Home Newsletter Locations Diary



Current Newsletter

May 2009        Photographers Resource - Monthly        Edition 65

Walking Trails, The Ridgeway Path & Studio Lighting

May already, must get out and do some more photography in the countryside. Over the last month I have spent far too much time at my keyboard, but I did get the chance to do a few days of studio photography and some product photography as well, so I suppose I should not complain.

Nikon have announced a new DSLR camera, the D5000, this appears to be an upgrade on the D60, with a lot of D90 features. It could make a good travel camera, something light enough to take in hand luggage or as a spare body as a back up. It will also appeal to all those who like a lightweight camera to take walking or along when involved in other

Wayland's Smithy, Nr Uffington, Oxfordshire on the Ridgeway

Wayland's Smithy

hobbies. We will be looking closer at this. This month we have managed to pack in quite a variety of new articles, and introduce the new look route guides.

In this Issue:

  • Feature - Long Distance Walks and Walking Trails

  • Ridgeway Path - National Trail

  • Pheasants and Partridges

  • Bluebells

  • Photographic Feature - Studio Lighting and Flash

  • Photographers Diary

  • Wildlife photography in May

  • Offers

  • Changes and enhancements to system, more reference pages added etc....


Walking Trails

Start of our Walk

The Ridgeway

In Britain we have a very large number of long distance paths, providing loads of opportunities to discover all types of locations. We all know that walking is good for us and if we did more, well we would be healthier and probably happier. Along the way we would also get great photo opportunities, scenic, wildlife, and a variety of special interest features.

Walking can involve climbing big hills and going down the other side, but can also be on the level along the course of canals and on disused railway tracks. My personal favourite now, is the canal side walks as you get to see so much wildlife, but also the locks, colourful boats and more as well, and its relatively level. Some years ago it was the major walks like The Ridgeway National Trail that I enjoyed the most.

As walking involves little cost, and is open to everyone, in the current gloomy economy I can see many more people taking it up.

There are a number of specialist magazines for those who have caught the bug, often including a larger number of short walks. With so many walks available across our green and pleasant land, we decided here to concentrate, to start, on the long distance walks, defining these as anything over 20 miles. As you don't need to do the whole of one of these walks in one go, this means we have something for everyone.

In the listing of Long Distance Paths , we have made a good start on what is a huge area, adding a more specialist listing of the List of National Trails .  In Further Information - Walks we provide you with a multitude of contacts and further information links.

New Route Guide format

We have revised our Route Guide format, adding a more structured approach, a map at the top of every Route Guide, so you see where in the country it located and more. Route Guides have the symbol after their link. Route Guides can cover a walk, such as a National Trail or Coastal Walk, a river, a canal or any drive or other listing of places that you could see in a sequence. Up to now we have had few Route Guides but we have more coming along and wanted to improve the format before presenting these. We have updated some of the older route guides to the new format, this includes:-

South West Coastal Path  (Minehead–Poole Harbour)

Dorset Coast Path (Lyme Regis-Sandbanks)

Bournemouth Coast Path (Swanage-Lymington)

The Solent Way (Lymington-Emsworth)

Isle of Wight Coastal Path 


Ridgeway Path National Trail

The Ridgeway is thought to have been the oldest path or road in Britain and of the original route part is included in the Ridgeway Path. The Ridgeway for many people stops at the River Thames at Goring, but the Ridgeway Path continues via a scenic route to Ivinghoe Beacon. We have a Route Guide for The Ridgeway Path, but due to it's size have split it into three pages.

Ridgeway Path    

Part 1 - Introduction and Basic Information

Part 2 - Route from Overton Hill
           to the River Thames

Part 3 - Route from the River Thames
           to Ivinghoe Beacon

The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway National Trail starts near Avebury in Wiltshire and goes north east, along the top of the edge of the Marlborough Downs passing many interesting features. We have added more location guides for a cluster of items around its start and also along its length, plus updated the guides we already had that covered some places featured.

New Location Guides are:-

Barbury Castle, Wiltshire

Liddington Castle, Wiltshire

Uffington Castle, Oxfordshire  

Uffington Castle

Wayland Smithy, Oxfordshire   

Wayland's Smithy

Silbury Hill, nr Avebury, Wiltshire   

West Kennet Long Barrow, Wilts

West Kennet Long Barrow

The Sanctuary, nr Avebury, Wiltshire

Updated Location Guides are:-

Avebury, Wiltshire

Hackpen White Horse,Wiltshire

Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire

Pitstone Windmill, Buckinghamshire  (oldest post mill)


The Ridgeway Path

The Ridgeway

Along the Ridgeway Path there are many nature reserves, and a lot of wildlife to see, on one of my recent visits to the Ridgeway I saw a  Red Kite (Red Kite ) and I am told further along this has now become a common site. On the Ridgeway Path there are a lot of places where unusual plants grow, and both on the path and nearby, there are a number of wildlife reserves. We have made a list of these in a separate page, Nature Reserves on or near the Ridgeway Path

Pheasants and Partridges

In many of the walks we make, and other visits to the countryside we come across game birds, the most numerous being Pheasants and Partridges. As most of these have been bred and then released into the countryside, they are often quite tame and you can usually get quite close to them. Before we moved into town, a few years back, we lived in a farm house and at that time I had several feeding stations in the garden attracting a very wide variety of birds, as well as badgers, rabbits, squirrels and other mammals. Pheasants and Partridges were present most of the time, and became used to us both photographing and walking amongst them. We could get within a foot or two with no difficulty, but did not make pets of them as we knew most would be shot or run over on the roads. Partridges are the smaller of the two and very pretty birds, each with its own personality., while pheasants are the more impressive and the males at breeding time are territorial with lots of strutting, crowing, fights, herding of hens and more to photograph. There was a lot to watch and photograph from the encounters between foxes and pheasants, the fox ultimately always taking the wise decision to leave them alone, to the fights, mating rituals and how they communicated to one another.


Common Pheasant

Common Pheasant

We have added wildlife pages on these birds, but when I have time I will put together a gallery of photos showing them in action.

Common Pheasant              Common Pheasant

Red-Legged Partridge          Red-Legged Partridge

Grey Partridge

These are some our most colourful birds, but as they are generally so widely available, in many countryside areas, we haven't produced a separate analysis of where you can photograph them.

I have always had great difficulty in understanding the sport aspect of using beaters to make these tame birds fly and then firing at them with a wide scatter shot of gun fire, that requires about as much skill as machine gunning a chicken run. However this is big business with around 40 million game birds being bred and released each year in Britain and generating £1.6bn. If it wasn't so profitable, I am sure we would all find it all rather sad and cruel.

As these birds are larger than most and so tame its interesting to watch the

way they react, how the male pheasants crow with heads stretched high, and then have to madly flap their wings so they don't fall backwards. Its interesting earlier in the year when the males all try and be as tall as possible and have contests to see who is tallest, and later walk parallel to one another before one backs down or there's a fight. The males walk around the females displaying one wing out and lower showing what a fine fellow they are and then peck the ground inviting them to lay down, before the male mounts them. I have loads
of shots of this sequence and more, all shot without a hide while walking about near them.

Red-Legged Partridges are smaller and attractive elegant birds, each with a personality, some are nervous and run about, others tame and will let you walk right up to them. When you come across either in the countryside you won't normally get as close as I have, but its not difficult to get within 20 feet of them, and if you don't chase them they won't run or fly away, and may come closer.

There are 236 species of pheasants and their relatives in almost every corner of the world. As a total species they are said to be one of the most threatened bird groups, with 74 on the 2006 IUCN Red List of threatened species, and another 37 considered near threatened. There is a collection at Sudeley Castle, in Gloucestershire, included in their Wildfowl area, they have a collection of 15 of the rare and endangered species from around the world. As well as a number of threatened species they also have some of the most familiar such as the Common Pheasant, Indian Peafowl and the Red Junglefowl. In addition to our location guide on Sudeley Castle you can find more specific information on the pheasant collection they have by clicking here .

You can also see pheasants at the Cricket St Thomas Wildlife Park, in Somerset.  

Red-Legged Partridge

Red-Legged Partridge


We are now right in the middle of the Bluebells season with many woodlands now in full flower. 70% of all the bluebells in the world can be found throughout Britain, so this is a spectacle that perhaps we take for granted, that would be a near miracle if seen elsewhere.

We have also updated our Bluebell List on where to see bluebells.


Reorganisation of Topic index

We have made a range of changes within the Topic indexes, laying them out slightly differently, standardising the pages and restructuring some of the indexing. Amongst the changes are the addition of an indicator to show when pages go to other pages within the index, rather than directly to page, and links back up the tree within the topic index, allowing easier navigation. This is shown with forward or backward arrow heads and dots, i.e. ...> or <...

You will also find within the Topic index we have reordered some of the major sections to make similar items nearer together and therefore easier to find.

Generally we try to avoid taking people to pages without much on and try to cut down the number of pages you need to go through to find what you are looking for. All of our indexes are constantly growing as each month we add new items, so from time to time we will need to make changes to keep this working efficiently. This however was the first major revision of the Topic indexing that was necessary and probably won't need to be done again for quite some time.

Photographic Feature

Studio Lighting and Flash

At a time when many photographers are looking to getting out to take their summer photos, you may wonder why we decided its a good time to run a feature on studio lighting and flash. My answer to this is that I take photos outside and inside throughout the year, and don't have a demarcation between what is summer and what is winter photography, but rather want to make the most of all times, and opportunities.

We have now added a new section on Lighting and Reflectors, that brings together some of the material we had before on reflectors and on flash and adds to it a wide range of articles on flash and studio equipment, including looking in detail at a number of the Lastolite products.

Articles include:-

Girlequin, TriFlector, HiLite and Cool-Lite.


Within the articles we have many illustrations like this showing practical set ups. Girlequins are ideal for learning and experimenting with lighting and reflectors. They are used by leading training providers to allow you to gain practical experience and skills, but you can also have one of your own.

Existing articles we have, some updated, on this and associated topics

You don't have to buy items, you can make something yourself or use other items. This month we have two projects allowing you to see just what you can do. This is not always about saving money, it may be more about what do you do if you are away on holiday and need something that you do not have, and looking at a simple solution.


We will be adding more to this section including, looking at macro flash shortly.

Reference Section

Calculators and Converters

We have added a new section to the reference section that has a wide range of calculators, allowing conversions and other calculations to be done easily. You will find now when you select the reference section there is new button allowing you to get to this, you can also go directly there from the Calculators link.

Roman numerals

Within the reference section we have an article and tables on roman numerals, but we have added another article on Roman Numerals  to our Roman Section and linked the two articles together.

Stuff to Send

We have an article on Stuff2Send, this is a website that matches up people who want to move or have something delivered, with someone who is already going in that direction. You can arrange for anything to be delivered including yourself. Its also a way to cover your costs when travelling about the country.

The Photographers Diary May and June

As usual we have updated the Photographers Diary with many more events and activities for you to photograph, now covering May and June. This wide range of information is only available from our site, we built it from looking at several hundred sites and sources plus information that comes in from some of you. If you are aware of anything that you feel we should have included please let us know, we do update the current month and next month during the month, between issues, as extra information becomes available.

Well Dressing in Derbyshire

May is the start of the Well Dressing Season a tradition which takes place in the English countryside. It is said to date back to Pagan Times and is said to be a thank you to the Water Gods. Today communities make pictures from flower petals pressed into clay and display them at wells or other community chosen locations for a period of 3 to 8 days. The most well known area for Well Dressing is Derbyshire, who have made a season out of it with the communities taking part spreading out the festivities from the start of May through to the middle of September. Many of the villages/communities also have a programme of events such as Morris dancing, sporting events, flower festivals and carnivals as part of the festivities. See these links for an event list of  Derbyshire Well Dressing, and Derbyshire 2009 Well Dressings , or alternative this PDF Well Dressings 2009 - Derbyshire (PDF) gives dates,

times and places. Other areas do also have well dressings including one held in Bisley, Gloucestershire on Ascension Day (40 days after Easter Sunday), where they have a blessing at the church and a small procession through the streets of 22 children carrying wreaths and posies that are placed on the village well.

We have added a new article Wildlife Photography May


Home Business Offer

We have announced, although its not running yet, that running alongside Photographers Resource we will have Travellers Resource, this will include more information on going to different places, staying in different areas and link back to Photographers Resource location guides. After this we will be adding a more general information and news site, and around this national site we will have a lot of smaller local and regional sites that all connect together. Once this is up and running information flow will be two ways, and this combined system will provide local information as well as travel and information for photographers. The local sites will be franchises, so as a large number of people get to own their own local business, the online equivalent to a local newspaper. These franchises will vary in price from a 50% share for just over £2,000 up to around £6-8,000 for a larger city franchise. The offer I have for you at the moment, is that if you wanted to take one of these franchises now as a pilot, and to help us develop and test them, before others get to see them, or the manuals etc are written, then we will offer it to you, 90% ownership of your franchise area, for just £2,000 of which only £1,000 needs to be paid now. This is a particularly good deal as you can select your own area. Call 0845 094 2487 between 9am and 9pm any day to discuss this.

Studio Photography training day and evening with model,
for the price of a day

You have seen the articles on studio photography, seen the articles on all the Lastolite equipment, found out about Girlequin's, now how would you like to get to a days 'hands on' photography training using it, with 1 to 1 training of course with Camera-Images.  A day course on Studio Photography, flash, cool-lites and portraiture, including using Girlequin's, and on top of this a 3 hour evening session with a live model, all for the price of a day course. This is independent of camera make, the training will be done using Nikon equipment but all except the Nikon Creative Lighting is applicable to any make of camera. If you don't use a Nikon then the creative lighting can be left out and more time spent on other lighting forms. To book call 0845 094 2487 between 9am and 9pm any day. Offer closes May 31st.

Free Photographers Website

If you book any 'Beyond the Basics Masterclass' with Photography Skills, booked and paid for in May, you can claim a free website.  The website will have 5 basic pages plus 3 galleries, includes the registration of a .co.uk web name and registration for 2 years, and hosting for a year with unlimited traffic. At the end of the training day you get to look at and choose the design and look of your site. You can also now do a day on Studio Lighting Masterclass, that is not on their website, similar to the Camera Images day.

Summary of Articles Included In This Issue

Introduction to Studio and Flash Lighting  

Studio Lighting - The Parts  

Mains Flash  

Nikon Creative Lighting  

Cool-Lite's Explained  

Lastolite HiLite  

Lastolite KickerLite and UpLite - working together  

Lastolite KickerLite

Lastolite UpLite

Lastolite Ezybox and Ezybox Hotshoe  

Lastolite TriFlector  


Home made reflector project   

Home made diffuser project  

Wildlife Photography May 

Common Pheasant

Red-Legged Partridge

Grey Partridge


Roman Numerals   

Lists Added This Issue

Nature Reserves on or near the Ridgeway Path

Long Distance Paths

Further Information - Walks 


Locations Guides Added This Issue

Ridgeway Path    

Barbury Castle, Wroughton, Wiltshire

Liddington Castle, Wiltshire

Uffington Castle, Oxfordshire  

Wayland Smithy, nr Uffington, Oxfordshire   

Silbury Hill, nr Avebury, Wiltshire   

West Kennet Long Barrow, Wiltshire    

The Sanctuary, nr Avebury, Wiltshire

Galleries Added This Issue

Red-Legged Partridge

Common Pheasant

The Ridgeway

Uffington Castle

Wayland's Smithy

West Kennet Long Barrow



Home Newsletter Locations Diary