365 ~ 4th ~ 10th July

This week is another Colour week, and we are having adventures in Green. Green is not one of my go-to colours, it’s nice for plants an’all, but other than that isn’t of much interest to me, also I read through the prompts for the week and found myself groaning, more AFAC’s (arty farty abstract concepts) to deal with, so it hasn’t been the best of weeks photographically speaking.

Anyway, onwards with my offerings.

Day 185 ~ Lace. ~ Lace is usually white or cream, but if you have some green lace go ahead and take a photo.  If, like me, you don’t have any, then think out of the box, this is a field of corn and I think the leaves give a lacy feel. Let us see what you come up with for Lace today!

Well this one was straightforward, I used a lacy overcoaty thingy for a dress I never wear.

lace

Day 186 ~ Empathy. ~ Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I was struggling to find my grandson’s smile on a particularly hard day for him. I gave him a mood ring.  The ring had a brown stone in it and he was fascinated when I told him it changed colour with his mood.  Sure enough, it turned from brown to yellow.  “What does yellow mean Granny?”  “Damon it means you are mellow-yellow and feeling fine!” He liked that and a small smile appeared.  But then, it turned to green!  “What does green mean Granny?”  “It means you are happy Damon”, “Would you like to wear it Granny and we can both be happy?”  So much empathy from his young soul. And with that our day was complete. Green is the colour of tranquility and tranquility was what he needed on this day. 

Seriously??? Empathy in green?? A gold medal AFAC from Mrs.Cocktail Dress who I was getting to like after her last prompt or two. Sigh. It was a hard day at work for me, and the clinic manager is about as empathetic as a dead gnu, so I wasn’t feeling it at all when I got home. Had a cuppa, and forgot about stressing and this idea popped into my head. So I did it.

empathy

Day 187 ~ Full. ~ Don’t you just love color week? I’m always surprised by what catches my eye and even more surprised at the things I hadn’t noticed before I was on the hunt for a particular color! Since today’s word is FULL –  let’s fill every inch of the frame with green!  I can’t wait to see what you’ve been overlooking while waiting for Green Week!

Another mega day at work, I should stop with that as it’s an ongoing thing now, doesn’t look like it will be changing any time soon. I’m getting more and more clients in wiith actual ear problems rather than wax, but the GP’s surgeries are still not seeing people, or they’re having to wait so long for an appointment so they come to me. I do the best I can and refer back to the GP by letter when I find a real problem. Anyway I digress. Full is what we have to do. I figured the view from our bedroom window is particularly greenful at this point in time.

full

Day 188 ~ Adventurous. ~ What a perfect color to capture today’s prompt of adventurous!  I took this photo in early spring, and I found that a low point of view was going to be best to capture as much green as I could. Today, try to capture your adventure at a low point of view.  It really does draw your eyes to your subject in a neat way!   Don’t forget to capture as much green as you can too!  

Well my only adventure was going to work and this afternoon going for a dental appointment. The dentist doesn’t have green livery or I’d have shot that! I went stalking Winnie as she is always off on adventures around where we live.

adventurous

Day 189 ~ Door. ~ I love photographing doors.  I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unique doors when I’m out and about.  When I travel, I love to find doors that are unique to the specific culture and show the architecture of that country.  I think doors can be so beautiful. This door leads into the cellar at a historical building at a site not far from me.  It’s a fairly plain door but the stonework around it fascinated me and I was immediately drawn to it.  Fortunately for me is was a lovely shade of green! What unique and interesting door can you find today?  As it’s colour week, try and find a green door.  If you can’t find a green door, include some greenery or something else green in your photo.

I had to take Phil to the Sunderland Eye Hospital today as he was in for lazer treatment for his poorly eyes, so that took a fair bit of the day up, but I went for a walk when we got home as I knew and had photographed a well cool door on the outskirts of our estate. It belongs to Woodbine House, a remnant of when Wardley was a pit village. It used to be a Post Office and then the British Legion club. Last time I went it was a bit dilapidated but had a crusty front door with peeling green paint I thought would be cool. But when I got there some bugger had bought it, done it up and painted the front door a hideous bland blue/grey. Sigh. So I took a picture of the only green door I could find on the modern side on my way home.

door

Day 190 ~ Challenge. ~ What is a challenge for you? We all face challenges of some kind. It could be a mental challenge, a physical challenge or an emotional challenge. This photo represents all of the above to me. Hiking on a trail, having to navigate water and obstacles. How do you get around or through it?  Can my body even do it? How do I face my emotional fear? You can share details of your struggles or keep it simple. It’s up to you how vulnerable you want to be with the prompt. It’s green week so it might be a “challenge” to even incorporate the color in your image.

Blimey that’s all a bit intense. I’m not sharing anything about my ‘struggles’ or ’emotional fears’, mainly because I don’t have any, and if I did I wouldn’t be plastering them all over ruddy Instagram. 🙄 I had to take Phil to his hospital at South Shields to hand in his sick certificate, and we went into town after to the flea market there. I challenged myself to find something green and pretty to take a picture of. I found this lovely little vintage mint perfume atomiser made out of Caithness glass, which is made in Crieff, Perthshire which is somewhere in Scotland but no-where near Caithness. It cost me £5 and when I looked up Caithness Glass found one in Etsy just the same selling for £25! Bargain! I’m winning at green!

challenge

Daay 191~ magic. ~ Today is my anniversary, a day when I take a stroll down memory lane to the magical moments that Weber and I have shared.  One of my favorite things to do in my daily photos is to try to document the emotions of my day.  Some days, I can do that with a photo only.  Other days, words come to me first and, in turn, inspire the photo.  That was the case here.  I love this quote and it seemed quite appropriate for the day’s emotions.  Thinking about the words sent me on the hunt for something that, for me, represented an angel’s wing.  All of the green makes the image feel so magical and alive .How do you see and feel magic?  If words inspire you, include a quote with your photo.  

Well dear reader, you can imagine, I didn’t know whether to blaspheme or just swear like a navvy, so I did both. 🥴 ‘Angels wings’, pfft! I am designating this another Gold medal AFAC, that’s 2 in one week, the ladies have outdone themselves. Anyway this is what I cobbled together for it.

magic

Thankfully that’s the end of green week. Stay tooned for the next week when we are having adventures in points of view>

365 ~ 27th June ~ 3rd July

This week is all about ‘it’s in the details’, which for me, means getting out the macro lens. That’s something I do quite a lot anyway so I wasn’t expecting any AFAC’s (airy fairy abstract concepts) or anything much to be very challenging.

Day 178 ~ Focused. ~ One of the things that I love most about a daily photography project is that it asks me to look at the details of my life me closely.  It asks me to slow down and appreciate the subtle details of my day that might otherwise go unnoticed. Find a familiar something in your world.  Look at it with fresh eyes.  Photograph a detail that you had not noticed before.

The only problem with this one is how to find something I haven’t noticed before, but I managed. I have an old jewellry/trinket box that has a Chinese cork carving encased in it’s lid. It’s been sitting on a shelf gathering dust for aeons and I haven’t used it or really looked at it. When I picked it up the lid fell apart, so I photographed part of the carving whilst Phil repaired the lid. The carving is so delicate, the little temple here is just under 4cm high.

focused

Day 179 ~ Rusty. ~ I love rusty old things that are lying around in all sort of places.  These horse shoes are on this rack at a farm that I sometimes pass on my walks. Think about what details you want to show.  I took this at a wide aperture (a low f number) so that I could get the details on the first horse shoe. I got in close to see the detail and reminded myself to consider  the length of focus of my lens. What rusty thing can you find today to show the details?

I was at work all day and very busy, no rust there but I sent a text to Phil and asked him to find something rusty in his shed. He had a better idea though, the chains holding up the hanging baskets Phil has put together are quite rusty, (hmm, hope they don’t break under the weight 🥴 ) so that worked for me!

rusty

Day 180 ~ Worthy. ~ Life is short.  Eat more ice-cream! You are worthy when you say you are!  And being worthy might mean you can gift or treat yourself to something you love or desire.   What are you worthy of treating yourself to today? It might be a bubble bath,  a good book, a glass of wine, a hike, a delicious meal or any number of things you find enjoyable. In my case, it was an ice-cream cone! Remember to include the details!  

Well this was a bit AFACy but not really, just had to figure out a treat. Again a busy day at work, it really is mad there these days and I’m knackered when I get home. But I sat in my garden with a nice cup of tea, and admired my wildflower patch that I’m dead chuffed with. It’s a treat to see all the bees on it and that does make me feel worthy. I am an eco-warrior!

worthy

Day 181 ~ prompt free day. ~ 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!

Another work day, though I finish earlier on a Wednesday (thank heavens) but had a dental appointment to attend in the afternoon. A lovely sunny afternoon and when I got home I meandered my estate (🤣) taking macro shots of flowers and cats. The picture I chose is one of the emerging daisy type flowers in the hanging baskets. They have quite strange greenery as you can see, which is neither wet or sticky, just sort of rough. Quite fascinated me and I’ll have to find out what that’s all about, presume some sort of protective device.

prompt free

Day 182 ~ Skillfull.~ These skillful hands belong to none other than our own community member, Jenny Ziegler!  She and I share a love of scrapbooking as well as photography.  Lucky for me, we recently got together with some other friends to do some scrapbooking.  It was a perfect opportunity for me to capture skillful hands at work.  Today, see if you can find skillful hands to capture and if you can’t – try to find something that tells the story of what skillful means to you.  

Firstly, neither the USA spelling, nor the UK spelling of skilful, is ‘skillfull’. Just wanted to clarify that. Luckily the lady gets it right in the rest of her prompt. Well at least right for American members of the 365, and 1 in 4 Canadians. Scrapbooking seems to be a thing on Instagram, it’s where people stick bits of meaningful paper/photos etc into a large paper book. I used to make scrapbooks, it was a thing we did as kids, but now lots of grown-ups do it too. Also journaling is a similar thing only just with words and doodles, also something I did as a kid, except I called it keeping a diary. People must have oodles of time to do all this, or be retired, or be married to rich chaps. (Not being sexist, have yet to come across a male scrapbooker). Skilful to me means Phil, what with his bass guitar skills, his modelling skills and his D.I.Y skills, all of which are well documented on this venerable blog at various points. But he is also a skilled Mr.Fixer, and when things break, or snap, or come apart, he is the go-to person.

skilful

Day 183 ~ Over. ~ It’s the small details in this photo that tell the story.  Brian is looking over Charlie both literally and figuratively.  He’s his protector.  The detail of them holding hands portrays the special relationship between grandfather and grandson.  Together, they are walking over a bridge.  I have no idea what the conversation was but I’m sure they were talking about bugs, dinosaurs or sharks.  I love capturing details of the special relationship between my two favourite people. What story do you want to tell today?  What details can you include in your photo that help tell that story?  Don’t OVER-think it!

Wasn’t sure what to do with this one. The prompt-lady worked hard to make her example shot of her hubby and grandson fit in with ‘over’, wasn’t what sprung to mind when I saw it anyway. I’m classing it as a minor AFAC. We went off to Lidl for a few bits and pieces this morning where I bought some maple and pecan danish pastries for our breakfast tomorrow. I love the flavour of maple syrup, it has a je ne sais quoi that hunny or golden syrup do not have. So I poured some of it over one of the pastries, a Canadian-Danish conjoining of great yumminess. Job done. Winning at details!

over

Day 184 ~ Benefit. ~ For our “in the details” photo today, we are going to be looking for something that benefits.In my example photo, the dragonfly is very beneficial. Where I live, mosquitos are a huge problem. The dragonfly eats 100’s of mosquitos per day helping keep them at bay. They also feed on horseflies and other pests. I love the details on a dragonfly. Each variety is so interesting in color and markings. When you get in close, you can really see all of the delicate features. Look for something beneficial today and get in close for the details.

I should have saved taking a bee picture for this prompt, sigh, never mind, other people have done that and I like to be different.. It’s raining here today and forecast thunderstorms which is exciting, haven’t had one for ages. I decided my specs were a good candidate for this prompt as they prevent me from crashing my car into people when I’m out on the road, always a benefit to other motorists and pedestrians.

benefit

So that’s the end of the ‘details’ week, and also Thursday was the halfway mark for this 365, which divided by 2 = 182.5, so only another 179.5 days to go now. 🥴
Stay tooned for next weeks adventures in Green!

365 ~ June 20th ~ 26th

So here we go with another sodding selfie week, with an overall theme of ‘What I Love’. Sigh. I don’t love selfie week. Not too many AFACs (airy fairy abstract concepts) this week, at least none that have thwarted me. Yet.

Day 171 ~ Determined. ~ Today’s prompt word is “determined.” I absolutely love to hike in nature. It’s funny, as I have gotten older, I have gotten more determined to try things out of my comfort zone. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t be doing some of the daring (to me) things that I do now. If you had told me then that I would be climbing over boulders and using ladders in some of our hikes, I would have laughed at you.Determination is mind over matter. Once you get it in your head, and have the confidence that you can do it, you are more likely to succeed at it. What is something that you are, or were, determined to do and you did it?

Straight in with an AFAC! Just blerkety blerk. 🥴 I am not really “determined” to do anything other than get through sodding selfie week, and get through work days. No hiking up boulders with ladders in Gateshead. But I came up with this instead. In the past couple of weeks Lord Vincent has been bringing presents home. The tally so far is 3 bluetits and a sparrow. He hides under a bush under the Happy Eater tree and somehow manages to catch them. I’m so surprised as bluetits are very speedy and wary little birds, and I am not happy about it at all. I got a bell for his collar, but that hasn’t done the trick. So I sent off or 2 extra loud bells to add to his collar, and Phil has cut away the branches where he was hiding, so hopefully that will suffice. Lord Vincent is determined to murder birdies, I am determined to stop him! But I do love him!

determined

Day 172 ~ wave. ~ What does wave mean to you?  The crashing waters at the ocean’s edge?  Flowing hair?  A flag blowing in the breeze? The wave I most love these days is the one that comes from this little hand each time I get out of the car at his house and get back in to leave at the end of the visit. Today, turn your camera toward a wave that you love.

I decided to take ‘wave’ as in the sea, and in the evening took myself off to Long Beach at South Shields, and got my legs wet trying to photograph myself in a wave.

wave

Day 173 ~ nourishment. ~ You might think, what has this photo to with nourishment?  Well, I thought I would go to the source, I walk the fields at least once a week and with the sun shining on the crops it does make for some great photos and really makes me happy! This is a flax field, blue flowers for as far as you can see…well, to the Waterloo Lion in the distance!  Flax is used as a food and fibre. What is nourishing you today?

Well I was at work today and nourishment is a quick chew on a chicken saté stick in between dances. I bought a salad for dinner, but I checked IG and quite a few people had chosen salads for their picture. Have to say salad as artwork is a thing, but I don’t like doing the same as other people so I figured I would nourish my face instead and used a clay facemask, the cucumber came in handy though. There is no way I would ever have posted a picture of myself thusly in my younger (and arguably prettier) years, I guess I got too old to give a rats arse about what anyone thinks of my radiant beautiousness these days. 🤣

nourishment

Day 174 ~ Park. ~ What a lovely prompt today!  Take a photograph of yourself in the park!  It is “Where I Stand” day so try and include your feet.  What a perfect excuse to get outside and head to the park.  Tell us about your park and why it is special to you and why you chose to stand there and why you love it.  Show us what you love to do in the park. In this picture I am standing on a very old wooden one way bridge spanning the Thompson River.  I love the slow moving waters of the Thompson and its greenish hues.  It fills me with a sense of peace and therefore I visit it quite often. 

A nice and specific prompt from Mrs. Cocktail~dress, but there really isn’t a park in walking distance from me. However there is a green space over the road from us with a mowed field one end and marshland at the other, with a little oak tree stuck in the middle. I had thought and then unthought, about climbing the tree, but instead decided I’d fly with an umbrella for a bit of fun.

park

Day 175 ~ 6 O’clock. ~ What I love at 6 o’clock in the morning is coffee! Instead of showing you my sleepy face, I decided to share a still life with coffee being poured by my hand in the photo. There are so many elements in this photo that I love…the wooden tool box was a recent find at a thrift store, the teapot and cup set were gifts from friends and the shutters that I painted purchased at a consignment shop. Then the textures – burlap and dried flowers. So what does 6 o’clock look like in your part of the world? Are you making breakfast or dinner, out buying props like a vintage clock or setting up a still life scene? Don’t forget to let us see you sharing what you love!

6 O’clock is cooking time here at Fraggle Towers, and for tonight I did a fried rice, which was very yummy.

6 O’clock

Day 176 ~ Zipper. ~ Picture You week doesn’t mean you have to share all of yourself.  Sometimes it’s nice to creatively crop just enough to show a part of you that still conveys what you are sharing in a great and personal way.  I didn’t think it was necessary for you to see my face today as I am showcasing my favorite jacket.  Think of how you can creatively crop yourself in today’s photo while adding a zipper from something you love.  

Here are my great and personal favourite boots, with zippers. Creatively cropped too!

zipper

Day 177 ~ Affirmation. ~ For the last two years I’ve been on a journey to improve my health.  I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and knew that I had to lose some weight and get more active if I wanted to enjoy my retirement to it’s fullest.  I’m so happy to say that I’m down 120 lbs. During this time, I have never felt better.  It hasn’t been easy, but the effort has been oh so worth it!  I have this saying on the mirror in my bathroom as a reminder every day.  It helps to keep me going and reminds me of why I’m doing this. Do you have a saying or a mantra that you find affirming?  What or who in your life provides you with the support and affirmation you need to live life to it’s fullest?  Being kind to ourselves is not always easy but you know what, you deserve it!  You’re awesome!

And it was going so well, sigh. I’d been thinking about this one all week as it’s the mother of all AFAC’s so far. And came up with nothing, niente, nada. I don’t do ‘affirmations’, so I googled ‘affirmations for life’ and groaned my way through airy fairy clap trap. I was on the verge of shooting the cats, but then I realised, there’s a cool saying I saw on the wall of a ladies loo, though that should be ‘bathroom ‘ as I was in a rest stop on Route 90 on the way to Columbus Ohio at the time. And it’s rained solid for two days here.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

affirmation.

So all in all this has been a better sodding selfie week than usual, it’s even been nearly fun a couple of times! Also Vincent hasn’t caught anymore birds. Also I was inspired to do a Haiku again!

Today the rains came ,
people are staying inside.
At last they’ve shut up.

Stay tooned for next weeks adventures with ‘details’.

365 ~ June 13th ~ 19th

This week was ‘isolate the subject’ week, and hasn’t been too onerous, although there has been a couple of AFAC’s to deal with. (to anyone new an AFAC is an airy fairy abstract concept!) Let’s begin!

Day 164 ~ liquid. ~ I love capturing movement in water. I find it to be very challenging and I’ll take numerous photos just to get the one I want!  For this photo, I tried something I saw on Facebook.  I filled up a water balloon and put a pair of sunglasses on the balloon so that it looked like a face.  I used a pushpin attached to the end of a stick to burst the balloon with the hopes of capturing the burst with the sunglasses in tact and before the water dispersed.  It’s a lot of fun (but messy)! Have fun playing with liquid today, even if it’s just a photo of your morning coffee!

TBH she wasn’t that successful if the example picture she used is anything to go by, but kudos for trying. I don’t have water balloons and had my own idea for this anyway. (Was thinking of you April! 🤣 ).

liquid

Day 165 ~ magnificent. We are learning how to isolate our subjects this week to make them stand out. There are many ways to do this: composition, colors, depth of field. Today is Macro Monday so we are going to really get in close to the details. In my subject photograph, the bee is highlighted by the depth of field I used and the color of the flower as a contrasting pop. I was using my 100mm macro lens and I had an f-stop of 4. If you want to really isolate your subject using depth of field, the wider the aperture the better. I stayed with f4 so that the flower would remain in focus. Excited to see what you find today!

Here we go with our first AFAC. Isolate a magnificent subject or isolate it magnificently? Who knows? A bee on a flower wasn’t an option, too cold this day. It was also a really full on not that good a work day so I wasn’t in a great place when I got home. The only thing of magnificence I could think of was Phil’s last model he built and painted, so I had a word with him and we set up a shot so I could isolate one of the figures stood on it, he’s particularly pleased with the uniform he did on this chap. It’s 1/35th scale which means he’s about 5cm tall.

magnificent

Day 166 ~ Up. ~ Do you remember how much fun you used to have as a kid looking up at the clouds and finding butterflies and fish and boats and dragons?  As adults, we all might benefit from taking a few moments to look up and use our imagination to see what is happening up there in the clouds.  You never know what might be smiling down on you! Today, give yourself the gift of a few moments to sit outside with your eyes to the sky.  Photograph the magic you find in the clouds.

Well not exactly an AFAC as it’s a pretty specific prompt, but unless you are lucky enough to have a clear blue sky with one cloud in it, that’s not an easy isolation task! Lots of clouds but nothing making a picture that I could find though I’m usually pretty good at that. So I kind of ignored the isolate bit and just went for the clouds. We’ve been having some cool sunsets this week so I waited until 9.45pm to do the shot in the hope of another one. It wasn’t so spectacular (of course 🙄 ) as the previous two, but it scrubbed up OK in post. As an added bonus there’s a blackbird tweeting on top of the house, he looked pretty isolated. Job done!

up

Day 167 ~ Reinforce. ~ A good way to isolate the subject is to use a wide aperture, (a low f-number), and by making sure that the focus is on the subject that you want to stand out.  By doing this, you will make both the background and the foreground blurred. I reinforce this in my composition by using the rules of thirds.  It is also important to make sure that your horizon is straight.  You can do this when editing, by cropping and rotating the image slightly. The red against the green helps to make the subject pop. What can you do to reinforce your subject today?

Making sure your horizon is straight in camera when you take a picture is less time consuming! Wonky horizons really annoy me. It’s careless and lazy photography and quite amateur IMHO. Not that I’ve been very H during this 365. 🤣 Anyway ‘reinforce’ annoyed me initially, but I got what she meant so let her off. Had to do this after another pants day at work too. I chose a buttercup that had escaped Phil’s mowing of the lawn, and ‘reinforced’ it as described in the prompt, rule of 1/3rds, wide aperture, but did a moody B&W on it in post, as the yellow/green combo didn’t really do it for me.

reinforce

Day 168 ~ Loud. ~ Today we are isolating the subject and using the word loud.   As a Hard of Hearing person, the two words ‘isolation’ and ‘loud’ resonate “loud and clear for me’.  As a HOH I often feel a sense of isolation and ‘loud noise’ is simply not an issue for me. For my sample photo,  I focused on and isolated my hearing aids.  By doing this, I put myself in blur in order to represent the fuzziness and isolation I feel due to my loss of hearing. There is good noise and bad noise.  Loud noise pollution occurs when unwanted sounds enter the environment.   Loud noise can also be beneficial.  Who doesn’t like a loud belly laugh, the sounds of children playing, birds singing, music playing, and waves crashing?  Take a picture today that represents ‘LOUD’ to you and remember to isolate the subject.  Loud doesn’t have to be sound!  You may prefer to represent loudness by photographing something that is a bright colour or garish subject!

This one from my fave prompt lady, who wasn’t wearing one of her cocktail dress in her picture sadly. Anyway, good to see she has some decent hearing instruments. Loud is a no brainer for me, Phil loves to listen to his music at a volume that is too much for me (unless I’ve had a fair amount of wine) so when he’s playing it I wear my headphones and listen to youtube tutorials or some such up in my little work room.

loud

Day 169 ~ Strength. ~ One of the simplest ways to isolate your subject is to remove the clutter from your image. This allows the viewer to know exactly where to focus their attention. You can do this by zooming in or using a tighter crop in post-processing.Try using this technique today to highlight something that symbolizes strength. As with the prompt photo, by cropping in close the only focus is on the caterpillar. Seeing him hanging precariously on the end of a stalk snacking away shows the strength in those little legs. With the word strength, you could go literal and show the use of brute strength or figurative with something that helps gives you strength throughout your day.

Another AFAC, though not a really annoying one. I chose a wildflower, as my little ‘weed patch’ as Phil calls it is up and running this year after a complete disaster with bee bombs the year before. I planted some wildflower seeds at the beginning of April, and there’s loads of wildflowers coming up, though mostly Lady Phacelia at the moment. “Wildflowers are, without exaggeration, the unsung heroes of the planet; they are a powerful force that truly sustains a complex web of interdependent creatures. Without wildflowers our planet would not only be a sadder place, but life as we know it would not exist.” I read that on motherearthnews.com. I forgot about removing the clutter from my image, there’s a fair amount, but I think I isolated the Lady quite well anyway. Also today in the garden I was inspired to do another Haiku! Re: European Footy match.

Scotland and England ,
rowdy, drunk boys singing loud.
I wish they’d shut up.

I’m winning at Haiku! 🤣

strength

Day 170 ~ Morning. ~ This adorable giraffe is lovingly nicknamed “Sugar Lips” and resides at one of my dear friend’s houses.  Sugar Lips is a tall girl riding a bike with a basket in the back to hold a plant.  Isn’t she sweet??  I was lucky to have her company when I recently visited my friend for a scrapbooking weekend.  The morning sunshine poured in on her and welcoming the day for both of us in such a warm way.  Today, share with us what makes your morning warm.  Maybe it’s a pair of cozy slippers, or a cup of coffee, or tea.  Remember to isolate your subject! 

Hmm. The picture of the giraffe sculpture thingy is about as adorable as a Pit Bull in fight mode, but each to their own I guess. Had to laugh at this one, here at Fraggle Towers we don’t really do mornings at the weekend but I tried. Got up, fed the cats, had breakfast à la Chef Phil, washed the car and then found it was just passed noon and I’d missed it. Doesn’t matter, I shot a ‘morning’ coffee with my book and pretended I’d done that earlier. 🤣

morning. sort of. well not really.

And that’s a wrap for this week. I quite enjoyed it, my fave shot is the nail polish, that took a while to get right (and a few bottles of polish!) and it came out well I think. And so we come to yet another sodding selfie week. Sigh. I’ve had a look at the prompts for the week, and I’m not fired up at all, I’m mostly annoyed. 🤣 Stay tooned!

365~ 30th May ~ 5th June

This week we are concentrating on ‘style’ and this time minimalism. We did negative space a couple of weeks ago and they seem to be two sides of the same coin, but no matter, whatever works. A low annoyance factor this week, I’ve quite enjoyed this set of prompts.

Day 150 ~ Opposites. The minimalist style uses extreme simplicity for maximum impact. It emphasizes sparseness by using the smallest number of objects in your image. Patterns, lines, shapes, and color can be the the main focus or another way to further highlight your subject. Now is a good time to follow the Rule of Thirds.  When you place your subject on the third it will have all the space it needs to shine! So remember as you go through Minimalist week… keep it simple and only include what you need! Less is More! 

I ruminated on opposites to shoot and came up with shoes, right & left, small & large, light & dark.

Day 151 ~ Guilt~free.~ My guilty pleasure is a nice glass of wine in the evenings.  I can’t wait to see what you all have to share – and remember, less is more.  

What a grand idea I thought.

Day 152 ~ Sunshine. ~ When I was a kid, I once asked my aunt if she’d come swimming with me.  She said, “No, there’s no sun today.”  My response was, “Then, we can pretend it’s sunny.”  She said that I always looked at the positive side of life.  She’s right!  If it’s not sunny where you are today, just pretend.  Use whatever light you can find for your photo. Golfing on a sunny day is my idea of a great time.  To keep with the minimalist theme, I grabbed a photo of my golf ball on my bright pink tee.  I made sure there was very little else in the photo so that it would stand out.I hope your day is full of sunshine and if it’s not, just pretend!

Well as luck would have it we’re having some sunnier days in Old Blighty and it was lovely to sit outside and hear the blackbird singing away. Actually everybody and their dogs were having a party in their gardens so it was really noisy outside and hearing the blackbird was a bit of a struggle. My pal Mary Jo writes Haiku’s so I found myself inspired to write…

Outside the birds sing ,
people having Barbecues.
I wish they’d shut up.

Pretty good for a novice I thought 🤣 I digress, onwards with the pics!

Day 153 ~ Innovative. ~This week, we are practicing our Minimalist photography. How do you take something simple and make it innovative? I find that adding textures (both in the photographing and the editing process) makes a plain photograph more interesting. For the example photo, I draped some cheesecloth on my background to give a textural component to the backdrop. This minimalist photo of a single flower now has a lot of depth and character. Try experimenting with different backgrounds and adding simple elements to enhance your subject but not distract from it.You can also play around in post processing by adding textures in photoshop, playing with light and contrast in lightroom, and experimenting with filters in photo apps.Let’s see how you innovate your photo today by making a minimalist photo your own style. 

Yep, I got out a kimidoll and a little carnation and added bokeh and a texture, job done. Winning at Minimalism!

Day 154 ~ Prompt Free. Today is a blank canvas for which all of the other prompts have prepared you. Keep our eyes open and have fun!

The cats have been playing outside mostly so I decided I’d let them off modelling this time and I’d do a flower instead as I’ve got some lovely ones about the house at the minute. I especially like this rose which has lemon yellow leaves tipped with pink, quite unusual so I bought two of them, and surrounded them with pink carnations.

Day 155 ~ Soul. ~ Your soul is the part of you that consists of your mind, character, thoughts, and feelings. How to photograph your soul?  Well, let us just go with a part of it.  The day was a cloudy summer day and I noticed these birds sitting on the wires.  To me it looks like music lines and notes.  That speaks to my soul. If you do take a photo with lines remember to try and get them straight on the horizon or the vertical; just a little rotating in processing is all it takes to make the photo look fabulous. What is speaking to your soul today?

Well it was nice while it lasted and now back to airy fairy concept stuff, sigh. I always call a nice cup of tea medicine for the soul so that was my first thought. Music is the soul of life was my second, and my book The Soul of the Camera by David duChemin the third. I managed to combine all three for the picture, though you can’t see the music as I was playing a CD on the stereo in the shed studio.

Day 156 ~ Yarn. ~ It’s song lyric day today and the prompt is YARN. I immediately thought of Carol King and her Tapestry album from 1971 and I decided to recreate the album cover!  Fellow 365 Picture Today alumni and friend, Mary, agreed to model for me in her window seat. We couldn’t find a real cat so we improvised….Find a song about yarn, wool, string, rope, or thread and take a picture of it. Remember to include the lyrics either by adding text or writing the lyrics in your comments. 

Yarn is such a weird word I think. Here Mrs. Cocktail Dress means wool and the like, but it can also mean telling a good story, or having a good natter. I suppose a song tells a good story mostly so the two are a good combination. The song ‘SIlver Threads and Golden Needles was written by Dick Reynolds and Jack Rhodes. It was first recorded by Wanda Jackson in 1956 and has been covered by many bands and singers since, but none as great as the wonderful Linda Ronstadt.

So that’s a wrap for this week, not too bad which is a relief after sodding selfie week. Stay tooned for next time when we are doing colour week, Black and White.

for fans of Lord Vincent, he’s making a guest appearance on my other blog tomorrow 😊

365 ~ May 23rd ~ 29th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

versatile

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

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

work

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

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

pleasure

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

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

5 o’clock

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

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

engaging

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

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

craving

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

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

splendid

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

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

365 ~ May 16th ~ 22nd

This week we are concentrating on Negative Space for compositions.

From The Ladies ~ What is negative space?  Negative space is the space between, within and surrounding an object in an image.  It will often form a secondary image or symbol. The positive space is the focus of the image, the object itself, but the negative space is just as important. You can have a lot of negative space or just a little, that is up to you.  This week, however, we are thinking about  negative space so let’s make it bigger.

This week has not had as many annoyances as usual, which is annoying in itself because who doesn’t love a good grumble? Not me for sure!

Day 136 ~ Modern. ~ I think that the stormtroopers are modern and using black and white photography is regarded as modern as well. (This ladies example was 3 lego stormtroopers) So what are you going to photograph that is modern?  Think portrait, art, urban…just remember that negative space!

This one came straight to mind, as I think listening to music on a smart phone is very modern. I however am not, and listen to music on a hifi system in glorious surround sound, proper like.

modern

Day 137 ~ Harmony. Simply put, negative space is the space surrounding the positive space!  Okay…. how simple is that?    The negative space acts as the ‘breathing room’ for your eyes.  But today you are also going to photograph something harmonious in that negative space.  That’s the complex part!  Or is it?Harmony can refer to the pleasing arrangement of parts.  It can also be an interweaving of different accounts into a single narrative.   I thought about how harmonious my country life and my city life are and photographed myself in socks and overalls putting on stilettos.  The two things certainly add up in my life. Find some items in your life that are harmonious and photograph them using negative space. You might want to try a flat lay, or a still life or find something in nature!  Find the negative space and the items will find you! All that space will draw your eye right to where it is supposed to go!  Have fun with this today!  I sure did.

Well dear reader you can probably guess who put this one up. Mrs. Leathers-Coctail Dress strikes again. I am not certain socks, overalls and stilettos are a great look, but then I wouldn’t go climbing in a cocktail dress either. And Harmony? Haven’t we done that in the last sodding selfie week?? Oh well, it wasn’t too hard, I decided to pair analogue and digital photography into my shot, as I’m all harmonious with both forms.

Harmony

Day 138 ~ Number ~ Today we combine Numbers and Negative Space! Be on the look out for numbers as you go through your day! You might be surprised where you find them… in my case I found a few floating by! Remember to give your image plenty of space for the subject to stand out and catch the viewers attention. Happy searching today! 

Today was a work day, so no time to go searching, but all our units in the converted farmhouse where I work have number plaques next to the doors, so I chose unit 4 as it’s the only one that has a fair amount of space by it.

number

Day 139 ~ Prompt Free Day ~ 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 YOUR 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!

As you know by now, this is usually a shoot the cat day for me, but I decided to make an arty farty picture instead. I have some lovely daisy type flower thingies in a pot in the garden so took a few photo’s of them, and combined 3 that I liked in photoshop, did some layering & blending and faffing about and came up with this.

art farty flower

Day 140 ~ Shade ~ Using negative space in photography can be such a great way to isolate your subject and put your focus exactly where you want it to be.   Today’s prompt is shade.  I decided to create my own shade and use my shadow as my subject.  I set my camera up outside on a sunny day and positioned myself so that my shadow, holding a bouquet of tulips was at the edge of the frame creating shade on the driveway.  The negative space of the driveway on the right of the photo makes your eye immediately go towards the darker part, the shadow.  You can create your own shade as I’ve done or you can take your photo in the shade.  Shade can provide nice even light for your photo, especially on a bright sunny day. If it’s not sunny in your part of the world, you can use any number of light sources to create shade for your photo.   How can you use negative space in your shade to draw your eye to the subject of the photo? Have fun in the shade! 

Well this one did annoy me. It rained all the day long, dark grey clouds that are still hanging about even now. So no, it’s not sunny in my part of the world, it rarely is! So I went a bit left field and decided a lampshade is a shade.

shade

Day 141 ~ Grounded. ~ Have you noticed this week that putting negative space around your subject really makes it stand out. Today’s prompt is “grounded” I put my subject on the ground and composed used leading lines as well as negative space to draw you to it. You can place your subject on the ground, look for something that is ground level, or just show us what keeps you grounded. Whatever you decide, make sure you have negative space around it!

Another annoying prompt. It was still chucking it down like stair rods here, so I was not venturing outside to put anything on the ground. I don’t count indoors as having a ground, it has floors, so was left with the psychobabble ‘what keeps you grounded’ bit. WTH does that mean anyway? I don’t go around feeling all grounded or even ungrounded, but I was reminded of coffee beans so I grounded some to make a nice cup of latté.

grounded

Day 142 ~ Pose. ~ When we think about the word pose, we usually think about how we can best place people in the frame.  And usually when we are positioning people in the frame, our intent is to fill the frame with the beautiful faces that we are photographing.  But, does this have to be the case?In this photo, my daughter and her husband occupy just a tiny portion of the frame and the focus on them is soft.  And, the negative space around them is not completely negative.  Why?  Because that was the best way to tell the story they wanted told.  The “negative space” is the wall of one of their favorite coffee shops and the words speak to them.  Most of us, however, are drawn to the human element of a photo first.  (My son-in-law’s red shirt helps with this.)  They are posed exactly where they should be for this story.  As you take today’s photo, try to use negative space around your posed subject to add a subtle layer of detail to your photo’s story.

Well normally I’d use Phil for this kind of shot, but somehow neither of us was in the mood for going out, so I shot Lord Vincent instead, who posed nicely for me on the sofa in the conservatory before he went a-roaming. Plenty of negative space between his ears. 🙂

Pose.

And that’s a wrap for this week. I think I’m winning at negative space, but a week of it is enough. Stay tooned for next week as guess what!? It’s sodding selfie week. Kill me now.

365 ~ May 9th ~ 15th

This week was a colour week and this tie we’re doing orange. Not my favourite colour, though it’s nice in a sunset/rise. The ladies excelled themselves at times with annoying prompts, but I overcame most of them I think.

Day 129 ~ All-encompassing. ~ Welcome to orange week!  Orange is an all-encompassing word…it is both a noun and an adjective!  As we continue through this week, you will have opportunities to explore orange in many different ways.  Because I am terrible at making choices, I give you both the noun and the adjective here.  And, citrus, with its color variations and textures, is quite photogenic! So today, photograph orange, an orange, or both!  You choose!  Most importantly, have fun with this all-encompassing color!

Photograph an orange she said. Well the shop only had tangerines, but they are orange so I thought they would do. I fannied on for ages trying to get a nice composition, and I think this one turned out to be the best.

all~encompassing

Day 130 ~ Jewel. ~ a precious stone.  As I don’t actually have any precious stones hanging around, especially no orange ones, I thought of a slice of orange with bubbles to be a jewel of a shot! You will need a camera, a tripod, light, a large orange, a knife, some fizzy water or cheap soda, and a clear glass bowl. To set up, slice your orange and put the water into the bowl.  You may need to weight down your slice or clip it to the side of the bowl so that it stays under the water.  It is best to backlight your fruit.  I put white paper between the light and the bowl. I find it easier to shoot from above, but you can do it from the side as well.

Nope. Today was a work day and I wasn’t going to spend the whole evening clarting about with water and oranges, and besides I DO have a precious stone in the form of a necklace with a heart shaped piece of polished amber as the pendant. Much nicer than a soggy bit of orange I think.

jewel

Day 131 ~ Kinship. ~ I feel a kinship with my roots!  I simply love my home.  My cabin on the lake is my happy place.  It is where I feel the most like myself.   I feel a connection with the water, the sky, the forest, the animals and the people who surround me in this happiest of places.The colour orange is associated with joy, warmth, heat, sunshine and happiness.  My home, glows ‘orange’ for me.  (It is a log home so it also actually literally has an orange glow!)  I like to sit on the deck and take in the view and be reminded daily of my connection, my bond and my kinship to my home and the environment in which it is located.Whom or what do you have a kinship with?   Remember to add the colour orange to your photograph because it is orange week! 

Sigh. This from the slightly bonkers leathers wearing, climber in a cocktail dress who has a lovely log cabin home by a lake which she’s quite enamoured of as you can tell. Mind you I would be too, but Gateshead isn’t really a lake and logs kinda place, more like bricks and puddles. I don’t go around feeling kinshippy with stuff, my family perhaps but they’re 250 miles away so not available for a photo. However, I do have a log cabin shed studio that I am very fond of and as I was up early for work and the sun was shining on it I thought that might do. (Really it’s made of pinewood planks but it looks a bit loggy I think.)

kinship

Day 132 ~ Knot ~ Are you seeing Orange everywhere you look?  I sure hope so as we have some Orange fun planned later this week and you will need a keen eye!To help get you primed and ready you are going in search of knots.  And remember, since it is color week, make sure to incorporate the color orange with those knots! You might be surprised by what you find today!

Pfft. No actually I’m not seeing orange everywhere I look. I’m quite surprised at how little orange there is in my world. Orange ‘fun’ is not how I’d describe what’s going on later this week but more on that later this week. I am not going in search of knots, I’m going to work, where there are no knots of any colour, and then coming home where that remains the same. In the end I tied a knot in one of my Teddy’s ribbons. It’s not orange, but I magicked it so 🪄 😊

knot

Day 133 ~ Anticipation. ~ Cool springtime evenings = backyard fires = gooey (or burnt) marshmallows. I anticipate a full season of even more backyard fires and even more gooey (or burnt) marshmallows.  The crackle of a fire is very relaxing to me and it reminds me of countless hours spent visiting with loved ones while we stay cozy by the fire. I decided to share just a small amount of our backyard fire while it stuck to Blake’s marshmallow. Maybe it’s the anticipation of a delicious meal from the grill, or the anticipation of a cozy night in by the fireplace in your home. How do you enjoy the orange glow of a fire?

Well this one really annoyed me. Anticipation is one thing, setting fire to something is a whole other thing and apart from waiting for the fire brigade to arrive neither has much to do with the other as far as I can tell. Suburban Gateshead gardens~(we don’t have ‘backyards’ in the UK~ well I say that but then there’s Sunderland where there isn’t enough room in their outside space for grass so they just have concrete slab thing maybe a yard square, poor Mackems 😜) but I digress, where was I? Oh yep, suburban Gateshead gardens might have a shed, or a pond, even a Bar-B-Q (gas lit) and many have godammned trampolines but no-one sets fire to them and toasts marshmallows. And no siree, no fireplaces, central heating all the way. Not a chimney in sight. So I decided to forget the prompt and just photograph Mum’s plant instead.

anticipation

When I posted it in the group on Instagram (which I hate BTW) (Instagram, not the group) I waffled on about how the new leaves start out bright red then go orange, yellow and finally green (kind of opposite to Autumn) thereby anticipating the onset of summer, tenuous I know but that’s how it is. Connie asked me what the plant is and as usual I had forgotten, it’s just Mum’s Plant which I dug up from her garden after she died, put in a big pot and it has been with me wherever I lived ever since. I have of course found out now that it is a Pieris japonica, the ‘Mountain Fire’ variety, so thats how I’ve enjoyed the orange glow of a fire. Fortuitous n’est ce pas?

Day 134 ~ insect. ~ It’s definitely the time of year when insects are easy to find.  Maybe too easy!  I’m not a huge bug fan like my grandson, but I realize they have their purpose!I spend a lot of time at the Ornamental Gardens when the flowers are blooming and I love to see the bees buzzing around the flowers while searching for nectar.  Finding a bee on a flower with an orange center turned out to be just perfect for this week’s orange theme. Getting crisp photos of an insect is not always easy as they love to move fast.  If you’re photographing a fast moving bug today try to use as high of a shutter speed as possible, above 500.  This will help freeze the movement and give you a sharper photo.  

Urk!! I do not like creepy crawlies, and the bees are few and far between currently with it being a cold spring this year, I saw one butterfly but it had gone before I could fetch the camera and besides I don’t have any orange flowers in my garden for them to land on. Sigh. I was thinking I might have to get an orange card on the patio and get an ant or two to traverse it. Anyway Phil wanted to go to the Friday market in South Shields to peruse the vinyl record stall and I had to pick up my new glegs from Specsavers. After I’d got them I went to the market to meet up with him but he hadn’t finished so I went around looking at all the tat on the stalls, house clearance stuff mostly and came across a lady selling thong necklaces. One had a bee on it so that was me sorted for the prompt. Of course I own nothing orange to wear, so in the photo I had a magicked shirt on. 🪄😊

insect

Day 135 ~ Connect. ~ Are you ready for some extra fun?  It is scavenger hunt day!  Today’s challenge is to hunt for the items on the list below and photograph them! Once your hunt is complete, you will compile those images into a collage.  Today is about connection and it’s orange week.  Let your imagination do the rest!  Excited to see what orange items you find for the challenge.Let’s play!

This is the 2nd scavenger hunt thing they’ve done, and to be frank I think this is quite unfair. You have to take 9!!! pictures and do a collage with them. As if one daft prompt a day wasn’t enough, this one has 9. Anyway, undaunted I strove to do them the best I could. Last time round was a bit of a panic as it took all bliddy day to get it done, but I got myself organised this time and had already drawn up a list of what I would shoot for each prompt, and decided how/where to shoot them and did it over 2 days. I could easily have done it all on the day but Phil’s sister and her Hub visited for the afternoon and that stopped play. I didn’t mind though, it was nice to see them and we sat in the garden having cups of tea and a chat and a laugh, like the olden days when viruses were not such a thing.

connect

And that’s a wrap for this week, on the whole I think I’m winning at orange, but I’m really not a fan of it. Stay tooned for next week and Adventures with Negative space.

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!