Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Winter Sunlight

It has been very cold with a lot of wind, snow (not settling) and rain. Not very motivating at all to go out with the camera, so I thought I would edit an earlier photo for posting to Flickr, and, of course, here on my blog.
I like the simplicity of the composition of this image with the remains of an old wooden gate giving it an unusual interest and contrast of tones. Also the lovely low sun casting a beautiful warm glow onto the snow. I felt the image would benefit from deeper, more colourful sky so I added a brownish "grunge snow" texture. It also created a nice soft vignette and made the sunlight golden. These days I try to use textures more carefully. I believe gone are the days when strong textures were a fashionable style of processing. It is good to use textures to enhance images but overuse can easily have a detrimental effect. It's all about measure....as always for that matter.



Friday, 16 January 2015

Still Life with Dahlias

I have always loved low key still lives but have only recently bought some dark background cloth. I thought if you applied a dark texture in post processing you got dark results no matter what the colour of the background. But it can be very difficult working that way, and often it is impossible to get the richness and crisp contrast of tones a dark background allows you to achieve.
I shot this image last October wanting to create an interesting and different autumn still life. The colourful and luscious dahlias must be the most beautiful  blooms at that time of year, and I had found some unusual looking autumn plants to team them up with. I hardly did anything to this image in photoshop, it just did not need much. You know you have a good shot when you can show it virtually straight out of camera. All I did is slightly deepened the colour of the background to make the set up stand out better, and I slightly decreased the highlights to get better detail in them.

Friday, 9 January 2015

My First Book Cover

I am a very very happy woman who has had a great start to the New Year learning I have sold a license for my first ever book cover at Trevillion Images. I have sold images before but I have always wanted to get a book cover being a great fan of books and literature. Now it has finally happened I am over the moon! The title will be released mid September so there is going to be a long wait before I can get my hands on it. In the meantime I can start saving for a camera upgrade.

Friday, 2 January 2015

A Walk around the Surprise View at Otley Chevin

I am pleased that my first post of the New Year involves snow. It was a lovely and refreshing walk between Christmas and New Year on a cold but beautiful winter day. It snowed on Boxing Day evening so we were not lucky to have a white Christmas but as far as I am concerned it is better late than never. And of course, Chevin Forest Park being so much higher than where I live there was a lot more snow there. I walked along Dales Way with its breathtaking birds eye view over Otley and Lower Wharfedale.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Time

Every year I try to create a Christmas still life. As always, it has to look traditional so I avoid using any modern style decorations. This year I managed to get some lovely cinnamon sticks and a divine potpourri and both have served a double purpose. I didn't find any natural red berries branches so I used an artificial one as it didn't look too bad. I needed a "centerpiece" and after thinking hard I decided to use the little oval frame with a black and white portrait of an unknown woman in it. I may have slightly overdone with the vignette but I like the texture of it and played a long time with the colour trying to achieve the right shade of red. I think the strong vignette adds to the Christmas feel of the image. The result is a nostalgic, old world still life that also contains a wistful, even a sad note. I do not mind as I know there are a lot of people out there who for whatever reason will be unable to have a happy Christmas or people who will be missing dearly a loved one they lost. I dedicate this image to those people, the people who will have to rely on the memories of happier times.

I love Christmas and like to create a little bit of magic in my home for the festive season.

A couple of random mobile phone photos taken in a pub on a visit with a friend.

                                                                    Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

29th Otley Victorian Christmas Fayre, Sun, 7th Dec

It was my first time at this Fayre (or any such fayre for that matter) and I absolutely loved it! I thought I was happier to be there and more excited than all the kids around me. Pity it was bitterly cold and I could not stay till the end as my face and hands started to go numb. I will definitely be there next year, and who knows it might be me too who is strolling around in a Victorian costume!
I hear that the Fayre was a huge success, and I am especially pleased that the small businesses who entered traded really well on the day.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Still Life With Dried Hydrangea

I am way behind with my posts and need to find time to catch up. This still life was shot back at the end of September and processed and posted to Flickr three weeks ago.
Hydrangea has to be one of my favourite summer blooms and I also love its decadent autumn look full of amazing fading but rich colours. It is also very easy to dry retaining the colour and petals really well. Placed in the metal vintage jug it is a permanent feature either on my kitchen window sill or somewhere in the dining room. I wanted to create a rustic still life so I decided to put the jug with the hydrangeas on a randomly cut piece of hessian. I teamed it with a pair of bonsai scissors and a single red leaf from one of the stems. A dark green background makes for a nice colour combination and a grunge texture seals a rustic look. Quite pleased with this one, and Trevillion Images also liked it and accepted it!