WPC : Silence

This week’s theme of silence has left me with an earworm to “The Sound of Silence”… the Disturbed version though.

As for a photo to match the theme – this is a portrait I took a couple of years ago and is still one of my favourites. He’s actually a pretty smiley guy but I asked him to look melancholy and despairing which he happily did. Listening to the lyrics from The Sound of Silence just seems to fit with this portrait. What do you think?

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“Hello darkness my old friend”

Silence

WPC: Weathered

How fortuitous that this week’s photography challenge came in my email the same day I got an message from STV (a Scottish Television Channel) asking my permission to use one of my photographs in a programme about doors. Yes, sounds rivetting, doesn’t it? But it’s still nice to be appreciated, even if it is only watched by 50 or 60 people in the country.

Newmilns Keep Front Door
A nicely weathered door

Newmilns Keep is a fortified tower and the oldest building in the town – built in the 16th century c1530. It was in the possession of John Campbell of Newmilns, who was summoned to appear before King James IV as one of the Lollards of Kyle. In 1685 it was being used as a barracks for dragoons and a prison for Covenanters when it was attacked by local men who succeeded in freeing 8 prisoners. It has been used as a grain store, a doocot, a band hall and a beer cellar and is now a private residence.
Weathered

WPC: Scale

Sorry I’ve been MIA from the Weekly Photo Challenge. It’s all down to work – I have so much of it that I don’t get as much time as I would like to mess about on the internet, which is good as I work free-lance. Anyway I’m in it this week with one old photograph (the butterfly) and two new ones (the Praying Mantis).

Butterfly

I found this beauty lurking in a folder unedited in my bugs and beasties folder on my PC (I’m currently clearing out my folders as I’m eagerly awaiting a new PC being delivered this week) Anyway a quick levels and sharpening and we have a lovely butterfly.

Praying Mantis 4

This not so pretty beastie has decided that the back of my bench is a good place to live. Now I can no longer sit on the bench… He flew (jumped?) onto my hair the first time I saw him so I think he thinks we’re friends now. He’s wrong.

Praying Mantis 3

But I did name him Eric. Don’t you think he looks like an Eric? No, just me?
Scale

 

WPC Structure: Wings

For the past 7 years since I moved to the USA I’ve become ever so slightly obsessed by hummingbirds. They’re absolutely amazing! They’re so small, fast, squabbly (is that a real word?), colourful, noisy and un-afraid. I saw one take on a titmouse the other day!

Anyway this weeks WPC of structure is a good excuse to use my weekend shots of the hummingbirds and in particular their wings and the structure of their feathers.

Technical jargon if anyone is interested: the shutter speed I needed to capture these shots was 1/3000 of a second with an ISO of 1600 at F6.3. I was using an 18-300mm Sigma lens on my Pentax K5 at full zoom and when editing I used a huge crop as well. I’m pretty pleased they turned out as sharp as they did (not counting all the binned blurry efforts btw).

I love how they fly right up to you and look you in the face as if to say “Hey giant thingy, what are you?” Now if I could only get one to perch on my finger.

Hummingbird1Hummingbird2Hummingbird4Hummingbird3Hummingbird5Hummingbird6

Structure

WPC: Unusual

They took all the trees, put ’em in a tree museum….

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And they charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em.

This week’s theme of ‘Unusual’ and all I could think of was the song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and the exhibition we had quite a few years ago at my museum (of course it wasn’t MY library, museum and art gallery… I just worked there)

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?
Unusual

WPC: Collage

A Chicago collage. It’s a mixed-up-muddled-up-shook-up-world except for Lola…. no, wait a minute that’s the Kinks (and one of my top-ten favourite songs y’all) I should be singing a Queen song….

A few wee snaps thrown into a collage from a couple of days I had in Chicago this weekend for this week’s Weekly Photography Theme.

Fat bottomed girls we make the rockin’ world go round! 
Collage

WPC: Bridge

This weeks theme is ‘bridge’ but rather than trawl through my archives finding pics of bridges (and there are many many pics of bridges!) I decided to head out and re-photograph one of my favourite bridges in this area.

Bridge
Older photograph taken 4 years ago

The Jackson Truss covered bridge is located just west of Greenup, Illinois and is a re-creation of a bridge built in 1832, which legend says Abraham Lincoln helped build along with his father and cousin.

Covered bridge2

The original wooden span was constructed in 1832, but was washed out in 1865. Ferry service provided crossing until a steel replacement was constructed in 1875. Unfortunately, that bridge was also washed out in 1912. Again, intermittent ferry service served the area until 1920 when a 3-span girder bridge was completed. In 1996, the eastern pier was severely damaged due to flooding. A grant was applied for to construct a historic looking covered bridge to replace the damaged one.

Covered bridge3

The recreation was designed to carry modern day vehicle loads, including semi-trucks, this 200 foot single span structure is reported to be the longest covered timber bridge in the US without posted restrictions.

Covered bridge1

Costing 2.8 million dollars to construct and funded by Federal and State funds, the old structure was demolished and removed in November of 1998 and in spring of 2001, the new bridge was commemorated.
A patent from the original bridge truss aided in the design of the new bridge. Walking inside the bridge one is astounded by the size of the large timbers and the visible construction techniques used.

The new bridge has a story board and observation deck on the west bank and is open to both vehicle and foot traffic.

Orchard

And as all that information is far too serious (I hope you’ve been paying attention – there will be a quiz later!) here’s an added bonus of a photograph of an orchard I stopped at to buy peaches on the way home.
Bridge