Colchester Castle

The castle is Norman but built on the ruins of a Roman temple that itself was built when Colchester was the Roman capital of Britain.

After visiting the Martin Parr exhibition last week I took a walk up to the castle and through the park on my way to the station.

The castle is Norman but built on the ruins of a Roman temple that itself was built when Colchester was the Roman capital of Britain. The keep is the largest ever built in the UK and one and half times bigger than the White Tower at the Tower of London. Some people have speculated that it could have had up to four storeys.

There are some great exhibitions inside the castle that explain the history of the town but today I wanted to stay outside and walk around the extensive park. I believe the park was first landscaped by the Victorians and still wins awards. I think one of my first dates was a visit to the park and a game of crazy golf! I have been to many many events held here over the years from fireworks displays to proms in the park and the military tattoo but it is also lovely just listening to whatever is playing in the bandstand on a sunny afternoon.


A sunny day in Aldeburgh

The other weekend I spent a sunny few hours in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. It is a lovely, if stoney, beach that seemingly goes on for miles. I had the chance to walk around for a bit with my camera but unfortunately didn’t quite make it to Maggi Hambling’s beach sculpture.

I understand that Alde Burgh means ‘Old Fort’ but there is no evidence of a fort today as the landscape has changed over the years and what was once an important tudor marine town has mostly been lost to the sea. Now it is a place where people look to purchase a second or holiday home and where expensive boutiques, pretty gift shops and notable fish and chip shops line the main street. It is famous as being the home of composer Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears and also as the place where Francis Drake’s Golden hind was built.

These are a few of the photos I took. They are a bit more saturated than I would usually choose but after a visit to the Martin Parr exhibition I felt that it was time for a little more colour!


St Botolph’s Priory

Actually called the priory of St Julien and St Botolph this is the first Augustinian priory in the UK.

While I was in Colchester I took the opportunity to take a few photographs in the town centre. I can’t believe that I have never taken photos of some of the main sights before!

First up was a quick visit to St Botolph’s Priory. I think the last time I went in here was more than 30 years ago on my way home from school one night. Then it was a bit of risky place to be as it was frequented by undesirables but since then it has been cleaned up, made into a nice park and I thought it was a very pleasant place to be.

Actually called the priory of St Julien and St Botolph this is the first Augustinian priory in the UK. It was built by the Saxons, probably using some Roman bricks from earlier buildings and was founded as a priory around 1100 and was the place where canons lived together and served the town. Although the priory closed and was partially demolished in 1536 the church remained open until the civil war in the 1640s when it was caught in the crossfire of the assault on South Gate. A Gothic Victorian church was built next to the priory in 1837 and it is this church that still stands and is active today.

Tim Peake’s Photographs

The British astronaut Tim Peake returned safely to Earth at the weekend after an incredible six months on board the space station. Passing over the earth several times a day gave him the opportunity to take some stunning photographs of the views from the space station windows.

Panama canal
Panama Canal


Morning sun volcanoes
Volcanoes in Guatemala catching the morning sun


Earth Day

The Bahamas

Scotland, Northern Ireland & and Isle of Man


The Amazon River

You can see all of Tim’s photographs on his flickr page but I particularly like the interactive map that you can see here.



Constable Shoot 4

My latest photoshoot for my final major project was a bit of a disaster. I went over to Flatford early one morning to have another go at the Boat Building image and also the View on the Stour near Dedham. It was a lovely clear morning that could have done with a few more clouds in the sky to add interest to my photos but with limited days available to me and several rainy days that had already prevented me from photographing I couldn’t be too fussy.

I had a book of Constable’s paintings with me and used that to help me set the tripod and camera in the right place. I followed all my usual steps and took around 30 photos for the first panorama.

I then moved on and used the book again to set up for the second panorama. Again I took around 40 photographs.

People were beginning to arrive and get in the way of my shots so I packed up and headed home again. I stopped off in East Bergholt and took a couple of photographs around the village which I’ve used to illustrate an earlier post describing Constable’s Biography.

Sadly when I tried to download the memory card onto my laptop I found that several of the images ‘could not be found’ and others could not be joined together in a panorama. I have put this down to a corrupted memory card. It was a bit frustrating but I have managed to salvage a couple of photographs.

Constable Shoot 4-3-Pano-2
Boat Building 2 rows of 10 photographs

I’m reasonably happy with this image. I like that you can see the boat rests in the dock. I had been a few days earlier and there was still water in the bottom as they had only recently begun to drain it.

Constable Shoot 4-3-Pano-2-Edit-Edit-Edit

I still haven’t found a good sized copy of Constable’s Boat building painting but I have quickly dropped the image I do have on top of my panorama so that you can see how it would look.

Constable Shoot 4-46-Pano-Edit-Edit
View on the Stour near Dedham 1 row of 14 photographs

For the View on the Stour photograph the sun was casting very strong shadows and had the photos been able to merge successfully I would have needed to edit my own shadow out in the lower part of the shot. A visit later in the day would have been better but then I would have struggled with people in the shot.

Constable Shoot 4-46-Pano-Edit-Edit-Edit

Again, I’ve quickly dropped a copy of the painting onto the panorama. It won’t line up precisely as this part of the river was altered when the second lock was installed just to the left of the photograph.

I’m happier with this image and  think I might be able to work on this photograph and possibly use this in my final exhibition.

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