Single frame… Knife Angel, Coventry

Knife Angel, CoventryKnife Angel, Coventry
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 18mm, 1/420s, f8, ISO 400

Currently on display in Coventry, the National Monument Against Violence and Aggression, more commonly known as the ‘Knife Angel’ is a towering, poignant tribute to the lives lost to knife violence.

Artist Alfie Bradley disinfected and blunted more than 100,000 weapons before welding them together to form the angel. Thirty percent of the knives used in the sculpture were bloodied on arrival and came in biohazard bags.

It’s an incredibly moving piece of art and ironically I almost had a moment of ‘violence and aggression’ myself while viewing it… The urge to slap senseless the person who insisted on telling me ‘it’s a statue dedicated to Mick Dagger! Geddit? Mick DAGGER!’ was almost irresistible…

Single frame… Trent & Mersey Canal, Fradley Junction

Trent & Mersey Canal, Fradley JunctionTrent & Mersey Canal, Fradley Junction
Olympus OM20, Zuiko Auto-T 100mm f/2.8 – 1/125s, f8, – Agfa Vista 200 rated at ISO 100

Some more ‘gongoozling’ on a recent Photography Friday outing, this time at Fradley Junction, where the Trent & Mersey and Coventry Canals meet…

It was also warm enough for the first outdoor pub lunch of the year (and a couple of pints of Everards Tiger) at The Swan.

Scan by AgLab with minimal cropping and tweaking in Lightroom Classic CC.

Photography Friday… The Chesterfield Canal

57ft narrow boat 'Little Mester'57ft narrow boat ‘Little Mester’
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 39mm, 1/80s, f11, ISO 1000

Today’s excursion took Rachel and I ‘gongoozling’ again, this time along the restored section of the Chesterfield Canal near Shireoaks in Nottinghamshire.

Turnerwood Bottom Lock No.37Turnerwood Bottom Lock No.37
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 23mm, 1/110s, f11, ISO 400

The towpath can be followed all the way from Chesterfield to the point at which the canal meets the River Trent at West Stockwith, taking in some very peaceful countryside along the way…

Swans at Browns Lock No.32Swans at Browns Lock No.32
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 46mm, 1/200s, f11, ISO 400

We only saw a couple of boats but at the moment the canal comes to an abrupt end at the eastern portal of the 2,884 yard long Norwood Tunnel near Kiveton Park but the Chesterfield Canal Trust have plans to restore the remaining nine miles to Staveley near Chesterfield.

Photography Friday… a trip to Wales

Today’s ‘Photography Friday’ trip took us off to Wales… specifically to the Llangollen Railway and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Llangollen lies on the River Dee in Denbighshire and plays host to the International Musical Eisteddfod, an event that we completely failed to realise was taking place this week and the town was packed with visitors (and performers) from all over the world!

The River Dee at LlangollenThe River Dee at Llangollen
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 18mm, 1/240s, f11, ISO 400

After grabbing a bite to eat we boarded the first train to Corwen and I was surprised to find (given the recent dry weather and potential fire risk posed by a steam engine in such conditions), Great Western Railway (GWR) 5101 class ‘large prairie’ 2-6-2T No.5199 in charge of the five coach train.

Sadly (for some, not me, I like diesel locos too…) the return trip was handled by British Railways (BR) class 26 diesel-electric D5310 and No.5199 was returned to the engine shed.

GWR 'large prairie' 5199 pauses at CarrogGWR ‘large prairie’ 5199 pauses at Carrog Station
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 32mm, 1/80s, f9, ISO 400

Following a delicious pub lunch overlooking the river at The Cornmill we headed off to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a stunning structure that carries the Llangollen Canal (originally the Ellesmere Canal) over the River Dee at a height of 126ft!

Pontcysyllte AqueductPontcysyllte Aqueduct
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 26mm, 1/250s, f8, ISO 400

Completed in 1805 at a cost of £47,000 the aqueduct is a Grade I listed building and a World Heritage Site and still carries boats from the village of Froncysyllte to the canal basin at Trevor. The towpath is open to walkers but a head for heights is definitely recommended!

Photography Friday… Lumsdale Valley

Another Photography Friday trip today, this time to the Lumsdale Valley near Matlock in Derbyshire, a scheduled ancient monument and one of the best water-powered industrial archaeological sites in Great Britain.

Lumsdale ValleyLumsdale Valley
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 26mm, 1s, f11, ISO 200

Long exposure was the name of the game in the cool shade under the trees beside Bentley Brook and after a little bit of a wrestling match* Rachel got the hang of setting up a tripod!

I’d not been to the area for many years and was pleasantly surprised to see that little had changed since my last visit, the owners of the valley, The Arkwright Society are doing a fantastic job of preserving the site without spoiling its natural charm.

WaterfallWaterfall
Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF 18-135mm f3.5~5.6 R LM OIS WR at 116mm, 1/3s, f8, ISO 200

* That is to say, a wrestling match between Rachel and the tripod… I wasn’t involved.

Photography Friday… Shardlow

The Trent & Mersey Canal, ShardlowThe Trent & Mersey Canal, Shardlow
Nikon D5500, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 G II at 30mm, 1/160s, f11, ISO 125

In recent weeks Fridays have become ‘Photography Fridays’ with myself and my camera finding friend Rachel taking ourselves off out for the day with far more photographic equipment in tow than is sensible…

Today we ended up in Shardlow in Derbyshire, a village on both the River Trent and the Trent & Mersey Canal, and spent the day snapping and ‘Gongoozling’ (and managed a pub lunch!)

These shots are pretty much as they came out of the camera (my wife’s Nikon D5500) but I also managed to get through a roll of film in my Nikon FE2. Rachel was also shooting film (a new thing for her) and somehow (on such a glorious day, with such a colourful subject) we both managed to have black & white film loaded!

Narrow boats, The Wharf, ShardlowNarrow boats, The Wharf, Shardlow
Nikon D5500, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 G II at 26mm, 1/200s, f11, ISO 125