Skip to main content

This is a road, not a rally, and you are NOT Colin McRae

So snow has come round again, and once again trying to get anywhere is a nightmare by the sheer lunacy of the average British driver. I am constantly amazed by the things people do in an effort to get from A to B, and am never surprised when they either drive through a wall or abandon the vehicle in disgust.

So here are a few handy hints for you all, based on what I've observed in the last couple of weeks:

  • You are not a rally driver, and you are not a drift racer. Spinning the wheels and trying to drive your car like a speedboat is a fast-track into a wall. Or somebody else.
  • First gear is your enemy. Even a little bit of gas will cause your wheels to spin, and spinning wheels means no traction. No traction means you've lost the battle already.
  • So you want to set off up an incline? That's fine, but sticking it in first, revving its arse off and dumping the clutch will result in you sitting there like a muppet while your tyres dig a nice hole in the ice. Go slow and steady, allowing the wheels to grip rather than smoothing out the ice making it impossible for anyone else.
  • Momentum is your friend. If you've managed to find grip on a bad stretch of road and you want to actually make it to the top, stopping to let people through is a recipe for disaster. The people behind you won't thank you either. Just keep going and everyone will get where they need to be. Cause a blockage in the middle, and everyone is stuck.
  • Brakes are great, except when you don't want to lose traction. Go slowly and roll to a halt, making sure you are not in a position to end up in a skid because your vehicle is still doing thirty but the wheels aren't moving.

Common sense stuff, you might think, but it's depressing how many people try to navigate around the roads like they're in bumper boats. "Point the wheels and MORE POWER!" No, thanks. Leave that nonsense to Top Gear, and let's all just get where we're going (or not) in safety. Thanks.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Another canal walk

The sun has started being a little more present lately, so some mornings are actually quite pleasant. On one such morning I decided to have a wander up the canal.


The clouds made everything look a bit Toy Story, and the low sun gave a lovely light and contrast to everything else.


Of course, it wasn't sunny everywhere. But even in the darker places, such as right underneath Leeds railway station, the sun had a go at peeking in.


Shooting the Enterprise

I was recently asked if I could help out providing an image for a magazine article about stress management. For reasons as yet undiscovered the requested image would be of the USS Enterprise flying through a storm in space. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time (just a couple of hours), but I did have a very nice model of the Enterprise D I could use to build the image around.

Thinking fast, I rigged up a rather slapdash rig consisting of a black reflector backdrop, an umbrella and stand from which dangled the model by a thread, and a couple of strobes. One light above, diffused, to provide the key light, and another, reflected and lower power, to fill some of the very dark shadows. It ended up all looking something like this:


Using a fast shutter, f/16 and cunning flash positioning I managed to keep the background black and give the model suitably textured lighting so it didn't have that flat, uniform, shadowless appearance of, well, a model. The narrow aperture obviously…

Leeds Hyperbeastly

It's been five long months since I posted anything to this blog. Including this post here, I have posted no less than three times in 2014. As you can tell, I am nothing if not prolific.
A lot has changed since the last time I posted anything. I sold all my SLR gear, for a start, and switched to micro four-thirds. I got a lovely, lovely little Olympus OM-D E-M10 and a small selection of lenses including the must-have Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake and the stunning Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Marvellous, and the camera, four lenses and spare batteries and SD cards in a bag that wouldn't fit the SLR and a single lens. Cracking stuff, because it's now small enough to carry all the time. In fact the body and pancake lens is barely bigger than my Fuji X10 compact!
Anyway, the point of this post; I've taken several walks through Leeds while I've worked there over the past few years and I've been finding it more and more difficult to find non-boring subjects. Everything is so dr…