Busy, Busy, Busy

Week 11

This week in March was so busy for us, I seemed to be rushing here there and everywhere, we had our usual clubs and then a class assembly, Steel Pan Rolling Concert and then mufti day for Red Nose Day 2013, this year my two kids wore their pyjamas to school for the charity.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

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Colour Play

Day 11 of 2B, or Beyond Beyond saw Kim talk about colour boards and tips and tricks on how to create them, this was such fun, I can see me doing more of these 🙂

Spring Pinks

Purple love

Kim then showed us how to create a “hazy” preset in Lightroom, boy I cannot believe how much I am learning here. Day 11 and I have already know so much more in Lightroom. I created 4 different presets after watching Kim’s video. I will share some photos soon where I have used them 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

{Texture Tuesday} – the 2-fer eDition

Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday again, another week that has vanished in a flash! The brief today is that  “Your image must include at least two of my textures…. that’s it..that’s all”.

Pink delight

Well what I did was as follows:

Adjusted the WB slightly to add some warmth in Lightroom 3.
Added a little fill light (15%) in Lightroom 3.
Adjusted the clarity slightly (15%) in Lightroom 3.
Increased the vibrance slightly (+50) in Lightroom 3.
Increased the saturation slightly (+10) in Lightroom 3.
Transfered to Photoshop Elements 11
kk_reverie, multiply @ 50% opacity
kk_confusion, soft light @ 50%
Flattened the image.
Text layer and watermark added.
The pre straight out of camera shot is here below

Before

As usual I would love to know what you think and any tips to improve it I would love to hear.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

{Macro Monday} – the Metal eDition

This Monday the challenge was set, but my creativity failed me, the shot I took was the metal measuring spoons, the others are all ones I have taken that would have also fit the theme nicely. As I do not like to repeat shots for the challenges, if I can help it, I decided to shoot something new. Long days at work whilst my kids were at Easter camp meant that my options were a little on the limited side 😮

Half a teaspoon!

Playground link

Circular abstract

Natural weathering

Peaks

The Potato nightmare

Sieve-keh!

I hope you are all having a Happy Macro Monday 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Natural Beauty

The beauty of the Jurassic

A storm is brewing!

Beach colours

Out to sea

I just love the Jurassic Coastline in Dorset and East Devon it is England’s first natural World Heritage Site. It is a unique stretch of coastline which sits amongst the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon as one of the wonders of the natural world!

The site was granted its status for its outstanding geology, which represents 185 million years of earth history in just 95 miles, covering from Exmouth in East Devon to Old Harry Rocks at Studland Bay on the Dorset coast. Over the many years that I have visited I have walked much of this coastline now though I am going to start photographing it too.

Rough Seas

Whilst visiting this time we walked from Burton Bradstock to West Bay along the beach and then back along the cliffs. Burton Bradstock acts as one of the main gateways to the Jurassic Coast and the South West Coastal Path. Hive Beach and the famous Hive Beach Cafe (if you like fish or ice-creams it is a wonderful place to have a rest), is a hugely popular family destination, made up of shingle, surrounded by spectacular sandstone cliffs. It forms part of the larger Chesil Beach; which is the largest shingle ridge in the world. Burton Cliffs offer one of the finest examples of the distinctive, alternate hard and soft layered geology of this Bridport Sands area, which make it appear to glow bright gold in the sunlight.

Regular rock falls (the last of which was at the end of February) often expose some important and fascinating fossils, such as ammonites, recognised by their ribbed spiral-formed shell, my kids have found a few ammonites and sharks teeth here during our many visits, although the best ones and most well preserved can be found at Charmouth. (They just love the kids playground at West Bay after the long walk too!).

There is a faultline at Hive Beach and the cliffs to the east of the fault change to the grey cliffs made up of clay and Fullers Earth. Burton Cliff though is similar to East Cliff at West Bay and the central part the Bridport Sands are topped by Inferior Oolite which is capped with a layer of Fuller’s Earth. The beach at Burton Bradstock is near the western end of the Chesil Beach and is made up of fine shingle. There has though been substantial loss of beach at Burton Cliffs as the fine shingle is moved from west to east by the long shore drift as a result of the prevailing south westerly winds and tides. Unfortunately and renewal of the beach shingle from the west is prevented by the harbour piers at West Bay, Bridport.

The coastal sea level of central southern England is rising at an increased rate and in general the low water mark is moving higher inland causing beach narrowing or beach steepening. Because of this, there is no longer the large quantity of fine shingle that there used to be in front of Burton Cliff.
Geologists think that over time the beach at Burton Cliff will eventually disappear and it will therefore become a rocky coast with the sea breaking onto the cliffs.

All of the photos above and the one below were edited in Lightroom and I then added my watermark in Photoshop Elements 8.

Pure enjoyment after a long walk, a delicious ice-cream, what more could a young boy want!

If you have visited any part of this gorgeous coastline let me know, I would love to hear where you feel is the most beautiful, has the best walks etc?

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Moreish Chocolate Cookies

We were fed up with the choice of Easter products to give as a gift so the kids decided it would be much nicer to take a more personal approach and asked it they could bake some biscuits and then decorate them for Easter gifts to family.

Chocolate upon chocolate

Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 175g (6 oz) butter, unsalted and diced
  • 115g (4oz) caster sugar (superfine)
  • Finely grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 50g (2oz) chocolate chips
  • 2 bars of good chocolate to decorate
  • Decorations of your choice 🙂
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) Gas 4
  2. Cream butter and sugar and lemon rind together until pale, light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks, then stir in the flour and chocolate chips to make a firm dough. If it is a little soft (which ours was) chill it in the fridge until firm.
  3. Roll the dough on baking parchment to just under 5mm (1/4″) in thickness. Using a 9cm (3.5″) fluted cutter, stamp out rounds, and place, spaced slightly apart on non stick baking sheets.
  4. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheets (as they will crumble if you try and take them off!)
  6. Melt the good chocolate over a bowl of water until it is nice and smooth and then carefully spoon it over the cookie tops.
  7. Whilst the chocolate is still warm put any decorations on top. We used chocolate mini eggs, chocolate buttons, sprinkles and mini smarties.
  8. Finally leave the chocolate to cool and set again, then enjoy.
This recipe makes 18 moreish cookies  🙂

Watching

Decorating

The Easter presents

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

To a point

I am still working my way (slowly I might add!) through the exercises in the book Picture Perfect Practice by  Roberto Valenzuela. A few Wednesdays ago now I posted my Square shots, then rectangles and circles, yesterday it was the turn of triangles, which makes today converging lines.

Approaching

Converging telecoms

Along the path

Closed lines

Putting on an act

Long Swing line

All lined up!

Phew Chapter one done, now on to Chapter two 🙂

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

Three sides

I am still working my way (slowly I might add!) through the exercises in the book Picture Perfect Practice by  Roberto Valenzuela. A few Wednesdays ago now I posted my Square shots, then rectangles and finally circles respectively, this week it is triangles. I had fun here, especially as my daughter and I managed to have some fun quality time together, she is such fun to be with, I sure hope it continues this way as she reaches the teenage years!

I so need to up the pace working through this book now, as I have just been asked to shoot a small wedding!!!!

Up high!

Bolted

Clipped

Underneath

Glass Tops

All lit up

Route to the top

Upside down

Entrance

Swing

It is the Easter holidays at the moment so what with me working and the children at home I am  very busy so I apologise if I have not visited your blogs yet or replied to comments made on my last few posts………I will catch up at the weekend when I have a bit more “me” time.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

26 by 26

Last year I followed with interest the 52 by 52 project which was conceived and curated by David Gillett, a designer from the South West of England, I felt a little intimidated so did not join in this challenge which ended in August last year. The next stage of this started on 7th March and I have decided to participate.

“26 by 26 is a year-long series of photo-challenges set by renowned photographers. Every two weeks a new challenge is issued and group members are invited to interpret it by submitting a photo to a Flickr Group.

The project follows on from the success of 52 by 52 which attracted some of the world’s leading contemporary photographers including Edward Burtynsky, Nadav Kander, Simon Norfolk, Terry O’Neill, Martin Parr and Alec Soth.
26 by 26 aims to stretch its members creatively, encouraging experimentation in terms of approach as well as aesthetics.”

Challenge 1    Take a subject as far out of context as possible.— Andrew Zuckerman

Noted filmmaker and photographer, Andrew Zuckerman, utilizes a multitude of platforms to produce work that is systematically executed, conceptually based, and democratically presented. Minimalist in nature, Zuckerman aims to create atmospheres of clarity and neutrality to facilitate the viewer’s access to the material.

Zuckerman studied at the International Center of Photography before going on to receive his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He first made his mark on the publishing world with the 2007 release of CREATURE, a compendium of intimate animal portraits set against Zuckerman’s signature white background. He has since explored this distinctive approach – which divorces subjects from their context and equalizes the larger conversation between them – in four additional critically acclaimed multi-media projects: WISDOM (2008), BIRD (2009), MUSIC (2010), and FLOWER (2012).  (www.andrewzuckerman.com)

I decided to take the route of a flower with this high key lighting. My thought behind this one was that by just shooting the daffodil on it’s own in this way and also by it being withered it is out of context. Normally we associate beauty in flowers with them being healthy, in colour and not taken on their own.

Withered

Challenge 2     Photograph an image which exemplifies the essence of altruistic behavior.— Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been a one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than 30 years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

McCurry has created stunning images over six continents and countless countries, his work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – yet always retains the human element that made his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl such a powerful image.  (stevemccurry.com)

I started of here by looking at the dictionary definition of altruism, which was:

“the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others, it is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of “others” toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness.”

I know there are plenty of people begging in London, so I could have traveled into town to take a shot, but it did not feel right to me to do this, I wanted to do something more “me”.  I was totally struggling with any ideas for this until this Sunday when I noticed my daughter helping her young cousin complete her Easter Egg hunt map. She had no motive other than love and wanting her cousin to complete the hunt too, so that she too would receive an egg for finishing. It may not be as powerful as the images taken by Steve McCurry as the subject is no where near as dramatic or raw, but I feel quite happy with these given where I live and in the time frame given (two weeks).

Easter Egg hunt

A helping hand

Let me know what you think, I would love to hear if you feel I have met the first two challenges or not?

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.

{Texture Tuesday} – the Free & Easy eDition

Kim just gave the brief that our photo must contain at least one layer of any of her textures. That’s it that’s all…….

This was shot last year during the height of the British Summer, hopefully this year after all this cold weather we have been having we have a great Summer……….well I can but dream!!!

Sunshine on a rainy day

This was edited mainly in Lightroom (I so LOVE it) and then transfered to Elements and added two textures, the first one was awaken, soft light at 10% and then plaster squared, again soft light at 15%. The textures added a nice warmth to this.

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE – enjoying and recording the everyday moments of life.