Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Farewell August

Farewell August.  Even though we've had the coldest summer since 1993 and already the evening air has the slight chill of autumn, I'll miss you.

I've loved having the Moo at home, playing in the garden, going to the park, picnics, paddling in the north sea (NEVER done that before!).   I've loved lovely light evenings and having all the windows and doors open.  I've loved long, stress-free mornings and picking tiny alpine strawberries from my garden.

'Til next year, August.  (And if you could be a teensy bit warmer and less wet next year, I'll love you even more).

Thank you Susannah Conway for introducing August Break. I've really enjoyed it.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Summer love

I love summer.  I especially love the long holidays when the Moo (my 5 year old ) is on holiday from school.  Long days of  pottering about, playing with toys, meeting up with friends and generally having fun.

I can't believe this is the last full week of the holidays. Another week of summer fun before a fresh start to the school year. Sometimes I wish the summer would last forever, but then I suppose it wouldn't be so special, would it?

I'm linking in with Much Love Monday.

Much love to you this Monday morning :)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The trouble with being the photographer...... that this is the only picture of me from our family holiday.  I don't love having my picture taken, but I did want some evidence that I was actually there!

I'm linking up with Hey Harriet and her Shadow Shot Sunday.

Happy Sunday :)


Friday, 26 August 2011

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

External Inspiration {and another break from the break..}...

As part of Kat Sloma's Find your Eye: Journey of Recognition course that I am currently doing we were asked to visit an art exhibition as a way to learn from other artists.  I absolutely loved  it and it was really thought provoking.  This is an attempt to bring some definition to my thoughts about what really caught my eye and inspired me.

[The exhibition I went to was a small art exhibition of local artists where we were on holiday in East Anglia.  We regularly holiday there and my dad was brought up in the area, so it is an area I know very well.  There was a wide variety of subject matter and medium in the exhibition].

Some of the things I that really caught my eye:

  • A beautifully painted close up image of weathered wood from a small fishing boat.  The artist had captured the texture of the weathered wood with peeling paint so beautifully that it almost made you want to reach out and touch it.  The day after the exhibition, we were on the beach and came across some weathered boats.  This is one of the photographs I took.

  • Illustration - there was a beautiful ink drawn illustration of two children holding hands, walking through a woods. It looked just like a book plate from a children's book I remember from my childhood. I love nostalgic images like that and it inspired this photo:

  • A beautiful landscape that absolutely encapsulated the feeling of the area.  East Anglia is very flat which can make the sky look enormous.  The artist had painted the flat landscape so that it was a tiny line at the bottom of the canvas; the rest was sky.  The colours used were an amazing range of blues conveying beautifully the water, mist and dark blue of evening as it fell.

Something I enjoyed less:
  • There was a beautifully sketched portrait. The portrait was in profile and the woman was obviously sitting to have her portrait done. I think the reason I did not respond to it was because it was very static.  The details were all about her hairstyle, her (impassive) facial features, the colour of her dress etc. The details chosen by the artist were not details that I could respond to.

This was such an interesting exercise and I think I was very fortunate in the variety that I encountered, particularly of subject matter.  I was initially attracted to photography as a means of memory keeping for my family but gradually this is expanding to more creative photography and I think that the things that caught my eye were, in part, a reflection of this as I begin to look at things in a different way and see the creative possibilities.  I think the theme that is common to all this artwork (or at least my interpretation of it) is the importance of detail.  I find detail so important because it is in the detail that the meaning and feeling of a piece of art can be found.  A different choice or emphasis of detail changes the piece entirely.

 I am looking forward to exploring more galleries and workshops on my continuing journey to 'find' my eye and  I will be interested to see how I respond to different art genres and styles and art that is from a less familiar environment.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fun at the beach

Fun in the sea with uncle and cousin

Sandcastles (some small people were more interested in knocking them down.......)


As the rain pours down today it is hard to believe that this is what were doing this time last week!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The sea

I love the sound of the sea gently lapping the shore.  There is something so peaceful and reassuring about the steady rhythm of the sea on a warm summer's day.

This is where I was this time last week, soaking in the sea air and enjoying some beach time. 

Even the sun came out to play!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The sky at night

I'm linking in with Kat Sloma's Exploring with a Camera series.  She has some great tips on night time photography which you can find here.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Strawberry bellini

My (new) favourite summer drink:  strawberry bellini.  Liquidise a punnet of strawberries (I then put it through a sieve to get the pips out but you could skip this if you don't mind the pips) then add a couple of lugs of creme de fraise.  1/3 strawberry mix to 2/3 proscecco. 


Friday, 12 August 2011

Footloose and fancy-free

I miss that carefree childhood run.  It all seems to be about burning calories and fitting into my jeans these days!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The Moo loves marshmallows so we decided to make our own, using the recipe from Hugh Fearnley- Wittingstall's The River Cottage Family Cookbook

I'm not a great fan of marshmallows but the Moo has declared them "yummy" so all in all a (sticky) success I think.  She is rather cross that we didn't put enough food colouring in as she wanted them properly pink, not the slightly off-white we ended up with.  I've put her in charge of food colouring from now on, so expect some lurid food photos from here on in!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fresh cut grass

I find church yards such peaceful places.  Sitting there with the beautiful view, the blue sky with the big fluffy white clouds and the smell of fresh cut grass was a little piece of English summer heaven.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Inspiration {and a brief break from the break...}

As part of the finding your eye photography course that I am doing, our second assignment was to put together an inspiration file of our own work.  Now we are reviewing that inspiration file as a way to further define our 'eye'.   Here are some of the shots I chose and the reasons why:

I took the shot below at the weekend and posted it Tuesday. It's in my inspiration file because this is pretty much the only landscape shot I have ever taken that I am happy with. Usually, unless it has a very specific point of interest (and even then it's pretty hit and miss), I end up with the DULLEST shot imaginable. I like this one because: the boat draws your eye in but doesn't dominate the scene; the diagonal lines from the hills, grassy bank and shoreline all draw your eye in; I like the light on the water and the natural colours. I really need to think about lines more in my photography. The more I do that, the happier I tend to be with the end result.

I love these two flower shots for very different reasons:

I love the first for the colours and the light and shade captured in it. Usually I just like to 'tweak' my photos but for this one I really boosted the vibrancy. Although I love my people shots as natural as possible, I really want to explore some of the post production techniques that can give shots such as this one an extra 'pop'.

The allium seed head really bursts out at you for a different reason. I took loads of shots of this but picked this one because I love the pov and the hint of colour behind it - the juxtaposition of the cornflowers and daisies against the brown, dried seed head gives a poignancy to the onward march of nature.

I picked the shot below because I love capturing everyday objects but am never very happy with the styling of the shot. For this one, I did virtually nothing except move the teapot a bit - sometimes less is most definitely more! I love the cool colours and I think the slats on the table have really helped give interest (lines again!).

I love storytelling in pictures.  I tend to achieve this by collaging photos together (see this post) but I would really like to explore achieving this in a single shot.  They are not my shots, but I love this, this and this on my pinterest inspiration board and I really want to experiment with this sort of shot in my photography.

Overall, review of my (current) inspiration files tells me:
  • Natural shots which capture a 'moment' are the most poignant for me
  • Storytelling is something I would really like to explore in my photography
  • I love colour, whether it be bold and vibrant or cool and subtle.
  • Lines and how they draw the eye in are really important to me.
  • I would like to use my crop tool less and use the whole frame in my composition.
It'll be interesting to see how I feel in a few months time!
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