Category: photography

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

In the Frame – A Journey into Self Portraiture – Part Two

Over the summer I have been continuing to play and experiment with taking selfies. From the point of view of my phone camera I never really stop taking photos often of my feet and sometimes on the timer but I have been using the big camera more to try and hone my self portrait skills.

You can read the beginning of this story here.

Going back and reading that post has me inspired all over again! Anyway here are a few from this summer, some thoughts and revelations!

I bought one of Vivienne’s online classes and have loved reading her tips and positive messages about this form of photography. I’ve been trying out one of the methods she uses for focussing the camera. Simply put she turns off auto focus and uses the feet/metre guide on the lens to work out where the focus point is then stands there.

I don’t always get it right as you can see in a couple of the photos above but I’m still enjoying it and also now deliberately standing out of focus for a different type of shot.

I’m obsessed with the jumping shots and want to get a good one….. I’ll keep practicing.

Something I have got better at is looking for the light. Photos are just better when there is some light and dark, some sunshine basically. And from a technical point of view the more light the faster you can have the shutter and hopefully capture an in motion type of shot.

And even sometimes when you use that sunshine to take a great all be it a technically bad picture.

The light in Tuscany was just amazing. And I have more evidence that I wear skirts!

I say that a little tongue in cheek but this photo journey has made me realise that I dress in jeans all the time. I like to be comfortable and I guess I have a uniform for day to day living.

However, going back to Vivienne’s original idea about ‘cultivating self love through self portraiture’ I have come to the conclusion that although I like being ‘comfy’ what that actually means is that I choose to wear those jeans over skirts and dresses because of the thoughts I have about my body. I should add, the negative thoughts I have about my body. I hide behind what I feel are neutral clothes, nothing that makes me stand out too much.

Yet by looking at the photos from the post in 2016 and some of these here I love to see myself in something other than jeans. I can honestly say that this has been a revelation, a pause for thought, something that I need to be conscious of and work towards changing. Loving myself in whatever clothes truly want to wear.

This self portraiture journey really is turning into an adventure of discovery on so many levels and I am bravely taking these steps, practicing all the things and embracing what I see through the click of that shutter.

The Click Tick List – Sail on the Grand Canal

This is one of those things that I added to my list because it felt easy-ish to accomplish, after all Italy isn’t too far from me yet it also felt like something that I’d never do. Perhaps this was because I couldn’t see us parting with the money to hire a gondola!

Enter then the Vaporetto. A water bus.

When we were planning our summer trip to Tuscany I added a day trip to Venice into the mix. It is not close but it was closer than Leeds so I thought we could make the train journey and I could cross something off my list.

The ride on the Vaporetto was the main event. And Gav did an amazing job of planning where we should get on and off the bus and then how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It worked out great.

We visited Venice on another day trip about 20 years ago and I admit that I didn’t like it all that much. Yes, it was beautiful and quirky but oh so crowded. Still I wanted to go back and take that boat trip and I am so glad I did because I fell in love with the quieter streets and the bridges, oh the bridges!

But this story is not about the bridges. This story is about the canal and all its beautiful buildings lining the waters edge. We hopped on board at the train station.

Loved that traffic light in the picture below!

Seeing the city from the water was perfect and I guess this is how it should be viewed.

Managed to snap a reflection of us while we were docked.

After thirty minutes or so we came to the San Marco basin where the canal opens up into a bigger area of water and where we disembarked.

The building in the below photo is the Doge’s Palace with the domes of San Marco’s Basilica in the background.

And to finish us off one of the perfect little bridges. Oh yes, the large white bridge at the top of this post is the Rialto Bridge a spectacular and grand example which has shops actually on it!

So there we go a memorable trip on a water bus that can be crossed of the list!

The Tulips 2018

For as many years as I can remember, certainly the last ten, I’ve endeavoured to have a stunning display of tulips in our garden. I have always loved these flowers and they are my favourite….. in April and May at least! We have done quite a decent display this year, possibly inspired by my Tulip Day last year.

Every day for the past four weeks (the season has been short because of the weather, cold then hot) I have ventured outside and within moments had a smile on my face as I see the tulips for the first time that day. Some may not be very perennial but it’s always worth buying more for the amount of pure joy they bring me.

The main display came from four pots. I planted in the same bulbs twos so there would be symmetry on either side of that path.

The top two photos as well as the next two show the evolution of the display in one of the pots.

Early morning sunshine. And it captures another couple of clumps of tulips that Gav planted in the borders. These have come back well for a about two years now.

Practicing with my macro lens….

I adore the darker tulips and this one is Black Parrot.

And this one is Queen of Night.

Totally blown out shot with sun flare but I still like the photo and I’m beginning to quite like this blowsy Antraciet variety too.

More from the pots.

Another fav. Dolls Minuet planted in a pot this year.

And finally another macro photo of an emerging La Belle Epoch. Such amazing detail on those petals!

Truly, truly in love with these flowers.

Adventuring – Malham Cove

I mentioned recently that we went to the Dales. I thought I’d share the photos we took of our walk up to Malham Cove.

We started from the nearby village of Malham where we were staying.

It wasn’t a very nice day but we got on with it.

In the photo above you can see the white face of the cove. Once a waterfall (it occasionally still is in very rainy seasons) the cliff is made of limestone that has eroded over millions of years. Apparently it is formed along the line of the Craven Fault System and the erosion has made a limestone ‘pavement’ at the top of the cove.

There is a set of steps to the left of the cove which of course Gav wanted us to climb……

Halfway up and I seriously believed by little heart might give up! I also thought this experience should be added to my click tick list……

Gav wandered very carefully to the edge. The rocks were really slippery so I stayed put.

It is a great sight and when you realise how these cracks and fishers have formed it makes you realise just how powerful nature is.

Back down at the bottom we walked to closer to the face of the cove and spotted large boulders that must have fallen from the top. That’s one just in front of Gav.

We also found some crazy folk….

Hard to spot but dangling from a rope about halfway up on the picture above are rock climbers!

I was asking Gav all about the stream that seems to begin at the cliff face and he was explaining that this stream (that comes from the water filtering through the hills and originally from Malham Tarn) becomes the River Aire.

The River Aire runs through Leeds and it all starts here in the Yorkshire Dales. You can tell I was pretty impressed by this walk we took.

Loved getting outside and seeing nature at its best. Really does the soul good.

Someone Loves the Snow and a Little Practice

Popping in real quick today to share this series of fun photos in the spirit of my One Little Word®. When I decided to delay going into work because of the surprise snow fall I grabbed the camera and caught a sweet doggie having some fun.

Not the best photos, that’s why I needed to practice taking pictures in the snow (it throws the exposure out) but still fun ones….

Needless to say that pristine and beautiful snow-covered garden is now trashed with his antics!

Let’s Start the Year Right! With Snow

Technically this delightful day was last year but I’m using poetic licence here.

If you’ve been here a while you’ll know I adore snow. We don’t get much in Leeds s when it comes it is a treat.

This flurry arrived four days after Christmas Day which was bad timing on the weather front but I loved it all the same and the beauty was that I had no idea snow was forecast so when I peeked out of the curtains it was a total surprise!

I donned the wellies and Buddy and I set off for the best morning walk and when we’d been home a while and I had ventured out into the garden for some photos and to clear a spot for the bird feeding area it started to snow again and carried on for a couple of hours.

The flakes at one point were giant. It was a perfect hour or so as I watched it get a little deeper.

I went back out after it stopped and built a teeny snowman.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything to make his face.

My niece let me know that they were going to the park sledging so I tagged along to try to get a few photos.

Snow is very tricky to photograph especially if the day is overcast and misty! It throws the exposure out because it tricks the sensors into thinking the image is going to be overexposed. I thought I’d got my setting right but when I looked at them back home I needed to up the exposure quite a bit more.

They had fun though while I tried to get a shot. My sister and brother-in-law in the picture above. Then H joined in and they raced….

You can see that we don’t need much of a snowfall to get us out sledging round these parts!

And for the final run down the hill they persuaded me to have a go……

She was very happy about that…… me clearly not so much!

All in all though a fun few hours surrounded by that fabulous snow and a bit more practice with the big camera in those conditions. If only it snowed a bit more I might perfect it!

Saying goodbye, saying hello

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At this time of year the internet is awash with goodbye old year hello new year. It is the way of things. I’m not ready yet to say farewell but I guess I have little choice so as a nod to the oncoming new year here are a few favourite photos from the last twelve months.

I made cinnamon rolls for the first time.

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Bud got a new Christmas jumper.

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It snowed in February.

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I made bun and butter pudding in March.

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And had a lovely birthday dinner where Buddy had a spot in the restaurant all to himself.

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I started to make a quilt with material I bought in 2015 from the US…..still to be finished!

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And we formed a monthly ritual of going out for dinner with Hannah.

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May saw the patio awash with spring flowers.

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And I made antipasto kebabs.

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June was the month of the iphone!

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And the garden sprang to life.

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July was the month of the selfie.

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And I found a rare post box right on our doorstep!

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In August we took Hannah to see the Lion King.

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And harvested peas and beans.

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In September I arranged flowers.

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And we went to Portugal.

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October was the month of the tomato.

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And I caught these three on camera.

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November was a walk in the park.

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And a walk on a beach.

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December was filled with fun.

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And a surprise gift (more on this soon!)

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That was my 2016 in 24 photos!

Happy New Year and wishing you all an amazing 2017.

Celebrating autumn leaves and loved ones

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Recently I suggested that we have a trip to Roundhay Park to throw some leaves about. They were not that enthusiastic but we seemed to have fun anyway!

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I think that I need to practice my photography skills some more……. But regardless of the blur I had fun too.

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And clearly we were rather pleased with our efforts. A great reminder for me. Get out there and enjoy whatever moments you can with those you love.

Holiday vibes and shadow photos

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Having a lovely time here in Portugal. We have found our own routine. Late breakfast, reading, pool, late lunch. A walk here and nap there just the perfect lazy holiday. I’ve also been taking lots of photos some on the ‘big camera’ but most with my iphone. I’ve been particularly enjoying the light and the shadows the light lets you create……

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Even roped Gav into the fun!

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Oh we laugh…….

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