Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Catherine and Joe

I went to Oxford Island, on Lough Neagh, with Catherine and her homme du jour, Joe, the day before christmas. An astonishing amount of merriment followed.

None of this was recorded on film, instead you'll have to make do with these snaps from the day. All were taken on Kodak Portra 160NC, a delightful film, though I prefer the 160VC. Mind you, it doesn't really matter, these days you can just whack up the saturation with the Gimp.

Joe (left) and Catherine (right) patiently tolerating an onslaught of photography. You'd better get used to that 'sun behind the hair' look, because that's almost all I took.

Catherine in a birdwatching hide. Apparently this particular hide was the scene of some scandal when a local councillor was busted for cottaging there. This was explained to us by an elderly Daily Mail wielding couple we encountered later on in the day, who warned us not to go in the 'gay' hide.

Catherine has either just sighted some kind of rare waterbird or a deviant councillor. She still won't say which it was.

Catherine outside the gay hide, contemplating her lucky escape.

Joe, deciding whether the noise he can hear is a rare warbler rustling in the bushes, or whether it's the sound of his car being burnt out by local hoodlums.

Joe (left) and Catherine (right) looking at something in a bush.

Everyone (except me) was looking at a god damn robin, tweeting away in a shrub. All was well until it decided to attack Bronach, probably because she didn't have any bread for it or something. The situation ended well for Bronach, because Catherine dispatched the robin with two shots to the back of the head, execution style. It's ok, she's a nature warden, and is trained for exactly this kind of thing.

Catherine getting her breath back after shouting "Freeze, sucker!" at the robin, while she pinned it to the ground.

We were lucky enough to see a thermonuclear test. Here Bronach and Catherine demonstrate how not to look directly at the blast.

While Joe shows us how to take a photo of the explosion.

Bronach keeping a lookout for more rogue birds.

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted the mist in the background, advancing menacingly towards Catherine (l) and Joe (r) - it was like something out of a Stephen King novel. Even more eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that this was taken on a Canon 28-105mm USM Mk II lens, and is slightly less sharp than the nifty 50mm 1.8 Mk II lens. What I would like is a Canon 24-70mm 2.8L lens. So if I can get 775 of you to each pledge £1 towards it I'll set up a Paypal site to get the ball rolling.

All in all, it was a grand day out. Oxford Island has something for everyone, unless you like tanks or Romans.