Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Baby Steps




This was taken last week during our snowy period and is my very first foray into processing with Lightroom.  I still have soooooooooooo much to learn but what better way to learn than to practice and play with all the different effects.  It's so much fun!

Linking up with Brenda's Third Thursday challenge.  Once again by the skin of the teeth...but I made it, phew. :)





Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Texture Tuesday





Linking up with texture Tuesday.  The only requirement was to use Kim's texture minus 43.

Wishing you peace and stillness this Tuesday. 








Monday, 28 January 2013

Hello Monday




I must admit this Monday sees me rather excited by the prospect of a new week, which makes a change from the last couple of weeks.  The snow has gone and there is a (very tiny) bit of sunshine trying to glimpse through the clouds.  The weekend was lovely and I even managed to get through a few things on my to do list that I've been procrastinating about for (what seems like) forever.  And intertwined through that we had time for reading, baking, hanging out and school projects.

This Monday I'm saying:

Hello to more Lightroom (I think I'm falling in love and finding a solution to my photo library chaos!)
Hello to reading The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.  Have you read it?  So far, so awesome...
Hello to cleaning my windows now that we have a little sunlight highlighting the dirt
Hello to a load of photo editing
Hello to good healthy eating intentions and drinking lots of water

And finally, hello to the 2013 Liberate your Art photo swap, hosted by Kat Sloma.  Follow the link to Kat's site or read about my experience of the 2012 swap here.  If you do any kind of art (it's not just photography) please think about participating.  Last year I made some fabulous connections, received some gorgeous art and it was just really, really fun.  I can't wait for this one!



Happy Monday to you, here's to a great week. :)


Linking up with Lisa Leonard.




Friday, 25 January 2013

Still Life




Experimenting with still life as part of Beyond Beyond.  Here are some random thoughts on the process:

I find still life hard.
I think I find it hard because I am not a natural 'styler' of things.
I think my 'style' can be summed up as 'a bunch of random stuff I like'.
OK, I'm going to talk that up as 'eclectic'. ;)

For this exercise I applied my 'eclectic' approach, walked round my house and picked up some stuff I liked the look of, found the best light I could (no mean feat in this gloomy, grey January we're having) and took photos from all angles, then picked the one I liked the best.  This often seems to be the 'from above' shot.
I'm sure there must a better way to approach still life.
A little more thought and planning, I'm guessing.

Do you do still life photography?  How do you approach it? All advice gratefully received.

Happy Friday to you, have a lovely weekend. :)



Written as part of Beyond Beyond.





Thursday, 24 January 2013

Inspired by



The day totally got away from me but at least there was comfort food and laughter in the evening.


I've been playing about with a lot of still life photography lately.  Partly inspired by Beyond Beyond and partly because it has just been too cold and icy to be much fun outside with my camera.  I'm having a lot of fun with the still life photography - and learning so much (I find it really tricky!).  But I also long for the everyday 'capture the moment' photography that got me interested in photography in the first place.  

I think I've mentioned it before, but one of my favourite blogs is Habit.  Habit is a collaborative blog and photos are posted every day with a one line caption underneath that sums up a moment in that person's day.   Sometimes the image is representative of the words, sometimes not.  I love this idea so much.  By sharing a random moment in the day, you feel that you really learn so much about that person without them seeming to reveal very much at all.    I love how the  continuity of that feeling runs through the words and the image.  I also love that none of the photos are staged in any way.  Real life photographed just as it is.  In all it's imperfect loveliness.

And so Habit has become a real influence on my 365.  A few words to go with the image.  No staging (plus it makes it more likely I'll actually do it!), a reflection of home life.  I'm also putting them into a book so that this time next year, I'll have a visual journal of this collection of moments from our everyday life.

So, how about you?  What's inspiring you?


Habit on flickr (which is sometimes opened up for guest posting)

You can follow along with my 365 journey on flickr.


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Texture Tuesday





It's anything goes over at texture Tuesday today so I thought I'd brighten things up a little with this piece of winter jasmine, saved from my garden before the snow started falling.

Image processed using Kim Klassen texture les fleurs.








Monday, 21 January 2013

Hello Monday




A weekend of snow, ice, more snow.  Pretty and cold. To be honest I'm kind of over it now.  Probably could have stayed on board with it if school had been cancelled but it hasn't been so now it's just getting around in rubbish driving conditions.

Still, we had fun at the weekend.  Snowy the Snowman was created.  He looked pretty awesome for a bit but now looks like a slightly drunk limbo dancer.  The Moo and her friends had a great time pelting daddy with snowballs and she enjoyed a snowy bounce on her trampoline and walks through the woods before coming home to Lego, sewing and hot chocolate.  

I always love the silence of snow.  I just need everything else around me to stop too so I can really enjoy it. :)


This Monday I'm saying:

Hello to lightroom - I've heard great things, I hope they're true!
Hello snow
Hello comfort food - chicken pie and stews, yes please!
Hello watching the little robin in my bird feeder have his breakfast
Hello to the last Beyond Layers session.  It's been a blast, thank you Kim.  
Hello to Beyond Beyond.  More inspiration and creativity. Yay!

What's it like in your part of the world?

Happy Monday. :)




Linking up with  Lisa Leonard.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Exploring with a Camera

Exploring with a camera is looking at in-camera artistic blur this time around.  Lots of different ways to create this - check out Kat's full post and photographic tips for all the details, but here's what I found in my own photography:

Focus/and movement

This is one of the first shots that I ever took with my dslr.  I was so excited to be able to take my new camera to France but when I saw the results I was so disappointed.  I hadn't realised that when I took my camera out of my bag I had knocked the auto-focus to manual and as I didn't have my glasses with me I blamed my eyesight.  But when I got home all the beach shots were incredibly blurry.  Pretty much all of them went straight in the trash can!  But this one survived.  I love that my daughter is wearing her party skirt on an almost empty beach and actually, in this case, I think the mixture of out-of-focus-and-dancing-on-the-beach kind of works.  It was one of my very first blog posts.


I've had more success using the (intentional!) out of focus method to create pretty bokeh shapes:



Slow Shutter speed

This was taken on my iphone with the slow shutter app, in a moving car just for good measure!  I love light patterns.



This one was also taken on the slow shutter app but relied on my moving the camera from side to side to achieve the blur:




Using my dslr, I took these at Christmas.  When I was a child we had one of these but with angels and it chimed as it went round.  I loved it, but my mum didn't (the chime drove her mad!).  This Christmas she bought me this little Christmas tree one - just as pretty but with no chime.  Everyone was happy. :)



Reflections

Through a window...here is the only shot of me on our last holiday!  Love the frame the blurry edge makes.




Shooting through

I created the fog effect by breathing on my camera lens.



and finally, shooting through the hazy early evening sun created this:



Lots more examples on Kat's site and from the other link-ups so click through and be inspired. :)






Wednesday, 16 January 2013

First Glimpses




Out and about in the freezing weather - snow is forecast for the end of the week - and look what I spotted.  :)



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Texture Tuesday





From where I sit today with my coffee, my book and my new bracelets (love!) I am watching a little blackbird sitting on the fence, chirping.  To me it seems.  I have soothing classical music playing in the background, my pretty pink hyacinths on the sideboard and my scented candle flickering beside me.  I am also trying to figure out exactly why such a straightforward prompt as 'cuppa' caused me to take and retake about a gazillion photos and process almost as many only to delete them all.  Having one of those days I guess.  

Hey ho, here it (finally) is.  More coffee, I think.....


Processed using Kim Klassen textures chaos and calamity.

Linking up with Beyond Layers and 






Friday, 11 January 2013

Iiiiiiit's Friday!



It's Friday (hurrah)!  A few random things I thought I'd share.....

Inspired by Kat, I tried my hand at some iphone art.  I see a new obsession coming on......
Here's the link to my new 365 on flickr.
My favourite link of the week is this fabulous article by Danielle LaPorte (via Susannah Conway).

And that's all!  Have a lovely weekend. :)





Thursday, 10 January 2013

KISS





The week has really picked up from it's dull start and has almost tipped the other way with one idea leading to another until it is almost impossible to know where to start.  So of course I reset myself back to my factory setting of inertia.  Then I read this brilliant article on Martha Beck's site about new year resolutions.  Her advice (via Ainslie MacLeod)  is just to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).  

It was a timely reminder to me that the big ideas have many, many different tiny steps to made them possible.  So by making a daily to do list of simple and achievable goals for each day, little by little I can make progress to the big goals.  It's pretty obvious really and I'm not sure why I need reminding of it every. single. year. but apparently I do.  I guess I'm having trouble accepting that there is a lot of  time, preparation and work that goes in to the achievement of big goals and staring out the window with a mild feeling of panic is really not going to cut it.

Anyhow, here is the link to Martha's article.  She has even set up the Tiny Resolutions Club on facebook - and do watch her video at the end of the article.  Inspirational, I tell ya, inspirational!




Wednesday, 9 January 2013

A Little Bit of Fresh


We've had a bit of a declutter and a little bit of a freshen up here.  

New tablecloth


Bunting

Hyacinths for the sideboard

Spring, we're ready so no need to wait!

Also, with some trepidation, I've decided to do another 365 project.  Exclusively on my dslr this time around.  I'll be posting them to flickr so you can see them all there but once a week I'll pick one for my 52 intentional photos project and post it here.  By the way, are you using the new flickr app?  I love it....and learnt a lot more about what it can do from the this post on Mortal Muses.

Happy Wednesday. :)



Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Today




Today the sun came out. :)



Image processed using Kim Klassen textures cherish and happy heart.

Monday, 7 January 2013

{Sort of} Hello Monday




I usually like a perky post of a Monday.  And to be honest I usually feel quite perky on a Monday (aside from the yuck it's Monday thing of course).  The start of the week feels promising, a bit exciting with lots of time to get things done.  Today, though, it feels a bit grey, a bit cold and we are back to the usual routine. Generally I quite like routine.  But today it feels dull and monotonous.  I'm a bit disappointed because I've made plans and lists galore for this year and was so excited to get started.  Perhaps psychologically I am thinking I have to do it all this week (yikes!). It's also partly, I suspect, because I have spent the last couple of weeks thinking 'O, I can sort that out when the holidays are over'.  And now they are.  Properly over. End of procrastination time.  

So, what to do?  I guess the biggest lesson I learnt last year was from Steven Pressfield who simply says, do the work.  No matter how you are feeling, show up and do the work.  I can't say it avoids the dips and the blahs but it really does provide a way through them and whilst you might not be producing your best work, you are at least staying productive and keeping on top of the negativity.

So that's it.  Today I am doing the work, hoping for sunshine and wishing you a happy, productive and blah-free Monday. 

Have a good one. :)




Friday, 4 January 2013

Photo Heart Connection




I'm sitting here very very (too) early in the morning.  Looking through December's photos this is the one that jumped out at me along with the word ritual.  What can I say?  It's lucky this is about the connection rather than the quality of the photo!

As I sit here at this early hour, today feels like it will be a good day.  I am already ahead of the game. I am luxuriating in the silence of my house - surrounded by loved ones yet with time to myself.  To write, to think, to make my plans, to drink my coffee.

This photo was taken on my phone for my 12.12.12 time capsule project capturing an ordinary day.  That was a good day too.  Maybe there's something to this ritual thing.







Thursday, 3 January 2013

In the Picture


Last link up with in the picture that completes my 2012 self portrait journey.  The optional theme was celebrate.  I love the holidays and spending time with family and friends but can find it overwhelming too. My shots here celebrate the quiet moments of the holidays.  Time to reflect and absorb.

By the tree 1


By the tree 2: in my favourite outfit (pjs)

The feel of my one word and the possibilities of a fresh start.

Fresh start (processed using starburst from pixel dust photo art)

And, of course, the celebration of my iphone and the vast array of apps which, I must admit, helped on the journey no end.



I've loved this project.  Over 2012 I became comfortable with photographing myself and sharing those photographs.  Sometimes I  can even get a bit creative with them. ;)  I never mastered the jump shot....maybe 2013 is the  year.....

Huge thanks to Christy for hosting the in the picture project.


In The Picture



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Word of the Year




2012 was pretty amazing.  A little bumpy in places.  But pretty amazing overall.  My word for last year was Grow (you can read my post about it here). As I went over my Unravelling notes I realised that I really did achieve what I set out to do last year.  Most of it pretty gently - which is why the notes were so helpful, I might have missed them otherwise! - and sometimes in ways that I did not imagine.  But still.  An achievement is an achievement and I'll take it!

My word for 2013 is BRAVE.  Words of the year seem to find me rather than the other way round, so they're always quite easy to settle on!  Right up until about November I thought my word was focus - dreaming, interweb surfing (or 'research' as I like to dress it up as) often seem to take over my actual doing time.  Yet BRAVE has jumped out at me -  literally as on the street art above - and in pretty much everything I've read and journalled about in the last few months.  It dawned on me that perhaps my problem with focus is that unless I'm brave enough to take a risk and really act on my dreams there's no real pressure to focus on getting it all done.  

So, BRAVE it is.

Brave enough to follow my dreams

Brave enough to take a risk

Brave enough to reach out

Brave enough to just be me.


How about you.  What's your word?



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