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!

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Druids Temple or Folly? – a photographic trip into the past

As you know if you follow my blog, we travelled a lot this summer around the UK. One trip was a camp with friends that ended in a rather special treat. Our good friend Pete took us to one of his favourite spots. A so-called Druids Temple in Yorkshire. Built in the 1800’s, we think it was used by the wealthy family for ceremonial purposes but can only guess just what kind of rituals were performed here. Some say it was just a folly, but the scale, detail and magnificence of it gave me the feeling it really wasn’t just a showpiece but a large piece of working kit. What do you think?

My Friend Pete proudly waiting at the entrance

A First Glance Inside. Scale.

Inside the Temple Space. This thing is huge!

The Inner Ring-not visible when you enter, with cave-like structure

Taken from above the 'cave'

Inside the Cave Structure. The standing stone in front of it shields it from view.

Friends above and behind the Temple - barely visible through the trees. Well hidden!

This is one set of photographs that was hard to pick out for you. In the three hours we were there I took over 100 shots trying to capture the flavour of a very mystical space. I hope these do it justice. A hidden gem from the past still there for us to enjoy. I look forward to visiting there again, probably next summer. Come on, what imagery of unusual place have you got on that hard drive of yours? Care to share?

 

Abstract perspectives in photography

It’s difficult to choose a subject with over 1,000 to process currently, so I’ll concentrate on one tiny aspect of what I’ve been up to. As I’ve been running around on my travels I’ve been inspired to do some abstract photographs. There are always lots, of course, but some things just strike you as worthwhile the time and effort to shoot. When looking at objects, move around them, or of they’re small, move them around. Look at them from different angles. try to obscure or leave out any distracting elements. Play with that camera! Play with colour and light. Experiment. It costs nothing to press delete of you don’t like the results, and you might get something special.

abstract spades

abstract fishing

fishnet abstract

old rope

Look for a good composition, balance, colour and interest. The technique you use should be creativity. Forget which lens, which filter or which camera even. Just LOOK until you find that composition. Then you can play with equipment.  Try different shots from different perspectives of your abstract until you find something you’re happy with. Think outside the box! Above all, have fun with that camera and find your own image of the world.

What Makes You Smile? A Photographers Humour

Smile

Go on

Snicker. Especially when I found these lurking in a friend's garden.

You've got to laugh. The birds don't mind!

They make me laugh!

They're all in birthday boy's garden

And this is his dog

So come on, cheer us all up. What makes you laugh, visually? Got a photo? Post a message on this blog so others can visit  you and see your humour!

Revived by Nature–a visit to Little Ponton Hall gardens

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Yesterday was lovely. gorgeous! Spring before spring. Promise of longer days and shorter, warmer nights and, above all, colour! Colour and light. The day was well chosen and the weather forecast was right. We had a lovely day of broken, light cloud, sunshine and the best display of aconites I’ve ever seen. Little Ponton Hall is open only under the National Garden Scheme to raise money for charity for this one weekend. What an opportunity it was.

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The snowdrops and aconites were the absolute stars of the show, and left me breathless. Each time the sun popped back out from the intermittent clouds I grabbed another opportunity for a shot. I get tired quite quickly, but managed two hours of shooting with a short tea break in between. I’ve posted a few of the results here. I hope you can see how gorgeous it was, and I hope it encourages you to get out there every chance you get to enjoy what nature can do for the human spirit. Don’t forget your camera!

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Birthday Wanderings into Beauty

Weir 1

It is my partners birthday today. We decided to take time out from computers and visit a previously unexplored local haven, Watermead Country Park near Leicester. What a gorgeous afternoon! The first thing we saw when entering the park was a weir, and I had to play. So I’ve given you three of the shots taken each with a different effect in mind. They are abstract shots, and all I changed between each was the shutter speed, then a little curve readjustments to get the effects I have done. On the last shot of the three, you can see the swirling water in front of the weir.

Weir 2

Weir 3

We watched herons fly overhead and glide down onto a lake, saw cormorants (I think) roosting in the trees and a beautiful sunset. We had to wrap up warm, but just look at the colour for this time of year! Imagine my delight, too when we found catkins. Looking up at them the contrast with the sky was stunning, so I had to show you. So today is all about winter wonder and my partners birthday.

Catkins

Gorgeous sunset

Watermead Country Park

Sunset at Watermead

We came home and had a lovely meal, candlelit of course. He’s now busy blogging, so I’m taking a moment to get this post out to you. I’m investigating some nifty websites with Photoshop tutorials. When I’ve finished going through them I’ll pass them on to you. Photoshop is and amazing programme that seems to have endless possibilities, and for those of you who, like me, want to do more with their photos than just shoot and post, I’m hoping to find some new ways of using Photoshop to enhance or even transform the humble photo.

Think Abstract for Something Different in your Album

I fought shy of doing abstract when I first took up photography with serious intent. I wanted to record things exactly as they are. Then I realised I was missing a lot of good interesting shots that were no less valuable, either to my art form or my albums.

So I started thinking differently about my composition and what I’d be prepared to shoot. One night, while accompanying my partner on a business trip to Glasgow we sat in the hotel restaurant watching the rain. I noticed the lights outside and their distortion caused by the wet glass. One quick shot later I had this.

Rain

Here, I went to the Botanic gardens and for a moment took my eyes off the plants and flowers and looked up. Kibble Palace

This next one hasn’t been cropped and I grant you should be, but I wanted to show you the original effect. You can see how it could be cropped on both sides to get a more balanced. picture. I could also have turned the camera sideways, of course, but the effect was only possible if I used one hand to touch the plasma ball. Assistant please!

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And the one above is a close-up of the inside of a tepee. I looked up again! Of course I have the photos of the interior and of my friends inside it, but I value these less common images. They make me smile, agencies quite like them and they do serve as reminders of the time I took them They are also a talking point when others are look through my albums. So add a little something unusual to your collection of photos. Don’t just take snapshots, but look for the abstract to get something a bit more arty.

And finally…

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I’ll leave you to wonder what this is.

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