A lovely cuppa
musings and ramblings on crafting and life…
A while ago I signed up to Pay It Forward on Sew Quine Nikki’s blog. Well a few weeks ago I received a parcel from her containing the most wonderful, delightful, grin inducing treats for someone like me. Nikki had obviously put lots of though into this amazing little bag.
Can you think of anything more appropriate? Nope, neither can I. There was squealing in delight, which is relatively rare for me, and immediately trying it out. That’s when I discovered what else was in the package.
I love pin cushions and as you can see I have a bit of a thing for having my pins grouped together by colour. This wonderful pincushion even has my initial on one side and on the other side there’s another camera. There were even pins for me to play with. Thank you Nikki, they’re so wonderfully me
Wow what a weekend of contrasts it’s been weather wise. Saturday had clear skies and was rather mild, today was foggy and freezing.
Just wanted to share this shot with you that I took yesterday morning while out with the hounds. See all that mud on the mud flats? They traipsed most of it back home and I’ve been trying to clean it all off the sofa and out of the rug ever since. Oh and don’t even ask about the smell they brought home! Remind me why I love them again?
Just a quick post. I shared this image yesterday on google+ and thought I’d share it here as well. It was a very productive weekend for me and it was wonderful to make it out two days running with my camera. Of course it also highlighted how much I need new trousers, ones that don’t keep falling down. But when you get to see a sunrise like this then even a draft on your back can’t spoil the moment.
Sometimes when I’m out and about with my camera I visit a location I can take the dogs. It obviously has to be somewhere that they’ll be safe and not annoy anyone while I’m concentrating on looking through my lens. If I’m photographing them specifically I tend to like them reasonably large in the frame. Sometimes, however, it can be nice to show them in the wider surroundings.
This is one of those shots. I was there photographing the sunrise while the dogs had a play on the beach. There was no one else in sight and all three of us were enjoying ourselves immensely. Obviously I kept an eye on them and as I checked on Pebbles at one point the morning sun hit the sands and the beach came to life with contrasts. I quickly whipped my camera round and got this shot before she barrelled towards me – having noticed I was watching.
Even though you can’t see her very well, and she certainly doesn’t fill the frame, I love this shot as it shows her early morning walkies in context. A few moments later she had me covered in sand before heading off for more running and exploring.
Last week I looked at the shutter priority setting on a DSLR and this week I thought it might be a good idea to consider going completely manual. Yes I know that’s scary, but just take a few deep breaths and do it. After all what’s the worst that can happen? Besides you have a fabulous tool on the back of your camera – a preview screen. There is nothing to stop you turning the settings onto manual and just adjusting things till you get the shot you’re looking for.
I’ll admit I don’t tend to use my camera on fully manual very much, but there are times when there really isn’t much use using the semi-manual settings. In order to understand this you need to consider how your camera is working on a software level. Some clever person has programmed the computerised part of your camera giving it a set of instructions on how to decide the automatic settings.
In order to do this they have to make some assumptions and a big one is how much light you need to make the perfect image. The programmer, and hence your camera, has no idea if what you’re photographing is meant to be bright or dark, so working on the law of averages they assume the over all the scene you’re looking to capture is about mid grey. That way the software can do all those calculations for you and hopefully help you take that cracking shot.
Lets look at an example so I can hopefully explain it better.
Here is a shot of Runrig, my favourite band on stage. The display screen behind the drums is well lit and you can see the swirls of colour easily. However, if you look at the area to the stage, just in front of the drums, you’ll see it’s quite dark and you can’t make out much detail. This shot was taken on ISO 800, f 2.8 and 1/500th of a second. So how did I end up with this exposure? Why did my camera select the additional settings based on my decision to choose ISO 800 and f 2.8. Well the software scanned the scene and made the assumption that if it averaged all the bright and dark parts it would come up with mid grey. Because the screen behind the musicians was much brighter than the stage in front, the appropriate settings for mid grey were chosen. This in effect dimmed the whole shot. In this case I don’t mind as I’m very happy with the outcome. But what if seeing the dark area had been more important than the bright area. Then turning the camera onto fully manual is one of two ways to overcome the assumptions being made by the camera. (The other is called bracketing and I’ll talk about that next week.)
Here is a shot I did take on full manual.
I’ve posted this shot before on my blog and I still love it. Earlier this year the moon was both full and at perigee, hence it was gloriously large, full and bright. I headed out with my tripod, camera and thermals (it was FREEZING) to take a shot.
In this case you have a very bright object on a dark background. The camera will try and average this out giving you a bright white orb with none of the details visible. This is fine if that’s what you want, but I wanted craters hehe.
So it was over onto full manual and after some experimentation I settled on ISO 100, f 9.5 and 1/90th of a second.
You may find that you never need to go over onto manual to get the shot you want, but it never hurts to know you can if you need to. Also understanding a bit more about how your camera works has to be a good thing don’t you think?
Well as you can probably tell I’ve been busy trying to sort the blog etc so crafting time has been a little limited. So I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite shots of Jake while I’m working on those WIP’s.
I just love the way he’s looking over his shoulder at me. Jake is now running around again after breaking his leg last year and I can’t wait to take him walking on holiday again this summer. Perhaps without the near death experience this year tho…
This last week has been busy and unfortunately sewing machine-less. So I decided to spend my little sewing time working on my version of the Forever Friends Bag by Lynette Anderson.
I decided to do the motif as simple stitchery instead of appliqué. In part because I really need the hand stitching practice and partly because I can do it sitting on the sofa watching tv.
It also gave me a wonderful excuse to buy more of the variegated threads that are available. Yeah, yeah I know… any excuse hehe…
I’m not quite finished as I’m super slow with hand stitching but I’m having fun. Ooooo and my sewing machine is now back home safely much to my relief. Thanks to everyone who sent their prayers and good vibes for his return.
Well this is a difficult post. I’ve been sorting through some old backup files and decided I couldn’t put off sorting through a particular bunch of images any longer.
My father passed away a few years ago and I controversially decided to photograph his funeral. It was a decision that many in my family didn’t really understand, but fortunately they kept their muttering about it out of my ear shot. When stressed and emotional I’m not a person to cross.
In fact it was the stress and raw emotion that led me to pick up my camera. Looking through the lens helped place a level of unreality on the day providing a coping mechanism.
The day passed in a blur and afterwards the images provided a focus for the grief to flow. I’m a great believer in allowing yourself to grieve. Bottling it up doesn’t help anyone.
The shots are far from my best but they serve their purpose. I’ve not looked at them for quite some time but their effect on me is still strong. However they don’t trigger tears anymore, but a smile…