365 ~ Sept 5th ~ 11th

Abbreviations you may come across during this post. AFAC~ airy fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt.

This week has been all about ‘motion’. I haven’t been that successful, and have frozen motion rather than blurred it as blurring usually requires a tripod, slow shutter speed and specialised filters which I haven’t got. Anyway, on with the show!

Day 248 ~ Stream. ~ We will stretch ourselves with new skills and revisit some old ones. Photographing motion can be tricky but, with the right shutter speed and a little patience, it can also be FUN!  Adding motion to your image can help tell the story, convey an emotion, or even set the overall mood. Water makes a great subject to practice shutter speeds from streams to streaming water!  Tips: Faster shutter speeds will freeze the action and capture the details.  Use a SS of 1/250 or higher. With slower shutter speeds, movement is captured as a blur – SS of 1/60 or lower.

Water sounded a bit boring to me.

stream

Day 249 ~ Fowl. Don’t let this word limit you.  When I searched what the actual definition of fowl is I found this: “A bird, such as a chicken, duck, or dove that is raised or hunted for food. Or in scientific usage, any of various birds having large heavy bodies, short wings, and legs built for running and scratching the ground. Most fowl nest on the ground. The turkey, pheasant, quail, grouse, partridge, and chicken are fowl.” I am lucky to live near many lakes, rivers, and ponds and all throughout the year we have no shortage of fowl that can be seen on or near them. See if you can find one of these feathered friends in motion today.  You may be surprised by how many you see once you consciously watch for them!  

Well what an AAFP! What if you don’t live near lakes, rivers and ponds?? What if you’re at work all day, then cooking dinner for visiting family members and don’t have time to get to a lake??? Are all these prompt ladies retired or living off their husband’s salaries?? There was no chance I was going to find a duck swimming about on the streets of Wardley. However, it didn’t stop me photographing a ‘fowl’. Crispy aromatic duck served with pancakes, spring onions, cucumber and hoisin sauce. And yes, it was delicioso!

fowl

Day 250 ~ Space ~ I used space to help show movement in this photo.  I have space in front of the vehicle so that there is room in the photo for it to travel.  I used a technique called panning in attempt to capture the movement. For the perfect panning photo, use a shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/125s.  The faster the subject is moving, the higher your shutter speed needs to be.  Focus on your moving subject and pan your camera from side to side in tandem with the object as it moves through the frame.  This will cause blur in the background giving the illusion of movement. Panning is a lot of fun, give it shot! 

And another AAFP. Actually panning is not a lot of fun when you’ve been at work all day, had your dinner, then have 1/2hr to get your shot and you’re rubbish at panning. Phil didn’t fancy driving up and down our street, so we tried with a toy car that rolls forward if you pull the wheels back. I had about 50 goes before Phil headed for the whisky bottle, but it was no good as you’re supposed to have space for it to enter, not space that it’s left! So I sat upstairs looking out of the bedroom window with my pap lens on the camera, and managed to pan a magpie flying across the sky and out into space. It’s not great but it fits the prompt. Just. Not winning at panning.

space

Day 251 ~ prompt free. ~ Prompt Free Days often bring to mind the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  Some days, we feel restricted by the prompt, but on other days, no specific prompt makes us feel lost by having no point of departure. Think about these prompt free days as a check-in as to how this project is changing you. What do you notice that you would have overlooked previously? What small moments in you day now feel bigger and call to be documented? Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you. Keep your eyes open and have fun!

When I got home from work and parked the car, I noticed a giant spider and web across 2 of the bushes opposite our house and thought that’d be a good one if I can get the spider to move. Didn’t go quite as planned, although he was travelling his web the slow shutter speed photo’s were a bit of a mess so I froze the action instead. That little black blob on the left is his aim, a nice juicy morsel. Anyway as I was shooting Vinnie came out and nudged the bush, which made the web wobble, which made Spidey shoot off like a bat out of hell and that made me do the same!

prompt free~ motion ~ Spidey

Day 252~ Animated. ~ The dictionary definition for animated is “full of life or excitement; lively.”  Based on this definition, nothing says animated more than a two year old…and even more so when he is being chased by his auntie!  Animation is not contained only in motion, but also in facial expressions and the “mood” conveyed by an image. Today’s photo should be full of excitement.  Your subject may be a child; but it might also be a pet, another adult, wildlife…or some other creative subject that you might conjure up.  Whatever you choose, show us a photo that is full of life!

Well this is a bit of a failure- ‘today’s photo should be full of excitement’, I don’t have kids to hand, or excitable dogs/deer/ etc. Winnie is definitely animated and excited, but not until about 9.30pm when it’s dark outside and she can leap about like a loony chasing moths. Lord Vincent is not really animated or excited about much at all, but he does love to rolly polly on the patio when the sun is out and will roll over several times and have his belly tickled too. Might not be exciting to anyone else but it is to us.

animated

Day 253 ~ Underneath. ~ How do you like to show motion? Knowing the best shutter speed is important. Remember that slow shutter speeds cause blur and fast shutter speeds stop the motion. I tend to go for a fast shutter speed, and to stop the motion. Standing underneath my brother in law as he takes a swing on the rope that we found on our walk, I managed to get a great angle to show his enjoyment. What will you find to photograph from underneath?

AAFP the third. I don’t really go about ‘showing motion’. I’m not a sports photographer or one to be shooting motor vehicles. Sigh. If I’m photographing birds or cats I stop the motion, if I can. I took my iPhone with me on a walk this morning but the only thing I could think to shoot was the stormy clouds above me.

underneath

Day 254 ~ Discovery. ~ Capturing wildlife on camera can be difficult.  They are constantly in motion and you have to be quick!  My little buddy was scurrying about quite ferociously and begging me for peanuts. When he discovered the cache I had left, I managed to capture him in motion munching on his treats.  His little body was either trembling in anticipation for his tasty snack or because another squirrel was running about and threatening to take it from him. (I am in the habit of causing “squirrel wars” with my peanut snacks!)  In order to capture wildlife in action it is best to use a high shutter speed and multiple high speed shots!  

Ah Mrs.Cocktail ~ Dress, let me down with an AFAC. Why didn’t you just call it ‘wildlife’? Do all the prompt ladies live in the Great American Outback, where the deer and the buffalo roam?? There’s precious little wildlife in urban Gateshead I have to say, other than dicky birds, and I’ve done a couple of those in other prompts. Luckily 10 minutes driving brings me to the Washington Wetland Centre where they have some Asian Shortclawed Otters, so Phil and I went off for a mini-outing and we got to see them swimming about. This one discovered a fish in the water, I think the keepers throw some dead ones in while the otters are asleep for them to discover when they get up. Anyway the blighters move so fast and even with a fast shutter speed I had a lot of misses. This one isn’t quite as sharp as I’d like but it fits the ‘discovery’ bit.

discovery

So another week done, and ‘motion’ is over. Not quite as onerous as double-exposure week was, but still a bit of a struggle. As usual I’ve learned some stuff, and I’m adding doing otter photography to my practice, I’d like to get some good ‘motion’ shots of them. Onwards then dear reader, onwards to the sodding selfie week. Deep joy. 🥴

365 ~ May 23rd ~ 29th

This week we are back to the sodding selfie challenges, which as you know by now, is my bête noire, and this week has been no different. I haven’t even got annoyed with it all, just slogged through, fed up. I think also the incessant cold temperatures, grey skies and rain have taken it’s toll, it’s end of May FFS, it should be a bit warm at least, and I just felt like hunkering down, reading books, and wasn’t inspired to do photography. But I committed to myself to do the year, and stopping now would harm my doggedness! Anyways, on to the pictures, slim pickings though this week, sorry. The extra theme to this week’s selfiefest, is ‘skills’. I don’t actually have skills, superpowers would be more appropriate, but I can take a step down the ladder for this. 😜

Day 143~ versatile. ~ It is PICTURE YOU Week and that means it is all about you.  This week we are celebrating and featuring our skills! Skill :-

a) : the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance

b) : dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks

c) : a learned power of doing something competently: a developed aptitude or ability

I don’t know about you but I do a variety of activities (none of them that well) and therefore have acquired a skill or two along the way.  I am quite versatile in the number of physical activities I do…cross country and alpine skiing, water skiing, kayaking, cycling, swimming, backpacking, running, and snowshoeing.  For me,  versatility is the spice of life!  I like changing things up and keeping things fun! Show us a skill or two that you have!  Even better, show us a picture of yourself multitasking!  

Sigh. I am not so versatile as all that, and this lady’s picture was of herself jumping high in another cocktail dress + red stilettos which I greatly admired as I would kill myself on landing if I tried that. Not that I have a cocktail dress, and my stilettos are consigned to the back of the wardrobe. So I figured my photography is quite versatile as I shoot film, instant and digital.

versatile

Day 144 ~ work. ~ I enjoy strolling the beach looking for treasures. It takes a bit of skill to know where to look and it can also sometimes be hard work… especially if you’re in a race against the incoming tide. I can be a picky sheller so only a select few make it back home with me. I’m always on the hunt for my favorites – sharks eye, baby ears, and conch shells.Is there something you enjoy that also takes a bit of work? maybe it’s a hobby or activity? Give us a glimpse of it today! 

Yes I like beachcombing too, and other stuff, but today I was actually AT work, the paid kind. Of course I can’t do photography there, but I do check Phil’s ears on a regular basis so figured that’s a fair representation of ‘work’.

work

Day 145 ~ pleasure. ~ I may not look like I am finding much pleasure while pruning my spider plant, but I really am. I have to keep it pruned in order for it to stay a reasonable size because it comes in every winter and I just have no space for a larger pot. I am excited to get it back outside now that the days/nights are warm enough. It thrives going in and out each year and I take much pleasure knowing that I have been successful at keeping it alive. I do not have a natural green thumb so I am thankful that it’s such a hearty plant.  What is something that you take pleasure in doing? Show us what it is!  

To be honest, most of the things that I take pleasure in I’ve already photographed in previous selfie weeks, but I took the cue from the lady and watered my flowers, which I love to see growing. (It was raining at the time! 🤣)

pleasure

Day 146 ~ 5 o’ clock. ~ What is happening in your life at 5 o’clock?  Is it the end of your work day?  Your work out time?  Dinner time?  Family time? Or something else altogether?  Maybe, 5 o’clock in the morning is more your thing!  Whatever 5 o’clock you go with, show off a bit and give us a glimpse into whatever mad skills you have!

5 0’clock in the morning??? 😳 Pfft! So at 5 o’clock pm I’m feeding Lord Vincent, though it’s not easy to get a shot when he is so intent on putting his head in the trough!

5 o’clock

Day 147 ~ engaging. ~ What a great word, one with so many interpretations! My first thoughts about engaging make me think about participating in some type of activity or becoming involved with some type of object such as a musical instrument. There is also the perspective of an engaging your personality. My granddaughter has a delightful laugh that is so engaging I want to hear it every day. Being an outdoor kind of gal, I prefer engaging in any outdoor activity that holds my interest. This is our favorite lake to go fishing and its not too far away. My husband is an avid fisherman and everything I know about fishing I have learned from him.  Sometimes I wonder if catching fish is skill or luck!Show us what skill you have, that you are engaging in today.(Picture for the prompt is of me in a boat on Jackson Lake – with my fish, of course… heehee)

Today I was engaged in doing repairs to my mosaic dragonfly which I made to go on the outside of my shed studio. The weather forecast is promising fine weather for the weekend and Phil is going to revarnish it to keep it nice and protected from the North East winds we get and when he’s finished, it will join the butterfly I did a couple of years ago.

engaging

Day 148 ~ craving. ~ A craving is a longing or a desire for something.  We often associate it with food, but we can have these feelings for almost anything.  I crave calm and stillness…but most days both elude me.  Maybe it’s all those other skills that we have celebrated this week that overpower this desire.We often think that portraits are about showcasing beauty and hiding imperfections.  For me, the most powerful portraits illustrate realness and connection – connection to another person, a place, a thing…or yourself.  Your face is not necessary to show this kind of connection.  In this image, standing still in the greenhouse, a place that slows me down, tells the story of finding calm much better than seeing my face would have. What do you crave?  Illustrate it in today’s self portrait.  

this one was easiest of the lot! As I mentioned, May has been one long slog through pants weather, and we’ve been longing for sunshine and warm temperatures. Today the sun came out and it was lovely!

craving

Day 149 ~ splendid. ~ So where does my skill come into this photo, you may ask! These are alliums in my garden, which I planted years ago, and every year they pop up.  Just so that I can take photos of them. The skill is choosing the fabulous bulbs to plant, deciding where to plant them, and then enjoying the pleasure of having them show up every May so that I can photograph them.  What is splendid in your life that you have skilfully managed to grow, look after, or just admired!

This lady didn’t put herself in the picture at all! So naughty! Anyway I already photographed my flowers on day 145 but moved them around for this one. Every year (except last year obvs.) I go to the garden centre and choose some flowers to grow over spring and summer, not necessarily for photography purposes but just to look at and enjoy. Lots of cleaning out the old stuff from plant pots, planting the new stuff and making sure the snails can’t get at them. That’s what the copper strips are for around the pots, it keeps the slugs and snails away without killing them. They are looking quite splendid in the sun I think.

splendid

Thank fully that’s the last of the Sodding Selfie’s for now, until next month. So nice to have the sun at last, and we are planning a mini Bar-B-Q for ourselves later.

Stay tooned for our next adventure which will be ‘minimalism’.

Midnight Snow

For three days it rained non stop, right up to 11pm last night. Then we went to the kitchen about 11.30pm to make a cup of tea to take to bed and through the window we saw

Snow

It’s been a long time since we saw ‘proper’ snow and we ran to the conservatory and opened the door and stood watching, as big clumps of snowflakes floated to the ground, and stayed. It made us smile and wonder. The world was quiet all of a sudden, the traffic noises deadened in the whitening. I grabbed my phone to take some pictures, but it gives an other worldy orange filter to everything

So I took some from all our windows and converted them to black and white

We spent a long time watching it, and were glad that we could enjoy it and not have to go anywhere in the morning. But we got up this morning and it had gone. It left us as swiftly as it arrived, with only a vestige of it’s former self on the lawns and shed roofs. We sighed, our winter wonderland was a fleeting visitor, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

The Art of Newcastle ~Jan 2019 ~ part 4

After lunch in the Biscuit Factorywe went off to see the Laing Art Gallery. On the way, we came across a little church hall

and as you can see from the sign on the right (which I completely missed in the photo!) had an art exhibition. Well, we came for art, so decided to do a detour and see what was going on. It turned out to be a one-woman exhibition by one of the church’s congregation.

and this was the artist

Sarah Ann Davies

Her arty bits were interesting, with lots of cut and folded canvasses

but I don’t think I’d have them on my wall. The artist lady was very nice and chatty so we wished her luck and went on our merry way.

We spotted a Lutheran Church for German-speaking Geordies

and back by the blue student accommodation, this time sneaking a peek in the windows

rainbow girl

There are a couple of furniture shops in the area.

😳 imagine waking up to all this bling!!!

Beds for children of insane parents. 🙂

Newcastle has its own version of Boris Bikes

and plenty of cafes

Channeling J.K.Rowling?

We went back over the flyover and spotted a breakdown

Not the best place to park.

and we peeked through the bars of the graffiti building corridor which is my featured image at the top of the post.

Wasted

The New Bridge Hotel nearby. Probably not a 4 star 🙂

Grim up north.

and then we got to the Laing gallery, but that can wait for the next post, so stay tooned for that!

 

The Art of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne – Jan 2019

Back in January Sophie and I decided to visit a couple of the art galleries in Newcastle, The Biscuit Factory –  the biggest commercial art, craft and design gallery in the UK, and The Laing, home to an internationally important collection of art, focusing on British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver, and glassware.

But before we get to the galleries, we must get off the metro at Central station and walk to Ouseburn, there’s plenty of photo ops along the way.  We get to the crossing over the central motorway, and before the crossing, we see The Oxford.

£134 per week.

Surrounded

The Oxford Galleries dance hall on Newcastle’s New Bridge Street opened in 1925 and was one of the most popular venues of its time. Over the years it went through many reincarnations and was known to generations of dancers and partygoers as Tiffany’s, Ikon, Ritzy’s and Liquid Envy. In 2017, the building was converted into student accommodation with only its listed frontage remaining. There’s progress for you.

Looking back when crossing the motorway we see

Dereliction

am not sure but think this used to be a Premier Inn.

Over the motorway crossing, we can see the reason for so much student accommodation,

Northumberland University – City Campus East

City Campus East, designed by Atkins, opened in September 2007, winning awards from The Journal newspaper and the Low Carbon New Build Project of the Year accolade. It t is home to the Schools of Law, Design and the Newcastle Business School.

Crossing over the central motorway, the Tyne Bridge & Newcastle Cathedral in the distance

There’s a saying in England- “It’s grim up North”…

Under the flyover

As we walked past the college we realised there was a football match imminent.

Jolly Boys

There are a fair few historic buildings in this area of the Toon (as Newcastle is called by natives)

The Dispensary was established in April 1777 and funded through subscriptions, gifts and legacies. Its first site was in The Side but in 1782 or 1783 it moved to Pilgrim Street where it remained until 1790. For the next fifty years, the Trustees leased a building in Low Friar Chare. At the expiry of the lease, the Dispensary moved to 14 Nelson Street, where it remained until 1928. Its final move was to 115 New Bridge Street which was still its home when it finally closed in 1976.  Now a Chinese store.

Public Washery

This former municipal washhouse and baths are located on the corner of Gibson Street and New Bridge Street in Newcastle. It was built in 1907 and designed by F H Halford. The baths had separate men’s and women’s entrances and are notable for its ornate tiles. The baths were closed in 1965 after which the pool was boarded over, and sometimes used as a badminton court. During the Second World War, the pool was used by the Fire Service as a reservoir, for water used to put out fires caused by air raids. The former baths are a Grade II listed building.  I would love to go in as I’ve seen pictures of the inside, the tiles are gorgeous, but the council is trying to sell it off so it’s unobtainable for now.

next to it is St.Dominic’s Priory.

A Roman Catholic church, by Dunn and Hansom, it has a foundation stone dated 1887 and is a Grade II listed building.

Back over the road where there is more rather gaudy student accommodation

It’s not easy being green

Got the blues

we saw a student at the window 🙂

Maggie

and finally, we get to the Biscuit Factory

The gallery’s home is a former Victorian warehouse, constructed in 1870. Prior to 2002, the Building was used in the manufacturing of biscuits.  Surprise surprise!

But that’s enough for today, stay tooned for next time when we will go and see the beautiful artworks and craftworks the gallery holds.

 

Shrewsbury~ November 2018 ~ part 4

Leaving history behind more or less, we had a wander around the modern (ish) town centre, though that still had a lot of tudor buildings around the square. Some random shots were taken along the way.

Waiting patiently

 

No photo’s please.

 

Cool name

Phil got to re-visit his boyhood.

 

Shop assistant

 

Sir Clankalot and me.

 

swan shop

 

Frida and a pink flamingo

 

Shoe sale

 

and who wouldn’t want a full size zebra!!?? (Phil wouldn’t let me  )

 

This would be great in my shed!

I think that will do for now.  All the photos are embiggenable if you click on them to see them better.

Stay tooned for more adventures.

Newcastle Guild Hall, and Quayside ~ December 2017~ part 2

Part 1 HERE


More History Stuff.

The Guildhall was used by the Freemen of Newcastle. The origins of the Freemen are obscure, but the modern view is the possibility that the origins are  partly Anglo-Saxon but also partly British and partly Roman. There were, broadly speaking three classes of people – nobles, free men and slaves. The free men were a middle class, comprised of those who were permitted and obliged to carry arms. .Free men were the inhabitants of Burghs, communities which had gradually come together for purposes of mutual defence. They were without overlords and cultivated the arable & common land and also established the customary rules that regulated their own dealings and their local justice. They paid their taxes and dues direct to the King. These rules were administered by the community in their Moot or Assembly.  King John, by Charter, granted Newcastle to the Freemen at an annual payment of £100 which appeared until quite recently in the City’s annual accounts. This Charter and its successors were repeatedly confirmed by successive Sovereigns who granted many further privileges to the Freemen.

About the end of the 12th century the leading Freemen combined together in a Guild known as the Guild Merchant, which was granted a Charter in 1216, for the purpose of controlling the trade of the town. This Guild soon obtained control of the town’s affairs. Other merchant guilds of Drapers (wool merchants), Mercers and Boothmen (corn merchants) were formed during the 13th century but these were later absorbed into the Merchant Adventurers who claimed to be the original Merchant Guild.

The different guilds coats of arms are all displayed around the Guildhall.

The Mayors Parlour is where the Freemen held their council meetings, and apart from having wonky walls and floor, is quite spectacular.

These old paintings of C17 Newcastle have unfortunately have been ‘restored’ by a madman, who basically painted over them 🙄 god knows what this next one on the right is all about.

After we’d finished at the Guildhall, Sophie and I had a wander down the Quayside, and took a few more pictures, and were treated to a great sunset.

More information on the Freemen at this website .

and the full album with loads more pictures can be found HERE

River Tyne Cruise~ July 2017 ~ part 3

Part 1

Part 2

Nearly back to our starting point now, and some old industrial buildings on the river bank,

and then the newer Hilton Hotel

The sage, some boats and some dolly birds 🙂

worth 2 views of the Sage, it is amazing!

The Baltic Flour Mill, now converted into a gallery for contemporary art, and some people on the Millennium bridge

That’s it for the river cruise, but we took a few of the quayside as well, so will do those next time.

Stay tooned! 🙂

 

Fraggle Report~River Tyne Cruise~July 2017

A couple of weeks ago, when it wasn’t rain, Sophie and I embarked on one of the river cruises which set off from the Quayside in Newcastle. There are 2 choices, you can go Quay to sea, a 3 hour trip to the piers at the river mouth, or Quay to countryside, a 2 hour trip going under 11 bridges, as far as Ryton Willows, which is the one we took.

Setting off under the Millennium bridge

 

the quayside buildings

bridges

churches and high rises

graffiti of course

I ❤ Tar?

hole in the wall

more to come so stay tooned!