365 ~ 15th ~ 21st August

This week we are back to the sodding selfie week, and not just selfies, but selfies that show your imperfections, so the theme is ‘perfectly imperfect’. Pfft. Why we need to show off our imperfections is beyond me, it’s bad enough trying to look nice on a selfie, why would you want to point out that you have not nice bits? I think the theme is to ’embrace our imperfections as we get older’ – self-acceptance, warts and all kind of thinking, but sod that for a game of soldiers, I’m going out kicking and screaming with my nails done, mascara on, and wearing a big hat! AFAC’s & AAFP’s abound this week people, be prepared!

Day 227 ~ Spontaneous. ~ We are back to Picture You Week.  Today, however, you get a break from taking a self portrait.  Instead, someone else is going to show us how they see you.  You likely will not end up with a photo that is perfectly exposed or composed, but you will see how others “picture you.” When we take photos of ourselves, we have the luxury of creating the image we want others to see, which may or may not be our perfectly imperfect true self.  This photo was taken by one of my best friends and favorite travel companions on a trip to Iceland.  He loves to capture me in odd positions trying to get just the right perspective on whatever my intended subject is.  These photos make me laugh.  And, more importantly, always stir wonderful memories of our travels together. Spend some time with someone else.  Ask them to take some spontaneous photos of you, with your camera or theirs.  A phone photo is fine.  Have them share their favorite image with you.  That will be your picture of the day.  Be sure to give the photographer credit when you share your image.

Straight into an AAFP!! Actually doubly AAF. Firstly, it’s MY photographic project, I”M supposed to take the bliddy photo’s. Secondly there’s nothing worse than doing a selfie than someone else taking a picture of you, and even worse if they are not a photographer! So I asked Phil to take some pictures of me when I wasn’t looking, and give me the one he liked best. When it got to 7pm and he hadn’t said anything I thought he’d forgotten, but he hadn’t, he’d just forgotten to tell me he’d done some. 🙄. Anyway this is the one he chose. I am suffering to post it. 🥴

Spontaneous.

Day 228 ~ View. ~ It is the self portrait day of the week, so let us get in front of the camera, and show ourselves as we are, everyone is perfectly imperfect, I do find it hard to get in front of the camera, even after all these years of taking a photo a day, some days are still easier than others. I love this distorted view of myself with Jasper, (a dog) the mirror is to help people see the traffic coming but it is convex, so can make for some fun images.  I am sure that my hips aren’t that big! Show us a reflection of yourself that makes you smile.

Another AAFP because there’s no reflection of myself that makes me smile. I don’t go round smiling into mirrors like some vacuous reality TV bint, sigh. Anyway I had a pants day at work so couldn’t do much. I set up my tripod in the conservatory and struck a few silly poses when the sun broke through and gave me enough light. I look like I’m the bush monster again.

view

Day 229 ~ Assistance. ~ You’ve got a friend in me! Today is all about assistance.  Who do you have to help you out and give you a hand?  Ron is very helpful around the house and garden and takes direction very well too! He is quite perfect whilst I am the imperfect one. I’m not bossy, I’m organized.  Are you the assistant or the ‘assistee’? Show us how you help assist others or how others assist you.

Not a bad one from Mrs. Cocktail-Dress, at least I could think of something straight away. Phil is compiling a history of his parents time in the Army during WW2, his Dad was in the infantry and his Mum a Nurse, and they wrote each other many letters during the war years, plus he has their service records. I am assisting by doing research and typing it all up for him. We’ve a long way to go yet!

assistance

Day 230 ~ Feet. ~ It is the repeating prompt “Where I Stand” and our word for the day couldn’t be more perfect…Feet! On Wednesday’s, I get to start my workday off at the Outer Banks Arboretum & Teaching Garden.  Here I stand in the middle of the Butterfly Garden hoping to spot a chrysalis. Keep it simple! Where did you stand today!

Another straightforward one, phew! I was at work and then supermarket shopping and as I’d done one at work before and didn’t want to get arrested in Morrisons, I did mine at home. Lord Vincent was a willing accomplice.

feet

Day 231 ~ Light-hearted. So who among us isn’t imperfect? Instead of being apologetic about our shortcomings, let’s celebrate them! Maybe we don’t always get that horizon straight, or we cut off the top of someone’s head in a portrait, or—horrors!—we missed our intended focus. Or maybe there’s something personal about us that isn’t quite perfect—a broken fingernail, maybe, or a bruise that we earned on the trampoline with our children or grandchildren. Maybe even a “fix” that isn’t exactly “by the book,” but one that works anyway, in its own unique way! Take some time today to show us your cheerful approach to the things in your world that are less than perfect, but way more interesting—and fun—because of that!

This lady had posted a picture of herself in her spectacles, held together with a safety~pin. The mind boggles dear reader. Let’s celebrate our shortcomings she says, well no actually, let’s not. I decided to ‘fix’ them instead. Grey hair, dark eye circles, saggy jowls, double chin, turkey neck all fixed nicely I think. It was fun!

light-hearted

Day 232 ~ Pattern. ~ One of the things I’ve learned from this group is that buying yourself flowers is never a bad idea.  I love having fresh flowers in the house.  They lift my spirits.  They also make good subjects for my photographs.  Even as flowers age and dry out, they still make for beautiful photos. The petals in flowers present such lovely patterns.  This faded rose from days gone by (and it’s not even song lyrics day) is no exception.  The leaves are a bit withered and crinkled but the pattern is still evident.  It is an imperfect rose that is still perfectly beautiful. What perfectly imperfect pattern can you find today?

Wait what?? WTAF? Is this even anything to do with a sodding selfie?? We did patterns last week, it was pants! She wasn’t even in her own photo, just a rose and wiffling on about flowers! I had to invent a new acronym for this one, CBBP. (Completely bliddy barking prompt). So I put my thinking cap on and then thought of my adventure hat which I wear (wore) on photography outings when Sophie and I (used to) go off on shoots at the weekends.

pattern

Day 233 ~ Imagine. ~ Today we finish up our Picture You week with the prompt “imagine.” I hope you have enjoyed capturing the imperfections that make you who you are. You are perfectly designed to be you! What could be better? Each of us in this community is perfectly imperfect and together we make an absolutely perfect group! For my example image, I used a panning technique. I feel like it gives the photo that “dream like” quality that I can identify with when imagining. How will you imagine yourself today?

And finishing up on an AFAC, no surprise. No I haven’t enjoyed capturing my imperfections, what IS all this claptrap ‘perfectly designed to be you’ ‘perfectly imperfect’ FFS this week has been like being trapped in a self help therapy group for insecure teenage girls with pimples. I don’t need to be perfect and I don’t need to focus on how I am not! Oops my moanfest has developed into a rant. Anyway, I played the game of ‘imagine’ and imagined a great any things, none of which were photographable without time travel and a never ending supply of dosh in my bank account, so I settled for imagining I was back in 2019, in Tuscany and not just looking at the booklet I made about it. It was a grotty rainy day here. Not winning at perfectly imperfect and don’t give a monkeys about that.

imagine

Well thankfully that’s over, and it’s now Sunday and my birthday today, yippee, another year closer to death 🥴 though it won’t be anything special, ironing and getting sorted for work on Monday. Next week we are doing double-exposures, which I’m quite looking forward to as I haven’t really done much of that before. Stay tooned!

365 ~ May 2nd ~ May 8th

This week is portrait week. This week we will be working on Portrait Photography for our Picture Style Week. Portrait photography is all about capturing the essence of someone. If you know the person, it makes it a lot easier. But what do you do if you don’t know the person? If you don’t have any willing subjects this week, take portraits of yourself. 

Pfft. Not doing any self portraits no siree! One week a month is quite enough of that malarkey thank you. Taking portraits of people I don’t know isn’t really an option so this is going to be a Phil and Winnie week.

Day 122 ~ Hidden. ~ if you do not know your subject well or at all, it is important to interact with them during the session to bring their personality to the forefront. You can ask questions and get them talking about themselves, this normally opens them up and relaxes them, allowing you to snap a photo that captures their personality. For my example, I have placed my granddaughter behind the Goldenrod instead of in front of it. The light is reflecting off of the gold and onto her. You don’t have to completely “hide” your subject but often placing something in front of them creates a great depth in the photo.

My first thought was to pin a note up on the door of my pantry saying ‘I’m in here’ and take a picture of it, as that’s where I’d hide if we had burglars break in, but Phil said that wasn’t in the spirit of things, so I asked Winnie to be my model and sit behind some flowers. She put her ‘Queen of the Castle’ face on.

hidden

Day 123 ~ Generous. ~Technically this is not a portrait, which is a posed photo of a person most often from the shoulders up.  I don’t take true portraits because I don’t enjoy the process and most of the time I don’t appreciate the product even when the result is a “good portrait.”  I much prefer candid shots.  In the case of today’s sub-prompt of generous, I’m not even sure how one would go about capturing that idea in a traditional portrait.  So instead, I give you a photo of my husband being generous with dog treats while we were dog sitting for our best friends’ pups. As you look through your lens today, capture a “portrait” of someone being generous; or, focus on your idea of what generous looks like. 

So here we go, there’s the prompt, that this lady has put up, and then completely ignored it herself because she doesn’t like it. That made me laugh though, which is always good. I asked Phil to be my victim model for this one, so here he is having a ‘generous’ glass of whisky.

generous

Day 124 ~ Round. ~ Let us not forget Pet Portraits, you knew that was coming didn’t you! As I have no available victims, I mean volunteers, to get in front of the camera, I can always call on Jasper and his best friend, Kaya, to sit for me for a treat.  Using the old pipes that are lying around in the forest, makes for good props.  I also like taking my photos in the forest because I love using dappled light. Find a prop that is round and use it in taking your photo today.

Winnie was up for this one, being a pet an’all, and she loves the cat tunnel I got for her. It took a fair few dreamies (treats that cats are addicted to) to get her in position and sitting still, but got there in the end.

round

Day 125 ~ Action. ~ Take action!  It is portrait week!  Today take a portrait of someone ‘in action’ or doing an activity they love!  If you cannot find a willing subject or model, use yourself!  I love almost all outdoor activities. I chose to show myself in hiking mode.If you so choose, you can also jazz it up a bit by using Rembrandt Lighting for added drama. 

That’s a lot of exclamation marks. I read it in a Sergeant Major’s voice in my head. This from the slightly bonkers lady who posted a picture of herself rock climbing in a cocktail dress. She had leggings and climbing boots on though so there’s that. I chose not to fanny on with Rembrandt lighting, and asked Phil to play his guitar for me. I used a slowish shutter speed to show the movement of his hands, but his head was a bit noddy so it’s slightly out of focus.

action

Day 126 ~ Illuminate. ~ As we work our way through Portrait week lets give Low-Key Photography a try. Low-Key is a way of manipulating the light to illuminate a particular part of a subject. The use of light and darkness creates a dramatic portrait with little equipment. All you need is a single light source and the shadows will help do the rest. The mood and tone will depend on the lights intensity. Here’s how: Position your light source (natural or artificial) so that it falls on part of your subject. Light the part of your subject closest to the camera so that the shadows will fall towards the back of your image. Use a low ISO (less than 400) and a low aperture (f/4 or lower).  You can also process in B&W to increase the dramatic effect. 

Yep, off to my shed studio, where I arranged the black out curtains ( a black double bed size cotton sheet and a fancy dress witches cape) and had Phil sit so the light from one window illuminated him. I also did the B&W as suggested. I really like how this turned out.

illuminate

Day 127 ~ Upbeat. Today, while capturing your “upbeat” photo, play around with rim lighting!  This was MUCH easier than I had thought it would be. We did this in our dark basement where I hung a black sheet behind my subject and propped up a flashlight. Then I put my little girl in front of the flashlight and voila, I captured my upbeat girl with rim lighting!  I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy this technique can be and I can’t wait to see how creative you all get with this idea today too!  My only frustration with my photo is that I didn’t get as much of a profile of her face as I had imagined but, maybe next time, I’ll play around with a couple (or three) flashlights to help with that lovely rim lighting behind her.  Portrait lighting can take a bit of practice so be patient, have fun, and enjoy the process! 

To be honest the picture she used wasn’t a great example, and proved that the technique isn’t as easy as she would have us believe. I knew I wanted Winnie for this, and it was just a matter of waiting for her to sit in her favourite spot in the conservatory, which she did but then proceeded to give herself an all over lick-bath which took forever 🙄. I kept my fingers crossed for some sunshine to happen in between the showers, which it did. Upbeat? well Winnie is the most upbeat cat I’ve ever known, always up for tickles playing ball and chasing stuff, she’s such a fun cat to know.

upbeat

Day 128 ~ Background. Today, see if you can take your portrait using natural light.  Window light, doorway light, shade and direct sunlight are just some of the options.  How does placement of your subject effect the light falling on them?  What modifiers, if any (flash, diffuser, white board) could you use to eliminate or minimize these shadows if you needed to?  Also be aware of the background of your photo.  What do you want it to say about your subject?

I knew we’d be back in the conservatory for this one, and a final portrait of Phil. I don’t need any diffusers or flash or white boards as the conservatory works like a giant soft- box, and has some great soft light in there on dull days. I had him sat in front of the window and used that as the background which, as you can see shows the interminable rain we’ve been having the past few days.

background

And that’s the end of portrait week! I really enjoyed this week and love all the pictures I took. BIG HUGE thanks to Phil and Winnie.

I also read one of the 365 Picture Today website’s blog articles on responding to prompts. I liked this bit..

The only real “rule” that comes with this daily photo project is to make it your own.  Your photos should reflect your day, your year, your life, YOU.  That means that if the prompt doesn’t work for your day, don’t follow it.  It’s as simple as that.  There will be days when things happen that you need to document for which no prompt will ever be appropriate.  Take that photo.  Call it your picture of the day.  Don’t worry about what the prompt says.

See I got all hung up at the start with doing it as prescribed, and I still mostly am trying to do that, but I might go easier on myself (and the ladies) now I’m in the swing of it.

Also this:-

When we undertake a project that asks us to engage in a daily discipline, we will have good days and bad days, creative days and not-so-creative days, beautiful days and dark days, inspired days and boring days, challenging days and easy days.  That’s the rhythm of life.   Each time we take a photo, no matter our thinking at the time we press that shutter button, something positive can be gained.  If nothing else, we have practiced our skills.  We have perhaps learned patience.  And, every now and then we can revel in the realization that we are seeing progress in our technical skills as a photographer and our creative skills as an artist.

🥂 to that! Stay tooned for next week, adventures in Orange!

365 ~ 28th Feb ~ 6th March

Here we are into March already, and this what the bumf is on this month.

Let’s see where March takes us. Will your photography change as the month progresses? Will you be more creative or inspired? Will your photography blossom with the buds? We lost all of our seasons in 2020 when our world turned upside down in March. I am hoping and praying that this March sees us coming out of our cocoon transformed. Will we look at things differently? Will we appreciate freedom and new growth. If 2020 was a metaphor for slowing down and noticing more, maybe 2021 will be a metaphor for transformation, appreciation and gratitude. Maybe we will appreciate the things we do have and grumble less? Something you might consider doing this year, if this is not your first 365 adventure, would be to compare monthly photographs from last year to this year and see if you notice a change in creativity or attitude. There may be a pattern, or not. You might actually find that your photographs were more creative when there was little else to do. Let’s see what our photography says about us this month. I believe it will be wonderful!

So positive these ladies who run the prompts. I am definitely coming out of the cocoon transformed ~ by about 5lbs extra and it’s not easy to shift it! I don’t expect I’ll grumble less though. So on with the show Fraggle!

Day 59 ~ We are back to self -portrait week, gah, and with reflection as the main theme, so the first one is our reflection. Well my reflection obviously, not yours.

reflection. me. again. sigh.

Day 60 ~ Delight. Today you are encouraged to share a glimpse of your day with this month’s “Where I Stand” prompt.  How can you be creative with your POV to show us where you stand today? Don’t forget to try include this week’s theme of reflection. What delightful place are you standing in today?  Show us your world today!

Yet again thwarted by being at work all day. I was so busy I just didn’t get a chance to do the photo at work, so had to do it at home instead. Nothing I did turned out OK, and by the time I realised that, it was dark. I ended up sitting on my bed in front of the mirror and tickling Vinnie when he came to see what I was doing, I suppose Vinnie can be classed as a delight. This is such a s**t photo I’m embarassed to post it, but hey ho, warts and all. 🥴. I am beginning to hate selfie week, whereas before I just didn’t like it. 😔

Delight

Day 61~ Button. Figuratively? Button. Button Up. Button your lip. Button your mouth? Or… Literally? Buttons on your coat? Buttons on your pillows? A collection of buttons? I am working on buttoning my lip. Sometimes it’s more important to retain relationships than to speak your mind.

The lady who posted this prompt put an accompanying picture of herself with a button over her mouth. I had a total WTH am I doing here moment and nearly gave up there and then. Another work day but I got home knowing what I would do so managed to get a shot before the light went. My favourite button.

Button

Day 62 ~ Exhilaration. ~ Exhilaration is defined as “a feeling of excitement, happiness, or elation.”  As we continue thinking about reflection during this Picture You week, we can also approach reflection in the sense of how we see ourselves, i.e. personal reflection.  What makes you feel excited or happy deep down inside? Look inside yourself today.  Reflect on what brings you a feeling of excitement and happiness.  Photograph what exhilaration looks like for you.

This one had me stymied, as getting exhilarated at work is really not an option. Luckily Morrison’s Supermarket came to the rescue again! I think it might be my muse! I found that Cadbury’s have re-launched their Old Jamaica Rum & Raisin Bournville Chocolate bars. It used to be my Mum’s favourite and she would share it with me. They stopped making it in 2010. My Mum died in 2004 ( not because of the chocolate) so seeing it on the shelves again made me think happy thoughts of her. I was so exhilarated I bought up all the bars on the shelf! 🤣. You might notice that I am not in the photo because it isn’t a literal reflection but a figuritive one, even though I’m still meant to be in it I think. Talking of literal, I have noticed that other people following the prompts don’t always do all of the prompt. Prompts come in 2 or 3 bits, the theme for the week, i.e self portrait, landscape etc etc, but each day has a different title, i.e Segment, Delight etc etc. Sometimes there’s added stuff like reflection this week on top of Selfie. The more enlightened just take what they want from the prompt, so long as a bit of it is in it seems to be fine. I’ve been taking the prompts prescriptively instead of using them as a guide, so I’m going to be a bit more free with my interpretations!

Exhilaration

Day 63 ~ Street. It’s amazing how the simple name of a street can be a reflection of who you are, where you’ve been, and even where you are headed. Some of us have lived on too many streets to count, while others just a few.  How is a street in your life a reflection of you? I’m looking forward to seeing the streets from around the world today!

Well this one got me thinking about all the places I have lived, 7 counties, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Bedfordshire,Hertfordshire and Tyne & Wear, RAF camps x 2, apartments x 2 rented and bought houses, it’s been a bit of a journey! I got out my box of old photo’s and found some of the streets I lived on, and had a pleasant trog down memory lane (Pete will be impressed 🙂 ) for a couple of hours.

Street

Day 64 ~ Positive. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart – proverb. Positive thinking is when we consciously cultivate positivity in our minds so that we think we can get through anything. It’s been scientifically proven to improve your work life, physical and metal health, and relationships. The covid 19 pandemic has certainly caused us all to reflect. Sometimes it is hard to not choose negativity.  Get outside today and see if you can find yourself in a reflection.  Look at yourself in that reflection and find yourself.  If you can’t get outside, find yourself in a mirror or a window.  Have a look and make a positive comment to yourself because you are awesome!

I walked my awesome self up to the shop and looked for puddles along the way as we’ve had a fair bit of rain (surprise~not) lately. I found a really nice one so plopped the camera down, stuck it on a 10 second timer, ran to the end of the puddle and did a little happy dance of positivity and hoped no-one was looking out of their window, and if they were, a second hope they didn’t call for the men from the funny~farm. I took one shot and legged it. Shame about the wheely bin, but moving it may well have resulted in a disgruntled audience. Or the police 🤣

Positive

Day 65 ~ Hobby. Do you have a hobby? A favorite pastime? Something that you enjoy in your downtime? Something that helps you relax?  A diversion just for fun? As we reflect on Picture You Week, show us what piques your interest when you have a little extra time to spare. 

Well this was a bit of a gift for me. Time to show off the mosaics. Although Winnie got in on the act so no doubt she’ll get all the attention. 🙄😊

hobby Winnie 😊

So that’s another week done! Stay tooned, ‘street’ photography is next week’s theme. That’s going to need a fair amount of outside-the-box interpretation!

Newcastle International Fair ~part 2

Part 1 HERE

After drooling over all the food, Sophie and I went to peruse the other stalls,

Money banks

Book covers

Steam punk sculpts.

Russian dolls

Metal work

Cutlery Jewellery

Parrot

Amber Good Luck trees

Totem Poles

Whilst we were looking round a band started up, they were really good,

And we came across some interesting ladies who let me take their picture

That’s it for today but this Report isn’t finished yet, stay tuned 🙂

Days 192 & 193

It was so late, gone 11pm when I got yesterdays shot, as it didn’t get dark until then! So didn’t have time to process it or get it posted, so I’m piggy~backing it on to todays post.

But first! It must be all of 2 days since the cat got in the picture, so a couple of Skye being cute.

Phil and I have our ‘play’ rooms upstairs, and he does his modelling in one, and I do my photo processing in the other. But Skye gets bored being on her own and wants to play, so sits at the bottom of the stairs and really shouts up at us until we can no longer ignore her.

skyestairw

Then when I go to see her she’ll do something cute

skyestai2w

and everything stops until she has a play, Phil throws her special mouse around the house and she chases after it. Then she gets tired, has a kip for an hour, he gets more modelling done, and then it starts all over again 🙂

My long suffering hubby has been my muse for last night and tonight’s shots. The weather is no good for sunny shadows, so streetlight and lamplight have been employed.

Day 192
Day 192

 

day193w
Day 193

I am so lucky to have a helpful hubby for my photography!

Day 167~366

I’ve been finding this reflection month not very inspirational 😦 I miss the tree! 🙂 Everyone and his dog has done eyes, puddles, ponds & mountains in lakes, hell, even I’ve done all those before! Even the induction hob has been employed several times in the past. So I’ve been feeling quite blurkpft about the whole thing.  (Blurkpft is a word, those of you have felt it, will recognise it).  So tonight I thought to myself, stop dripping around half arsedly looking for shiny things to put on stuff, and do something different. So I got Phil to get my old mirror tiles out of the loft, cleaned them up and started playing with them, and when Phil came downstairs to get something inveigled him into being the reflection.  I really like it, Phil’s face is inscrutable as I look at it, and I wonder what anyone who doesn’t know him would think about the shot.  (Actually he just wanted to get back to his modelling, but you get the drift 🙂 ).

Haha I’ve just bigged that well up, but it is nice to be really happy with a shot! 🙂

day167w

My hubby is AWESOME 🙂 ❤

Day 115~366

Busy day today, had a visit from Cal & Liddy 🙂

CAlspidey

grandkids-6w

and had to go to the supermarket where I bought some measuring spoons.

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day115-3w

and my shot for today

day115-2w

now got to get sorted ready for work tomorrow~ this weeks is not looking good, lots and lots of long journeys, which I’m heartily fed up of. Never mind, got to suck it up. For now. 🙂

 

Day 73~366

I has a little helper to do my shot with today, as Shelley came for a visit with Cal & Liddy. It was lovely and sunny so we sat in my studio (which is really our conservatory) and I took some shots of Liddy as well as inveigling Cal into doing my shot with me.

day73-13w

That’s the daily shot and bless him Cal doesn’t even like chewy sweets so no reward, but we played lego instead.

I took some shots of Liddy too so am including a couple of my favourites.

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L2w

L7w

L4w

That’s all folks

😉 ❤