Sunday, 27 February 2011

# 58: Window II

Its been a long time coming, but I have finally made a significant impression on the window in our front room. We are finally decorating the lounge and dining room - this being the dining room. The state of the sill was pretty appalling, the house is over 70 years old after all, but had been badly decorated by previous owners, all the woodwork covered in magnolia gloss before the development of non-drip, and loss-less brushes. And beneath all that lead-based paint, the original brown scumble glaze. 
I've added the Topaz Adjust Dark - Ghostly filter, which makes a basic record shot a bit more interesting, I especially like what it does to the ladders on the right!

Original shot, SOOC.
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# 57: Laptop

Inspired by a brilliantly animated advert Jodie made herself a cardboard laptop, like the one in the ad.

Its a Toshiba, just like mine ;0)

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Friday, 25 February 2011

# 56: Kiss & Make Up

What a great name for a beauty salon. Shot for part of a themed 52 project - pink/red being this week's theme. I have a wealth of subject matter at home because I have a daughter who loves pink, but today was somewhat fraught, and I admit this was a grab shot on the hoof, taken with iphone, edited in Ps to colour pop the red door. I'll make a bigger effort next week, promise!
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# 55: Exquisite

This is a notebook, a gift from a friend, a friend who knows how much pleasure I can get from something as ordinary as a notebook. It has a magnetic closer and a beautifully decorated cover, not an ordinary notebook at all! I love it.
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# 54: Window

A bathroom window, but not just any bathroom window, its in the house where I was born, where I grew up, where my mother still lives. The uPVC part is relatively new, and I can still remember the original obscure glass pattern as if it were yesterday. Mum's getting on, some day the house will be a new family's home.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

# 53: Sitting pretty

Geordie practicing his handsome. Looking more cat then kitten now, we think he's about a year old.

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# 52: Tulips

Tulips in a friend's kitchen. Toned treatment in Nik's Silver Efex Pro for a change.

Jodie and I had a trip out to a fabulous barn conversion, such a beautiful home. A warm welcome awaited us and we are looking forward to another visit maybe in the spring, perhaps to meet a new baby, and a couple of horses if they're there (I'll coo at the baby, Jodie will coo at the horses!)

 A nice warm spot in front of the aga.
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# 51: Tunafish Treat

We mix up a batch of tuna-mayo regularly, it's a favourite sandwich filling in this house, and not just with the humans! Geordie found if he flattened his ears he could get to the best bits near the bottom of the tub. He's fully grown now, and eats like a horse, kinda!

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# 50: 101 uses for a can o'soup

My favourite brand, my favourite flavour, keeping a dust sheet on the mantlepiece while the ceiling is painted. A Hipstamatic shot.
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# 49: Odd sock solution

A special friend of mine has two of these hanging in her kitchen. I thought this was a brilliant idea, and suddenly a spare was produced and I have one of my own!! Trouble is... I need more than one!! ;0)
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Thursday, 17 February 2011

# 48: I Still Love You

In the language of flowers, a single red rose is the ultimate declaration of love, it means 'I love you' or 'I still love you'. On our wedding day in 1994 my husband-to-be sent me a bouquet of flowers which included a single red rose, the message was 'I love you'. Over the years we have bought red roses for each other from time to time. This one I bought for him this year, the message is 'I still love you'. 

This isn't the first time I have photographed a red rose. Its pretty hard to get an accurate representation of the colour and texture. I'm pleased with how these came out, edited in Ps using Nik Color Efex Pro filters. 
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# 47: Morning skyline

When I took this shot I wasn't sure I could make anything of it, but enhancing the sky and adjusting the  contrast brought out the subtle colours in the sheeting or whatever it is on the scaffolding around the church steeple. I'm amazed at the array of transmitters on the building to the right. This was taken from a multi-storey car park, so I was on a level with the roof tops.
The sky seemed impossibly blue against the trees; I bet the owners of the bins never see them from this angle; the car park reflected in the CUBE cafe.
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# 46: The lost day

I lost Tuesday this week to a migraine. This was my view, when my eyes were open, which wasn't that much, for most of the day.

How it affects me: I find a hot water bottle of comfort; I have to abandon what I am doing - I put away the essential fridge and freezer items from the weekly grocery shop and that was all; I feel thirsty so take a drink of cold water to bed with me; I am photo-sensitive so I dim my bedside light and close the curtains; I can't read so have the radio on quietly instead; and I hope for sleep, for as long as it takes.
These are images taken on my iphone using Hipstamatic, a photo app. When I am overtaken by a migraine I can't spend time with my 40D so I used Hipstamatic to tell the story. At the end of the day, it matters not how an image was captured and created, using iphone or a photo app isn't cheating, its as valid as any other photographic tool if it gets the job done, achieves what the photographer set out to do. Here is an interesting article on the subject, along with an exellent set of award winning images: Through my eye, not Hipstamatic's.
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Monday, 14 February 2011

# 45: Optimism

Happy Valentine's Day! 
Did you get flowers?
This isn't really fair on my dear hubby - we don't do any more than exchange cards for Valentine's Day - chocolates aren't welcome as I'm watching my weight - watching it remain static mainly! - and flowers are always more expensive on this one day, so why spend the extra money for the sake of it? I get flowers other days sometimes, and a card will suffice.

Just look what can be made from a vase of water with bubbles stuck to the processing in Ps using Topaz Clean or Simplify, can't remember which!

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# 44: Its just a pantry

So with decorating continuing apace, photo-opps don't always leap into my viewfinder and I have to be alert, find something I can make more of than what it is. That's the whole idea though, making something different or more intresting, finding a picture and creating an image that might make you do a double take, wonder what it is, or what it was and what have I done to it. Forget why - its a project, an excuse to try out lenses, techniques, software, filters, experiment. Don't like it? Not bothered: I'm shooting for me, for fun, to stretch and grow and be challenged, and if other folk like the results that's a bonus. :0)
Lying on the floor in the pantry/utility room with the 10-20mm. Tried a joiner first but it wasn't working - wrong lens, might try that with the 24-70 another day? Converted to mono in Camera Raw, then in Ps: Topaz Adjust HDR Pop and Painting Venice. 
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Saturday, 12 February 2011

# 43: Need some help with that?

The pressure's on, with a German exchange student coming in April, we're pulling the stops out to get lounge and dining room decorated ASAP. M cleared furniture and broke out the dust sheets this morning, so I broke out the wide angle lens ;0) We had a set back late last year with a leak under a concrete floor in my workroom, otherwise we'd be ordering carpet by now. I've bought Sanderson wallpaper and fabric, pattern for the chimney breasts in each room, a plain for the rest, matching pattern fabric for curtains, which I'm making. It was a bit expensive, so I'd better not cock it up then, eh? Like I said... the pressure's on! Eeeek!

Mark was looking for points for creative expression or musicality or some such (like Strictly?!); Jodie was painting over her drawings (made with our permission, knowing we'd be decorating soon) and also over the measurements and dates up the corner where both Oliver and Jodie have been measured over the years. (I photographed them first, naturally!) The cat looked on with bemusement, mainly he wanted to chase about under the dust-sheets.

While I was photographing the measurements I had the front door open for more light - Jodie wasn't doing a Saturday Night Fever move, not sure what she was doing, but I just caught this and I love it!

Post-processing in Lr using OnOne Perfect Presets.
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Friday, 11 February 2011

# 42: Fire & ice?

As part of a group project, and in the absence of snow and ice outside (not even a hard frost) I prepared a few ice trays and had a play today with ice and water and food colouring and off camera flash. This shot has some red food colouring in the water, ice and water in a large glass bowl, with off camera flash pointing at the bowl from behind. Post-processing with Ps and Topaz plug-ins. No fire, just ice.

Playing with ice was good therapy for me today, its been a tough week, what with the major problem with my C drive, I've been rebuilding my preferences n ting from the bottom up. Two steps step back. Tomorrow - painting and decorating!

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

# 41: Super Guru saves the day

I have a Guru whom I turn to for help and guidance on all things technical. In turn, I am a guru (up to a point) on technical things for my children - its always me that sorts out stuff that crops up on the pc or laptop when my kids are trying to get a game to play or a document to print etc. (They don't ask their Dad, cos he probably won't know what to do, he asks me to fix stuff occasionally too!) My guru and I are gurus in turn to a good friend who has called us 'Guru Dude' and 'Guru Gal', and more recently we have been dubbed 'Senior Guru' and 'Junior Guru'! 
After a technical disaster on Wednesday evening, I'm tempted to call my Guru "Super Guru" from now on after he not only stayed up late on the phone trying to help diagnose the problem on Wednesday night, but arrived on my doorstep not far past my breakfast time this morning to spend most of the day rescuing my machine. 
All my data is safe, no images lost - they live in more than one location... though I fear my lifespan may have been shortened, or perhaps I've gained a few more grey hairs for the stress.

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# 40: Fast food

I'm not a big fan of fast food, you can keep your Big Macs and KFC, but when it comes to traditional fish 'n' chips, well that's a whole different ball game. I love traditional British fish 'n' chips, but draw the line at mushy peas... bleah...

My companion preferred fish 'n' chips with rather than without.

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Jodie and Blue

Jodie has been riding since she was 7, over half her life. Just. Ownership is costly, but she's learning life skills and life lessons...