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.

Have You Had Your Daily Dose Of Beauty?

beauty abounds

It’s about time. There is so much horrible stuff going on in the world I thought a timely reminder that there is free beauty out there we can all share just might be welcome. It’s easy to get caught up in all the war and nastiness, the economic doom and gloom and walk around with clouds around our heads. But if we blow the cobwebs away, perhaps with a short walk or drive into the countryside, perhaps just a stroll round the garden and open our eyes, beauty is all around us. My garden has been adopted by a baby blackbird who obviously left the nest a few days early. He sits listening to me when I go out to throw him some mealworms and apple to feed him up, then dives straight onto the food. He is gorgeous! I can’t show you, because the danger of me taking the camera out there is that he’ll panic and end up food for a local cat.

Calendula beauty. Pure sunshine in a flower

But flowers don’t get frightened! So today’s pictures are here as testimonial to the wonderful world we live in, even if us humans do make a mess of it, the beauty still abounds, and we should hang onto it with all our might. Some of these shots were taken before I bought my trusty Nikon, but nonetheless remind me of lovely times of gorgeousness that helped me switch my brain into a more positive mode. I hope they do the same for you.

Mint. Beautiful flavour, beautiful flowers

Spring has brought me inspiration. I’ve been taking photos, seeing friends (it was a long, lonely winter) and working on new projects. I discovered a couple of weeks ago a site called Squidoo. What fun! And it’s somewhere I can showcase my work with photography and with Zazzle. Having started with WordPress last year as a reluctant technophobe, I appear to be well and truly hooked on computer wizardry. I’ve been so wrapped up in all of this I hadn’t realised I’d been neglecting my blog. oops! Finding the time to do everything is getting more difficult, but I can’t complain. At least all of this keeps me busy and making lots of new cyberfriends. In case you’re interested, Squidoo is a great site for doing very tightly focussed ‘lenses’ that deal with one subject and really go into detail about it, usually with accompanying links to relevant sites and helpful hints and tips, plus where to buy relevant stuff. It’s quite easy to get lost in it for hours – much like on WordPress. I’ve so far made eight of these lenses, some of which are photography and flower ones. It gives me the opportunity to write about subjects that wouldn’t really fit under a general photography blog like this one, so I feel the two compliment each other. You might want to take a peek at my Grow Hellebores in Your Garden  lens or Spirals or even wild flower garden one.

Happy Spring!

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!

Photographer Filtering out Distractions

 

Rubbish

 

I had a bit of an accident yesterday and scalded my wrist. This pretty much knocked me for six and all my plans from thereon in were scuppered. We had to spend nearly two hours at the Walk-in Centre but they soon sorted me out. So my partner lost two hours work, I ended up further behind than I should have been and really should just have slowed down. It would have saved pain AND time. Time I really needed to get on with photo processing and new images.

 

Primrose

 

It made me think, though, about filtering out distractions. The scald was done in the first place because I was trying to do too many things at once, reached over the kettle and caught the blast of steam on my wrist. I’m old enough to know better, but was NOT filtering out distractions. I seem to be much better at that with a camera in my hand. Filters on cameras, of course, can filter out unwanted flare etc, framing filters out unwanted objects that might distract the viewer and Photoshop filters can be used to remove distracting elements either by calming their colours or blending them into the composition better.

 

My neighbour's front garden

 

In life, we are constantly distracted. Advertising, yet another human catastrophe, noisy neighbours, a TV show, phone calls. What stops you concentrating? My pet problems are

1/ Noise-unfortunately I live in quite a noisy area. People shout when they could walk and talk, their dogs bark incessantly, their children scream.

2/They throw rubbish around and let their kids run riot.

3/Terrible human tragedies

4/Phone calls.

5/Housework

I cope with number one by wearing headphones and playing myself music when trying to write or process images. The music depends on what I’m writing/doing. Today it’s Anastacia. I need cheering up and some extra energy.

The rubbish? I try to concentrate on the beauty around me. Today’s photos are by way of antidote, but there’s one shot of the stuff that could depress me if I allowed it to. Spring is here! Flowers, greenery, new life. We have to celebrate the positives in life or we’d truly go mad. I do my garden, make my bit of the planet as rich in wildlife as I can, grow beautiful things to surround myself with.

Tragedies? All any of us can do is sympathise, contribute to relief efforts financially and refer to our spiritual beliefs for comfort. Then go back to putting beauty and joy back into the world. How else would there be any balance and how else do we stay sane in a mad world?

Phone calls? Can’t hear them with headphones on. That helps. But if stuff has to be dealt with then do it as soon as possible then get back to work!

Housework? Do it as quickly as possible without scalding or maiming myself, and try not to let it distract me if there’s stuff left to be done.

 

Grape hyacinth. Small but a welcome distraction!

On the subject of filters, I’ve recently been given by my father and a friend, some new filters for my camera, and some extra ones for Photoshop. So I’ve definitely got plenty to do learning how to use them and finding out what I can make them do. I’ll keep you posted as I hopefully make progress. I’ll try to filter out the distractions that slow me down. What do you need to filter out?

 

Busman’s Holiday for Photographer-the birthday

Well, you may think I’ve been off galvanting again and getting nothing done, but I’ve spent the weekend with a friend for his 65th birthday. He is also a fellow photographer. As it was HIS birthday, I did the honours with the camera on the night. It was great party and a lovely cake I couldn’t have, but never mind. I took some of my favourite dark choloclate and some Brandy. I think the shots are in focus! There’s a bit of blur on the action shots with the cake, but I didn’t want to use flash.

Happy Birthday

Yum yum!

He'll never see 64 again- and we won't let him forget it!

Birthday boy and his lovely wife.

In house entertainment from birthday boy.

Whilste we were there, a summerhouse was built – a family gift for birthday boy. I’m sure no-one will mind if I show you shots of the construction. The most I did was hold things for a bit and provide the odd joke, plus taking the shots for posterity and the giver, of course.

Tamping down the fun way

Lack of Light - No Problem!

No, you're not seeing things! A Victorian lamp. Perfect for the job!

Birthday boy and I went out and did a bit of photography once we’d recovered from the party, but I’ll save those shots for another day when I’ve had a chance to go through them. Thanks for your patience with me and my eratic blogs.  I can’t be here all the time or the photos would get really boring!

Postcard from Preston

four weeks old and so cute!

Hi folks. I’ve been visiting family this last weekend-for Christmas! I fianlly got there and caught up with all the people I should have seen at or before Christmas but weather and bugs conspired to prevent. It was, I have to say, the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. We stayed with my sister who made us very welcome, and went to my nephews daughters fourth birthday party. That also gave me the chance to meet their new baby, only four weeks old. How cute! We also had a great time with my parents and spent a great Saturday night at my older son’s with his partner and my granddaughter. Fabulous! So I thought I’d share a few photos of the weekend. I’m sure they won’t mind.

the cake yum!

Kayleigh and her cake

aren't they cute when left to play with their new toys?

Pam, my sister, the proud grandma

I’m also sure my sister won’t mind if I tell you that she is a fabulous singer! That’s all I’ve had time this weekend to do and tell you about. whilst there, we were so busy that despite having my laptop there wasn’t time even to check email properly, so today is one mad dash to catch up. But it was time well spent and we felt it made up for our rotten, poorly Christmas. I got to see everyone open their presents, and they gave us ours. It was actually better than a normal Christmas, as everyone was more relaxed (I presume because the stress of the season is all over) and of course because all the bugs have left and everyone was well. I hope you all are, too.

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