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Page: Feb 2015 wk 3


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Saturday & Sunday 14/15 February 2015

In Search of The Tin Bath

There wasn’t any let up in the dull and dreary weather over the weekend.

It didn’t stop us setting out on Sunday morning to photograph The Tin Bath a steam hauled charter train from Preston to Sheffield and then returning to Manchester. The train follows the old Midland Railway route into the Peak District through the Vale of Edale and this was where we intended to try out luck at a few photos.

It was dull and misty at home as we set out but the forecast looked a bit more promising in the west.

We’d decided that if it became too foggy we would turn around and head back home. It got rather murky in places but not too bad. As we headed up onto higher ground and over Strines Moor there were still remnants of snow to be seen.

Once over Strines Moor we were soon at Ladybower Reservoir a well known destination in the Peak District and there were suddenly a few signs that the weather might just be picking up a bit.

It didn’t really last long before the rather dull and misty weather took over once again as we headed into the Vale of Edale. I’d decided to head for Edale itself to see if there were any good looking spots at the station for photography but as we approached Edale Sue saw a spot which looked promising and we decided to try our luck.  

As luck would have it the sun tried to break through the mist at just the wrong time making it a challenge to get a good photograph. I like the photo above though with the train almost disappearing from view as it heads along the valley between Edale and Hope. The situation wasn’t helped by a camera problem but that demands a post of its own.

After a lunch of Thai green curry followed by orange pannacotta slice, we headed for Denby Dale to photograph The Tin Bath crossing the 21 span stone arch viaduct. The weather did its best to spoil our efforts. In the misty gloom any smoke from the two steam engines hauling the train merged into the dull grey sky line.

The view of the viaduct is spoil by the new modern industrial premises which I suspect aren’t going to last as long as the viaduct which was constructed in 1884 and is now a listed structure.

In case you were wondering why this train is called The Tin Bath, it’s after the TV series Last of the Summer Wine and the scene where Compo, Clegg and Foggy rolled down a Yorkshire hillside in a tin bath. In its travels through Yorkshire the train passes close by the Holmfirth area where Last of the Summer Wine was filmed.

Monday 16 February 2015

Camera Problems

It’s getting difficult to relate whether one drab day is worse than another at the moment. After a sprinkling of over-night and early morning rain, Monday was yet another dull and dreary day.

I mentioned in my last post that I’d had some camera problems over the weekend whilst out filming The Tin Bath. This problem first came to light on Saturday. We’d made the short trip out to video and photograph 34067 Tangmere with The Valentines White Rose Express at Colton Junction near York which was the trains destination. You won’t be surprised to hear that the weather was cloudy with intermittent light rain. We arrived in decent time and sat out a couple of short spells of rain in the car. With a few minutes to spare before the train arrived it was time to venture out of the car to prepare for the train’s arrival. I’d decided this was going to be my first real test of 4k video which my Panasonic DMC FZ 1000 is capable of capturing. The view through the eyepiece and screen was very dark. Too dark to see anything much at all.  

No time to mess about with settings as The Valentines White Rose Express was due any moment. At the time I sort of decided the problems must be due to the high video demands made in taking 4k video combined with a very dull day. I made a decision to shoot the video in 4k quality and see what the outcome would be. The above picture is a screen grab from the video showing just how dark and unusable the video turned out.

Once back home as soon as the video was downloaded it was obviously too dark to use and even my video editing package couldn’t do anything to improve the image quality. I set the camera back on a its highest HD video setting and checked through the viewfinder. The screen images looked reasonably bright and usable and I thought the problem had been sorted out.

On Sunday it was off to the Vale of Edale for hopefully a better day’s videoing but as it turned out I hadn’t actually solved the problem of the dark screen. As soon as I checked through the viewfinder I could see the problem had returned or more likely never been resolved.

As you can see from the comparison my image was very dark again and obviously the camera was in need of some attention. Standing in the gateway to a field on a misty dull morning isn’t the ideal place to be messing about with the menu settings on a camera. Fortunately I’d taken along our Sony Camera and this was used for the video of the train in the Vale of Edale.

Sue suggested that resetting the camera to its original factory setting might sort out the problems. This sort of issue had cropped up a couple of times with her Panasonic camera and a factory reset had done the trick.  So over lunch I checked out the camera settings and performed a factory reset.

And what do you know, the problem was sorted out and the bright imagery returned. I didn’t try any 4k video of the train crossing the viaduct at Denby Dale but given the conditions the video taken using my Panasonic camera turned out well enough in the afternoon.

I’m guessing that the light was even worse for the filming at the viaduct as the sun was a least trying to make an appearance in the Vale of Edale. So perhaps we’ve found a bit of a problem with Panasonic cameras in that they may need a reset to factory settings now and again. Providing you can remember where to find the reset it’s only a minor problem as it only takes a few seconds to perform the required operation. Hopefully I won’t be missing any more video opportunities.

Will I be trying any more 4k video? I’d tried some short clips of a few seconds and these seemed to work well enough but I found out at the weekend that trying to deal with a five minute clip of 4k video puts real demands on my computer which I don’t think has the memory to process such vast amounts of data. So for the time being at least I’ll be sticking to full HD quality video.

Finally for the record here’s the video. The footage in the Vale of Edale was shot using my Sony DSC HX300 and Denby Dale using my Panasonic DMC FZ 1000.

Sue was getting ready to capture a few still images and the corresponding view from her camera looked like this.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Squash Watch

Tuesday became our mildest day of the month. Just, by 0.2°C (0.4°F). The temperature reached 9.3°C (48.7°F) in the middle of the afternoon but it still leaves our warmest temperature of the year at 14.2°C (57.6°F) which we recorded at the rather strange time of 01:25 on 10 January 2015. At last though the gloom of the last week lifted and we had some very welcome sunshine for much of the day.

I had a quick check around the greenhouse to make sure our new strawberry plants were okay and didn’t need any water. I thought it might be a good idea to check in the summerhouse to see if our Crown Prince squashes were surviving okay. In general they were looking in good condition.

I did notice on this squash in particular that there are signs that parts of the squash are starting to turn a little bit mouldy. Around the neck is where the mould is starting to take hold and the flesh around the old stalk is becoming a little bit soft.

It’s a sign that this squash needs to be used quickly before the damage becomes too serious. I might cook the squash and freeze the flesh into suitable portions for making pumpkin pies.

However our squashes have definitely stored better in the summerhouse than the greenhouse which we’ve always used for storage until this winter. Of course it might just be down to this winter’s weather but we’ll certainly be storing next summer’s squashes in the summerhouse if we are lucky enough to have a good harvest.

In the past by February our Crown Prince squashes have sometimes looked like this.  

Oddly enough the mould hasn’t started around its neck but it has taken over everywhere else.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

More of the Same Please

Wednesday had dawn till dusk sunshine along with the mildest temperature of the month at 11.9°C (53.4°F). With only a gentle breeze it felt very spring like.

These flowers thought so too.

It’s a pity too that this weather isn’t forecast to last as wet and windy weather moves in from the Atlantic.




Thursday 19 February 2015

How Much Rain?

Thursday was cloudy with dribs and drabs of rain on and off throughout the day.

The weather forecast in the evening suggested we’d had a decent amount of rain through the day on Thursday but my weather station didn’t particularly record that much in Ossett. The day’s amount was a mere 2.0mm (0.08”) bringing the monthly total up to 5.6mm (0.22”).

There’s more rain in the forecast for Sunday evening so I might check my rain gauge to make sure one of our resident wood pigeons hasn’t been depositing anything nasty in there causing a blockage.

It’s become a favourite look out post for our wood pigeons.

Friday 20 February 2015


Friday was cloudy all day. It was one of those days where the wind has a bitter sting to it taking the edge off the temperature.

We made a return trip to Armitages Garden Centre at Shelley. It was a bit bleak as we passed by the Emley Moor television Mast but the display in the garden centre was cheerful even if it was a touch on the cold side deciding which bulbs we were going to add to our front border.

We now have a tiny clump of snowdrops in our front border.