On Saturday we went to visit family in Somerset to celebrate Easter together. After lunch the grandchildren enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt around the house, with the last egg having been cunningly hidded under Simon’s hat, on his head. When they finally figured it out he was uncrermoniously mobbed for the chocolate treat! After finding all those eggs, we then went off in search of nests. Fortunately they weren’t far off, at RSPB Swell Wood Nature Reserve and Heronry. The heron pairs are busily putting the finishing touches to their nests, high in the tree canopy. They’re well hidden in the dense branches but I managed to get this pair in focus, on the Fujinon XF 100-400mm lens on a sturdy tripod, so that all the children could watch them a bit more closely. It was a dark and dull day so I was pleased to actually manage to get a shot of them! With so many nests, I’m sure there will be plenty of baby herons in the near future. I’m posting this image for today’s Fotospeed challenge. Good luck to everyone taking part!
This week’s challenge has given me a great opportunity to travel back in time to 1994. These were part of my days at art college when I was blissfully shut away inside the darkroom, experimenting with abstract photography.
The Black & White photographs were originally shot on Ilford HP5 400 ISO film on my old Praktica, inside the Earth! I don’t think that I would dare to take a modern DSLR underground with me. Too much sensitive technology that could be damaged! The Praktica was such a robust SLR, it really did me proud. I still have it although it’s been a few years since I last used it.
In my teenage years I enjoyed caving, among other outdoor activities, and a bunch of us regularly went to the Mendip Hills in Somerset. These images are from GB Cave, a locked cave (entrance only with the Charterhouse caving club) that is well known for a large Gorge passage, made by an underground river, with a rock bridge that leads into the vast Main Chamber. The impressive stalagmite and stalactite structures here are all part of the largest continuous void under the Mendips.
All these photos are lit only by torches and our head lamps. I loved the way the light glistened on the damp surfaces of the calcite formations. I really felt like I had stepped into the very bowels of the earth! The structures are so organic and fluid that I came to see the caves as a living, breathing entity. The Earth is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the surface!