365~June 6th ~ 12th

We are in another ‘colour’ week, although black & white are not so much colours in my mind, but no matter, I like doing B&W stuff. I was quite looking forward to it but it turned out to have an annoyance factor of at least 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. So I’m not all that happy with some of my shots, but, every day’s a school day so onwards ever onwards.

Day 157 ~ Quality. ~ The definition of quality is “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.” Or, “a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something.” Today, I strongly encourage you to use the second idea of just focusing on a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by your subject. This prompt is not a requirement to post your best quality image.  I challenge you to really think about what quality says to you today. 

Straight in with an AFAC (airy fairy abstract concept) prompt so that wasn’t the best start for me. I’d rather have done the first definition, plenty of quality gear in our gaff, like extra-virgin olive oil, or lindt chocolates, but no, she wanted the quality of a subject. I just could not get my head around it so instead focussed on ‘quality time’ which is kind of AFAC, so this is me and Phil having quality time. ūüôĄ

Day 158 ~ Roadside. ~ One of the things I really like about a 365 project is that it gets me out exploring the beautiful city of Ottawa that I’ve called home for the last 4 years.  I’ve also found myself on countless roadtrips exploring the surrounding countryside, villages, and towns, as well.  It’s been an awesome way for me to learn more about my new home. When I go out exploring, I’m often surprised by what I find along the roadside.  We were out touring around downtown recently and I saw the unique bike structure near the parliament buildings.  It was being used for advertising.  I had to grab a photo of it as I thought it was kind of cool.  When processing, I converted it to black and white to fit in with this week’s theme. Show us what crazy, unique, or interesting things you find on the roadside as you go about your travels today.

Sigh. Well at least it was specific, but no-one round here leaves crazy, cool interesting things on the roadside, though there are some dodgy looking motors on the wrong side of the tracks area of Wardley. I remembered Wardley has one of the announcement-of-where-you-are stones places tend to have up here, so I walked up to photograph that instead. In days of yore Wardley was a mining village, so it’s stone has a carved miner’s lamp decoration, though the lamp portrayed looks like a Marsault lamp invented by Jean Marsaut, a French mining engineer. Wouldn’t have been used here in the North East as they used a Geordie lamp- invented by George Stephenson. Oh well.

Day 159 ~ Plenty. ~ Have you noticed that converting a photo to B&W can really make the details pop? Past their prime flowers are a favorite subject for me to photograph. Part of the charm is the fading color… but, when you convert to B&W your eye really goes to the tiniest of details. This faded daisy has plenty of delightful details. Each individual petal has a charm of its own. The withering center with delicate puff is spectacular. Find a subject today that represents plenty and convert it to B&W. It can have a lot of detail, represent a feeling of plenty, or any other way the word speaks to you.

Another AFAC although you’d think there were plenty of ‘plenties’ in the world. Another thing that annoys me is having too much to choose from, and it’s hard to make up my mind. I have plenty of clothes/flowers/boots/CD’s etc etc etc, but in the end I went with a dandelion. Plenty of seeds, I thought, though Connie tells me each seed represents a dream, so plenty of those too.

Day 160 ~ Paper. ~ White can be a difficult color to photograph.  Doing so requires careful attention to the “temperature” of your image by adjusting the white balance setting.  Today is a good day to play with adjusting your white balance manually.  I generally have my WB set to 5000K, a good right in the middle setting.  To determine the white balance setting in a particular image, photograph something in your scene that is white.  Since today’s prompt is paper, you can also place a white piece of paper in the scene for a test shot.  You want that piece of paper to be a true white in your photo.  Adjust your white balance either up or down to achieve the white you want.  Temperature can be edited in post-processing, but it sure is nice to get it as close as possble in camera!  To understand light color and Kelvin, take a trip to the lightbulb aisle at your local home improvement store.  That is the quickest way to see what is meant by the various numbers! See what you can do with shooting a black and white image in color.

Well today was a work day and this afternoon a dental appointment so I didn’t have time to fanny on. Ergo I ignored most of that, the prompt was Paper, not white paper and I certainly was not going to traipse off to B&Q’s lighting section, still not sure how that would help matters at all. I used my origami skill set instead.

Day 161 ~ Capable. ~ Capable – having the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing. I think I am capable, but I am move (I think she means ‘more’ not ‘move’) capable with my husband by my side;¬†¬†together we make a good team.¬† We have been together for 42 years, have four grown¬†children, and have weathered life together as you can see by the wrinkles. How do you manage to be capable?¬† Remember it is black and white week!

Seriously??? Can you hear me groaning as I am just thinking about how much this one annoyed me. This is the Mother of all AFACs. How do I manage to be capable of what?? You can’t just be capable without an of something attached. Pfft. If I list all the things that a human being is capable of, and me in particular, we will be here until forever. Well you won’t no doubt, you’ll step aside from the vehicle and move on the next blog. I had smoke coming out of my facial orifices for this one. Phil couldn’t help either as he knows I’m multi-capable and so is he. I checked out other peoples offerings on instagram, not much inspiration, an out of focus cat, someone’s daughter (badly composed) a chopped down tree stump. Sigh. Anyway I got on with the laundry whilst racking my brain (no it DOESN’T have a W in front of it in real life grammar) and hung out some clothes on my dryer, which promptly collapsed when one of the side supports snapped. Phil and I propped it up on garden chairs and I concluded that it’s good to be capable of improvisation in a crisis. Sorted.

Day 162 ~ Ink. ~ Ink day!  Who wants to try a new trick?  Don’t worry, “Ink in Water Photography” is very simple and fun although it can be a bit messy! Honestly, you don’t need any special equipment and this can be done with a cell phone. I took this picture using a large vase, some white foam core, a desk lamp, some ink from a fountain pen, an eye dropper, my camera, and a tripod. If this does not tickle your fancy, no problem!  Show us ink!  Pens, tattoos, books, typewriters……..Have fun!

Well thank the deity of your choice that Mrs. Cocktail Dress came up with a bonafide specific task! She is my new fave prompt giver. I’d done the old ink in water shots in the past, so decided to go with tattoos as Phil has a couple of artistic ones, but they just didn’t work in black and white, so I got out my fountain pen and did one of my calligraphy shots instead. Sorry to say my calligraphy skills are a bit ropey as I haven’t done any proper work in calligraphy for years, but it’s inspired me to get a special pen for it for future and I’ll be practicing my alphabets, so next time I need to do it I can impress you with it’s gorgeousness.

Day 163 ~ Richness. ~ I hope you have enjoyed color week! I always hate to see it end! We sure have explored Black and White photography in a variety of fun ways!  As you go through your day think about the richness your image will hold without the distraction of color. Consider highlighting patterns and textures, light and shadows, people and things.  You can shoot in color and then convert to B&W or if your camera has a B&W mode give this feature a try. It is a great way to train your eye. There is much richness in the details, so let‚Äôs show them off today! 

Another AFAC but one that I didn’t have trouble with. Winnie has great patterns and textures and I caught her sitting in a box with the light on her face and her body in shade, and she lends herself beautifully to black and white, being a grey/black/white cat. Also she enriches our lives immeasurably as does Lord Vincent, it’s my fave shot this week. Finally winning at black and white! ūüėÉ

So there ends the black and white week. Starting today we’re on another composition technique week, and this time we are ‘isolating our subjects’. I’ve had a look through the prompts, ūü•ī Stay tooned!

The Warkworth Castle report~part 1 B&W

I had a fab day out with Sophie yesterday, we went to Warkworth and visited the castle, the Hermitage, the village and also stopped off at Amble Marina on the way home. Took loads of photo’s with the Fuji-XT1 and as I took loads I’m going to drip feed the blog as 80 odd shots might be too much all at once :). Firstly a mini history of the castle.. Warkworth Castle¬†is a ruined medieval building in the¬†town of Warkworth.¬†It¬†occupies a loop of the¬†River Croquet less than a mile from England’s north-east coast. When the castle was founded is uncertain: traditionally its construction has been ascribed to Prince¬†Henry of Scotland¬†in the mid-12th¬†century, but it may have been built by King¬†Henry II of England¬†when he took control of England’s northern counties. Warkworth Castle was first documented in a charter of 1157‚Äď1164 when Henry¬†II granted it to Roger fitz Richard. The timber castle was considered “feeble”, and was left undefended when the Scots invaded in 1173. Roger’s son Robert inherited and improved the castle. Robert was a favourite of King John,¬†and hosted him at Warkworth Castle in 1213. The castle remained in the family line, with periods of guardianship when heirs were too young to control their estates. King Edward 1st¬†stayed overnight in 1292 and John de Clavering, descendant of Roger fitz Richard, made the Crown his inheritor. With the outbreak of the¬†Anglo-Scottish wars, Edward II¬†invested in castles including Warkworth where he funded the strengthening of the garrison in 1319. Twice in 1327 the Scots besieged the castle without success. John de Clavering died in 1332 and his widow in 1345, at which point¬†Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy¬†took control of Warkworth Castle.¬†Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland added the imposing keep overlooking the village of Warkworth in the late 14th century. The¬†4th Earl¬†remodelled the buildings in the bailey and began the construction of a¬†church¬†within the castle, but work on the latter was abandoned after his death. Though¬†Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland supported¬†Parliament during the¬†English Civil War, the castle was damaged during the conflict. The last Percy earl died in 1670. In the mid-18th century the castle found its way into the hands of¬†Hugh Smithson who married the indirect¬†Percy Heiress. He adopted the name “Percy” and founded the dynasty of the Dukes of Northumberland, through whom possession of the castle descended. In the late 19th¬†century, the dukes refurbished Warkworth Castle and¬†Anthony Salvin¬†was commissioned to restore the keep.¬†Alan Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland gave custody of the castle to the¬†Office of Works¬†in 1922. Since 1984¬†English Heritage¬†has cared for the site, which is a Grade¬†I¬†listed building¬†and a¬†Scheduled Ancient Monument. That’s from wiki, lots of Dukes and Earls, The Percy family are well known in Northumberland with an amazing history ~ The Smithsonian Institute in USA would not exist without them, but that’s a different story. Anyway, I took some shots and converted some to black & white using Nik Silver FX which is a cool processing programme. I don’t do a lot of ¬†B&W as I love colour, but sometimes you have to try something different, so here are the ones I did preceded by a map of the grounds wg-3

The Castle
The Castle

The Lion Tower
The Lion Tower

Grey Mare's Tail Tower
Grey Mare’s Tail Tower

The Lion Tower details
The Lion Tower details

I thought the lion was a sheep when I first saw it ūüôā

Not sure what these were for
Not sure what these were for

Going up
Going up

doorways
doorways

chimney & webs
chimney & webs

fireplace, needed to big to heat this place!
fireplace, needed to be so big to heat this place!

lost keys
lost keys

which way?
which way?

mini canons
mini canons

a bigger mini canon
a bigger mini canon

arches
arches

this is one of the latteral aspects (right hand side of main castle shot).
rear aspect

That’s part one done, I quite like how the B&W worked out, without the distraction of colour it’s easy to focus on the textures and I think it lends itself well, so next time will be some more of the castle but in glorious technicolour ūüôā

well, couldn't resist.
well, couldn’t resist.

I’m off to stay in York for a couple of days tomorrow, very exciting, and no doubt will have even more photo’s, this holiday should keep me in blog posts for a year! laters gaters ūüėČ

73/365 Depth of Screws

screws

No great landscapes to shoot today, didn’t have time this morning when the sky was fab, and by the time I did, flat grey sky with a sprinking of rain, not inspiring at all. ¬† So I gaffed about with some flowers but that didn’t turn out too well, not in a flower mood I guess, so I read my digital photography magazine, and it told me that if I needed inspiration I should shoot screws. So I did. ūüôā

Only one more day to go til the weekend, yay, fingers crossed for some spring like weather. ¬†Then my Ben is coming to stay for a week, also yay, and come to work with me and carry my heavy bags! It’s lovely to have some company for a week for a change and Ben is good to have as a driver’s mate!