No, not an abbreviated version of the lyrics from Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds”, but the acronym apparently given to ‘ultra wide angle’ lenses. The arrival of a Panasonic-Lumix 7-14mm [14-28mm equivalent in “35mm parlance”] made it rather obligatory to go and threaten the local scenery with the pointy end of this new toy.

On the whole it’s nice to work with: light, reasonably robust feel, quick to focus, and not bad at picking out detail when so asked. On the other hand, for £800, it should be all of that and more… that’s “L” Series money for something made of plastic… Too early to tell, other than to acknowledge that it’s actually rather nice to work with…

Weyhill (IV)

A gloriously sunny Sunday in May… and an opportunity to revisit old friends at the Weyhill Hawk Conservancy Centre, to see what they have been up to since last year’s visits… which is quite a bit, as it happens. Not only is the new restaurant now fully open and in full swing, but we enjoyed some nice variety to the day’s flying demonstrations… There were several new recruits, as well as a few, including Danebury, who have now retired from “active duty”, but who can still be found about the centre.

As usual, the following images are scaled to fit on a 1920×1200 monitor, but please note that the central image of the Grey Owl is in portrait mode, so the resolution on screen will be 1200×1920.

Buckland Rings

Few people seem to know of Buckland rings, just on the edge of Lymington in Hampshire. In fairness, the area it occupies has become significantly overgrown and it helps to have someone who knows the site to point out the ancient ditch-and-dyke fortifications. Looking at them now, and trying to imagine what they were like when they were actively used for defense, and you realise what an intimidating fortification this must have been. Not for the faint-hearted!

Badbury Rings

Martin decided to bring the Spitfire down for the weekend, so when Sunday dawned as a beautifully clear, cool day with stunning visibility, we decided to venture out with cameras on a mission to capture the light. A not-quite random chance resulted in us winding our way to Badbury Rings, not far from Wimbourne, in Dorset. Lots of fun to be had wandering the lanes in a couple of convertibles, especially as mine has the benefit of heated seats and a blast-furnace of a heater system…

The Rings themselves were majestic – the light was perfect and despite a pretty chill wind the place draws you in and encourages you to explore. There were what looked like WWII-era concrete blocks with steel rings half-buried in the scrub, two good-sized hollows of standing water, plus an interesting mix of trees – including some out-of-place firs. Still not getting the best from this 24-70mm f2.8L, but it’s the user that’s defective, not the lens!

Canon EOS 7D with 24-70mm f2.8L Lens

Thailand 2011 (VII)

Wat Suwan Kaha

If you have the opportunity to leave Phuket Island and explore a little further afield (which I strongly recommend), then Phang Nga Province (the mainland area immediately north of Phuket) contains some interesting places well worth a visit. Cross to the mainland and head a little way north before picking up a fork in the road that bears east, and after roughly an hour of driving, some 10km short of Phang Nga Town (pronounced “Pang Naa”) you will find a majestic arch/gateway to the north side of the road, with little clue as to what lies beyond. ..

This temple is slightly different from those of Phuket, mainly by virtue of the fact that it is actually constructed within a limestone cave complex. Outside the entrance is a troupe of near-obligatory monkeys, but within, the temple itself is a calming, quiet and reflective place.

Canon EOS 7D with 16-35mm f2.8L and 24-70mm f2.8L Lenses

All underground shots taken in natural light with a tripod and long exposure.