Peters Blog

A Tribute to a Hero Lee Rigby

Just out for a walk after an early stack
Not looking for trouble not watching my back
Mothers with prams holding hands with their kids
Not paying attention to the car as it skids
Caught completely off guard not expecting what comes
One man with a knife another with guns.
No chance of defence no chance to fight back
Looking for help as the cowards attack
An angel arrives as the light turns to grey
A woman attempts to steer attackers away
My last thought of ‘Thank You’ never strays from my brain
As my body shuts down and I feel no more pain.

I look to my left and I look to my right
Thousands of squaddies are all that’s in sight
Uniforms are crisp and their faces are clean
No sign of anger or hate to be seen
As if by command they salute all as one
The RSM smiles, says ‘Welcome home son’.

Lee Rigby


The old Church of Ballaugh occupies an elevated position close to a sheltered creek of the sea, and at the junction of coast and landward tracks-a site which must have been important in prehistoric times. A hundred yards east of the churchyard at one period stood a tumulus at a spot still marked by the swell of the ground, and there are two holy wells not far away.

As in the case of the other Manx parish churches, old St Mary’s contains in its walls materials from previous works, and is probably an epitome in stone of all the sacred buildings and monuments which have occupied the church enclosure since Neolithic man came to the Island.

The church was enlarged by Bishop Wilson and Dr. Walker in 1717, a date commemorated on the weathercock which surmounts the characteristic and attractive bell turret of the period.

Upon a petition from the parishioners a gallery was added in the second half of the 18th century. The approach was by an external double staircase over the main entrance.

After the building of the new church in 1833 old St. Mary’s became ruinous but received a new lease of life in 1849, when the building was shortened and the gallery and stairs removed..

This was during the Rectorate of Thomas Howard, the memory of whose mild and benignant personality still lingers with old people in the parish.

In 1877 the church was once again rescued from decay by Rector Kermode, and has ever since been kept in a good state of repair.

Click on any of the below images for a larger view.

Ballaugh Old Church - © Peter Killey

Another lovely ancient feature to this beautiful church is the font (and a more modern day lid) which is of unknown antiquity. It is made of red sandstone block built into a window seat. It is decorated with a cross, once painted in blue and red, and a beautiful inscription in Gaelic Manx reads:

“Ta un Chiarn, un Credjue, un Vashtey, Un Jee as Ayr jeh ooilley”

Which simply translates in Gaelic Manx to:

“There is one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, One God and Father of all.”

The Ancient Font in Ballaugh old Church - © Peter Killey

The Ancient Font in Ballaugh old Church - © Peter Killey

As previously stated the church was enlarged by Bishop Wilson and Dr. Walker in 1717, a date commemorated on the weathercock which surmounts the characteristic and attractive bell turret of the period (below image).

Old Ballaugh Church Extended in 1717 - © Peter Killey

Below is a hand drawn image of Ballaugh Old Church which is displayed to the rear of the the Church, the author of the image is unknown!

Hand Drawn Picture of Ballaugh Old Church (author unknown) - © Peter Killey


I am very pleased that my photograph of a Fire Appliance in front of Peel Castle has made a £3 first day cover (Miniature Set) Manx Stamp which will be issued towards the end of the month.

Famous and royalties spring to mind.

Peter's £3 Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Stamp





Well what a sunny fantastic Sunday here on the Isle of Man so we took Ted up to Maughold and walked from the front door of Maughold Church to the beach at the foot of  ‘Gob ny Port Mooar’!

Firstly we were confronted by about 50 sheep being rounded up and being moved from one field to another, Ted was not happy and very quiet seeing all these white 4 legged things running up the footpath that he was walking on!

The walk was wonderful and sometimes a little scary on the headland down to the beach due to the steepness and slippery conditions.

Ted and Nick loved it and we spent a pleasurable hour or so on the beach and the headlands.

What a fantastic way to spend our Sunday afternoon and we were back home around two or so hours later.

Just below Maughold Church and on the way down to 'Gob ny Portmooar' - © Peter Killey













On the Headland at 'Gob ny Portmooar' and looking up to Maughold lighthouse - © Peter Killey



Are you starting out in digital photography? If you are, then here are a list of pointers pertaining to digital photography basics. These pointers will give your digital images a massive kick start in terms of quality and it doesn’t matter what camera you have. You can take good photographs with any digital SLR camera.

So here’s my advice:

1. Don’t be concerned with the number of megapixels of your camera. The number of pixels determines how big you’ll be able to print your photographs. Yes it’s true that the more pixels you have, the more refined detail your images will have but at this stage you want to start shooting as many photographs as you possibly can. You’ll learn so much through every photograph.

2. Set your camera’s ISO speed to the lowest possible setting. This will give a smooth transition to your photographs and make them less grainy than at higher ISO settings.

3. When you are shooting portraits, use large apertures that are wide open. This means that the f-number should be as small as possible. The smaller the f-number, the larger the aperture. Why is it a good idea to use large apertures when photographing human subjects? Large apertures blur out the background and bring the subject into sharp focus bringing the viewer’s attention right where you want it.

4. Pay attention to the background – try to eliminate clutter that doesn’t need to be there. In digital photography, a lot can be done to remove unwanted clutter using software like Adobe Photoshop but there is no harm in doing a little preparation. Perhaps you’ll want your subject to stand in front of a bright plain wall, or colourful patterned curtains. Make your background work with your subject.

5. If you are hand-holding your camera, try not to use a shutter speed slower than 1/60. For example, don’t hand-hold the camera at 1/30. Nice photographs are sharp and in-focus. If you need to use a shutter speed slower than 1/60, use a tripod to ensure sharpness.

6. Use slow shutter speeds to imply motion. Take your digital SLR camera out to an urban environment where there are cars, bicycles and public transport. Set it to shutter priority mode using speeds of 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 and 1/4, follow a moving car or bicycle using the AI Servo focusing drive. Once the moving object is in focus, take the shot. This should blur out the background leaving trails of the subject and imply motion. This technique can take a bit of practice.

7. In your camera’s menu, increase the sharpness and contrast of your “picture style”. Some photographers like to increase the saturation as well, but if you are going to post-process in RGB mode I wouldn’t increase saturation in-camera.

8. Take your landscape images at small apertures like f/16 or even f/22 using a tripod. This will ensure sharp focusing from front-to-back telling a story about your landscape.

9. Pay attention to your camera angle – as a photographer, be prepared to move around. You may have to get down on your knees, even lie down to get down to your subject’s level. Don’t photograph a crawling baby whilst standing… get down to the baby’s level. That’ll evoke more emotions when the photograph is printed and viewed. Get down when shooting landscapes to use your foreground to convey a sense of depth.

10. Don’t forget the rule of thirds – imagine that your viewfinder is split into three thirds both vertically and horizontally. Never place your subject in the centre square or a horizon in the middle. Frame your portraits so that they appear to the right if you are shooting in the landscape orientation, otherwise in the middle if you are using the portrait orientation. For landscape photographs, make sure the horizon line sits on the first or the second horizontal line that divides your viewfinder into three thirds. A horizon line in the middle produces boring landscapes that will do nothing for your viewers.


It’s hard to go wrong with a breed that was the favorite of James Herriot. Developed in northern England, the Border Terrier was used to hunt foxes that preyed on farmers’ livestock. It became a favorite hunt terrier, working with packs of Border Foxhounds. Hunt masters are credited with standardizing breed type and getting this hardy, working terrier recognized as a purebred by England’s Kennel Club. A sturdy, natural-looking terrier, males weigh about 14 pounds, females slightly less. The breed’s hallmarks are the head and expression, which resemble that of the otter. The coat is short, dense and harsh in shades of red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, or wheaten, and may be kept neat by raking weekly with a stripping knife. While the Border adapts well to either city or country, it needs vigorous daily exercise to stay fit and content. Terriers like to push behavior boundaries, so present firm, consistent rules. This breed enjoys children and is, like most terriers, an excellent watchdog.

The images was captured on my Fuji X10 camera resized and cropped in Adobe Photoshop CS5

Click on any of the images for a larger view of  Ted, both images were captured in late March 2012.


Well I have to be honest and say that I never thought that I would say that I like HDR Photography, in fact quite the opposite, I never liked it and thought it was a bit of a cheat!

How wrong I was and my turning point was seeing many of my forum members starting to use this HDR imaging, it was at this point that I realised I could either carry on not agreeing with it or make some changes and at least try it out!

So what is HDR Imaging, well HDR stands for High Definition Range In simple layman terms it is the ability to take a series of different exposures of the same scene and combining them in post processing so basically all the image is properly exposed.

And it is as simple as that, well apart from the post imaging Photoshop adjusting etc.

Here are a couple of examples of my HDR imaging, click on them to see a larger image and feel free to write a comment if you wish 🙂

St Marks Church - Isle of Man - © Peter Killey








Gansey Isle of Man - © Peter Killey


Seven crewmen lost their lives on 11th January 2000 when their vessel – the scallop dredger Solway Harvester – sank off the East coast of the Isle of Man.

On board were Skipper Andrew Mills (known as Craig), 29, his brother Robin Mills, 33, their cousin David Mills, 17, Martin Milligan, 26, John Murphy, 22, David Lyons, 18, and Wesley Jolly, 17.

The men were all from the Isle of Whithorn area of Dumfries and Galloway.

Through my work I remember that day so well and the subsequent involvement that my work had in the recovery of the vessel and the men on the night they were brought back onto Victoria Pier.

I must say though that my respect and credit goes to Police Inspector Dudley Butt who conducted the whole inquiry from start to finish and was regularly producing press releases along with supporting family members during this terrible period.

I took this image today (11th January 2012) twelve years to the day that this stricken vessel was lost.

The image was captured on my Fuji X10 camera, resized and cropped in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Click on the image for a larger view!

Solway Harvester 11 January 2012 - © Peter Killey

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