear – one of three rescued bears

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Bear… Taken though Double Link Fences.

Technical details:  Pentax K-1 (full Frame), f6.3, , Sigma 150-500 mm Zoom @ 500mm, Shutter 1/500th sec ISO 800

 

Ex Circus Lion

 

 

 

 

 

Let Sleeping Cats Lie….

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Lens set at 400mm, f6.3 ISO 400 shutter 1/500th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

Artic Wolf

 

Artic Wolf – Howling Time

As we walked around the zoo we heard the wolf howl – one of the wolves was in fine vocal voice that day.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Lens set at 190mm, f6.3 ISO 200 shutter 1/200th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

 

Eurasian Lynx

Eurasian Lynx

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Lens set at 500mm  f6.3 ISO 1600 shutter 1/400th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Lens set at 500mm  f6.3 ISO 1600 shutter 1/400th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

Fishing Cat

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 150-500mm Zoom Lens set at 500mm  f6.3 ISO 1600 shutter 1/400th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

Gallery

 


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20170212 – Feeding Our Souls

Feeding Our Souls

I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs that Susan has a love of the mountains.  She is an ex hill walker and has climbed various Munros, Corbetts etc.  Me.. I’m strictly sea level.  Susan was getting me to do some hill walking before her bout with cancer.  I know she misses her walks in the Pentland Hills (not far from where we live).  I can feel when her spirits begin to dip and all I have to say is Road Trip Glencoe.  Before I know it she has grabbed her boots, camera gear etc before I get my camera gear and car keys.  Funny for a lass from Manchester she has a deep love of Scotland’s people and countryside.  I uttered those fatal words on Sunday 12 February 2017 and zoom.. we were away.  Dependent on time of year, and weather of course, we have our favourite stopping off places when we do this drive but more of that later.  However, I’m going to digress here – the term Feeding The Soul came from Susan herself and was the tile of her blog. She let her blog lapse in 2012 but recommenced in 2014 with a blog title “Don’t Stop Believing” in September 2014.  A year later she was fighting a bigger battle and she did not stop believing.

Back to our feeding the soul trip:

Loch Lubnaig 3rd January 2015

 

Loch Lubnaig is one of our stopping places and at the first car park going north.  The loch is usually so still here it gives a mirror reflection (see image taken on right). Alas it was not so on this trip.  Our next stop is at the Golden Larches Cafe for a very welcome cup of coffee before our next regular stop Loch Tulla Viewpoint.  However, on this trip we stopped south of  Bridge of Orchy to photograph the Horseshoe Curve Viaduct near Auch.

Technical details:  Nikon D5300, Nikon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 22mm, f16, Shutter 1/5 sec ISO 100

 

 

Horseshoe Curve Viaduct

 

The Horseshoe curve… North of Tyndrum, South of Bridge of Orchy.

The railway builders hadn’t the money for a viaduct across the mouth of a broad valley. The result is the famous ‘horseshoe curve’, where the line enters, circles & leaves the glen at the foot of Beinn Dorain. We have crossed it on the train trip to Fort William.  Susan and her friend Debbie attempted to walk to Bridge of Orchy from Tyndrum but ran out of time.

Technical details:  Pentax K-1 (full Frame), Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 29mm, f7.1, Shutter 1/320th sec ISO 200

Loch Tulla Viewpoint (A82)

On leaving Bridge of Orchy the A82 crosses over a small river by means of a single span steel bridge – which I have always taken as the start of a long climb with horseshoe bends raising to Rannoch Moor.  At the end of the first bend there sits a large car park with views of Loch Tulla and surrounding area.  During Summer and good weather it is a popular stopping place, especially with tourist busses.

 

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 43mm, f9 ISO 200 shutter 1/500th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

Lochan na h-Achlaise

Lochan na h-Achlaise and Loch Ba are separated by the A82 road to Fort William. The lone trees and rocks with snow-capped peaks in the distance create one of the most atmospheric landscapes in Scotland.

Lochan na h-Achlaise

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 80mm f9 ISO 200 shutter 1/320th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

 

The Great Shepard

Buachaille Etive Mor

I suspect that this may be one of the most photographed Munro in Scotland and Walkhighlands appear to agree “Buachaille Etive Mor is one of the best known and loved of all the Munro peaks. The epic view of the mountain from the main A82 road makes it appear quite unassailable and is one of the most photographed sites and sights in Scotland.  I also think it would be very hard to get a picture that has not been done before.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 29mm  f7.1 ISO 200 shutter 1/120th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

 

 

Feeding Her Soul…

Susan Feeding Her Soul

Doing this catch up blog reminds me we are overdue for another visit to Glencoe:)

 

Gallery

The road goes on.. To Loch Etive