loveStrange things going on with my little heart lately, weird whumpy feelings in my chest, missed beats and extra beats but not all the time, some days just the odd episode, and sometimes it goes on for ages. Most disconcerting. Had a trip to my Doc’s, and have to go for an ECG.  As this has been going on for about 6 weeks now am not too worried as I am still functioning and so far have not dropped down dead. Always a good sign. Concurrently our internet connection has also been intermittently irregular, sometimes I’ve had to sit on top of the router with my Ipad to get any connection, and haven’t been able to use the mac in my office upstairs for a few nights. Then sometimes it comes back and everything is fine.  Then it’s gone again. This too has been going on for about 6 weeks. I’ve reported the fault, 3 times, and even had an engineer out who gave us a new router and junction box. Then today it wasn’t working again, so another phone call and for now all is well.  Am thinking my heart is connected to the internet, wouldn’t be surprised as I use it so much for work, photography, and all the usual social stuff. Perhaps I need a new router :).

Gothic Exercising.

The theme for my photography challenge this weekend was ‘anything gothic’! I acquired some gothic jewellery dirt cheap on amazon during the week with a view to photographing it fetchingly against some black velvet or whatever plush fabric I could come up with, but by Friday had decided it would be much more ‘gothic’ to wear it and shoot it in a graveyard. I worry about myself sometimes. Anyway it became apparent that I would need help mainly to get the bloody hand piece and the gothic choker done up as I couldn’t manage it myself :D! Hubby was working Sunday so I sent out an SOS to my pal ‘The Rev’ and he said ‘That sounds like fun,’ so we met up on Sunday and first went to the pub to discuss the shoot.  Eventually we decided the best cemetery would be a fairly deserted one down in Escombe, about 3/4 hr drive, and off we went. The weather was just right, dark grey clouds with rain when we set off.  The 1st inkling that things were not going to go as planned was the cemetery seemed empty of graves! Am sure I remembered loads more when last I visited!! Found a suitable one though after tramping through mud and grunge towards the back of the cemetery.  My first idea was to shoot myself with hands around a grave as if I was a vampire arising, so I set up my camera on a low POV using a gorilla pod for stability.  Except the ball shaped feet of the Gpod and mud didn’t really equate to stability!  Then I did so many test shots trying to get the exposure right and the camera angle right that my flash unit sucked up all the juice of my camera and I was left without any power to take any pictures! Bliddy marvellous, my spare battery was on charge at home, (note to self- organisation is the key to skill and efficiency!)  So thankfully Mike had his camera with him, but it’s different to mine, so I ended up being creative director, and Mike the camera man. Of course just to throw another spanner in the works, the sun broke through just as we began the shoot!  I did a fair few of my self in a long black cape looking mournful and hugging trees, and some of myself crawling out from under an overgrown monument, but these shall never see the light of day 🙂 but I did manage to get the ‘hands around the grave’ shot and one of the gothic earing, both of which are below.


The processing involved reducing the exposure to kill the sunny day sky, and then into Nik FX pro to add some graduated fog and a very small amount of detail extraction.  Then back to lightroom for some final tweaks and a medium vignette to help with the eerie light feel.


For this shot I went straight to Nik FX to add a vintage film filter and then to PSE 11 for spot removal of my worst wrinkles 😀 and to add a dark centre to the red blobs of lippy that we used to make the puncture wounds. I did try the skin softening filter but that just looks quite false even at low opacity so left it alone. All in all a fun day out trying something very different, so a good exercise and a challenge met. Thanks to The Rev who is a most excellent photographer and chum, Next time though I’ll just get out the velvet……

Before & After

This is a little shot I took with my compact Nikon S1 near Derwent Water in the Lake District.  I was going to delete it as it doesn’t look much there, but decided to have a play in LR to see what could be done. I also took it into my Nik filters software and added some bits and bobs, and this is the result.

It would have been better to get the exposure right in camera, of course, but am quite glad I got the sky exposed correctly rather than the foreground, so I was able to pull out the hidden details. Am quite impressed with what the S1 can capture.



Weekend nearly over now, after a busy but disappointing week at work, car trouble, cancellations, only a couple of sales, sigh. Was glad to get to Friday night! Had a lovely weekend though doing not much at all  :).  Had a play with my glass Crystal Balls and camera, took me a fair while to figure out the lighting and how to shoot them without reflections and refractions so a good exercise.

greenballs redballs blueballs




This is my best one yet, so think I’m on the right track, love the softness and light that the polaroids can produce. Like a little bit of magic, click the button, whir whir spit & out comes the film, stick it somewhere dark for 40 mins and hey presto!!  These eggs had to be photographed as they were given to me by my friend Helen who lives a long way away, when I visited over christmas. She has two chickens, a Rhode Island Red, and a black one too.  They are a)huge, b)spotty ( 🙂 ) and c) the most tasty eggs ever. I had one for my lunch at it was glorious. So much nicer than shop bought ones. Of course I want chickens now, but hubster says no 😦 he’s probably right, but still, I like dem eggs!

Hello 2014

One of my projects for this year us to do a ’52’ with my polaroid equipment, am going through the (expensive!) learning curve at  the minute though, am getting the hang of the camera settings just about but a bit unsuccessful with my first attempt on the instant lab, which converts iphone shots to analogue polaroid shots.

iPhone shot of Herky
iPhone shot of Herky
Converted with Instant lab
Converted with Instant lab

I t hink I forgot to choose which type of film I was using so another test shot coming up.

Finally got there!!

Cuppa Ben & Lewis
Cuppa Ben & Lewis