Posted by: digibirder | December 5, 2010

Just had to get out!

Yesterday we decided to get kitted out in thermals and many layers and take a trip into Sheffield. We still couldn’t get the car out, thanks to those helpful neighbours throwing the road-cleared snow onto the pavement and it being knee-high at the end of our driveway, so we took the bus and train. After studying the timetables, we slid down to the main road and waited for our bus. That didn’t take too long to arrive, and then we arrived in Barnsley and waited for the train. Altogether it took us about an hour and a half to get there. We first went to the library, as Keith wanted to return some books, and I picked up a couple of photography books. We went upstairs to the café and had a welcome cup of tea, then wandered round the shops. Even in the city centre there was snow still on the ground, so it was a bit of a hazard walking around.

In a part of the city centre known as The Moor, we discovered the Wild Planet exhibition, featuring images from previous Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. Some were quite stunning. We then wandered up to the Peace Gardens where there is a Christmas Market. I did want to get some images of the market, but the light was dismal and it wasn’t that photogenic, really. We had our lunch from one of the food stalls there (strangely, a Spanish stall selling tapas and paella, but the paella was very nice), then had a cup of mulled wine which was very warming and delicious.

I did manage a few images, some of which are below. I should really have put the wide-angle lens on, but I am getting a bit wary of the Sigmas now. I used the Canon 50mm f/1.8 for all these and when I look at the first one I can see that all is nice and sharp. At 100% magnification the roof with the lights in the bottom left corner is a bit fuzzy, but that is only as a result of the depth of field at f/8. The only other things not sharp are the people actually skating. Not bad for an £80 lens. I’m not sure I need to keep harping on about this lens comparison business – I just need to go and get some Canon lenses and have done with it. If only I had the resources to do so. But, I do have the two Canon lenses coming from Lenses for Hire on Thursday, which will mainly be used for my portrait workshop on Saturday in Leeds. There is also a Christmas Market in Leeds at the moment, so we might take a trip there when I’ve finished at the workshop and I can try out the lenses there as well.

Anyway, it was getting rather chilly by mid-afternoon, so we decided to make our way back home via train and bus. This took a while because we also stopped off at the library in Barnsley, where we both picked up more books, so the backpacks were getting rather heavy by this time. We were quite relieved to get back home and a large pot of tea was quickly prepared!

Some of the stalls surrounding a skating rink

There was a plant stall at the market – they obviously arrived before the snow fell!

An unusual tree in front of the Winter Gardens (pity the person wouldn’t move)

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