31 Jan 2011

Farm Gate Catch

This is a brand new gate that the local farmer has put on a footpath entrance into one of his fields. It's one of those gates that opens within a semi-circle which poses a considerable problem for a large, long Irish Wolfhound. She's getting quite good at it though!

28 Jan 2011


I noticed this run down old potting shed in the back of someone's garden as I was walking through the fields today. Luckily I had my zoom with me so I was able to catch some of the detail.

27 Jan 2011


This hinge has seen much better days. The farm gate is now held on with barbed wire and a whole lot of hope!

26 Jan 2011


Don't you just love that curly hair! I think I'm in love with number 00926!!

25 Jan 2011

Linear Perspective

A little while ago Kat posted an article about linear perspective and I found this example as I was trawling through some of my photographs. It seems to me that the eye is led by the posts to the building, and then along the wall to the archway. I'd love to tell you I saw all that through the lens as I was composing the shot but, alas, it was just one of those happy coincidences.

24 Jan 2011


This is a Wolfhound's  nose. Big, innit? There are eyes in there somewhere, under all that hair.

23 Jan 2011


...dead things! These roses never quite made it to the blooming stage before the onslaught of winter stopped them in their tracks.  And the poor things look as if they're going a little mouldy too.

22 Jan 2011


Beautiful dead grass. Just look at those subtle colours that you'd never see if you didn't look closely. The spiders like it too!

21 Jan 2011


I don't know whether these are either hips or haws, or neither. They're part of my 'Dead Things' series although they don't really look that dead. I love the colours in this - it reminds me of beautiful faded Aubusson rugs.

20 Jan 2011


Part of a farm gate opening mechanism. I saw it as a black and white photograph before I took the picture.

19 Jan 2011


...Spring, that is. I was out in the fields today photographing more of my beloved 'dead things' when I noticed that not everything was dead and dying any more.  I saw these beautiful buds looking so hopeful and ready to go that my heart leapt and I began to look for more signs of approaching spring...

and saw these beautiful catkins (or at least I think they're catkins!) ...

and these buds reaching for the sky which, for the first time for weeks, was blue.

18 Jan 2011


This is my tin version of Titanic. It lives on my bathroom windowsill and, as you can see, it's covered in dust! Housework is my least favourite occupation and this bears testimony. I tried to blow some of the dust off before photographing it but just ended up with a sneezing fit.

17 Jan 2011


This is a canvas work sampler I've been picking up on and off over the months. I found it again the other day and remembered how much enjoyment stitching it had given me. And it seemed to fit really well with my word for 2011, which is "slow". Doing this sort of project seems to naturally slow me down and that in itself gives me time to create. It doesn't matter where it's going or what the final canvas will look like - it's the actual creative process that gives the joy.

16 Jan 2011


This is a view across the forest. The gorse in the foreground is still mainly black since a fire last year but I love the dead grass and shades of gold stretching into the distance. I hope you all had a great weekend and have girded your loins for another working week!

15 Jan 2011


Somebody gave me this beautiful little pad a few years ago. I keep it near the telephone to jot down notes when I need to. The paper inside is handmade and beautiful. It really deserves better!

14 Jan 2011


This is part of a collection of shells I've collected over the years. I love the amazing differences in texture and pattern and am constantly looking out for new ones to add. I spend most of my time on the beach looking at the ground and probably miss a whole lot of photo opportunities around me. But it's worth it when you find shells like these.

This is the cut class dish they live in. Actually it's an ash tray that someone gave us for a wedding present back in the days when we smoked! It's perfect for holding the shells as it has its own faceted sparkle to add to the mix.

13 Jan 2011


Misty had to have another ECG and ultrasound scan today because she had a second dizzy fit a couple of days ago. It showed that her heart is a little enlarged compared to when she had the last tests in September following her first dizzy spell. As the specialist doesn't know whether the erratic heart beats are causing the heart to enlarge, or whether the heart enlargement is causing the erratic heart beats, Misty has to wear a heart monitor for three days minimum and preferably a week. This is so they can monitor her heart during her normal activities. So it's strapped to the top of her back with three sensors attached to her skin. The whole lot is covered with her nice new T-shirt to keep everything in place and make sure she doesn't catch the leads on anything and pull them off. I also have to keep a diary of what she's doing, for instance resting, barking at strangers (doesn't happen often!) eating, running, out for her walk etc. etc.

She's very conscious of it at the moment and keeps trying to shake it off but it didn't effect her appetite as the photo shows! But she won't settle down at the moment and keeps wandering around. I think we'll both be glad when it's off but I'm a bit worried about what the results will be.

12 Jan 2011


This is the shop where I buy my dog food. It's a very old store with a jumble of small side rooms stuffed to the rafters with anything to do with animal feed plus a whole raft of other goods. I also buy my bird food here (you wouldn't believe the amount of peanuts, seeds, fat balls and goodness knows what else my garden birds get through!).

11 Jan 2011

SEDGE (I think!)

I think this is sedge, but I'm not too sure. Names of plants isn't my best subject! Another dead plant waiting for the renaissance of spring.

10 Jan 2011


More of those beautiful dead things from the fields. These have been through rain, snow and high winds and are beginning to break up but many of them still hold their shape, and their seeds. They are in a part of a field that has been set aside and planted with wild flowers and I can't wait for summer to see what comes up this year.

8 Jan 2011


One of the swans that lives on my local lake. They're such beautiful, majestic and haughty creatures! They have no fear of humans and I've fed them straight from my fingers before now although they tend to snatch and their beaks are rough! The most beautiful sound in the world is the singing of a swan's wings as it flies over you.

7 Jan 2011


I haven't lost my love of these beautiful dead plants and flower heads. The more I photograph them, the more I realize that there is beauty at every stage of life if only you stop and look for it.

6 Jan 2011


I love this light. It sits on the mantlepiece of a brick fireplace together with a little oval wooden box and a glass elephant sculpture. The box and elephant are both treasured gifts that I've had for years.

I seem to have a lot of these little groups of things about the house. I give the objects a lot of thought when I put them together and once they look right they stay there for ever.

This drawing of an Irish Wolfhound completes the montage.

5 Jan 2011


I'm at the beginning of a new year doing what I always do - thinking about which direction my life will head during the next 12 months. Is it going to be a slow sail across calm waters, or a struggle against elements I can't control? So far it seems to have been the latter but the year is young yet and there will be many changes ahead.

Today I uploaded a photo of myself onto my blog. I have never done this before because I am totally un-photogenic and hate seeing (and have other people see) my photograph. But my One Little Word course starts with taking a photo of yourself, so I played around taking self-portraits with the safety net of having the camera obscure half my face. After I took the first few and looked at them in Lightroom I realized that I was a) frowning with concentration (not a good look) and b) sticking out my tongue in concentration! So I started again and eventually realized that I could look through the viewfinder, set up the shot, and then open my other eye before I took it! Then I even tried smiling at myself!! And the result is now up for all to see. I converted it to black and white so no-one would realize I have grey hair :-)

3 Jan 2011


For Christmas my husband gave me a 20mm wide angle lens. He ordered it online early in December but it didn't arrive until New Year's Eve. Naturally, as soon as it arrived I bunged it on my camera and went out for a walk. I really want it for photographing architecture and urban scenes but I was desperate to try it out on something big and this pine tree fitted the bill. I was quite close to the tree and managed to get it all in the frame, from top to bottom. But it wasn't until I got home I saw that, in my excitement to use the lens, I'd left the ISO set at 3200 after taking some indoor lowlight photographs the day before, so I had to work really hard in Lightroom to get it to look anything like reasonable.

I just joined the 2011 One Little Word workshop at Big Picture Classes and am thinking hard about what my chosen word will be. I think it may well be SLOW because two of the things I really need to work on are patience and thinking before doing. So at the end of the year when my husband gives me a 100mm Macro Lens (is it too early to start hinting :-)) I will take it slowly and get a great picture first time out!