2015 Photo a Day Set 17

A somewhat belated post for last week – the excuse being a visit to properly up North in Scotland with intermittent mobile reception at best and no data rate whatsoever.   It’s great for switching off but not so good for uploading photographs. We start the week at home with a snap of the local library.  It has a fairly impressive facade but what caught my eye on Monday was the side of the building and the yellow bricks. Day-110 Tuesday was the grumpy swans who took exception to me stopping to photograph them.  This was just before they left in a huff. Day-111and Wednesday was a silly one – the dog had a new collar for the trip up North … just a quick snap on the phone so not a great photograph and really in need of some editing.  The collar lasted one walk before it was lost. Day 112 Thursday I was travelling with work and round some fascinating places in London carrying the camera  but work got in the way so all I captured was the station just before hopping the train home.  The roof is really quite impressive – glass for what seems like miles. Day-113 The weekend begins to arrive …. Friday’s image didn’t actually happen due to spending 12 hours in the car but waking up to the following in Aviemore on Saturday morning was worth it.  The moody sky just after the snow had stopped while sitting in a lovely warm cafe for breakfast (I’d recommend the Mountain Cafe above one of the outdoor shops to all who visit – the breakfasts are fantastic) looking over towards the Lairig Ghru.  It’s quite a well known pass through the mountains, helpfully slightly hidden by a tree top in the image below and is a classic valley shaped by glaciers with a very distinctive shape (U shaped if memory serves me correctly). Day-114 From there it was another few hours drive further north into Assynt where there are some of the oldest rocks in the world and some pretty impressive coastal views.  Unfortunately looking west meant looking into the setting sun so it’s all shadows but amazing to look at. Day-115 Sunday has a couple of images – the first was somewhat of a surprise to us …. we were not expecting snow down at sea level at the end of April.  It was fascinating looking at how much later Spring is when you’re 600+ miles north from where you live …. the primroses were just coming out and the gorse here was in full bloom.  The yellows were spectacular across the hillside … until they turned white on the Sunday morning.  It eventually cleared up and we got the view back, but what a different view.  This landscape is taken just to the right of the above image – it’s the bay rather than the harbour.  Yes I could have lightened it and prettified it but it was actually a grey day and I want to remember it like that.  By the next morning, it was all gone! Day-116 Day-116a The next post will have a few images from Assynt – the scenery is worth a the long drive as it is something special.

2015 Photo a Day Set 16

A short one this week.

To start with, I’m going to have to ask the photographer in the house (yes I have a (tame) professional photographer in the house) how to make landscapes interesting.  This was a stunning warm day up on one of the downs.  Lovely scenery and views and frankly, it just looks bland (and this was the best shot). Day-104 I appear to be a bit better at macro style flowers … but that is helped by the tulips being particularly vibrant in the late afternoon sun. Day-106 This next one was taken looking through an alleyway to the high street in the city I live.  It’s the oustide patio of a not particularly wonderful pub but I’d completely forgotten how nice the metalwork is.  One good thing for this project is that I’m looking a lot more at things. Day-107 For the weekend, I had to include a photograph of the workers.  The photographer is in the foreground helping out and my DH has hidden behind the youngest.   Not an exciting image but a record of the backbreaking (according to them) work to clear the moss from the front garden before we put down bark and pots.  I’ll have more images when it looks pretty again. Day-108

2015 Photo a Day Set 15

In this post we reach Day 100!  Woohoo!  That’s a whole 27.4% of the way through 2015.  Maybe I should be waiting until mid afternoon on April 24th which is 33.33ish% of the way through 2015.

This week most of the images were taken in Scotland where I was staying with my parents for the week for work.   Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are all images of little people.  Monday’s was particularly frustrating.  I was out with some friends I went to school with (and that wasn’t yesterday) and their assorted children.  I photographed all 7 children and all the adults.  Out of all of that, this handsome chap was the only acceptable one.


Tuesday and someone else to photograph – she has modelled before but today she was more interested in emptying cupboards.  However when she turned to look into the oven, the lighting was great so i’m quite pleased with this one.


Wednesday was with one of the friends from Monday and we were out in the local woods with the dogs.  I’ve got some great facial expressions of row row row your boat but this one made me smile as they were both having such fun.


The next two were actually taken on the same day in a deserted university on the way to a meeting.  Helpfully I was a day out so went out on the Friday particularly take an image on Day 100 and was a day late.  Muppet.  Anyway, the weather was sooooo good that I cheated and put two photographs from the same day in (day 101) and I particularly like the cloisters image.  I’d actually spent quite some time playing with the light and shadows of the sun streaming through the stone pillars and this image was snapped just as I was finishing up – the warmth of the glow from the sun was so much nicer compared to all the others that this is the one chosen.


Finally my last two were also taken on the same day but I had spotted the magnolia tree along the road from me as I was finishing the drive back to my home.  I was too tired to get the camera out at that point so went back the following morning.  I didn’t have a sufficiently zoom lens as this was in someones garden but the overall effect was ok.  No idea what the other tree was but the yellow/green glowed in the sunlight.


2015 Photo a Day Set 14

The start of another catchup session.  The photos (sorry, I should say images) were taken and processed but I was away and my laptop charger was at home so they were stuck on my laptop languishing for a little while.

Following the visitors over the weekend for birthdays and proper tea/cake, Monday 30th was yet another busy day with a visit to the office.  Another day where no photographs were taken.  This is turning into more of 5 photos a week rather than a photo a day.

First up on Tuesday 31st was a slightly unwilling model sat in his favourite seat in the house.  This was a break from learning to program minecraft plugins in Java over the Easter holidays.  Slowly learning that indoor photography when you don’t have a flash benefits from a higher ISO.  This one is only ISO800 but it was still full daylight.


Wednesday 1st April so I thought a photograph of spring was needed. This is a blackthorn.  Random botanical fact – hawthorn goes into leaf before flowering, blackthorn flowers before leaves grow.


Another missed day on the Thursday as I was desperately trying to clear the inbox before Easter and then on Friday we nipped into the city for some bits and bobs and try as I might, I could not make a wet rainy morning look sunny.Day-92

April 4th and we’re on Easter Saturday.  My DH had brought me back this lovely posy from a walk in the morning.  Another indoor photograph where I’m learning ….. ISO ended up being up about 1600 as I needed a minimum of f5.6 to get most of the flowers in focus.


Easter Sunday.  I took so many shots of landscapes and easter things and tbh none were very good so used my parents dog as a model instead as she was more willing than my dog to pose.


2015 Photo a Day Set 13

This was a bit of a mixed week starting with the nearly obligatory (or that is how it is now seeming to me) image of the flowers in the house.  Tulips are such cheerful harbingers of spring.  It led me to a bit of a spring theme for a couple of days – catkins and the first bees of the season on Tuesday followed by the hawthorns bursting into leaf on the Wednesday.


I’m learning that with the sensor on my X-pro 1 I do not need to be quite so afraid of upping the ISO so I can have some depth of field in the house under not great light conditions without it going grainy.  Not quite 100% there yet (as at least one of the tulips was out of focus) but it’s getting there.


Apart from having the wrong lens to really zoom in on the bee at the bottom of the frame (and it’s an even more boring image if I crop on the bee) I’ve learned here that they never stay still … getting it in focus was a challenge and this is only one I kept of about 50 images.


Late afternoon / early evening sunshine makes for some lovely lighting of the hawthorn.  There’s a whole hedge of them and it’s great how they synchronise and all transform from brown to green in a matter of days.  I’d forgotten about the “golden hour” – must get out more when the light is that good.

Thursday however was a no-go.  Work got in the way and I completely failed to take an image of the conference room or view from the hospital windows where the conference was being held from my iPhone.  I did remedy that on the Friday with a moody shot (It was not taken in black and white but the sky was that grey it looks almost like one) of the hospital landing pad taken just after we’d finished day 2 of the conference.

Day-85Saturday and Sunday were family days with two birthdays being celebrated and a house full of visitors.   It was an excuse for afternoon tea and cake in a harlequin tea set that originally was a 50th wedding anniversary present given to my great great grandparents.  It was lovely to see it being used but the boys didn’t quite get the harlequin and matched the colours up!


The last image of the week was recording an amazing hamper of fruit, eggs and random fig chocolate sausages – the scale of it needed to be photographed to be believed!