Ashley Middleton: Blog en-us (C) Ashley Middleton (Ashley Middleton) Sun, 08 Nov 2015 23:30:00 GMT Sun, 08 Nov 2015 23:30:00 GMT Ashley Middleton: Blog 104 120 Tempest Rally 2015 Had a very enjoyable if very wet day yesterday (7 Nov) photographing the Tempest rally in Aldershot. I knew the forecast was very poor so chose to stay at Pavilion as Warren would be a mudbath (and I doubt my car would get through the mud to the car park!).

I think i got some good shots despite the rain, and the nightime shots weren't all bad!

I will be busy editing the photos over the coming days though I am fighting a bug in the Lightroom program I use to edit my photos which is slowing me down somewhat

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Tempest Rally aldershot car pavilion race rally Sun, 08 Nov 2015 23:29:22 GMT
South Downs Stages 2015 Spent the day at Goodwood Motor Circuit for the South Downs Rally Stages. Took far more photos than I know what to do with, so will be editing them for a long time to come!!

If you don't see the car your looking for please drop me a line and I will put it to the head of the queue for posting

]]> (Ashley Middleton) . Goodwood South Downs Stages 2015 motor racing rally Sat, 14 Feb 2015 23:39:12 GMT
Flight to Llanbedr Flew to llanbedr in North Wales today (21 Sept). The weather wasn't looking good for SE England but towards the NW it was looking quite sunny, so I plotted my route on Sky Demon and prepared myself for the flight.

I had seen pictures of the Star wars set at Greenham Common in the news recently so I plotted that as a waypoint to see if anything was still there. The Millenium Falcon has been dismantled but I could see a few X-Wing fighters outside the old nuclear missile silos along with some set dressing of pipework here and there. It will be intresting to see how its used in the film.

Star Wars set at Greenham CommonStar Wars set at Greenham Common

After this nI headed towards Brize Norton, where they routed me overhead RAF Fairford, a big RAF base used by the USAF and for the annual air tattoo. It was quite a treat to get permission to transit overhead.

RAF FairfordRAF Fairford

After this it was straight on to Wales. The low cloud that had been with me for the past 45 minutes quicjkly gave way to clear blue skies. I climbed to 4,000ft and looked at the beautiful landscape


 of Wales ahead iof me.

Cloudy WalesCloudy Wales

I routed cdirect to Mount Snowdon as I didn't know how long the blue skies would last. I could see it very clearly from a long way of. As I got closer I could make out lots of tourists on nthe summit. I circled around and also looked for the holiday cottage (Sygun Cottage) I had spent a week in back in May. The views from up here were incredible!

Mount SnowdonMount Snowdon

Sygun Copper MineSygun Copper Mine

Sygun Cottage is centre of the picture. I walked to the lake on the left and the mountain behind the cottage.

It was nearing 11am, my landing slot for Llanbedr, so I headed away from Snowdon, over Porthmadog towards llanbedr.

Llanbedr & Shell IslandLlanbedr & Shell Island

You can see the runways quite cleary here. Once on the ground I was met by the Fly-Llanbedr staff who were very chatty about their plans for this airfield. I then walked to Shell Island, which is a camping ground by the coast. Its the green area at the bottom of the picture. A quick bite to eat in their cafe, then i walked along the coast to the very large sand dunes. Quite va bit of wildlife out here, herons, cormorants, oystercatchers, curlew and of course seagulls! After my trek I headed back to the airfield and prepared for the flight home. The blue skies were now cluttered with some clouds but not enough to cause any problems. I routed down the coast and then headed inland around Aberwystwyth, passing over miles of desolate hillside. If I had an engine failure here it could be hours before I was found !! I routed past kemble and avoided Brize this time, speaking to London Info then Farnborough LARS. Arrived back at Blackbushe just before 6pm having had a wonderful day :)

Flight Time: under 4hrs

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Common Greenham Island Llanbedr Mount Shell Snowdon Star Wales Wars coast flight mountains Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:37:00 GMT
Tempest Rally 2014 Looking forward to this weekends Tempest rally in the Aldershot area, and this year I'm accredited media which means I can go where the spectators can't :)

I'll be trying out my new Canon 7d mark II in anger. I've had impressive results so far, although the weekend looks wet I'm still hoping for good shots, perhaps with some decent paddle splashes :)

For those new to the rally there are 3 public stages, Rushmoor Arena, Warren Heath and 'Pavilion', which is the common near Sandy Hill Estate (where I grew up). You can find more on the tempest rally website under spectators, and then download the spectators guide

]]> (Ashley Middleton) aldershot heath pavillion rally tempest warren Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:36:18 GMT
Canon 7d mark II & Isle of Wight I've purchased the new Canon 7d mark II  (7d2) as my old 40d has been in for repair twice this year so needed a new reliable camera.

I tested it yesterday on a flight to the Isle of Wight and it performed very well. Its very quick, the autofocus captures and locks on a subject very well (you need to learn all the different autofocus options though!) and pictures look very good.

There is a preview gallery where un-processed pictures (horizon not corrected, no airbrushing or colour correction performed) can be viewed by those interested in the camera. Once I get access to the RAW files I will Post-Process (PP) them and put them in a new gallery.

]]> (Ashley Middleton) 7d2 bembridge isle of wight Sun, 02 Nov 2014 09:06:28 GMT
Rallyday 2014 Visited Rallyday at Castle Combe Circuit today (20th Sept). Its not a race, but a day of all sorts of rally cars going on the track showing off their stuff, as well as passenger rides in rally and 4x4 cars on courses around the track (one day I'll be brave and actually go in one of them!). The sights and smells (of burgers and burnt rubber, not necessarily from the same place!) was enough to excite any petrol-head!

Here are a few of my favourites. If you were a driver/passenger and don't see yourself here, please let me know what car you were in as I may have it but not uploaded it yet)



IMG_0212IMG_0212 IMG_0201IMG_0201

IMG_1029IMG_1029 IMG_1916IMG_1916

]]> (Ashley Middleton) car castle combe rallyday Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:21:52 GMT
P1 Powerboat & AquaX racing 6 September 2014: Powerboat racing and Spinnaker Tower


Went down to Portsmouth to visit Spinnaker Tower and then onto Gosport for the Powerboat racing today. First Spinnaker Tower. Welcomed at the base of the tower after a metal detector and bag search then taken up in the lift to the viewing platform. From here you get a great view of the area, though it was a bit misty today. We had a great view of the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible as well as the various ships coming and going. Even saw the hovercraft in the distance.

After a bite to eat in the cafe on the next level we headed through the shopping mall to the ferry which took us across the harbour and got on a bus to the beach. It was quite busy with plenty of people out to watch the racing which was being held over two days. The jet skis went first which came quite close to the beach so I was able to get some good photos, next came the more powerful jet skis and finally the powerboats. A TV helicopter flew very low following the boats and I got some good shots of its antics.





IMG_2851IMG_2851 IMG_2594IMG_2594

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Gosport jetski portsmouth powerboat racing spinnaker tower Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:11:16 GMT
Tempest Rally 2013 Had a full day watching the Tempest Rally in Aldershot. Thankfully the rain held off and got some decent photos from all 3 locations (there are 2 others I believe but are not made public).

Warren (2WD) was first up and I went to a spot I was at last time where cars regularly go into a ditch... guess what, no one went in this time !! Still I got some decent pictures of them coming over the crest and around a bend. The light was a bit poor as the sun was behind the trees so a bit of post tweaking was involved, favourite shot (so far) is the two cars together, you don't see that very often at a rally!

Met up with my brother for the Rushmoor stage (4WD) which was entertaining though could get confusing as they go around the circuit twice, especially when the army/RAF Land Rovers went round as there are 5 of them all painted white!

Pavilion for the 4WD's. First there is a nice crest they come over, then I walked down to the sharp corner. Some good pictures but not great, the sun didn't help being behind the cars. Later on I found a decent corner and used the flash as it was getting dark and got some nice photos.

I'll be busy editing the photos for a while, so for now I will put up at least one photo of each car and add to the gallery as I edit more. If you see yourself and want to see what other photos I have please let me know and I'll put you to the top of the queue

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Tempest Rally 2013 aldershot cars rally Sun, 03 Nov 2013 07:24:35 GMT
Sunseeker Rallye 2013 Up at 4am to head down to Poole for the Sunseeker Rallye. I did not bode well, driving along the motorway in pouring rain, but once there it stayed dry all day, if somewhat gloomy!

Uddens Water was the first stage, I found a fast corner and settled down for the action. After that I drove to Ringwood South and watched stage 4 and 8. The hairpin on stage 8 was my favourite, lots of fast action there!

Finally the Armed Forces Rally team in their Land Rovers came along, and my camera decided it had enough and an arm inside the housing broke and so the last few photos of the rally have only half the frame ! It could have been worse I suppose and it broke at the start of the rally !!!

A good day out, lots of action and some decent photos :)

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Poole Sunseeker rally cars race rally Sun, 20 Oct 2013 10:01:17 GMT
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 I had a good time roaming around the varied attarctions at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. You really need to spend at least 2 days there to see everything !

Lots of fast and exotic cars to see, along with a few famous names... I saw DJ Chris Evans and Sir Stirling Moss drive past. I'm sure I've got photos of other famous people, I just don't recognise them in their crash helmets!

My favourite part of the trip is always the rally stage. I really like seeing cars kicking up the dirt and going sideways as opposed to the 'sedate' driving up a hill :)

IMG_1892IMG_1892Skoda IMG_2015IMG_2015SKODA


]]> (Ashley Middleton) FoS Goodwood cars Mon, 12 Aug 2013 18:37:35 GMT
Pembrey flight & Truck racing I flew into Pembrey in Wales earlier this month and had a great time, both in the flight and watching the racing. The races were great fun to watch, especially the trucks !

The flight there was a straight line from Blackbushe, which I covered in 1 hour 15 mins, so i will certainly visit again !

I decided to take the scenic route back and flew around the Brecon Beacons which still had snow on them. Fantastic sight ! Then back to blighty and I circled around the Avebury ring and Silbury Hill and finally back to the 'Bushe for 'tea and medals'  :)

]]> (Ashley Middleton) flight pembrey racing truck wales Thu, 11 Apr 2013 18:36:54 GMT
Tempest Rally 2012 I've been busy over the weekend taking photos of the Tempest Rally in Aldershot. I spent the day at the Pavilion track, not far from where I used to live when I were a wee nipper!

There are at least 1 photo of every car that ran the course i the galleries now, I will be adding more as I get time to go through and edit them. let me know if you need your car photos bumped to the top of the queue!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Aldershot Tempest Rally pavilion Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:30:16 GMT
Camberley 999 Day 2012 Uploaded all the photos from the Emergency Services Day at Camberley Fire Station. There was a terrific turnout to the event from the local community, with an assortment attractions, including Fire Engines (including the very large ALP - Aerial Ladder Platform), fire rescue dog, police firearms unit, dog unit, various police cars and uniforms to try on. The ambulance service were there showing how to do basic first aid and tours of their ambulances, there was a raffle and hot food as well as a huge amount of doughnuts (proper cop food!)

]]> (Ashley Middleton) ambulance camberley fire police Fri, 02 Nov 2012 10:37:12 GMT
Dunsfold Wings n' Wheels 2012 I am slowly going through the 5,500 photos I took and uploading them once edited, I think this is the most I have ever taken at an airshow (I took lots of the cars as well so this bumped the numbers up a bit).

The flight there and back went smoothly, even some half decent landings and the weather was good, even sunny a lot of the time !

The acts were very good, most notable were the Kittyhawk, Tigers (excellent barnstorming antics), Red Arrows, the Meteor T7 looked awesome in the sunshine and of course the bangs of the Tornado role demo

I'm already looking forward to next years show !!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) 2012 Dunsfold aircraft airshow Thu, 30 Aug 2012 20:01:54 GMT
Dunsfold 2012 (tomorrow) The storms have passed and the weather is looking good for my fly-in tomorrow to the Dunsfold Wings and Wheels event at Dunsfold Aerodrome (home to the Top Gear test track and Harrier jump jet). I hope to be landing at 9:30 so do give me a wave if you're there.

Highlight of the day should be the Tornado role demo (with pyrotechnics I hope), always make a big noise and leave a big impression on all who watch it ! Of course there are some other very good acts as well, the Red Arrows of course but also the Apache helicopter, Vulcan XH558, the Blades and Red Bull Matadors and a whole load more... a very good lineup this year I must say !!

If you go remember its all for a good cause, raising funds for Brooklands Museum (a great day out when I visited there), Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, Help for Heroes and the Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance

If you can't go tomorrow its also on Bank Holiday Monday (without the Red Arrows)!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Dunsfold Wings and Wheels airshow Sat, 25 Aug 2012 17:57:17 GMT
Marwell Zoo 2012 Had a very nice day at Marwell Zoo (now called Marwell Wildlife), and pleasantly not as packed with kids as I thought it would be !

I paid my homage to the penguins and wandered around the site a few times which resulted in my getting some good shots of the cats as they became more active later in the day (near feeding time, around 4pm ish). The Cheetah pen was my favourite with two female cheetahs at first just sunbathing fairly far off but later in the afternoon they were wandering around and even walking right below me

Marwell has a resident camera club ( who held an exhibition of their work which was very inspiring. Full members can even go onto the grounds early mornings before the public are allowed in to get good shots of the animals waking up and being fed.

Animals to watch out for:

Penguins -  get fed at 3pm during a talk by the keepers. There is an underwater viewing area where you can watch them swim by

Big cats - Cheetahs, Leopard, Snow Leopads & Tigers - you can get some good shots later in the afternoon as they walk around

Meerkats - wonderful little creatures, excellent for photos

Laughing Kookabura - never seen one before but he came right up to me in the walk through aviary he's in and was fascinating to watch and hear !


Marwell is well worth a visit, lots of animals to view and many playgrounds to keep young kids happy. My only gripe would be with the cost of food there which is very overpriced. Much better to bring a picnic with you, especially if you have a large group!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) Marwell kookabura meerkat penguin zoo Tue, 31 Jul 2012 17:40:41 GMT
Farnborough Airshow 2012 Well, the weather turned for the better and the airshow was nice and dry, wish the ground was the same... squelchy feet :(

A varied selection of displays though many of the more interesting ones had left (Boeing 787, B52, A400M display) at the end of the trade show - no point showing off an aircraft to people who won't buy it!

My favourite was the Tornado pair role display with pyrotechnics. I was really looking forward to this display and it didn't disappoint !! It was good to see the V22 Osprey tiltrotor (seen in the first transformers movie), and you could even go on board the A380 9if you could stand in the queue for half an hour, I decided not too though in retrospect perhaps I should have, just to see what all the fuss was about)

Overall, it was a good day out, roll on Farnborough 2014 !!!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) 2012 Airshow Farnborough Osprey V22 airshow farnborough tornado Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:26:03 GMT
Round the Island Race 2012 I flew down to Bembridge, Isle of Wight to watch the Round the Island race, where over 1,600 boats sail from Cowes all the way round the island. I was heading for The Needles but the weather looked grim so we landed at Bembridge and headed up Culver Down and watched the race from there.

Whilst there a Coast Guard helicopter and RNLI lifeboat attended an emergency where a sailor had broken their leg and so was transferred to the RNLI lifeboat and then to the helicopter, something you don't see everyday !

The weather cleared a bit more so we took to the skies again but were again unable to go around the Needles because a fog/mist had started to form around that end of the island so we headed towards Portsmouth and then home

]]> (Ashley Middleton) bembridge boat race isle of wight Sun, 01 Jul 2012 11:22:11 GMT
Arundel, Windsor & Duxford I've been busy over the past few weeks enjoying the good weather and events taking place, including Arundel Castle, Queens Diamond Jubilee Parade/flypast at Windsor and the Duxford Jubilee Airshow

Queens Diamond Jubilee: Went to Windsor Castle to watch the special flypast of around 80 military aircraft from all 3 services and the 2,500 troops marching past to go to see the Queen. Weather wasn't great and Windsor was heaving, just so many people ! Walked around the Great Park rather than get in the queue to get out of the car park and lucky I did as I caught shots of a Kestrel with its freshly caught peru (a vole I think), stunning photos I think.

Arundel Castle: Gorgeous sunny day so tried out the new wide angle lens in the castle. Fascinating place to visit, well worth the trek up the steps to see the Keep. Went to the Wetlands Centre just down the road. Don't have permission to sell these photos so will just put them up on my Flickr account ( This is a great place to visit, the footpaths are very good, especially through the reed beds. Lots of different birds to see here, some I've never even heard off !

Duxford Jubilee Airshow: Wasn't sure about going to the show but the sun was shining so i thought I would have a day out. Another hot and blue sky day, the Eurofighter and F16 were great. I'm very happy with my shots, though I've got 4,700 to now edit !!!

]]> (Ashley Middleton) airshow arundel castle duxford flypast windsor Tue, 05 Jun 2012 07:50:58 GMT
Tongham fete Just come back from the Tongham fete. I thought I would try out my new wide angle lens for some of the shots. The Air Ambulance landed and I was the only one on the far end apart from some marshals, people thought I was a press photographer !

The weather was fine and the turnout was good with proceeds going to the Air Ambulance. A very pleasant afternoon by all accounts :)

]]> (Ashley Middleton) air ambulance fete tongham Sun, 13 May 2012 19:23:23 GMT