A New Toy


My personal circumstances mean that I am on a somewhat limited budget for my photography (zilch), but I’ve wanted a compact camera to take when I’m out on my bicycle – my dslr is just a bit too cumbersome.  My family have kindly given me vouchers for birthdays and Christmas, which I’ve diligently saved together (and saved myself from socks and vests and undergarments – when you get to my age people run out of ideas!).  I’ve now purchased myself a new toy in the form of a Pentax MX-1, a smallish compact (with a bit of style in keeping with my image, or course! ;))

This shot is a straight jpg from the camera (with re-sizing and logo added).  Limited pallet admittedly, it seems to have coped with the dynamic range quite well.

I’ve found up an old case for the camera which I can clip to my belt and have been out a couple of times with it – seems just the job to me.

I did a fair bit of web based research before I chose the MX-1 and fully appreciate there are better compacts, but a significant price reduction on the camera tipped the balance – I could get it now, rather than wait another 6 months or so.

What I like (bearing in mind the short time I’ve had it)

  • it has a tipping lcd screen
  • it is quite weighty – feels like a real camera, feels like quality
  • it has an easy to reach compensation dial
  • it has quite a wide aperture.
  • oh, it does RAW (though I wouldn’t have bought it if it didn’t)
  • I’m already a bit more inclined to go out on my bike!

What I’m not so keen on

  • the lens cap has to be off when you switch it on – ( I knew this, I can live with it)
  • the lens gives a fair bit of barrel distortion, corrected in jpg on camera, but will need specific attention when working in RAW (I use PTLens for this, tried it, it corrects for the camera).
  • not 100% about the colours it gives, but I suspect there will be a control in camera to help with this (to save time)
  • slowish write times – (I knew this, I can live with it for my type of photography)
  • no viewfinder – (I knew this, I will force myself to get used to it, part of my rationale for buying it)
  • histogram tool looks a bit ‘Mickey Mouse’ but I’ll get used to it.


Where the Wild Garlic Grows

Wild Garlic

Many wooded places are filled with the smell of Wild Garlic at this time of year.  Strictly speaking, this small area isn’t really a wood, but Wild Garlic has found a home here under the riverside Willow trees.


Steps Revisited


I posted a similar picture a couple of weeks ago and suggested I was going to re-shoot as the full size version suffered from very evident camera shake.  As part of my recent trip out, I revisited the site to take another shot.  Not quite the same composition, but at least this one is sharp.

While I was there I had another crack at another image from almost a year ago and several variations, a few here.  I believe most of the ‘Master’ landscape photographers used to revisit sites several times, developing ideas and approaches over time – if it’s good enough for them…….

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One of a number of larger trees that had been given the ring-barked treatment –  in this case, I suspect, as a nod to the ecological benefit of a dying tree. They are on on the perimeter of a recently cleared softwood plantation.  My guess is they were ‘weed’ trees, which could have just as easily been cleared with the rest of the trees, but were left as fodder for insects and potential nesting sites for all manner of beasties.   As can be seen from the protective tubes and stakes, the planting of the new ‘forest’ has been completed.  Whilst it’s always a shame to see trees cut down, it is part of the management of the area, which might otherwise turn into another area of scrub trees.  I have an inkling that the area of cleared trees will become very attractive to ground nesting birds – perhaps a Nightjar pair will take up residence.




This is one that got away, just about acceptable at this size but it really does suffer from camera shake.  Had I known at the time I’d have re-shot the image. I particularly liked the quality of the ‘fill’ of the trees in what have been burnt out sky.