Hopping off

Well it’s that time of the year again the families summer holiday.
So you will still see posts whilst I am away, (well hopefully if I’ve set the delay timer correctly) and I will be back with all new experiences and photos to share with you.
Oh well time to hop off…
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See you soon!

Header Challenge – 25th August 2010


This weeks header challenge set by ‘fishing guy’ is ‘Animal Reflections’.

Now I thought long and hard over this one. Do I go for a traditional animal reflection such as this…

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Or do I go for the more abstract view of reflection with an animal such as this…

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Or maybe the reflection given in an animals eye such as this…

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Or even something completely random like this…

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In the end I chose to combine a few of my thoughts into one header I hope you like it.

Check out the other headbangers entries, just follow the links at the top of the right hand column.

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Colour – The subtleties of colour in nature.


For those of you who have been following my mini series of posts on colour (those who may have missed it can see the first post here: colour-red-standing-out-from-crowd) I have been exploring the vibrancy of colour and how it can help a photograph to stand out from the crowd. Well today I’d like to bring you some examples of the more subtle hues found in nature, that if photographed correctly can still stand out just as well as there more vibrant cousins.

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By keeping the background out of focus it gives all the emphasis to the flower and its subtle shades then become its virtue. Using natural light and taking care of your composition will also help to enhance your photos.

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So although bright bold colours can mean striking pictures, photographs of objects with more subtle hues, with a little thought, can also make outstanding pictures.

Go on give colour a go!


Colour – The good the bad and the story.


Colour as we have seen in resent posts can enhance a photograph such as this one…


It can also spoil an image too…


The lovely architectural splendour of this building is marred by the bright yellow traffic light in front of it. It is the bright yellow of the traffic lights that grabs the attention the most and not the intended object the building.

Sometimes colour tells a story as in this shot…


This unfortunate gentleman was the object of much frivolity when he fetched his girlfriends bright pink handbag whilst wearing full Scottish attire at a friends wedding.

Colour where would we be without it?

Well, in black and white I suppose and that is a whole different story…

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Colour gives an edge to photos


Continuing from my post Colour – Red, Standing out from the crowd I’d like to show that it is not only man made objects that stand out from the crowd due to their vibrant colours but also nature has it’s own way of displaying itself in fiery colours.

Take this scene…


The blossom on the tree and the tulips around the base shout out look at me! Look at me!


Flowers by their nature are often brightly coloured in a bid to attract insects to help them pollinate.

It is often us humans that take second place to the wonderful displays put on my mother nature, although this clown is doing his best to contradict everything I have just said.


Vibrant colour whether it is supplied by nature or man can certainly help to make a striking and memorable photograph.

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The beauty of gnarled wood.

As regular visitors may be aware I love wood. I don’t know why maybe it’s the texture, or the feel of it or just the organic shapes that it forms or maybe all of these things. Wood is such a versatile material I can’t help but admire it.

When I came across this gnarled old tree…


with its limbs all askew I just had to take a picture.

It’s sometimes sad to see tree stumps like this one when you know that the tree itself is long gone. I wonder how long the tree had stood there what things had gone on around it and what it had been used for after it had been felled.


The wood has probably gone on to be shaped into furniture or sculptured into works of art or even used to heat a home and it’s good to see that responsible land owners are now planting 2 to 3 new trees for every one they chop down.

As this tree stump has started to rot away the inside has sprouted new plants and when I zoomed in with my camera and took a closer shot it almost looked as if it was a cliff with trees growing at the bottom.


Ok maybe I’m being fanciful in seeing that or just got an active imagination but it still makes a good picture.

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Lincolnshire Project 20th August 2010

I started this project a couple of months ago, you can see my original post here –’Lincolnshire Project’. The concept is to take a photograph in the same spot in South Lincolnshire, England, every two weeks throughout the year. My hope is by doing this we will be able to see the subtle differences that the landscape takes on as the seasons change.


I have been a little bit thwarted by the tree that frames the right hand side of the image, as it has died, thus it is not producing the lovely change of leaves that I had hoped for.

To give you a wider idea of the area surrounding this frame I have stitched together a panoramic photograph of the fields just out of the range of the photo.


I hope you will continue following this project with me and if you have any suggestions for projects or topics to cover in further issues please feel free to let me know via the comment section.

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Colour – Red, Standing out from the crowd

Colour plays a huge role in photography. Yes I know you can get excellent black and white photographs but the greater majority of pictures are taken in colour.

What I have found with colour, is that it can change a mundane, or basic picture, into something that is eye-catching and memorable.

For example…


would this picture catch your eye without the boy with the bright red top sat on the branch. The red transforms the subtle shades of green into a picture that says look at me.

In this next picture the simple garden path has also been transformed with colour.


The addition of the red rake in the picture adds a focal point to attract the eye to the image, before it wanders around the rest of the picture. It also adds a feeling of story to the scene and that is a key element when viewing a photograph.

Red, being one of the prime colours, is dominate in drawing your attention, even in busy traffic the addition of a red bus stands out from the rest of the scene.


The rest of the scene in this photograph may be worthy of attention in itself but it is the red bus that attracts the eye first.

Red is used by nature to attract attention, such as a flower to attract insects or an insect saying leave me alone I’m dangerous to eat. We use red in our road signs too to symbolize danger as it stands out from the rest of the scene and attracts the eye to it. Red is used in advertising as well as it’s strong colour attracts the eye.

Red = Strong colour = Attracting to the eye.

(Not always pleasing to the eye but always attracting).

By my use of colour, in this instance ‘Red’, to accent my photos it helps to accent the image, and hopefully for these examples you will agree it has worked to a greater or lesser extent. That doesn’t mean it will work for every photo, you still have to balance the pro’s of the boldness of the colour attracting the eye against the subtleties of the rest of the scene. A red object will nearly always steal the attention of the viewer, so if the main object has more muted tones, then try and avoid getting the strong red coloured object in the frame so it doesn’t steal the show.

Why don’t you have a go yourself photograph bold, red images.

For those followers of the header challenge I am very pleased to announce that my fellow contributors saw fit to award me Gold this week. I am as you may guess very happy and somewhat shell shocked that I received this accolade after only just joining the group two weeks ago. A very big thank you to fishing guy, imac, Lanny and Gailsman for this honour.

Why don’t you go and visit their blogs and check out their wonderful posts and headers, just click on their names or follow the links in the right column.


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Botulf’s Stone founded by St Botolph- Headbanger Challenge 18-08-2010

St Botolph a renowned missionary and Saxon monk was influential in his day and was granted a tract of land on which to build a monastery.  Thus Icanho monastery and abbey were founded.


Botulf’s Stone now called Boston in Lincolnshire England was thought to have grown up around Icanho abbey which was founded by St Botolph in the 7th Century.

Building of St Botolph’s Church pictured in this weeks header was commenced in 1309 and completed apart from the tower in 1430. The tower was completed later in 1520.


St Botolph’s know locally as the Stump (no idea why) is one of the largest parish churches in the country.


The criteria for this weeks headbangers challenge is Streets in your town that share famous names, I hope the banner meets your criteria Gailsman. Botolph Street and Botolph’s town together is that famous enough?

For more exiting new banners why don’t you visit the other headbangers just follow the links at the top of the right column.

Colour – Sheep – Tranquillity at Norfolk Lavender.

 After watching the distillation of the Lavender oil that I posted about yesterday at the Norfolk Lavender centre, I wandered into the garden centre section.


These glossy planters caught my eye almost immediately a definite photo opportunity. The colours were amazing and the high gloss sheen caught the light beautifully.


The cheeky sheep were opposite keeping an eye on me as I took the photographs of the planters.

We decided after wandering amongst the flowers of the garden centre (photos for another time) we would go into the gardens and then on further to the rare breeds section.

I will leave you today with the scene that greeted us as we crossed the bridge…


Very tranquil I am sure you will agree.

Norfolk Lavender

Norfolk Lavender is near the little village of Heacham on the north Norfolk coast of England.

Its is home to world famous Lavender fields, an oil distillery and a museum. As well as its huge range of lavenders it also sports a rich herb garden, park land and an animal rare breeds centre.

The Lavender oil distillery is a new exhibition set up in the grounds of the centre.

It transforms this…


rows and rows of Lavender into pure essential lavender oil ready to be used in numerous different applications.

They bring the lavender in to the exhibition area ready for the transformation.


The lavender is then placed into a large metal cask and steam is passed through it. The heat of the steam causes the oil in the flower to vaporize.


This combined steam then passes into the long silver cylinder where it is cooled and the condensed water runs down into a holding container. It is from this mixture that the essential oil is syphoned by way of skimming the floating oil off the top of the water. It takes a skilled hand to do this, to make sure the final product is pure lavender essential oil.

The spent lavender is then emptied out and stacked to one side where it is left to cool.


You can see by the steam that this batch had just been taken out of the distiller whilst we were there.

Lavender has a wide range of applications once it has been distilled ranging from benefits to your skin, respiratory system, digestion, circulation, muscles and joints, and can even be used in cooking. They do very nice lavender scones at the centre. It is also used as a perfume in many ways such as candles, soaps and room fragrance sprays to name but a few.

Why not give Norfolk Lavender a visit it is a great place to visit for all the family.

Camera Critters – Hedwig and friends

Today is my 100th post. When I started this back in March 2009, I wasn't sure what I wanted from blogging. Whether I wanted just a platform to display my photography, somewhere to tell others what I have learnt over the years and might be helpful for them or just something to pass the time because lots of others were doing it.
What I've found is a thriving community of individuals all bringing a little bit of themselves through their posts for others to share. I have recently been indoctrinated into the headbangers group, you can link to them on the side panel, and visit my post here for more information on this, thanks again for the invite. Thank you for all of you who regularly visit and comment it is very much appreciated and valued. If there is something you want to see more of or even something new or even something changed please feel free to let me know. I've learnt that I am not doing this just for me but for you too. Remember if you like what you see spread the word and we can enjoy blogging together.

One of the groups I've joined is Camera Critters a great opportunity to display images of the wonderful critters we see everyday. Today's blog is therefore a camera Critters post I hope you enjoy it.

Camera Critters
I don’t very often get the opportunity to photograph owls and birds of prey but when I do I love it. I know many of my readers enjoy owls too so for your pleasure (and mine) I bring you another selection for Camera Critters.
The Snowy Owl, used by J.K. Rowling as Hedwig in the Harry Potter series is a large bird. It can measure 53-65 cm (20-26 inches) long with a 125-150 cm (50-60 in) wingspan.
The Tawny Owl on the other hand is a much smaller owl being classed as a mid range in size.  It measures 37–43 cm (14.5–17 in) in length, with an 81–96 cm (32–38 in) wingspan.
The Kestrel is a beautiful bird of prey of the falcon family. It  measures 32–39 cm (13–15 in) from head to tail, with a wingspan of 65–82 cm (26–32 in).
Finally for today the….
I’m sorry to say I’m not sure what this bird is. I am sure there are knowledgeable people out there who may know the name of this bird. If you do may you please let me know via the comment section. If perhaps you don’t know personally but may know someone who does can you please point them in the direction of this blog as I would really love to put a name to this wonderful creature.

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Dirt – The Brenda Photo challenge

The challenge this time around is to create a blog with the theme of dirt!

What an expiring topic you say! Well that's exactly what I thought until I remembered the archaeological dig we did as a family a few months ago. So I hope you will excuse me for not using purposely taken shots but the theme just works with these ones.

As a family we joined a close friend of ours, who is also a qualified archaeologist on a dig at his home in Lincolnshire England. As you can see there was plenty of dirt involved in the dig, and a lot of hard work too.


Bend those knees! Put your back into it! Looks like slave labour but she did volunteer to have a go with the pick.


What's that stop already have you found something? No? False alarm!


As we dug we were instructed by Ray to keep the trench a meter square so that correct recordings of finds could be catalogued according to area they were found in.  Ray our archaeologist kept us amateurs in line and supplied us with mountains of information on the techniques and art of archaeology and specifically the history of the area we were digging in.

We had hoped to find Roman remains as the area was thought to have been the site of an old Roman villa. Unfortunately this was not to be and very little was found on this particular dig. I suppose better luck next time. We still had a great day out and learnt a lot about the history of the area and the art of archaeology.

You never know one day we may uncover a find such as this one.


But then we don’t have much like Pompeii around here in Lincolnshire.

Why don’t you drop by to view some of the other entrants to see what they have been up to in the theme of dirt in The Brenda Photo Challenge at:

 The Brenda Photo Challenge - Dirt.

Whistle-stop tour of London, England.

I thought I’d take you on a quick whistle-stop tour of England's capitol city London.

Our tour starts at the front of Buckingham Palace official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the other members of the royal family.


Quick if we rush down the Mall we will be in time for the Trooping of the Colour at Horse Guards Parade.


Look the Queen is there herself to salute her troops.


Now what time is it? Better check with Big Ben.


Ah just enough time to cross the river Thames and go for a trip on the London Eye.


Hang on look down there is that the Doctor?


I hope he’s got everything under control!

Well thanks for joining me on this quick tour of our capital city, oh alright it is all made from Lego by some very talented people at Legoland amusement park  near Windsor England. I hope you enjoyed the tour anyway.


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