Sunday, 31 January 2010

Day 20: Starlings

We did the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. It's good to help the RSPB out with figuring out how our birds are doing but it's also a good incentive to spend more time than usual watching the birds that come into the garden and make use of the seed feeders. Also, at this time of year when it's really cold, you get some visitors you wouldn't normally get - we counted a Long-Tailed Tit, a Thrush and 4 Yellowhammers which are not common in our garden!

This picture is of a couple of Starlings. Starlings are listed as red status by the RSPB which means that their numbers have declined severely and their breeding population and range has severely declined. Even I remember when large flocks of Starlings would go from garden to garden picking through the grass for food. I'm glad I still see them, but I wish it was more frequently. We were lucky to count 16 in the garden and there were probably 25 total in the area. I hope they're still coming next year and that their numbers grow. When you take a good look at them and their speckled feathers which glow green in the sun - they're really quite beautiful birds and they know how to put on a stunning aerial display.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Day 19: Fairy Ring

Well I kinda thought it looked like a fairy ring - a rather posh and modern one but anyway. I had 4 photos I loved today but this is the one that has the most things about it that I love. I like the curve of the path and that the stones are catching the light in a sea of green, I like the shadows of the trees making stripes on the grass, the rays of light coming from the sun and even the little circles which actually make me think of fairies even more!

Since I had trouble deciding and I really love the other photos too I have uploaded them to DeviantArt:
Rufous the Tree
The Bin Raker
Rays of Light

Friday, 29 January 2010

Day 18: Winter Sunshine

And I thought there would be nothing particularly wintry available! The sun still isn't getting high enough in the sky to melt the thick ice on this pond - the furthest bank is clear and it's slowly progressing but it's in shade too much of the day I guess. We finally had blue skies and sunshine today and I very much enjoyed it - as did the ducks. They were all sunbathing until they heard a small person with a bread bag appear :-)

I also added a couple of pictures of plants I took in the garden this morning to DeviantArt:
Honest Seeds
Fluffy Seed Heads

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Day 17: Signs of Spring?

I spotted these buds on the Sambuca tree when I was out putting out seed for the wild birds - seems rather early for buds but it has been rather milder recently. So I guess this completes my set of season related pictures! I can't imagine there will be snow or frost to photograph tomorrow and I kinda think that both winter and autumn featured in the previous picture - the dead leaves of autumn and the bare tree of winter. This is rather a dark photo but yet again we were having a dark day. I do like the way the blurry branches in the background make a pattern that reminds me of a stained glass window.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Day 16: Reflecting on Autumn

It would be interesting to know what everyone saw when they first looked at this picture - I showed it to a friend and they couldn't figure out what they were looking at. It's a pool of water with a tree reflected in it, or perhaps silhouetted is a more appropriate word. What I like about it is that it looks like a tree with brown bark as you'd expect. It looks slightly strange, but it's only as you follow the trunk down to the bottom of the picture you can see the dead leaves shed last year at the bottom of the pool. Further up the trunk it's the colour of the leaves and the shadows between them that give the impression of bark. I think it's ironic in a way, but also pretty cool.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Day 15: Holding onto Summer

The Rainbows were using their hand prints to decorate a banner today and I got to do a couple in different colours - yellow, then blue. I've always liked squidgy paint and how it feels on your hands and how it mixes and makes patterns and colours, so I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos before I washed my hands. Looking at it now, on the laptop, it makes me think of summer - the colours look like those you would use as a child, to paint the sky and the sunshine and the sand and sea at the beach. I think I'm looking forward to some bright yellows and blues :-)

Monday, 25 January 2010

Day 14: Popcorn

Yet another grey miserable day. I stayed home and ate popcorn.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Day 13: Sunset

None of today's photos did justice to what we actually saw - nor did they quite look as good full screen as they did on the back of the camera. I think part of the problem is that full screen there is just too much space for it to fill and it doesn't look as exciting and interesting as it does when it's smaller and more compact. The other problem of course is exposure and definition in the clouds. The clouds made it in real life and they're just not quite showing up as strongly as I'd like here. But anyway, I think this is my favourite of the lot - it has lovely colour, lots going on in the clouds if you look closely and I like the curve of the river picked out in the pinks of the sunset.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Day 12: Rainy Day Swan

Another grey, miserable, rainy day. But we went out anyway! Which is so much better than moping about all afternoon and wishing you were out and getting bored and headachey. However, I did learn that there are very few photographable things on a dark rainy day - most end up overexposed and blurry or underexposed and too dark to see anything and potentially still blurry...Swans are an exception to the rule. They do have a habit of being just too bright white on sunny days, but on a grey day like this I think it turned out pretty well. I like the colour of the water and I think it compliments the swan beautifully.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Day 11: In Loving Memory of Frank

This was taken in April last year when I was visiting my aunt, uncle, cousins and their 2 dogs. We went for a walk in the woods and Frank and Fin (both boxers) had a great time playing with sticks and digging and chewing apart rotten wood. It was a lovely wood and a lovely walk and I got my 2 favourite pictures of Frankie - this being one of them. Frankie had to be put to sleep today because he had cancer in his stomach. We love you and will miss you lots Frankie Woozles.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Day 10: Hurray For Bullfinches!

I went for a walk down the country park today since the sun was finally giving out some decent light and the sky wasn't grey with clouds and I saw deer! You may notice the picture above is not a deer...this is because deer suck! The minute you think they've all disappeared then another few go running off showing their white butts and nothing else - they are just too well camouflaged *sigh*. Ok so I did get quite close to a few of them and one turned to have a look at me but it was still too far for a decent photo. I also saw Jays - yeah they flew off into the distance before I got near them too and so did the Buzzard. But here we have one of the lovely Bullfinches who actually sat and posed for me - and I thought they were shy and didn't like people much! Thank you Mr. Bullfinch :-)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Day 9: Harry Potter and the Digital Difference

I wasn't having much inspiration today so I looked at the list for a subject and spotted reading - I have been thinking about this one for a few days on and off and came up with something else I think I want to try but then this idea popped into my head. There's no doubt reading on electronic devices has become popular and I can see why and I have even done it myself (namely when I couldn't find one of my books), but I will always prefer books - I love books and I very much hope they are never replaced by electronics.

So here we have a book and a .pdf of a book - I'll give you that it's Harry Potter since it should be very obvious from the words on the page that's what it is - but which book and which book is on the screen? Gold star for whoever works out which book it is and a platinum star for whoever works out what's on the screen!

PS - TalkingDog is excluded from this because he's a smarty pants and has already figured it out in 2 minutes flat!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Day 8: Singer

This is the case of an old Singer sewing machine that belonged to my great grandmother. I really like it - and the sewing machine inside. They don't make things like this anymore! Lovely wood and painting and it looks old too - for some reason the look of age, in wood in particular, is appealing to me.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Day 7: Forgotten Christmas Treasure

I forgot I had these! Better eat them before the pirates come to get their gold back... *munchmunchmunchmunch*

Day 6: Duck!

We went to the garden centre today which I like because there are robins who sit and sing close to you, ducks, hens, and all the fish, birds and small mammals in the pet shop. This is one of the ducks as you may have figured. He was trying to sleep but kept having to get up and wander after his friend who was still looking for food!

I had trouble narrowing it down to one photo so I have posted the other favourite on my DeviantArt account:

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Day 5: Orbs

This is a marble taken in front of my window from which you can see the street lights on the roundabout at the bottom of all the gardens. I was really after a good photo of the marble but when it turned out the street lights looked cool I decided to stick with this and just crop out the boring blackness around it. It actually makes me think of crystal balls and the orbs they see on ghost hunting shows and claim are spirits... if I could have made a cut out for the compact camera then I would have made ghosty bokeh!

My friend mentioned the fact I have posted mostly dark photos so far which I hadn't actually noticed. The thing is that I live in Scotland and at the moment we are getting just less that 8 hours between sunrise and sunset - not a lot of light if you sleep in or end up doing things during the day. Plus everyone knows that Scottish people are pure white because they almost never see the sun for clouds ;-)

PS - New DA picture posted:
Sunlit Wolf

Day 4: The Lego Skeleton Army Take Over Suburbia

I spent all day playing with cars and Playmobile and Lego! All that playing left very little time for photography but I was rather taken with the Lego skeleton and skeleton horse. I managed to get this picture while small boy was otherwise occupied with lunch and I wasn't required to be playing!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Day 3: On The Edge Of The Thaw

Today was pretty dull and grey and miserable again and it even snowed a bit which sent the poor birds into a feeding frenzy. This was before the snow shower and the blackbird was in the front garden looking for some apple Mum had put out. I liked that she was stood on the edge of the snow, showing that the thaw has started. Unfortunately it has turned out to be a rather dark image but it was the one I liked best from today and who cares if it's not perfect - black birds aren't easy to expose well and I was shooting through the double glazed front window. Accepting that every image this year can't be perfect will be a challenge though...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Day 2: The Orchid

So I have been waiting for a nice bright sunny day to take a photo of Mum's orchid and today I got fed up waiting and just went at it with the flash - surprisingly it turned out well. I used my little compact camera and although it's good for putting in your pocket and it does macro...well I've just never quite got to grips with not having complete control since I started out with my DSLR. In this case the soft flash hasn't completely washed out my subject (a pleasant change) and although it created a strange shadow (possibly because of the lens), I think it has actually made the photo better - I like the way the shadow and the petals of the lower flower create a frame for it and the flash shows up how it glitters. Orchids are very strange flowers, but they are very pretty.

I have also added this to my DeviantArt account:

Day 1: Canis Amabilis

Canis Amabilis should mean something like adorable dog in Latin - but I just looked on Google so I doubt it's accurate :-p Meet Puppy! He is my best model and will no doubt help me on future occasions. Today we tried out creating shaped bokeh with a shaped aperture and it went not too bad - I got the lights looking like stars - but Puppy isn't very well lit and there is some shading caused by the aperture. So it's not perfect but it was a new project and we tried it and that is the point! Also, I think we will be trying it again...

In The Beginning...

...there was a person who decided to jump on the bandwagon and do the whole photo a day for 365 days thing. Well at least I'm going to try - might motivate me to take more photos - and on the days where there are no decent photos... well that's a good motivator to sort out some of the 20+ folders of photos I have and find a good one to share!

PS - Each day is punctuated by my sleeping - not midnight ;-)