Thursday, 31 May 2007

May 31 ~ March of the Penguins

Or at least MY take on things! I struggled for about 90 minutes on getting this photo the way I envisaged it, and even now I'm not entirely sure I like it. Oh well, guess this is how I learn!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

May 30 ~ He's Beyond Posh - He's Plush!

"Eeeh, Gertrude - would you look at him!?!"

"I know, Mabel - he's so... so.... posh!"

"Nevermind that, Gertrude. He's beyond posh, he's PLUSH!"

Aren't the duckies a scream? :D

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

May 29 ~ Spicy!

One ransacked spice rack later, and here I am with today's photo. I was struggling for inspiration today, and then noticed my lone chili pepper which is now drying out rather nicely, getting a fascinating wrinkly texture. The aromas of the various spices was making my mouth water! They don't go together well aromatically, but texture-wise and colour-wise I think they do. My spice rack is now missing some cloves, peppercorns, chili pepper flakes, cinnamon and steak spice as a result!

Tough day back in the office; it always seems to be that little bit more difficult the day after a Bank Holiday. Onwards and upwards though, as they say! Hope you all have had a Tuesday that was kind to you, and {{HUGS}} to you all!

Monday, 28 May 2007

May 28 ~ Stormy Morning

Well, it was a very early start to the day for me today. The alarm sounded at 3am - radio setting - which I then promptly proceeded to knock onto beep sound! Not the best noise at any time, let alone first thing in the morning (or dead of night, whichever you prefer). A quick glance out the window showed a mostly clear sky with the occasional cloud scudding across it. Perfect, thought I. How wrong I was.

I left the house at 3:30am with a drive of about 25 minutes ahead of me. Sunrise was due to be at 4:40 this morning, so I wanted to get to St. Mary's Lighthouse by 4am to get set up. As I drove north along the A19, the clouds just kept on rolling in. By the time I got to the lighthouse, I realized that there was going to be little or no sunrise to speak of.

In spite of this, and despite the howling gale which had cropped up, I was determined to get some photographs. I have so few times in a week when I can actually get out and about with my camera, I wanted to make the most of it. Besides, I was eager to put the GX10 through its paces on landscapes. I figured that the wind speed would let me get some longish exposures of the scene, with the increasing cloud cover sweeping across the sky. Here are another couple from this morning:

While I'm not overly thrilled with these images, it just goes to show that even in not-so-great weather (really gusty winds and very chlly for this time of year) half-decent photos can be taken. Here's hoping for a more sunshiny sunrise next time I venture out!


Sunday, 27 May 2007

May 27 ~ Looking Up

The rain stopped for about 2 hours this morning, long enough for me to go out for a walk in the wildfowl reserve. I took about 50 shots, but this was the one that really struck me. I love the almost inquisitive expression this duckling has. He was far more interested in the plants that grew beyond his reach than the ones right at his little webby feet.

By noon the rain was threatening once again, so it was home to make pizza for lunch and settle down with Chris to watch Rocky Balboa on DVD. It was the first Rocky movie I'd seen properly, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. One day I'll have to rent the others to see what a cultural phenomenon I've missed!

I'm really enjoying the fact that I have tomorrow off as well - how I love long weekends! I'm thinking about heading out EARLY to capture the dawn, as I've not yet put the Samsung through its paces on landscape shots. The weather's looking promising, but I can't guarantee that when the alarm goes off at 3am that I won't just roll over and go back to sleep!

Have a great Sunday, and {{HUGS}} from me!

Saturday, 26 May 2007

May 26 ~ The Escape

I was told about these wonderful door handles in the Empire Theatre while we were on the last practical day of the workshop today. They are on the fire escape doors, but simply read "THE ESCAPE". Sums up my feelings about the theatre in general, really - it's an escape for us from everyday life. The theatre is a means to leave our cares behind and immerse ourselves in the lives and loves, trials and tribulations of those we see on stage.

I'm a little sorry to see this workshop coming to an end, but I am looking forward to seeing the exhibition where my few images will feature. All in all it's been a good experience, as you are not permitted to take photos in the building except by special permission.

Here are some other photos taken today that I may consider:

May 25 ~ Bright Day

This photo sums up how I feel today - sunny and cheerful. It was a great day, enhanced by the knowledge that it's the start of a long Bank Holiday weekend here. Shame the weather doesn't look like it's going to cooperate. LOL

This is another shot taken with my new light tent - this time with the blue background provided. I do want to get a couple of industrial lights to use with it, as I find that the desk lamps I had been using for my previous tabletop setup just aren't powerful enough. Might take a trip to B&Q or Homebase then this weekend....

Have a great Friday, and {{HUGS}}

Thursday, 24 May 2007

May 24 ~ Cosmos Again

Seemed to be stuck for inspiration today, so out came the cosmos again. I used the light tent again today, but this time opted for the black background that came with it (comes with a red and a blue background too, as well as the white one and black one)

On a non-photographic note, I signed up that big mortgage today! I really needed the boost it gave; I feel more confident now.

{{{HUGS}}} for them that wants 'em, and see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

May 23 ~ Cosmos

The drought is over - I finally signed up a mortgage today. What a relief that was, I can tell you! Even better news is that a BIG mortgage seems to have landed in my lap; customer is coming in to see me tomorrow. Fingers crossed - this could turn my week around dramatically.

Got my new light tent today; I've been wanting one of these for a while, but hadn't found one at a price I was prepared to pay till I discovered eBay. I think I'm going to need some more powerful lights to make best use of this, but here's my first attempt:

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

May 22 ~ Beware the Crocodile!

First little wooden people, then a little wooden iguana, and now a crocodile - I think I'm certifiably insane now :D

Monday, 21 May 2007

May 21 ~ Artist at Work

You know, I can't leave these "people" of mine alone for even a few minutes without them getting up to something or other! I went out into the back yard with the camera for a bit of a wander this evening - wasn't gone more than 10 minutes, but when I came back I saw that Flex had been into the paints and had created a "masterpiece". I just couldn't resist taking a shot of the artist at work, contemplating his creation.

Hooray! The portfolio of images has finally been emailed to the magazine - what a relief! I'm really excited to find out which shot they choose to use, and what issue it will feature in.

Today was a busy day of nothing in particular at work - spent my time researching leads and trying to contact customers, all to no avail. Back to the drawing board tomorrow I guess! I'm trying not to get too agitated about my appointment diary being virtually empty, and figure that I'll get my lucky break soon enough. Mortgage, anyone? :D

Hope Monday has been kind to you - see you tomorrow! {{{HUGS}}}

Sunday, 20 May 2007

May 20 ~ Poster Paints

Despite the beautiful weather this weekend, I've not gotten out and about with the camera. Here's hoping next weekend is kinder to me - it's the Bank Holiday weekend coming up, after all. I got as far as the back garden this evening with some poster paints, just to make a mess:

Saturday, 19 May 2007

May 19 ~ Have a Seat

Week 3 of my 5-week photography workshop at the Empire Theatre in Sunderland, and this is the 3rd image I think is a "keeper" and that I will be happy to exhibit.

I'm really enjoying the workshops; I just wish I had a wider lens to really convey the size of the place better. Since I can't, I'm choosing to concentrate on detail a bit more - look at how the theatre is public yet private, communal yet personal. Although we sit and watch a show with hundreds of other people, our attention is focused on the stage; we are minimally aware of the multitude of other "plays" going on all around. We are absorbed in what we came to watch, and each spectator has a different experience to the next. I just hope that with images like the one above, people coming to view my contribution to the exhibition will have a sense of what I feel.

Hope you've had a great Saturday! {{{HUGS}}}

May 18 ~ Snip!

Bright and colourful seems to be my mantra these days, as I keep on plugging away at these still life shots. This one was quite awkward to set up; the scissors kept toppling over and just wouldn't stay in place. After much muttering and grumbling on my part (not to mention threatening the poor scissors!) this was the result:

My First!

Last night at camera club, the judge for the portrait competition (the first competition I've ever entered there) presented his comments and results. I had five entries into the competition, and I managed a Highly Commended! I'm delighted, not only as it was my first foray into club competition, but also because portraiture is NOT something I am really into. Here's the shot that got me my HC:

Two weeks' time sees the results of Round 2 of the Beginners' competition announced - I entered another 5 shots into that. Shame I joined the club too late to enter Round 1... the cumulative scores of the 4 rounds over the year (both colour and monochrome sections) determines whether or not a member moves up to the Advanced level the following year. Here's hoping I do well!

Thursday, 17 May 2007

May 17 ~ Odd One Out

Well, I'm plodding on with my work on the magazine submission. I have decided on including the strawberry photo I posted yesterday, and one of the pencil photos. I am also going to include this one (which also happens to be today's PAD):

I'm also thinking about sending these:



I've had a good day today; spent my time on a course rather than in the branch. The time flew by, and before I knew it 3:30pm had come and I was on my way home. It gave me extra time tonight at home to play around in my "studio" (how I love calling the spare room that!) and take photographs. I'm hoping to have 5 magazine-worthy photos ready by Saturday to send to the editor. All being well, I'm hoping my shot will be in the August issue, which will come out the 3rd Thursday in July - right before my birthday!

Hope the day's been kind to you all - {{HUGS}} to those that want 'em, and see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

May 16 ~ Smile!

Since I've been working with the Samsung, Flex and Mini-Me took the opportunity to take some photos of their own. The cat didn't look too impressed though.

I've been suffering from some photographer's block tonight while working on my submission. Here's what I came up with, but not sure if I'm going to use any of them.

Been thinking of using this one instead of yesterday's photo - something about an odd number of pencils seems to work better somehow. On the other hand, I wonder whether or not this composition is too cluttered - however, art and the creative process is sometimes about mess...

This one is what is left over when the pencils are gone....

And this one makes me hungry!

This one is just more messing about, really.

All in all, I'm getting to grips with the new camera, and enjoying it VERY much. It fits beautifully in my hands, and has a lovely weight to it - not to mention great features. Plus, I've been able to get my hands on old Pentax lenses really cheaply, so I have a fantastic backup now to my Nikon.

Hope you've all had a good Wednesday - the week's now half done! {{{HUGS}}}

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Today was my first real attempt to get a still life shot worthy of submitting to the magazine for them to consider for my inclusion in an upcoming issue. I am really enjoying the GX10 - a lovely camera to handle. Indoor work will be much easier once my remote control arrives; shouldn't be too long now. At the moment, I'm using 2second self-timer with mirror lock-up, but I miss the freedom and flexibility the infrared remote gives.

I had my 2nd ebay toy delivered today - a set of extension tubes for my D50. They're something I have wanted to play with for a while, and I figured ebay was the place to find them at a price I was happy to pay. Think that my 50mm f/1.8 lens will work well with the tubes and let me get some interesting shots.

Hope you're all well today, and that the day has treated you kindly. {{{HUGS}}}

Monday, 14 May 2007

May 14 ~ Aperture

Mini-Me has been pestering me with questions about aperture recently. He likes to try and take photos with my old Fuji when he can (and when I'll let him!) and has a very inquisitive nature. I figured he would learn more with a hands-on approach.

Hope you're all well and that Monday was (or is!) kind to you. {{{HUGS}}} to them that want 'em!

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Back on Track

Hello again!

At long last I am back on track - my PAD project, although I've kept up with it every single day, has been posted in fits and starts here on my blog. Today is the day I am fully up to date again, so here are yesteray's and today's photos followed by a montage of the photos this past week, including some from today on my first proper outing with the Samsung. Yesterday's photo is the first proper photo I took with the GX10.

May 12 ~ Sunshine

May 13 ~ Watching

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all celebrating today - including my own Mom :) Love you and miss you!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Getting Caught Up

Morning everyone! It's been a busy week here - surprise, surprise! I still have about a week's worth of PAD photos to get posted in here, but this lot will take you up to May 7th, the bank holiday.

The GX10's arrived and I'm getting the hang of it slowly but surely. I've decided to keep it as a 2nd body, and will buy some inexpensive M42 lenses to play with on it. I will also eventually decide whether I will get the Sigma 10-20mm lens I covet in Nikon fit for my D50 or Pentax fit for the GX10. Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

I Can't Believe It!!!!

Could somebody please help me up off the floor? I'm totally stunned..... I had an email from Digital SLR User magazine this afternoon informing me that I had been chosen as this month's winner of a Samsung GX-10 DSLR kit!!!!!

Not only that, but they want about 5 of my still-life images for an upcoming issue - taken with the new camera - and I'll get a double-page spread in the mag!!!!

You can see the online forums and gallery for the magazine here

:) :) :)

Sorry for shouting about this, but couldn't help it!

Promise that I'll post my 2 weeks' worth of PAD photos soon - once I stop shaking with excitement!