Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Day 31 - Frozen

Pin It
With bitterly cold weather at the moment it is no wonder surface water is still frozen at midday! I came across a bucket out the back at work at midday where some of the surface water was still frozen. That will tell you how much the temperature has dropped lately, and it's set to continue for the rest of the week at least. Must keep wrapping up warmly.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Day 30 - Warming Shower

Pin It
This morning saw the first snow flurries of the winter and very low temperatures. It didn't warm up at all today despite the snowy rain ceasing during the day. I am not normally a very cold person but did find myself chilled to the bone today. So when I get home from work after a train delay, the first thing I did was have a nice hot shower to warm myself up. Hence todays picture!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Day 28 - Camera

Pin It
Cameras come in all shapes and sizes and I spotted this one today. What a lovely thing, even if it was just a prop in a show house we visited today. Makes you think what a long way they have come since the first camera small and portable enough to be practical for photography was built by John Strognofe in 1685!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Day 27 - Very late dinner.

Pin It
In very late from work so dinner was one ordered over the phone. Can you guess what it is yet Skippy?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Day 26 - Flying..........

Pin It
......away. That's what I love doing. I love boarding a plane knowing I'm going somewhere nice, even if it is just across the Irish sea to visit family. I've been flying on planes since before I was born and it is most definitely my preferred method of travel. So far we have 4 trips already booked involving a flight, with another in the planning stages for this years holidays/weekends away. Many of them have either been centered around relaxation for the two of us, or for photographic possibilities. Flying isn't my other halfs favourite pasttime and it doesn't help that I sleep for most of the flight, be it 45 minutes or 4 hours. However, they will hopefully bring some exciting pictures for this project this year!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Day 25 - The first of many!

Pin It
So today I learnt where the black and white setting on my camera is with a little help from the hubby. Not very interesting or exciting but still necessary if I plan to do a set time period during this project dedicated to shooting in black and white only. You may ask why bother when you can easily convert in Lightroom. Well, as already mentioned, my research for this project lead to discovering a photographer who's eye developed hugely by shooting in black and white only for a month. So that's what I intend to do and for this I needed to learn how to change the setting on my camera. Today's picture is the first one I've ever taken using the black and white setting on my camera itself. You learn something new every day!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Day 24 - Something Sweet

Pin It
So when your day is rather busy and tiring, and you're starting to dip in the afternoon, what better way to get a pick-me-up than a colleague offering you a Cadburys Roses or two! One of my closest work colleagues always gets several 5kg tins of Roses each year at Christmas from various people (he's 67). Last years count was 7, while this year was a poor show with only 4! However, even though he is a chocolate-monster he always brings the tins into work and shares them amongst the consultants and those of us he considers good working friends. And since I'm one of his closest colleagues (if you heard us in the lab you'd think we were an old married couple), I get two each time he dishes them out! Yum.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Day 23 - Enter the Dragon

Pin It
The Chinese New Year of the Dragon starts today and this year will be the 4710 year on the Chinese calendar. Those born in the Year of the Dragon are apparently the luckiest people. I, myself, was born in the year of the Snake and from reading various descriptions about Snakes, it describes me down to a T! Find out what sign you are and what the Year of the Dragon has in store for you!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Day 22 - Zig-zag

Pin It
My first attempt at a black and white picture. I decided to try to find something with a pattern and areas of contrast to shoot which I could then convert to black and white in Lightroom to see the effect. I used a preset black and white effect in Lightroom and I think for a first attempt it's not bad.

I quite like black and white photography if it's done right and fully intend to try more throughout this project. I'm also going to be trying B&W during my second photography course which starts next week. While doing some research into this type of project, I came across a photographer who did an entire month of B&W photography during a project 365 and he found it absolutely brilliant in developing his eye to seek out pictures which work in colour and those that work in B&W only. I hope that when I come to do my time in B&W, be it a week or a month, that I get the same benefits as that photographer did.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Day 21 - Cooking up a storm.

Pin It
George Bernard Shaw once said: "There is no love sincerer than the love of food". My love of food probably stems from the fact I'm the daughter of a chef. I gain more pleasure out of creating a wonderful dish than eating it. That said I never pass up a plate of gorgeous looking and smelling food! I'm always keen to learn new and exciting dishes for every meal of the day and have a guinea pig more than happy to give his verdict on each and every one of them. The only pitfall is if he loves it, I'm then charged with making it on a more regular basis!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Day 20 - Cardiff Millennium Centre (Part 1)

Pin It
Another low light shot, this time of the Cardiff Millennium Centre. This was the best in-focus shot of a few. It was a little hastily taken as it was drizzling, and a few passing people insisted on running right up to the water feature in several of my attempted shots, so expect to see another one or two attempts in the future. It is for this reason the title includes the Part 1 bit!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Day 19 - Perfume

Pin It
"Where should one use perfume?" a young woman asked. "Wherever one wants to be kissed" replied Coco Chanel.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Day 18 - A warm fire on a cold night

Pin It
So I stopped being lazy, got the tripod from the boot of the car and decided to do a bit of low-light photography. I tried a few shots of a candle with a black background but it was highly uninteresting so I turned my attention to the gas fire beside me. Wide aperture and tripod assisted slow-ish shutter speed resulted in a low-light picture of a winter fire. I over exposed by one stop after a few tries to get some more of the brickwork detail into the picture as at an even exposure the brickwork was barely visible! Putting on the heating and lighting the fire are one of the first things I do when I get home from work after I've walked the black beast.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Day 17 - Last 10 minutes of work.......

Pin It
........ with nothing much to do. I was sitting by one instrument, absentmindedly playing with some caps for glass vials, when it came to me that I could use the ten minutes more productively to capture todays picture. So I put the vial caps into a carefully constructed pile and proceeded to try a bit of macro with depth of field. The resulting picture isn't bad. Depth of field is nice and shallow although I feel the focus could have been a bit better. However, practice makes perfect and that's what this project is all about!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Day 16 - Novelty hole puncher?

Pin It
As myself and my hubby, who is also doing a 366 blog, progress with the habit of taking a picture a day and putting it on our respective blogs, we decided that come the end of January, when hopefully the habit is well and truly formed, we should start to put some structure into our photography for our blogs. So we've both been researching ideas and making lists of things we want to try each week/month such as doing a week of depth-of-field shots, concentrating on composition for a week, doing a week of taking pictures in black and white only, to name but a few examples. We then thought it would be a good idea to chart down on a calendar what we plan to do and when, including the various trips we have already booked for the year to give us some focus. With that in mind I ordered a very nice calendar with pictures of reflections so that we could a) start to formulate a plan and b) that the pictures would serve as inspiration to keep us going throughout the year. Well said calendar arrived today but not quite in one piece. Firstly, the postman bent the cardboard envelope it was housed in in half to fit it through the letter box. Not a huge disaster. However, the calendar did not quite escape the wrath of the Black Beast! She must have taken a dislike to the postman shoving it through the door (possibly on top of her as she likes to lie behind the front door at times), and the result of incurring her wrath was todays picture. There are several teeth marks on the back of the calendar and one particular set have almost gone straight through the whole calendar in one corner. Thanks Tia!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Day 15 - Buds

Pin It
My rose tree in the garden is like Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde at the moment. Two branches are still green with full leaves on them, while the rest are brown and only starting to get buds on them as todays picture shows you. With the higher than average temperatures we've been having this winter I think the poor plants are so confused they don't know whether they're coming or going. I even had roses bloom in December! I'm hoping things will settle down and that I'll get roses blooming during the summer. And hopefully, if the weather permits, I'll be out in the garden early enough this year to get some planting done. If nothing else, the thought of having other subjects to photograph will spur me on to take more interest in the garden this year!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Day 14 - Winters Frost

Pin It
This morning we awoke to the first proper frost of 2012. This winter has been a mild one so far compared to the winter of 2010/11 but I'm not holding my breath. It could go either way. So today's picture is a macro shot of the remaining frost on some garden leaves. We have quite a sheltered back garden so a lot of the bushes/plants we have are saved from the most severe of frosts. The picture has quite a nice shallow depth of field with a little touching up carried out to boost the brightness, contrast and the saturation as well.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Day 13 - Friday the 13th!

Pin It
So it's only the second Friday of the year and already we have a Friday 13th! It's been a mixed bag of days. Work was....... erm, so-so. Drive home was quicker than normal. Then we've just been to see a tough watch film and the cinema and roads home were practically deserted, quite unusual for that time of a friday evening. I've come home to realise I haven't taken a picture at all today. So out comes the camera and the decision about what to take a picture of. Well, I'd bought a bunch of flowers with the few bits we picked up on the way home and the bunch included my favourite flower, freesias. I was first introduced to them by my mother-in-law and consequently had her include them in my flowers that she kindly did for our wedding nearly 2 years ago. They are the most fragrant flower I've ever come across and if you could smell a picture, a picture of freesias would be one of the best.

However, this picture isn't the best but I thought I should include some bad ones in the blog as well as good ones. There is quite a short depth of field in the picture but camera shake is quite evident due to my laziness in not pulling out the tripod to take the picture. I guess there's going to be the good, the bad and the ugly in this blog as the year progresses!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Day 12 - Evening Sky

Pin It
I took a picture during lunchtime that I thought I would use for todays picture. That was until my hubby rang me at 4.50pm to say he was homeward bound and he asked if we had the same sunset in Wales as he was seeing in the midlands. I replied no, looked briefly out the window to see darkness and continued with our conversation. However, after hanging up I actually took time to inspect the sky outside and when I saw the colours in it, I knew I was seeing the same thing as he had. I promptly grabbed my camera and went out to our fire escape at work and took a number of shots as quickly as I could before it disappeared behind the darkness looming in. Todays picture of this evenings sky was the best of a few and was the one that showed the colours most vividly. I'm glad I took the time to listen to my hubby and also glad I'm now in the habit of bringing my camera into work with me. I'm hoping as the evenings get brighter for longer I might catch another one or two sunsets with these colours but with better subjects as part of the picture instead of bare trees!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Day 11 - Talking to a Brick Wall........

Pin It
Have you ever felt like you're sometimes talking to the wall and anything you say is falling on deaf ears?? Well, lately both myself and my lab manager have been feeling that way, hence the theme of todays picture! It's all to do with the 'move' as mentioned in previous posts. But, I'm not going to go into a rant.

However, upon thinking about what I was going to take for todays picture, and after looking at the wall and thinking "ah ha", I also thought it was time to think about some of the things I've learned during my recent course and to put them into practice, and what do you know, the wall actually fits. Here is an example of composition. You may think how but it is an example of a repeated pattern. Composition (and/or the subject of a picture) can be based on repeated patterns, colours, frame within a frame, rule of thirds, lead-in lines, camera angle, vantage point and depth of field to name but a few. As the days get longer and evenings turn brighter, I have every intention of getting myself and the madra out and about to practice all of these things in order to get shots for the days and to hopefully improve my photography, which is partly what Project 366 is all about!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Day 10 - Chaos in one room!

Pin It
So following on from yesterdays picture I thought I'd show you just what we'll be moving from. This room is the instrumentation laboratory as a whole and is utter chaos. We're so tight on space that we've even migrated out into the lab beside us and are taking up a whole bench for our own equipment. There is not one little bit of workable bench space left and as for new equipment, well there just isn't room anywhere in this lab for it. So we are looking forward to having more space and benching to work with. But you'll have to watch this space to see if and when the actual move does happen!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Day 9 - All bets are on!

Pin It
Almost three years ago, the owner of the company I work for bought an empty manufacturing warehouse with the intention to turn it into the new Global headquarters of the company and combine all Wales/UK sites, apart from our London office, into one big building, purposely fitted to meet the growing needs of the company. At the time, we were informed that the refit to convert the building from a warehouse to a building with offices, laboratories, workshops and large testing rooms would take 3-6 months and by Christmas 2009 we would have moved up a junction on the M4 from our current building. Well as you've guessed by the fact I've said our "current" building we still haven't moved! However, the inside of the building no longer looks like one huge empty warehouse as some of us discovered this morning.
Myself and my laboratory manager, along with a few others from the labs, donned our hardhats and hi-vis jackets, and went to visit the site for the first time in 18 months and what a vast improvement we have seen. My picture for today is of the area that will become the laboratory I will be working in with my manager. That's right, just us two! It's so much bigger than our current pokey little room that we think we may need a megaphone or walkie talkies just to hear each other from across the room. We're considering Segways or rollerskates for getting around the rest of the building too! It will be even more interesting to see if we have actually moved into the new building before the end of this project and if we do, I'll post a picture of the new lab all fitted out. Hence the title for today is "all bets are on"! We've all been betting on when the move will take place and I'm still predicting the far side of Christmas 2012! Watch this space!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Day 8 - Picture of a Picture

Pin It
So todays picture is a picture of a picture, taken from the December 2010 issue of the Lonely Planet Magazine. Why, you might ask? Yes it is unimaginative, yes it might be boring, and yes it is an unoriginal picture, but it means something to me. After two years of driving my husband absolutely round the bend about us doing a trip to Tromso, we finally booked it last night. Three nights in Northern Norway in November to hopefully catch the Northern Lights. We briefly saw them three years ago during a weekend break to Reykjavik but unfortunately it was indeed brief and no-one on the trip had a good enough camera to capture the short display. It was after this trip that my hubby bought his first DSLR and I followed suit shortly after that. Ever since, it's been an ambition of mine to go further north and hopefully capture the Lights on a good camera. Now with a 5D in my paw and with the solar activity heading towards the maximum of it's 12-year cycle, next winter is predicted to have the strongest and best displays in recent years. And just to top it all off, we've booked a Northern Lights photography chasing night with a professional photographer based in Tromso for one of the nights to help with hints and tips for shooting the Lights, and who will also know the best places to go, weather dependant. So as long as we're lucky with both the weather and the Lights themselves, it's shaping up to be a great trip. I'll have my fingers and toes crossed for the next 10 months!! And maybe, just maybe, I'll have a real picture to replace todays come November.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Day 7 - A whole lot of nothing!

Pin It
We decided to visit Penarth for the first time since we moved to South Wales. Aside from the afternoon being dull and overcast, there ain't all that much to it; well down at the seafront anyway. The pier walk itself seems to have been slightly renovated but the building at the entrance to the pier is in need of some TLC. And other than that, it's a small pebbly beach and not much else. Still, at least we can cross it off our to-do list. With the dull light, and the day being grey and overcast, there weren't many possibilities for capturing a shot for the day. I tried a few things that weren't very interesting at all. The only one that worked in any way was todays picture of the day. A depth of field picture with some framing thrown in for good measure. The best of a bad bunch.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Day 6 - Morning has broken

Pin It
I decided to stick my camera into the car this morning when I left for work thinking I could take a shot or two in work for todays picture for a change of scenery. And I was rewarded on my way to work! The sunrise over the mountains was stunning but I waited until closer to work to see if there was somewhere worthwhile to stop and take a few shots. Just under the M4 overpass was a farmers gate with the above waiting for me! Since no-one was on the road at the same time, I promptly reversed, pulled into the gateway and proceeded to shoot away trying a few different compositions and exposures. The above was the best of about 15 shots taken.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Day 5 - The Black Beast

Pin It
There are two beasts in my life and I thought I'd introduce you to one of them. Fondly known as the madra (Irish word for dog), our baby and the Black Beast, this term often refers to when she siddles in for a love, either when we're in bed where she hoists herself up on her hind legs and plonks her head down on your chest, or likewise when we're sitting on the sofa. Throughout the course of this project you may see pictures of her but I promise not to go overboard with the dog pictures! She's ex-Thames Valley and KC registered, and while she's a mean Black Beast at necessary times (scaring anyone who knocks on the door), she's also a loving and loyal dog. And anyone who says dogs don't have emotions, or know what love is, is totally WRONG!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Day 4 - A little light reading?

Pin It

I have my Kindle just over a year and to put it simply, I Love it. I had resisted for a while, thinking I'd miss the feel of a book and turning pages but alas no more! That > button is an easy and loveable substitute. I thought I'd take a look to see how many books I've read this year and, although the number didn't seem as many as I thought (18), I had to remember that I've read the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series currently published and with the 5 books averaging 845 pages I think I've done alright. It's a hell of alot more books than I'd read in the two years previous put together. Plus I've started reading some classics by Austin and the Brontes that I have never read before because they are not covered by the Irish Leaving Certificate school exams. I look forward to another year of having my Kindle firmly installed as a third arm...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Day 3 - Miserable Day

Pin It

Another miserable day all round. Last night the storms and winds picked up resulting in little sleep, which didn't really matter as the dizziness I have which is caused by an inner ear viral infection (diagnosed this morning) meant I was going to get little sleep either way last night! So after seeing the doctor and ringing work to let them know, I got tucked up on the sofa with the heating on and did nothing apart from watch some tv. Not very exciting but infinitely better than braving what was outside. Another grey, miserable, dreary day. Nice first week to 2012. Day's "wonderful" picture shows just how miserable it was!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Day 2 - Puddles in the Rain

Pin It

Today has consisted of doing almost bugger all due to the fact it is bank holiday Monday and the weather outside has been less than inviting. Windy, rainy and even hailstones sums up todays weather. So after picking up the madra from kennels, I began thinking about what I could do for todays picture. I had one idea but scrapped that in favour of something that depicted the day. So I stepped outside the house with camera in hand and found a nice puddle at the corner of the house with some street light reflecting in the water. It was still raining at this stage so what I've managed to capture is, in my opinion, a nice abstract picture of reflecting street lights being rippled in the water by the falling rain.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Day 1 - Out with the old and in with the new!

Pin It

So it's Day One of Project 366 and I thought I'd start with this picture. Out with the old and in with the new. It's going to be interesting to see if I stick to a picture a day and if so, what improvements I can make over the course of a year. The idea was inspired by reading about photography projects you can do starting with a new year. Project 365 is one, or project 52 is another, comprising of a picture a day or a week respectively. And since 2012 is a leap year, this project will be 366 pictures for every day of the year. Wish me luck!