Photographs to Treasure Forever. Brand new baby

There can be no better reason to take, back up and print photographs than a new life entering this world. I have just spent my weekend visiting my son to meet my first grandchild. He, of course, is the most gorgeous baby in the world! My trusty Nikon camera was there to record those precious moments that will never come again, and I took plenty. 133, to be exact. Some pictures are good, some are great and some are no-so-good. That’s the reason to take so many. To make sure I have a good selection of photos to treasure forever.

Charlie, my grandson photos to treasure forever

Charlie, my grandson, two days old

If you have an event that you’d hate to miss or lose, check your camera batteries before you set off. Ensure that once you’ve captured your event with far more shots than you’ll actually keep, back them up. Can you imagine losing them? Then don’t let it happen. Then start editing, adjusting, cropping your images. If anything happens to them, you’ve always got those original backups.

photos to treasure forever. Charlie with grandad

Charlie with his grandad

photos to treasure forever. Charlie with mum

Charlie with his mum

photos to treasure forever. Charlie with his dad ans sister

Charlie with his dad and sister

photos to treasure forever. Charlie with his nana, me

Charlie with me, his nana.

Of course, if you are the photographer, you’ll have to get someone else to take those photos of you in the magic moment. I often come back from trips and don’t have any photographic evidence that I was there, but on this very special occasion, I wanted those personal memories! Make sure you have yours.

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Nightmare Move, Wonderful New Home

Morning veiw

Hello everyone and Christmas greetings to you all.

Well, the move wasn’t as smooth as we’d carefully planned. We’d done everything we could. Kept all parties informed, including our own solicitor. Why is it then that on the day of the move, the day when a lorry containing all our worldly goods was sat outside our new home, our solicitor had to be dragged out of a meeting only to say to our estate agent ‘Oh, I didn’t know it was today they wanted to complete.’  What? Nightmare begin. We ended up in a hotel overnight. Meanwhile, my son, who had been helping us move, had his place broken into and all HIS worldlies stolen. That’s another story but we’re helping him sort himself out. Dream move it wasn’t. As the solicitor had completely screwed up we spent the entire following day on mobile phones making completion happen with the sellers who were distressed to hear of our situation and trying to do all they could to help. Only problem was, they live in France and he was away on business. Our stuff went onto storage for five days as the removal company waited as long as they could but then had to take their lorry and men back for other jobs. Luckily we had the camper and therefore a bed.

Then, BT and our service provider both screwed up, meaning that we only got a landline three weeks after moving in and broadband a couple of days ago, while I was busy trying to stay alive on the M6, the most dangerous stretch of motorway in the country. After the chaos I witnessed driving home from visiting family, I can see why. It was ram-jam-packed, drivers were taking lunatic chances with their own and other people’s lives. I saw two crashes in the fast lane, fifteen mile tailbacks on the northbound and experienced three tailbacks on the way home What should have been a two to two and a half hour drive took four. I only travel fifty miles on this road and was very grateful to have made it out in one piece. You’d think people would be more careful at this time of year. After all, who wants to wake up dead or in hospital at Christmas?

Anyway, all that off my chest, the house is wonderful. Such a sense of peace here. No-one shouting at each other, views that gladden my heart every morning when I open the curtains and birds everywhere. I’ve counted 16 species so far, including a heron that seems to have landed to scope out next door’s fish pond. My binoculars have never had so much use. The food I put out for them is being eaten so fast I can hardly keep up, but I’m not complaining. It’s great to see them all. Help nature, see wonderful things!

I’m spending time looking at greenhouses. To produce the food and flowers I want to I’m going to need one. My son will help with the garden as he’s trained in landscaping. Hopefully, he’ll also help erect the greenhouse once I find one. Meanwhile, there’s Christmas. We’ve done the shopping, delivered the presents, put up the tree and made our new lounge cosy with a wood burning stove. There’s lots of scrap wood lying around so free fuel will help with the bills and less fossil fuel will be burned.

Post holiday season, I’m going to have to invest in more water butts. We’ve been forced by legislation to have a water meter and lots of veg means lots of watering next summer. So preparations will begin in the new year.

Have a wonderful stress free and happy Christmas everyone, wherever you are.

I’m Diversifying. New blog announcement

Hi Everyone and welcome. I just thought I’d announce proudly my new blog. I’ve developed it separately because I want to keep this one for photography, but I’m not JUST a photographer. I want to document our impending move to a new home. It’s the one I’ve dreamed of for a long time. A bay-fronted 1940’s semi with a long garden (120ft) that backs onto fields. It’s a world away from where we live now. My current view from my bedroom window is a car park.

A Fresh Start in a Fresh Place

The new blog is intended to take you on my journey towards a more ecological, sustainable lifestyle that will ultimately be more satisfying. I hope to share what I know and what I will surely learn on this journey. There’s a link to it in the sidebar or you can click here to take a peek at my first post.

There will be photographs of my progress, but the aim is to document the changes and pass on what works and what doesn’t. See you there!

Travel, Photography, Life and Death

I took a lot of photos this summer. We travelled, saw friends, saw some beautiful places. One of them was Whitby, famous for Jet and of course Vampires! It’s not hard to see why Bram Stoker was inspired when you go up to the Abbey and take a look around. Life and death appear side by side – opposite sides in fact, of the same town. A strange, thought-provoking juxtaposition to see. A cemetery right above a thriving town full of living people. Quite a picture.  But what a place to end your days!

Whitby life and death

The Abbey itself is an imposing structure.  It’s a very impressive image and very provocative for any writer. My partner writes Vampire and horror fiction, and he loved the atmosphere. He has visited Whitby several times in the past and doesn’t tire of it. You can see why. Perched high above the town, Stoker had the perfect breeding ground for a fertile imagination.

Whitby Abbey

It’s a wonderful old town, crammed with little shops and craftspeople. But the approach to the Abbey is a daunting one. We took our time climbing the steps, stopped and admired the view, getting our breath back at the same time.

Approach to the Abbey

Whitby Bay. A view from the climb

Here’s another view from the steps.

Abbey Steps View

Where have you been? What have you seen? Did you gain any new insights or inspiration from your travels?

 

Fabrika Exhibition Starts Today

Fabrika Independent Arts Organisation, Leicester

Well, having been to Leicester this morning to have some pictures taken of the inside of my head, (they assured me there is a brain in there) we decided to call in at Fabrika. My pictures were sat there, about to be hung. So from today they’ll be on display for everyone to see (and buy if they wish). My partner had his mobile phone with him and decided to take some shots of the building and my photos in the queue.

Three of my photos ready for exhibition

Here’s a lo-res jpeg of the biggest one I’ve put up, and one I have great memories of taking, as I have an affinity with owls. They always seem to appear in my life when things are changing for the better. Plus, when I was little, my mum taught me a poem you may or may not know. So, poem and photo…

Eurasian Eagle Owl

A wise old owl sat in an oak,

The more he saw, the less he spoke.

The less he spoke, the more he heard.

I wish I was more like that wise, old bird.

And even in my fifties, I wish I WAS more like that wise old bird!

Anyway, Since I couldn’t get to the frost this morning  with my camera (had to rush off to hospital appointment), that will be a job for tomorrow. For now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that loads of people see my work and some of it sells. More on that soon, as I’m getting ready for sales from my website.

Eden project astounding

Sculpture at Eden

Last month I did what I’ve been threatening to do for a long time. I took my camper and myself down to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project. What an amazing place!!! It’s vast, it’s colourful and loaded with information about our wonderful planet. I completley wore myself out in an effort to see everything but still didn’t. The great thing is, once you’ve bought a ticket and registered it, you can return within a year on the same ticket. I will be going back, despite the five hour journey to get there.

The Domes

Outside, I tried to get a photo of the complete complex of the domes, but despite my wide angle elns, couldn’t fit it all in.

The stairway to the top of the dome

Inside, on encountering the steps, I decided my head would NOT cope with the hights, but for those who climbed these scary steps, the veiw was, I’m told, fantastic.

And some of the exhibits were very interesting.

The Rites of Dionysus

Explanation

This place is well worth a visit or two, and photographers beware. You’ll need a full battery, probably an extra card for your camera and plenty of time to take all the shots you want. I’ll post more on my Cornwall trip another day.

If you want to see more of my photos, please go to www.caffimages.co.uk (there’s also a link in the sidebar on the right).

Pride, colour, pattern and the photograph

Whistles

It was Nottingham Pride last Saturday. I thought I’d go along again this year. So we packed up a picnic, and of course my camera, got on a train and spent a lovely afternoon at Forest Fields. It’s one place you can get out  a camera, start shooting and get tapped on the shoulder by strangers. They’re not complaining, not confronting the photographer, but asking for their photo to be taken. What a refreshing change! Lots of smiling faces, colourful sights and music. Lots to get creative about. I took 176 photos in a few hours, ran my camera battery down and flattened my own battery. I fell asleep on the sofa when we finally got home, exhausted but very happy with my busman’s day out.

I wanted to get the essence of the event. What makes a good iconic shot? I don’t know, but I try to find something a little different from the standard shots most people would point and shoot. I don’t know if I have managed to capture anything special, but I hope so. Having a good camera is all very well, but in the end, it’s the idea, the concept that I want to ‘bag’ at events like this. They’re not shots I would market on my website, but life moments I want to remember when I’m in my dotage.

Balloons at Pride

The lovely man selling balloons approached me at the end of the event. He wanted some pictures to help sell his wares. He explained he’s illiterate, yet he’s made a business, and his wife handles correspondence. Good for him! That’s what life’s all about. Of course, he can have copies of the shots, I told him, no problem. I came home on the train with a balloon he gave me, and had matched to the colour of my dress. Bless him. I just thought they made great abstract shots that would give me my memories!

Wave That Flag!

The flag, the balloons or the whistles? I don’t know which shot says the most about the day. There was colour, smiles and fun everywhere, despite protesters trying to stop the event, trying to put the LGBT community down, but look at them. Part of life, ordinary people, just different, as we all are, thank goodness. Diversity is absolutely essential to life. We couldn’t have evolved without it. Life is and should be colourful, happy and eventful if we look hard enough. Pagan Pride followed in Nottingham on the Sunday, and I would have attended that, too if I’d had the energy. It’s such a pity that we have to fight for the right to be different. Who wants to be a clone anyway? And who would decide what a clone should be? Which religion? which looks? what skills? Don’t we need them all, provided by different people?

Walk Tall whoever you are!

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