Tag Archives: Royal

Red Checkers over Lake Rotorua

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

The Red Checkers is the only aerobatic team of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Using Harvards, the RNZAF first flew display aerobatics in the immediate post-WWII years. In 1967, the Central Flying School (CFS) team was officially called the ‘Red Checkers’, the name being derived from the red and white checkered cowls on the five Harvards that made up this team. After being disbanded in 1973, the team reformed in 1980 but this time flying the CT-4B Airtrainer. The first Airtrainer team comprised four aircraft but this was soon increased to the current team size of five. In 1999, the team moved onto the aircraft that is currently used – the CT-4E Airtrainers. The aircrafts used by the team had a nose painted in a red and white checkered pattern but this has now been reduced to a small checkered stripe. Red Checker pilots are senior flying instructors from the RNZAF Central Flying School and the Pilot Training Squadron situated at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

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On 9th April, 2013, the Red Checkers performed a 15 minute flying display routine over Lake Rotorua as part of their tour of the North Island. The display comprised of the mirror maneuver (seen below) – a maneuver the team is well known for.

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You can see all the images from the 15 minute routine here. Enjoy!!!

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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2012 (Part 1)

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

Another year’s come and gone – a year that was packed with events ranging from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the London Olympics to the US Presidential election. The aftershocks of the economic crisis continued to rock the world economies and the world was to have ended this year.

While being a silent spectator to the atrocities that one fellow human inflicts on another, this beautiful planet that we call Home sent out very clear signals to us, by way of storms and super storms,  that we will have to bear the consequences of our bad and reckless stewardship of her.

As the curtains come down on 2012, I thought I’d showcase some of our most highly rated* images from the past 12 months. Hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed making them:

January 2012:

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February 2012:

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March 2012:

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April 2012:

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May 2012:

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June 2012:

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Look out for Part 2 tomorrow…

Till then, take care and gallop free.

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* – All the images in this post were showcased on our Facebook Page as part of our ‘Picture of the Day’ feature and were highly rated by the most important and valued viewer of all – You.

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Royal Botanic Garden Photo-walk – Edinburgh (Part 2)

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

Following on from yesterday’s post, here are the rest of the images from the Photo-walk at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh organised by the Edinburgh Digital Photography Meetup Group.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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Royal Botanic Garden Photo-walk – Edinburgh (Part 1)

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

Last Sunday was a glorious day weather-wise and hence decided to go along to a Photo-walk at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh organised by the Edinburgh Digital Photography Meetup Group.

Showcased below are a few images I managed to capture during the Photo-Walk. Hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed making them:

Feel free to drop by tomorrow to see Part 2 of this post wherein I’ll post up the rest of the images from the Photo-walk.

Till then, take care and gallop free.

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RAF Leuchars Airshow 2011 – A Photo Feature Series (Part 2)

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

In our previous post on the RAF Leuchars Airshow 2011 we showcased the aerobatics team of the French Air Force, the Patrouille de France.

Following on from there we thought it only apt that, in this the second part of the series, we showcase the aerobatics team of the Royal Air Force.

Hope these images help bring to life the spectacle that is The Red Arrows.

There was a palpable sense of poignancy as they performed on the day and these images are our tribute to the pilots, past and present, of the Red Arrows. Gallop over to our story, The Reds, as featured on the DSLRBLOG to read more…

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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RAF Leuchars Airshow 2011 – A Photo Feature Series (Part 1)

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

From the Royal Engineers launching balloons in the Tentsmuir Forest in 1911 to Typhoons operating from RAF Leuchars in 2011, North East Fife has played a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of UK’s airspace. Hence it was apt that this year’s airshow at RAF Leuchars be a centenary celebration marking 100 years of military aviation in North East Fife.

Starting with this entry, I will be running a Photo Feature series showcasing the various planes that formed part of the flying display at RAF Leuchars this year.

So let’s start the show by filling the grey Fife skies with the patriotic colours of France. I present to you one of the oldest aerobatic demonstration teams in the world. Sit back and enjoy the Patrouille Acrobatique de France (also known as Patrouille de France), the precision aerobatic demonstration team of the French Air Force, perform their visual magic right before your eyes.

And trust me, you really want to click the link below to see all the images in this set:

http://koshy.smugmug.com/Events/RAF-Leuchars-Airshow-11-Part-1/19053906_GSQfxp#1481828859_V7Vgn6C

Hope you can join us next time when we will turn our focus to the aerobatic team of the Royal Air Force – the Red Arrows.

Till then, take care and gallop free.

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Jungle City

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

August has been a really hectic month both for myself as well as the City of Edinburgh. The city has played host to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 – a month-long spectacle that sees close to 21,000 performers presenting 41,689 performances of a record-breaking 2,542 shows at 258 venues – and I have been kept busy photographing bits and pieces of the Festival.

Edinburgh might well have been the Festival City in August but now with the festival drawing to a close, the city is getting ready to acquaint itself with its wild side and be transformed into a Jungle City. 130 life-size animal sculptures of the planet’s most endangered species – Asian Elephants, Tigers, Orangutans, Crocodiles and Hornbills – have been unleashed in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. From the 6th of September these animals will hit the capital’s streets.

Jungle City, set to be Edinburgh’s biggest outdoor art event on record, has received the backing of a large number of donors and supporters. Many large corporates have also sponsored the event and by doing so they’ve played a part in a major conservation project – one example is the image below that shows a tiger sponsored by the Scottish Football Club, Rangers.

A Fundraising initiative by the charity Elephant Family, the sculptures will be sold via auction (online or live – details can be found on their website) in a bid to raise £1 million for the survival of endangered species.

So if you live in Edinburgh or just happen to be here, head over to the Botanics and see these beautiful creatures for yourselves. They are on display at the Botanics till Sunday 4th September. And after that, look out for them on the streets of Edinburgh where they will be on display till the end of the month.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

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Water of Leith Walkway Stage 4 – Stockbridge to Leith

Hello Fellow Gallopers,

This is the final post in this series where I will take you through the final stage of the Water of Leith as the river flows out of the heart of the city towards the docks of Leith into the Firth of Forth and finally into the sea. This part of the journey starts in Stockbridge and passes through Canonmills, Bonnington and finally ends in Leith.

Stockbridge is thought to take its name from the first timber or stock bridge over the river following the use of a ford. The village was a rural community, many of the population working in the flour mills or tan pits. In the 18th century it became a popular retreat for city dwellers coming to sample the mineral waters at St.Bernard’s Well. In the early 19th Century, landowners like Sir Henry Raeburn, the portrait painter, developed charming Georgian streets such as Dean Terrace and Ann Street, named after Raeburn’s wife Ann Leslie. Gradually the city encroached on the village completely and today Stockbridge is an attractive and busy residential and shopping area.

Canonmills came about in the founding of Holyrood Abbey in 1128; King David I granted one of his mills to the Abbot, or Canon. The Canon’s Mill came to refer to both the mill and the village. Passing through St.Mark Park one sees Warriston Cemetery nearby – the cemetery was laid out in 1842 by David Cousin as a fashionable burial ground for the wealthy. As one heads to Bonnington, one passes Redbraes Weir, which supplied water power via its long lade to the village’s three main industries – the grain mill, paper mill and tannery.

Bonnington arose as an important crossing point on the road from Edinburgh to Newhaven. A new section of the walkway here passes industrial estates and the Bonnington Bond at Anderson Place, which once held barrels of maturing whisky and a sugar refinery within its massive red brick walls.

Leith was a natural harbour, situated at the mouth of the Water of Leith with settlements on either bank. It suffered battles between French and English and religious strife but by the 18th Century the growth of overseas trade and shipbuilding had made it Scotland’s chief seaport. While it served as Edinburgh’s port and much of its lands were owned by Edinburgh, it was a separate and independent burgh from 1833 till 1920, when its amalgamation into the capital was resented by many Leithers. A downturn in Leith’s industries in the 20th Century (shipbuilding, sail and rope making, bottle making, timber, soap and sugar) caused a slow decline in Leith which has only been addressed since the 1980’s with greater public and private investment. There are now signs of revitalisation with restored buildings onshore and at the waterside a cruise liner terminal and the former Royal Yacht ‘Britannia’ as a magnet for visitors. Leith’s motto is ‘Persevere’ and this it has done a lot over the years. The final stretch of the Walkway is the Shore – the heart of Leith, with its mix of housing and its variety of waterside bars and restaurants. The Victoria Swing Bridge, the last of Leith’s opening bridges restored in 2000, marks the end of the Water of Leith and the Walkway as well.

This walk has been an interesting journey into the history of both the river as well as the lands it has flown through over the years. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to dismiss the Water of Leith as just a water body flowing through the city and forget the importance it once held.  The river once powered up to 90 water mills providing paper, snuff, linen and flour; the river and surrounding woodlands are home to a great variety of wildlife.  Kingfishers nest along the banks of the river and can often be seen patrolling their territory.  Increasingly there is otter activity along the length of the river; more than 80 species of birds, including a variety of finches, tits, dippers, wrens, herons and owls can be seen along the river.  On land; voles, frogs, rabbits, hares, weasels, stoats and foxes can be found.  You may also see roe deer in the Dells.

The Water of Leith has played its part in the industrial and social development of the capital of Scotland and this must never be forgotten.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey as much as I have enjoyed taking it.

To see all the images* in this set, please click the link below:

http://koshy.smugmug.com/Places/Water-of-Leith-Walk-Stage-4/12677383_uUFwY#912806055_8tunD

http://koshy.smugmug.com/Places/Water-of-Leith-Walk-Stage-4-1/12687994_YkWjn#913685036_PFxST

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

* – images taken with the Canon 50D.

Ride with the Black Stallion: www.igallopfree.com

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