13 Nov 2012

Beech Tree

The beech tree in our garden in its full flush of autumn beauty. After the huge storm we had in 1987, while we were clearing and logging all the fallen pine trees in the garden, we found a tiny beech shoot just by the side of the log pile we were making. We were very careful not to disturb it or cover it with logs and this is what we got for our care.

Actually, I think this is out of focus - that or my glasses are dirty :-)

9 Nov 2012


Waiter setting a table in the dining car of the steam train. I think that's me in the reflection!

5 Nov 2012

2 Nov 2012

Crab apples

I know I should be making crab apple jelly with all these windfalls which fall into our driveway from a neighbouring property, but it's such a fiddly job. Much easier to photograph them (or at least to play around and experiment with photographing them!)

31 Oct 2012

Autumn Leaves

I'm trying to get a shadow-free background but only have natural light through windows or halogen light available. I'm hoping there's a way of doing this that doesn't involve expensive lighting equipment and if anyone reading this has any tips I'd be really grateful.

30 Oct 2012

Whitby, North Yorkshire

I loved this winding alleyway with the view of the houses on the far side of the river.

Whitby is a beautiful harbour town in North Yorkshire. The town rises either side of the River Esk which is spanned by a swing bridge. It is still a fishing port and home to one of the most famous fish and chips restaurants in the UK - The Magpie Restaurant.

It is where Captain James Cook, the 18th century seaman and explorer, learned his seamanship and is featured in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

There are many shops selling jet which was mined here by the Romans and the Victorians and became fashionable in the 19th century when Queen Victoria favoured it after the loss of her beloved Albert.

26 Oct 2012

Working on the train

This was just crying out to be converted to black and white.  I'm pleased with the slight graininess of the image.

25 Oct 2012

Three ladies and a dog!

I've been thinking a lot in the past few days about what sort of photographs I really want to be taking. This is partly due to a book I'm reading - Within the Frame by David duChemin - and partly because I want to up my game a bit a lot. It lead me to think about how I love taking candid shots of people (although I still feel very self-conscious about it) and about how much I love black and white photography and how the two things go so well together. I'm inspired by the photographs of people like Henri Cartier Bresson, Elliot Erwitt and Rui Palha. And I've been watching some video tutorials on the Scott Kelby site where he goes on a photo walk in Paris with Jay Maisel.

This is a photograph I took on holiday recently which comes nearest to what I want to do. Jay Maisel talks about the need for 'gesture' in photographs which is that moment when the person or people you're framing do something special or unusual that connects with the viewer. In the case of this photograph I think it's the dog and its appearance of boredom with the chatting women. I hope it goes in some small way to approach what he means.

24 Oct 2012

Steam Engine

Another photo taken in North Yorkshire at Pickering Station. This beautiful steam engine caused such a huge welling up of nostalgia in me I almost burst into tears. Silly me...

23 Oct 2012

19 Oct 2012

Process of Elimination

These two photographs are my submission for Kat's Exploring with a Camera: Process of Elimination post.

This is the original photograph with lots of busyness in the background which detracted from the colourful boats and kept dragging the eye into the top left-hand corner. It was badly in need of cropping.

This is the finished photograph, cropped so that the distraction is removed and with the shadows slightly lightened to give more definition to the movement in the sea.

18 Oct 2012

16 Oct 2012

Chicken and door

Is this the chicken Rosie caught? She dropped it again, whichever one it was, and ran for home.

13 Oct 2012

War Bikes

I've just got back from a holiday spent in North Yorkshire. One of the few remaining steam train lines in the country runs between Pickering and Whitby and each year in Pickering they hold a War Weekend based around the railway station. These two WW2 bikes were parked outside and I thought they'd make a good entry for The Weekend in Black and White.

24 Sep 2012

Rained Off

It rained yesterday...

...so I was stuck indoors...

... and had to find something to photograph!

21 Sep 2012

Squirrel Leftovers

Everything in my garden gets covered in pine cone leftovers after the squirrels have nibbled them. This is an old wooden table which lives right under one of the pine trees.

20 Sep 2012

third thursday challenge

Today's photograph is for Brenda's Third Thursday Challenge.  Why is it a challenge for me? Well, for a couple of reasons really.

Firstly, this is the first time I've really played around with developing a photograph in Lightroom. I recently watched a video on PhotoTuts which was a bootcamp in using Lightroom. I can't remember all the tips as it was a lot to take in in one go but I remembered quite a few items that I hadn't even realized existed in Lightroom. So I did some fine tuning to the individual colours and a little burning (that wasn't too successful but I can work on my technique!). Will I ever use Photoshop Elements again! Well, yes because...

...Secondly I designed a new banner for my blog using one of my favourite recent photos. Hope you like it and hope you join in with the Third Thursday Challenge. Thanks Brenda!

13 Sep 2012

roof textures

Took this today and played with it using my new toy - Silver Efex Pro 2. Black and white heaven!!

12 Sep 2012

from wood to field

One of my regular dog walks. The harvester was in the field today so I'm glad I got this shot with the wheat.

7 Sep 2012

out early

I took my camera with me when I went out walking this morning. Lovely light

6 Sep 2012

4 Sep 2012

peeling paint

Peeling paint on the side of an old sports shed. First in the colour series - red.

3 Sep 2012


So, having decided to photograph colours here's a black and white picture. I liked the different angles and the contrast between the hard lines and soft foliage.

2 Sep 2012

dried hydrangea

I took this when I was on holiday in Cornwall earlier this year. It was in the house we rented and it appealed to my love of dead things! It's a dried hydrangea which has faded to a beautiful soft creamy colour - I didn't tamper with the colour after photographing it at all. It sat on a window sill in the conservatory and was getting lots of light through it, giving it an ethereal look.

I've been dealing with disappointment at missing Kat's upcoming visit to the UK in October. She's holding a couple of on-location workshops and I'm going to miss both of them because I'll be away on holiday. But it's reminded me that I haven't picked up my camera enough lately and I need to do so. It's a bit like an itch that needs scratching. But I'm a little sick of taking photos of flowers, much though I love them. It's an easy non-challenging thing to do for me - a bit formulaic, and I really want to move on to other subjects. I've recently been inspired by the blog of Nichole Robertson and her beautiful book, Paris in Colour and I think I might take her idea of choosing a colour and photographing a wide range of subjects in that colour and see if I can make it work for me. It will give me focus (no pun intended!) without tying me down to a specific subject. And getting myself out of my comfort zone will encourage me to find out how to solve the problems that come with different types of photography. 

28 Aug 2012

more tapestry sampler

I think this is probably a little out of focus because it's making my eyes go funny! I've nearly finished with this sampler; I've used lots of different techniques with no real feel for a proper design so I'll finish up the weft bundles I have and call it a day and get on to something a little more structured and with more defined colour. All the weft bundles in this sampler are a mix of colours and I think it's made it look over busy. The eye isn't led through the design at all.  And my sudden decision at the bottom to put in another colour was too much too sudden. When I started it the whole thing was going to be in neutrals and then I had a 'red moment' (similar to a 'chocolate moment'!) and got too carried away.

But it's been a great learning curve for me and hopefully the next one will be more thought out! I've loved doing it.

25 Aug 2012

Cherry Gallette

Just made this. Think I need a course in food photography. It honestly looks better than this and I can't wait to try it. Recipe courtesy of Waitrose magazine. Pitted cherries courtesy of husband (whose hands are still a nice shade of red!).

13 Aug 2012


This is one of my favourite roses in the garden. It has the most amazing scent and grows in a pot near my back door. This year it's grown one long stalk to a huge height which makes it difficult to support and it's very vulnerable. I don't think it's going to survive my husband's hedge cutting exercise this weekend!

I held back from posting this until today - the rose did survive!!

10 Aug 2012

spider's web

Taken first thing this morning when the sun was just coming up and the night dew was still clinging to the spiders' webs. They looked like lots of tiny fairy hammocks!

6 Aug 2012

heathland colours

I picked these few heathers and grasses on the Ashdown Forest at the weekend. The colours are soft golds and greens mixed with vivid heathers and as I wandered along I thought how I could translate these into a tapestry piece.

So today I translated this into paint in my sketchbook so I can start finding yarns and thinking about composition. Unfortunately the photograph of the grass and heather doesn't show up the vibrance of some of the colours properly. Put that down to lack of photographic ability!!

3 Aug 2012


I love these. They don't last long and they're quite invasive but those flame coloured flowers are just gorgeous.