Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day 88 - Tea anyone?

Pin It After an all-round horrible day I refrained from reaching for the vino and had this instead :)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Day 87 - Catkins

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It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly your photo count can go up when you're not paying too much attention. A five minute stop by the pussy willow trees tonight resulted in 21 pictures of catkins and some other flowering trees. It would have been more but for an impatient madra wanting to carry on with her walk. However, the macro came in handy this evening and todays picture is a result of an aperture of f/2.8 to give a nice shallow depth of field. Half decent lighting also means the picture is aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. Can you tell I'm also doing course work for my assessment hand-in in four weeks time - aesthetics etc!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Day 86 - Pussy willow

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Now, I've never really been that much of a nature person (or at least so I thought) but photography certainly opens your eyes to alot more than you may have taken notice of in the past. Take my recent discovery. Two weeks ago while walking the madra I noticed a couple of trees in the park with white furry buds on the branches. Not having a clue what they were I asked a lady in work who is into her gardening and she said she thought it might have been a pussy willow tree. Fast forward two weeks and the white furry buds have sprouted into the most unusual looking thing. Unfortunately the depth of field was uncontrollable as I only had my phone with me but I may well take the camera with me on our walk tomorrow to see if I can get a better picture to share with you. Fabulous blue skies in south wales today! Long may they continue!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Day 85 - Small flowers

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We have a small bush in the garden which is steadily growing each year. Somehow I have never realised that it has lovely tiny white flowers on it until today! It is the same bush as was featured in the blog before when we had some winters frost. So armed with the macro lens, I took a few shots of it for todays picture. I can't get over how small they are and that I've never noticed them before today!

Day 84 - Clean garden

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While I caught up on some housework and prepared lunch, the hubby kindly power hosed the back garden as our paving stones were covered with green moss. The difference was unbelievable and it meant I could lie on the ground to capture a few shots of the madra as she relaxed. Unfortunately we didn't get to enjoy the sunshine in the garden this weekend but hopefully if the weather remains good we might manage a few hours out the back next weekend!

Day 83 - Spring

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Wonderful blue skies and warm temperatures in Cardiff today. Spring has definitely come and the cherry blossom tree across from work is on its way to being in full bloom.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Day 82 - A little treat

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After a hard day's work, a little treat with a cuppa tea is in order. There's plenty for tomorrow as well!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Day 81 - Who says science isn't fun!

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When some instruments are old and their parts are no longer available for replacement, you sometimes needs to mend and make-do. Take our sample concentrator for instance. The sponge part for our concentrator sticks is obsolete and as a result we use a pair of nitrile gloves stretched over the gas chamber as a quick fix. It needs mending regularly but with gloves in plentiful supply we're overly bothered about that. However, today my colleague decided to overlap the gloves instead of one on top of the other. turn on the nitrogen flow, et voila, todays picture which had us all in stitches laughing. Who said science isn't fun?!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Day 80 - Close Shaves?

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Walking the madra tonight I went down the lanes around the house and on one corner came across a pile of wood shavings, right outside someones garage. Firstly, I'm intrigued to know what they're at as I did woodwork for my Junior Certificate and was top of the class. I only gave it up because it was in the same time slot as chemistry for my Leaving Certificate and couldn't be in two places at once. Secondly, and more importantly, what lazy so-and-so simply brushes a whole load of wood shavings out of their garage and onto what is effectively public highway??!! There is one word for that........... littering, and I'm sure it's against the law. Would it have been so difficult to brush the pile onto a pan and brush and stick it into your bin? However, I'll stop complaining there as it made for a texture-based picture for today!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 79 - Blank Pages!

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So I have the workbook, I have an initial set of prints and some handouts printed for my workbook for course number 2. There are two Fridays to go and three weeks after that is the hand-in deadline. Easter is out as we're heading to Paris that weekend, AND I haven't done a thing on my workbook! Help! I said at the start of the course I would get my workbook started early and have it up-to-date so as not to leave it until the last minute and what have I done........ the exact opposite. It really is time to get going. I need some motivation to help me get over the initial writers block like I had last time. Maybe promising myself a little retail therapy as a reward might get me going. Whatcha think?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Day 78 - Stems

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It was getting late this evening and needing to get a picture for today I decided to shot a slightly abstract picture of some flowers stems lit from one side by a table lamp. It took a few goes to get what I wanted but above is the result. I quite like the shadows cast on the curled leaves!

Day 77 - Stormy Sky

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Heading to the cinema on saturday evening, the sky was quite simply dramatic! Banks of different coloured clouds met with an array of colours and there was a dark and sinister look to the sky out to sea. I couldn't resist a quick snap on my phone of the sky in the car mirror behind us. The pink colour was fabulous and the picture just doesn't do it justice but I had to capture what I could!

Day 76 - Friday evenings

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So this is where I have been spending my friday evenings for the last 8 weeks. I'd never heard of Chapters until I started searching for a photography course around Cardiff last summer. I'm now only two weeks away from finishing my second course here and this one has flown past! I've learnt so much and continue to do so and am already considering which course to do next! Although I don't think I'll be doing another one on a friday evening as the weekends with the hubby are short enough that not getting home until 10.15pm means less time with him before he's packed up on sunday evening to head back to London for another week!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Day 75 - It's that time again....

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..... when a certain four-legged friend gets over excited and starts whining.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day 74 - Red and Yellow

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Another example of the longer depth of field with the macro lens. A little shorter than yesterday but still quite nice in my humble opinion.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Day 73 - Tulips, again!

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I spotted a lovely bunch of assorted tulips in the supermarket this morning and just had to have them! It also gave me a subject to mess around with this evening. Instead of using my macro lens at a very shallow depth of field I decided to see what the outcome would be at the longest depth of field and todays picture is the result. All that has been done is some white balance correction in Lightroom. And I have to say, with a blank background, I quite like the result of using a longer depth of field. Watch this space for some more experimentation!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Day 72 - Church

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I pass this church every evening on my walk with the dog and haven't really paid it much attention except on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning when the bells are ringing and I'm trying to snooze! It has a nice cemetery attached to it and this evening I noticed that behind the church is the older section of the graveyard. Now, I never thought much about graveyards and their photographic appeal but my hubby has taken one or two graveyard pictures and a few of the girls on my first photography course presented some graveyard-based pictures during the 10 week course. It has sparked an interest in me but I'm unsure of the etiquette of picture taking in graveyards. However, this has not stopped me planning a trip to Pere Lachaise when we're in Paris in less than four weeks. My hubby has visited it while he was living in Paris as a young lad but I've never been. There are many famous people buried there but from the pictures I've seen of it, it looks like a wonderful place to take some tasteful pictures.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Day 71 - Smell of Summer

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My lovely sister-in-law over at cherrysuedointhedo reviewed these little beauties last week and the review was so good I just HAD to make a small purchase. Smell of summer indeed. I also bought the shower gel and have used it in earnest over the last two days and love it so much I think it might have surpassed my usual Molton Brown one! Definitely makes me look forward to our holiday in eight weeks time! Bring on the sun, sea and sand!

Day 70 - First ride of the season........

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...... Done! Back in January, when I first introduced you to the Black Beast, I mentioned there were two beasts in my life. Well here is the second, fondly called the Green Meanie in our house! She has been around Ireland twice and has done umpteen trips around Snowdonia and we are long overdue another long trip on her. Let the planning begin!

Day 69 - Source Cleaning

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I've had an all-round crappy week in work with it culminating in me needing to clean the source in our GCMS not once but twice this week losing alot of analysis time on the instrument. Not a very happy bunny leaving work this week hence the rather boring and uninteresting post for today!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Day 68 - Drums

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This afternoon turned out brighter than this morning and after lunch, I took another stroll around work looking for project inspiration. I hadn't photographed these waste drums before and took a number of shots from various angles. I quite like the contrast between the wood, the plastic and the metal drums. Well see what my course tutor thinks tomorrow of the industrial theme I seem to have settled on.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Day 67 - Moon

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Not a very interesting or aesthetically pleasing picture but on my walk this evening with the Black Beast, I was surprised by how big the moon was and how low down in the sky it was at 5.45pm. So I took a quick snap and thought I'd share it with you.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Day 66 - Rust

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In my quest to find things 'industrial' around work for my main project, I came across some reinforcing steel wires (thick ones mind you) from a pipe job that came in a few years back. They actually lend themselves well to being shot in monochrome but importing into Lightroom converts them back to colour. This particular one I really liked as you get a better sense of the age of them in colour than you do with just black and white. It was shot using my macro lens so I could get in close to them and also achieve a shallow depth of field and boy do I have shallow dof! Must say, I'm appreciating my macro lens more and more these days. I think I'll be going back to this pile of wires alot more over the coming days to see what variety of pictures I can get towards my main project. Wish me luck!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Day 65 - Decisions, decisions!

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We were given our brief for our main project for our course last week and I'm torn between two things, industrial or nature black and white abstract themes. Industrial might be ok as there are lots of "stuff" around work that would fit quite nicely into that theme and they may lend themselves well to black and white. However, although breaks and before/after work means I'd get plenty of time to get shots for the project I'm not sure how 'abstract' some of the things might be. On the other hand I could potentially do nature as the Black Beast needs to be walked and with the evenings being a bit brighter now, we can wander around the park, her with her ball and me with the lead on one arm while holding the camera between two hands. With that theme, though, it might only really work with my macro lens so I can get in close to things and I'm not too sure if I want to do a main project based solely on the use of my macro lens. Decisions, decisions..............

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Day 64 - Are we going?

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A patient Black Beast waiting to see if I'd take her around the park this afternoon. I did. I'm a good mammy. However, she didn't get away scott free as the camera came as well.

Day 63 - King of all he surveys

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This evening we ventured to the Red Dragon Centre to see the movie, Safehouse. Beforehand we took a stroll around the bay to the left hand side which we had never gone to before. On our way back around we came across the piers which were empty, the boats having been taken out for their winter storage. In the centre of them was one pier completely filled with seagulls. Not unusual you might think, although there was one bird perched on a post high up. It almost looked like he was king of all he surveyed and below was his harem of females. Quite a sight to see at 8pm on a Saturday night! It was definitely worth stopping and taking a picture of and posting as todays blog pic!

Day 62 - Darkroom fun!

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So this evening was day 2 of spending time in the darkroom on my course. Last week we had our introduction to producing a print from a negative and this week we continued from there to learn more about controlling exposure and also contrast. I had never before been in a darkroom nor did I know the process, so I was very interested and, being a geek scientist, I made our tutor find out the chemicals for me so I can understand the process behind producing a print.

Todays picture is a combination of pictures. On the bottom right is the print produced by the helpful people at Boots from my roll of film I shot for my course. Top right is the test strip you need to produce first in the darkroom to know how long to expose the light through your negative onto your paper. And, last but not least, left is the actual print I produced after several test strips and plays with exposure and contrast. I've found the darkroom process extremely fun and am planning to book some time to produce some additional prints from my negatives. However, that said I'm not sure I'd change totally from digital to film, although it hasn't put me off maybe considering the Black and White course on film at Ffotogallery for a future course!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Day 61 - St Davids Day

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Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!
For all you non-welshing speaking people that's Happy Saint David's Day to you! And yes I had to google it!