Saturday, 5 July 2014

Exploring Salou; Hotel Cala Vina

I should of gone back in..................I  should of gone back in.

We've recently been on holiday, Laura and I, to Salou in Spain. The weather was hot and the food was good, what more can you ask for?

When walking back from a meal in the local resort we walked past a hotel that was abandoned.......result!

Laura, kindly waited as I jumped over the fence surrounding the hotel and searched for an open door, I didn't find one though.

A couple of days later I decided to have another look. I started by going round the back and taking a selfie.

Real exploring clothes, swimming shorts and a vest
I then walked around the site and climbed up a low level building. It was then when I see possible entry point. The downside, I had to climb again to get to it, not so easy when you've got short shorts on and a camera bag hanging off your shoulder.

Oh well.

First I had to balance on a flimsy open ventilation pipe that was just wide enough that if I fell in I would be stuck, I mean really stuck considering no one would know where I was. The next step was to push off of a wall and then jump to a very unstable piece of scaffolding. The scaffolding wasn't supported at the end I was to climb up on, when I put weight on it moved and sunk and swayed. I really had to either man up and go for it or just give up.

I went for it and jumped and balanced on my stomach before I brought my leg up and climbed. Rough work when I was in little shorts.

So I was on the scaffolding but I still had to get in. The way in was a small opening made by pushing a piece of boarding back, getting on my knees and crawling through.

Safe to say it was absolutely roasting inside. I mean damn it was hot.

The corridor I crawled into. The gap i crawled through is on the left hand side.
My goal was to run upstairs and get on the roof, I was stopped immediately on the next floor up, an ALARM. To say it was surprising is an understatement. There was no way I was going up on the roof to then have police or security turn up when I had no other way of getting down.

I lost my bottle!

So I turned round and went down stairs to the ground floor.

It was weird.

The reception and office behind looked as though the hotel employees had downed tools one day, turned off the lights and locked the doors behind. I mean everything was still there; computers, paperwork, pens, pencils, you name it.
 
The alarm was still going off and it was dark, not ideal for photography as I felt rushed so I didn't have time to swap lenses, I just took 2 shots and another selfie and then ran back upstairs to get out. I had crawl out and jump down yet.



I really wish I went back in, I just know that there would be a dining room full of tables and chairs and kitchen full of pots and pans. That's not too mention the guest rooms, there was probably 100 of them.

I did however take a couple of shots of the outside.

I just love a good tilt




It was a big place
 
I really hope I go back to Salou for a holiday again.

Ill have to take less camera gear though as my bag weighed a tonne.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Reflections

Im really bad at keeping up with updating this blog, I have images, themes, stories etc etc dating back from February that I still haven't shown.
I will get round to these eventually, I really should considering there was a job and ive been granted permission to share the photos on my blog, I need to get my priorities straight.

Weve had bad spells of weather recently over the past few weeks, actually is the weather ever that nice? Every time it rains enough to form some big puddles I really want to go out and find some reflections of buildings, people, flowers, you name it but then I look out the window and think "no way...its raining!"

Well, Laura and I had to go to Kings Lynn last weekend for a spot of shopping and ive now reached the stage where I really cant go anywhere without a camera. Thank goodness I bought the X20 last month as its almost pocketable (if I had a big pocket).

It had rained at dinner time so things were looking up!

Things were actually a let down as by the time i was ready to take photos all the puddles had dried up.

I grabbed a few shots of the Custom House; a subject covered thousands of times before.




This sign said something about a flood risk, I see the funny side as there was a puddle in front of it.



When in Alton Towers the week before i also took 2 other reflection based shots. No more photos taken on this day....come on.....its Alton Towers, i was so excited, even when standing in a queue for 2 hours.


Onwards and upwards, tune in next time. Thanks for looking.
Ben

Monday, 26 May 2014

Flypast

When I was a young boy I loved planes, I remember visiting an air show at the age of 9 or 10, I think at RAF Mildenhall (at least I think it was there). I wish I could remember more about the day, I do remember sitting in various cockpits and vehicles and I remember how loud a Harrier jet it when its hovering above the ground.

On to the subject of this post, I heard a BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) plane was to fly over Sutton Bridge on May 25th. The place I gained this information........facebook! I had to work Sunday, in the back of my mind all day I wondered if I had missed the event.

When I got home I got my camera out and put it on the side in the kitchen in case I hadn't missed it. Laura and I went out on our bikes about 3pm, id only been on my bike 30 seconds before I heard the plane coming and so I missed shooting the first flypast but instead at least I enjoyed seeing it with my own eyes instead of through a viewfinder.

By the 2nd flypast I had managed to get my camera out of the bag, I quickly dialled some settings in and shot away. It flew over and then came back again, I only had time to alter the shutter speed before it was back over head, click click.

I wish it had gone over again as I would of slowed the shutter speed again enough to of captured some movement in the propellers. I should of been better prepared, damn.

I had a basic idea of what I wanted shots to look like though; I wanted to include ground objects in each shot so that a viewer can appreciate how low the plane was as it flew overhead.

The plane itself after looking on the net is a Douglas C-47 Dakota, a transport plane used during WWII, which was built in 1942.



Dogfighting with a bird

My favourite shot

Flypast done

All shots taken at f8, ISO 200, shutter speed's; way too fast!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

I was Bourne to find places like this......see what i did there?

I can spell, honest.

My brother in law, Spen, told me a about an old railway tunnel in Bourne, Lincolnshire.

It is called Borne Park Tunnel.

There was no way that I could be told about something and not go looking for it.

It didn't take long to find and it wasn't disappointing, lots of cool images to take.

From what I read the tunnel was constructed and completed around 1887-1888 due to a local land owner not wanting a train line ruining the view from his mansion. The tunnel was closed in 1947. 

During World War 2 the line was closed to passengers in 1940 and was taken over by the military. It was home to a huge Railway gun called the Boche Buster which could fire shells of 1.4 tons over a range of 12 miles.

The good ol' internet supplied all of the above, personally I found the news of the big gun a cool surprise.

The lens of choice for this day was my Sigma 70-200 F2.8, im still loving it.

I wanted to capture different details of the site and the lens helped to pick out small details and patterns from the surroundings.






Awesome diffused light shining through the trees onto these steep steps carved into the bank
This lone tree caught my eye as I was leaving the site, I framed the tree and the field through branches of the shrubbery I was standing behind.


Thanks for looking.

Ben

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Street art with the newest camera in my collection

Why oh why oh why did I want another camera when I already own so many, including some that are cool and one; the 5D which is amazing.

Well for a little while now I have coveted a smaller retro looking camera; the Fujifilm X20.

12MP, manual control, viewfinder, shoots RAW.....yes please!

Photo of the new toy, taken on my IPhone
 
I purchased the camera from WEX in Norwich on the way to Great Yarmouth, where we were staying for the weekend on good ol' British caravan holiday.
 
I chose to use this camera all weekend during my travels and walk abouts so I could get a good feel for it.
 
The images taken are not comparable to my 5D but I never expected them to be anyway. RAW images require sharpening and noise reduction to get the best of them.
 
For portability and ease of use thought this camera is awesome. There are 2 command dials and buttons to control everything you need such as focus point, white balance etc and a nice exposure compensation dial on the top.
 
The usual family holiday snaps were taken but otherwise I have enjoyed using this camera to capture buildings, signs and street art and a bit of street photography.
 


There's some good detail on the buildings along the sea front of Gt Yarmouth
 


The name of this place gets me every time
 

Artificial decay
 
On the way home from Yarmouth on Monday we stopped off in Norwich again for dinner. Obviously I had the camera hanging around my neck.
 
Ive noticed street art around Norwich before on previous shopping trips, once you start looking for it you find that it is all over the place. These pieces were on the way to our chosen eatery.
 





 
Street art can be found in your home towns.
 
At the beach
 
Even found in Wisbech, yesterday after my mortgage appointment.
 

 Yes its a camera and im taking a photo.

 This penguin was just up the road from the other.

One very cramped alley way
 
Thanks for looking.
 
Ben


Monday, 14 April 2014

Urbexing at the Sutton Bridge 'Art' gallery

The 2nd site I climbed into last week was very close to home.

I had been in the building when it was still open to the public and was a business, safe to say it looks a bit different these days.

Firstly I think local 'artists' have been in and have tried to exhibit their best work.

Secondly, someone thinks the place is now a hotel as it looks like someone has been living here. There is a make shift bed on the floor with a pillow and I found left overs from a previous nights tea.

The site of this explore was a bit disappointing as was the first site in Elm earlier in the week.

I climbed through the window and was only greeted by 2 rooms that are accessible. Someone has boarded up another door way, maybe ill find out what's behind at a later date.

Not much to photograph either apart from the 'art' on the wall.

The lenses of choice for the day were; 24-105, 16mm Fisheye and 70-200.

On to the gallery

 
The end of what???
 
 

Who throws a shoe?

 
A chair to admire the work.
 


I got some funny looks climbing out of the window and walking off down the road.

Thanks for looking.

Ben