Thursday, 28 July 2016

Encounters with animals 4

Bingley Show 2016 - My favourite show tent is the one for cats. The pedigrees on show are so beautiful and so varied. I always have a soft spot for the British Shorthair Silver Tabbies, but there only seemed to be one this year and I couldn't get near to take its photo. There were several of the huge Maine Coons (below). They're gorgeous too and very soft and cuddly, like big hearthrugs!  I'm not sure what the breed above is. Its squashed nose suggests some kind of Persian or Exotic Shorthair, with a slightly curly coat? I'm no expert! Anyway, it also was gorgeous and seemed very much loved. I wished I could have got a lower viewpoint but there is always a metal mesh barrier so you can't crouch down and shoot low.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Encounters with animals 3

Bingley Show 2016 - Little girl meets even smaller owl.... a Little Owl, in fact, one of our native species. The birds were being shown by Wise Owl Birds of Prey, a Yorkshire-based organisation that rescues and rehabilitates birds of prey and offers displays and educational 'experience' days.
I have a gorgeous photo that shows more of the girl's face and her delight but I'm not comfortable blogging that one. (I am always wary of showing children that I don't know personally.) And the owl wasn't looking at me either! Never work with children or animals (birds)!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Encounters with animals 2

Bingley Show 2016 - This huge albino Burmese Python is a good deal less strokeable than a donkey (well, I think so!) but still fascinating to a small boy. The reptiles were from a place in Shipley called 'Into the Wild' that offers photo shoots, parties and encounters with various exotic creatures.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Encounters with animals 1

Bingley Show 2016 - It hardly seems possible that a year has passed since the last Bingley Show but it's that time of year again. First day of the school holidays... warm, dry, even sunny in parts - that in itself is amazing! So what better place to go with my camera than Myrtle Park in Bingley for the annual one-day agricultural show.
I visit it most years and it's always fun but it does get harder to find new and different angles to photograph. This year I seemed to be drawn to watching children encounter animals. I love to see their wide-eyed wonder and simple joy. I don't think this little girl was old enough to ride on a donkey but she liked stroking one nevertheless. Even the donkey seemed to be smiling.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hope in the evening

Walking back from church one Sunday night, I enjoyed seeing the late evening sunshine catching the top of Hope Hill and illuminating some of the honeyed stone of the buildings higher up in Saltaire. Traffic lights have replaced the old roundabout at the intersection of the Leeds and Bradford roads. The busy junction seems far safer now, except when the lights failed and temporary ones had to be brought in!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

We're going on an owl hunt

One of the fun things to do in Leeds is to go on an owl hunt. There is even a map and a trail! Owls feature on the Coat of Arms of the city and the motif is repeated all over Leeds in various guises. The three owls date back to the coat of arms of the Savile family of Anjou in France, who were given large tracts of land in Yorkshire by William the Conqueror after his invasion in 1066. One of their descendants, Sir John Savile, became the Leeds' first Alderman in 1626 and the city Coat of Arms, three owls. three stars and a fleece, was devised at that time.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Off grid

In common with many cities, lots of the newer buildings in Leeds have acres of glass that provide interesting reflections. Sometimes a view catches your eye. Here I was drawn to the colours, angles and grid lines. It can be quite hard to tell what is a reflection and what is a view through glass.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Sovereign Square

Some of the most modern buildings in Leeds city centre are really quite attractive, I think. This is the new office for the large accountancy and financial services company, KPMG, opened in late 2015. It is designed to be environmentally friendly with a green roof. Its expanse of glass has an interesting turquoise tint towards the base of each of the four levels. The award-winning Sovereign Square development is part of the regeneration of this formerly industrial part of the city down by the docks.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Leeds station, south entrance

In view of the regeneration of the Leeds docklands area, south of the rail station, a new entrance to the station has recently been built on the southern side.  It must have made life easier for the many who live in the new apartments and work in the businesses in this part of the city. The River Aire runs through huge culverts underneath the station so the new entrance has had to be built on concrete piers in the river.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

City waterways

You wouldn't necessarily realise if you simply hopped off the train and aimed for the shopping centre in Leeds, but the south of the city centre is threaded though by waterways - the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. In fact the rail station is built right over the river, which flows through culverts beneath. Some of the old dockland warehouses survive and have been converted into apartments, hotels and business premises. In and amongst, a lot of new buildings have been constructed in the last decade or so. Leeds has, reasonably successfully, brought residential living right into the heart of the city and created a vibrant area around the waterfront.  Of course, it meant that part of the city was badly flooded on Boxing Day and, even now, remedial work is being carried out and a huge flood prevention scheme is underway.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Broken wing

'Looking for an angel with a broken wing...' (Jimmy Page)

There is just one angel (or one that I have been able to find) in my local cemetery in Nab Wood. I do, however, think she is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, with such a sweet and sad face. I went back to photograph her again, having not been there since 2011 (see here). It seems she has crumbled a little bit more, although I think she's had a broken wing for a long time. I like her so much that I had my earlier photo printed and framed and she hangs on my wall.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Salty reflections

The golden evening light reflected into the canal off the side of Salts Mill makes distinctive reflections. I'd recognise this anywhere; it's 'home' to me.

Saturday, 16 July 2016


Walking by the river recently, I noticed this curious pattern of tree branches splaying out from a central point. Reflected in the water, it looked a bit like the spokes of a wheel. Seemed like an image to play with... I tried a few different mono conversions using the Nik Collection plug-ins.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Morris dances

Royal Preston Morris Dancers in action...
The costumes are traditional and each dance side has its own livery. They don't usually wear peaked caps (as far as I recall) and I wasn't sure about those!  Made them look rather incongruously like school boys. The dancing was good though. You should hear the sound of eight sets of clogs pounding on a wooden floor...