steephill


Latest posts by steephill

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Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 13/01/2017 at 13:42

For some strange reason this little devil reminds me of Donald J Trump. I was surprised to see a pair of muntjac wandering down my drive at noon yesterday but I only managed to photograph the male as he rummaged for rotting windfall apples. Looks like I will need more fencing protection for the few vulnerable plants we have left.



Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 21/12/2016 at 15:15

I think the trail and cabins are all new since I was last there. I seem to remember a fairly basic path up the Snub then out on to the fairly featureless moors on top. We came back down between Brandy and Wharral then back down for a late lunch and a pint in the Clova Hotel!


Your photos got me looking through other old photos of the Angus Glens and I finally managed to identify a walk which I thought for years was in Glen Doll but is actually in Glen Mark, the lower waterfalls on the Burn of Doune. It is on route to Mount Keen, the most easterly Munroe.


Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 21/12/2016 at 11:20

Lovely to see that Glen Clova is still popular although it doesn't look like it has changed much over the last few decades. Here's a few from around Loch Brandy taken about 1990.




Gardens/palaces in Vienna

Posted: 20/12/2016 at 23:19

We had week there in September and thoroughly enjoyed it. The TV series shows you most of the must-see places such as the Belvedere and Schonbrunn Palaces. Lots of wonderful art galleries and museums to see such as the Albertina and Leopold with everything from Hieronymus Bosch to Picasso as well as the obligatory Klimt. The Academy of Fine Art has an amazing collection including exquisite flower paintings by Rachel Ruysch, probably the finest flower painter if the Dutch Golden Age. The National Library is well worth a visit too. Unless you are a huge fan of modern art of the most pretentious kind don't bother with Mumok, bit of a "saw you coming" experience. 


We bought the Vienna Pass to access lots of the sights but you need to work fairly hard at your sightseeing to get the best value. It included a short cruise on the Danube which was interesting and we returned via the famous Ferris wheel in Prater Park (featured in The Third Man). 


Some photos from our trip here http://www.pbase.com/steephill/vienna 


I would happily go back for another week as I think we barely scratched the surface. Make sure you bring good strong footwear as you can cover a lot of miles on hard surfaces.

Last edited: 20 December 2016 23:20:27

Briggs and stratton classic engine

Posted: 05/12/2016 at 21:57

I think you need to be very accurate when setting valve clearances or the decompressor doesn't work. If in doubt aim for the smallest clearance of the acceptable range e.g. if it is 4 to 6 thou aim for 4 thou.

Briggs and stratton classic engine

Posted: 05/12/2016 at 16:28

The decompressor lobe should be spring loaded to hold it in place while starting and will rotate out of the way once the engine gets going through the wonders of centripetal force. You can find YouTube videos showing you how it works. 

Climate Change?

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 13:54

The northward march of the growing range of champagne grapes is one possible benefit for the UK of climate change at the expense of the Champagne region. The big champagne houses are buying up land here in West Sussex and local growers have been making some very fine sparkling wines for a few decades now. I still have a couple of bottles of 1992 Nyetimber tucked away as well as vintages from another half dozen vinyards :)


When someone mentions a few very rich people getting even richer I immediately think of the Koch brothers, major oil business funders of self-described climate sceptics. While increased atmospheric CO2 can be beneficial for crop growth unfortunately the same cannot said for the ocean which will rapidly become acidified and have a major effect on the food supply of half of the planet.

mould on my grapevines

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 13:39

Sounds like botrytis (grey mould). Bordeaux mixture is only really of any use as a preventative for this and doesn't treat infected plants so might not be much use. One fungicide which I think are still available include systhane but that may depend on where you live, it isn't easy to get Merlot to fruit well in the UK so I'm guessing elsewhere? I would clean up the vines as much as possible over the winter to remove any source of spores as a first step.

Can redwoods survive without winter?

Posted: 15/11/2016 at 17:01

In nature they will survive hotter summers and colder winters than your range of temperatures. I would leave them outside on the balconey, they are not indoor plants. Out of curiosity, what are you going to do with them in the future?

Monday's Supermoon

Posted: 13/11/2016 at 12:50

Warning, here comes the science bit!


The trick to taking moon photos is called Lunny 11. It is a variation of the old Sunny 16 rule for daytime photography. Those of you old enough to have used film may remember the guide to exposure printed on the inside of the box which is based on Sunny 16. Basically it tells you how to use manual camera settings to get a good exposure.


On a bright sunny day if you were using film with a speed of ISO 100 then you set a shutter speed of 1/ISO i.e. 1/100th sec and an aperture of f16. Now the Moon is a rock in bright sunlight but the light it reflects has to travel a long way to get to us and some gets lost so we need a little more exposure for Moon shots. So instead of f16 we use the next brighter aperture of f11.


You can substitute other shutter speed/aperture combination to get the same exposure e.g. every time you double the exposure speed you need to open up the aperture to the next smallest number 1/200 and f8, 1/400 and f5.6 etc.


Those settings are a good starting point to get a good exposure of the Moon. If you just use the auto mode on your camera it is likely to get it wrong as the scene it sees is mainly black with a small bright bit. It tries to make the black bit lighter but then makes the bright bit too bright.

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