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Hawkstone Park and Follies (Shropshire)

Hawkstone is probably one of the most spectacular and breathtaking parks and follies Britain has to offer and without a doubt one of my personal favourites.  I have many a fond memory attending historical re-enactment events here.
Situated off a country road that runs between Weston on the A49 and Hodnet on the A442, the site and it’s surrounding area has such a wealth of history along with a mix of myth, legend and folklore that you could fill a book let alone a blog post. I am considering developing a whole page dedicated to the site. That at least will be a good excuse for some more visits :-).  For the moment thou I’ll try and keep it short and sweet (kept a look out for future posts or pages).

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Plas Llanmihangel (Wales)

The other weekend I proudly attended my brother’s wedding as his best-man, the venue for this happy occasion turned out to be one of the most beautiful old building I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay in.

Hidden within the maze of country lanes in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales can be found Plas Llanmihangel a mediaeval mansion sat atop a small hill and overlooking the 13th century church of St Michael and all Angels Church, Lianmihangel is the village that the house is situated and Plas is the welsh word for mansion. The current owner David and Sue Beers have spent the last 24 years lovingly restoring the building and now run it as arguably one of Wale’s if not the UK’s most interesting bed and breakfast establishments.


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St Michael and all Angels Church (Llanmihangel)

The church situated in Llanmihangel is a 13th century building of Early English style giving the visitor the impression of a building steeped in history. Although there may have been an older church situated on this site prior to the current one no record of it now exists.

These days the church is entered by the Victorian South Porch added in 1887, in 1888-1889 additional restoration work was carried out and a large east window installed together with a new roof and floor boards.

Inside the church there is a wonderful calm atmosphere that feels a million miles away from the modern world this is helped by the lack of both water and electricity meaning that oil lamps are still used to light the interior. The floor is decorated with Victorian panels, the roof is a fine oak-boarded ‘wagon’,ceiling.


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Artical Review – Amazing Landscapes using Camera Raw and Photoshop

It is great to stumble upon an article which you really find both easy to read and informative enough that you keep returning for more ideas. Thomas Parpoulas has written such an article which really does exactly what it says on the tin ‘Amazing Landscapes using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop’.

Thomas takes you through the initial selection of a photograph deciding upon your goals, what you want your end result to look like and then a comprehensive step by step tutorial on achieving this. Whether you’re a beginner or someone with more experience I’m sure that you will all find something in this article which you will find useful in developing your own landscape Photoshop skills.

I will certainly be looking out for any other articles and tutorials written by Thomas.


Link to Artical

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Cawthorn Roman Camp

On the edge of the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors just off the road running between Cropton and Newton-on-Rawcliff and approximately 10min (4miles) drive north of Pickering is probably the most famous Roman site on the moors. Cawthorn Roman military complex dates from around the late 1st century CE and early 2nd century CE.

This site forms part of a network of sites across the moors and coastline such as the forts at Malton (DERVENTIO) and Lease Rigg, two villas and five coastal signal stations of which the best preserved example can be found inside the grounds of Scarborough Castle. Cawthorn is also not far from the well known Wheeldale Roman road. Thought for many years to be a surviving section of the Roman road linking Cawthorn with some of these sites, many historians now believe it to be of later construction built towards the end of the roman period.


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Free textures and stock photos& 3D models – online resource

Icon for Resources postsAnother handy resources I’ve come across, 10 Ravens a site that provides a variety of products such as textures, 3D models and stock imagery they have a large number of free and royalty free images. At some point I intend to collate all the resources that I have together to make it easier for everyone. Link – http://www.10ravens.com/

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Studford Ring

Icon for my walks postsThis fascinating ancient site is believed to be of late Bronze Age construction and is situated approximately 15 minutes walk northwards on the hill above the North Yorkshire village of Ampelforth.

Studford Ring is a very accessible site with access from both High Street where there is on road parking and as i did in this occasion from Ampelforth itself where there is plenty of free parking on the main street, where there can be found a rather nice pub, the White Horse. Which makes for a very civilised end to your walk.

The site of Studford Ring is a quadrangle earth work enclosure measuring some 54 yards across with an internal ditch approximately 12feet across and in places still 4 feet deep. The entrance is situated roughly along the south east edge and although threes and bushes now grow on three of the four back side the central area is free from any such vegetation and is grass covered with a number of mole hills. (more…)

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A Poor mans camera bag (aticle on PhotoTuts)

Icon for Photography postsFor those of us who can’t afford all the gadgets, bells and whistles this is a nice little article with an accompanying video (8:22) which covers some cheaper alternatives to the more expensive kit out there. Article can be found here: Taking a Look Inside a Poor Man’s Camera Bag.




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Training: 3D Lighting basics | 3D World

Icon for Tutorials postsTraining: 3D Lighting basics | 3D World

Lighting your 3D scenes can be a bit of a black art well here is a short article giving a few tips which you might find useful.

For those of you who would like to find out more about the art of lighting objects and scenes in 3D environment then here are a few books that I can recommend.

Digital Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn (A lot of none platform specific information in this one).

Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering by A Powell.

Essential CG Lighting Techniques with 3DS Max by Darren Brooker (though the implementation is in 3DS Max the principles are the same across all platforms).

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An exceptional comic book artwork inspiration

Icon for Creative postsI’ve always been a fan of comic art ant the quality of fair on offer these day is better than ever and whether it’s for inspiration or just the enjoyment of looking at the artwork there’s no shortage. Just the other day through one of the many twitter feeds I follow came the link to this page which has a fine selection of comic artwork from both Marvel and DC comics there is plenty here to keep you going. The article is on tfbox which has a wide range of other resources for tip, tutorials and inspiration. Link to Page: Exceptional Comic Book Art Work For Your Inspiration

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