{Macro Monday} – Geometric shapes

Today’s Macro Monday theme was set as geometric shapes, as I had already taken a few recently for Picture Perfect Practice I found it more difficult finding something new to post.

Fully charged


We have been pretty hectic over the last couple of weeks with redecorating, hence I have not been around that much, I should be back to normal fairly soon and look forward to settling down with a nice glass and catching up with all my favourite blogs 🙂

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


{Texture Tuesday} – the celebration eDition


Kim gave the theme of celebrate, she said

“Your photo must center around the word celebrate….Before you think… but…but… Hear me out…there are so many ways to interpret this…………Next Tuesday…let’s CELEBRATE.”

The first thing that came to mind for me was a birthday celebration, this was a photo I took of my daughters Birthday cake and I added 3 of Kim’s textures to it.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week so far and Happy Texture Tuesday 🙂

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

A bit of light reading

I decided to go to the library this week with my kids and picked up a few books for myself too One was a landscape photography one. I started reading The Photographer’s Guide to Landscapes by John Freeman which I really enjoyed and would recommend to any beginner or intermediate photographer interested in landscape photography.

This is the third volume in John Freeman’s photographic series which gives advice on capturing the beauty of the world. It provides information on an exhaustive range of topics, including guidance on creating interesting foregrounds, modifying backgrounds, developing panoramas, framing, working with multiple images, and utilizing black and white as an alternative to color. Over 200 images offer perspective on capturing specific types of landscapes, from skies and deserts to waterways and urban landscapes. For me I found the advice on equipment: filters, lenses and film really interesting; technique: exposure, shutter usage; and editing: cropping and retouching.

The book raised a point to check out on my camera : how to set the white balance to a set figure (John mentions 5,200k for sunsets)!

Further techniques mentioned that I want to look into:
1. Creating multiple images
2. Building panoramas
3. Digital composites
4. Using filters (get some ND filters and a polorizer for my wider angled lens).
5. Infrared – I have a contact on Flickr who I have admired for a while, he does quite a few shots using this style.
6. Re-touching
7. Digital toning
8. Abstracts

Eek, I there is so much I want to learn and will re-read it before taking it back…………

This is the first blossom I have managed to take this year, surprisingly! I just love this quote by Robin William and think it goes so well here.

I have also decided to put a little effort into my online presence, so have updated my FACEBOOK page, come over and check out my new header, I would love to know what you think and hit the like button if you’d like 8)

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


The Potato nightmare


I hope you are all having a Happy Macro Monday 🙂

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.


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.

Light from above

Day 5  of Kim Klassen’s year long class was all about finding the light, as my preference is for natural light photography I am all about finding available light. Just yesterday I was also viewing a friends stream on Flickr and she was doing a similar process. She had been going around each room in her house finding available light at different times of day. For me the obvious choice for morning light is always in my front room as the light shines in adding warmth to the room, during the afternoon this room is then shaded so the light is a lot flatter. The afternoon though sees me head towards the back of our house in search of good light. When light is poor I always go to our conservatory as with all the windows I am surrounded by it, in bright light though the shadows can be tricky to deal with, but I now use various techniques to minimise them or eliminate them. Like Kim we are quite lucky in that we do have a house with good light and up until it was all freshly plastered we had white walls, now though we have a lot of pinkish tinted walls! It will be white or close to it again soon, but it may take a little while (after all we have EVERY room to decorate!).

Kim’s challenge for this day was “I know not everyone has the luxury of a light-filled home. I encourage you to explore your home for the right light. Move about your space… take some photos by each of the windows… do this a few times throughout the day…. This simple exercise may uncover the perfect space to set up a temporary space. Leave no corner unturned. If you are lacking window space, open the front door and let the light in. You may not have a studio space…. but a small table in front of a window. a rustic board on your bed, a small table in the shower even. You just never know! Sometimes we have to improvise… Try bouncing the light with foamcore boards or Styrofoam…. filter the light with a sheer curtain or shower curtain liner. This can do wonders. If you have the luxury of painting a room…consider a nice light shade, rather than a darker shade…. Soft white walls make everything prettier.” Well this is what I came up with…….


The above shot was taken in our front room with the light shining in through the window, this was shot before we had a fully functioning kitchen and table after we moved back home, hence he was eating breakfast watching football on TV 😮

Counting the pennies

Not a great quality iphone shot, but I quite liked the atmosphere in this. It was taken in my sons bedroom at about 6am, he had the lights off and as you can see the light is just starting to shine through his blinds. Yes he is an early riser, I was just surprised when I woke up to find him quietly checking how much pocket money he had saved up.


This one was taken mid afternoon in our playroom, the catchlights are from the television, she was watching a documentary about penguins, her favourite 🙂

I think I may take a leaf out of my friends book so to speak and try this exercise again, taking it in turns to go into each room and find the available light……………..now has anyone got tips on avoiding the clutter and not so perfect decore at the moment?

The one thing that really struck a chord with me in Kim’s post for day 5 was when she said “It’s so easy to get caught up in the competitive side of things. Especially today… we have instant access to everyone’s art. It can so easily turn into a race…wanting to be the first, the best, the fastest….before we know it…it becomes more about the race than our art.”  I know that I for one am very guilty of this, up until fairly recently too, well I say that, but it was last year now! I felt as though I had stopped doing this for the LOVE of it but started creating for others, I become quite disillusioned and to be honest fed up, I then discovered Project Life and started taking more day to day shots and my love of photography came back, I also found that creatively I felt more inspired. I now create for myself and not others and feel so much better for it. I have also started this blog mainly for myself and my family, I felt pressured with the ones I have started before and soon lost interest in posting. I feel that this time I have the balance right and I am actually enjoying writing again and putting pen to paper( so to speak!).

Now moving on, day 6 of Beyond Beyond and Kim  gave us the challenge to set up or find a “from above” scene to shoot. I do quite a few shots from above, so this was not something new to be as I just love experimenting with different perspectives. I decided to take a photo of some tulips that my husband bought for me 🙂 I then decided to try two different edits with it. The first edit I followed Kim’s video and used the Downtown Sybil texture, I liked what it did and found it especially useful giving me another arsenal to how I editing.


After this I decided to start again and try something else, I used my own preset in Lightroom and lightened the image up, adding more light than I had in the original image. I then transferred to Elements and decided to add a little lens flare to give the feeling that it was shot in a lot brighter conditions.

Tulip flare

I would LOVE to know what you think, which one works best for you or do neither?

Just in case you are interested, Days one to four can be found HERE, I have decided to combine my blogs for now to make it easier for me 😮

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