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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Photopost: Warwick Castle

On the last Sunday of the school summer holiday I went to Warwick Castle with Emma, my friends Jo and Neil, and their daughter, Beth. Here are some things I saw and did. As usual, these are the highlights and there are more here.

Warwick Castle's front door
I'm struggling a bit when the sky's really bright. I can't seem to figure out how to get the foreground bright enough whilst retaining some of the sky's texture. I took another photo with a slightly slower shutter speed, and whilst the castle was brighter, the sky was washed out which affected the entire photograph.

Some of the inner workings of the castle's water mill
Despite having been to Warwick Castle a number of times, I hadn't realised that it had a water mill which was used for generating electricity for the castle before it was connected to the national grid. It works now, and there was even a point that you could use to charge your phone from the water mill (if it was working) or the mill's batteries (if it was not). Unfortunately, this needs updating as some of the connectors are all but obsolete, and there wasn't one to fit my phone (mini- USB).

A peacock outside the water mill
This peacock was preening itself just outside the water mill, with the castle's working trebuchet in the background. It was almost as if this bird had been employed to sit and pose for photo opportunities.

Some fire
Our trip to the castle was on the last day of the season's jousting events. While we were a bit far away for my meagre zooming capabilities to get much in the way of actual jousting action, I managed to snap this bit of fire produced as a part of the pre-actual-jousting events.

Duck!
I befriended this duck by giving it a chip. It wanted more, and wouldn't leave me alone afterwards. It reminds me of a riddle that goes like this: What's the difference between a duck? Answers on a postcard (or in the comments), please.

Nobody tosses a rat
One of the more surprising activities available to children at Warwick Castle is something which can only properly be titled Flinging Rats Through a Hole on a Stick. They're not real rats, though. I think.

Ouch
Compare this photo to this one on Neil's Flickr photostream. We were standing next to each other at the time. A heartwarming tale of friendship and shared experiences, no?

Helen Mirren was there too.

Is that painting yours? It's rubbish
Fans of Oblique Exposure (from my good friends Jenny and Carlos) might recognise this mirror

A stained glass silhouette
Not to be outdone on the stained-glass window front, here's my own, though I'm not sure whether I prefer this shot, or the other one I took.

Is this cheating?
Neil's camera is more zoomierer than mine is, so I thought I'd hitch-hike on this long-shot.

Finish Him!
We watched a demonstration by the Knights of Warwick Castle that was both entertaining and educational.

There can be only one
A brave knight showing a ruthless stick no mercy
I like the fact that I caught the bit that was hewn from the stick as it departed the immediate vicinity.

Mace + brain
Another knight boshing a brain with a mace. Well, it was a lettuce, but I know plenty of people for whom the two are virtually indistinguishable.

You wouldn't argue with him
It's tricky to get decent photos where animals are concerned, especially if they're flying ones. I got a couple I'm fairly pleased with- there are a few more on my Flickr stream.

Can you spot t'wit t'who is in this photo?

Watchu lookin' at?
There are lots of peacocks wandering around the castle grounds. Some of them looked a bit dishevelled.

Ain't gettin' on no plane, fool
I liked this peacock-shaped topiary, but I'm not sure why they've been given mohawks.

I can see you!
I'm quite proud of this photo, but that's largely because of the number of attempts it took to get it: the little bugger kept ducking its head down as I pressed the shutter release.

Emma, Beth, Neil, and a mediaeval siege weapon. Oh, and Jo.
I'm trying to take more photos of people as I know that people make interesting photo subjects - I do enough people-watching when I'm not behind a lens - but I struggle with the thought that I might look like some kind of weirdo. These are people I know, so it's not too bad, and I really like how it turned out.

I love the pose this guy is striking. Jus' chillin'
Something in his eyes transmits a primal desire to eat yours
I don't know these people, but they look comfortable
A brief surge of photographic confidence led to me snapping some people I don't know.

I'm pretty sure that somewhere on the piece of paper is the instruction "don't pull the sword out"
Here's a lady who didn't manage to pull the sword out of the stone, standing next to a guy who'd previously also succeeded in not pulling the sword out. That guy on the right is Merlin. Looks different on telly.

Heave!
And here's the kid who did manage to pull the sword out of the stone. Or anvil. Much to the surprise of all concerned, most evidently on the faces of the actors, the young-un's name was Arthur.

Fire!
Warwick Castle has a fully functioning trebuchet which appeals immensley to the part of me that's still nine years old. Actually launching something that's on fire from it makes my inner nine-year-old run around screaming, and demand an ice cream.


I tried to be clever and get shots of the fireball as it flew through the sky, with the trebuchet and predicted landing spot in shot at all times. I had visions of quadratic curves in my head which could be overlaid on a grid and projected for my classes to see. Unfortunately, whilst my left-right estimations were almost nearly right, my up-down spatial awareness wandered off for a bit of a sit down, and the fireball is lost somewhere quite considerably out of shot. As a wide-angled shot, however, I really like it. If you head over to Flickr there's another shot that just catches the fireball on its way back down...


And then we went home.