Friday, 21 January 2011

Newcastle Quayside, Revisited

I'm back again, bringing you more drivel about my exploits behind the lens. Well, lately I've been updating my image stock library of Newcastle Quayside, as I have a couple of idea's in the pipeline which I'll be putting together in the next couple of weeks. Because of this, I've been making regular trips to Newcastle during the last month or so after a lengthy absence. The Forbidden City and it's Quayside area is great for photography, as I have probably mentioned before, and low-light work is usually the most effective route to take because of there's so many illuminated points of interest down there.

With the help of Teal Farm Photography I managed to loan a Tamron 55-200mm lens for my trip to Newcastle Quayside earlier tonight. It's a sound peice of kit - just what I need for a shot that needs transferring from my head to the memory card. I know what I'm after, but my bog standard 18-55 job won't cut the mustard for this one. I need to bring those Tyne Bridges right in, filling the frame. I was hoping for a decent sky as a backdrop - as it turned out, it wasn't bad at all!

Not many Geordies about tonight. The place is rather quiet for a Friday. Maybe they're all through Sunderland buying half-season tickets (wink). Anyway, time to test out the Tamron glass, so I'm set up on the Millennium Bridge facing west, towards the Tyne Bridge. The sun had been down for almost an hour by this time, but there were still a few traces of colour in the sky. I'm off and running with my first shot (above), which is all about symmetry. I like this one - it was finally out of my head and now recorded on the card. Mind you, I had to wait long enough to get it! The amount of double decker buses crossing the Tyne Bridge was neebody's business. I didn't fancy one o' them wrecking the shot so I waited til the first bus went off at yon end, only for another one to enter the bridge at the other side - then another, and another, and another. I've heard the one about the Number 10 bus, but this was a prime example of taking the p1ss!!!!! Got there eventually though (smile).

From the same spot on the Millennium Bridge I decided to switch lenses and drop right back for some wide-angle shots, taking in the arch right in front of me, using a Canon 10-22 wide. Again the 'Blinking Eye' was changing colour every ten seconds or so, giving me choices, which are shown here in shots two and three.

With numb fingers once again I made my way off the Millenium Bridge and onto the north side of the River Tyne, more commonly known as the Quayside. This was where I took my last shot (shown here, number four). I cropped this one and got shot of the unwanted. It looks almost panoramic and certainly more effective than the original composition.

Finally, can I say a big THANK YOU to Nagzy, who taught me all I know about photography (wink). His wealth of information has been invaluable to me and I can't thank him enough. He certainly talks a great photograph! I tell you folks, what Nagzy don't know about White Balance just aint worth knowing in the first place. He knows more about ISO settings than I know about Vindaloo...seriously! And hey, if ya wanna aquaint yersel with camera Histograms then Nagzy is the boy to consult - oh yes indeedy. Anyway, Nagz - when is our next trip 'In the field', as it were?

More stuff in the next couple of days, folks. Thanks for visiting A.C's blog once again.
Cheers, Ashley Crumb

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Tyne-Tees Television (Parts 20, 21 & 22)

Hello again folks!
Continuing the TV theme for another blog entry, here are more of my shots that appeared on Tyne-Tees Television. The shots were shown back in October 2010 and I recently found them on my hard drive, ready for upload here on my blog. There are 3 in total -

1. Sunrise - Souter Lighthouse, Whitburn
2. Sunrise - The Groyne, South Shields
3. Autumn Leaves - Lumley Castle, Chester le Street

Just a short one tonight folks. I'm off out in a few minutes for some more snapping.
Til the next time...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Tyne-Tees TV - Pip's Puzzler

Visitors to my Blog will probably be aware that I occasionally submit photo's to Tyne Tees Television, who in turn use them on their daily weather bulletins. In 2010 they showed quite a few of my photo's that I captured in the region and so far in 2011 I have only submitted one, which was shown earlier this week. This time, my photo wasn't shown on a weather bulletin, but another feature called 'Pip's Puzzler' which ITV runs every few days. The puzzler shows a photograph of a local scene that has been sliced into peices and jumbled up. Viewers are then asked to identify the scene by emailing the presenter with their answer. This is the first time ITV have used one of my photo's for Pip's Puzzler, which is a nice change from the weather bulletins, but they don't mention the photographers name...ah well!

Whilst taking photo's on Penshaw Hill I decided to send one in to ITV, so I left a gap at the left-hand side of the frame, as this is where the weather presenter usually stands when the photo's are shown. So, without further ado, and just for the record, here is the original image.
It's a tad better than the 'Squeshed' version they showed on yon telly!
Cheers, Ash

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Approaching The Big Four Zero!

Yes, almost 40 folks!
By the way, that's not my age - it'll be a while before I reach that milestone (wink).
My website,, has had almost 40,000 hits since it's introduction back in 2005, with a steady rise in the first couple of years, through to a steep rise over the last 18 months or so.

My work has been advertised through certain channels, mainly through sales of my work, although I have also generated interest through Commissions, TV exposure and Search Engine Optimisation, amongst others. My website continues to improve through regular updates, including the more recent 'Gallery Revamps' that are a simple case of 'Out with the old and in with the new'. Revamps also include replacing images that were optimised during upload, as quite a few appear slightly out of focus on the page. The slideshow bug that was causing this has now been fixed, so the results should now be visible to the viewer. will further improve as I intend to upload more video clips to my Blog page, including short clips of my trips in the field. The footage was recorded 'In camera' (Canon 7D) in High-Definition and will be uploaded in the next few weeks. As well as this, I will be updating most pages on my website and also creating new pages which will feature slideshows and pop-up galleries. In the meantime, thanks for visiting, and feel free to tip my hit counter over the '40' mark. Cheers!


Monday, 10 January 2011

From Freezing Cold To Red Hot

Hello again pop-pickers!
Last night I trudged up Penshaw Hill to take some low-light shots of the Monument with my Canon 7D and wide-angle lens. The new lens got a run out at the same location recently, but that was in broad daylight.

The steep steps on the hill were covered in ice so I walked up the grass verge instead, not wanting to go 'Arse over tit' like the last time I was there. During the climb, I only stopped for breath on twelve occasions, which is a record these days, he he. Glad to reach the summit, I stopped for a few minutes and caught my breath back, whilst taking in the view. Another photographer passed me, saying 'Allreet mate' as he went. A Nikon user, by the look of things.

I set my gear up and raked in the side pocket of my bag for the remote control unit. Silly bugger has left it in the house, hasn't he! Oh well, self-timer here I come...six and two three's. Running off a dozen frames or so, I quickly packed up and headed back down the hill. I was bloody numb from head to toe!!!! Was it all worth it, I asked myself. Seems like I got some decent shots, so maybe it was worth it after all.

Back into the car and off to collect my pre-ordered Indian takeaway from nearby Shiney Row. Soon back in the house and sat down with Chicken Vindaloo, plus all the trimmings. From being half frozen I was now sweating profusely. Jesus H - maybe I shoulda' played safe and opted for a Kurma instead, he he.

As I write this blog entry, the morning after, I'm still suffering. Aye, it feels like someone has given my backside the 'Once Over' with a frickin' blowtorch!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh well, I hope you like the photo. Must dash, another 'One foot plunge' beckons!


Monday, 3 January 2011

My First Shots Of 2011 - Newcastle Quayside

Happy New Year!
As we enter a new year and a new decade I hope to bring you more photography from the North-East of England, a place that's full of opportunity behind the lens. Being born and bred in Sunderland, and a keen supporter of the 'Red And White Army', my affinity with Newcastle is almost non-existant, especially where football is concerned. However, as an amateur photographer who partakes in plenty of low-light photography, Newcastle Quayside is one place that is hard to beat when it comes to subject matter. Directly opposite, on the south side of the River Tyne, is Gateshead Quay's, which also offers an abundacnce of photo opportunities. It is on this side of the water that you'll find the Baltic Arts Centre & Sage Gateshead. Looking up the River Tyne you're presented with a series of bridges, which include the Tyne Bridge, Swing Bridge, Redheugh Bridge and Railway Bridge.

Arriving at the Sage car park at 4.20pm, I was set up a few minutes later near the Baltic Arts Centre. The sun was down but there was still plenty of colour in the sky, just where I wanted it, behind the imposing Tyne Bridge. From here I took this first shot of the Millennium Bridge, glowing red before it changed colour every few seconds. The sky was just right - something that's been lacking these past few nights.

It wasn't long before I was standing on the Millennium Bridge and photographing up stream, towards the Sage Gateshead and Tyne Bridge. A four second exposure captured this second shot (shown here), with a brilliant sky offering the perfect backdrop. I really like this shot, as the subtle colours in the sky sit nicely behind the silhouetted Tyne Bridge. I purposely lost some of the sky and water in post-processing to give a tighter crop, which improves the overall image. The shot is now finished in a panoramic format and looks much better than the original uncropped composition.

As my first shot was taken at Gateshead Quay's, followed by one in the middle of the river (on the bridge, I hasten to add), there was only one place left to photograph from. So, my third and final shot in this blog entry was captured across the water on Newcastle Quayside, near the Pitcher & Piano pub. The Millennium Bridge was now changing colour every ten seconds or so, on a repetative loop, from yellow, green and blue, through to purple and red. After a few repetitions it then changed to a variety of colours, in a kind of 'Rainbow' formation. Each colour was thrown out by separate spotlights at the foot of each side of the Millennium Bridge. It certainly made for a great shot!

This place has plenty to offer the photographer. I intend to revamp my 'Newcastle Quayside At Night' page on my website in the next two or three weeks, as I intend to replace some of the images on there with brand new ones. The new stuff will be photographed very soon, as I'll be making a few more journey's to the Quayside in the next few days. This will be all low-light work, although there's a possibility of some daytime shots thrown in for good measure.

And that's about it for now, folks. I hope you like my latest shots, I'm very pleased with them myself. The Canon wide-angle lens comes up trumps again! Thanks for visiting my blog, and don't forget to bookmark my web site, where I will be performing the usual regular updates.

Until the next time, night night all!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Last Shots Of The Decade!

2010 came to a close and I was in the city of York once again, just like last New Year's Eve. A part of the afternoon was set aside for another visit to York Minster, which is a photographer's dream. The interior achitechture is every bit as stunning as the exterior, plus there was the added bonus of staying warm indoors! A typical winter day outside, so a few layers kept the cold at bay once again. I still had my entrance ticket from last year in my camera bag, so I dodged the £8 entrance fee as the ticket ensured free entry for a full year. Just one day left on my ticket, so in I went.

Now, this is one venue that I couldn't wait to visit again, especially as I was fully equipped with my new Canon wide-angle lens. This lens is tailor made for places like this, so I wasted no time in putting it to the test. I kicked off proceedings by setting my gear up in the Nave, next to the main doors. Out came the Manfrotto tripod, followed by the attachable ball head grip. I set up the 7D and got to grips with the settings before running off a few test shots using the remote control. The lens was right back on 10mm, super wide mode, giving an excellent preview through the viewfinder. There were a few people walking past now and again, but this didn't affect the finished shot, provided they kept on the move.

The lens pulled in some great shots, around thirty in total, which were quite different from the last lot I took in York Minster. With columns at every turn I was expecting some distortion when using the super wide-angle setting, but none was present and the shots couldn't have been better, to be honest.

Just how this place was crafted all those centuries ago is anyone's guess. Who needs modern technology? Naturally, any photographs taken in this building will be packed with detail, and the shots I've uploaded here are no exception. To say each shot is 'Very busy' is an understatement. I was very pleased with these shots as they succeed, in some small way, in demonstrating the sheer scale of the cathedral. The size and ornate detail of the interior is quite awe-inspiring. For me, the best thing about York Minster is that photography is allowed inside. Many churches and cathedrals hold a strict NO PHOTOGRAPHY policy, which is understandable, especially during service hours, but for me this is a perfect opportunity to capture and archive York Minster in photographic form. You just never get sick of looking at this type of photograph. Of course, there's so much to see in the Minster and I feel that I've merely 'Scratched the surface' during this recent visit. I dare say I'll be back quite soon, to explore the Chapter House and other area's of the Cathedral that I never got to see. Who knows, I might even have a dodge up the tower!

(Click an image to reveal extra large version)