Category Archives: The Gallery

The Photo Gallery: Food

In responding to the prompt here, I was determined to ‘think outside the box.’ I know lots of contributors – there’s a full list of entries here – will have posted lovely pictures of delicious food, ready to eat. Far be it from me to criticise that, or hold it against them. (I’ve enjoyed taking pictures like that myself, more than once.) But take a moment to think about where our food comes from – in particular, the table margarine and many cooking fats we take for granted. Even if you don’t cook much at home, you will very likely be buying food products containing prepared vegetable oils that started off here:

Remember those yellow fields with a heady scent, much hated by those of us who suffer with pollen allergy? Well, this is what follows! Take a closer look…

Each of those pods contains a dozen or so seeds, each around 3mm in diameter, containing around 40% oil by weight – so this is a important crop for the food industry.

And one further line of thought: we wouldn’t care, these days, to have to go further than the supermarket for most of our food. But getting it that close to us involves a non-stop, and enormous, transport operation, using millions of litres of diesel fuel each year. Now, this same oil can be easily used to make ‘bio-diesel’, a non-mineral fuel for diesel engines. It’s interesting to note that, when Rudolph Diesel first demonstrated his compression-ignition oil engine, he was keen to point out that it would, in fact, run on vegetable oil. That was in the year 1905!

It's kind to share!

The Gallery: Morning

I haven’t joined in here for a little while due to many commitments, but I saw this subject and was once again tempted to take part.

I’d like to introduce my readers to a highly valuable photographic accessory: An alarm clock. It’s also good to have handy a flask of tea or coffee, and some chocolate or other preferred energy food to sustain you at ridiculous o’clock. Oh, and you’ll need a tripod.

Plan an early-morning trip to a place of scenic beauty where you have a good Easterly view, and you can capture pictures like this:

Incidentally, you may care to look at my other blog post on this subject here – and check all the other submissions here.

It's kind to share!

The Gallery: Extreme Close Up

 This post is in response to the prompt here. First, a little (true) story…

RIGHT, you lot. A bit less noise. Thank you. Now then. A little quiz. Jotters out. Let’s go for it. Question one! What is a magazine?… Question two! Where is Oxford Street?…

O.K. Question One – hands up who put something about periodically published topical printed matter or some such definition like that? All of you? Amazing! Question two – hands up who put London? All of you? Wonderful!

Terrific, weren’t they? Yeah, but not quite terrific enough. As in, they didn’t read my mind and give the answers I had in mind.

A magazine is a building where you keep (or somebody once kept) arms and ammunition.

Oxford Street is in Leicester.

It was in this street, close to a building known as ‘The Magazine’ that on a number of occasions I joined a queue to be served in a photographic shop. This queue would stretch down the street on a wet Saturday morning. The reason? Not the free coffee – there wasn’t any. Not the ravishing young female sales staff – there weren’t any of them either. At least, I think I would have remembered. Quite simply, this shop sold cameras and photographic equipment at the keenest prices in the country. In those days, if you were a teenage photographer, that was no insignificant consideration.

The history of Ernst Abbe, Otto Schott, Carl Zeiss, and the beautiful city of Jena in Germany is a fascinating one. The first Zeiss lens I ever owned began my tiny, but real, link with that heritage – a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2,8/50, number 9017355, supplied with a Praktica SLR. (DSLR’s were a very long way away.) I queued in Leicester for a 35mm Flektogon and a 135mm Sonnar when I could afford them.

Time, and cameras, moved on. My Zeiss lenses sat sadly neglected in a holdall, but I didn’t quite forget the performance of that first one, the 50mm Tessar, especially for close-ups.

My fourth SLR is a DSLR. After I got used to it, I remembered the Tessar and how well it performed even with extension tubes, so I bought an adaptor ring. Minus all the automatic features we take for granted nowadays, it still works well for close-ups. So my circle – Tessar to Tessar – is complete. Here is a picture of a kalanchöe flower, taken using the Tessar. It’s a small world – in every sense.

It's kind to share!

The Gallery: Colour

In response to the prompt ‘Colour’ over at The Gallery, let me take you on a very quick tour of the spectrum. First of all, red and orange…
…are in this sunrise. Next, yellow and green…
…are in this buttercup growing in a lawn. And then blue, indigo, and violet…
…can be seen here as sunlight streams through the petals of a hyacinth. So whatever colour you want, you can find it in plants, or in the sky. Or both.

It's kind to share!