Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Just managed to grab Ayrshire Gas

I don’t know why I pass over the many businesses that have owners who take the time (and expense) to have their vehicles registered with private or personalised registration numbers.

Possibly I let them pass as they can be repetitive if a fleet carries marks which contain identical strings of characters, so once you’ve seen one, you have, in a sense, seen them all.

Probably not the case with this catch seen in Ayr.

I barely had time to catch it as we were rolling around a roundabout and I spotted it coming – I almost missed it entirely as I was trying to work how Mario related to gas-fitting. Still don’t really get it, and the number plate is a MUCH better option.

Ayrshire Gas Van [AY18 GAS]

Ayrshire Gas Van [AY18 GAS]

Some vans may not have personalised registrations, but it seems that they can still be made ‘interesting’ with a little modification.

2015 Ford Transit [EN15 TWA]

2015 Ford Transit [EN15 TWA]

While it may not be the registration, it’s close, and falls into the same ‘class’ as the above.

Wonder if the company is considering a name change?

IVECO oops

IVECO oops


29/05/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes… it’s easy to ‘read’ a plate

As registration number sales people get more and more desperate to sell somebody a plate and make their commission, the looney interpretations they put on numbers, to convince buyers they read as letters, gets dafter and dafter over time – see this reference I made to MAR 573N recently, when somebody sent me a pic of it spotted on a Bentley.

Good plates don’t have to be contrived (or illegally spaced) to make their point.

I like this simple example a lot more than the effort mentioned, where a fast-talking sales rep talked somebody into believing a ‘3’ looks like an ‘O’.

I’m surprised they didn’t throw in a few plastic bolts as well – a black one to make up the missing part, and a white (or yellow) one to obscure the horizontal stroke.

I’m NOT criticising the owners (who have to take what they can get as there is limited supply/choice sometimes), but having traded a few plates myself, think the selling agents can be a little TOO imaginative at times.

2013 Nissan NV200 [R23 MFL]

2013 Nissan NV200 [R23 MFL]

18/03/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Left this one too long VV 9110

I sometime drop pics into a folder, intending to get around to them when I have time to play with the image for some reason, if it has some issue that means I can’t just use it directly.

That means I forget about quite a few, like this one which ‘collected’ VV 9110.

It reminded me of one seen when I was in North Wales a long time ago. On a nice new sports car then, I can’t recall the exact detail, but it was VV, probably VVN, and belonged to… Vivien.

This one was then on a van, but when I finally got around to it, I found it had been moved, and been fitted to a hulking great monster SUV, although I’ve never seen it.

Oh well, the original spotting can still go into the collection.

Van registration [VV 9110]

Van registration [VV 9110]

26/08/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked IV

Came round the corner in Baillieston to find this in my way:

It's stopped, it's empty, it's parked

It’s stopped, it’s empty, it’s parked

I’m guessing a works van, but nobody around doing anything, and it was after hours and the shops were shut.

Would have made more sense if it had been backed in, to unload from the rear doors. Side door maybe?

As it is, abandoned like that it looks even harder to get stuff out the back than if it was properly parked at the kerb.

Maybe the driver was tired, or in urgent need of a potty-break, and just couldn’t make it all the way from the kerb to the door – the pavement is admittedly quite wide there, so stopping like that got the door nearer the premises.

05/08/2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Low light camera surprise

I’ve been wandering around with one or two different types of camera recently, in the hope of finding one that might replace my favourite bridge camera. Since day one, it’s displayed various faults and been back to the factory more than once. So far, they’ve only managed to fix what was originally the most irritating and oddball problem, although it has started to develop another (different) problem recently.

The original fault was weird. Although the camera took pics without any problems, actually getting to that point could be frustrating. Certain scenes caused the firmware to crash – come early evening and declining light, when I pointed the camera at some subject and half-pressed the shutter button to meter and focus the scene… the viewfinder would go black and everything would lock up. The only cure was to remove the batteries, after which it would work fine, until I pointed at the same scene – then it just went black and locked up again. I couldn’t provoke this behaviour, but if I returned to a subject that caused the lockup, and in similar evening lighting, then the lockup would recur.

Never got an explanation from the factory, but after its third visit, the camera stopped playing this particular game.

Nowadays, it sometimes refuses to power and focus – turning it off, tapping the lens with a fingertip, them powering on against usually fixes it.

So, I’ve been looking at replacements.

I don’t count my dSLR in this race, it’s just too big to be slipped in a pocket every day as I walk out the door.

A similar bridge camera (but a lot newer) was rejected almost as soon as I tried to use it – the controls and menus had been laid out by an idiot, and it’s supposedly better images (4x as many pixels as the old one), and focussing (which was truly hopeless compared to the old one) were so bad I only took a dozen test pics before I just wanted rid of it.

I wanted a superzoom compact, but found the picture quality to be initially poor (despite 16 MP, the manufacturer used too much compression when saving the final jpg, and did not offer user options to change this), and initially rejected this as well.


I had kept it for a few days, and unlike the ‘new’ bridge camera I had trialled, found the compact to very intuitive to use, despite having no viewfinder.

In the time I had it, I found the anti-shake system (using only the CCD-shift option, although it also had an image processing stabiliser that could be added) was much more effective than any other I had used, and hand-held shots (without the irritation of flash) were easily captured at 1/4 second and above, with no evidence of shake.

Reverting to one of my other camera, even with anti-shake, just produced coloured blurs for the same hand-held test shots I lined up.

In the dull wintry weather we are currently enjoying, I’ve visited several sites where the overcast condition would have defeated my other cameras, or only resulted in flash shots.

The pic below was a chance shot grabbed at night because I was interested in the unusual line of white LEDs along the top of the van’s bumper. While a main street with shops and lighting is not the darkest of places, using another camera on the same scene just produced rubbish, and would have needed a tripod (or something to sit the camera on). As it was, this pic was taken free-standing and hand-held, and the exposure took more than 1/4 second, yet is more than acceptably sharp. Ok, noise is another matter, but not important here.

Van LEDs

Van LEDs

20/01/2013 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment


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