Saturday, 27 January 2007

January 27 ~ St. Mary's

I headed out at 6:30 this morning to the coast; this time my destination was St. Mary's Lighthouse at Whitley Bay, which is about 15 miles from home. The light was touch and go - some really dull grey sky - but every now and then there was a fleeting glimpse of something a little more special. Today's photo was taken in the best of those moments.

I was lucky enough to meet up with A, another member of the Photography Cafe. It was good fun to have a natter, especially at that time of morning! I think we both came back with some good shots.

I'm really looking forward to my leaving do tonight. Okay, so it's not JUST for me - there were 4 of us who have moved branches all at the same time :D It's still going to be a lot of fun. Just the thing I need to unwind - an evening with my friends.

This might be my last post until this coming Friday, as I'm headed back to Solihull tomorrow for another course. I will, however, be keeping up with the PAD project - so watch this space!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone! :)

Friday, 26 January 2007

January 26 ~ Friday Night

I started thinking about how there must be thousands of woman all over the place getting ready for a Friday night out - putting on their lippy!

My night out is in fact tomorrow - the branch I worked at is having a get-together to mark the fact that so many staff members have been moved to other branches, myself included. Will have to be an early night though, as I have to leave for Solihull on Sunday morning. Oh well - I'm driving anyhow, so I don't mind. :)

I'm going to head out for some sunrise shots at the beach tomorrow. I'll visit St. Mary's Lighthouse, which is about a 15 mile drive from here. It's a different lighthouse to the one in my shots from earlier in the week, and it's accessible via a causeway that floods at high tide. Might make for some interesting photos.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

January 25 ~ Diagonals

These are some little foam sheets that I sometimes use as backgrounds. I liked how they were lying on the sheet of Perspex I use for my reflection shots. My photo today is nothing special, as I don't feel very creative. I'm not entirely sure why, but it probably stems from the fact that I feel really tired today. Had a restless night for some reason - I so dislike them!

Another study day come and gone - been a relative success. I definitely feel like I know more than I did this time last week! I'm at work observing some customer interviews tomorrow, then Sunday it's off to Solihull for the week for course number two.

Hope you are all having a better time of things today when it comes to inspiration for your PADs!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

January 24 ~ Where's the Snow?

"Where's the snow, guys?" Ayla asked Flex and Mini-Me. "The weatherman said we'd have some here overnight. We got all dressed to play outside and everything, and got the sled out!"

"Not here, that's for sure" said Flex as he trailed his hand along the ground and looked downwards dejectedly.

"Mmmphhhh" said Mini-Me, who had some difficulty putting his scarf on.

Sorry gang, no snow for you today. Maybe another day!

I was so disappointed when I looked out the window this morning, and all I saw was rain. No snow - not a flake - lying on the ground. Hearing about the snow elsewhere in the UK added to my disappointment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get some tonight, as I'm not in the office tomorrow, but it's looking doubtful. Because I felt like this, I knew "the gang" would too, so got this shot and story set up.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

January 23 ~ Underside

I have a bunch of daffodils that have just opened. I wanted a shot of one for today's photo, but something a little different. Here we are then, the underside.

We had a dusting of snow this morning, to my delight. Around 6:30am I sat here at the computer and watched out the window as the flakes fell. I was hoping and hoping it would continue, but after the slightest bit stuck on the ground, the sun came out. No snow photos for me today..... drat!

Study day today went well - I think it's sticking in there, all this stuff they're flinging my way to learn. Shame I have to turn up at the branch tomorrow for work! Oh well, off again Thursday for another study day.

Monday, 22 January 2007

January 22 ~ Stormy Seas

Managed to get out for sunrise this morning - this is the scene I had before me. The wind was blowing something fierce on the coast, although a few miles inland where we live it was rather calm. The gusts were even knocking my tripod, so I have camera shake in a lot of photos.... despite having a heavy-duty model, the Uniloc 1600.

I was delighted though, as it gave me the kind of photo opportunity that I had been hoping for yesterday. This is more or less taken from the same vantage as the photo I posted yesterday - you can see why they close off the pier when the winds are high!

The wind was coming from the north - boy, was it COLD! It took a good few minutes sitting in the car with the heater on full blast before they thawed out enough for me to drive. The joys of winter!

So glad it's a study day for me today - no need to venture into work. Means I can spend time on my photography and intersperse that with some studying. What a nice combination!

Sunday, 21 January 2007

January 21 ~ A Stone's Throw

My favourite shot from this morning's short walk on the beach. The light wasn't great, nor were there any waves to speak of, so I spent a lot of time looking down at my feet. The winds have died down here in our corner of the UK, so things were much calmer than they have been. I did want some shots of the waves crashing against the pier, but it just wasn't to be today. This is where the best waves can be found:

The sky was rather dull, so I toned the photograph. As the sea is calm today, the pier is open for walkers; you can go right up to the lighthouse, which is about 1/4 of a mile out to sea. When the wind whips up the waves, the pier is off-limits. I hope that one day soon we have some big waves - I really want a powerful image of them.

Not much else to write about today, I think it's just going to be a lovely lazy Sunday afternoon at home. I have the luxury of being home from work on "study days" both Monday and Tuesday, so I can relax a bit today and not rush around doing all the bits and pieces that normally need taking care of on the weekends, when there is no time on weekdays on account of work. It's a treat, and I'm enjoying it!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 20 January 2007

January 20 ~ Life Savers

This is the last of the few sweets I brought home from Toronto. I used to love Life Savers as a child - the red ones in particular - so for old times' sake I bought a pack a few weeks ago. I can't believe how many types of Life Savers there are now, apart from the original 5-flavour pack (which this one is). I mean, there were things like butterscotch and peppermint and spearmint flavour packs when I was a kid, but there seems to be such a multitude of kinds now!

This was taken using my sheet of Perspex again to get the reflections - nothing fancy, just an ordinary shot. I liked it though as it reminds me of childhood.

Happy Saturday!!

Happy Birthday Chris!

Flex, Ayla and Mini-Me asked me to post this in here; it's Chris's 30th birthday today.

Happy birthday my love!

Friday, 19 January 2007

January 19 ~ Seashells

I've been feeling rather low today; have had a migraine threatening to hit for most of the day, and am trying not to take too many painkillers until I absolutely must. As a result, this is probably not my best photograph.

I have a bag of seashells that I found at a craft store near my parents' home while we were visiting over the holidays. I liked the varying sizes of the same type of shell, so got out my black Perspex sheet and had a go at some reflections. While not my most interesting photograph, I liked the stark lineup of it and the rather tight crop. I'm giving Mini-Me, Flex and Ayla a break from posing for photos for the time being as I get the distinct impression that they will be accompanying me back to Solihull a week from Sunday and will be my inspiration for my PADs that week!

The high winds and torrential rain that hit the UK yesterday didn't have too severe an impact on us here in the North-East - thank goodness! Typically, I did get caught in a massive downpour when I pulled up at work, although when I left home 20 minutes earlier the sun had been shining! As I drove north along the motorway, I could see the sky getting blacker and blacker, and eventually drove into a sheet of rain that seemed to be falling sideways! Hailstones completed the torrent, and I made it into work looking like a drowned rat. Hmph. Less than 5 minutes after I ran into my branch, the rain stopped. C'est la vie!

Hope you all have a lovely Friday, and enjoy the start of the weekend!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

January 18 ~ Invasion

The bubble people are invading! Take cover!!!!!!

No, not really an invasion from above. Just a shot of a glass of soapy water with a red background - inspired by an image I saw in this month's Digital Camera Magazine. I tried to give things my own little twist though :) Hope I succeeded!

This cold is really taking hold today and I have felt thoroughly rotten all day. Fortunately, I didn't have to be at work until 11am, and I left at 4. :) I've also been granted study leave for the majority of the next week - I only have to be in on Wednesday and Friday next week, prior to my next course. Hooray!

January 17 ~ Last Gasp

I got home at about 6:30pm, very grateful for the fact that the train I caught was an express and that it didn't stop at quite as many stations as it did on Sunday afternoon when I travelled. I was feeling rather grim due to lack of sleep, so racked my brains for a photo to take (couldn't use Mini-Me this time as a subject - he was fast asleep!).

I came upon the tulips I'd been photographing before I went away on Sunday; they're almost finished now, but I quite liked how they looked - like a last gasp at beauty, so here's one.

January 16 ~ Homework

The second day of the course saw a lot of work on mortgage products and recommending the right solution for the customer. Mini-Me took it upon himself to do a considerable amount of homework in the evening so that he would be sure to get things right.

It has been difficult being away from home, even for a few days. I don't think I'd recovered properly from my jetlag, having been home only a week before I was off on this course, and have been fighting a bug of some description. I don't sleep well when I'm away from home, so I'm feeling pretty dismal - and I'm homesick!!! SO glad I'm going home tomorrow!!

January 15 ~ Break Time!

Mini-Me found the first day of the course rather tough going - he was absolutely desperate for a cup of tea by the time we were given a comfort break! I thought he was going to go for a swim in this cup - it was FAR too big for him - but he drank every last drop somehow!

The delegates on the course with me are all lovely - there are 9 of us in all - and now that the ice has been broken, it's a really good laugh. We're already looking forward to meeting up with them again for the next course at the end of the month.

January 14 ~ The Remote Control

Well, Mini-Me and I made it back from Solihull in one piece. I'm pleased to say that I took a photo a day every single day, too!

Here's Sunday's - Mini-Me was exhausted from the long train journey, and desperately wanted to veg out in front of the TV. Problem was, it took him rather a long time to figure out how to work the remote control! Between fits of laughter (as it REALLY was not a complicated thing to use) I managed to get this photo.

I struggled a bit taking photos while away, as I didn't have my tripod nor my normal lighting setup. This was handheld (hence the shallow DoF) and using only the light from the room lamp. It sure will be a challenge to keep this up while I'm back in Solihull for a whole week at the end of the month.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

January 13 ~ Click!

Mini-Me has been watching me take photos for some time now, and he's decided he'd like to try it for himself. He was very careful in setting up (which is no mean feat when you're 6 inches tall!) and took things very seriously, or as seriously as you can when you have a huge smile on your face. At any rate, he had a lot of fun doing this, and I had even more fun capturing the moment!

Would have loved to get out and about taking photos today, but unfortunately the weather is not cooperating, nor is my health. I've been trying to fight off some bug since we got home from Toronto last week, but I seem to be losing the battle - I'm still not right (well, guess we knew I wasn't right in the head, anyhow! LOL) . Besides, I have to pack for this course; been informed that I'm booked on the 12:25pm train from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Birmingham International tomorrow.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend! :)

Friday, 12 January 2007

January 12 ~ Head On

I saw a bunch of tulips in the supermarket yesterday after work, and the sight of them instantly brightened my day. They have long been one of my favourite flowers, and it had been such a dark, stormy day. I just had to buy them - they reminded me that spring really isn't that far away (even though it may feel it on a day like yesterday, with 80mph wind gusts and torrential downpours!)

I liked the full-on frontal view of this; it struck me as something a little bit different from the conventional tulip photograph. I also liked the way it looked positioned way off to the right in the frame, rather than filling the frame - again, a bit different.

I had a wonderful surprise today. The February 2007 issue of Digital Camera Magazine dropped through our letterbox today, and to my great delight in the Hotshots section was one of my photos!!!!! :) :) :) It's a shot of a puffin I took this past June while on a trip to the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast. It was the first time I had seen puffins in the wild, and the first time I had the chance to photograph them, and it was an experience I will not forget! Here's a little version of the photo:

I am doubly proud of this published photo: the magazine asked for a shot of myself with my camera to be sent to them for the article, and my husband Chris took it for me (it's also my profile photo on the right here). He has therefore been published for the first time as well! Congratulations my love - you took a photo of me I actually LIKE! LOL

Thursday, 11 January 2007

January 11 ~ Fizzy

For today's photo, I took a slice of lime, a glass of lemonade (the carbonated, clear kind) and --- Splash!

Got my camera set up on the tripod, set the camera in Shutter Priority with a shutter speed of 1.3", and got my remote ready. I can almost hear the fizzing bubbles!

Been feeling rather run-down and flu-ish today, so this was more of an effort than I planned LOL - it was fun to do though.

I have to start thinking about packing for this course I'm going on; I hope the training centre down in Solihull has something to photograph, otherwise I'm going to fall further behind on this project. The camera is definitely coming with me, but I won't be able to bring the tripod. Fingers crossed I can get some decent hand-held shots!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

January 10 ~ Can You Hear the Sea?

Ayla has a seashell she's rather fond of; she's certain she hears the sound of the sea whenever she holds it to her ear. Flex personally thought Ayla was a bit weird for thinking this, so to prove her point, Ayla made Flex listen.

I'm not sure what Flex thinks of this; his face isn't giving anything away. ;) He sat there listening for quite some time - he either hears it and is entranced, or can't hear a thing and doesn't want to hurt Ayla's feelings by saying so!

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

January 9 ~ Hershey's Kisses

Mmmm.... chocolate! Although I'm no chocoholic, I LOVE the chocolate/peanut butter combination that is so popular in North America. These Hershey's Kisses are great, as they are chock-full of peanutty goodness!

I have taken out my sheet of Perspex for this shot - I liked the idea of a reflected "conga line" of Kisses. I've not done any reflection shots in a while, and I really enjoy doing them.

The long-range weather forecast is looking rather grim for the weekend, so I am not too sure what chance I will have to get out and about with the camera. On top of that, I go away on Sunday morning for 4 days - down to Solihull in the West Midlands for a course. Will bring the camera and see what I can see for my PAD project though!

Monday, 8 January 2007

January 8 ~ Sneakers

Flex is busy trying on the cool red sneakers he got from Toronto. He's taking his time, as he's a bit shy to admit tying laces has him flummoxed!

He wanted to try on his new cowboy hat too, but I suggested to him that he might want to get used to this first step into to world of fashion before going TOO far. I didn't have the heart to tell him that it would have looked funny with his red high-tops!

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that the weather will be better on the weekend than it has been, so that I don't bore folks too quickly with this little bunch of wooden tops; I would like to get some fresh air, too!

Sunday, 7 January 2007

January 7 ~ Companionship

The weather here today is rather dull and gloomy, so I was indoors yet again for today's photo. Good thing I really enjoy this type of photography! :)

Flex, Ayla and Mini-Me have a new friend - of the feline variety. She does not yet have a name; the 3 of them are still thinking of one. Flex took a quiet moment today to do some bonding with her, and I couldn't resist capturing it.

It's back to work tomorrow after being off on vacation nearly a month, so I will be taking mainly indoor photos during the week from here on in - at least until the evenings are brighter.

January 6 ~ No, Not Yet!

I have three wooden figurines - Flex, Ayla, and Mini-Me. No doubt those of you who read this blog will come to know them much, much better over the coming days and months. They like to pose for photos, and find themselves in all sorts of situations. Needless to say, they give me a lot of fun and inspiration!

Here, Flex is busy trying to put away the Christmas decorations, but Mini-Me thinks it's too soon; he objects to Flex trying to pack away his Christmas stocking, so clambered inside it in protest! Flex takes things in his stride though - he simply picked up the stocking, Mini-Me and all and continued his tidying. As a result, Mini-Me soon gave up his protest and let the decorations be put away until next Christmas.

The stocking was a find Chris made at Michael's, an arts and crafts supply store chain. There's one near to Mom and Dad's in Oakville, and we stoppped there to find some bits and pieces for Flex, Ayla and Mini-Me. Loved this stocking as soon as I saw it!

I'm so relieved I managed to get a photo taken today; I would have been pretty discouraged if I'd missed a fourth day in a row!

Saturday, 6 January 2007

January 5 ~ Jetting and Jetlagged!

Due to all the travelling, and the late afternoon arrival at home, no photo again on the 5th. Will make amends, I promise!!

January 4 ~ Travelling Home

This was the day we headed back home to the UK, so there wasn't a chance to take a photo. Therefore, January 4th is yet another absent photo day. Booooooo!

January 3 ~ Absent Photo

Grrr... what with being in Canada and such, didn't take a photo on January 3rd. I will "backtrack" and take some, but it's not the same, so I'm ashamed to admit that 3 days in, I've missed one.

I'll just keep at it though!

January 2 ~ The Mists

January 2nd, and the 2nd photo is done! This was taken at Niagara Falls on an outing with Mom and Pat; we had such a fantastic time. I leaned over the railing a wee bit to get this shot - I liked how those weeds looked against the rainbows created by the water spray.

January 1 ~ Hilton Falls

Here's my first PAD of 2007. Hilton Falls in Milton, Ontario - near where Mom and Dad live in Oakville. The 3 of us had a wonderful walk out there on New Year's Day; it's been so much fun taking photos with Mom. For a first attempt at photographing water using a slow shutter speed, I'm pretty happy with the results!

Here's hoping that this shot is the start of a good PAD year - I really enjoyed this project in 2006.

The Year Starts Here!

Here we go! I'm now into year 2 of Photo A Day. I'm pleased to say that 2006 went pretty well photo-wise, and I hope to miss even fewer days in 2007.

I really enjoyed the PAD project last year; it gave me the chance to use my camera on a daily basis, and to hone some skills. I also began to look at things in a new way, as I couldn't get out and about every day for photos, given work and home commitments.

Here's to a year full of photos!