Ambers Presents

As I promised yesterday today you get to see if Amber got any presents at her party or not. Now it would be a very sad little 4 year old princess if she didn’t get any presents…

Amber party-14

Fortunately she did get presents so she was soon ripping the paper off squealing with delight…

Amber party-15

She even got a new set of fairy wings from one of her princess friends…

Amber party-16

Some people  even seemed to be following the princess theme in their wrapping paper…

Amber party-17

I think Amber and her fellow princesses had a great party; I say princesses there were two princes there too, Ambers brother and the brother of one of the princesses, they all had a great time playing together.

Amber party-18

It was soon time for the princesses chauffeurs (parents) to collect them and take them home.

All that was then left to do, was to leave Ambers daddy to do the tidying up of the toys at the end of the party…

Martin at Amber party

So Happy Birthday Amber, thank you for a wonderful party.


I hope you have enjoyed visiting Ambers party with me, please come back tomorrow for some new photo opportunities, and feel free to visit any of the previous posts to see what else the camera may have seen.

Happy Birthday Amber Continued…

Those of you who read my blog yesterday will know that it was my niece Ambers Birthday this week and when we went to wish her Happy Birthday, she was having a Princesses Birthday party with some of her friends.

As you know, Princesses have to look their best and Amber certainly did. Her own personal hair stylist, (her mum), had done her hair up beautifully…

Amber party-7

There was certainly lots of smiles and laughter going on, these princesses were having a wonderful party.

Amber party-8

Amber party-10

What comes next after all the fun and games? Of course, the party food…

Amber party-11

A table full of goodies for the hungry princesses and their equally hungry helpers. There was even more cake and goodies not in the photo that came out later.

The Princesses certainly liked everything that was on offer as there was lots of empty plates at the end.

To round off the food there’s one more cake to try the Birthday cake…

Amber party-12

Come on Amber get your daddy to help blow those candles out…

Amber party-13

Well done Amber, all out, but wait a minute what about your presents? Oh well reader you will have to come back tomorrow for more photos of that bit of the party. See you then.

Happy Birthday Amber

It is my Niece Amber’s birthday this week and so we called around to wish her Happy Birthday.


When we arrived she was having a Princesses Birthday party with some of her friends. They were all dressed up in Princesses outfits and looked really good. The party was already underway when we got there and they had already played some energetic games so they were having a quiet time playing the memory card game as we arrived.

Amber party

Although I think my camera clicking may have disturbed the concentration on the game as they all turned to look at the camera…

Concentration did quickly return to the game though…

Amber party-4

Energetic games did resume shortly with a game of musical bumps where every child that went out got a sticker, which meant they could continue to dance and play but the organiser of the game knew who was left actually playing the game. A great idea.

Amber party-6

Come back tomorrow for more fun from Amber’s Birthday party.

Look out something is Falling!

It has been Sandy’s turn to choose this weeks theme for our header challenge competition. So what has she chosen you ask? Well this week you need your hard hat on because she has chosen “falling” as our theme.

I suppose unless the object is lighter than air it will fall  so what should I bring you photographs of?

falling parachutes

Well here’s some brave brave men of the RAF doing a parachute display or, controlled descent, which is in essence, falling through the air attached to a bit of fabric. These men and women however do their falling with a great deal of panache and expertise.

falling tower of pissa

Many people every year can be found in the town square of Pisa in Italy stretching out their arms to stop the bell tower from falling down. The Leaning tower of Pisa as you can see from the photo does lean a considerable amount. They do assure us that it isn’t going to fall down any time soon though, so maybe we don’t need to hold it up.

falling shadow

I said earlier unless the object is lighter than air then it will fall. Well I’ve found something that falls even though it has no weight at all. See, the shadow is falling across the grass!

For my header this week I took my inspiration from the weather. We have had a lot of rain falling in recent weeks and I know some of the other headbangers certainly have, so I decided to re-visit macro water droplet shots. This time I used an all black water tray and only the on camera flash for light source.

water droplets

So there you have it falling rain drops (artificially created). The best kind because its nice and sunny outside as I write this.

You can see what the others have decided to create for their headers by following their links at the top of my right hand menu bar.

New Canon Lens

Photography is very hard to do with a digital SLR camera such as my Canon Rebel XTi without a decent lens to go with it. For years I have been using a Tamron 28-200mm 1:3.8-5.6 as my mid range telephoto lens.

Tamron lens

Recently the auto-focus on it, unfortunately, has started to deteriorate. It would fail to lock on to anything, instead it would just keep on hunting and hunting until I had to switch to manual focus to get the job done. It has been a good trusty lens and I’ve been taking photos with it for the last 20+ years so it will have aided many, many, thousands of pictures. The time has come though to replace it.

I did a lot of searching on the internet, checking the review websites to ascertain the best lens to go for, that would meet my requirements of focal length, aperture, quality and cost. 

Now there are a lot of lenses on the market for my camera from manufactures such as Canon, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and a few less well known brands. I decided in the end to go with a Canon lens.

Its the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Canon 55-250 lens

It seems a great lens so far (it only arrived this morning) purchased from Amazon, the zoom is smooth and importantly the auto-focus operates effortlessly. An added bonus with this lens is, it has image stabilization, which will cut down on any camera shake and is meant to gain you the equivalent of up to 4 f stops, which is a bonus when shooting in low light conditions. We will have to wait and see how effective it actually is though in real life shooting conditions.

It is slightly different in size to my old Tamron lens being slightly longer, but thinner and lighter…

Canon 55-250 lens & Tamron 28-200 lens

When I start to take a wide range of photos with it, will be when I will be able to tell exactly how good a lens it really is.

I did take a couple of test shots in the back garden this afternoon, well I had to make sure it was all working didn’t I?

Dandelion seed head

It focused well on this dandelion head giving a sharp image and a nicely blurred background.


The rose though seems a little too soft focused in the middle, but, then I think that may be more the photographers fault, than the camera lenses.

I will aim to bring you a more detailed review of how the lens fares once I have used it a bit more in the coming weeks.

If there are any readers who already have this lens then I would love to hear from you. It’s always fun getting new things now I need to go out and use it.


It was my turn to choose the theme for this weeks header challenge and so I thought through lots of ideas, my family gave me lots of ideas and then at the last minute, I went with “Literature”. No real thought as to what I was going to do for it, it just popped into my head as a theme. So this weeks theme, is “Literature”. I also added the little caveat that there was to be no bookcase photos for it, instead everyone had to be more creative when thinking about their headers. So where did that leave me? I think the inspiration for the theme must have come from one book by Rudyard Kipling, “Jungle Book”. It has great characters in it such as Hathi, an old Indian bull elephant, here perhaps is one of his sons…
There’s also Akela the wolf pack leader…

and Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger…

and Jacala the crocodile…

and many others within the pages of this wonderful piece of children's literature if you've only ever seen the film Jungle Book you don't know what you are missing there is so much more in the book…

jungle book

My header therefore has been created with character's from the story and I’ve used classical works of literature to spell out the title Jungle Book.

Remember to call in at the other headbangers blogs to see what literary masterpieces they have concocted for their headers this week, just follow their links at the top of my right hand menu bar.


The monkeys are coming out of the jungle...

No monkey business today...
I've got to get ready for today's headbanger challenge.


I decided to have a play with a little home made macro studio set-up to see what the results would be. These are some beans we are growing in the garden, for a comparison the ones I used are about the size of a fat grain of rice. I was amazed at the vibrant colours that came out of the pod.


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