Friday, December 30, 2011

memories, dreams and reflections 2011–part 3–the seasons

Back to the computer after a relaxed family Christmas with plenty of yummy food and laughter, a jigsaw, lego and very few photos.

Looking through my photos from the year, I picked out items for Ashley’s list to represent the seasons – hard to pick one.  I found it hard to focus on the photos that I had rather than the image that I have in my head for each season.  I only have photos of snow on one day in 2011 but nothing else said winter to me!


I regularly take photos of my feet – I have done for years.  These also provide a nice summary of the seasons: spring I’m walking the beach but still in boots, summer I’m in the garden weeding and in light shoes, autumn there are fallen leaves and I’m back in boots; and the snow and my wellies for winter.  [Frame from  The CoffeeShop Blog].


Monday, December 19, 2011

Tis the season for a jigsaw


With my work commitments finished and endless rain and it getting dark at 3.30pm I’ve been enjoying working on a jigsaw.  Growing up we always had a jigsaw on the table over Christmas for everyone to add to. We still generally complete a jigsaw together at sometime over the festive break  Finishing this jigsaw last night I was thinking about jigsaws and Christmas and thought of one of my favourite relaxed photos from Christmas 2007.


In 2007 I was living in New Zealand and rented a holiday beach house with some friends for Christmas week.  This is us doing a jigsaw under the sunshade in the front garden looking out over the water – the blue strip you can see above the fence.  We did several jigsaws as a relaxed, communal activity in the shade. 

Are jigsaws part of your Christmas traditions?  as a way to enjoy the shade or the dark evenings?

Monday, December 12, 2011

First snow

Our first snow of this winter inspired me to create a layout – while making it I realised I haven’t created one for several months and can’t think why.


The template is one of this weeks free items from Kate Pertiet, including the winter clusters behind the photos, making it an easy creation.

Journaling: What a surprise when I opened the blinds on Saturday morning – it was white.

I put on my red wellies and headed out with my camera before it all melted.  Walking by the river I liked the contrast of the dark trees.

It was all gone by the evening – this kind of snow I can deal with – seasonal photos and no disruption.

I know grabbing the camera hasn’t always been my first reaction to snow – making a snowman and staying inside have been my normal reaction over the years. Have those of you in areas that get snow in December had any yet?

Friday, December 9, 2011

‘tis the season for lights and cards

Last weekend the local community council had its annual torchlight parade along the highstreet with local pipebands and lots of local families – all kids who take part are given a chocolate selection box at the end.  According to the notice the parade finishes with carol singing but actually the band played and a few people murmured some words but there was no great joining of voice in song.  it would help if the organisers chose carols that lots of people know and had someone on the microphone to lead the singing – maybe next year.  No-one minded though – we were there for the lights (and the chocolate, and when there aren’t renovations in the theatre for mulled wine and a mince pie).  The lights are lovely – there are the usual ones on the streetlamps but I love the light wrapped trees.


I’ve added a tree image and a second button to my ‘tis the season button for my recording of the seasonal sightings and happenings.


I personalised some stocking cutout cards that I bought and attached a chocolate tree decoration inside for some of the more young at heart of my family (including my nephews in their early 20s and my Nan who is 95!).  I had to attach a small clothespeg to each so that it would stand up – js

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

‘tis the season for mincepies and the German Market

About 10 years ago, while I was still living in New Zealand I read somewhere that each different mincepie eaten brought a month of good luck the following year.  Since I love mincepies I adopted this habit for December and make sure that I have mincepies from 12 different sources to ensure a good year ahead.


I’ve eaten 2 types so far – the easy ones from highstreet bakers and both were very tasty with a good balance of pastry and filling.

I’m recording my seasonal journey with a button and journaling on photos – as the events happen.  As with last year, my first sign of the season was a visit to the German Market in the middle of Edinburgh – yum hot chocolate and big pretzels as well as lots of pretty gift ideas


Monday, December 5, 2011

Memories, dreams and reflections 2011–part 2


Continuing with this scavenger hunt of 2011 memories organised by Ashley on Ramblings and Photos

I’m enjoying finding the items in my archive at random – here photos are from May, June, August and September.  I will include at least one other travel photo as part of this project because it was so hard to choose just one.

The one of me and my friend on the beach makes me laugh – I do have some when we are facing the camera as we played with the timer function – but I think the body language says more in this one – and I know we are both laughing at having to run to the location and then walk casually.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Playing with bare trees

One of the things that I like to photograph at this time of year is bare trees silhouetted against the sky.  With the strong winds we have been having recently there are plenty of trees that have lost all of their leaves – the trick is capturing them when there is a blue sky behind!

For Photo art Friday we were encouraged to experiment again so I played with some of my bare tree photos.


Here I used the invert filter again – to turn the tree white.  Then I added Bonnie’s wicked texture on vivid light and got this spooky image that I think looks as if it is bathed in very strong moonlight

Next was a photo I took in town of the trees and monuments on top of a hill


I started by using a Pioneer Woman action to turn it to black and white so as to dramatise the silhouettes.  Then I added some textures and stumbled upon an interesting effect.  There are several layers that create the action effect and I accidently put the texture between these layers and discovered that it produces an interesting muted effect.  I will definitely play with this discovery some more.  The textures here are Bonnie’s Old Master dust and unconditional – both on colour burn.

And finally I used a tree silhouette to apply the polar coordinates distort filter which I saw applied in something I read over the summer (sorry can’t remember where).  Ever since I saw it I have been trying the effect of different photos because getting the right photo to use makes all the difference to the result.  This is amongst the best I’ve created.  It reminds me of one of the illustrations in the book The Little Prince.


I’ll be taking more photos of bare trees this month so that I can create some more dramatic photo art with them.  Are you a fan of photographing bare trees?