Tag Archives: rivers

The Most Numerous Things in the English Countryside

I consider myself lucky to live in the English countryside. Its not exactly spectacular, and it certainly doesn’t make the heart race. But when I lived in the city or abroad, I ached for it.

Now I get out and about with a plethora of cameras just about as much as circumstances allow. And it was on a recent excursion from my home village that it struck me that there are three most numerous things in the countryside. Clearly of all the things that one might see in the English countryside – at least where I live (in southern Hampshire) – are trees. There are bloody millions of the things. Being an agricultural region, there are also a vast number of fields. They’re not all big; but there a sodding lot of ’em. When I’m strutting my funky camera stuff, I would really like to wander through the woodland, and perhaps skirt along the edges of fields. Maybe a stroll along the banks of the small streams and rivers that pass through the two aforementioned areas would be nice too. Perhaps I’d spot a King Fisher or an Otter. Hmmm. That would be very nice. Were I to do so, I’m sure I could capture lots and lots of other charming images too. But sadly (for the most part) this option is denied me. This is because of the third most numerous things in the English countryside. These bastards…

They’re every-fucking-where! You can’t walk more than a couple of hundred metres before you’re thwarted by signs, gates, and barbed wire fences. It drives me crackers. Which brings me to the Least Numerous Thing in the English countryside. Land owners. There’s fuck-all of them. You could count them on your fingers. In some areas you could count them on your dick. One individual might own huge tracts of land and everything on them – including entire villages in which no one can own their own home. In their defence, somebody suggested that if people (perhaps a family from the town, trying to escape the hurley-burley of life for a couple of hours) were to (for example) visit a river, beside which they might picnic and perhaps allow their children and dogs to play in the water, said river bank might soon be eroded and the area bespoiled. That, in effect, by denying anyone access, the landowner is protecting the environment for future generations. Well his/her future generations, that is.

“Well, yeah-yeah.” I mused for a moment, when confronted with this  arguement. But then I paused to think about it – and duly said: “So why’d they allow whole herds of cows to wander in and out of the rivers – breaking down the banks, tearing out the foliage, and shitting and pissing everywhere?”  

It was a good, and accurate summation of the situation. Then, today, I found an even better example of careless land/river ownership. I may not be allowed to wander along the non-husbanded, stinging nettle and bramble-infested river bank: but some toss-pot is welcome to drive a truck right through the river (complete with re-introduced and endangered Water Vole homes) to dump the spoil, from some home or building renovation, upon the undergrowth – suffocating everything beneath it,  and scarring the river bank for years to come…

Hmmm indeed. They’re all arse holes: take my word for it. If they’d let me, I’d kick them in the bollocks.

Thank you for reading my rant.

Tooty

Photography: Sometimes It Really Doesn’t Matter Which Camera You Choose

I like cameras. I like cameras so much that I have more than fifty of the little bleeders. And the problem with owning so many is, which one (or five) do I choose to take on my snapping trips. It’s a problem. Or is it? Because sometimes a scene is so nice and simple, and the lighting so right, that it really doesn’t matter which one I choose to capture it. Here is a case in point. Yup, it’s another of my damned camera comparison posts. Well sort of.

Because I was visiting a river location, I’d decided to take along my sole underwater camera – a simple Aquapix W1024-Y. Here is it’s ( surprisingly huge) 6.12 megabyte effort…

I suppose, for a camera that works better submerged, this open air shot isn’t bad. It certainly compares favourably with this 5.97 megabyte shot from an Olympus D720…

Moving on down the megapixel league, sample this 4.31 megabyte picture from a Sony S2100…

Or this Pentax E40’s 3.77 megabyte shot…

And, finally, compare the first picture with this (supposedly) paltry 1.21 MB excuse produced by a Kodak C533…

Any significant difference? If there is, I’m buggered if I could see much. Certainly not enough to make camera selection that important. So, on this evidence, from now on I’m going to chuck all my cameras in a bucket and select them purely at random. In future all I will need to check is that the chosen one (or five) contains a memory card and a charged battery. You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve failed to do that!