Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Cheer

Well I must admit, my Christmas has already started and I am well through my first tin of chocolates! It may be a few days early but all the shopping's done, the presents are wrapped and there really isn't anything else left to do.  I know at some point between Christmas and New Year that I will dread the sound, not to mention the smell, of another chocolate tin being rattled under my nose, but for now I cannot resist having chocolate in the house and not eating it. 

This year I'm off to see family so decided not to put up a Christmas tree.  Having a tree is one of my favourite bits, although decorating is not one of my strong points, with me usually ending up with a bit of a haphazard of tinsel, lights and baubles.  Fortunately my family are much better at this bit than me and will have a lovely tree ready and waiting - not so with the dinner as I am expected to cook that, so at least it will be edible!

For now though, I am enjoying a last evening of peace and quiet before hitting the mainland (weather and ferries willing).  A large G & T, some more chocolates and a roaring fire.

 So here's wishing you all a merry Christmas and a wonderful 2013

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Resorting to nepholography on Arran

Getting inspiration for photography can be a challenge for anyone doing it on a regular basis, and never more so on those dull dreary days when it never quite gets light and the wildlife goes to ground.  But I was taught that there is always a photo opportunity, so despite the dullness of the day my camera accompanied me on the daily dog walk. Not being very optimistic I decided to travel light with just one lens (attached to the camera) tucked under my coat and no tripod. 

Now I should probably let you know at this point that I decided when I started a blog that I would not let it run me and that any photo’s would have to be taken in the usual course of my week.  So if nothing exciting has been happening, or I've been doing work for clients, the daily dog walk is the best opportunity. Now it would be easy to resort to presenting doggy photographs and I'm sure at some point I will, but not today.

Travelling light also makes me really work the camera settings – I hate spending time on the computer making adjustments – trying to capture the atmosphere of the day.  Luckily for me the clouds occasionally broke and glimmers of light burst through.

And a seat that would normally be walked past suddenly looked worthy of a stop.

A touch of monochrome can also work well for clouds making them the subject of the photograph.
Did you know that someone who studies clouds is called a nepholologist and someone who photographs them a nepholographer!

Friday, 7 December 2012

A frosty welcome on Arran

There is nothing wrong with talking about the weather, actually I think women talk more about it than men (who often ramble on about football instead).  It's a great way to start a conversation, and with the exception of someone who lives in a cave underground, everyone has some knowledge of it.  This week Arran has been blessed with a few beautiful sunny mornings.

Sunny mornings often follow a clear night sky, and it being winter a crisp frost. Time to root out the de-icer and scrap off the feathery patterns on my window screen.  Seems a shame to destroy Jack Frost's artwork.

The frost doesn't last long in the sunshine but makes small dead flowers and leaves appear sugar coated. A light frost can be very photogenic, especially close up.

Foliage that is really well past its best, gets another lease of life with a dusting of ice crystals.

Even in the most boring surroundings (something that cannot be said on Arran), frozen puddles can provide a source of inspiration.  No special kit needed just a standard 55mm lens (or any compact camera), and a bit of imagination.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Go on, indulge yourself in a little misery

Well it’s been one of those weeks, you know the sort where you want to curl up under the duvet with a large bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine.  Not that I've had a crisis, I could deal with one of those, it was just lots of little irritations… the tumble dryer broke, someone said something, I broke the lens on one of my camera’s, the dog misbehaved, someone let me down, the computer hid my work in one of those never to be found again temporary files, my expensive hairdo didn't turn out quite as expected, oh the list goes on but I won’t bore you. 

So I could indulge in a little self-pity but my mother’s words ring in clearly in my head – stop feeling sorry for yourself, there’s a lot of people worse off than you!  Well yes I know that, so along with my trivial list of woes I now have a guilt trip going on!

But interspersed with the doom were little glimmers of joy and some amusement.  There was the fabulous Santa’s Sparkle event in Lamlash with a light and firework display.  The sun shone most of the week, so my outside jobs were made much more pleasurable.  Calm seas allowed for some night time eavesdropping as crew from a moored boat came ashore, not realising how their voiced travelled, I managed to do most of my Christmas shopping this weekend. Oh and I won on the lottery - no not the jackpot – do you think I would be writing a blog if I had!

Like the lows of the week the highs were nothing to write home about, but I probably wouldn't have appreciated them quite so much without those niggles.  So go on indulge yourself with a little misery, it makes the simple things in life shine so much brighter.