Friday, 23 May 2014

Last day

The last day before we open to the public. I always feel a little sad but on the positive side it will mean the whole pool will be open and there will be more people to race in the morning.

It was surprisingly empty when I arrived, perhaps only three people in the water. As I swam it slowly filled up, maybe everybody wanted a lie in this morning? I did twenty two lengths.

I felt much faster today not having Dan and Alfonso speed past me. Instead it was me doing my best to speed past Richard the cabbie, Hilary and Tricky.

I then played with some of the art filters on the Olympus, this one is dramatic! can you tell?

Almost the same shot but with the diorama mode selected.

And again with the pin hole camera setting. The filters are fun but you can in fact apply them to the pictures after you've taken them which is probably a better way of working.

Now it's summer season there might be fewer posts and pictures until the autumn.

Thursday, 22 May 2014


When I arrived this morning Alfonso was already swimming with Dan. I soon hopped in and joined them. Dan would sprint off on a length finishing 15 to 20 yards ahead of me with Alfonso hot on his toes and then they would set off again as I turned, it was exhausting.

Mr Ape also joined for a few lengths, I can still keep pace with him! After twenty two I had had enough.

Watching the boys push off, Dan would make a body length on me in just his glide. Look at the size of his shoulders and position in the water.

Richard with the kick was back and he's no slouch either, I felt very slow today.

Nick swims so fast it's amazing I can even catch him on a normal camera!

 And there they go again, racing down the pool.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


When I arrived Alfonso was already in the water, so I snapped this pic before joining him for a swift twenty two lengths. The water is now 16°C but I thought it felt warmer.

Alfonso swam on after I finished but I stayed in the water to get some more pictures. It wasn't so crowded this morning, here's Hilary.

Ian and Katherine were doing lengths together, warm enough for Ian not to use his wetsuit!

I'm not sure who the lead swimmer is here? They came swimming across at a diagonal making Ian and Katherine stop in their tracks.

Johnathan leisurely  swimming up and down, he asked me if I'll make a video for a song of his, I think that could take a long time?

Alfonso swimming with a snorkel, I've never used this type of snorkel I'm sure I'd end up turning my head and half drowning myself.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


 The water was even warmer today, it was also getting more crowded. Not as much sun but it broke through a couple of times.

 Capturing breaststroke in a still is always rather tricky, you either end up chopping off their head...

 ... or they just look like they're gliding.

 Hilary shows us why front crawl always looks more dynamic, great reach.

 And in an almost identical shot Richard the cabbie makes his way down the pool.

 Back to the breaststroke, nice shot but it could be practice for the slsc plunge.

Dan is back, he hasn't forgotten how to swim. His lessons will start again in June

Never shy when a camera is pointed at him Chris poses and put Sue right off her stroke.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Olympus TG-3

What a morning! Warm and sunny, the lido was pretty full. The water is now about 16°C and felt amazing. I had the Olympus TG-3 to test today and I'm very impressed with it too.

Yes it was sunny but the camera is quick and the colour vivid. Fast enough to catch Egg speeding along in his orange shorts and hat combo.

Pip racing with Ian and Dr K both in flippers.

I had done six lengths before Alfonso joined me. The hoover was out again today as well.

This chap was butterflying down the pool. I went on to do twenty two lengths before playing with the camera.

The TG-3 is quite chunky although not as big as the Ricoh WG-4. It has similar strength capabilities and can also go to a depth of 15m.

It has various macro settings but no LED lights like the Ricoh. You can buy an LED attachment and other lens covers/converters for the TG-3 though.

The camera has a wifi link so you can control it from you smartphone or tablet. Once set up this was pretty simple to use and also allows some picture editing and the ability to publish direct to twitter or facebook.

Alfonso racing Dr K, who's going to win?

Ian with flippers and  Pip without a hat, is this an even match?

Nando promotes the cafe. It was a beautiful morning for sitting out and having breakfast but I had to go to work

 There's a 'diorama' setting in the art filters on the Olympus to give that tilt shift look I've been playing with recently.

You can just take the pictures and add the effects with the smart app afterwards as well.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Ricoh WG-4

Another beautiful morning, I arrived a little early and had done ten lengths before Alfonso joined me. I was trying out a new camera today, the Ricoh WG-4. It's an update of the Pentax that I usually use. That's Vince swimming above.

I went on to do twenty two length again. The picture format is 1:16 giving a more wide screen shape to the images which will take a bit of getting used to. The screen is larger but it isn't really any easier to see when taking pictures in the water. David taken using the zoom.

It takes a while to get used to a new camera, the WG-4 is bigger in size and feels a bit clumsy to use. I would not be able to actually swim with it. Here comes Sue!

Nick takes on the challenge of a fast length - he lost. The camera is happy in bright light but I don't think it's so good indoors or in low light. I'm hoping to do a comparative review with some of the other new waterproof cameras on the market - watch this space.

This is the bearded tattooed swimmer who is attempting the channel this summer (I don't know his name?). Probably my favourite shot of the morning. Although the stats for the camera are impressive (it goes to 14m deep) and there are a few new electronic settings it isn't really that much of an improvement on what I use already.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


What a difference a couple of days make. I didn't post yesterday because I had a similar swim to Monday, on my own and the weather nothing special. Today though the sun was bright and the lido came alive again. It feels like summer has arrived! I met up with Alfonso and we swam twenty two lengths together.

According to Alfonso we were two seconds slower than last time, I think that means we were about 34.20 for 2km which is fast enough for me. The water is still only 13°C and despite the sun it gets cold after half an hour in the water. Alfonso said he felt colder when swimming under the shadow of the trees which you can see to the right of the image.

I played about with some more tilt shift style images, it really brings out the colour on a sunny day.

Monday, 12 May 2014


The was a nip in the air and the odd spot of rain, the pool was covered in leaves blown off the trees in yesterday's gales. It isn't really autumn though and despite the poor weather of the last few days the water didn't feel too bad, still around 13°C I believe.

I swam twenty two lengths on my own, it might have been twenty four because I lost count at one point. The hoover was out clearing the water and I had good fun racing it on a couple of lengths.

The leaves are still young and soft, not like the scratchy ones you get in autumn. They still stick to your goggles and get caught in between your fingers as you swim.

I'm sure it will be clear again tomorrow, the weather looks like it should get better as the week goes on too.