Saturday, 30 April 2011

# 120: Luck or skill?

Jodie played Junior Monopoly earlier today. We have been playing board games more often since getting another 2 new games for Christmas, one of which has become a favourite with the kids: Smart-Ass. I am looking forward to getting some of the older games out more often once the dining room shelves are finished and they can all be brought down from the loft room and be there on the shelf when we fancy a game. I don't remember ever playing a game of Monopoly to conclusion, and I remember clearly that whenever we played draughts (checkers) my Dad never once let me win. What's your favourite board game? And how do I discourage Jodie from cheating?!
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# 119: Bluebell

We have a few in the garden, but I'd still like to find a really thickly carpeted woodland and try to capture that elusive sea of blue. Hard to do. Shot with 105 macro, available window light, tripod.
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Thursday, 28 April 2011

# 118: Lilac in evening light

I love spring, lots of things coming back to life in the garden, and therefore more photo opps ;0). Sadly we have lost several plants and shrubs over our extreme winter, but the last two remaining lilacs have survived. The evening sun was shining on this one. What a shame the smell can't also be captured in pixels, the scent is divine.
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

# 117: Padley Gorge with Chiz Dakin

I spent this afternoon in the company of Chiz Dakin on a photo-walk through Padley Gorge in the Peak District as part of the Peak District Walking Festival. I'm not much of a walker as a rule, but I'm getting out into the countryside on foot much more since getting serious about my photography. Chiz has recently published a book, Cycling in the Peak District, and is an award winning photographer. Find out about her photography workshops here.  The weather was kind, and we had an ice cream half way round - an unexpected and welcome treat! I'll be going back to Padley Gorge again very soon.

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Monday, 25 April 2011

# 115: Oh what a lovely war!

A scene from today's visit to a 1940s event at Crich. It's just like a time warp, there were even air raid sounds effects - the siren, then plane and bombing noises. Check their website for details of more period weekends and specials like Classic Car meets etc. A photographic paradise ;0)

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Sunday, 24 April 2011

# 114: Bubbles

Jodie played with a bubble wand in the garden, its really hard to focus on the bubbles...more practice needed.
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Saturday, 23 April 2011

# 113: Weapon of Choice

I regularly post a status on facebook along the lines of heading off shooting toddlers or kids, and get smartass remarks about with what calibre ammo or firearm when everyone knows its a photo shoot...duh! I use Sigma EX lenses exclusively, mainly due to the prohibitive cost of Canon L glass. I'm pleased with the quality, and so, it seems, are the targets ;0)
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# 112: It's really all about the light...

I have been known to take photos in the ladies loo at a pub or service station (see 260/365 ) so it may not surprise those who know that I've shot a loo seat! Why? Well, I've often noted the quality of light in my bathroom from the south facing window. I unclipped the loo seat to clean it - I spray it with Cif mousse, leave it a while, then shower it down in the bath - and the light created this almost monochrome image with soft gradation from dark to light... its really all about the light, not the loo seat ;0)
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Friday, 22 April 2011

# 111: Necessary evil?

Folk who know me will be aware that I am not an energetic person. I've never been even remotely keen on exercise, avoiding it as much as possible even in my youth. However, with grandmothers who were almost as wide as they were short, genetics are not on my side, and neither is my age, so exercise has recently become part of my routine, two or three times a week. I have no choice but to get stuck in, and it's important that Jodie sees me doing this and learns to build it into her everday life as she grows up - something my parents never did. I'm doing Zumba, Pilates, Aquafit and am about to get a bike!  I keep being asked "But don't you feel so much better for it?!"... I'll get back to you on that one, watch this space... (Ever the optimist!)
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Thursday, 21 April 2011

# 110: Coca Colour

Whilst visiting a Butterfly House today near Sheffield, I captured this lovely Mum-to-be who was fully 'coca colour' co-ordinated with her painted nails and striped top matching the cups and straws beautifully ;0)
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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

# 108: Written in a grain of rice

I recently treated myself to a special charm, a vial of water containing glitter and stars in my favourite colour, and grains of rice. One has 'Kim' written on it, the other has her date of birth written on it, 6.4.01. I imagine it would be pretty hard to write a very long name on a grain of rice... she has a short name, just like her life, nine months being carried by me. See here for the background, Kim was stillborn.
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Sunday, 17 April 2011

# 107: St George makes ready

George, the Knight who slew the Dragon, put in an appearance at a celebration of St George's Day in Morley today, near Leeds.

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Saturday, 16 April 2011

# 106: Pear blossom

We have a pear tree in our garden. The blossom looks lovely, briefly, then the wind and rain (April showers) knock it all off, and then we usually get a late frost in May that scuppers any chance of decent fruit. This was taken in the fading evening light.

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# 105: Office Cat

Reviewing the files?
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Thursday, 14 April 2011

# 104: Boing!

Jodie loves bouncing
on the trampoline. This afternoon we tried slow shutter speeds :0)
I used an effect called Polaroid in Silver Efex Pro.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

# 103: Will

Meet Will Cheung.
To cut a long story short, I met Will recently when he came to do a talk at the photographic club I belong to, and after an exchange of emails, today I was shooting with him and some fellow photogs at my local shopping mall. He's a little bit of 'hero' of mine in photography terms, and its been great to meet him and be involved in a shoot which will feature in a forthcoming copy of the magazine he currently edits, Advanced Photographer.

He's a Nikon user, but I won't hold it against him! ;0)

Monday, 11 April 2011

# 101: Tulip

I love to have plants and flowers in my house and garden that I can photograph. Sometimes, spending ten or fifteen minutes with camera and macro lens on a subject such as this is a kind of therapy - an opportunity to be creative between domestic chores and piles of admin, school runs and the weekly shop. Often the light in my kitchen is good too. I love the way the petals with the red flash have curled.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

# 100: Jodie, my Golden Child

I had a portrait session at a friend's house this afternoon, taking photographs of her daughter's party guests (ten 8-year-olds!) and her family. Jodie often comes with me to help - she carries lighter items of gear to and from the car, she is my test model for a final tweak after I've metered the lights, and then holds a large reflector for me, and even helps to get smiles and giggles from the children. So this is only a test shot, but even then, she is beautiful... :0) I make no apology for a large number of images of her being included in my blog!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

# 99: Moritz

Moritz left for home this afternoon, we have thoroughly enjoyed having him here.   During the week his fluency with spoken English has improved noticeably, which was the general idea of the trip!   We hope to meet him again in the future - he is welcome to stay with us again any time :0)
Auf Weidersehn.

Friday, 8 April 2011

# 98: Three in a row


Three in a row, in the garden, on the trampoline, captured as the light was fading. Oliver, Jodie and our new German friend Moritz.  We have had a great week getting to know this very polite young man, helping him to gain confidence with his already excellent English skills - we played some board games including scrabble, that was a challenge! Tomorrow he will be going home. We hope to meet him again in the future.

This evening we went tenpin bowling.
Then there was a kick-about in the garden.
Jodie watched while jumping on the trampoline, wearing bunny ears ;0)
{Jodie would quite like to send Oliver to Germany and keep Moritz ;0) not sure his folks would feel great about that prospect!}

Thursday, 7 April 2011

# 97: The next step

I am attaining my photographic goals apace it seems: last autumn I became an affiliated photographer for, last month I attained my LRPS distinction, and now I am on the next step of delivering coaching on bereavement photography to midwives.
This dragonfly is one of many that adorn the walls of the corridor outside the training room I was in this morning - I was made very welcome and I look forward to more of the same on a regular basis.
The plan is to help midwives improve the images they capture for bereaved parents who will find great comfort in such pictures in the years to come. The more midwives feel more confident in creating better images, the more parents will get such images to cherish.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

# 96: Magnolia Remembrance

Ten years ago today I gave birth to my first daughter. 
She didn't breathe and couldn't be made to breathe. So we lost her. 
There was a magnolia tree in the front garden of the house opposite which was coming into bloom, and flowering for the next few weeks. Magnolias remind me of my first beautiful daughter, Kim Annie Violet. 
The one across the road has gone, their garden replaced by tarmac drive, so I shall be planting a magnolia stellata in our front garden soon, now that we have replaced the tarmac with garden.

Edited in Ps with white layers in the style of Irene Froy - but a poor emulation I fear. I shall practice, but I am quite pleased with the pastel delicacy achieved here with a first attempt at the technique.

# 95: Tulip Impression

Experimentation need not be complicated. Keep it simple stupid...with lens in manual mode, defocus. The tulip bud was tightly closed, lit with window light on a dull overcast day in my kitchen.

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...