Category Archives: Photography

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Princetown to Hexworthy – The Old Road – Dartmoor National Park

Desolation #dartmoor - nothing for miles

On Saturday, I walked from Princetown to the Forest Inn at Hexworthy on Dartmoor. The route is 5 miles easy way across Dartmoor National Park. The above shot is one of the views you will see en route. All the photos were snapped using my iPhone 7 Plus.

After about 40 minutes, this is the view from behind of the North Hessary Mast at Princetown in the distance. The path starts off in great condition. To start the route from Princetown, walk down Tor Royal Lane, all the way to the end. After a mile, you will get to Tor Royal Farm. Walk down the road, with the farm on your right. Just continue following the path/road.

Of course, like all good things, the condition of the path deteriorates and becomes a bit boggy. So good walking boots are a must.

Rocky Road to Hexworthy #dartmoor

In fact, along one section of the route, the path is lined with large chunks of rocks/granite, so be careful. Also the path occasionally fades out but it is still visible for the entire route.

Racing along the road from Princetown to Hexworthy #dartmoor

My 3 labradors were having a blast along the route too.

After about 3.2 miles the path narrows and you will pass the Blowing House ruins. This section was particularly muddy in places and had a lot of muddy surface water. You boots will get wet and muddy at this point no matter how hard you try to avoid everything.

Above is Blowing House itself, well the ruins.

Fairy Bridge #dartmoor

Fortunately, Fairy Bridge has been replaced with a new structure, otherwise you would have had to cross the river getting extremely soaked! The goal was to reach the Forest Inn at Hexworthy. The last part of the walk is a little tricky in terms of directions, but you eventually reach the end of the path, and come to a country lane. Cross straight over and walk down the road to the farm house entrance. As you get near the entrance, you will see a downhill path, take this, walk down until it becomes road, turn left, walk 15 yard, turn right downhill in-between the farm buildings. This will make sense when you are there. At the end of the downhill part, you reach another road. Turn right and walk 50 yards uphill to the Forest Inn. Job done.

Enjoy the food and drink at the Forest Inn (make sure you book as its always busy), and then prepare yourself for the return journey.

All photos shot on my red iPhone 7 Plus.

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Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Bellever Forest – Dartmoor National Park

This morning, I went out on a bitterly cold morning to Bellever Forest Dartmoor. The temperature never rose above 2ºC, and in the wind it was sub zero. Apart from the temperature, it was foggy and raining.

So despite the weather and visibility, I managed to capture the beauty and wonder of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor National Park using my iPhone 7 Plus.

Forest Walks, Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the forest path at Bellever. Lovely views and colours.

Ancient Trees at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Along the path, the trees and plants look fantastic.

The Forest is Alive - Natural Colours of Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

I really like all the greens, browns and red tones.

Ancient Circle - Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

For one minute, it looks like a row of stone seating.

Up High on a Foggy Day at Bellever Forest, Dartmoor

Up high, and you can really get a sense of the visibility or lack of!

With the rainy conditions, I was so happy to have my iPhone 7 Plus which is water resistant. And I love the photos the camera captured too.

Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Soussons Stone Circle and Forest on Dartmoor National Park

As with all UK weather, it was fabulous during the week and come the weekend, the rain and fog descended on Dartmoor. Snow is forecasted later this week too.

Anyway, below are photos taken on my iPhone 7 Plus of Soussons Stone Circle and in around the forest on Dartmoor National Park.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Above, Tiggy is very happy to be in the lead. The shot is taken in Soussons Forest, Dartmoor.

Mystic Walks thru Soussons #dartmoor

There are so great trees too. With walkways in between.

Soussons Stone Circle #dartmoor

This is the Soussons Stone Circle, comprising of 25 stones. Dartmoor seems to have many sites with stone circles.

Logs #Soussons #dartmoor

Abandoned logs. Did someone forget to collect these? Also a great place to find beetles.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

George happy as always.

Happy Hounds #Soussons #dartmoor

Fury, she is doing the side step dance, somehow.

Soussons Forest #dartmoor

The weather was awful during the walk around Soussons. Rain, fog and strong winds. Fortunately, the trees provided some shelter, and it times like this you appreciate having a iPhone that is water resistant!

Sunset on Dartmoor – Shot on an Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Sometimes timing is everything as well as skill of course 🙂

The below shot captured the ponies grazing just as the sun was disappearing behind a Tor. A minute before the sun was too bright and a minute later the sun had vanished.

To help capture this shot, I used my iPhone 7 Plus and Adobe Lightroom mobile to snap it in raw. When I capture photos like this, I cannot see the need of carrying a DSLR!

Cracking sunset on Dartmoor

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod Review – Plus comparison with Zecti 55 inch Aluminium Tripod

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Zecti 70 inch travel tripod review plus a comparison with their 55 inch tripod. I am already using the 55 inch Zecti tripod on a near daily basis, so I decided to take a look at the bigger 70 inch version. This is a different design so in my main video review, I have also compared it to the 55 inch tripod.

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The Key Features / Specifications

– Max. Height: 70 inch/176.5cm with column extended
– Min. Height: 21inch/54cm
– Folding Height: 22inch/57cm
– Converted to Monopod: 65inch
– Number of Leg Sections: 4
– Material: Aluminum Alloy+Plastic
– Leg Lock: Flip-lock
– Lateral Tilt Angle: 90 degree
– Tilt Angle: 180 degree
– Panning Angle: 360 degree
– Screw for camera: 1/4 inch
– Head Type: 3-Way Head
– Weight: 1.65kg/3.63lb
– Packing Size: 11.5*11.5*59.3cm
– Foot Type: Anti-slip Horseshoe Mat
– In the box – 1x Camera tripod, 1x User Manual, 1x Carrying Case
– 3-way Head with quick release plate are easy for you to install or remove most cameras camcorder DV and etc.
– The unique design of the horseshoe foot and bottom weight hook ensure an excellent stability of the tripod.
– Two in one design of the tripod allow you to convert the tripod between tripod and monopod easily.

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Video Review

To really illustrate the tripod, I filmed a review which also included a comparison with the Zecti 55 inch tripod and Amazon Basic tripod. I also explain the difference in quality between the tripods and their respective features.

Conclusion

The Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod is ideal if you need a quick release plate and the extra height. I am now using both of these tripods as they are lightweight and ideal for most of my photography.

Useful Links

Zecti 70 inch Travel Tripod
Full Range of Zecti products

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Huawei Mate 9 – More Superb Photos from the camera

The Huawei Mate 9 continues to impress and its camera is superb. Below are a range of photos.

Huawei Mate 9 – Light Trails Mode.

Night shots on Dartmoor - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Night Mode – This really pulled extra light into the shot.

Night shots on Dartmoor - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Church Shot – Auto mode.

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Church Shot – Monochrome mode.

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Views around St Constantine Church - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 – Newquay Views

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Great views of Newquay - Shot on the Huawei Mate 9

Some stunning photos!

Useful Links

Huawei Mate 9 on Three UK – Click HERE.

Amazon UK – Click HERE.

Donations – https://www.paypal.me/gavinsgadgets

Zecti 5 in 1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector – My Review

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Welcome to my review of the Zecti 5 in 1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector. The Zecti 5 in 1 Light Reflector costs £26.99.

The Key Features –

– The light reflector comes with different reflective surfaces that can be used to fill in, reflect, diffuse, absorb or soften light
– Made with durable and flexible galvanised steel frame
– Fairly easily spread and folded into small size and it is easy for you to carry it from one location to another
– Comes with an anti-slip handle which has a 1/4″ screw hole in the handle allow it to fit most of the standard reflector holders/tripods
– Choose from five colours translucent, gold, white, silver and black

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In Use

The first time I unzipped the Zecti black carry/protective bag, I had a slight surprise as the reflector sprung open and was considerably larger than the small bag it had been stored in.

I like the fact is collapses into the bag for portability but it is a bit awkward trying to get it to fold initially. The 1/4 inch tripod screw mount is handy too.

To be honest the only way you can appreciate how compact this collapses and then how large it becomes is by watching the short video below. So now enjoy the video.

Video Review

Conclusion

I have always wanted light reflectors and I must admit the portability and flexibility of the Zecti 5 in 1 set is ideal. It is also competitively priced which is a bonus.

Useful Links

To save £4 on the light reflector use code HDKY7XLD. This will expire in a few weeks.

More information on the Zecti 5 in 1 Light Reflector – Click HERE.

Help Support the Channel when shopping on Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2i4YFEY
Donations – https://www.paypal.me/gavinsgadgets

Flying and buying a drone – stuff retailers don’t tell you and should!

I recently attended a drone session and was left gobsmacked by what I learnt. Despite witnessing what a £4,500 DJI drone can do, which is flipping amazing, I came away from the event completely certain that I would NOT be buying a drone.

Why?

For starters, you need to be aware of the Drone Code. If you haven’t seen this then have a look here – http://dronesafe.uk/drone-code/ .

I then discovered you need the landowners permission to fly a drone. I wanted to capture some drone photography of Dartmoor National Park. However, the DNPA do not grant permission. Maybe a farmer that owned some land might grant me permission but there is no guarantee.

I can fly a drone in my back garden though. But unless you own acres of land, I cannot see the point of flying a drone in your back garden, other than to fly it into a tree.

If you do own a drone, another other aspect is accidents that can occur if a drone hit a person or property. The propellers on the drone can slice skin fairly easily too.

Now I know a lot of people still fly the drones without the correct permissions. I just don’t see the point of spending a lot of money on an item that is quickly being clamped down by codes and ultimately to come will be legislation.

The Drone Code currently states –

1 – Keep the drone in sight at all times
2 – Stay below 400ft
3 – Every time you fly the drone must follow the manufacturers guidelines
4 – Keep the right distance from people and property – 150ft away from people and houses, 500ft away from build up areas and crowds
5 – You are responsible for each flight. Legal liability and responsibility lies with you. Failure to fly responsibly could end up in a criminal prosecution.

If you decide to buy a drone, just make sure you are aware of the facts.

Useful Links

More information on the different types of drones – Click HERE.

The Drone Code Website – Click HERE

Walk on Dartmoor – Shot on an iPhone 7 Plus – Edited on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar using iMovie

I wanted to see how tight the integration would be shooting video and photos on my iPhone 7 Plus and then trying to edit it on my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

For starters, I got some great photos and video from the iPhone 7 Plus. Since the latest software update on the iPhone 7 Plus, the Live Photos seem to be even better quality. Below are the a few photos the walk out on Dartmoor.

Moody Face #Tiggy #Dartmoor

None of these photos have been edited in any way.

All tongue #George #Dartmoor

What a tongue!! George has a huge tongue.

Sunk in the mud - Tiggy :)

Someone has been in the mud 🙂

Fury had just bathed in mud :) #dartmoor

Because Fury is black, she disguises the fact she is lined in mud !

Ok, some firing up my MacBook Pro, and all the photos and video from my iPhone 7 Plus are already synced into the Photos app on the Mac. Open iMovie on the MacBook Pro and you can simply select the video and photos from the photos app and import them into iMovie. Next select create a movie, tweak the order of the clips, adjusts and colour corrections on the media if required, add a theme, choose from a vast selection of music and audio clips, or add your own, add a few titles and export. iMovie is relatively intuitive to use. Next save to iMovie Theater and now it appears on my iPhone 7 Plus in the iMovie app too.

The last stage is uploading to YouTube via iMovie. And below is the result. The power of the post processing speed of the MacBook Pro is stunning BTW.

Zecti Aluminum Alloy Tripod Ball Head Review – Stunning Build & Precision

Zecti Ballhead 6

Zecti is a small company, on a mission to expand into various different niches, one of which is camera tripods and mounts. I recently reviewed their 55 inch Aluminium tripod and was really impressed by the quality at a competitive price point. Link at the end of this post.

Zecti Ballhead 5

I have now have their Aluminium Alloy Tripod Ball Head, which simply oozes quality and precision. It retails for £39.99. It features separate adjustment knobs for different angle rotation adjustments and a scale to pan for 360 degree panoramic shooting. At the end of the post is a code with link to save a few pounds.

Zecti Ballhead 3

The Ball Head is made using CNC forging and an oxidisation anodised aluminum alloy body ensures the good payload performance and durability.

Zecti Ballhead 2

Other features of the ball head is horizontal adjustment locking system, levelling bubbles for precise framing, a removable quick release arca plate with a 1/4″ screw for easy and safe installation of the camera / 3/8″female screw thread for various tripods and a safety locking system. The Ball head diameter is 35mm with a max load of 15 kg.

Zecti Ballhead 4

The net weight of the ball head is 255g. When I removed it from the packaging, it felt strong and substantial. This is a beautifully made product and ideal for the keen photographer. Recommended.

Useful Links

Use the link below and enter code DSMS7835 to save 5%.

More information & the latest pricing on the Zecti Tripod Ball Head – Click HERE.
Zecti 55 inch Lightweight Aluminium Tripod Review – Click HERE.

Huawei P9 – Epic Photos from the Camera

The Huawei P9 comes with 2 x 12mp rear cameras. One is monochrome and the other is a colour sensor. The cameras were co-engineered with the help of Leica.

In my results below, the Huawei P9 camera delivers epic results and photos worthy of hanging on my wall.

Classic Dartmoor Trees #HuaweiP9

The above shot was taken after sunset, just before night started. This is my favourite shot so far from the P9.

Paignton Beach #HuaweiP9

The above shot is of Paignton Pier, Paignton, Devon.

Paignton Beach #HuaweiP9 #Monochrome

Using the monochrome mode on the P9 adds mood and a unique feel to photos. This is Paignton beach, complete with sea fog in the distance.

Riverside Mill - shot using a monochrome lens #huaweip9 #00 #dartmoor #historic #gorgeous

Riverside Mill, shot in using the monochrome lens again. Pretty special in monochrome.

Natures Trees #dartmoor #00 #huaweip9 #tree #gorgeous

Just trees. Just gorgeous.

No doubt as I get to use the phone’s camera more and more, I will be able to extract even more stunning photos.

Huawei P9 – Festival Blue Edition – First Impressions

Written in Stone #fullsize #OO #HuaweiP9 #monochrome

I reviewed the Huawei P9 back in May 2016. Click HERE to read my full review.

6 months later Huawei have released the P9 Festival Edition. This is simply either a red or blue finished P9. I really liked the phone when I reviewed it 6 months ago, and now that it is available in 2 new colours, I decided to take the plunge and get the blue colour.

P9 Blue

It is not a vivid or dark blue, more a pale grey type blue. In some lighting it does look more blue, but nonetheless its still stunning.

The first thing to re-adjust to is its cameras. It has 2 x 12mp rear cameras. One monochrome and the other is a colour sensor. The above shot was taken in its monochrome mode. The Huawei P9 also allows RAW shots in its Pro Mode so I shall be having some fun with this phone periodically. The raw image files are around 22mb per photo.

The other reason for getting the P9 is to try the nougat beta along with EMUI v5. Once I have this installed on the P9 I shall report back with my findings.

If you have any questions about the Huawei P9, please ask.

For the latest Cyber Week deals on Amazon – Click HERE.

Zecti Camera Tripod – 55 inch Lightweight Aluminium Tripod – My review of this compact & versatile tripod

Zecti Tripod

Zecti is a new small company hoping to make a mark with several of their products, one of which is the Zecti 55 inch Camera Tripod. This is made of lightweight aluminium which retails for a competitive price of £54.99. However, Zecti have offered a £5 discount. See end of post.

I have been using the Zecti tripod for over 2 weeks now and it has impressed me from the moment I unboxed it. For starters, it comes in a protective bag as shown above. The next aspect I have noticed with this tripod is its versatility. It is so much better than my Amazon Basic tripod which is so heavy compared to the Zecti tripod.

Zecti Tripod

The Ball Head

The Ball Head is made of an aluminum alloy material and has a built in bubble level indicator. It works with a 3/8″ screw mount for a tripod and a 1/4″ screw. It has a thread on plate for easy removal of your camera. See photos. The ball head is a 360 degree panoramic head.

Zecti Tripod

The Tripod Options

Zecti Tripod

The tripod comes in a black finish, weighing 1450g. It has a maximum load of 5kg. Its folded length is 350mm. Max Height is 1410mm. It is made from an aluminum alloy.

Zecti Tripod

The inversion of central axis is ideal for macro shooting like insects, flowers, grass and etc.It has a removable quick-release plate, comes with 1/4″ screw, suitable for most of DLSR cameras, a universal ballhead design with 360° dial, allow you to adjust the angle freely and quickly, comes with leg angle adjustment with locking every single leg, has a 4-section column leg, giving a more convenient leg handling, meet your desired shooting height. But just as important it folds to an incredible small compact and light weight design.

In The Box

1 x tripod with ball head
1 x ball head protecting bag
1 x monopod waist pouch
1x hexagonal wrench
1 x user manual
1 x carry bag

In terms of what is included you really can’t ask for anything else. One of the tricks of this tripod is becoming a monopod and really quickly too.

Zecti Tripod

Final Words

I have grown to really enjoy using the Zecti Camera Tripod. It comes in a neat carry bag and its versatility at such a competitive price makes this a win for me. This has replaced my main tripod too.

Useful Links

Don’t forget to use code BWIDJRK3 and link below to get a £8 discount. This will expire soon.

Zecti 55inch Tripod

The Day after Storm Angus – The South West & Dartmoor hit by a huge storm

It is hard to believe that yesterday evening and into the early hours the UK got hit by Storm Angus. In the South West of England, the storm hit hard causing flooding, gale force winds with lots of trees falling and more. 

Up here on the Moors of Dartmoor, I was expecting the storm to be significantly worse due to the rural exposed environment. It wasn’t pleasant but we didn’t get the full force luckily. 

Anyway, this morning I took my 3 Labradors out for their walk on Dartmoor. It was water logged, soft sinking mud in places but otherwise the sun was out looking glorious. The weather is due to turn nasty again, as I write this the sun has now vanished leaving an overcast sky. 

I created a short video using my iPhone 7 Plus and Sony RX100. The video is from the iPhone. 

The Best Photos of the Weekend using the Apple iPhone 7 Plus – Shot across Dartmoor National Park

Over the weekend, I went out with my Apple iPhone Plus photographing various places across Dartmoor National Park.

No filters were used for any of the shots below To view the original photo, just click on it. The only apps used were the default camera app and Adobe Lightroom mobile (for editing and snapping raw photos).

Before I set off on my huge walk, I tucked into a lightweight meal.

Large Breakfast - Cafe on the Green Widecombe on the Moor #dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

The above breakfast is from the Cafe on the Green, Widecombe on the Moor.

Saddle Tor , Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

You can park near to Saddle Tor. Well its an uphill walk from the car park all the way to the top of Saddle Tor. From the photo above you can see Saddle Tor and Haytor in the distance.

View from the top of Saddle Tor #dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

Saddle Tor is a huge lump of granite and provides views for miles across Dartmoor.

Haytor as seen from Saddle Tor #dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

From the top of Saddle Tor, you can see Haytor shown above. The telephoto lens was used for this shot.

Panoramic view across Haytor on Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

About 50% of the way walking up to the top of Saddle Tor, I was able to snap this landscape view.

Dartmoor Pony #PortraitMode #iPhone7Plus

A quick flip in to portrait mode to snap this shot of a Dartmoor pony.

A poisonous and hallucinogenic toadstool #fly #agaric #iPhone7Plus

On the outskirts of some woodland area around Haytor, I noticed this toadstool. Highly poisonous and hallucinogenic. Its called a fly agaric. Portrait mode was not used for this photo.

Grazing on Dartmoor #ponies #iPhone7Plus

The only way to take this photo of the ponies was using the telephoto lens. Using the normal wide angle lens, the ponies were just small dots.

Widecombe in the Moor #iPhone7Plus

The above photo is of Widecombe on the Moor. A historic village on Dartmoor baked in history.

Widecombe in the Moor up close #iPhone7Plus

And a quick flip over to the telephoto lens to get closer to the action.

Happy Hounds of Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

And finally one of my three labradors, George, Fury and Tiggy.

Here comes George - backdrop of Dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

Perhaps just one more. This is of George.

Olympic sprinting - Fury & Tiggy #dartmoor #iPhone7Plus

And finally, Fury and Tiggy 🙂