Technical Issue!

AsperJosh has suffered a heavy impact. Every picture on every post before the Africa one has been lost due to an album online becoming corrupted.
I have almost every picture stored across 2 laptops and will slowly begin to re-upload them to my posts over a long period of time!
I will be starting from latest posts and work backwards to re-upload the pictures.
Thank you for understanding!
Joshua :'(

UPDATE - Fixed Posts

2015 posts fixed so far:
- Tough Mudder 2015 - MCM Expo 2012 + Past Experiences - Telling People, I Have Aspergers - 5CPS - Marvel Phase Three - Attack On Titan - MCM Oct 2015 - Interstellar - Star Wars VII - Star Wars Original Trilogy - Star Wars Prequel Trilogy - Star Wars Battlefront - The Fault In Our Stars - Chronicle - Evans Night Out + Winter Wonderland 2015 -

2014 posts fixed so far:
- A Year's Progression At The Gym - 5CPS - The Land Before Time - X-Men Premier - X-Men DOFP - Halloween 2015 - Online Dating - Macbook Pro -

House MD, 3 Years Driving currently in progress.
More to be mended

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Family and Photography On The Isle Of Man (November 2016)

Me return to the Isle Of Man was a success in both photography as well as seeing my loving relatives and friends again in my week away. I saw the same breath-taking starry night as I did in September 2009 at a Mills's first Birthday that I went to and I saw the stars in the countryside at 2AM.
I learned a lot from this short experience and it's only become the start of a photography hobby and encouraged me and some others (after seeing my shots) to keep trying around West Sussex to try and practise and try different techniques, durations, settings and locations! And I was very blessed to have stayed with my loving Aunt and Uncle again, there on the Isle Of Man.
I had so much fear of what the weather would be like up in the North, because of the 50-50 chance of any clear nights at all in order for my Star Photography chances to be a success. But even if the nights weren't in my favour, I'd of still had a great time catching up after 3 years later with my Auntie Marelle and Uncle Jim as well as seeing Roxy, Chris and meeting little Summer this time again. But both sides of my return were a major success and well worth the journey overall. I have listed all the websites that I used for research and ideas - listed at the bottom with links provided!

26th November
Dad gave me a lift at 5.30AM to the North Terminal at Gatwick. I had a nice Full English Breakfast at Armadillo (where me and my Africa team ate the last time I was here).
I saw this really great long Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wall print which I would have done a panorama of but people kept walking through, so I had to take separate shots... I can't wait for that near Christmas!!!

My flight should have been an easy hour long, shame it was delayed at 8am till 9am due to foggy start on Saturday morning.

Anyway, by 9:30AM, I was back on the Isle and my Uncle Jim picked me up right on cue. I explained again of my Photography spots that I had in mind to visit during my stay, but after hearing how dangerous the roads might be due to the Winter weather and my uncharted knowledge of the Island, he advised against driving to the spots during my stay.
But he did point out that Eary Cushlin and a spot North-West of Castletown might be better choices (more on that later on).

Their was lots to catch up on back at the house in Peel as well as seeing my Aunt Marelle again. I also got to meet the newest addition to the family, the wee friendly cat "Boots" and he loved me very much during my stay.

Before heading out to catch the Sunset with Jim, one of my cousin Rosie's bestest and oldest friends Roxy and Chris popped over briefly with little Summer to say Hi as well as do their daily / weekly visit to "Gaga Jim" and "Aunty Raar" (as Summer calls them since they are sorta her Grandparents in a way). I had to head on our quickly but we did arrange a dinner catch up for tomorrow night.
Near 3:30PM, Jim took me over to Peel Castle (down the road, along the coast) and I saw a stunning red sunset on the castle and the view facing out to the ocean as the sunset radiantly.

I knew this would be a great spot for my next opportunity to try my first Sunset Time-Lapse hopefully before I leave after a week.
Decided to have an early night since I had a busy day tomorrow and if I'm honest, my sleeping schedule was going to bed after 12AM or 1AM every night and waking up almost 12 hours later ha.

27th November
Boots loved snuggling up with me on top of the sheets in Rosie's old room (or was it because I had a hot water bottle with me?). But even coming downstairs to lay on the sofa before breakfast, he'd follow me to tuck in between my legs.
Marelle explained that the "little sh*t" had his eyes on this house whilst Arthur was in his final year (last year) and once he passed away, Boots slipped straight in. She considers him more of a "lodger" than a "pet" but does feed and love him but he left his previous family so she's wondering if after the 2 years that he's been with her and Jim, if he'll do the same again any time sooner?

Most of the midday till afternoon (like every day), I was just laying in bed either with the cat by my side or learning to use Snapchat (which I ended up getting after arriving in order to talk and flirt with someone who insisted on communicating through this weird and confusing app).

Plus I was trying to set up my Camera settings for my Sunset attempt, but "somebody" had other plans haha.
Come 3:30PM, I went out in the freezing windy weather to try my luck at the castle for a sunset which was a failure thanks to the clouds covering the horizon, Oh well.
But to make up for it, Roxy, Chris and Summer came over for dinner and we all tuck in to a nice Curry. Jim later ended up being Summer's slide and climbing frame whilst I was catching up with the grownups (whom I met once, 3 years ago on my first visit).
Chris (who's a right laugh) and I had to encourage Summer to change her nappy... she had an interesting and funny idea of putting the clean one on her head before Chris set it down properly haha.
After they'd headed off home and they promised to come over again before I went home, Marelle and I ended up talking till 1AM about my family, future plans and current situations with Anxiety and other things that just needed some closure, sympathy and advice.

28th November
We all had another lazy day (it pays for them to be Retired and loving it), but they took me to the very North end of the island called Point Of Ayre where a Lighthouse is located.
I was curious to see if I could get the sun to shine on the lighthouse but to no availability because it was hidden behind the clouds as we had a arrived a little too late. I felt bad that I had made them make the 40 min journey for nothing but they were both just as okay to visit since they hadn't visited this far up North in several years (but we might make a better effort in the Summer next year if I visit then or before again).

But later on, that night was the night for quite an achievement and phenomenon to witness around midnight as well as capture after much practise in the freezing cold. I had bought a RST7001 Intervalometer and a Travel-Pro Tripod (same one that Gary "African Dad" has back in Africa) so that this time that I go out to count and photograph stars, I'll be more ready and well prepared. What I wasn't prepared for was the torch light session of reading instructions on the Intervalometer and working out the correct lens focus in the freezing weather at Eary Cushlin (whilst Jim was being patiently resting in the car next to me).
I was having trouble working out how to program the remote to take 30 second exposures in a consistent cycle to capture --- amount of shots instead of minutes. I did take some great shots without the remote and using the Manual 30 second exposures since it was becoming frustrating that I'd foolishly left it to the last minute to read up on my homework and instructions before jumping out into the field. But to be fair, my first gander at the instructions when I was back home were difficult enough to comprehend.
After an hour out near one of the highest points on the island, Jim suggested instead of calling it a night at midnight to head on over to a turn off point on (from what I can list as on Google Maps) near the top of the A36 near Rushen or Dalby whilst facing opposite Castletown and the Airport. So we headed over there for another hour and I managed to get a nice shot of the glimmering city lights with the stars above. I then turned around to focus on the hill and begin my Star Trail. I worked out to program the remote to take shots for 30 seconds, then wait 40 seconds for my RAW shots to develop and then repeat until I cancelled it. I laid on the cold hard ground playing a mix of Owl CityPvris and OneRepublic songs to pass the time.
My result was a success and not bad for a much better first try than the lack of Stars in Africa and even if it was 35 shots taken (when the ideal quantity is 80-400 - at least from what I've seen on Nightscapdes Instagram), I think my first try is a major achievement. It certainly got eyes widening on Instagram and Facebook as did my other pictures that I uploaded after watermarking and creating the Star Trail on the StarStaX software that everyone uses.
We headed back at 1AM and I couldn't stop thanking Jim enough for being a patient uncle and I explained and analysed my work and said that Brett Horley would be the best guy to talk to about how to improve my next attempt and he has been the best guide (not only in Africa) but with Photography settings, ideas and reassurance for me! Miss you, mate!
Jim inited on taking me back to Peel Castle to try out a few shots round the back where the rocks are to see if the cover would cancel the light pollution from the town lights. Sorta worked but I knew that if I get another clean night like this, I'd head up the huge Peel Hill and head round the other side near the Slate Cliff in order to be in total darkness! Still, got a couple nice shots even with the orange cloud cover and the town lights nearby.
So not bad for my first try, I managed to get another night of a few shots but the real practise will happen back home in the fields away from my town on the week when the moon isn't out!

29th November
My midday was buzzing with excitement to show everyone my work as well as state my settings (like a good Photographer) so that others can attempt too or get a rough idea of what settings to use.
After watermarking everything (using the PhotoBulk app), I uploaded em and was just blushing with happiness at the astonishment from my friends and the likes on Instagram. Brett loved them and praised me for my first work!
Though this midday had 2 new visitors with wagging tails as a surprise. Since Arthur's passing, Jim and Marelle have taken the liberty of "dog-sitting" for friends on a weekly basis since they love them and it helps their friends out too (just like when Summer stays over when her parents are too busy or need a break).
Skipper the Cockapoo and Freya the Labrador are the best of friends and were quite the handful when Jim and I took em for a walk up in the opposite hills away from the castle where a giant field was out for them to roam around and chase balls whilst I was looking down on the town as the sun went down.
Freya kept dragging me a long since I'm not really used to walking dogs (let alone a hyper-active puppy). Seeing Jim take charge and constantly being bothered by the dogs behaviour was a bittersweet feeling because I was wondering how it must feel to have dogs again (when they aren't really his and he must really miss his who is gone)...

But we headed home safely down the slopes before the wind picked up. And we let them run about across the beach near the house for a bit before heading inside to warm up. And I said bye to the barking ones and it was nice to have them for the day, despite Freya still being young and not being afraid to go for my hand or step on my nuts when I was on the sofa ha.

30th November

My afternoon was quite the sight for a perfect sunset. I'f been doing my research on ISO, Aperture and Interval settings (which was the hardest part as I couldn't calculate the clouds speed) which is why my video is quite speedy instead of a fluid time-lapse. Still for my first try, it's pretty darn good and I can already see on how to improve my next attempt when I'm back home in the future.
Time-Lapse is at Peel Castle, Isle Of Man. 33mm length of 235 Shots with Canon EOS 70D, 18-35mm Lens @ f/16, 10secs interval @ ISO 320 at 1/250 Shutter Speed. I used a RST-7001 Intervalometer.
I used this video below as a guideline to ISO etc levels and settings and I think the scenery had to be right in order to have a lower ISO and shutter speed since I had to change mine a bit in order to get the colour right.

When I was done after about 40 mins sitting on the rocks by the castle, I decided to hike up the steep Peel Hill to climb near the top (just passed 10 mins with a bit of jogging) to see if my next Star shot should be higher up the hill or down midway near the cliffside?
Plus I was looking out to the ocean (whilst my calfs were screaming and I was puffing with the wind blowing fiercely) to see if another possible Sunset would be better from up here? Might be able to achieve that on my next visit to the Isle in 2017.

For dinner, because it was St. Andrew's Day, we were all having Haggis with diced Parsnip in the Mash Potato (this was my first time having Haggis and I loved it). It felt honourable a little to be eating a Scottish tradition (I only found out a month ago that my family's surname and history is tied to Scotland, looks like I have some Scottish in me) ha.

My evening looked pretty good for a sorta clear night near 11PM to try out some star photography behind the hill where the Slate is. I had a much more challenging time because I was having to balance the Tripod on a stony slope and I was having trouble locating Polaris "North Star" because the twinkling star I got out to sea turned out to be Venus.

I tried out another Time-Lapse / Star Trail by programming the camera and intervalometer but something must have gone wrong because it stopped working after the 20th shot, Oh well. Besides the clouds were coming in from the ocean towards me and were covering the scenery anyway, so I called it quits after an hour.
I had been using my Compass App on my iPhone5S but I couldn't pinpoint the North Star above me or out to sea? Still, I tried different ISO levels to get the colour and glow from the ocean's horizon and to make the stars shine more. Though my biggest trouble was focussing the lens because many of my shots came out a little bit out of focus. But the following day, I learned about focussing through Live View which would have been helpful back at the time to be aware of, but now I know for my 3rd attempt back home in the fields near Horsham or Rusper or other locations that I can research on for good Milky Way spotting between February - September or any Constellation spotting areas. I think I sorta did get a faint shot of the Milky Way but the light pollution and ISO levels weren't correct enough compared to the spectacular lucky shots on Instagram. Someday, I'll achieve one too!!

1st December
Had another lazy day till the afternoon whilst I was checking which star photos came through the best. And I was most eager to share them on Facebook and Instagram like the attention seeking whore that I am ha.
But I was looking forward to the evening as Roxy, Chris and Summer were coming over again for my last night (or did they just come over for Marelle's Monkfish dinner?).
My last night was a long one and I didn't want it to end. It's funny how long awaited catchups end up passing quickly on such short notice, right?
I really enjoyed hearing stories about Rosie and Roxy as children since they've known each other since and learning about stories from a few years ago (as well as giving some of my own, relatable and random ones). I had to get some family pictures before they had to leave since I didn't really get any pictures of Rox and Chris last time I was here.
I aim to see them all again next year since I'll be back for more photography and hopefully Rosie will be back on the Isle too or this time, Rebecca can come too.
I didn't really need to do any late night packing since I left a pile of all my clothes neatly folded next to the suitcase, I only had to stuff in the Macbook and Camera when I was nearing my departure time tomorrow incase any last minute pictures and messages might occur.

2nd December
Had a delicious Breakfast that Marelle went all out on. I should be saying that I didn't want to leave my family already but I think I was secretly not wanting to leave Boots since I'd grown so attached to him ha. I miss that little one and I hope my lads Dash and Stache become just as affectionate and attention seeking when they've grown up a little more.
Sadly no chance of a last day sunset or sunrise thanks to cloudy weather which was the bane of my trip here. I'd secretly bought a Thank You card to put some money in as a thank you to Jim and Marelle because Mum and Dad said it'd be the right thing to do, like a good nephew!

But I thanked and hugged tightly goodbye, Marelle and Boots and promised to return later in 2017. Jim gave me a lift to the Airport and I had a simple late night flight home at 8PM.

Dad picked me up from the North Terminal and we had to pick Becca up from work (this was my lucky moment as I had captured a Rattata which finally transformed into a Ditto (one rare Pokmeon that all remaining Pokemon Go fans were hunting for, over the last couple weeks).

So I'd say that overall, this was well worth the trip and photography. I learned a lot about my family and gained experience for Photography and how to try out new settings next time I venture out near my town on the moon-less nights.
I've listed below of all the links I used for my research so that if any of you are intrigued to give a go at some Night Photography or Time-Lapses, then I hope these will help guide you as they did for me. Remember you'll need a good DSLR camera and a lot of patience and warmth if your in cold locations, like me.
I'm gonna take a break from AsperJosh for December (more will be explained in my New Years Post) but I need to focus on my Africa video that I've been procrastinating with since I returned.

Learning to focus better at night -

Astrophotography 101 - Milky Way -

Using Live View for better focus next time -

12 Steps for Milky Way Photography -

Beginners Tips for Night Sky Photography -

Rule 500 -
Rule 600 -

Breathtaking Milky Way Time-Lapse -

Milky Way and Star Photography Tutorial -

Canon 70D Time-Lapse Instructions -

Nightscapades Instagram -

How to Choose a Time-Lapse Interval -

10 Tips For Shooting Time-Lapse -

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