Friday, 31 December 2010

52/52 The Festive Season draws to a close

Another year over - whooooosh...!!! Where does the time go? We will be taking the tree down over the weekend, every year it looks different; we have a choice of colour schemes and Jodie chose this year. We have a system, and I am a control freak - but I am so much better than I used to be! I imagine in most families it's the Dad who does the tree lights, but in our house it's me. The strings of beads are one of my favourite decorations. The bauble featured is one of my favourites too.
All back in the boxes until next year...
Come take a look at my new blog (yeh - another one !!) which starts tomorrow :0)
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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

51/52 The Miller's Son

We went to see a production of Puss in Boots at the Guildhall Theatre in Derby. Here is the miller's son played by Samuel Martin. It was very well done with only a narrator who also played various instruments and sang, and two actors playing two or three parts each! Costume changes were a challenge, put they pulled it off. Not wanting to be conspicuous I took the Canon Powershot A560 point and shoot, so capturing a decent image was also a great challenge. Maybe next Christmas Santa might bring me a G12...
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Friday, 17 December 2010

50/52 Star lights

These new star-shaped Christmas lights reminded me of a phrase from a children's story, No Matter What by Debbie Gliori, that we had read out at our stillborn daughter's funeral in 2001: Love, like starlight, never dies.  A mother fox explains to her little focub how she'll always love him no matter how grumpy he is, even after she's died, and points out the stars in the night sky, that they died a long time ago, but the starlight still shines.

Love, like starlight, never dies.

Its one of a small number of Oliver's childhood books, since read with and enjoyed by Jodie, that I'll probably never part with.
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Sunday, 12 December 2010

49/52 Capturing the Light

This was captured at an event called Capturing the Light, held at Westonbirt Arboretum. There was some snow/ice on the trail as we walked around in the dark, gingerly stepping from one installation to the next with over a grand's worth of kit in hands! I didn't fall, slipped a couple of times, and came home unscathed. It was an unusual event, the talk by David Clapp was of great interest - he shoots in moonlight! Wow! Something tells me I won't be trying it, middle of the night and all that... zzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Monday, 6 December 2010

48/52 Snow Cat

Our recent new arrival is curious enough to follow us outside into the snowy garden, even though he rushes straight in as soon as we do! Here he sits in one of my footprints, the snow comes half way up his body, so he must get a cold tummy. Me, I love the paw shaking ;0)
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Friday, 3 December 2010

47/52 Petals

This is a rose that was in a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I was given the flowers and Mark was given a bottle of single malt whiskey at a special dinner for he and a large group of his colleagues to celebrate their 25 years of service. Neither of us drink whiskey :0}
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46/52 1-2-3-Whoosh!

We have this thing, when I have my studio lights up for a session, Jodie comes and has a load of pictures taken, we mess around and have some fun. Here she's throwing her head to spread out her hair after a 1-2-3 count. She's been growing it for almost 2 years. It had been plaited whilst damp the night before so had lovely texture to it. I love this shot.
Collage necessary ;0)

Jodie doesn't need glasses - she wants to wear some though, and a friend gave her these frames, so we popped the lenses out. The eyes are cropped from the shot top right and show my silhouette in the catch-light from the Rotalux Octabox, such detail - and such beautiful eyes...
I've been learning a lot of new skills - Scott Kelby is teaching me how to do more creative things in Lr and he's a great teacher. Its not perfect, but for a first go, with much book reading (The Adobe Lightroom3 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby) I'm pleased with it. (Well hey he's a big Ps and Lr cheese, having his books is almost like having him right here showing me what to do!)
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45/52 Leaf Cul-de-sacs

Late on a Saturday afternoon Jodie and I went for a walk in Allestree Park. We collected some leaves and looked at the pond and the animal enclosure, but we'd missed the best of the afternoon, it was dropping cold so we didn't stay long. I was struck by the detail in this leaf, between the veins look like a housing estate on google maps.

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Sunday, 14 November 2010

44/52 Playtime

A new cat recently joined our family. He's a live wire ;0)
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43/52 Balancing act

We came across miniature stonehenge type constructions on a walk. After somebody has taken time to build them, its refreshing to see them undisturbed.
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42/52 The Elopement

My good friend E was married this week, to her other half C, after a flurry of organising once they'd finally decided to do the deed, and not wait until the spring. With not even two pennies to rub together, a low-key ceremony was the order of the day with E's two daughters and two witnesses - myself and another - present, and afterwards back to their place after for a cuppa and a slice of cake. I was wedding chauffeur with ribbons on my car too, and the flowers were a gift from me. I loved it - a dress down wedding with almost no trimmings, but bags of love and committment, not a dry eye in the Register Office ;0)
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Sunday, 10 October 2010

41/52 He's taller than me!

At Croots Farm on a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon, with not a cloud in the endless blue sky, I captured our shadows, Mark's and mine. We had just watched Jodie walk further down the track to see the foals and I was struck by our long shadows. A current phrase in our household mainly from Oliver is "I'm taller than you!" because he recently grew taller than me and is obviously very pleased about the fact! So I showed Mark the image on the lcd screen, and he said "I'm taller than you!"

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40/52 Sunset over Vicarswood

There was a stunning sky this evening and I was pleased with the watercolour-like shading of the trees and such on the horizon.
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Saturday, 2 October 2010

39/52 Workshop with a difference

This week I attended a different kind of photography workshop. Apart from photographers, there were midwives, bereaved parents, medical illustrators, and NICU/SCBU nurses. The workshop was delivered by Todd Hochberg who had travelled from the US to share his way of working with us. We learnt about how to take photographs for parents who lose a baby and therefore lose the lifetime of memories that won't be captured by family snaps.

Todd tried to explain depth of field to non-photographers (hence hand being held out to demonstrate - focus on your hand, then switch to what is beyond your hand - pretty good device I thought) and how to use even a basic camera to lock focus on a detail such as a baby's hand or feet, then recompose the image. Using role play, we took turns to pose as parents/caregivers and so were able to photograph likely scenarios. See Todd's work here, and click to view slideshow, but be advised, the images there are real and powerful, but can be so beneficial for the parents in the months and years following their loss. And that's why I feel a need to help provide such images, having been there myself. (See 96/365.)
Note: If you wish to help fund this work in my area, click here to contact Derby Sands.
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38/52 Cobbled Street

The main street at Crich.

The event was a Classic Ford day.
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37/52 Erasmus Darwin House

The sun shone and the rain rained, but we captured all we needed, dodging the showers. This was the venue for a wedding on 11th September. This shot taken in the herb garden shows a view right from the back gate through the house to the open front door. Miss West arrived through the front door and left as Mrs Stagg by the back door after a short ceremony with family and friends. Find out more about Erasmus Darwin House here.

Its all in the details...left click for larger.
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36/52 Toad Lily

My Toad Lily plant has survived the winter and the slugs to bloom beautifully for me again. I love these flowers. And I love this lens too - Sigma 105mm 2.8 EX macro.
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35/52 The Piper's Lament

After a minute's silence for all the fallen, a lone piper plays. Re-enactors and living history enthusiasts stand in the arena, the crowd stand looking on at the close of the first day of a multi-period event at Sheffield's Norfolk Park. Can't wait for next year.

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34/52 One sheep

We were lucky with the weather, it remained dry. I'm not much of a landscape photographer yet due to lack of time to devote to visit landscapes, but with the Derbyshire Peak District almost on my doorstep, I should make more time. This is near one Edge or another, Curbar or Stanage. The sky had started off blue with wisps and big fluffy clouds, but the cloud cover thickened as the day progressed.

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33/52 A day at the races

We visited York Races and it was a real eye-opener. 
Photographically, rich pickings.
Collage necessary.
Can you see her winnings stash?

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Friday, 27 August 2010

32/52 Left out in the rain

Several things were left out in the rain this particular day. Summer seems to have disappeared and rain is the order of the day most days at the moment. Summers didn't used to be this wet when I was growing up!

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