31 Dec 2010


Happy New Year to everyone who visits my blog, and thank you all for your lovely, kind comments during 2010, which have done so much to inspire me in my new passion.

I hope 2011 brings you all peace and happiness.

30 Dec 2010


I took more photos on the forest today and when I got back home and looked at them I noticed that they all seemed to have a predominantly golden colour caste to them. I think I'm back to my "dead things" theme again. These were grass seeds.

And this is a dead fern - almost more beautiful than a live one.

29 Dec 2010


My sister gave me these three huge dried agapanthus seed heads a couple of years ago and they live on the mantlepiece above the fireplace. It was so grey, foggy and drizzly today I couldn't take my camera out so I had a scout around the house to find something to photograph. There's a lot of shadow on the wall behind them which is causing confusion so I may have another go with different lighting some time.

28 Dec 2010


Golds and browns on the beach yesterday. I love looking down when I'm walking on the beach. I have collected heart-shaped beach pebbles for years now and I know someone else who collects pebbles with holes through them and strings them onto bleached rope.

26 Dec 2010


Today we went for a walk at the seaside. It was bright but cold - perfect for a Boxing Day walk.  I was having a coffee at a beach cafe which was below the level of the people walking along the beach and liked the sky behind this group.

This image is also my submission for this weeks' assignment in my photography course. Only one more week to go!

24 Dec 2010


I did manage to grab my camera and get out this morning to take Misty for a walk. We went up onto the forest and did quite a big hike. The sun was shining - a beautiful day. Still lots of snow about up there. I took a few photos and liked the way this branch was bowing down onto the frozen lake.

I wish a very happy Christmas to all my followers (bless you!) and hope you have oodles of joy.

23 Dec 2010


Actually, lots of snowflakes! Haven't put my camera to my eye in a few days now and am getting withdrawal symptoms. Looks like it'll be after Christmas before I get the chance now. Darn...

22 Dec 2010


Not one of my best - the focus is in entirely the wrong place. I took it handheld in low light and that was a bit silly - I should have got out the tripod and done it properly. Ho hum...

21 Dec 2010


First, apologies to Nine Muses Musing - I stalled after Journey. Life has turned upside down recently and my time hasn't seemed my own any more.

Second, as you can see from the photograph, we've been deluged with snow again plus extreme cold. But it's beginning to thaw now and I had the contents of several branches' worth of melting snow dumped down my neck when out walking.

18 Dec 2010


This is my image for Mortal Muses' Journey. For me today it is the hope for a journey out of the dark and into the light for a dearly loved friend.

17 Dec 2010


I looked everywhere for bells. All through my old photos, round the house; I even looked through the drinks cupboard to see if I had a bottle of Bells! Then I saw them - hanging from the curtain rail where I put them the other day.  And I never knew I had any. Thanks Mortal Muses!

16 Dec 2010

14 Dec 2010


Playing around with the Christmas decorations again. These are on my windowsill and taken with just the illumination of the candle lights and their reflection in the window. I used a very high ISO which has created a nice bit of noise.

12 Dec 2010


A little bit of my Christmas tree. I was really unsure about converting this into black and white as I thought it might be difficult to identify all the different shapes and textures without the colour. But once I'd done it I was pleased with the result.

10 Dec 2010


Well... I started putting up my Christmas decorations this afternoon. And then I got totally side-tracked taking photos of them. So I have a whole lot of photos to sift through and a whole lot of decorating still to do.  That's Christmas for you!

9 Dec 2010


This is my little collection of Zuni Fetishes. They are all made by native American Indians and I love them dearly. They live on the window sill in my study which is why you can see the line across the back which is part of the window pane. Deer is on the left, Mountain Lion in the middle and Bear, my favourite, on the right. They look after me.

Wolf is on my Christmas list!

8 Dec 2010


There was a hard frost last night and, again, the temperature today barely rose above freezing. I walked on the forest this afternoon which is high and the frost had been even harder. The trees were completely covered in white even in the middle of the day. There was also a bitter wind.

This is the burnt gorse that I photographed the other day, now covered in frosty gloves.

7 Dec 2010


We had a very cold night and temperatures haven't risen much during the day today. I found these spider webs, still frosted and with the sunshine reflecting off them, strung between the twigs of a shrub at the edge of a pond at lunchtime today.

While I was out I practiced shooting from the hip so I can get the hang of it for my street photography. But instead of practicing on people, I practiced on trees because they're pretty dumb and didn't object (sorry trees, I know you're not really dumb!). Of all the shots I took, only one was in focus! I think I'm going to have to work on that a bit!

6 Dec 2010


This is a photo from a few years ago. My older Wolfhound, Misty, is being attacked by the puppy, Alfie. He's only about three months old in this picture but however annoying he got Misty just put up with him and let him know that she was always the boss.

We don't have Alfie now - he developed a really bad habit of chasing anything on four legs and brought down a full-grown llama which lived not far away from us. He didn't hurt it but we felt it would only be a matter of time before he got into real trouble and we were worried that Misty, who wouldn't say boo to a goose, would start to run with him. The Irish Wolfhound Society re-homed him for us and he went to live in the Forest of Dean. No doubt he's having great fun chasing the wild boar that are abundant there! I was broken hearted at giving him up but out of the six Wolfhounds we've had he was the only one that displayed this type of temperament. He used to have his own blog called 'The Alfie Memorandum' which was great fun at the time.

Gosh, it's bringing tears to my eyes thinking of him. He was truly beautiful but unfortunately wayward.

5 Dec 2010


There was a fire on the forest a little while ago and this is the skeletal outline of a gorse bush against a background of grey sky, fog and left-over snow.

4 Dec 2010


These were hanging off the gutter at the back of my house yesterday. I have to say I've seen much better photos of icicles. Mine look a little like sharpened sausages - probably the light was in the wrong place. It was getting dark when I looked out of the window and saw them and thought I'd better take a photograph while they were still there.

I was right to do so - they had all gone by this morning and the snow has been replaced by rain. Now everything's grey and slushy - yuk!

3 Dec 2010


This is the only bit of unfrozen water that's left on our local lake and it's crowded. That's probably also because it's where people come with bread to feed the wildfowl. The swans take bread from my fingers but they have sharp beaks and they lunge so I have to be careful. When the Canada Geese are around I try to feed them by hand too but they're much shyer than the swans.

There are several of these little 'snow islands' on the lake where vegetation pokes up from the surface. Some of them are like mini sculptures.

This is a minimalist one!

2 Dec 2010


I walked to my local village store this afternoon and took its photo while I was there. There was very deep snow on the ground which you can't see in this picture but I thought the snow topping on the name over the door looked cute.

I took this picture down at the lake when I took Misty for a walk. It shows leaves under the ice with a layer of thin snow over and ducks' footprints on top.

Before I went out I spent a long time wrapping my camera up in a see-through plastic bag so it wouldn't get snowed on. I made a hole for the lens and sellotaped round the bag onto the lens hood and under the camera to keep the bag in place. Pretty nifty I thought. Until I got down the road and wanted to take a photo and couldn't for the life of me understand why I couldn't get any display on the monitor. So, unable to change my settings, I had to opt for programme mode. It wasn't until I got back home that I realized it was because the bag was over the eye piece that the monitor didn't display! Back to the drawing board...

1 Dec 2010


To be honest I'd rather have been out and about today getting some more street images, but the weather was awful and the roads treacherous and I shouldn't think there would have been many people on the streets of my local town to photograph.

So I walked round the garden to see if there was anything there and the only thing that looked reasonable were these lovely berries with their snow topping. Almost everything else was just weighed down with snow and pretty colourless.

I discovered that I could change the crop overlay tool in Lightroom to show the Golden Ratio among other crops. I do so love playing with new things; I cropped this image so the berry that I had focused on was on an intersection of the Golden ratio and I think it looks OK. It made the image a little long and thin but I don't think that matters too much. There is also a crop overlay for the Golden Spiral. Can't wait to try that one out. This is what happens when you're stuck indoors in the warm!