Mike Wright Photography

20th June 2019


20thJune 2019


Apologies for the order of the pictures this month. I couldn't order them by name, so I had to put them in date order and the only option for this is most recent pictures first, so if you want to see the pictures in similar order to the blog, you will need to start at the end and work backwards.


There are more pictures than usual this month. The extras are from the Torbay Airshow which we went to on the Saturday. The weather was beautiful and we arrived in good time and got an excellent position, sitting just behind the beach and to the right of the pier. We had a bit of waiting to do, but it was no hardship, sitting there in the sun and people watching.


When the show began, it was just constant photography and all from a seated position. It was realldy special when the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight came over – Spitfire and Dakota, so it was a bit disappointing that the Lancaster didn't attend. I was a bit disappointed with the pictures of these two aircraft. I tried to get the shutterspeed slow enough to catch the propellers as a blur, but this meant that the shots were just slightly soft. There were helicopter displays and the real treat of the day was when the Red Arrows roared in overhead – the only display allowed to do so. They were just superb – such tight formations and spectaular use of the coloured smoke. I was really pleased with the shots I got.


The display finished with a show from The Typhoon and while it was not as spectacular as the Red Arrows, it was a display of sheer power and speed. I was especially pleased with the shots where the air disturbance concealed some of the plane as it performed its manouvres.


Sadly for the people attending, the Sunday was cold and rainy and the Red Arrows had to stop their display due to deteriorating conditions.


Anyway, if you like aeroplanes, then I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy in this set of shots. If you don't, then just skip over these pages and on to the rest of the pictures.


Now, back to the rest of the month. The pictures begin with the last of the bluebells for this year – they began to fade in the days after taking these two pictures. Then it is a set of macro-art pictures – using multiple exposures and intentional camera movement to make abstract shots of plants and flowers with a view to finding entries for the International Garden Photographer of the Year competion. I have managed to narrow it down to four shots, so we'll have to see how they do. Closing date is the end of June, so I need to get cracking and get them entered.


I had an early morning trip to Meeth Quarry next. It is just North of Hatherleigh on the A386 and is an old clay quarry which has been bought by Devon Wildlife Trust and is being developed as a nature reserve. It is relatively early in its development, but is still well worth a visit. It's an extensive site with lots of paths through it and an enormous lake where the workings have flooded and is attracting a lot of wildlife already. Particularly noted for butterflies.


The next set of pictures are from a day out at Cockington (just outside Torquay) where we went with Ian and Gill Larkin. It was when the weather was still sunny and warm, so lunch was at an outside table, and then we walked round the estate, looking at the workshops. I tried a few multi exposure experiments in the glass-blowing workshop. It was quite fascinating – the glass blower was blowing a piece which looked like it was going to be a vase and then at the very last stage of the process, he somehow spun it and turned it into a plate. Amazing to watch.


The church was really interesting, particularly the pulpit which, according to the information sheet, was 'rescued' from the wreck of a Spanish galleon which had formed part of the Spanish Armada. Don't suppose many of the crew were rescued!


Then there are a few shots of some volunteers working on one of the public areas of the village preparing it for the 'Britain in Bloom' competition. Lesley managed to get roped in as one of the organisers and they have put in a lot of work to get the area looking good. While there weren't many volunteers for this particular task, a lot of people have made the effort around their own houses and the village is looking good.


It is also time for the Bere Pen – a 10k race around the peninsula which is quite popular with the local running clubs. Starting at the school they come up through the village, and this is my favourite position to take pictures of the athletes. The have got into their stride and are still reasonably fresh and running together.


A few days after this we had a couple of days in London with David and Robyn. We took Jen with us and stayed in the Westfield in Stratford – within site of David's flat, so it is an ideal location. The Sunday night saw a stunning sunset, but unfortuately the windows in the hotel don't open, so I had to take the shots through the grubby windows, so they aren't quite as sharp as they should be.


On the Bank Holiday Monday, we went into Central London before the concert which we had come down to see. As it was the Bank Holiday, much of it was relatively deserted, so I managed some decent shots of the buildings we passed. Eventually, we made our way to the Barbican and were treated to a fantastic performance of Wallace and Gromit's 'The Wrong Trousers' with the music played live by the orchestra. That was the second half and in the first half the orchestra played a range of music and we particularly enjoyed their version of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. We were also treated to the Premier of Wallace's 'Symphony in E Lad'. All in all, a very entertaining performance.


We finished the day with a meal in a Jamaican restaurant in The Westfield and I have to say after the route march around London (David and Robyn's legs are much younger than mine) I was very glad to sit down.


On the way back we called in to see my friends Chris and Jan. Chris was my best man and we have know each other since starting together at Bangor back in 1973. We hadn't seen each other for a few years, so it was good to catch up.


The next set of pictures are the airshow, which I have written about above. I took something like two and a half thousand pictures during the day, so it took forever to get rid of the out of focus and duplicates. I've got them down to about nine hundred and fifty now, and could do with getting rid of a few more.


After the airshow we went to Antony House with Heather and Terry. After a bit of kerfuffle trying to convert my National Trust membership to a family one so that Lesley was a member, we finally got into the house. While it was grand, as these places are, it did feel a bit more normal and lived in than some other places we have visited. They even let Lesley play the Bechstein Grand Piano, which gathered a small audience when they heard the music start. Many of the pictures are of the trees in the grounds, which were spectacular. I shall return with my tripod at some point and see if I can improve on some of the shots.


And finally, there is a set of sunrise shots. At this time of year, you need to be up really early to get to the location in time to catch the sunrise and I think I was out of bed at about 3.30 am. And it was just getting light as I reached Burrator Reservoir and got to the location I wanted. It was well worth it, as the colours were beautiful and I was even treated to mist over the water. As the colours faded, I walked along the bank a bit and got a few shots of the trees that lined the bank, but from the land side looking through them to the water. As an added bonus, just as I got back to the car, an angler arrived and called over to me, and turned out to be the dad of two girls who I used to teach, so it was good catching up with how they were doing – both very successful.


So, that's it for this month. Hope you have a good month and the weather becomes more summery.