At last …

… credit where it is due, Nikon have finally done the decent thing.  Earlier this week I took delivery of a brand new Nikon D610 to replace the three year old, and seriously flawed, D600.  A few days later the invoice arrived – total cost £0.  I am of course delighted and the last few nights I have been re-studying the many-paged manual in earnest.  Not that there is any difference between the two models (at least none that I can remember) but I had grown seriously disaffected with the camera and the brand.  Sitting on the shelf, the subtleties of its dials, buttons and menus are soon forgotten.

It remains to be seen just how much I will use it.  The Fuji X100s is still my weapon of choice not just because it is small, easy to carry about, beautifully retro and produces such wonderful results but because it is so intuitive – yes, it too comes with a many-paged manual but I rarely look at it.  The dials are entirely consistent with a ‘proper’ camera and the menus easy to navigate, which prompts the question, will I be able to resist the rumoured 24MP X100F.

Enough of the hardware – the skies above Northumberland have been putting on a show this last week and here they are.  The stills are captured with the Fuji and the videos with the even more diminutive GoPro Hero 4.  The first two are time lapse recordings across the neighbouring fields and the last, a ten minute edited drive in the Elise from Hexham to Warkworth Golf Club (across country via Corbridge for fuel, Fenwick, Whalton and Morpeth):

Hexham sunset ... Hexham by night ... Hexham skyline...

A week of change …

This is a collection of images from a week of change.  Down the Birkey Burn there are signs of leaf fall and the woodman has been wielding his axe.  In expectation of some autumnal rides, the Scrambler has been fitted with a new FEK (fender eliminator kit) and front indicators to replace the ugly chrome originals.  The sun has emerged but the temperature has dropped so the Elise has got its hat on and walks down the Tyne and Derwent have been illuminated by a bright low sun.  The competitive golf season is near an end for another year – change is in the air.

Messin' about ... Walk along ... FEK installed today ... Woodman spare that tree ... The Birkey Burn ... Perfect morning ... So much neater ...

Photo Challenge: Blur

This is a lethal combination: 135bhp in a car weighing just 740kg in the hands of my middle son, Matt. He spent too much of his upbringing in the company of a madman behind the wheel (:-)) to be trusted with such exotica. More relevant and nearer the truth, my bank balance would not stand the premiums if he were added to the insurance.

Consequently, in this image, both man and machine were stationary and the blur added retrospectively – a much cheaper, virtual solution:

Matt and Elise...

(click on the image to enlarge)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Following on from an earlier post, these are a couple of photographs of the Beloved’s innards.  The weather has been dire these last few days so anything that keeps me occupied inside is welcome:

Elise 135 Series 1 Elise 135 Series 1

Continuing broadly along the same theme, the movie Rush has just been released in the UK, the story of the 1976 F1 Championship fought out between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. There was a time when getting ‘inside the ropes’ at F1 was open to everyone prepared to fork out a few shillings for a paddock pass. This provided the opportunity to photograph cars and drivers ‘up close and personal’, limited only by my ability to afford the necessary rolls of Tri-X Pan. This is Niki Lauda as I prefer to remember him, before the ravages of time and fire took hold – still a young lad finding his way:

Niki Lauda(click on images to enlarge)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

I can think of only one thing when curves are mentioned – she is all curves, there is not a straight line on her body.  My wife calls her The Beloved because she gets more attention – not true, they get the same.  It is the masterpiece of Richard Rackham and Julian Thomson, the Series 1 Lotus Elise which echoes my teenage passions – the Lola T70, the Ginetta G12, the Chevron B8 and the Ferrari Dino, every one a curvaceous two seater, mid-engined, rear wheel drive, engineering marvel.

She spends much of her life under wraps on trickle charge and never goes out in the rain – Pam might have a point:

Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise Lotus Elise Lotus EliseThe Series II Elise is a fine machine too but its harsher lines betray Rackham and Thomson’s original intentions.  Click on the images to enlarge.