Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category


Photography corner: Walking in the White

Posted: January 17, 2015 by tallbloke in Photography, weather

I took time out this morning to go on a walk round (and over) Baildon moor, with some friends and aquaintances. The weather was a mixture of sunshine and snow showers, at the top o the moor, it was a bit of a blizzard:


We were caught in another snow shower as we descended Sconce lane.


I’ve been out of the loop for a while, initially due to being away on holiday, then by a round of job interviews I had to prepare for (no success there), and finally by the hospitalisation of my dear old dad (he’s improving now). I’m immensely grateful to my co-bloggers Tim, Stuart (Oldbrew) and Andrew, who have been minding the shop and putting up lots of interesting articles during my absence – thanks guys.

This period has shown more than ever that the talkshop isn’t a one man band, but a vibrant community of bloggers, contributors, commenters and readers. The theory we are working on is moving along in the background as well as on the blog, along with a couple of other related developments I’ll be able to disclose in due course.

Evening light at Vannes harbour - South Brittany

Evening sunlight at Vannes harbour – South Brittany



Image courtesy of Printers Inc. They have prints on sale. Click for more info


I love the Nora Batty style wrinkled stockings on the demure waitress. :)

I got the snap below the break in Otley. It was a reet grand day out, marred only by the local favourite crashing 500m short of the finish line in Harrogate, or ‘Arrergut’ as it’s pronounced round ‘ere.



Gizmag has a report on a successful test flight by World View Enterprises of their 1/10 scale model of the real thing. Can I have a go please:



Season’s greetings to all our readers and regulars. I thought I’d post a few photos from my Spain trip last week for a taste of festive cheer.


This is the Plaza at the top of the Calle Marques de Larios in Malaga, which is the wide boulevard shown below the break.


Excerpt from a good article on Scriptonite Daily. Read the whole thing, it has a wide perspective.

C40Stupid, Corrupt, or Both

It was announced this week that the government as agreed a strike price for energy produced by EDF Energy’s planned new nuclear power plants.  The strike price is the price the government guarantees EDF will receive per MegaWatt/Hour of energy produced.  The current market rate is£47.50.  The government has promised EDF £92.80.  Yes, you read that correctly – the UK government has guaranteed EDF Energy twice the market rate.

As with Fracking, the government is using recent energy price hikes by the Big 6 energy firms as a case in favour of New Nuclear – implying or explicitly stating that prices will come down.  However, in agreeing this strike price the government has guaranteed that they will not.  They have fixed the price for energy produced by New Nuclear at twice the market rate.

Another bad deal for the taxpayer and the consumer, brokered by a government that consistently delivers for big business.


From Spaceref:

Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) in Big Bear, CA have obtained new and remarkably detailed photos of the Sun with the New Solar Telescope (NST). The photographs reveal never-before-seen details of solar magnetism revealed in photospheric and chromospheric features.


The most precise sunspot image ever taken is shown. With the unprecedented resolution of the Big Bear Solar Observatory’s New Solar Telescope (NST), many, previously unknown, small-scale features are revealed. They include the twisting flows along the penumbra’s less dark filaments, as well as the complicated dynamical motion in the light bridge vertically spanning the darkest part of the umbra, as well as the dark cores of the small bright points (umbra dots) apparent in the umbra. The telescope is currently being upgraded to include the only solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics system to fully correct atmospheric distortion over a wide field of view, as well as the only fully cryogenic solar spectrograph for probing the sun in the near infrared. Other instruments have been brought on-line since 2009, to enable the NST to probe the sun with its full scientific capability for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible and infrared light. Credit: BBSO/NJIT.

With our new generation visible imaging spectrometer (VIS), the solar atmosphere from the photosphere to the chromosphere, can be monitored in a near real time. 

said Wenda Cao, NJIT Associate Professor of Physics and BBSO Associate Director.


ukenergypolThe prime minister’s adviser on climate change is quitting, Utility Week can exclusively reveal.

Ben Moxham, senior policy adviser on energy and the environment at Number 10, has become the latest in a line of key energy experts to leave government.

Moxham is understood to have become frustrated that climate change has slid down the government’s agenda.

Moxham’s exit is a blow to David Cameron and to his claims made shortly after the election in May 2010 – that the coalition would be “the greenest government ever”.

His exit from Number 10 comes as the departure of Ravi Gurumurthy from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) was officially confirmed.


Spring 2013 is arriving

Posted: April 15, 2013 by tchannon in Photography, Uncategorized, weather


Photographed 15th April 2013, Camellia “Mars”, colour rendition is reasonable, reds are always difficult to capture, is a little richer. To do this I had to click and creak down to lying on a mat, camera is looking slightly upwards. Windy day, camera on aperture priority, and this is hand held, hence not quite sharp. Lens is 28mm equivalent.

Post is an update on

Where the same shrub is shown in flower 2nd March 2012.


This is an essay written some years ago by the late Tom Van Flandern  which was included in his book ‘Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets’. Tom, who worked for many years at the U.S. Naval Observatory, was an out of the box thinker who covered a wide range of astronomical topics, many of them well outside the mainstream. His methodology was a bit similar to my old dad’s approach to cryptic crosswords. “The clue doesn’t give you the answer, but it helps confirm you got the right answer once you’ve got it”. Leif Svalgaard says he was a crank, which in my view means he’s well worth a read. I think this article, tied in with his other solar system formation concepts, deserves to be republished for the assessment and re-appraisal of the talkshop cognoscenti and the interested visitors here.

mercury-300x300Let us examine in detail what the consequences would be of assuming that Mercury originated as a satellite of Venus. If that were so, we might presume that Mercury formed in close orbit about Venus, perhaps by fissiona. But Mercury is four and a half times more massive than the Moon. So the interchange of energy through tidal friction between Venus and Mercury would have been enormous. Mercury’s original spin would have been halted fairly rapidly by Venus, leaving Mercury spinning once per revolution around Venus, always keeping the same face toward Venus, as for our Moon.


This one made me laugh. He’s probably right so far as it goes, if it were to be one of the failed main parties sorting out the mess. However, Mr Schulz little world, constrained and demarcated by red tape and rules as it is, could be in for a seismic shift if the political tide turns in the UK and ordinary folk get a say in the matter, like they’ve been promised on more than one occasion. Ordinary folk in the UK are a little freer than mainstream politicos with the old anglo-Saxon and might take exception to what Mr Schulz is telling them…


Any attempt by the UK government to repatriate powers to Westminster is likely to be a drawn out and cumbersome negotiation.


Apperley Bridge

Posted: March 30, 2013 by tallbloke in Blog, Photography
Tags: ,


A pleasant stroll in kinder weather. Happy Easter everybody.


Photography corner: Beautiful Andalucia

Posted: December 16, 2012 by tallbloke in Photography

After a slightly delayed flight (awaiting our consignment of lemon soaked paper napkins) I met up with Tim Cullen at Malaga airport we spent some hours wandering the old centre enjoying tapas and bebidas. Today we took a drive up to a spot I found some years ago; the upper reservoir of the hydro-electric system in El Chorro. It’s a spectacular spot, where the marriage of nature’s spectacle and human ingenuity form a perfect compliment to each other.


Come on talkshop, give us a good caption for this picture of Lord Christopher Monckton at the Doha COP18 Climate Circus.



My thanks to Gray Stevens for flagging up this short BBC video report on the snowfall in the West Country today. I was out on a walk in the Vale of York, in freezing fog much of the day. 1970’s weather returns. The BBC reassures us it’s just a ‘freak weather pattern’ rather than an early start to winter. Perhaps they didn’t notice that we also had snowfall last week at the end of October. Time will tell. Here are a few photos from my walk out. 


I was away in the Lake district over the weekend. We had a great walk on Saturday with 50 post graduate students. I did my mountain leadership bit on an intrepid ascent of Cat Bells. :)

Here are a few photos from the walk.

Looking South East from Cat Bells towards Glaramara and High Raise – click for larger image

One minute later, this was the view North East:


I’ve been away for a few days as an invited participant at The Royal Society’s 2012 meeting on ‘Handling Uncertainty in Weather and Climate Prediction, With Application to Health, Agronomy, Hydrology, Energy and Economics’, organised by Prof. Tim Palmer. Unlike the 2010 meeting, this wasn’t held at The Royal Society’s London HQ, but at Chicheley Hall, in the Buckinghamshire countryside near Milton Keynes.

It was a wide ranging, detailed and very interesting meeting, with some 20 speakers (Audio here) and 70 or so more participants, and doing justice to the occasion is going to require several posts. To Set the scene, I’ll start with a few photos I took around the venue and some description gleaned mostly from the Royal Society fellow-in-residence, lucky man.

Chicheley Hall owned and restored by the Royal Society since 2009

The hall was completed in 1723 by the Chester family, who owned it until the middle of the C20th when it was sold to 2nd Earl Beatty (b. 1905, son of the famous World War I admiral). The Royal Society acquired it in 2009 and commenced refurbishment and alteration. The 75 acres surrounding the house contain the gardens, parkland and interesting corners for inquisitive visitors to discover.



It is rare to find direct photographic evidence of antimatter but an Italian team from the University of Pisa, Anguilla Marinate Observatory in association with the CERN facility have managed this feat. (more…)