Author Archives: rickharwood

About rickharwood

Rick Harwood is an amateur photographer, living in small village near Derby in the United Kingdom. His interest in photography started in 2009 when (after a couple of years of indecision) he took the plunge and bought a Nikon D90. The bug bit. Currently using a Nikon D700 with various Nikon glass (and probably one too many camera bags…), Rick is keen to continue learning about photography and figures that sharing some of his images and thoughts may actually help make him a better photographer. He apologises for talking about himsefl on this page in the third person. Truly.

Intruder at Thaipusam festival – Batu Caves – Malaysia

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 45mm | 1/160sec @ f8.0

Entrance to Batu Caves

It has been a long while since my last post, but I have been away from home a lot lately.  Occasionally, I have the opportunity to travel as part of my job and January saw me in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and very briefly in Beijing (China).  Despite increasingly onerous restrictions on carry-on baggage, I managed to get my D700 and 24-70mm on the plane and catch a small slice of life in these two fascinating cities.

Possibly, the most memorable few hours of the trip were at Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur.  The caves, about 13km from Kuala Lumpur are one of the most important Hindu shrines outside of India.  My trip to KL happened to coincide with the Hindu festival ‘Thaipusam’.   As part of the festival, a procession starts in KL city centre and walks to the caves, finally climbing the 272 steps leading up to the cave entrance.

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 70mm | 1/250sec @ f4.5

Carrying kavadi

The main festival day was Friday, but I was not able to go to Batu Caves until Sunday.  I caught the train out of the city not knowing quite what to expect when I arrived.  Upon exiting the train, I immediately felt over-awed and entirely conspicous.  The site was still very busy with pilgrims making their journey.  I felt like an intruder as one of only a handful of ‘western’ people there, especially with a huge DSLR hanging by my side.  However, I was determined to capture just a few images of the festival and share the story of the incredible festival.

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 62mm | 1/50sec @ f7.1

Entrance to the caves

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 70mm | 1/60sec @ f3.5

Entering the caves

Nikon D700 | Nikon 24-70mm | 28mm | 1/30sec @ f7.1

Batu Caves

 

 

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USA Pacific Northwest Waterfalls

Well, I’m still figuring out how WordPress works but it’s definitely time to start adding a little more content!  Subject number one, is a small selection of waterfall images (let’s get the photography cliches all out the way early!) from a trip to the US North West way back in 2011!

If you haven’t been to that part of the world, I would highly recommend it.  Olympic National Park, Cannon Beach, Mount Rainier & Hood River were our favourite spots, but I’m sure there are hundreds of other great locations for just heading out in your walking boots and seeing what you find.  Of course, this was back in the day before we had a small child!

Upper Punchbowl falls

Upper Punchbowl falls

Marymere falls

Marymere falls

Lower Punchbowl falls

Lower Punchbowl falls

Multnomah falls

Multnomah falls

Waterfall near Lake Quinault

Waterfall near Lake Quinault

Waterfall near Lake Quinault

Waterfall near Lake Quinault

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning

Beginning

Beginning

This is my entry into this weeks photo challenge: Beginning.

I was lucky enough to secure tickets to the men’s 100m at the 2012 Olympics in London.  However, right up until the last minute I was unsure whether I would even be able to go.  My wife was six days overdue with our first child on the day of the race.  She felt OK, and so we decided to do it and drove down to London, jumped on the tube and went to the stadium.

Needless to say, it was an experience I will never forget.  The energy in the stadium was incredible.  An atmosphere like I’ve never felt before.  This shot was taken just before the start.  Everyone watching held their collective breath.  Then, go.  9 and a bit seconds later, and Usain Bolt came home first.

Don’t worry folks, my wife safely delivered a baby boy four days later, although the doctors later concluded that her waters had broken on the day of the race, and that labour just hadn’t got going for some reason.  For this, I am eternally grateful.

 

Christmas shopping

I am a terrible shopper.  Well, at least, that is what my wife says.  I actually think that I’m rather an expert in the field.  What is clear to me is that my wife an I have differing opinions on what ‘shopping’ actually means.

For me, ‘shopping’ is an efficient process.  You’ve already given some advance thought as to what you want to buy.  You know where you’re going to get it, and you know how much it’s going to cost.  The act of shopping is little more than a collection exercise.  Short.  Surgical.  Precise.  Not stressful.

My wife’s interpretation seems a little different.  Around this time of year, we usually go ‘shopping’ together.  The planning has been little more than ‘this is the list of people we must buy presents for’.  The result is seemingly endless meandering from shop to shop, browsing, picking up and putting down.  This is not enjoyable.  It is stressful, and I don’t like it.

That said, the photograph I am sharing today reflects some of my happier shopping memories.  It was taken at Galeries Lafayette in Paris.  Other than a jolly nice lunch, I don’t think we bought anything.  Shopping heaven.

Nikon D90 | Sigma 10-20mm | 10mm | 1/60sec @ f9.0

Retail therapy?

Retail therapy?

PS I love my wife

An evening stroll

An evening stroll

An evening stroll

I didn’t think too much of this photo when I was first reviewing my catalogue from this trip, but my wife quite liked it and we ended up having a print of it displayed in our downstairs bathroom.  Truth be told, every time I see it I become a little more proud of it. The framing/lighting are just great. Little elements like the spacing and placement of the two larger trees, the mummy elephant’s trunk reaching out to the calf, the dust being kicked up and the way the light is falling across the elephants are the things l like most, as well as the memories it gives me of an amazing trip to Tanzania!

Shot in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania in July 2009.

Nikon D90 | 70-300mm | 95mm |  1/1600 sec @ f4.5

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

OK, so day three using WordPress!  Time to start joining  some community items and so I’m sharing a picture for The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge.  This week’s challenge is ‘One’.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/

My entry was taken on the day after my brother’s wedding in the Domican Republic.  My beautiful neice (normally incredibly shy and nervous of strange surroundings) toddled off along the deserted beach.  When realising she was all alone, she stopped and pulled her hat down over her face, waiting for someone to come and resuce her.  Of course, I completed my caring Uncle duties, but only after taking this picture.

Nikon D90 | 70-200mm | 135mm | 1/4000 sec @ f2.8

Alone on the beach

Alone on the beach

My first photo!

OK, so admittedly this is much a test as anything else.  However, it’s all part of the learning curve so here goes.

This photo is currently my desktop wallpaper, so was one of the first images that popped into my head as a potential test image.

I took this photo at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK in 2010.  This was right around the time that the MP4-12C was unveiled, and there was a lot of excitement around.  We arrived early, and I rushed my wife through/past/around various stands and exhibits to get here before the hordes.

The car looked truly stunning  burnt orange.  Here’s hoping that I get the opportunity to drive one some day!

Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-105mm | 66mm | 1/40 sec @ f5.3

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C