Posted by: digibirder | August 31, 2009

August catch-up

As I haven’t had much time to blog, even on a weekly basis (what’s new?), I thought I would combine several news items into one post, just to get August over and done with. I am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get to doing this blog as things happen – or even why I do it if I can’t keep up with posting. But I hope I can get my act together one day.

One issue that I had to solve was the new format of RAW files that my new 40D produces. I’ve been looking at and testing a few RAW converters and trying to decide what to get.  The Photoshop version I had wouldn’t read or convert the 40D RAW files, but I could have used the Canon programme that came with the camera and then opened up the .jpg file in Photoshop, but the Canon RAW converter wasn’t that great. I had quite a few images to edit, so it’s taken some time to choose a programme and then get all the images sorted out. I finally decided to go with the Picture Window that I mentioned in my previous post, and I’ve spent some time getting re-acquainted with the new version. It’s quite a powerful programme, and every bit as featured as Photoshop, if not more so. I’ve recently discovered how to batch process images, and have today managed to convert and process some of the images from a recent day out, so they will now be ready in a fraction of the time they were before. They are only of a quality suitable for the blog, but I have saved the original RAW files so that I can process them at a higher resolution for, perhaps, printing out sometime.

Anyway, I’ll start with my photo course in Malham with Yorkshire Photography Holidays at the beginning of the month. I won’t go into too much detail, in order that I can get some photos uploaded, but we had a great day, even though the weather wasn’t very kind to us. Well, it wasn’t too bad, I suppose. It was tippling it down as we all met in the car park, but not long after we arrived at our first spot it seemed to slow a bit. It was still very dull and miserable, but the rain wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be.

The first stop was Janet’s Foss near Malham Cove. We first took some images where the water from the waterfall was frozen and sharp, then we changed settings so that the water became softer. We then moved a little further away from the fall to a lower level where the water becomes a river. I was trying to take an interesting image of a tree coming out of the water, when I noticed a Dipper in the viewfinder! I couldn’t get the settings  changed quickly enough for the image to be sharp, but managed a record shot.

After lunch we then moved on to a spot where a lone tree stands – a popular spot for photographers. We took a few images of the tree, learning about composition and lighting, and then moved along the ridge to a place with some interesting viewpoints. All the time the sky was changing into various shades of grey, occasionally throwing a shower down on us, but we persevered. Almost as the day was coming to a close, the sun decided to appear. Here are some images from the day.









We decided to take a bit of a break and had a long weekend from 21st-24th August camping in the Yorkshire Dales. We stayed at Akebar Park campsite in Wensleydale. It was very busy and not somewhere I would relish staying again, but we had a good break with a couple of nice walks and I managed to get some reasonable photos.

On the Saturday we had a short walk to Redmire Falls (I seem to be addicted to images of waterfalls!). We spent some time here before moving on to Jervaulx Abbey. Then we moved on for a short visit to Middleham Castle, which is an English Heritage property.



IMG_0237From the guide book I learnt that the slab on the right is an old embalming table. Various bits of stonework from the original abbey had been moved around the site by some previous occupants/owners




IMG_0258-1A row of stone coffins

IMG_0261-1An interesting Yew tree in a garden over the abbey wall – probably once belonged to the abbey

IMG_0269-1View from Middleham Castle keep


On Sunday we had a longer walk, starting out from the visitor centre at Aysgarth Falls (more waterfalls!) and taking in some of the surrounding scenery. Our walk took us through the village of West Burton where (surprise, surprise) there was another waterfall!

IMG_0275Aysgarth Falls



IMG_0287I also like the Dales’ barns

IMG_0290A friendly local

IMG_0295West Burton village green with the original stocks below the market cross

IMG_0302West Burton bridge

IMG_0307West Burton Falls


IMG_0317Which came first, the wall or the tree?

IMG_0320An old farm machine in a barn doorway

This weekend, being a long Bank Holiday weekend, we decided to make for the Dales yet again to get some more photos. I decided, in my wisdom, that I would like some early-morning images, just as the sun was rising, so we set the alarm for stupid-o-clock (3.45am) and headed off in the dark. We were a little later than we would have liked, but we managed some decent shots.

The first stop was a field quite close to where we were camping last weekend. I’d noticed some hay bales, but there weren’t many left this week as the farmer had obviously moved some out. We then drove towards Hawes, in the hope of some breakfast, but the sky looked a bit black over in that direction so we headed for Grassington, where we had a delicious bacon sandwich and welcome cup of tea. The weather did improve again, but we had already planned on visiting a farmers’ market in Otley, so we drove on to there. The main reason for this was to see a herb grower. We’d seen him the week before in Leyburn but we didn’t have room for herbs with all the camping gear, and he told us he would be at Otley the following week. We purchased some lavender and some other foody goodies and then, as if we hadn’t had enough for one day, we went to Ikea near Leeds. Primarily, we were there to get some bed slats for the trailer tent. This is to help to eliminate condensation under the mattress. I had read about this on a camping forum. Camp-let do their own slats, but they cost over £100 – the Ikea ones are £10 and we needed two to go side-by-side. No contest. All ready for the next camping trip now to test the theory.



IMG_0340Keith making friends with some locals

IMG_0343Will you be my friend?

IMG_0344No, bugger off!

IMG_0345Oh, OK then, if you let me see your photos



IMG_0357Tried some macro on the way back to the car

And all this before 8am! Spent today recovering – I think it will be an early night. Back to work tomorrow.



  1. which one was Keith?

    some nice views there. Not seen a dipper for a while maybe in October!

  2. Great pictures Digi; love the “smoky” water scenes!

    A dipper – would be a lifer for me….

  3. Obviously I’m biased being a Yorkshire Lass, but I love these places. Lovely photos, I agree the smokey water is great.

  4. Wow—what beautiful pictures! It’s almost like being there!

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