Following on from my ‘Milestone‘ post earlier this week, my husband has been asking me for ages what I wanted for my birthday. I decided that I wanted to be selfish and have something I wanted rather than needed so after lots of research I decided on a new lens and it arrived this morning! The lensbaby Velvet 56 looks and feels sturdy and allows you to be really creative in producing abstract shots. My first love photography wise (after my grandchildren of course) is macro shots of flowers (often dead ones 🙂 ).
So although its a cold January day with very little around I’ve been ‘playing today. It’s a fairly steep learning curve and using manual focus needs more concentration but after just a few hours I’m hooked! I need to experiment a bit more but can’t wait for frosty mornings followed by spring flowers
The one below has been edited very quickly with ‘Formulas app’
If you read my previous blog post you will see that I began to play with frozen flower images. I’m hooked! After experimenting with different containers and flowers, I like the effect produced by smaller pots and freezing single flowers.
By using distilled water and having the patience (something I’m not very good at!) to build up the layers of water slowly you get the effects above.
Flowers which are deep in colour are easier – I love white flowers but the depth of the water and bubbles mean they are often indistinct.
Blues work well, irises and hyacinths (I pulled this one to pieces, it was in the reduced section) The beauty of this is that it doesn’t matter if the flowers are starting to wilt or decay – it just means they have more texture.
These orange images are Ranunculus flowers that I bought at Sheffield Flea and Craft fayre yesterday from Orchis Floral Design – the colours were beautiful.
Hoping to freeze some Spring flowers from the garden soon, my husband despairs of me as the top drawer of our freezer is now my flower zone 🙂
There was an interesting article published in the Guardian today saying that 300 million children live in areas of extreme pollution.
It made me think about the little things I saw in Shanghai last week about how pollution is a part of a school’s daily life in China.
On the front door every day is placed an update about the atmosphere that day with a green/amber/red rating and any additional measures that need to be taken. As you can see here this was a green day – lots of rain that week so the air was quite clear.
The school has ‘pollution days’ where it is not possible for children to attend in the same way that in the UK we sometimes have ‘snow days’ and the school has to close.
In the grounds there is a large white tented structure which is used on amber days to allow the pupils access to outdoors whilst still being protected.
It was a little strange to see people wearing masks around school and in workshops but it’s just an accepted fact of life.
I’ve been for a beautiful autumnal walk this morning at my local RSPB and it did make me think how much we actually take for granted.
Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’, well last week I was terrified. The offer of presenting at The Festival of Education, Wellington College, Shanghai was too good an opportunity to miss. BUT and it’s a big but, I’ve never actually flown anywhere by myself, I’ve never visited China and as you know i’m just an ordinary person ‘A granny from Barnsley with a camera’ so why would anyone want to listen to me?
I DID it! I was scared but I did it and I’m proper proud of myself so I want to share a few of the things I learnt.
- Your comfort zone is good but the highs that can be yours if you step outside of it are worth the risk.
- If you put on an act of being confident then gradually that will become real, even to yourself.
- It’s OK to ask for help – people are only too willing to help you, you just have to ask.I couldn’t lift my camera bag at times so actually getting it into the luggage locker on the plane was beyond me.
- There are some amazing people in the world who are just friends you haven’t met yet.
- Kids are kids are kids wherever they are in the world, curious, inquisitive, sparkly eyed early years, cautious teenagers – but all willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and have a go. Be yourself – kids can tell intuitively if you are genuine or not.
- Sometimes ‘ordinary’ is good. Some teachers are over awed by ‘academics’ and the down to earth approach is what they need, they can relax and ask questions without feeling stupid. It’s Ok to laugh and enjoy yourself even if you are a teacher.
- I use twitter far too much and felt completely lost when I realised it wasn’t possible to access it in China. (The kids did explain all about having a VPN but I was too jet lagged to take it in )
- Chinese coffee is awful!!
Hopefully I’m going back in March for the Arts festival and already have lots of ideas buzzing. I’m processing what I saw and will blog again later.
I’m waiting to go to the dentist so trying to occupy my head! I have areal phobia about this. I know it’s not sensible or logical but then phobias never are that’s why they are phobias!! I’m bad tempered and have already snapped at my long suffering husband and drunk 3 cups of coffee. I have work to do but can’t concentrate hence messing with photos!
As its election day we’ve walked to our local polling station. This being Barnsley it’s actually someones garage but at least we live in a democracy and can vote.
Yesterday I noticed that the flowers I’d picked from the garden were drooping nicely! You can never actually arrange them as nature itself does. I photographed them on the kitchen windowsill to get the colours from the garden. I called at the local antique centre in the morning and bought a couple of new glass jars – these rae very cheap – they start at 50p but I love adding to my collection of photographic props. I also found an old iSpy wild flowers book! Bargain x
Only an hour to go before the dentist now x
I don’t have much growing in the garden but I have three different shades of these ‘Christmas Roses’ as I’ve always known them. These have been put into a glass bottle from our local antique centre and then edited with 3 texture layers’