Caroline Shipsey

Monday, 19 January 2009

Clicks, Trips and Renewing Old Acquaintances

The past week has been really busy and varied. To summarize, I re-joined the Royal Photographic Society after a gap of several years which means my Licentiateship is reinstated. As a result of this John Hankin and John Long, both friends from my early days of photography, have 're-appeared' - they each have administrative involvement in the RPS workshops and assessment panels for Distinctions.

On Sunday 18th I went to Aldbourne to a meeting of the RPS Digital Imaging group. There was an interesting presentation on the improvements in Photoshop CS4 over CS3 followed by the chance to see some members prints.

The weather was very cold but clear skies and piercing sunlight, not really my choice for photography but Bessie needed a walk so on the journey home we walked along the Ridgeway. It was pleasant enough but I didn't find the countryside very inspiring, just one rolling hill after another with a few clumps of trees her and there. OK I know it is steeped in history etc ........

I've added a few much needed bits of kit to my camera bag, the most interesting being a Canon TC-80N3 Remote Controller. As long as I can remember how to use it I'm sure it will be very useful !!

Sunday, 11 January 2009



is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Thanks to Denise and Lori for sharing this, I love it, there are so many possible uses for it, I'm thinking of printing off a few for inspiration, memory jogging etc

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Chasing Ice Formations

This is the first morning for over 2 weeks that the temperature has been above freezing, and although there isn't a significant warmup forecast it looks the next 2 weeks will have little in the way of frost.

I have taken hundreds of photographs of frost and ice formations, every day has seen me checking the temperature early on and planning my walks to get as much variety of subject matter as possible. Yesterday I photographed a frozen stream in The Combe at East Harptree, it was all a rush but I got a few shots that will serve as memory jogs for this amazing winter of 2008/2009.

Frozen Stream

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Save Our Wardens

The public face or faces of the Mendip Hills AONB are undoubtedly Les Davies MBE and Tina Bath but they are faced with the axe by Somerset County Council etc.

Les and Tina are the focal point for questions, problems, fence-mending both real and metaphorical, drystone walling, communication, mediating, negotiating - the list is endless, their contribution to our community and to the thousands of visitors to the Hills is impossible to place a value on. The very idea of a Mendip Hills AONB without the Wardens is madness, their knowledge gathered over the past 25 years is vast, and we have all benefited from it in many different ways.

A campaign has been started by Nigel Taylor of Cheddar and there are other moves afoot.
A website has been set up Save Our Wardens and there are various other sources of information:- - there is an online petition running but you have to register and login before you can contribute.
The Western Daily Press published an article today with comments by Sir David Wills.
The Save Our Wardens campaign is seeking royal backing for the wardens according to another article on

I'm currently looking for a link to the BBC Radio Somerset interview which I will post here later

Friday, 2 January 2009

Fantasy World has Gone

This morning the fog had cleared and a little weak sunshine was adding some brightness to the trees and hedges that were heavy with frost. The picture below was taken at about 9am this morning.

Frost on Trees

By 3pm it was all gone, not a trace, no fog and bright sunshine.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Icy Stillness

For at least 3 days now fog and frost have persisted up here and created a stunning white landscape with soft shades of grey streaked with hints of green, brown and orange. There has been a keen wind from the east which has built up the frost on trees, bushes, plants and walls, anything that it can cling to. The effect is a just like a snowscene but without the difficulties of snow and ice on the roads.

Everywhere there is something to photograph, I love this weather as much as springtime especially as we don't seem to experience proper winter weather every year now. I'm hoping it will hold for another day or so as I've got another place I want to visit for some more photographs hopefully.

Rowan Berries

Hoar Frost in Woods