365 ~ September 12th ~ 18th

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

Also there may be swearing.

Here we are again in Sodding Selfie week. I didn’t think this one would be too awful as we are focusing just on our hands. But I was wrong dear reader. A particularly silly set of prompts this week, and a fair amount of WTF? moments for me. Nevertheless, the week was completed and we can now move on.

Day 255 ~ Calm. ~ Picture You weeks are my favorite!  This week is going to be especially wonderful because we are going to focus on hands.  I found an opportunity to capture what ‘calm’ means to me by capturing my hubby’s hands while he was snoozing on the couch.  These hands have been an unbelievable source of calm for me for the 17 years we have been together.  I decided to convert my photo to black and white to add to the feeling of calm today as well.  I can’t wait to see the calm hands you all share with us today. 

Wait what?? Hubby’s hands? Did she completely misunderstand this is selfie week? I mean, she’s one of the ladies who runs this bliddy show! I’m classing this as an AAFP even though ‘calm’ isn’t a problem per se, doing a picture the rest of us are not supposed to do is a bit not cricket! Anyway, these are my hands being calm, even if I wasn’t.

calm

Day 256 ~ Hands. ~ It’s macro Monday!  I find that the details in people’s hands tell you a lot about them.  This photo captures three generations of hands.  From the smooth one of the 3 year old to the more worn one of the 60 year old.  Getting in close emphasizes the differences in the hands. What can getting in close tell us about the hands you capture today?

That wasn’t this ladies hands in the picture either by the looks of it. They’re all cheaters! AAFP!

hands

Day 257 ~ Little-by-Little. This week is all about hands. Today we are taking a photo that includes OUR OWN hands. Just as the prompt photo conveys, little by little it will get done if we keep working at it. What do you accomplish with your hands? Little by little? It could be a craft project, or a house project, or cleaning house, or planting seeds, or preparing meals.

Just WTF? “Today we are taking a photo that includes OUR OWN hands.” It’s sodding selfie week!!! Every day should be our own hands!! Come along!!! These ladies have not got the hang of it at all, this is no way to run a railroad. And little-by-little?? Per-leeze 🙄 A double AAFP. That’s a first. To start with I couldn’t think of anything I’m doing little-by-little except going bonkers in this challenge. But I am putting together zines and books of our travels, and that’s going slowly so it will do.

little-by-little

Day 258 ~ Grass. ~ September often marks the change in seasons, cooler weather for those of us in the northern hemisphere and warmer for those in the southern.  Wherever you are, this is a good time of year to head out for some fresh air and play.  At my house, playing outside in the grass consists of Frisbee throwing, endless games of fetch, and a little training with the dog.Today’s prompt also includes our monthly Where I Stand photo.  Take a few minutes to play in some grass.  Enjoy the feel, the color, the smell.  Photograph how you play in the grass today.

*Sigh*. The week just kept getting worse. This lady didn’t even have her hands in her photo, just her legs and a blurry dog. And ‘play in the grass’?? Pfft! are we 5yrs old now??? The AAFP’s are on a roll. Anyway I ‘played’ (pfft) with Lord Vincent on the lawn. Which in real life means I put some Dreamies for him to find on top of one of the illumination devices. And I left out my hands and just shot my feet for the ‘from where I stand’ bit, sauce, goose, gander!

grass

Day 259 ~ Stretch. ~ Do you remember Cat’s Cradle game? As a child, I spent hours playing Strings (it’s how we call it in Poland), always having a piece of the string in my pocket, ready to take it out and stretch between my hands every time I found someone with whom to play!  Show us what you can stretch between/in your hands today, or a hand(s) stretch. Or, stretch the prompt as far as you want to and show us what your day is about. Remember to include your hands if possible; it is what we try to do today. Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy!

We really are visiting our ‘inner child’ (pfft) it seems. This prompter used some kid’s hands and not her own too. So that annoyed me too as she was a ‘guest prompter’ so should have been on point. Stretch was easy enough though.

Day 260 ~ Routine ~ “Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.” – Clint Eastwood. “My daily routine is to make every day the best day.” – David Wolfe. We all have routines.  Some routines can seem mundane, such as doing daily household chores.  Even chores, though, can be enjoyable if you achieve a sense of accomplishment from them.  I think a good routine can enrich our lives by providing discipline for a healthy lifestyle.  I work out daily.  It is my number one priority and my routine is like clockwork. Look for the magic in your routine today.  What routines make you happy?  Remember it is ‘hands’ week so ‘hands up!”

Well at least Mrs.Cocktail~Dress knows the rules and used her own hands for her example photo! And a straightforward prompt! Happy days! I wash my hair on Sundays, Wednesday’s and Friday’s. Not magic but it makes me happy to have clean tresses 😁.

routine

Day 261 ~ Invincible. ~ What makes you feel Invincible? A lucky charm, a sparkly pair of shoes, a fitness class, finally wrangling your grandkids for a nap, a clean workspace…or maybe it’s your morning coffee?  You can share your secret with us! 

Facepalm time. 🤦‍♀️. And an AFAC. And no hands in her example picture either, just her feet and a coffee mug. 🙄 This is a ridiculous prompt so I did a ridiculous image as I’d had enough. There is no way a pair of sparkly shoes will make anyone invincible. I wish I owned a Samurai sword or an AK47 for it.

invincible

So that’s that! A complete shit-show as far as I’m concerned. Only 3 months to go by which time I’ll be sectioned I think. Anyway dear reader, stay tooned for next week when we are doing fast shutter speed photography, which is about the same as we did in ‘motion’ week so nothing new really.

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 ~ Aug 29th ~ Sept 4th

This week we are into another colour week, this time brown. I’m not overly fond of brown, it’s a bit dull to me, but after last week’s Labours of Double Exposures, I wanted to have some fun this week and decided on a little subvertivityness, and that would be to add in as much bright colours as I could and that the prompts would allow. Here we go..

abbreviations for anyone new-

AFAC~ airy Fairy abstract concept. AAFP ~ annoying as F-bomb prompt. CBBP ~ completely bloody barking prompt.

Day 241~ Accomplishment. ~ “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment “- Ralph Waldo Emerson.It’s brown week!  It is going to be such a beautiful warm week in our galleries and I can’t wait to see all the richness this colour gives us. We can all be so proud of our many accomplishments!  As we near the end of August, that means you have posted a picture a day for almost 8 months. That is an amazing accomplishment. An accomplishment is something done admirably or creditably.  It’s any acquired ability or knowledge.  It might be as simple as learning a new craft, sport or recipe.  It might mean stretching yourself to physical limits, or sitting and enjoying the accomplishment of finishing a book. What have you accomplished today? Remember to add some brown to your picture!

That could have been an AFAC from Mrs.Cocktail~ dress, but I actually thought of something straight away, as I was cooking a Sunday Roast lunch today. I accomplished it very nicely, it was yummy slow roasted lamb in garlic & herb rub, accompanied by vegetables and delicious roast potatoes.

accomplishment

Day 242 ~ Garden, ~ Brown is described as an earthy, warm, and relaxing color, often associated with the great outdoors. So let’s head outside to see what browns are in a garden or outdoor space that you enjoy. There is so much in nature that is the color brown – trees & dirt, birds & insects, buildings & statues.  I happened to find a few large animals at the botanical gardens…thankfully not of the furry variety!  What brown did you find today? 

Typical Bank Holiday Monday – it rained most of the day, so in between drops of the stuff I ventured out into my garden and shot the waning buddleia bush we have. It’s been such a poor summer that most of it’s blooms are completely brown now, but I wanted some extra colour and found this one hanging on to a bit.

garden

Day 243 ~ Glad. ~ I am so glad that I live in such a wildlife-filled area.  It brings me such joy finding little treasures like this while out hiking.  What is something brown you find in nature that makes you glad?  If it’s not something in nature, share with us something else that’s brown that makes you glad.  

A definite AFAC, I mean, who goes around looking at brown things and feeling glad? I had to work my brain for this one. It was a mega full on day at work, bank holidays are nice but the office manager piles on extra clients to make up for it and I’m already working flat out! I was quite knackered when I got. home so sat by the window hoping to take a picture of some brown sparrows at the Happy Eater Tree. Of course sparrows are not coming quite so much these days as they are likely to be murdered by Winnie or Vinnie (2 bodies so far) but the little blutits are fearless in spite of their death toll (3 bodies so far), and I got this little cutey instead. The tree is brown, and I’m glad the bluetit survived. 😊

glad

Day 244 ~ Crayon ~ I have a caddy of crayons that has so many different colours in it.  I pulled out all the brown toned ones for this photo.  Brown crayons aren’t necessarily the prettiest but some of these crayons are quite nice.  A couple of them are metallic and I like the way they colour. Take out your crayons and practice some art!  Bring out your inner child.  My grandson calls his art his “masterpieces.”  Show us your masterpiece.

Luckily I have a set of artist materials, that sounds posh but they are not professional quality, it was bought for the grandkids but I purloined it for myself for a time such as this. The kids have got enough art and stationary stuff to open their own branch of Staples if they wanted to anyway! Here is my inner child’s masterpiece.

crayon

Day 245 ~ Supportive. ~ The color brown probably goes unnoticed more than any other color. The prompt today reminds of the things or people in our lives that go unnoticed but provide great support. When you are driving across a bridge, you don’t see what supports it but you trust it is sure and sturdy. This is the old trestle in Harper’s Ferry, WV that is now a walking path. You can really see how strong the supports are when you step back and away. Think about something that provides support today. It can be literal, like my example photo, or it can be figurative, something that supports you.

Yet another rubbishy rainy day, and wasn’t inclined to go out, but I know a thing or two about personal support so I got this done without too much chagrin.

supportive. 😊

Day 246 ~ Downtown. ~ Not all downtown areas are pretty buildings with colorful picture windows and flashy lights.  Some are simply boring brown buildings.  But, every now and then you’ll see something interesting for which those buildings serve as the perfect backdrop for creating both contrast and context. As you go about your day, in a downtown area or otherwise, look for something interesting to photograph where a brown building serves as a backdrop for some other subject.

And so. Sigh. AAFP because there was nothing for it but to schlep into Newcastle in the misery weather to take a picture of some structure in front of a brown building. It shouldn’t have been hard, as there’s plenty of statues and art works dotted around the city. I decided the 5 flying swan sculpture set in a small lake thing in front of the Civic Centre would be nice. I hadn’t actually seen it in the flesh so to speak, just pictures on a website, so wanted to add it to my collection. I didn’t really know where the Civic Centre was, but had my sat nav and there are signposts and maps around to help tourists and numpties like me. I worked out I needed to get off the metro at the Haymarket and it wasn’t far from there. Unfortunately I turned the wrong way coming out of the metro station and went in completely the wrong direction. The sat nav then pointed me into the indoor shopping arcade called Eldon Square, which is huge and has a lot of hilly bits, and I thought I’d get out the other side of it and be by the centre. How wrong I was. I got completely lost in Eldon Square, and ended up retracing my steps to back where I’d started. I checked the ‘you are here’ maps which list the Civic Centre but don’t actually show it on the map part, and none of the signposts pointed to it either. To cut what already is a long story shorter, after several wrong direction moves I finally found it. I walked around the whole outside of the building, which is not small, and no sign of the scupture, although there was a bit of water. I’ve since discovered you have to go inside the building and then out into an inner courtyard. So a complete fail. My Plan B was to photograph the Man With Potential Selves art work outside Central Metro station, so trundled back to the other side of the town to get to them. 2 & 1/2 hours I’d been traipsing about when really I could have just got off the metro at Central, taken the shot I ended up with anyway and got straight back on the metro home, that would have taken less than an hour. 🙄🥴

downtown -Walking Man
downtown- floating man

Day 247 ~ Effect. ~ The owner of this vehicle decided to have a hot drink in his van.  He got the gas going but unfortunately it started a fire, causing a lot of damage; three other cars were completely written off and those trees as well. The effect of one hot drink was a bit of destruction, as the tree had to be cut down.  The area looks completely different today. Now let’s hope the brown you find today has a good effect on you.

Well that’s an AFAC for sure. But I’d been thinking about it anyway and when I came across the M&S building in Newcastle yesterday I took a shot of it as I wanted to use it for today. Of course that’s cheating really, and I should have gone back to Newcastle and taken it today, but Phil’s younger sister and her hubby is visiting and travelled up from the Isle of Whight White Wight and I don’t have time today. So I forgive myself this once. Anyway, the Marks & Spencer Building – The 167 square metre wall has been made using nearly 16,000 plants, including Sea Pink, Thyme, Cranesbill, Wood Rush, Hebe and Ferns, and is irrigated by rainwater captured on the roof by a rainwater harvesting system. The development, which will stay green throughout the year and help to encourage biodiversity, goes alongside a number of other eco-friendly changes in-store such as intelligent door sensors, LED fridge lighting and a new heat reclaim system. These features will help to improve the store’s energy efficiency by 20%. Effect? – I think it has the effect of being dead. 😳

effect

And that’s a wrap, I’m winning at brown! Next week we are back to technical skills, and it’s all about ‘motion’, stay tooned dear reader!

365 ~ 22nd ~ 28th August

This week has been more of a processing week than a photography week, as it is all about doing double-exposures, which is basically combining two pictures. There are a few methods to do this, apps on a phone, in camera, and different youtube tutorials for editing software like photoshop. I was quite looking forward to it as I’ve not dabbled with this sort of thing, and I do like doing a bit of arty farty stuff now and then. The thing with double exposures is to use complementary pictures, and not just random stuff. Anyway, I’ve had a go, it was harder than I thought it would be so some of my pictures are a bit sucky, but the silver lining to this week is that there is only one AFAC, result!

Day 234 ~ water. ~ This week we are pushing ourselves to try double exposure, it is relatively easy once you have done it a couple of times, but you can spend hours in the processing if you want to.  But not to worry if that is too much for you.  Take a photo using the prompt word or just go prompt free. We enjoy ALL of the photos that you post. Double exposure can be done in the camera or in the processing using editing tools, like Photoshop. I have written a blog about it on the website so do go and have a look. Today’s prompt word is water, I think that water makes a good textured photo. You might still like to find a subject of which to take a photo. I went with Jasper and a photo of some water ripples.

I had intended to go to the sea front and had a picture in mind, however today was also my birthday and family turned up out of the blue and stayed a long while, so that got scuppered. I ended up taking a picture of Phil watering the hanging baskets 🤣, and then for the 2nd shot an overlay close up of the flowers he was watering. I used the Hipstamatic app on my I-phone, which is easy to do, but you can’t really finesse the outcome overmuch. It looks a bit messy I think so this one is in the Sucky category.

water

Day 235 ~ 8 O’Clock. Double the pleasure!  8 am or 8 pm you chose and multiply it! At 8:00 take a picture (or 2 or more) I am lucky; my Canon R has multiple exposure built into the camera and I chose to use it for my  photograph. I photographed a setting sun over the lake and some of my beautiful white peonies.  In this picture I chose two different f stops. By using f4 for the close up on my flower I was able to superimpose a macro shot over the landscape I shot at f11.  I also chose a white flower as it seemed to show up best against the blues and oranges of my sunset at 8 pm!

Mad day at work today so I did my shot at 8pm, I used one of Winnie from the out takes from a couple of weeks ago, and took a new shot of my Space Hotel clock when it got to 8pm. I used Photoshop and just stuck the clock image over the image of Winnie, and lowered the opacity a bit, quite straightforward, and I think this is in the Unsucky cupboard, as it turned out OK.

8 O’Clock

Day 236 ~ 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?

Another shonky day at work, and I really couldn’t get inspired for a doubler, so reverted to taking a shot of Winie, and combining that with two different shots I’d taken in the past of Koi carp- I was thinking cats and fish go together well, anyways this one turned out really sucky, but I did learn a new technique which I employed nicely next time. Avert your eyes people.

Prompt Free ~ catfish (sucky).

Day 237 ~ Walkway. Have you heard about Blend Editor?  It’s the iPhone app that I used it to put these two photos together.  This app is super easy to use and I highly recommend you try it for a double exposure photo edit!  

Woah Nelly! I have in the past had numerous photography apps on my iPhone, and after an initial burst of playing with them, soon gave up and returned to my beloved Fuji’s and film cameras. I deleted most of them in the end, so am loath to download anymore. I decided instead to use the new technique I’d had a go at yesterday in Potatoshop. The first thing to come to mind was the walkway from the mainland to St.Mary’s Island and Lighthouse, and thought I’d place a nice shot I have of it inside my old walking boot. It was a bit of a faff on, and took me a few wranglings to get the result I wanted, but I do like it so it’s going in the Unsucky cupboard.

walkway

Day 238 ~ Awesome. ~ I find double exposure difficult to get right.  The placement of objects in the two photos has to be just so for the photo to make sense. The fact that I even attempted a double exposure is awesome as far as I’m concerned. I took maternity photos for a friend of mine.  The park and marina where I took the photos have special meaning for both my friend and her husband.  I took a photo of her and placed it over a photo of the lighthouse at the marina to make it look like she was overlooking the park.  I created the double exposure in editing rather than in camera.  I think the final result is pretty awesome! Today brings another opportunity for you to try your hand at double exposure.  What awesome creation can you come up with today.

My first thought was AFAC/AAFP! and my second was – my friend Pete is going to be annoyed. 😀 He does not like the way the word awesome is used about things that really are not awesome. And he is quite right, the prompt lady’s picure was nice, but not awesome, and mine isn’t either! We were in charge of Cal and Liddy today whilst Mum went off for appointments, so took them down to the seafront to search for sea glass and have ice cream. The weather was also not awesome with a chill northerly wind, but it ddn’t bother the kids. My FujiXT2 has a double exposure setting on it so I took a few whilst we were there. My first shot was always facing the horizon and trying to catch a breaking wave on the shore, with the second being at 90 degrees to the horizon catching Phil, Cal and Liddy walking up the beach. This one worked best I think, and I like it so one for the Unsucky cupboard.

awesome (not)

Day 239 ~ Building. ~Double exposure week has probably pushed your creativity really hard. You may be loving it but you also may be frustrated with it. I have to admit, it isn’t something that I can usually visualize when I am creating an image. There are some members of this group that are amazing with their double exposure creations. With the prompt word of “building” I immediately thought of the skyline in Chicago, a city I have visited many, many times. I decided to embed a sunset photo from my hometown to give the city a sunrise glow. I brought my photo into photoshop, and then I embedded my sunset image over and reduced the opacity to get the look I wanted. I rotated the embedded image to make a sunrise rather than sunset and I’m pretty happy with the result.

I went all creative thinking with this one and wanted to somehow combine the buildings of Newcastle with one of the impressive castles I’ve visited, and as I was in Newcastle for an appointment it seemed fortuitous. However it chucked it down whilst I was there so I couldn’t get the photo I wanted. I combined two that I took in 2019, one of Bamburgh Castle (that IS awesome 😃 ) and one of the buildings along Newcastle quayside. I had a few to play with, and tried various combinations, and this is the best one I did. Looking at it now I can see how I could have done this beter, so it’s going in the Sucky cupboard.

building

Day 240 ~ Share. ~ It’s the last day of double exposure photos.  Let’s have some fun!  I decided I wanted to create an “artsy” photo using two things in which I share an interest – my garden and music.  Beyond that, I had no clue what I was going to do.I began by taking several photos of flowers in my garden and several of my guitar on a white background.  I layered the two images in Photoshop, the guitar on top of the garden  Then I started pushing buttons and playing with sliders.  I first tried all of the blend modes.  Since the outcomes are unpredictable, it is fun to see how each affects the image.  Once I found one that I liked, I tweaked the contrast, saturation, and brightness a bit. This is not my favorite technique, but since I had no concrete expectations, going through the process was kind of fun.Takes some time to play and have fun today.  Leave expectations behind. Please share your photos as well as your process used in creating them.

It’s not my favourite technique either lady! I did as she suggested and had a good old faff session. I took a macro photo of some flowers I got (think they are chrysanthemums) and used a sunset picture from my trip to see Ben in July, added some textures, added some twinkles, blended and layered, and Bob’s your uncle, arty farty picture!

share

So that is the end of the double- exposure week. Can’t say I enjoyed it, but I did learn stuff so there’s that. I think I’m not really an arty farty type of photographer, though I do like a dabble, but I can’t ever see myself developing this way. But it’s good to try new things and think new ways, so on the whole, a good week. Sorry there’s not many laughs to be had but next week we are doing a colour week, this time it’s brown (blerk!) and I already have spotted at least 3 AFAC’s! Stay tooned!

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 ~ 8th ~ 14th August

We are doing a week of patterns, and so far it’s not going well people. Apart from prompt free day we are coping with AFAC’s (airy fairy abstract concept) and AAFP’s (annoying as fek prompts). When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘I’ but you have to cope with reading about them, so we’re all in this together. After a lovely blue week, this is a bit of a downer but I’ve struggled womanfully onwards and here we are. Sigh.

Day 220 ~ Bliss. ~Today we begin Picture More week with our added challenge of “Patterns.” There are patterns around us everywhere and I think we are going to have fun incorporating them into our photos this week. Patterns can be colorful, textural, repeating, scattered….  the possibilities are endless. Today’s prompt word is “bliss” which means “complete happiness.” As I was passing through the house one day, I saw the crepe myrtle colors showing through the door window. I grabbed my camera and loved how the colors worked through the patterns in the window. Noticing small things every day makes me very happy. What makes you happy? Show it in patterns! It is going to be a beautiful week in the 365 Picture Today Gallery!

Bliss FFS! This has the dual accolade of being an AFAC and an AAFP. I don’t do bliss, it’s a ridiculous word and makes me think of people speaking in tongues or suchlike. The dictionary definition is ‘supreme happiness’. Patterns do not make me supremely happy. So I shot the cat. Winnie is a supremely happy cat, she makes me smile, and has a wonderful symmetrical patterned fur coat. Worked for me.

bliss

Day 221 ~ Night. ~ Macro photography gives us the opportuity to make small details bigger than life.  Photographing the moon is not macro photography, but it sure is a fantastic night time subject and allows us to see the amazing patterns on the moon’s surface.  Unfortunately, tonight only a tiny sliver of the moon will be visible.  If you are feeling brave, and the weather cooperates where you are, try to capture some of the details of tonight’s crescent moon. If shooting the moon isn’t possible where you are, find an interesting light in the night sky, perhaps a sign or someone with a flashlight, and give it your best shot.

Another AAFP. It doesn’t get really dark here until 10-10.30pm, I had a helluva day at work with another one on the cards for the next day, and had to get up early for that. It was cloudy here so no moon and I wasn’t about to go traipsing round the streets looking for someone with a flashlight. I should have thought harder and been more creative but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, so I set up the tripod and camera in the garden and when it got really dark ran out and took a picture of the Fraggle Towers Illuminations. Not sure it’s a pattern, but it will have to do. My shed looks pretty 😊.

Day 222 ~ Impressive. ~ After a couple of days of Pattern Week, are you seeing patterns everywhere? I know I am. I love old buildings and often look at them and notice the pattern that was used to make the building pleasing to the eye.  The window copies the pattern of the arches, which when standing in the right place you can see how the pattern works. What is an impressive pattern to you?

Well no actually I’m not seeing patterns everywhere. I’m seeing a ton of earwax daily though. I was quite knackered when I got home from work, so fell back on my mosaics which are of course made of patterns. This is a table top I designed, and then mosaicked and as I’m quite chuffed with it I think that counts as impressive.

impressive

Day 223. ~ 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 our eyes open and have fun!

I fannied on with different patterned stuff in the shed for ages and this is the best of the (mediocre) bunch. Wasn’t all that happy with any of it so even prompt-free became an AAFP this week. Sigh.

prompt-free ~ patterns

Day 224 ~ Shiny. ~ Are you noticing new patterns in familiar places? I sure am!  Today we are going to up the challenge by asking you to incorporate some shine into your hunt for patterns! I promise that once you start looking, there are shimmery patterns everywhere! Maybe it’s your journal cover, some car rims in the parking lot, the office building on the corner, a sparkly purse at the store, or the tile backsplash in your kitchen. I can’t wait to see all the shine you find today! 

Another AAFP. No, I’m not noticing new patterns in familiar places, and that’s a stupid promise as there’s no sunshine here and no shimmery patterns. My journal cover is leather, I don’t live in a parking lot, and there’s no office buildings around here or sparkly purses at our Londis. I have matt tiles in the kitchen. Luckily Shelley visited with our beautiful grandaughter Liddy who brought her colouring book full of patterns to do. She told me she was ‘having a sparkly life’ which made me smile, and then I thought, our Liddy shines like a diamond, and lights up our hearts.

shiny

Day 225 ~ Tree. ~ I tried guys!  I tried to find trees that were growing in natural patterns.  I had been looking for months and just could not find anything that made much sense.  SO, I decided to collect leaves from some of our native trees and create my own pattern using the bark of a tree as my background.  I think this was as close as I could get to using the word “tree” along with a pattern.  Maybe you have some trees in your life that stand out as a perfect tree pattern; if not, try what I did and collect some leaves from your native trees and show us what they look like in your neck of the woods.  From left to right, I believe I have a pattern of aspen, elm, maple, red oak, and repeat.

This was quite a nice prompt I thought, and as we haven’t any perfect tree patterns anywhere around here I did as she advised. I took a walk over to the swampland across the road, and took a leaf or two from every tree I saw on the way there. Then I made them into a couple of tree patterns. Sort of. And I know dog rose isn’t a tree really, but the one I took the branch from was really tall and deserved to be a tree.

tree

And so to an ignominius end.

Day 226 ~ Observant. ~ It’s scavenger hunt time again!  I love these prompts.  Today’s word is observant.  As you go about your day today be on the lookout for something that fits for the words below and grab a photo of it.  Once you’ve taken your photos arrange them in a collage.  How observant are you today?

I do not love these prompts. The scavenger hunts are monumental AAFP’s as far as I’m concerned. I think a lot of 365ers take pictures in advance throughout the week which makes sense because running around doing 9 photo’s in a day is a bit of a bind, but that’s what I do, sigh. I wasn’t observant at all, actually I was a bit as I had a trip to Lidl and observantly found the heart, but the rest of the shots I took at home, with stuff I knew I had.

This is what we had to observe, under the weeks theme of pattern.

  1. colourful
  2. heart
  3. fuzzy
  4. wheel
  5. something that fits in your hand.
  6. with words
  7. delicate
  8. healthy
  9. round.
observant

So that’s that then. I’m not winning at patterns, but never mind, I can’t be amazing at everything. Next week is sodding selfie week, I’m nearly looking forward to it after this week, but really I’m not. Sigh.

Stay tooned for another moanfest. 🥴

365 ~ 1st ~ 7th August

I was looking forward to this one as it’s colour week, blue, and that’s my favourite colour of all. I was determined that no amount of AFACs or (Airy fairy abstract concepts) or AAFPs (annoying as expletive deleted prompts) were going to spoil things, and mostly it went well I think. So dear reader, onwards to the week’s offerings…

Day 213 ~ Scatter. ~ I can be scattered at the best of times so this clue is perfect for me! (this does not surprise me – F) It’s colour week again and blue is my favourite colour.  I was playing a Paw Patrol matching game with my grandson Charlie and I noticed that the cards scattered on the table were blue.  Perfect! What scattered items will you come across today?  If you don’t come across anything scattered in your travels, take things into your own hands and scatter away!   Have some fun with it.   Don’t forget to include something blue.

This one non-plussed me for a couple of minutes and I thought of scattering some of my blue mosaic tiles on the floor as if I’d spilled (spilt for my USA reader 😊) them, but then I thought of all the hassle of picking them all up after so I didn’t do that. Instead I photographed the blue lobelia scattered throughout the purple and white lobelia in the hanging basket Phil did for my shed.

scatter

Day 214 ~ Facilitate. ~ Color week is such a fun week. This week we are photographing “blue” which is my favorite color. Today’s prompt is “facilitate.”  Facilitating is helping something along, making it easier. I chose these umbrellas because they would definitely be a help on a sunny day.  What can you find today that “facilitates?” Or… what can you find that helps you in taking your photo today. Approach it with whatever makes sense to you!  But make it BLUE!

A definite AFAC but she redeemed herself at the end with the ‘what can you find that helps you in taking your photo.’ AFAC neutralised! I have just the thing!

facilitate

Day 215 ~ Grainy. ~ The word “grainy” takes on new meaning to photographers.  We tend to do whatever we can to avoid grainy photos.  In a more general sense, grainy refers to texture…something not smooth or not fine. With this photo, I converted the original image to black and white and then overlaid it with a blue filter.  Doing this made the flower pop from the “grainy” (not smooth) background. Think about what grainy means to you.  Mix that with some blue and share your creative concoction with us.

To be honest all that converting and filtering didn’t really work for grainy, so I wasn’t going down that road. And now and then when I’ve been art~farty inclined I’ve added a shed load of grain to a photo for a vintage effect, but I didn’t fancy that either. So I did a still life on some grainy wood instead.

grain

Day 216 ~ Edited. ~ My favourite colour happens to be blue!  I have some ‘love in the mist’ flowers in my garden.  To make the blue stand out even more, I edit in Lightroom and make the greens more blue. Show us how you edit your photo to be more blue!

Is everyone’s favourite colour blue?? I’m changing mine to teal or turquoise then. I kind of completely ignored the bit where she says ‘edit your photo to be more blue’ and didn’t realise that was the thing to do until after I’d gone mad ‘editing’ it to be less blue! I didn’t change it though as I liked the result.

edited

Day 217 ~ Words. ~ Today is the day to go out and find some words written in the colour BLUE!  I didn’t have to go far!  The sign outside my cabin door reads “Welcome to the Barmby’s Lake House”. It is a welcoming sign and I will greet you with a glass of wine or a refreshing beverage of your choice. Think graffiti, think store signage, think hand writing, think tattoos!  What can you find in your world that is written in blue today!

Thanks Mrs.Cocktail~Dress, my refreshing beverage would be a glass of wine so that kills two birds with one stone. I’m an easy guest. But today is not the day to go out looking for words, it’s doing stair rods here! No blue tattoos, no graffiti or store signs either. Handwriting? Well I’ve done calligraphy a couple of times but I don’t like to keep doing similar things, so that was out. I chatted on to Phil about it and he came up with a solution, songs are made up of words aren’t they?

words

Day 218 ~ Collection. ~ Today’s color prompt can be taken literally or figuratively! You decide! You could photograph a collection of blue items you may have; for example, a set of dishes, an array of yarns, a handful of seaglass, etc. Or You could make a collection of the blues you find as you go through the day! Consider creating a collage or a flatlay to show them off.I ended up having a very blue day! My collage included flowers along the sidewalk, a trip to the store, the rising moon, and a stroll on the beach.What Blue’s did you collect!

I did the lot here, I did a flat lay of some jewellry and rocks, photographed my collection of bottles and gave the blue kimidolls from my collection a photo shoot with Frego, and shot my collection of blue cameras, though I had to chop that a bit to fit it into the frame. I used the same collage template I use on the header at the blog here, but changed all the frames and sticks to shades of blue. I’m winning at collections! 🤣

collection

Day 219 ~ Interior. This prompt is pretty wide open especially after I read the actual definition of interior, which is: being within; inside of anything; internal; inner; further toward a center…  I could find so many blue things in my home.  Then, as I was working late one evening, I noticed this pretty blue light glowing from the interior of my laptop cooling tray and decided this was the winner.  Today, find ANYTHING blue inside of something and your photo of the day will be done!      

Well you’d think that would be pretty straightforward, but it turned into a right AAFP! I have lots of blue things in the house but not a single recepticle that a) has blue thing/blue things in it and b) is photogenic. I did try and photograph my chinese balls which are a beautiful dark shade of metallic pthalo blue with Cloisonné dragons on them, actually I’m not certain they’re dragons, they could be chickens. They’re in a pretty box, but they’re so shiny I couldn’t kill the reflections in them so after fannying on with blackout curtains, and trying to spot heal the reflections in post I gave up and started over. Not winning at shiny balls. 😔 Then I tried photographing my jars of blue mosaic tiles in various iterations, and whilst I solved the reflection problems they had it just wasn’t working. Had a cup of tea and that did the trick. I found an old silver pendant inlaid with Turquoise Ben bought me years ago on holiday in Turkey when I was looking for stuff for the collections shoot, and I bought a silver chain for it which arrived today. Amazon, sigh. I have a small box of the same colour as the Turquoise, with a ribbon on it, so put them together, and hey presto! I’m winning at interior! Finally!

interior

So blue week is, sadly, over. It’s been a good one, maybe that’s because I like blue things so much! I wonder if I had the same prompts but for say, brown, which I’m not so keen on, I might have ended up with my usual moanfest. But that’s a psychological conundrum that I’ll be exploring in the colour week at the start of September. Next week we are doing ‘Patterns’, and having perused the prompts can safely predict the moanfest will return.

Stay frosty people!

365 ~ July 25th ~ 31st

Why does a week on holiday always go so much faster than a week at work do you think? Sigh. Anyway a week off gave me more time for photography, and we had a couple of days in charge of two of our grandkids Matty and Livvy. The theme this week is all about Still Life photography so nothing too onerous unless we get AFACs (Airy fairy abstract concepts) or AAFPs (annoying as expletive deleted prompts).

Day 206 ~ Angle. ~ This week we will be practicing still life skills.  Still life photography focuses on inanimate subjects – usually with an emphasis on the arrangement of the item(s) you are photographing as well as the lighting and framing of the subject.  This sort of photography is great to practice composition and lighting and can absolutely help us all onto the road to becoming better photographers. Today, think about the angle you want to best showcase the subject you want to capture.  This beautiful butterfly is hanging on a wall and I was sitting below it.  The natural light pouring in from the window was lovely so I easily turned around, looked up with my camera, and voila, a lovely still life photo. 

Sigh. Looking up and snapping a picture of a fake butterfly on your wall is not really arranging a still life is it? Well the picture wasn’t moving around so there’s that.

angle

Day 207 ~ 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 our eyes open and have fun!

I had a fanny on in my shed to make a pretty still life, kind of wish I hadn’t done this one as next week’s theme will need the bottles at some point I should think, but not to worry, I don’t mind finding new ways to photograph them.

prompt-free still-life

Day 208 ~ 7 O’Clock. ~ Today we are taking our photo at 7 O’Clock. It can be a.m. or p.m. We are going to be slightly more intentional with today’s time prompt since it falls during Still Life week. You don’t have to own a lot of fancy props or backdrops to make an interesting still life. You can make a simple scene with items on hand. I look for a few things that will tell a story. I like to think that my example photo reflects someone reading a book, looking at their watch and needing to step away. The spectacles were left behind as well as the watch.If you want to add more texture you can use a cloth or fresh or dried flowers. You can also just grab an image of items that reflect your day today. It’s 7 O’Clock. What’s happening with you today?

To be honest I was still asleep at 7 am, and eating dinner at 7pm, and no-one needs to see that. I had time to play in the afternoon, so I got Phil’s Dad’s old pocket watch which, as he had it with him in WW2 has travelled the world a bit, and put it together with my travel book and a steam ship ticket. We can just pretend it was taken at 7 O’Clock as the shot wouldn’t look any different. 🙄😃

7 O’Clock

Day 209 ~ Plastic. ~ I have to confess that still life photography is difficult for me.  I much prefer photographing things in their natural state.  In this case, the leaf was still and it represents life so I’m calling it still life.  Because of my purist tendencies, I also don’t tend toward a lot of filters, etc. when I edit.  But because today’s sub prompt is plastic, I stepped outside my comfort zone and played a little. I used some high-tech materials – plastic wrap, a rubber band, and a permanent marker.  Covering your lens with a piece of kitchen plastic wrap secured with a rubber band creates this kind of dreamy feel.  If you want to add a bit of moodiness, which I did here, color the plastic wrap with permanent marker.  Try different colors and notice how they change the feel of the image.  So that you don’t accidentally get permanent marker on your lens, lay the plastic flat, draw around your lens cap, and then color inside the circle. Whatever you choose to photograph, play a little while doing so!

Do what?? WTA Heck (substitute a swear word there if you like, I did)! Colouring cling-film in with a permanent marker and sticking it over my very expensive lens was not an option, I’ve got a lensbaby and filters in my processing software that do the job of toning and moodiness if I need it, sod being purist! Pfft, purist tendencies indeed, you’d be using a Giroux Daguerrotype if you really had them. This was a definite AAFP. I did nothing she suggested but brought Freggo out of retirement, she’s plastic. We photographed the dinosaur you may have noticed in the shed scene last week, that’s plastic too. I photographed them against a white background and then photoshopped a sky in (badly 🤣) to the scene to be totally anti-purist.

plastic

Day 210 ~ Motivation. ~ For still life photography I like to use side light and take it at eye level. I find that a tripod and a remote (app on my phone) or self timer is a must for a still life photo. Photographing inanimate subjects means that you don’t have to worry too much about having a high ISO number, therefore you don’t get any noise in your photos. This also means hand held will cause camera shake! I had the motivation to actually put my photos into a book. To celebrate this I took a photo of the book with my beautiful pink mug from NY, and I used a dried hydrangea in order to have an odd number of objects to tie them together. What has motivated you today?

Motivation as still-life is a bona fide AFAC. However I was motivated today to take Matty and Livvy out for the afternoon as we were fed up of them fratching and making squeaky noises. We visited Tweddle Farm which is about 1/2 hr away from us and has playgrounds and tractor rides etc. for the kids, plus goats,horses, cows, pigs, rabbits, parrots and some lovel reindeer type things. I asked the kids to stand next to the piggy wall for a photograph, so as Mrs.Purist-Tendancy would say, they were still, and they represent life, so I’m calling it still life. 😜

motivation

Day 211 ~ Forge. ~ Forge: to form by heating and hammering and beating into shape! Well that is an interesting word to try to work a prompt around and a still life at that! I recently started the hobby of stamping on metal. I’ve been enjoying stamping on old silver cutlery and I’ve made some pretty funny and interesting pieces. Forge can also mean a fireplace, a hearth or a furnace for heating. Can you create a still life with the word ‘forge’ in mind? You are going to need to put your thinking cap on for this one!  It might mean setting up a still life on a fireplace or hearth. Or, if you like “beating something into shape”, try a still life with baking beaters!  Hammers and gardening tools are also good for pounding! As are punching gloves! Have fun. Get creative.

Seriously? C’mon!! This is Mrs.Cocktail~Dress’s prompt and it’s not an AFAC but it’s a damned fine AAFP. Firstly I have central heating not a fireplace or hearth. Fossil fuels are not the way forward. Secondly I had to look up ‘baking beaters’, she means an electric whisk, but what that has to do with a forge is beyond me. Thirdly, I am NOT hammering, pounding and punching things for heavens sakes, what does she think I am? a ruddy navvy???

forge

Day 212 ~ keys. ~ We are wrapping up Still Life photography with an object as old as time!  Keys – they have been around since the 6th century BC and we still use them to this day!  Consider all the still life tips offered throughout the week – lighting, composition, and angle. Your set up can be simple or elaborate:  Have fun and enjoy the process. After all, the keys won’t complain if you make them pose over and over again

Finally!! A decent prompt, clear and succinct no AFAC and not an AAFP. I have a set of antique keys I bought for six quid a few years ago in a National Trust gift shop. Obviously they are not real antiques but they are real keys, I knew I’d need them for a photo one day!

keys

SO that’s the end of still-life week, though not the end of still-life shots I’m sure, especially as next week is colour week. I did enjoy the non-annoying prompts, there were 4 of them so on balance I’m winning at still-lifes! Stay tooned for Adventures in Blue next time!

365 ~ 18th ~ 24th July

This week has been sodding selfie week, but also I have been away since Wednesday visiting my son Ben and his lady Charlotte, and Ben’s son Lewis, so doing pictures for this project has mostly been a quick snap on the iPhone as I wanted to focus on my little family.

On with the pictures! (Warning there’s a swear word in here somewhere).

Day 199 ~ Togetherness. ~ As we start another Picture You Week, remember including yourself in your 365 project is important BUT it doesn’t have to mean a week of selfies! That’s right!  You can share just a little of you or something representative of you! Consider the details of your day as they relate to the prompts.  As you can see from the photo above, I was able to document our get together with the “mermaids” without including very much and the best part of all? No one grumbled about having their photo taken. How will you photograph “just the details” and manage to include yourself too? 

Have to say they didn’t look much like mermaids, I would have thought having a fishy tail would be a necessity, but they all had people legs. In spite of being an AFAC (airy fairy abstract concept) it wasn’t hard to fathom.

togetherness

Day 200 ~ Junk.~ My hubby wasn’t very happy with me when I told him we needed to take a photo with his Bronco for my prompt word “junk.”  His exact words were “My Bronco isn’t junk!!” I just giggled at him and made him play along. He has owned this truck for 22 years but only drove it for 7 of those years, which is exactly why I consider it junk!  When we started dating, we spent countless hours driving around getting to know each other personally (and romantically to be completely honest *wink, wink*) in this truck. To me it’s junk, but special junk for us both. My hubby is holding on to it hoping to one day get it running again.  I hope you’ll be able to share with us something you have that you consider junk but aren’t willing to part with. Or maybe your “junk” isn’t something YOU consider junk – but other people do. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  Don’t forget to include yourself in your photo with your junk today!

Frankly that was more information than I needed to know and seeing their legs sticking out of the front passenger door of the Bronco was just wrong. They had clothes on for heaven’s sakes, if you’re going to simulate car nooky *wink, wink* at least take your jeans off. Also I have to say there is no way that Bronco is ever gonna run again, it’s a shitheap. (That was the swear word) Anyway I don’t have any junk and said as much to Phil, and he said “what about all the stuff in your shed??” I was quite offended.

(not) junk

Day 201 ~ Contentment. ~ I have always considered myself to be content.  I love life and I try to see the good all around me.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  One of the places I feel most content is when I get to spend time with my best friend, Marie.  We have been best friends since the age of 5. We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like but we do spend a weekend together every summer at her family cottage.  I always have my camera with me when we visit as I like to capture as many details as I can of our time together.  I think the smiles on our faces show how much our friendship means to both of us.  What small things make you happy?  What details can you capture today that represent contentment to you?

Today was not conducive to being content (another AFAC!) as work was full on ~ our office manager treble booked all my appointments for yesterday and today as I’m having 10 days off 🙄 so I worked my proverbials off, then when I got home I had to do ironing and packing for going away as I was setting off early the next day. I didn’t have time to do a ‘proper’ photo but found Winnie embodying contentment at the bottom of our bed. No I’m not in it but I’ll use the something representative of you part of this weeks prompts, and Winnie is my representative.

contentment

Day 202 ~ Heart. ~ What captures your heart? Don’t overthink it.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hypaethral for the shortest prompt ever, non AFAC too! This was an easy one for me. After a 4 & 1/2 hour drive I landed in Leighton Buzzard and got to hug my grandson Lewis. He stole my heart 11 years ago and still has it.

heart

Day 203 ~ Amusement. ~ Google defines amusement as “the state or experience of finding something funny.”  It can also refer to an Amusement Park, something I love!  I don’t know about you, but I can become quite easily amused when I get together with a particular group of friends.  A simple look at one another can send us into laughter. When it comes to having a house full of cats, there is no shortage of funny moments.  Today was laundry day and Lafayette always knows best.  I don’t know what it is, but pets always seemed to be amused by whatever we humans are doing. Please show us what amuses you today.  It could be a pet, an interaction amongst friends, a trip to an actual amusement park, or anything in between.

We decided to visit Willen Lake today at Milton Keynes. It comprises 180 acres of landscaped parkland which surround around 100 acres of water across two lakes. Both lakes are balancing lakes, the southern lake offers a wide range of activities on and off the water, whilst the northern lake offers a more natural and tranquil setting, ideal for quiet walks and spotting wildlife. Actually this was not a great idea. We walked round the lake in 30˚C (86F) heat, having stupidly not taken any drinking water with us. I did struggle a bit, but the kids did OK. Anyway, we thought this picture was amusing, as we always stick our tongues out when being photographed.

amusement

Day 204 ~ path. ~ It is the monthly Where I Stand prompt, it is good to get your feet into the photo, but if not possible don’t worry. I was walking along part of the coastal walk in Cornwall, United Kingdom.  The whole trail is 630 miles long; we only did about 10 miles this day!  I just love all the paths that the walkers create along this bit. Which path are you taking today?

Another nice prompt especially as we visited Rushmere Country Park this day. It was a. few degrees cooler and quite shady what with all the trees so a much better day all round.

path

Day 205 ~ interact. ~ Do you remember what you did on January 9th and April 3rd of this year? Do you remember the photo you took on that day? If not, go back and look because you will need to revisit that spot again today.  These are my photos from the beach in front of my house. I cannot wait to show you what it looks like today in July! Today’s Picture Your World prompt invites you to photograph the same location four times throughout this year documenting the changing seasons along the way.  You may choose a different perspective or choose to include different subjects in these repeating photos, but try to make it obvious to the viewer that they are seeing the same location. It is ‘picture you” week so you may want to include yourself or part of yourself “interacting” in your world. Once you have taken today’s photo, create a triptych using it and your January and April photo.  There are many apps that make creating triptychs simple.  

I’m amazed anyone can forget we are doing this ‘same shot in different seasons’ thing, especially as we’ve already done two, but I guess there may be some senile people doing the challenge. Anyways I hadn’t forgotten. Unfortunately this is the day I travelled back home, and after the long drive back at night I knew it wouldn’t be possible to take it on the day. So for the first time I pre-empted the prompt and went out on Wednesday evening to take the shot. I didn’t want to include myself as I hadn’t in any of the others and wanted a coherant series.

interact

and this is the large version. Interact seems a strange title to me but hey ho, whatever.

interact

Another sodding selfie week accomplished, not the best perhaps, but seeing my boys was the main thing for me this week. Back to normal life now, and this week we’ll be having adventures in ‘still life’ so stay tooned!