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johnriley1uk's Blog

johnriley1uk > johnriley1uk's Blog

Most people who live in the North West may well have heard of Bents Garden Centre. Not so many may be aware that the small garden attached to the owner's cottage is called Weeping Ash Garden, and that sometimes it is open for viewing. Today was the day! Billed as a "winter garden" it w...

479 Views - 1 Comment
08/02/2015 - 11:43 PM

Revisiting the Pentax K20D

Today I've been looking again at some of the images I shot with the K20D. It was actually pretty good and although more recent models have advantages, this 14.6 MP camera still has plenty going for it. The AF isn't quite as fast, but the image quality is all there. Here's a few images that I didn't ...

754 Views - 1 Comment

Pentax introduced the HD Pentax-DA Rear Converter 1.4x AW after a very long wait and it fills an obvious gap in the range very nicely. I have never been a fan of converters, having never found one that was good enough optically to be more useful than just cropping an image. This one did attract me t...

28/11/2014 - 12:19 AM

A Date with Paloma Faith

We booked seats at the Manchester Apollo for two weeks ago, but unfortunately Paloma was ill and the date was postponed. Wednesday we saw the show, and she was in great voice. The overall sound quality seemed a bit iffy, but there was no denying the power and vitality of the performance. It's always...

256 Views - 1 Comment
17/11/2014 - 11:29 AM

Law to the Max at Martin Mere

On Sunday we spent the day, along with some ADAPS friends, at a workshop run by Maxwell Law, the wildlife photographer. We had a great day and spent quite some time out in the hides. My favourite hide is still the Janet Kear. It lets us get very close to the birds, and with a bit of perseverance the...

12/11/2014 - 12:52 PM

Tell It To The Rain

I looked out of the window and noticed it was raining, so the perfect moment to nip out for some photography. We now have weatherproof cameras and lenses, so there's no excuse to hide indoors when the weather is bad! It didn't last long, so the garden was as far as I got, armed with the waterproof/c...

03/11/2014 - 11:59 PM

Antique Whitby

Most cameras now have a selection of digital filters, so being a JPEG shooter from time to time it's interesting to have a go and see what effects can be created. I've always been an admirer of the Autochrome colour images from the early 1900s. These were grainy and had a particular colour quality t...

02/11/2014 - 10:43 PM

On the Whitby Trail

No club outing this time, so we made our own way to Whitby to sample the end of the latest Goth Weekend. This time we weren't in costume, we'll save that for next April, and we did have my 84-year-old Mum with us, so that slowed us down a fair bit. To be fair, she kept up the walking round very well...

22/10/2014 - 10:06 AM

.....Then the Boys

Yesterday it was female portraits, today it is male portraits. I found far fewer of these, although more than I expected, and it was interesting that they were a different style to the female ones. Very often, the images would be of someone doing something, as opposed to being an image of the person...

21/10/2014 - 8:04 PM

First the Girls.....

There was a time when I found shooting people pictures really difficult. I think I was too nervous, and that of course conveys itself to the sitter and results in stilted images. So I thought I'd have a look back and see what I thought of some of the early pictures now. First I'll find some pictures...


Today's destination was the South Lakes Wild Animal Park, along with a group of our friends from ADAPS. I was determined to try out my new custom-colour Q-S1 so the DSLR kit was left behind, It felt a bit odd to be carrying so little, but I knew if I tool the K-5 I would be tempted to use it. The...


Parts of the house at Dunham Massey are currently transformed into a WWI hospital. We visited today and it was interesting, although it didn't amount to a great deal of stuff really. A few beds, some artifacts and a limited amount of actors playing various roles sums it up. However, the house was st...

06/10/2014 - 11:23 AM

Last Chance for Arley Hall

Well last chance for the 2014 season anyway, this month entry price is reduced and the flower beds are still worth photographing. Come to think of it, the Tudor Barn Restaurant is also worth a visit for a leisurely lunch. This is one of those places I love to visit again and again, and I've used it ...


I was over at one of the hospitals today with my Mum-in-Law. She was having a splint fitted in Occupational Therapy. I've just started a project on "doors" and there in the clinic was a very unusual example of a door. Apparently a grateful patient had wanted to make a contribution to t...

24/09/2014 - 11:51 AM

Weddings Can Be Fun!

This one was certainly fun, back in the distant days of January 2010. The destination was Harome, near Pickering, and the night before we saw the news "Here are the scenes of widespread disruption near Pickering" - wonderful.....snow everywhere and a long journey ahead of us. An early star...