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johnriley1uk's Blog

johnriley1uk > johnriley1uk's Blog

We are just back from a fantastic show, with 81-year-old Frankie Valli defying time and delivering the goods without so much as a falter. His voice is still amazing and of course we had our cameras to capture some of the atmosphere. Large DSLRs are pretty much out, they seem to scare the promoter...


Pentax have had a fisheye zoom in the range for many years. In the days of film (days of yore?) it was the 17-28mm and currently, for APS-C DSLRs, it is the 10-17mm. It's a lovely lens, well made and compact, but surprisingly heavy for its size. The lenscap is one of the classy metal ones with a gre...

458 Views - 1 Comment

Sometimes we come across little gems where photography is a pleasure and a few hours can be spent away from the normal rush of the world. Tropiquaria is one of them. It's not dissimilar to the South Lakes Animal Oasis that we also enjoy, a small, rough and ready zoo with good access to the animals, ...

358 Views - 1 Comment
04/06/2015 - 4:57 PM

Back In the Bad Old Days

Well, not bad, but a title just to contrast with the usual idea that somehow there was a Golden Age. That's right now by the way, we're in it. I was just musing about our start in digital photography, which was when i won a sales competition. Yay! I won a Kodak 1.3MP compact and Sue started to us...

02/06/2015 - 10:53 PM

Pentax 150-450mm AF Speed

Just a short blog today, to add a bit if information regarding the AF speed of the new Pentax 150-450mm, with and without the Pentax 1.4x AF converter. Subjectively, it didn't seem to make much difference to the speed of AF, so I ran a test using an online stop watch. The time to focus and releas...

443 Views - 2 Comments

Yes, finally I managed to get to Martin Mere for a first tryout of my new lens. The conditions were not good, with high winds keeping the birds down and quite dull light needing at least ISO 1600 on the Pentax K-5. The rain was not a problem, as Pentax cameras and lenses are well sealed. The lens...

684 Views - 2 Comments
25/05/2015 - 12:14 AM

The Making of a Wendy House

The moral of this tale is don't forget to document everything that happens, large or small. This is the photographic story of the demolition of our old Wendy House (or Play House if you prefer) and the assembly of the new. The new is a Dutch Barn design and is big enough to last the grandchildren fo...

18/05/2015 - 10:03 AM

Inside Out at Arley Hall

Yesterday my blog showed some of the images I shot in the interior of Arley Hall. Today I have some of the exterior shots for you. I have plenty of the regular shots of the hall and grounds, so as time goes by I look more and more for the tiny details and of course the magnificent floral offerings. ...

17/05/2015 - 11:38 PM

ADAPS at Arley Hall

Arley Hall has always been one of my favourite locations and I was delighted to be able to organise a special shoot inside the hall for ADAPS members. We had two hours earlier today with the free run of the areas normally open to the public, but where photography is not normally allowed. So, armed w...

04/05/2015 - 7:38 PM

Muncaster Castle, the Return

There are some p[laces it's well worth returning to time and again, and Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass, is one of them. The last time we went it was an ADAPS private booking, so we had access to shooting images inside the hall. That was fantastic, but this time we were just visiting and had to ma...

07/04/2015 - 7:14 PM

ADAPS Year Book 2015-2016

Every year I make a Blurb book and invite ADAPS members to contribute images. They send me three or more shots and I select the two that fit the book best. This forms a showcase every year of the images that members are producing. We can see who was here and what they were doing, and this unfolds ye...


...the Pentax 1.4x AW converter. The scene was Martin Mere, the lenses were the SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm and the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited. The new converter was used for some shots and seemed to make no visible difference to the image quality. I've no doubt that the MTF measurements would have...

03/04/2015 - 12:07 AM

Wedding Fever Strikes Again

We've just completed our latest wedding project. The venue was Astley Bank Hotel in Darwen, the lovely couple were Lyndsey and Ken. Sue and I shoot these together, I do some parts of the event, Sue does the guest portraits, and sometimes we both shoot different viewpoints. The style is definitely re...

21/03/2015 - 5:59 PM

Sue and Me at the NEC

Today we went to The Photography Show, and the quick report is that it was much better than previous years. The camera manufacturers are back, there's plenty of new stuff to see and someone has decided that providing lots of tables and chairs and food options will make life easier on the feet and th...

756 Views - 1 Comment
12/03/2015 - 3:06 PM

Dabbling in High Fashion

I was in Manchester today with Sue and my Mum, visiting the Art Gallery. There was a display of fifties and sixties dresses on and the girls were fascinated by them. So let's share some High Fashion, not quite contemporary it must be said, but these are the bits that I found interesting enough to sh...