Archive for March 2009
The south pier
Normally you would find quite a few men fishing from the south pier in South Shields, but because of the high spring tides and strong winds (which cause the waves to crash over the lighthouse) the end of the pier has been closed for a few days. I caught this shot a couple of weeks ago when the weather was a little more calm.
I’ve ran a Photoshop action which attempts to replicate the look of a lensbaby
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/500 second, f8.0, iso 200
Raising money for Cancer Connections
Yesterday “Junior” and I took part in a charity walk (full story here) to raise money for a local charity Cancer Connections, which we consider to be a worthy cause. The walk was set off by South Tyneside’s Deputy Mayor Cllr. John Anglin and hundreds of people took part.
The idea was to dress up your hair in a mad fashion, spike it, colour it, or stick a wig on it, and as you can see we all had a bit of fun!
The five mile round trip from Souter Lighthouse at Whitburn to Gypsies Green Stadium in South Shields and back again proved to be a bit too much for my feet and ageing legs, but I’ll be back again next year!
Has it ever looked so good?
This is a very old public landing and slipway in South Shields. Readhead’s Landing has been situated between the shipyards for over 150 years, and possibly a little longer. It has been featured in Catherine Cookson books and was a place that I sometimes played in when I was a child. In years gone by small boats, skiffs, and cobbles would be lauched from here by men perhaps joining a larger vessel or perhaps going out to fish, it may no longer be possible to do that now, but it is available as an emergency landing for someone experiencing trouble on the River Tyne.
For many years access to the landing has been restricted but now after a long struggle it’s status as a Public Right of Way is about to be confirmed and our local council has set about cleaning up half a century’s muck, rubbish, flotsam and jetsam from the river and even removed the remains of an old boat. The old cobble stones, which were used to cover every street in the riverside area, are now cleaned up and the place actually looks inviting to those wishing to use it as a point of access to the river for all sorts of reasons.
In all of my life, I don’t think I can remember it looking this good, you can almost feel and touch the Victorian age here and imagine the wooden hulled three masted ships tied up at Tyne Dock and stevedores rowing about offering their services to captains.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/125 second, f9.5, iso 200
near Newton Garths Farm
Ah, I felt as if I was in the countryside.
I’d left the urban sprawl behind at Brockley Whins Metro Station, South Shields, and descended the hill towards the winding babbling brook that is the River Don, the sun was bright but a stiff wind was whipping the water to produce a minor cacophony of noise, regardless, I struck out to the east, towards the Boldons, Cleadon, and Newton Garths Farm hidden behind Biddick Hall.
I was surprised by the amount of bird activity, and bird song around me, despite it being mid afternoon, the nest builders had already started and were darting about hither and thither, zipping down to the water and back to the trees carrying their loads, it was almost idyllic. I followed the Don upstream, it was little more than three or four feet wide and a few miles away from it’s confluence where it enters the Tyne, yet despite being little less than a few hunfred yards outside of the boundaries of South Shields it felt like the Great British countryside.
“tsee-tsee-tsu-hu-hu-hu-hu” was the song I heard from above, the typical call from the Blue Tit, one of our most common small birds, yet a visit by one of these little charmers to my street would probably be a rare event, he was in the tree above me and his partner was busy lining a nest in a small hole in the tree.
I quite enjoyed the walk, I will return a little later during the summer to walk downstream from the same place.
This picture cropped from a larger image.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 450 mm lens, 1/250second, f5.6, iso 200
Surprised that my little ones could even be bothered to ask to go down to the beach a couple of days ago, it’s still a bit chilly on some days here in South Shields, despite leaving winter behind for spring.
First rule at this time of year, before the season really opens, is to bring your own refreshments. Although some places are open near the amusement park, all other catering establishments may not be open all day every day just yet!
Now I don’t have a 10 mm – 18 mm super wide lens in my bag, so this effect was achieved using Photoshop’s lens distortion filter, it’s meant to remove the barrel distortion, but I decided to go the opposite way!
The River Tyne flows out through those piers in the distance into the North Sea, check the map link to find out where we are.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/180 second, f11, iso 200
Millennium Bridge. Gateshead
That trip up the river from South Shields a couple of weeks ago was profitable in terms of the pictures that I brought back, I still haven’t got around to sharing my favourite shots with you yet.
This is the Millennium Bridge, made for pedestrians to cross the River Tyne between Newcastle’s Quayside and Gateshead’s Baltic Square, it is cleverly designed to tilt, thus allowing larger boats or smaller ships to pass under. Across on the south bank we are looking at the former flour mill which is now the highly regarded Baltic Mill Arts Centre, and it has viewing platforms on the top floor affording wonderful views east and west looking at the various bridges crossing the Tyne. If you follow the map link and zoom out a little, you will be able to use Google’s Streetview on the south side of the bridge and take a virtual tour.
I took this shot just before the rain came down, the shape of the bridge lending to an impression of a blinking, glinting, human eye.
Apologies once more to Newcastle Daily Photo for encroaching on their territory, I’m almost finished – honest!
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/3 second, f13, iso 200 (hand held)
You know that spring is here when all the daffodils in South Shields are in full bloom. These were found in River Drive overlooking the River Tyne, you can just see the Dolly Peel statue in the left of the background. They are the dwarf tete a tete variety.
South Tyneside Council have planted 750,000 spring bulbs in and around South Shields, many of them on the main approach roads into the borough, we have already seen some of the crocuses this year in South Shields Daily Photo, and to be fair the addition of some colour as you approach the town is very welcome and uplifting after the grey days of winter.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28mm lens, 1/180 second, f9.5, iso 200