Monday, 30 April 2012

121. Imperfection

This is one of those analogue 'accidentals' I was talking about. The light has leaked into the shot here, creating a distortion of colour. In spite of the fact that it is technically 'imperfect' I still really like this image. It captures a lovely memory of breakfast with my Mum on our holiday - plus it has a really warm, vintage feel because of the light leak. 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

In spite of a hectic week at work and piles of marking (which I seem to be avoiding), I have made the time to put together a Scavenger Hunt Sunday post. I love Ashley Sisk's photo challenges - even when I don't take part, seeing the creative development of others is so inspirational and encouraging. Please do head over there to see the other entrants' fantastic sets.

So, on to my interpretations of this week's themes...

1. Yellow

This one was a bit of a no-brainer for me - the rapeseed fields are in flower everywhere round here. The landscape has become a patchwork of green and yellow. Last weekend I took my friend Litsa out into one of the fields to snap some shots. 

2. Something that makes you smile

I took this shot earlier in the week and it really did make me smile - the surreal effect of the refraction in the water droplets and the fact that I had attempted something new with my camera. I love being creative and trying new, quirky things. 

3. Ancient or Antique

Both the book and the ring are antiques. The ring  belonged to my great-grandmother and has been passed down through the generations to me. It is far too tiny for me to wear on any bar my little finger so, instead, if I do wear it, I wear it on a chain round my neck. The book is a copy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' I found in a second-hand bookshop years ago. The text itself dates back to the 1640s, but this edition, according to my research, was published in the 1880s. I probably shouldn't keep it on top of the radiator then...

4. Splash

This one is from my archive - taken a few weeks ago. It was taken on a hot, sunny Sunday in Bristol and the children were loving splashing around in the fountains in Millennium Square. Slightly worried that may be our only glimpse of summer, as it has rained pretty steadily from that point on!

5. In the sun

What sun?! Seriously, we haven't really had any since the beginning of April. It has been a very wet, rainy, grey month. I managed to grab half an hour of clear skies and a few little rays of sunshine earlier this week to  snap these dandelion heads in the garden. 

Happy Sunday everyone - I hope you enjoyed this weeks scavenger hunt.

120. Shadows

One of the La Sardina photographs I had developed from Amsterdam showed up these very clear shadows. 

Saturday, 28 April 2012

119. Analogue

I love, love, love shooting analogue. My first SLR was an analogue Nikon and I loved it. Nowadays, when almost everyone has a digital camera and can take as many photos as they want without any great expense, I find something truly lovely in returning to film. It makes me very selective about what I shoot; take time and thought over composition to ensure I'm not wasting film and I enjoy waiting expectantly to get a roll of film developed, not knowing what will turn up. 

My partner and I have a growing collection of analogue cameras - from new toy cameras such as this and this, to vintage cameras we have inherited from parents and grandparents or found in junk-shops. 

While I was in Amsterdam, I shot a roll of 35mm film on this little camera - the La Sardina from Lomography. I fell out with it the first time I ran a film through - way back last summer - because I hadn't ensured the mechanism which allows the shutter to open and close was in the right place, and virtually none of my photos took. However, I thought it was about time I stopped being grumpy and tried again (there are no guarantees with analogue, but you have to go with the flow and accept that that is part of the fun!). 

I'm really pleased with how most of the film has come out. Being a toy camera, there aren't really any proper controls for exposure or focus so it's a bit of luck as to whether a shot will work. This one  is a good-un.

I would really recommend giving analogue a go, if you haven't already, or returning to it if you haven't looked back since going digital. It's a real thrill to get those developed negatives and see what comes up! 

Friday, 27 April 2012

118. Public Space

This was in the Museum Quarter in Amsterdam - crowds of people were milling around, sitting on the sign and having their pictures taken. I've been working my way through and editing these photos, so I thought I'd put this one up today. Sadly it's nowhere near as clear and sunny as this here in England right now - we've had nothing but rain for two weeks. Hopefully it will clear up soon - I'm dying to get out and about with my cameras. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

117. Technology

I have no idea what this is, or what it does. Aside from cameras, I'm not really on the ball when it comes to technology!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

116. Clock

I'd thought about this theme a lot and have actually taken photos of several interesting clocks since I began this project, thinking that one of them would fit. However, as interesting as the clocks were, I felt my photos of them weren't. As I was driving home from work last night, I spotted a swathe of dandelion clocks on the grass verge down my lane. Inspiration most often comes to me via nature, so I spent a few minutes lying down in the grass - in one of my best 'work' dresses and high heels - snapping away. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

114. Games

I think my favourite game is scrabble - probably exactly what you would expect from an English graduate. I'm looking forward to getting B back next week so we can have a game. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

113. Experimental

This photograph is an experiment with refraction. I shot a bowl of mini-eggs from above, with the bowl covered in cling-film, which had had droplets of water carefully placed upon it, with a pipette. The pattern of the mini eggs is refracted in the water droplets, which are clear, but I used a wide aperture (f 1.8) to keep the eggs in the background out of focus. I'd like to try this again with other small objects - different coloured beads would work well. or perhaps pattered paper. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

112. Bright

This is my friend Litsa, who came to visit this weekend. I made the poor girl traipse into a rapeseed field, in the mud - and rain - to get a photo of her. The light wasn't great but she still manages to look beautiful. Next time I'll remember my reflector. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

110. Overcast

We were lucky to have generally fine weather in Amsterdam, with some lovely sun. However, it is April, which - in Northern Europe - means showers. Look how overcast that sky is!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

109. Skin

I think this theme is supposed to be reserved for some stunning beauty portrait, of a model with flawlessly airbrushed skin. Instead, I chose fish. Smoked mackerel skin - because it looks so shiny and amazingly coloured.  

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

108. Nature

I took this shot in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. I couldn't believe how undisturbed by people this heron was - I wasn't using a zoom lens here; just my 50mm fixed. As a result, I had to get really close to get this shot - I was less than a meter away from him!

Monday, 16 April 2012

107. China

Delftware is a glazed pottery which originated in the Netherlands. Examples of this blue and white china - as well as replicas - were everywhere in Amsterdam. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

106. Night

This is one of Amsterdam's canals at night, as we were walking through the 'De Negen Straatjes' (9 streets) area. It was lovely round there - lots of nice cafes and boutiques. I didn't have a tripod with me, so I just had to hope for the best with this shot - it's not as crisp as it would be with a tripod, but not too bad. I love the coloured reflections of the lights on the water. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

105. Transportation

I have just returned from a short trip to Amsterdam where I happily snapped away as my Mum and I wandered around the streets, stopped for fresh mint tea and visited several of the museums. However, having just uploaded my photographs, I have realised that around 75% of them are of bikes - the favoured mode of transport for the Dutch. 

104. Love

At the Albert Cuyp market in Pijp, Amsterdam.

103. Chocolate

Taken at the Albert Cuyp market in Pijp, Amsterdam. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

102. Crooked

Not just the angle of this shot, but the house itself. This is Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire - a timber building which dates back to the 1600s and is literally tumbling down. When you look at it square on, whole aspects lean in different directions - luckily so far it has defied gravity!

Monday, 9 April 2012

100. Contrast

Even though this isn't the 'done' thing with portrait photography, I really like the contrast of the light on one side of my mum's face here and the other half almost in shadow. It creates more drama in the shot. 

Sunday, 8 April 2012

99. Vistas

My vista here was through a set of angled mirrors which made up a piece of wall art - hence the slightly surreal distortion of having the light fitting visible as an overlay of the table. It looks like a double-exposure, but it isn't. 

Saturday, 7 April 2012

98. Retro

A couple of days ago I did a little portrait shoot for friend and composer Ryan Calmus. This is one of the shots - I've edited it to look 'cross-processed', with high contrast and reduced the warm tones. It creates a really retro feel. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

97. The Blues

What better to fit with this theme than Annah's gorgeous blue eyes? 

Thursday, 5 April 2012

96. High Key

In contrast to yesterday's photograph, this one uses 'high key' lighting to create a bright, light effect. Again, if you want to find out more about how to achieve high key photography, have a browse round the net - there are lots of great tutorials. Try this one for guidance on shooting high key portraits - definitely a project in waiting, now that I have a set of studio lights. Very exciting!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

95. Low-Key

Three months ago, when I started this little project, I wasn't even sure what 'low-key' photography was, let alone how to achieve it. There is some good guidance on the internet regarding how to go about lighting your shot, so you create this dark, high-contrast look. Try here to begin with. 

Yesterday, while shooting some products for a client, I took a few moments to adjust my lighting set-up, so I had a single bulb, rather than my softbox, at a distance from the object, to create some interesting shapes and shadows. This was the outcome. Now I'm just dying to try this look with portraits - I love the dramatic feel you can create. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

94. Big and Small

Number 73 and her 'mini-me'. I love how they're both eye-balling me. 

Monday, 2 April 2012

93. Futuristic

Another of @Bristol, Millennium Square. I had lots of fun taking distorted self-portraits in the mirror ball!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

92. Addiction

I love that I can be almost anywhere and through this little device, hear from - and see - my beloved who is on the other side of the world; read my favourite blogs; take photos and edit them, before posting them for my friends to see. I'd be lost without it now. However, I am well aware that it is something of an addiction that at times needs to be curbed. It's nice sometimes to head out and leave the phone behind.  

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Hello all - another Sunday is here and with it, some snaps from a Scavenger Hunt. 
Head over to Ashley Sisk's Ramblings and Photos to see more of this week's hunts.

1. Clouds

We've had pretty beautiful weather this past week so I didn't have much chance to capture 'clouds'. This is one from my archive - taken about a month ago. There's no filter on this shot - in fact, aside from a crop its entirely unedited. The light was really that beautiful colour. 

2. Sun flare

A chance capture as I was walking home from the allotment this afternoon. 

3. Seven

The lambs were born in the field across the road from our house last week. Here is number 7!

4. High-angle

I'm sure I take far too many pictures like this, but I just can't resist. I find flowers and their natural shapes and details so interesting. This one is taken from directly above, so a high-angle in relation to the flower.

5. Low-angle

More lambs - cos they're just so cute and they won't stay this tiny for long, so I'm getting lots of photos in!

I hope you've enjoyed looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking them.