Friday, 11 April 2014

Beautiful Magnolia

I just adore magnolia tree. It is because of magnolia that spring is my favourite season. I took the first image the other day when I went to Wentworth Castle and Gardens. It was a glorious spring day even though a bit on the windy side, and the sky was a magnificent blue colour. I exposed the shot for the highlights making sure they are not burnt out which meant I ended up with a deep dark sky. I lightened it a bit and modified the colours to get a more pleasing, less contrasty, pastel tones. Also added a bit of "bloom" to the image to make it dreamy.
The second image is from my archives. It was taken a few years ago.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bathroom Still Life

My bathroom window faces south and gets some lovely light in the afternoon, particularly at this time of the year when the sunlight is not very strong. It has frosted glass which diffuses and softens the light making the window, blind and windowsill an irresistible background for a still life shoot for me. The bottle with some dried flowers in it that lives on the windowsill was an easy subject choice, and combined with some hand made soap provided a simple, minimalist composition. To round up the bathroom theme I applied a water drops texture layer in processing. I also decided to crop this image square and then use a ttv frame which I feel works well with simple square images with light(ish) background.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spring at Foxhill Fold Farm

Another photo I took on my way home from work. There are a few farms lying along the lane and this is the entrance to one of them. I love these very English name signs hanging by chains off a wooden frame. I think they add very much to the charm of the countrysides. They swing in the wind and make inviting noises. And the lovely cream daffodils! To tell the truth I only noticed there was a farm there when the daffodils sprang up and caught my attention. In processing I have continued to play with blur. I like how in Photoshop you can blur any part of the picture, something you cannot quite achieve in the camera.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Blueberry & Lemon Curd Cake

I found this delicious cake on the Little Birdie blog Jen is one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers. Her food recipes are always so simple and tasty. I have recently decided to become a bit of a domestic goddess and have started baking and cooking from scratch more often. Not only is that part of my quest to go back to more natural and healthy living but also it gives me something new to photograph - food! Now I have to make sure I understand the basics of food photography.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Late March Afternoon

The best thing about my job is that I drive through beautiful countryside to and fro work. This image was taken last Sunday on my way home, on a cold but glorious afternoon. I had been watching the scene and waiting to find it in a best possible lighting. I parked the car in the village pub car park and strode the short distance back to the scene. Typically, by the time I got there the sun was swallowed by dark grey clouds and I felt my excitement ebb away as the scene lay drab an uninspiring before my eyes. I looked at the clouds wistfully and thought: "I'm not moving away until the sun comes back". I started taking a few shots just so I get used to seeing the scene through the viewfinder and find a good composition. And sure enough, just as the old saying goes - good things come to those who wait - sunshine was back and lasted just long enough for me to snatch a couple of shots. That completed and made my day. I did not matter if I did not do anything else that day.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Crocuses in the Park

This is one of those scenes I come across completely by chance, when I don't expect to see good photo material at all. I was driving back home from the car hire company when I caught a glimpse of it on the left hand side of the road. I didn't stop, I didn't even have my camera with me but I drove back there the following morning. It was a most beautiful morning to start with but typically by the time I got to the park it clouded over pretty heavily. I didn't mind too much as I am a textures user in post processing and textures tend to work better on images taken in diffused lighting conditions. I love crocuses but usually I find them difficult to capture in an interesting way. It is the little red house on top of the grassy bank that makes the image for me. Its red colour and tiny size give the image a storybook, dreamlike quality. I decided to treat it in that vein further and used a Gaussian blur in post processing to emphasize the dreaminess. As usual, G was the first person I shared a new image with ......"like from a child's colouring book" he sounded good to me.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Early Spring Afternoon

I love my little dining room with its south facing windows. It is still a tad early to go out to try to capture the signs of spring here in Yorkshire. We have had some beautiful warm and sunny days but although the nature is waking up it is still pretty wintry out there. Mind you if you are a nature photographer there is already loads to keep your shutter clicking, but I am a scenery photographer and need to wait for another couple of weeks to go by. And while I am waiting  I have been taking pics at home where it is easier to create a feeling of spring right now.