When you’re asleep they may show you Aerial views of the ground, Freudian slumber empty of sound.
Over the rooftops and houses, Lost as it tries to be seen, Fields of incentive covered with green.
Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Anthony George Banks
As someone who has dabbled with pole photography (don’t Google that – you could come away with entirely the wrong impression 😀 ) – it was inevitable/compulsory that some day I should acquire a drone. With wide open spaces and unrestricted airspace I am ideally placed to practice being the Red Baron. These were taken on my second flight – on the maiden ascent I used video but the still camera produces much more interesting and better quality results. In enlarged view you can see as far as the bridge at Corbridge and there is even a selfie – the white dot to the left of the arched window is me with the controller 🙂
The first surprise has been evidence of ancient ridge and furrow farming in the surrounding fields, something not at all apparent at ground level.
I ventured further yesterday – the sun came out so I made it to the bottom of the drive. These photos were taken with a six metre pole and a remote control shutter. Unfortunately I have yet to acquire a camera with a wireless Live View connection so it is a bit like fishing – you cast your pole, fire the shutter and you only see what’s on the end of the line when you retrieve the hook/camera. It resembles fishing in other ways too e.g. not something to be attempted near high voltage overhead cables nor when there is lightning in the air.
The local council have done a good job at keeping the roads clear but this is only part of our problem. It is wonderful to have open views from the house but when it snows with a north east wind there is the potential for the entire contents of the field to be deposited in our drive. The extremes have not occurred on this occasion but it will still be some time before we can get my wife’s car out – mine, with its ‘very sensible’ rear wheel drive and ultra-wide low profile tyres is probably stuck there until August.
This is my 100th post – oddly addictive for something which I only started out of curiosity.
Today, July 18th 2012, the Newcastle Journal has published number three in a series of Great Golf Holes of the North, this time the 17th at Allendale, my home club. The fine words were by Norman Harris and the picture is mine.
Just occasionally events fall into place. Despite our awful summer, the weather briefly brightened, the view down the valley cleared, one of our members (Andy Morgan) turned up on cue and chipped a ball onto the green, the camera was already on station 5 meters up a pole, the wireless shutter triggered, the ball was caught in mid-flight (I promise it wasn’t added afterwards, just slightly enlarged) and it all fell into place. Norman was eventually persuaded that this was the best view of the hole and with some ‘post-production’ figures added to the tee, everyone was content.
Then it appears in newsprint and the detail that provides the atmosphere has gone, the contrast has disappeared and there is no depth to the picture. So, to set the record straight, here is the original – still not as good as the high resolution version (WordPress compression does it no favours) but still a marked improvement on the newsprint version. Click on the picture to see a slightly enlarged version.
Postscript: It turns out the Journal also fiddled with one of the paragraphs. This is what Norman Harris actually said:
Intriguingly, there was once an issue with this 17th hole. When the course was established in 1992 the nine holes were played twice from the same tees. Then came the idea of having alternative tees on the second nine.
A number of players thought that a retrograde step – though possibly this resistance was all down to the new 17th seeming to be just too difficult. Not least by the ladies, who opted to play their tee shot from the drop area. Now, they face up to the challenge of clearing the canyon, regardless of the possible consequences.
Finally managed to time a trip to Bellingham in good weather. The course was looking excellent although it was a pity nothing was in bloom. The assignment was for a Signature Holes article being produced by Norman Harris (The Sunday Times and Observer) for The Journal. The 18th at Bellingham, Boggle Hole, is the first of a series. The attached panorama will not be used so I don’t feel bad about pre-publishing, particularly as I risked life and limb on the bar roof capturing it – don’t look too closely for the hand crafted stitch. The pictures that will be used were all captured from a 17 foot Brodex pole – a bit like fishing – cast and hope. It is difficult to photograph – the two challenging aspects are the two ravines on the approach and it is only side-on that they become visible. Unfortunately the panorama does not suit the proposed layout for the article.