Monday, 26 September 2011

Severn Valley Railway Gala - After Dark Photos

Once a year the Severn Valley Railway holds an Autumn Steam Gala which includes 'through the night running'. Although I confess I know nothing about steam trains, I was captivated by the whole atmosphere in 2010 and so I was determined to spend some time there again in 2011.

The following are a selection of images taken over the Friday and Saturday nights at both Bewdley and Bridgnorth between the hours of 7pm and 2am.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Midland Off Road Club - Penkridge Comp Safari

Following on from my previous visits to both Buildwas and Baden Hall, the friendly folk at Midland Off Road Club extended an invite to another one of their Competition Safaris, this time at Penkridge. Unfortunately I could only attend one of the two days, but the following images provide a flavour of the action.

Fun With Abstract Patterns 2

Following on from my previous post, here are a few more abstract patterns.

Can you guess what they are? - Answers below the pictures.

Photo 1 - This is the unpainted steel beams and concrete slab in a new multi storey car park.
Photo 2 - This is an extract from a sunset behind silhouetted trees.
Photo 3 - This is the end of a Chocolate Labradors nose. (Thanks Arthur!!)

RAF Shawbury AM&SU - An Aladdin’s Cave Of Aviation

Following the press coverage in early 2010 of Prince William graduating from Shawbury, most people are aware that through the based Defence Helicopter School, Shawbury provides basic rotary training to pilots of all three services. What most people don't realise is that this Shropshire base is also home to a large number of other aircraft.

Operated by FB Heliservices on behalf of the RAF, the Aircraft Maintenance & Storage Unit is also located at Shawbury. To the casual onlooker many of the hangars scattered around the airfield look unused, but in truth these hangars provide dehumidified environments for extended storage of aircraft.

Generally aircarft come to Shawbury for storage to either be used as a spares source for other airframes, to simply be rotated with other operational aircraft to spread the hours across the fleet or they have been withdrawn from use and are being held pending stripping, scrapping or onward sale. The levels of storage vary significantly across the airframes with some requiring a lot of work to return them to the air, and others 'almost ready to go'.

Recently I was fortunate to have a visit to RAF Shawbury, which included a look at the Aircraft Storage and Maintenance Unit, the following are a few images from this Aladdin's Cave Of Aviation.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Fun With Abstract Patterns (Design Your Own Giftwrap)

With more and more companies printing wrapping paper to order, here is a little process you can use to design your own unique pattern of paper. Alternatively you could simply print and frame the result as an abstract piece of art.

Pick any suitable image that holds an area that you think will make a suitable pattern. Once you have had a go at this you will soon realise that just about any image can be used.

In this example I have started with a simple image of a green charm bracelet.

From your chosen image select and crop a small area of detail, I have have chosen to crop in on some of the beads. Note - for simplicity I have applied a square crop but it doesn't have to be square.

Now you need to create a new background layer which is twice the height and twice the width of your crop. So if your crop is 600pix x 400pix your new background layer would need to be 1200pix x 800pix.
You now need to drop your cropped image as a new layer on to the background layer.

Repeat this process a further three times so that you end up with a blank background layer and four copies of your crop layer sitting on top.

Ignoring the base layer you now need to manipulate three of the four 'crop' layers.
Layer one is left alone, layer two is flipped horizontally, layer three is flipped vertically and layer four is flipped both horizontally and vertically.

The four layers can then be arranged in four different ways as shown below.

Once you have chosen the layout you like you flatten all the layers to create one layer.

Make a note of the size of this document as you now need to create a blank background layer twice as wide and twice as tall once again, then copy across four copies of your flattened image.

With the four layers copied across, arrange, flatten, save and repeat this process until you reach a sheet either big enough for purpose or you simply achieve a pattern that you are really happy with.

The finished example using the green charm bracelet is shown below.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011