Please forgive me for not posting this a few days. It was thought about and half written, but other things came along and I did not realise it had not been posted. Oops!
When we were thinking about what to have as March's digital wallpaper, we looked at the long range weather forecast and thought, this is very different to the heat of last year. So maybe it would be good to have an image that reminds us of the warmer weather from 2012
March Digital Wallpaper
This shot was taken at an old orchard near to Penrith, towards the end of March 2012
Orchard full of daffodils
The new growth of nature was bursting out all over the place, and it was hard to capture, but I took 129 pictures that day so have lots of future potential
March Digital Wallpaper without the month
We hope you like our choice of free Daffodils in the Sun March digital wallpaper taken near Penrith last March. Hopefully we have included all common screen size combinations, so you can enjoy it too, over this coming month. There are more free digital wallpapers to be found here...
When we were thinking of what to have as the digital wallpaper for February, the snow and rain was lashing down outside. This sort of helped guide our choice to something that was not too wet or cold.
Oyster Catcher - February Digital Wallaper
For this month's image we have chosen an Oyster Catcher on some rocks taken last June in the Isle of Islay
Isle of Islay Sunset
We were very fortunate as the weather was great at this time on Islay giving amazing sunsets
Oyster Catchers Flying
I think Oyster Catchers are a lovely birds, and can often be seen as a flock. There distinctive red to orange beaks standing out in the sky as they fly by.
Oyster Catcher February Digital Wallpaper - With Calendar
We hope you like our choice of free Oyster Catcher February wallpaper taken on the Isle of Islay last June. Hopefully we have included all common screen size combinations, so you can enjoy it too, over this coming month. There are more free digital wallpapers to be found here...
For our digital wallpaper for January 2013 we at fullersfolio.co.uk thought it would be good to have an image that reminded us of holidays and sunshine – giving something to look forward to over the coming year.
January 2013 Digital Wallpaper
To this end we choose an image of Duncansby Stacks, which are just east of John O' Groats, right at the Northern tip of mainland Scotland. I have visited this area twice in the last few years.
The beauty of the sandy beaches is amazing seemingly miles of unspoilt waves.
To the west of John O Goats is Dunnet Head , the most northerly point of mainland Britain.
To the East of John O Groats the road meanders across the hill side till it runs out as it comes to the cliff edge.
A brisk walk south along the cliff tops gives one a view of the stacks. The first time I visited the cliffs there was a small school of whales basking off the shore. I and about ten other "tourists" stood and watched the whales for about ten minutes before they vanished and swam away. (This was before I had converted to digital and the only image I have of them is a grainy print, not worth showing here)
The second time we did not see any whales but I was able to get this picture.
We hope you like our choice of free Dunscaby Stacks January wallpaper taken in Northern Scotland a few of years ago. Hopefully we have included all common screen size combinations, so you can enjoy it too, over this coming month. There are more free digital wallpapers to be found here...
Looking back through the last few years images, taken over the December- January period the one key element in them has been the snow. In fact lots of snow and so at fullersfolio.co.uk we have chosen snow as our theme for December 2012 digital wallpaper
December 2012 Digital Wallpaper
Taking pictures in the snow in the dark
Though we often seem to get quite a bit of snow around the turn of the year in the North Tyne, actually being able to photograph it is another thing. It either comes down when it is dark, or so thick that it is hard to take.
Kielder in the Snow
But when it does stop for a bit and the trusty snow plough has been along one can then get out to view the magical world which awaits.
New Kielder Resident
Sometimes even a mysterious being appears at the side of the road.
Though cars are few and far between.
The snow quickly builds up in the wind leaving the tops of the fence just peeping through.
December 2012 Digital Wallpaper
But then following an energetic walk images like the one we have chosen for the December calendar month are revealed.
We hope you like our choice of free snowy December wallpaper taken in the North Tyne a couple of years ago. Hopefully we have included all common screen size combinations, so you can enjoy it too, over this coming month. There are more free digital wallpapers to be found here...
Recently on one of the few days when it has not been raining I was driving past Kielder water and was able to capture these fantastic images, and this article gives some more insight into them.
Sunrise over a Frosty Autumn Kielder Water
It was early in the morning, just after 7am and the sun had just risen over the tree line and provides a fantastic lighting colour as it is reflected on the water
Misty Autumn Morning over Kielder Water
The early morning sun highlights the mist rising from the water
Jet Trails in Misty Autumn Skies over Kielder Water
Moving to a new location and after a while the sky opens up to reveal a blue vista with these jet streams crossing
Misty Autumn Skies over Kielder Water
In this image one can see small broken ice floating on the water in the foreground, with the mist rising in the distance.
All in all I was very fortunate to be passing at just the right time, when the temperature and sun were just correct to produce these amazing conditions.
For this blog article on the story behind the image, we will be considering the amazing spiders webs I was able to capture the other week.
Spiders Web Vibrating on Car Door
This one in the car door handle, is amazing
Spiders Web on Wooden Fence
On one of the few and far between days, when it was sunny and fine in the morning during September, we were able to capture these images. The midges were still around and evidently the spiders were having their pre-winter feasting as they had managed to build webs everywhere.
Water droplets on Spiders Web
Not only had they built webs between the fence posts,
Water Droplets on Spiders Web
they also had built them on the gate
Spiders Webs around Gutter
and all around the guttering.
Though the most amazing ones were those on the car. We did not notice the one shown above on the passenger handle until moving off, which then gave this amazing image as the threads of the web vibrate due to the cars engine. Spiders do have quite amazing building skills and strength of materials.
This is a post on the process I have gone through to catalogue and tag my images. Instead of focusing on a few specific images I thought it would be good to reflect on how the cataloguing of the images has been changed on our site over the last 6 months.
Initially the images were catalogued by name, but when we came to having a series of sunsets calling them sunset and sunset #1 etc .. sunset #5 etc things began to get a bit confusing.
So we changed to giving the images reference numbers. Initially the reference number was allocated randomly, as they were added to the system. This is fine for a computer, but not really much good for humans.
Say the images have ref 100 (Landscape Collection), 101 (Plants Collection), 102 (Human Collection), 103 (Plants Collection) .. 159 (Landscape Collection), 160.. etc. The trouble with this was that now a human has no idea that image 159 comes after image 100 and rapidly caused considerable confusion.
So it was decided to allocate 1000 values to the left of the decimal and 9999 to the right to each collection type, as a reference. Potentially allowing 19999 images per collection!! This should more than cover future needs.
Having worked out a reference system that was fit for purpose as the saying goes. The aim was to add this to the system. Rather than having it in a data base, it was decided to use an XML data file, as it is lightweight and easy to store and handle data. Each web page reads the small XML data file and extracts all the relevant data required about that specific image, or image collection, or tag, location, date taken etc. In fact anything relevant can be stored against the reference in the XML file and read by the web page so long as it knows what it is looking for.
Scottish Flag in the Sky
Whilst doing this at the same time I was committed to having a certain number of pages up and running by a specific date. This lead to a dilemma as it was quicker to put up the simple pages that did not need all the XML data, for example the tag and location data. So in the end around 140 pages went up without the complete XML data.
Having met the deadline, all the new pages from then on have full XML data and I am now going back and adding the extra data for the pages that went up without it.
Sycamore Gap Hadrians Wall
Now as around a third of the images have a full data compliment added we have made live the page where they can be selected by tag
Of course this now raises a further dilemma as I need to go back and add the extra data for all the images that did not get the full deal first time round, and offset that against adding new images, like these latest images, which is a far more enjoyable activity. I have set myself a task of doing so many each week, with the aim of trying to be complete by the end of the year. We shall see if I make it. (Also this could well mean that my sunset names change, but we will have to wait and see until I get to them)
The Millennium Stone at Greenhaugh
When I go wandering round a place with my camera, people often come out of their houses to see what I am taking pictures of. They normally look at me for a bit and then go back inside. Sometimes they come and talk to me gently asking what I am doing and sometimes they tell me a story about what I am looking at.
A couple of months ago I was in going through Greenhaugh in Northumberland National Park and at the end of the village towards the school noticed an upright stone and some old farm equipment by the side of the road. As it wasn't actually raining I thought it might make a good picture so stopped the car and started to take a picture.
Someone came out of one of the houses and asked what I was doing, so I told them and they said did I know the story of the stone. I said no. This is what they told me – I don't know how true this is but it makes a good story. So I will recount it here.
Old farm machinery
They alleged that some time before the millennium one evening in the pub it was decided that something should done to celebrate the occasion for the village. Someone came up with the idea of putting up a standing stone. A grant was applied for, which was approved and it was all go.
They then alleged that there had been much discussion in the pub as to where to get the stone and someone suggested that it could come from the local river bed. Bets were made as to the outcome of this – if it would be successful or not. It was then said that rope chains, buoyancy bags and a tractor had been used to get the stone up out of the river bed to the village. It was then put into position using a few bags of cement. It was then alleged that this had been very profitable, as the cost of the stone had been only a few tens of pounds and time taken.
As I said at the start I don't know if this is true or not but it does make quite an interesting photo, with the old farm machinery next to it.
Road through the forest
I live in an area that is surrounded by forests full of trees. Every few miles there is a sign at the side of the road saying that one is passing a different bit of woodland. As the forests are managed there is a continuous process of cutting down and timber removal.
Piles of logs up side of hillside
The timber is cut and removed very quickly and is often hard to catch but the other month I was fortunate to catch this timer extraction vehicle in action.
The timber cutter fells the trees then cuts them into standard lengths and leaves them in rough linear piles running up the hill side.e to edit.
Log collector starting to climb the hill
Then it is the roll of the log collector to pick up the cut lengths, and take them to the stacking point, where they are stacked into piles.
Log collector at top of hill
The collector slowly climbs to the top of the hill along a track at an almost impossible angle, wading through thick mud anything up to half a metre in depth.
Pile of collected logs at bottom of hill
These images of the log collector and piles of logs it was collecting were taken with the 500mm telephoto lens in mild April drizzle. The collector was around a quarter of a mile away across a valley near to Hell's Hole which is in Hyndlee Forest - part of Forests of the Scottish Borders. I hope with me that you think they are worth recording.
Over the last few months we have been walking across the moors and have come across some amazing mountain goats. I suppose in the past there were large wild herds roaming around, and these ones we found are few and far between.
One herd was found on the southern tip of the Isle of Islay, where the land was probably just used for hunting and shooting. It had been a couple of hours walking past old abandoned villages and hamlets to get to the point on the sea cliff. Then we came across the herd. The other herd was in the Galloway forest park.
The lovely thing with the goats is that they seemed totally fearless, in fact we were probably more worried about their horns than they were about us. Especially the ones with the baby kids.
The good thing was that we were able to take these shots when the weather was not too bad. A circumstance that has been few and far between so far this year. As you can see we left baby goat on patrol
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.