The Phoenix Time #36


‘So, as long as I only want to make small prints of my holiday photos, there’s nothing wrong with using my phone? Charlotte asked.

‘Nothing at all,’ her friend replied, ‘In fact most people would have no idea what type of camera had been used.  What another photographer would notice though, are faults like the horizon not being level or the image being badly posed.’

‘You’ve put my mind at rest,’ Charlotte said, ‘Shall we head off to Ladram bay then?’


They returned to the car, Charlotte reprogrammed the satnav and they continued their journey just under five miles Eastwards.

From Ladram Road, they dropped down Bay Road to park behind the Coast Café.  It was just a short walk from there to the Viewpoint from which they could see all the way across the coast, past the awe-inspiring red cliffs of High Peak and Peak Hill to Sidmouth in the distance. They stopped to take some shots before they took advantage of the tide being out to head back towards the café, From there they walked down to the beach.

Having walked down to the beach, they had a superb view of a few of the Triassic sandstone stacks between Ladram and Sidmouth but, although they were able to make their way gingerly to the rock pool areas, they were unable to get far enough out from the cliffs to see the further stacks

It was just under an hour for the return journey to Lyme, and, by the time Charlotte parked her car, they decided to drop their bags and jackets at their respective hotels and freshen up before meeting at their chosen restaurant for dinner. By now the two women were bosom buddies, never lost for conversation. Much of what they discussed was family matters. Carrie had two grown up children who had remained in Boston, Massachusetts with their own children. They showed each other photographs and spoke of their hopes and fears for their children and grandchildren given the state of the world.

Afterwards, as she had promised, they returned to Carrie’s hotel – where Carrie loaded the memory card from her camera into her laptop and showed Charlotte what she did to ‘develop’ her photos.  Charlotte’s initial reaction when she saw the raw images was that they seemed darker than she’d expected, and the colours seemed subdued. Just by moving a couple of sliders however, Carrie was able to demonstrate how she was able to bring out lots of detail of clouds from the sky areas – and to enrich the blues.

She then moved on to the dark, almost black, shadowed areas, and restored both lighter and other details. She showed Charlotte how to enhance textures and clarity and how, by cropping the image slightly, it was possible to draw the viewer’s eye to where Carrie wanted. In response to Charlotte’s question, she told her the name of the software she was using so that she could tell Frank.

There were now only a couple of days of her holiday remaining so they agreed that, the following day, they’d head off to Weymouth, Chesil Beach and Portland Bill.

When she got back to her room, Charlotte phoned Gloria and Frank, in that order. David and Grace were at Gloria’s. Her children and grandchildren were all well and were looking forward to seeing her on the Monday following. They were all going out together to Tatton Park on the Saturday. Frank would be going with them.

She was surprised that Frank answered straightaway when she phoned him.

‘I’d half expected you to be still on your way back from York,’ she said.

‘Oh, I didn’t stay that long,’ he said, ‘after all, it’s hardly the first time. Look how many visits we made together to the Minster, the museums and Clifford’s Tower. I was just taking shots of the same places, though often from different angles this time.’

He asked about her day, but she spent more time telling him about the planned Saturday trip to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

‘I do wish I was going with you,’ he said, ‘I’m really jealous.’

‘Well, if you hadn’t buggered off we could have gone together,’ she said, ‘though you probably wouldn’t have thought about it, would you? Anyway, don’t expect me to have any sympathy. You only want to go to fulfil your photography dream – not because you want to be with me. If you’re not nice to me I won’t show you my photos.’

He realised that there would be nothing to be gained by arguing.

Featured Photo

I took this photo a couple of days ago (21/02/2021) while I was out for a walk. I’d gone to take my daily exercise a couple of miles further from home than usual. I began near the Ship Inn at Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside. I parked near the Ranger’s Hut and walked, initially along the Canal and then beside the stream along the woodland path to its junction with Garswood Old Road at Happy Valley, Carr Mill. I’d taken my camera and took lots of photos to show you over the next several episodes of this story. Most of them will show the path and the water beside it.

Today’s photograph shows two people walking along the woodland path towards Carr Mill. I always look for people wearing red or for other red objects to draw the viewer’s eye into the photo. You should be able notice this in other photos in this series.

I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a 35 mm f/2 full-frame prime lens attached. The shutter speed was 1/125 at f/11 and the ISO was 3200 The shot was handheld and I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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