Friday, 26 October 2012

Misty Autumnal Moments

As most Landscape photographers will agree Autumn can be one of the best seasons to capture stunning colours in the trees.  I decided to take a walk with my two dogs in one of our local woods at Brickhill this week.  It was a misty day and I think the atmosphere in the woods was particularly special with the Autumnal colours and the mist.  Here are a few of the photos I took. 
I think they are quite eerie .............

For more of my Landscape images feel free to visit the Landscape gallery on my website

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Autumn colours are coming through . A walk in the woods with the dogs and a camera .

Went out for a walk with the two dogs yesterday . We went to a woodalnd a few miles away from us , called Kings Wood in Heath & Reach, Bedfordshire .

I had been to this woodland a week previous and the Autumn colours were just starting to turn . The Oak's are still green as they seem to be the last to turn their leaves at the end of the season . It's not a huge woodland , or i don't think it is as i haven't really explored fully . But i have found a lovely curcuit walk which takes about an hr with the dogs . And a lot longer when you wander round with your camera !!!

The woodland is on quite sandy soil , so is still good to walk around when it has been raining . As the sand dries up quickly . But somehow the dogs still manage to find muddy puddles and stinky water to play in !!! I will never find where these puddles and stinky water are as the dogs dissapear for a while and come back covered !!

I do have a confession to make about going to this woodland for a walk with dogs and to take photos . I went the day before with the dogs and my camera bag . I had loaded up my backpack to make it easier to carry all my gear . When i was about a mile away from the carpark , i got this feeling that i had forgotten to do something . Then the light switch was switched and 'ping' i realised that i had left my memory card holder in the other bag !!!! But had a slight happy thought that the camera had a card in it . How wrong was i ???? So that day i had to walk around looking at the wonderful light and great photos , with my camera bag on my back and everything packed away !!! Hence the visit the following day , i returned armed with plenty of memoery cards ;-)

I bumped into another photographer when we had been walking for about ten minutes . And if like me you enjoy chatting with other camera enthusiasts ? I was stood chatting for around half an hr . We were visited by a couple of local ponies . One of which tried to get into my pockets for any food i might have . The dogs were very good and just played with each other , rather than annoy the horses .

So here are a small selection of my images from this walk . Hope you enjoy them as much as i enjoyed the second walk !!

 Mabel the Doberman amongst the grasses . Reduced the clarity to give this a softer look .
 Lovely long shadows .
 Tractor tracks in the mud . Where moss has now grown .

 Nice tree stump wit highlights on .
 Wonderful moss on the lower trunk of this mighty Oak .
 Loosing it's bark .
 Amazing colours on the Ferns .
 One of the cheeky Ponies who riffled through my pockets .
I am planning a trip to the Westonbirt Arboretum in the coming week . Weather pending , i will post some images if i do make it .
You can view more of my images on my website

Cheers Mark .

Monday, 8 October 2012

A day out to sunny Brighton . There were 2000+ Land Rovers there to look at as well !!!

Being an owner of several Land Rovers . I always enjoy the London to Brighton Land Rover run . This year however it has been spoilt by the fact that you can no longer leave from Crystal Palace ,due to the new regulations on the London Emmision zones . This means that most Land Rovers can't drive through london , without paying silly amounts of money for the privelage !!! So this year the start point was moved to Epsom . So the run went for Epsom to Brighton  .

This year , having two dogs and no one to stay at our house to look after them . We realised that we wouldn't be able to do the whole event . As you can't fit two Doberman's   and the wifes electric wheelchair in the back of a Defender 90 !! Plus i had some goodies to collect from a friend . I was lucky to get my hands on a set of genuine side steps for my 50th Anniversary Defender  . The image of the 50th in front of the mountains on the link is  my actual vehicle :-) . The previous owner had taken them off for more clearance when out Green Laning and sold them on to fund buying other bits for the vehicle . I have been looking for a set for some time . But the ones i had seen were either battered and bent or way to expensive . I was offered a set from the guy who runs the 50th forum . At a very reasonable rate . So to killl two birds with one stone , we agreed to meet up in Brighton to exchange the cash thatwas burning a hole in my pocket , for a set of shiny side steps .

We set off in very foggy and horrible driving conditions . But as we got closer , the weather got better and better . And when we arrived in Brighton the sun was shining !!!

As there was only 385 50th's made for the UK market , you don't see many at shows . This year however 15 made it to Brighton .Which is a record for the forum .

Money was exchanged and shiny sidesteps were placed in the boot of our car . Then it was off to meet up with friends  old and new . For a cup of tea, some food and an ice cream .

We wandered around looking at all the vehicles that had made it down . Took some photos and let the dogs loose on the beach for a good run . But a word of warning !!! Dobermans will happily steal food from people who are sitting on the beach !! Yes one of mine stole a mouthful of someones fish and chips !! Luckily they had finished eating them , otherwise i would have had to get a replacement meal for them .

We sat down by the beach for a good while with some friends and watched the people go by . There are some great characters in Brighton . And some interesting fashions as well !!

One of our dogs , the youngest one spent about an hr jumping in the air trying to catch the Seagulls flying overhead !! Everyone was looking and laughing at her :-) Typical Doberman , stupid and dopey .

I left my wife chatting to friends for a short while and wandered off with my camera to get some pictures around the Pier .

 View from above the beach .
 Enjoying the beach .
 Relaxing on the beach in the sun .
 The new attraction at Brighton . A smaller version of the London Eye .
 Mabel being happy on the beach .
 Maya looking dopey , as usual !!!
 Underneath the Pier are these doors . Which were used to unload the daily fish catch . Sadly these ones are now derelict and unused .
 A well used Series 1 Land Rover .
 Another Series 1. This one from 1949.
 Close up front view of a Series 1 Land Rover .
 Series 3 Land Rover , trying to hide amongst the trees in the background .
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and the few words i have put together . When i have fitted the side steps , i will post up a few pics . Then sadly the vehicle will be for sale !!! Needs must when you are starting out on your own in business !!!
View more of my images on my website

All the best Mark

Monday, 1 October 2012

TVR Tuscan which is now for sale ...

 Following on from my previous blog about my brothers new toy . This is about his outgoing one . The TVR Tuscan . This model has had a full engine rebuild and a straight through stainless exhaust system fitted . It makes lots of popping noises on the overun , which puts a smile on your face , even as a passenger !!! And it also makes people aware that you are coming , so that the don't step out onto the road . If they did , they would either have to be stupid or deaf .

He had had several models of TVR prior to getting this one . And i have been in all of them . I can say that this is by far my favorite . It is very quirky in many ways . For instance , you have a button to press under the door mirror to open the door !! This also drops the window a few inches , to allow the door to open . Even quirkier is that you have to push a button next to the stereo unit to open the doors to get out . I felt a right idiot looking for the door handle , only to see big brother push a shiny button and the door pops open . You can remove the roof ( not unusual ) you can also remove the rear window as well !! I know in a Land Rover you can remove the front screen on older models . But that just fills your teeth with dead flies !!! He did find to his dismay that the rear window decided to pop out all of it's own doing , while driving along the road !!! And yes , it smashed into small bits :-(

One thing that TVR's need is a good engine rebuild after a certain mileage . When he purchased this one . He was told by the owner that the engine had had a rebuild and was spot on . Never take someone who is selling a vehicle by their word !!! He was a lying so and so and the engine was showing signs of oil leaks and other issues . Big brother decided to take the plunge and spend a good few thousand pound and get the engine stripped and rebuilt . But this time to a higher BHP and with much stronger internal parts than had been fitted at the factory . If you know a bit about these vehicles it's a known fact on the earlier models they used parts from many other vehicles to finish off the cars . For example , Ford Cortina , Ford Granada switches , wiper motors, electric window motors etc !! You would have to enter your chassis number into the system to see which vehicles they had bastardised on the Friday afternoon that your one had been built .

This is the main spec of the car after it had it's engine tweeks and a few other bits -
Rebored to  4.3 litre, 430bhp, 397lb/ft of torque which is more than standard 4.0 litre, 360bhp, 310 lb/ft. TVR's figures were always optimistic and probably gained from an engine on the test bench without an alternator, water pump etc and achieved right before it went pop. These  figures are from a dyno so accurate.

The car weighs in at 1050kg giving a power to weight ratio of 410bhp/tonne and if  he  didn't love his (upgraded, racing) clutch, 0-60 of around 3.5 seconds. For the rebuild the engine was bored out and fitted with new liners. Pistons, rods, crank....all moving parts were replaced with better quality items as were the injectors (originals couldn't provide enough fuel) and the ECU remapped. Suspension upgraded. Catalytic convertors removed and silencers sleeved to give straight through flow. Pop, bang burble burble.
When i went to assist with moving his new aeroplane , he took me out for a wee spin ;-0 And to get some photos for him to advertise this beast for sale . We were lucky that the evening sun was amazing but we couldn't find a good vantage point to make use of the warm evening sun . However we did find the edge of a nice cornfield that had recently been harvested . And as luck would have it the warm light wasn't to bad for taking the pics .
Below are some images of the car . Yes i have photoshoped them and more than i would normally . But i am just playing with the Dodge and Burn tools and am quite liking the results .
 The quirky interior . All the brass coloured knobs and dials you see are not marked as to what they do . So as a new owner it's part of the fun , finding out what's what .

 Couple at bottom are the same image with different  tweaks . The lower one is slightly de-daturated .Which i think works quite well on this .
If you are interested in purchasing something that will put a smile on your face have a look here for more details of the sale .
Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog .
View more of my images on my website
Many thanks Mark.