Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Day 79: Under The Weather

I'm not sure this is showing up as well as it should but this daffodil is being weighed down by a layer of slushy snowy ice - yes, we've had lovely weather today too! It was pretty hard to expose properly but this does show the veining in the petals and, particularly if you look at the top of the flower you should be able to see the slush. There are some lovely water droplets too and just the way it is hanging it's head makes it look miserable - poor daffodil. The snow turned to rain and washed away all the snowy ice and now it's all stopped so it should be much happier now.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Day 78: Fallen Leaves

"In a crooked little town they were lost and never found
Fallen leaves, fallen leaves, fallen leaves on the ground"

Points to anyone other than my dad who figures out the title and quote! I thought it was quite appropriate though as this skeleton of a leaf looks rather like an aerial shot of a city - crooked and in which you might well get lost. It is a horrible day - it has poured rain all day and then switched to snow about 6/7pm so I broke out my rainy day idea in the form of this leaf I picked up when we were out for a walk a couple of weeks ago. It's not perfect and I had to crop a little of the left off because I just couldn't get enough depth of field to make all the kinks and folds in it sharp, even with flash on, because of the low light, but oh well - I like it anyway.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Day 77: Rainy Day Daffodils

It has poured with rain for the best part of today and I think it's actually getting kinda sleety now. However, this struck me as a good idea and I think it's pretty good in practice too! I'd actually be tempted to try doing a macro of the droplets of water if it was still raining tomorrow... not that I really want it to rain ;-p

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Day 76: Treebeard

This has to be an Ent, right?! So technically this is cheating because I took this photo on Saturday, but Sundays are a bit of a rush when you're away with Brownies or Guides - you have to get everything packed up - including the girls - and the house cleaned and tidied and by Sunday everyone is tired and wants to go home so it's the worst time for manual labour really ;-p It was also rather grey and rainy when I did have a minute to look outside so the only photos I got today were of the girls. I figured since I had taken photos and they can't be shown then this was perfectly justifiable! It is pretty cool too - it's a shame when trees have to get cut down but it seems better when they can make something cool out of them like this.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Day 75: Leaves On The Line

The country park the Brownie house is set in has miniature railway tracks and there are sometimes trains - not this weekend but I really liked this quick snap I got as we walked past and I'm not entirely sure why. The slight curve and the diagonal path across the frame is good but there's also something about the grass, moss, leaves and twigs I like too - plus the added bonus I could title it "Leaves On The Line" ;-)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Day 74: Muddy Puddles

Small boy was with us at the Brownie house until his grandad came to get him just before the Guides started arriving and I ended up out in the rain with him while he puddle splashed! He is well equipped with waterproof trousers, wellies and spare socks and the reason for this? I, as honorary auntie, took my job very seriously and taught him the joys of puddle splashing and leaf rustling when I was babysitting :-) So this is a picture of the wellies of a happy 3 year old and it is named after an episode of Peppa Pig which I'm sure he will appreciate! It could also be named "The Calm Before The Storm" - you should have seen the splashes - some were making it past his knees (unfortunately none of the splashy ones were quite as cool as this which I'm slightly gutted about - oh well - just means we'll need to do it again!).

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Day 73: Fed Up With The Noisy Neighbours

Back at the zoo today and since we are under a very thick blanket of mist/fog (I never did learn the difference) we spent a lot of time indoors. The two groups of chimps can now see each other - previously there were barriers up so that they couldn't see through the windows and across the hall to the chimps on the other side - so there is a lot of peering through windows going on in both groups. The resident chimps seem pretty annoyed and anxious about it all and there was a lot of yelling and banging on the metal doors going on - when they do that you realise just how strong they are, from the amount of noise they can make banging on metal in comparison to what a human could probably achieve, and the fact that vibrations from the banging can be felt through the walls and floor. They are so impressive. The alpha of the new comers wasn't letting them away with all of it - there were a few times he got riled up and banged a little and his group did some yelling with him but nothing in comparison to the residents. It's kinda strange to see how calm they are in comparison - but then someone pointed out that the resident group will be feeling very threatened right now where the new group will be kinda seeing how it goes since they know they are not in their own territory anymore and don't quite know the lay of the land yet. This is one of the new group - sorry resident group but you guys are just not posing in the light for me! I don't really know what anyone else has thought of the couple of chimp photos I have posted but I'm really pleased with them because there isn't much light inside - they really have to be sat up the top of the frame near the lights and then you're still talking about a 60th at f5.6 and 1600 ISO - for those who understand that it might go some way towards explaining why I'm so pleased with them, and for those who don't understand - it is near impossible not to get blurry photos at that kinda shutter speed.
I won't be posting again until Sunday - I am away with the Guides from Friday to Sunday so I will do my best to get photos each day, although it might not be easy if we're busy and the weather sucks, and post them all Sunday night. See you in a few days!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Day 72: After The Rain

My Dad is on holiday and we ventured into England today! It rained most of the day but we had a good time anyway - walking through the forest near the reservoir and watching the wildlife. We saw frogs, frog spawn, a male teal, a pair of goldeneyes, 5 cormorants, 2 little grebes (or dabchicks as my Dad calls them), quite a number of mallards, millions of chaffinches and I'm not even kidding - I've never seen so many in my life and because there were so many you could hear nothing but wing beats constantly, it was awesome - some siskins, coal tits, great tits, green finches, 2 greater spotted woodpeckers and an oystercatcher... I think that's it ;-) Just as we were leaving the rain cleared and we got a bit of a sunset over the water which I think turned out rather pretty if a little noisy - the ISO was at 1600 which I'd forgotten but then I'm not sure I'd have achieved this without it up that high so it doesn't matter - I like it regardless!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Day 71: Yellow Flower Triumph?

They seem to be haunting me - yellow flowers everywhere - daffodils are coming out - lots of yellow crocuses - the winter flowering jasmine I got obsessed with (just discovered that's what it's called) - and now this little primula. But I think I might have cracked it with this shot - no idea how I did it because the flower is so small I had to use my wee camera on macro sitting on the earth in front of it to get the shot - but it does actually seem to work! I'm really pleased with it - it's interesting to me because you can actually see all the definition in the petals of the flower (I suppose the fact it is a flat flower might help), the yellow is as bright and vibrant as it seemed to my eyes, I like the leaves and the buds about to open into flowers in the background just slightly out of focus so that the main focus is the flower but there's still plenty to keep your eye interested in the background, and I love the little stick saying "Primula" next to it - can't quite think how to explain why but it's something to do with stating the obvious and gardening and showing it's in a garden instead of in the wild I think...I mean if I cropped it out the flower could be anywhere - you wouldn't know it was in my front garden! Anyway - I like it and my friend agreed with me that I had triumphed over my yellow flower phobia ;-)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Day 70: Curiosity

I was at the zoo today so I went to visit the new chimps. A new group of 11 arrived last week to be introduced to the resident group of 11 at some point in the near future - pretty big challenge introducing 2 established groups like that but *fingers crossed* they all get through it ok. For now they are in separate parts of the house and part of the new chimp's domain is the research area which has big windows they can get right up to. This means you really really get a good idea how big they are and they were having a great time watching everyone with great interest - in between laying down and enjoying straw and watching the tv showing info about the zoo's sponsored project that they can see if they peer round to the left ;-) The other upside was I got good photographs for once! Being black makes them very hard to expose correctly either in sunlight or inside - particularly inside because there just isn't enough light - but here there was a reasonable amount and they were all chilled and watching so not too much movement. This, I believe, is the dominant male of the new group - Klaus (no idea how he spells his name yet - will ask him next time I'm there ;-)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Day 69: Luxury

Nothing quite like sleeping on freshly laundered shirts is there? Just as well my dad is on holiday this week!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Day 68: Ladybird

Ironically someone was talking about ladybirds yesterday and I thought I hadn't seen one yet this year - today I saw 3! It was probably the warmest day we've had yet this year though and I could have gone out without a coat on (yes still with a big hoody on but this is progress and rather warm!). I also saw several big bumble bees and the daffies aren't far from flowering. Depending on who you listen to either Spring started 3 weeks ago on the 1st of the month or it started today - today certainly felt like the first day of Spring so I think we'll go with that - for this year anyway ;-)

Friday, 19 March 2010

Day 67: Bunny!

I can't help feeling like this is cheating but my flower photos suck and the arty photo I took... well I'm not sure about it. So - OH LOOK! A BUNNY!!! Awwwwwwwww it's so CUTE!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Day 66: Playing Trains

I have been very busy today! I built an entire railway and road system for Thomas and his friends... and also for my 3 year old friend. I was looking after my friend's little boy today and we played with his train set - he got a huge one for christmas and I think it took the best part of 45 minutes to build! It was pretty cool once it was all up though. So I didn't have much time for photography today between babysitting and going back out to Brownies and Guides - certainly nothing sophisticated, but I thought the engines in the shed looked cool (they went for an afternoon nap because they'd been working so hard, also Thomas had scrambled eggs for breakfast, Percy had cornflakes and Arthur had toast with jam on it - the conversations you have with small people!).

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Day 65: More Yellow Flowers

I was going to start this post "I might be going insane." Having just done what I did I can confirm I have totally lost it. I just lost what I was writing because I realised that this had rearranged my photos. Me being the weirdo I am decided this wasn't on and they HAD to be the right way round and tried again, only to end up editing html to force it to do it my way and of course copied and pasted html before remembering to paste the copied text. *sighs*

I decided that I was going to try this stupid flower again because I was so disappointed and annoyed last night and the sun was actually shining today so maybe it would work out better. Turns out it's near impossible to get this flower exposed correctly. Maybe on a particular day in a certain month when the sun is at a certain position in the sky and there is x amount of cloud it is possible - but not for me. I'm beginning to think it's a yellow flower thing. I mentioned before my aversion to yellow crocuses, and here again I'm struggling and it's because it is near impossible to get it just as your eye sees it. Sunny days make yellow flowers blindingly bright and on shady days they just don't quite look as pretty as they should. So yesterday's was on a grey day and it isn't bright enough and it's not pinpoint sharp because it wasn't bright enough and there wasn't enough depth of field. Today's close-but-not-close-enough photos demonstrate: in the top photo that full on sunshine makes overexposure hard to avoid and definition hard to make out, and in the bottom photo that somewhere between full on sunshine and shade there is still not enough definition and sharpness and nor is the colour what it should be. At this point I give up.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Day 64: Yellow Flowers

Posting this sucks. It's not good enough and it annoys me like you wouldn't believe - I can pick fault with every photo on this blog - even the ones people have told me are flawless - but this is obviously not right and has been to anyone I have shown it to. Unfortunately, I don't have anything else and it's better than anything I could come up with at short notice in the house in the dark. I didn't have much time today between looking after small boy and going back out to go to Rainbows, but I did have a wee while in daylight in the garden between the two and I thought this had turned out ok - it looked fine on the back of the camera and yet it is not pin point sharp and despite thinking there was enough depth of field, there obviously wasn't. At least it's better small. So yeah, I'm annoyed - because this could have been good.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Day 63: Peacock Feather

I love the colours in this photo. It's probably a little dark but it was no mean feat getting the right exposure - getting the feather at the right angle so it shone and also getting the exposure dark enough that it wasn't washed out. I like it better than any other I took because of the darkness - it shows the colour and the shine that much more.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Day 62: Riverside Snowdrops

How To Make Snowdrops Look Interesting, Part 2! Nah, not really. I'm not quite sure about this one if I'm honest - I like it and I like the way the river looks behind them but there's just something slightly off about it. I think it might be that it looks quite bleak. It was taken late on near sunset in shady woods so there really wasn't much light to be had and it shows. But it's my favourite of today's photos and I do like it despite the bleakness.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Day 61: Cooper

Cooper is my new cousin and I got to meet him today. My aunt and uncle adopted him a couple of weeks ago - he is a one year old boxer and such a lovely boy. He's a gorgeous colour, his coat is so soft, he has a lovely face which is black from his nose up to his eyebrows and he's such a happy, bouncy, excitable dog. This photo isn't the best to show off his face and colouring but it was the most artistic shot and it's interesting to me. I like the way he is outlined in sunlight, the way the light is picking up the blades of grass and the way he is looking off into the distance, making you wonder what he is seeing. I think you can actually just see his breath in a cloud below his nose too - it was cold and he'd been running ;-) Anyway, perfect new addition to the family and I'm very happy to have met him today :-D

Friday, 12 March 2010

Day 60: It Was Love At First Quack

Awwww - they might need a bigger bird bath if they're going to have ducklings though! This is probably quite a strange photo but then would you expect any less of me? I like that they aren't in the bath as yellow ducks usually would be. They've branched out and got themselves a wee pond of their own. I like the yellow on the blue and I love the reflection and I like how they got themselves all cosied up like they're kissing and cuddling - ducky love :-)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Day 59: Charcoal Black

I came up with this idea a couple of days ago - white paper was mentioned and my mind immediately jumped to charcoal. I love drawing with charcoal. It can be very messy but I love that you can blend it and make shadows and stuff - I never could get pencil to smudge and shade softly enough for my liking! I'm by no means an artist but I do enjoy it from time to time and I think this photo conveys some of what I love about charcoal. It's black. I'm strange - I love black. I love the contrast between the black and white, I love the boldness of the writing because I pressed hard to get that solid blackness - but even then there is a soft unfinished edge to it which is a combination of the rough paper and the nature of the charcoal - definite lines aren't really achievable nor desired. And you can see some of the tiny bits that break off when you draw and normally get blown away. I also like the fine lines behind it - they are deliberate because I wanted to show what a mess it can make and show that the sticks were just dropped there over and over until they made an interesting pattern and they were picked up repeatedly and they make their mark every time. Makes it more natural to me in a way I can't quite explain.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Day 58: Purple Crocus

The sun was shining today so we have a nice picture of a crocus wide open and basking in the sun. There are some nice shadows on the petals, you can see the veins and also a bit of a sparkle - and I thought only orchids were weird enough to sparkle!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Day 57: Abstract Puppy

I do seem to like filling the frame :-p Also I like different angles - photos of dogs are pretty much always cute but they can be boring and I keep finding myself lying on the floor or randomly pointing the camera at the dog when he's lying on the floor to get interesting shots of him. Of course they move almost incessantly too (particularly when puppies - Aaron is 9 months old next week) so actually getting the picture you were intending is not easy. I wouldn't have got this if I had been looking through the viewfinder - the tiny patch of grey you can see in the bottom left is my sock on my foot and I was sitting cross legged so you can guess it wasn't a very well posed shot! But this is the result and I love it, despite his eye being a little out of focus, so the technique worked once again for me :-D

Monday, 8 March 2010

Day 56: Monday Blues

I stayed up all night last night to watch the Oscars with my friends so I slept this morning but I am still tired and I was rather uninspired when it came to taking a photo so I looked at The Daily Shoot and today's assignment was "Take care of the Monday blues by picking up your camera. Make a photograph dominated by the color blue." Took me a while to think of blue things but I eventually remembered I had blue beads and then realised that in with all my jewellery making kit was Meltzo plastic beads which are the most gorgeous blue! They're used for making stained glass things - where obviously it's not glass - you put them in a wire frame and put it in the oven to melt - I have a project in mind for it to make a pendant. So anyway, I'm rambling again. Basically I love the colour and I like all the light in them where they've picked up the flash, I really like the one in the bottom left hand corner that almost looks like liquid, I love the colour... and actually this is one macro which I think looks better bigger - and it's already cropped!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Day 55: Photographing the Photographer

This is my Dad! And I went for a cheeky shot of him taking a photo of the bay and it turned out to be the best photo I took today. Problems with lack of depth of field ruined the one I thought was a major contender. But I really like this - the light fading from left to right as you get away from the sun, the light highlighting the left side of my Dad, the blue sky, the fluffy white clouds... you get the idea!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Day 54: Yellow Crocuses

It was a bit grey and overcast today when I took this so it's a little muted but I think I like it better than I would have had it been all bright and sunlit, and I like the soft quality of it given by my having to take the aperture right down to get enough light in! The yellow and green complement each other too I think, which is probably where I wouldn't have liked it so much if it was all sunlit - it changes the colours and while they become much brighter I think sometimes they're too much...if that makes sense.

Also we must all now tell our cameras we love them - if they feel unappreciated they take revenge. I went to look at new cameras today and on the way I took my camera out of my bag and knocked my wide angle lens out of the bag and dropped it on to flag stones... luckily it seems to be ok - the UV filter broke but the lens itself seems ok - I will test it out tomorrow. But learn from my mistake - I had no idea my camera didn't realise just how loved it is and that I will never get rid of it even if I get a newer model!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Day 53: Extra Lucky Sunset!

This rules! Second cool sunset in 2 days and even better - this is different to yesterday so I can use it! So yesterday was pink-broken-cloud sunset and today is orange-stripey-cloudy sunset and it's a little later so the streetlights had just come on and I kinda like seeing them for once. My astronomical side hates street lighting and the fact that they usually ruin photos but in this case they are enhancing for once and I'll give them a brief reprieve from my hatred!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Day 52: Lucky Sunset

Didn't really have much time or inspiration today which made photographing something for the blog slightly difficult, however, my Dad was out and texted me just as I was about to run out the door to Brownies to ask that I check the back door was locked (it was) and to tell me that the sky was beautiful - I poked my head out the front door and there it was! The lucky sunset needed for an interesting photo :-)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Day 51: Ice Bubbles

This is the water in the bird bath - well it was water once but it keeps freezing solid since we don't really get any sunshine at the back of the house in winter because the sun is so low. And for some strange reason it is full of bubbles and trails of bubbles - I have no idea how this happens where ice is sometimes smooth and other times is full of bubbles. Anyway, I thought it looked interesting and although it didn't come out too well, even using the macro on my compact camera, when I cropped it down you could see more detail. Not perfect, but interesting.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Day 50: Purple Orchid

Not what I set out to do... which happens a lot! One of the flowers on this plant is wilting and about to drop off and because it has gone soft you can see through it and I tried lining it up in the light to see all the veins - which didn't turn out so well so I just shot a whole load of photos of the plant and decided I liked this one. It has a nice flow to it and leads the eye through the photo on a pretty purple journey! ;-p

Monday, 1 March 2010

Day 49: Snowdrops

Slight contrast from yesterday - from Autumn to Spring! Snowdrops are pretty but I have never got a picture of them that I really liked - they always looked boring. So today I went for a different angle and taaadaaaaa! I think it works :-)