2015 Photo a Day Set 21

Well this is a bit of a boring(?) week with half images I managed to take coming from the back garden.  There will be a separate post about the back garden for gardening related things but as this post relates to the photo a day challenge (or a photo most days challenge) then we’ll stick with that.

It’s interesting …. we’re nearing half way through the year (well, about month to go to 182.5) – day 145 is today (Monday) at time of writing this and I’m at 130 images …. it’s means I’m one down a week for most weeks but I’m still taking images and enjoying thinking about what to photograph so I’m viewing this as a success and it’s definitely impacting the way I look at things.  Anyway, onto this week and we’ve returned to the floral theme with a vengeance.

Monday I was a bit tired so made it to the local field where these little cheery things were waving at me in the breeze.  Slightly overexposed as they kept moving but I quite like them like this so didn’t correct for it.

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Tuesday was one of the (three) clematis in the back garden which has just burst into bloom.  There’s even more flowers now, 6 days later.

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Wednesday is a shot I really am quite pleased with …. I was in London for the day and you so rarely see proper red telephone boxes these days that I was surprised to see three in a row.  Needless to say I’ve been past here many a time without having observed them before but they caught my eye and just had to be photographed.

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Thursday was a write off thanks to Wednesday so the next image is actually from the local field where I wobbly walked to then sat down to throw tennis balls for the dog.  You wouldn’t realise you’re actually looking at the A34 (main road in England and far too busy and noisy) would you?

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Friday I had other things on my mind and won’t inflict baby scan photographs on you but needless to say, actual photographic images rather than sonograms did not play a big part of the day and the camera was stuck in my bag.

We have these lovely huge pale blue iris’s in the garden at the moment and I just love them.  We also have darker almost midnight coloured ones but this year they were hidden behind the foliage of the pale blue one’s and they were past their best by the time I spotted them.  What I like is the furry centre coated in pale yellow pollen and the fabulous petal construction encouraging bees to crawl down to reach the nectar dusting themselves liberally in the pollen as they go.  Very clever.  I spent far too long getting excited about them on Saturday.

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Sunday is not such an exciting shot but it’s the length of the one flower bed in the garden.  You’ll see the white clematis in the middle, the pale blue of the iris’s but we’ve also got pinks and other blues from more clematis, some aubretia and I’m just waiting for the peonies to appear.  Not having much of a garden, I’m loving having the different greens and colours on this bed and it’s a pleasure to look at when you’re not out and about so much.

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Next week will be a bit of all change …. we go on holiday on Thursday for a week and are going on Safari – can’t wait to share those images with you.

p.s.  I’ve made the post images larger this time – what do you think?

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2015 Photo a Day Set 20

This week appears to have been largely about the local plants.  With spring having sprung the variety of flowers and things to look at seems endless so I’ve put on my 60mm macro lens (effective 90mm) and have been mostly looking at plants.  First up are the iris’s down by the river Itchen.

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The following day I saw my first duckling of the year.  Not the best image as I didn’t have my full zoom lens and the mother was a bit freaked out by woman with stick and dog stopping to point something black at them.  We had fun, well, I had fun trying to improve the angle but she was not for having it.

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Then it was the turn of the dandelion.  This is underexposed about 1.5 stops.  Trying to get focus at proper exposure proved to be too much as the white of the dandelion head was so bright compared to the greenery surrounding it.  I learnt something as I’d never tried this before and I’m pleased with the result.

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Thursday I didn’t quite get out of the house with the camera so having listened to a podcast about not confusing light sources in the house (house lighting has a different dominant wavelength to natural) I put my yarn for a baby blanket together.  The green square is how each one will look and I’m using a mix of the green, yellow and blue to make the blanket.  I liked how one was still a skein, one had been wound to a ball and one was a blocked square.  Slight DoF issues due to a poor choice of shutter speed and ISO to get a good aperture size but it’s ok.Day-134

Friday was a comparatively early morning shot for me – 7am and there was dew everywhere.  No idea what this plant was but I had a lot of fun trying to get the droplets into focus and playing with the light refracting into rainbows from them 🙂  I chose a droplet sort of focus image for the day.

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Saturday was a garden day as the weather was so nice and when we took the dog out for a short stroll she was that happy I just couldn’t resist ….

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Finally, flowers from the conker tree to finish the week.

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I’m quite pleased with the photos from this week 🙂  Maybe I’ll keep my macro lens on.

2015 Photo a Day Set 19

This week was back to the grindstone with work and I just missed the Monday.  Tuesday however was a visit to see customers just adjacent to the Shard so I had to try for a shot.  One day I’d like to see the view from the top rather than the bottom.

Day-125The following day I was surprised by how much the local field had changed over the past couple of weeks.  It’s as if spring has just flung itself onto the landscape and the tiny little grass like stalks are suddenly long enough to completely hide the dog (she is there but I couldn’t spot her).

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The next day I was a bit tired so it was a case of looking at the pansies outside the front door.  i’ve been trying to use manual focus a bit more to improve focus for macro images and need to learn to review the shots immediately … this was the only one of about 25 that was (just about) in focus.

Day-127This seems to have been a grey week with the next shot from the local river.  The photographer has recommended cropping to improve landscapes and it is helping somewhat.  How to make a drab day look exciting however, I have no idea as there was just not enough light to cast shadows.

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Alfred however had some early evening sun, lots of texture and other challenges in how to bring out the contrast without making the sky so bright you couldn’t see him.

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And finally Sunday another tired day so trying to capture natural light on some lovely lovely new yarn. I love the colours but getting the balance of ISO, shutter speed and DOF right without shake proved a little much for me on this one and I’m not 100% happy with it.

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Writing this somewhat late and having just flicked through some of my history of images, I’ve realised I spend quite a bit of time looking at nature.  Plants rather than wildlife as they tend not to move so quickly (there are many many deleted photographs of attempts of shooting birds, ladybirds, bugs, dogs, deer, cows etc all just out of focus).  They’re also easily accessible – I can get to three different fields within 2 minutes from the house (and within the distance I can walk) plus there’s the garden.  Getting out to London for work or my local city centre where Alfred resides has generally been a bit more challenging so I’ve looked very little at architecture etc.

I also enjoy trying to take images outside rather than inside – yes I like photographing yarn and creations I find it much more satisfying to capture the outdoors and the changing seasons and the indoor shots (unless it’s showing off a finished item) are much more related to days I can’t get out due to the ME and am trying not to miss a day.   That said, I’m getting more mobile so I wonder what the next few months will bring photo wise.

2015 Photo a Day Set 18

What a week.  I can certainly recommend a visit to the Assynt area of the UK, it is spectacular even if it is a bit of a long drive from the South of England.  We only had a few nights there before relocating to the borders which are also lovely but not quite the same as being so far up North.  I’ve struggled to choose one image for each day but will put up another post for some other images later.

Monday we visited Clachtoll on the coast, it’s a beautiful beach and we had a lovely walk along the coast a short way to see a man about a Broch.  The rocks and the sea were just phenomenal.  I’ve always loved looking at the sea breaking on the shore and the spray but the rock formations were pretty special as well – huge slabs having just sheared away at an angle, just spectacular (and that’s before I start on the colour of the sea etc …

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The following day I liked the view of Quinag from a very gentle meander (it’s all my tired legs could do) round a lochin (small loch or lake if you’re not used to the Scottish description).  I missed getting a good shot of Suilven which dominated the landscape for much of our short stay up there.  I’m wondering if having interesting landscape makes landscape photography much easier as some of the images acquired were so much better than those I’ve grumbled about before.  That said, seeing what the photographer can do with them is phenomenal … so need to learn to use Lightroom properly!

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This next image is of Rosslyn Chapel.  If you’ve read the DaVinci Code, you know where I mean.  I just liked the unusual angle of this and the beautiful red and yellow sandstone.  Well worth a visit if you’re ever near Edinburgh.

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and now we’re onto images near Peebles in the Borders, sunset and sunrise from the hotel room.   The third image is notable only in that it’s me on a bike.  I’ve not been able to cycle in 3 years now and we hired an e-bike for an hour for me to try.  The grin after the first wee shot was immense so although it’s not the best image, it’s in there for posterity.

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Finally, it’s about time I took another crafting image so please meet Duncan who was finally finished on Sunday.

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This may be my first week without flowers!