2016 Photo a Day Week 3

I know I mentioned this last post but just to make people jealous … I’m on holiday.  It’s not a bleak dreary January for me with the merriment of the festive season a fading memory, replaced by short days, rain, cold weather and long office hours.  Oh no.  I’m on holiday for two whole weeks.

I’m on maternity leave too so please don’t point out I’m in the middle of a 9 month holiday, this is different.  My lovely husband is with me and we’re away in Scotland in one of my favourite places in the whole world having some down time and it’s wonderful.

We arrived slightly late on Monday night and the sun had set but the stars were not out yet so the week starts with an image of some cheerful lights in the hutte.  (It’s a chalet but we call it the hutte in memory of going to the mountains to stay in a hutte in Austria – just go with it). It was fun playing with changing the focus to have bright spots of light in the image through to having the lights in focus as in the image above.

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The following morning was cold and frosty and the spiders webs were quite something to behold.  This was taken from the door of the hutte just before sunrise with a very flat light.  Once the sun came up – it all melted (well, the frost on the spiders web did, the snow hung around for a little longer).

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Wednesday was a magical cold, clear(ish) day so a trek out to Ryvoan bothy for lunch was on the cards.  Bothy’s are fairly rustic shelters dotted about the countryside (there are about 100 in Scotland), there to shelter a traveller and great for staying over at without needing to lug a tent.  This one is easy to access from the Cairngorms so perfect for a sheltered lunch spot.

2016 Day-20Importantly for me, this is a huge leap forward.  A year or even when up here 6 months ago I would not have even considered walking out to here and while tired upon returning to the car, this was definitely a very manageable (flat) walk.  The grin on my face while out was huge.

Unfortunately the wonderful snow has not hung around and following a pretty spectacular sunrise the following morning, it warmed up and there’s none left down here.   There’s still plenty on Cairngorm (just visible in the distance on the left hand side of the image below) and on the other tops but we’re back to mud now.

2016 Day-21

Friday was another walk, this time round a stunning loch on the Rothiemurchus estate, Loch an Eilean.  There are lots of images on the web of the castle on a rock in the water looking over towards Cairngorm in the distance and I did my best to replicate them but I liked the image below of the late afternoon sun instead this time.

2016 Day-22

The image for Saturday is from Roseisle beach on the Moray Firth.  It’s mile after mile of golden sand, shallow seas (which are warm enough for swimming in, in the summer, even though it’s the North Sea in Scotland) and on this particular day … stunning sunshine.  Just fabulous.

2016 Day-23

Finally for the week, something a bit different.  This weekend saw the 33rd annual Sled Dog Rally in Aviemore.  Trying to photograph moving dogs with a moving wheeled sled behind them, with reasonable depth of field so everything was in focus proved challenging (and beyond me) so here’s a shot of just the dogs instead.

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Weeks like this are a joy for photography … you don’t have to think about what to capture, just taking the camera with you works well.  Lots of fun.

2016 Photo a Day Week 2

January fairly seems to be flying by doesn’t it.  I’m writing this on Tuesday 19th … what happened to the other 18 days?  I’m sure it should only be the 4th.

This week has had some enjoyable photography and a couple of days where only the iPhone was used (mainly for taking images of the wee one).  I’ll spare you the baby photos so there are 5 images for this week.

I’m not sure what I think of the wordpress mosaic of images as it doesn’t give the focus on my favourites but I’m using a dongle this week as we’re away on holiday so it’s faster than selecting the images individually.

The week started with a shot I’m quite proud of of a swan.  It’s nearly an adult with the white plumage but the grey beak just lets you know its not quite fully grown.

The next image is of a lego camper van as I didn’t get out of the house that day.  I just liked the sun on the curtains.

Moving on swiftly from adults enjoying building lego models, the sun sets nice and early so the afternoon dog walk provided ample opportunity for silhouette shots of trees and funky clouds.

Next was something quite different – I know chemical processing plants are not pretty but actually in the early morning light with a frost all about up near Chester I thought they looked pretty impressive.  At night with all the lights they could even be considered pretty but day time it’s just a phenomenal feat of engineering.

Last but not least for the week an obligatory shot of the snow (there will be more of these in the week 3 set as we’re up in Aviemore for the week and it’s been gently snowing all day).  I like the anticipation of this one – the logs are waiting to become raised beds and are dormant under the snow for the winter.

I’ve changed my mind … you’re not being spared the baby photos completely.  Just one rather than the two but I quite like the bright colours of the toys in this.

2016 Day-14

Here’s to week three!

Photo a Day 2016 Set 1

Year two of photo a day.  Fun!  I like working from Monday to Sunday so this is a longish set with an extra 3 days.

Quite a few of these are from various dog walks … the challenge however is the grey skies and glum weather.  One of the nice things is not having to get up stupidly early to catch sunrise (the first image is sunrise on January 1st!)  but it was followed by a few very dull days which I don’t have the processing skill to turn into a vibrant image yet.  I do like the image of the Cathedral through the avenue of trees, it’s just missing sunlight!  Still, it’s good getting out most days and it’s nice to be taking images.  I particularly like the late sun on the clouds and a blue sky … it gives me hope.

These images were interspersed with a couple of images acquired in the house the days when I just didn’t fancy going out so played with my flash instead.   I quite like the tangerine as it’s so glossy.  The flat lay of the fleece suit for the wee one is ok, I didn’t quite have the angle correct which is a shame.  Need to think about that more (possibly a plain background rather than the cutting mat) and also how to increase the interest in the image.

I’ve been reading a lot about people choosing words for the year or themes instead of resolutions.  It’s an interesting idea but me… I prefer my challenge to take at least one image a day and taking joy in the everyday.  I hope you can take joy from the every day as well.

Happy 2016

7:30am on January 1st 2016 and I’m the only one awake in the house.  The  baby has fed and dozed off again and even the dog is asleep. What else do you do but pick up (the metaphorical) pen and paper and start to write?  Knit you say?  Well I’ll be doing that after this and disturbing the dog to take her round the block.

Firstly wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2016 and beyond.  In the immortal words of John Lennon (albeit about Christmas), “let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear”.

On with the show….

2016 has been a pretty life changing year in some fantastic ways.  We’ve had an addition to the family in the form of the wee one.  He’s not really so wee but he’s absolutely amazing.  I never realised you could have such strength of emotion for someone quite so small.  Here he is with his big brothers yesterday.

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Health wise, I started the year able to walk about 500 steps a day and not even walk the dog round the block.  I was working very part time, had to give up my allotment and found bits of the year really quite tough as ME/CFS can be pretty isolating.   I didn’t write about it much – I had energy for one thing and chose for that to try and be a positive blog a week of photographs rather than a “woe is me, I’m doing very little” type blog.  Fast forward to December where I had weeks where I averaged 10,000 steps.  Yes that’s a heck of an improvement and mostly I have the wee one to thank for this (with a smattering of good luck and some judicious pacing).  I’m one of the lucky one’s and from my limited understanding, the parasitic nature of growing a child inside you led to a suppressed immune system for 9 months.  There’s not much research but it seems to be that there’s about a 1/3 split each way for those with ME – it does nothing, you get worse or you improve.  There’s a possibility it’s helped reset my system … I live in hope as 10 weeks on, we’re still going strong.

I may update the subject of the blog – I have every intention of continuing with a photograph a day.  I definitely will be continuing to knit, plan to expand my sewing beyond a quilt, changing bag and mat to the occasional garment but the allotment is no more.  That said, we did grow a good selection of food in the garden so there may be wittering on that in 2016 and I plan to start experimenting more with cooking too.

Anyway – back to the photography.  We went out for a walk to Lepe beach yesterday.  It’s a pretty cool place with the remains of WW2 features from where they were building barrage boats for the D-Day landings.  I even got everyone to pose for a shot near a mooring point (The wee one was in a sling on me at this point. He was fast asleep and there was no way I was disturbing him to pose for a photo).

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There were also some spectacular cloud effects thanks to the sun, wind and rain.  I have my DH to credit for spotting this – his iPhone image is broadly comparable to mine below (taken on the X-Pro1)

Day 365

I’d also like to take this opportunity to re-post a couple (12) of my favourite images of the year.  I spent so long photographing flowers but my favourites are scenery and random objects!

Have a wonderful 2016 🙂