Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture

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A Winter’s Month – January 2010

Nikon D300s

A New Year, with two new photographic toys Santa had very kind left at Christmas. A New Nikon D300s with a Sigma 150-500 Zoom.  It had become apparent that I needed a larger zoom than the 28/300 for some of my animal shots at zoos.  Unfortunately (if I recall correctly) there were not many third party lens for Pentax fittings.  I was contemplating buying a Sigma 150-500 for Canon but a hint was dropped to forget that.  Christmas revealed why.

January 2010 (at least in West Lothian) started off with a lot, and I mean a lot of snow, along with a big freeze.  Yet the sun did shine – it shone but not a lot of warmth.  To test my new outfit I took my normal walk to my place of work getting to know the camera and lens.  This took me from Craigshill to Almondvale and the (then) new Civic Centre where |I was employed in Legal Services, West Lothian Council. Susan, Sid and I headed off to Linlithgow – which shuts down over the festive season, and had a walk around Linlithgow Loch to feed the birds.  It is a nice walk round the loch (see WalkHighlands) and popular, even on the 1st of January.  Being a loch there are lots of waders as well as gulls.  Most popular are the Mute Swans and Ducks (Mallard, Tufted Ducks etc.)  Regretfully we had to wait until we got home to have a warm soup – as I said Linlithgow closes down at Festive Season.

Where else would one test out the combination of large Zoom lens  and new camera – Edinburgh Zoo sprung to mind.  In a previous blog I mentioned that we were once members of the Society but no longer.  However the Zoo was the ideal place to test the outfit and I captured (to my mind) some great shots of Tigers, Lions etc.  I forgot to mention that Sid had purchased a Nikon D300s and Sigma 150-500 from Jessops in Edinburgh.  I thought he would have twigged and brought it with him to the zoo.  Silly man forgot them, mind you that was the last time he did so. Nowadays he carries the D90 and D300s with a small zoom and the 150-500.

I did not realise it at the time, but the year that started off so well would soon become the year from hell as far as my personal life went.  My mother lost her battle with cancer and soon after my partner was fighting for her life against pneumonia.   In all 2010 was a year of change and led to a bigger change in 2011.

Video/Slide show “A Winter’s Month”

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Wandering with a Pentax K200D – 2009

In 2008 I had two cameras – A Pentax K200d to act as a Second body to my K10D it eventually became my main camera of choice.  It was rated as a beginners camera but had weatherproofing.  However, by 2009 I owned 6 DSLRs.  I had bought a Canon EOS 50D, EOS 500D, Nikon D90, Nikon D300s.  I was spreading my wings testing the myth about which is the best camera.  Whilst I still retain the Pentax K10D, Canon 50D and 500D I no longer have the Pentax K200 or Nikon cameras.  I had fun that year taking 13,900 images, learning to cope with RAW files and Lightroom – having given up Photoshop as far too complex for my simple needs. The breakdown per camera is:

Pentax K10D – 4021 images, Pentax K200D – 2800, Canon 50D – 1974, Canon 500D – 1915, Nikon D90 – 1508 and the Nikon D300s – 571, a total of  12965 pictures the remaining 931 taken with unknown cameras. As you can see I preferred using the Pentax K10D closely followed by the  K200D.  The Canons came second and the Nikon last.   I still have not solved the which is best dilema as I use Pentax, Canon and Nikon for different tasks.

Anyway I digress 2009 I took the K200D on my travels around the UK as it was lighter then the K10 and a lot lighter than the Canon/Nikon. My Partner (Susan) and our fellow Intrepid Sid had fun traveling around Scotland, Down to York and looking through the images brought back the adventures.  My highlights were – Photographing inside St Giles Cathedral (actually the High Kirk of Edinburgh), Catching the moment the 1 o’Clock gun was fired, our trip to Inchcolm Island in the River Forth and my night shot of the Forth Bridge (rail bridge) at night from North Queensferry Harbour, at the time the bridge was undergoing a lengthy restoration and paint job – started in 2002 and finished in 2011.

I’ll leave you to enjoy (or not as the case may be) a short video of my wanderings with the Pentax K200D

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20170202 – Museum Designs

Visit to National Museum of Scotland (AKA Chambers Street Museum), Edinburgh

The museum recently underwent an internal refurbishment of galleries replacing and organising exhibits.  Susan was keen to see the new Art & Designs Galleries in particular the Fashion & Style Gallery.  Her desire to visit the Styles and Fashion Gallery arose out of her voluntary work with SCDA (Scottish Community Drama Association) clubs where she costumed shows and acted in plays. I liked the challenge of taking pictures in the museum using just their or natural light and used it to test out my Pentax K-1.  Kit used Pentax K-1, Sigma 18-270 Zoom.

Ship in a Glass:


I do have filters but rarely use them.  As I said I like the challenge of taking a picture in the museum. That challenge is to get  good image, clear and details on point of interest yet retain some reflections. I’m content to please myself, I’m not selling my images, my photography is for me.  Of course I’m happy if other enjoy the result as well.  The image is of an engineer’s model of the Trans-Atlantic Communication Cable laying ship in a glass case surrounded by numerous lights and reflections.


Technical details:  Pentax K-1 (full Frame), Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 29mm, f3.5, Shutter 1/40th Sec ISO 3200

 Fashion and Style:

Sublime to !


Fashion and Style, not something I take much interest in especially in clothing. Susan keeps telling me I should. 🙂  Anyway our visit to the museum was to let her have a good wander around the refurbished gallery.  I, as usual, rush through stopping to take the occasional picture.  The image to the right was taken from the 3rd floor gallery looking down and gives an impression of the range covered by this exhibit.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 35mm, f4 ISO 3200 shutter 1/30th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom


A Fine Gold Hat

Specially made for a pop star (I believe)

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 58mm f4.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/25th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom




Walk in These Shoes



I do not need to or want to walk in any shoes like this.  However, to the “In Crowd” they would be a must.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 68mm f4.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/50th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom



A Dress for the Royal Court


Susan related a tale of events caused by such a dress in a play our friend Angela was acting in.  Costuming was fine, alas the set doors were not wide enough.  Hmm I was under the impression that the ladies just sort of did a sideways glide through narrow doors.  18th Century Court Dress.

Technical details – Pentax K-1 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 29mm f3.5 ISO 3200 shutter 1/40th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom


Over the years we have spent many an hour in the museum, going to the free and chargeable exhibitions.  Eventually we took out joint membership and have made good use of our membership. It is a perfect way to while away a wet day, get lost in the past and if you are our generation become shocked at what was once our goods and chattels but are now historical artefacts.





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20170201 – Butterflies in Winter

Visit to Butterfly World, Edinburgh

What better place to visit on a cold February day than Butterfly World at Dobbies, Lasswade.  Preparations on protecting the camera to the sudden temp change. A search on The net gave this advice:

“Condensation occurs when moving from a cold area into an area with warm moist air as the cold lens elements cool the air causing moisture to precipitate out. As stated previously, good practice is to put the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag before moving from the cold area. This traps dry air around the lens and gives the glass time to warm up. Do not seal the camera in a plastic bag when moving from a warm area into the cold! As the warm moist air inside the bag will start to condense as the camera cools.”

The atmosphere in Butterfly world is hot and humid so give your camera time to adjust, especially if you visit in winter.  I would also suggest that you pre-fit then lens of your choice and stick to it for the whole session.  Changing lenses in hot, humid temperatures is not recommend .

Hot, Humid Stroll:

Although I purchase a guide to aid identification of butterflies/moths it usually gets lost.  No change there then 🙂 Camera used was Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270 Zoom.

Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 150mm f6 ISO 250 shutter 1/125th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom


Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 270mm f6.3 ISO 800 shutter 1/100th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom

It is not just butterflies/moths one can see – there are lizards and insects

Snakes Alive


Technical details – Nikon D7100 fitted with Sigma 18-270mm Zoom Lens set at 270mm f6.3 ISO 250 shutter 1/13th second. Image processed from raw in Lightroom