Monday, September 29, 2014

me on Monday

waving to Sian for this lovely weekend summing up meme


and saying it was a doors-open-day herb garden and architect house visiting, leaf kicking, summer clothes packing away, dance and singing TV competition watching, slow roast lamb eating, Irish police mystery reading, colourful charity blanket square crocheting, geese honking type of weekend here – definitely autumn.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

zoom in on the berries

mid September means time for a free treat from the blackberry bushes growing wild - my Dad found a great spot last year so we went there again.  

 This year a lot of the berries were past their best - perhaps due to all the fog recently - which meant a lot of reaching in through the branches and prickles to reach the nice berries

We managed to each pick enough for a nice dessert - I made cobbler.

Wondering what jewels will be revealed in other zoom in zoom out pairings this week

Monday, September 22, 2014

the last of the scavenger hunt finds

definitely an autumnal feel around here as another fun summer scavenger hunt reaches the end date.

Each year there are several items that I set aside to find in August when Edinburgh is buzzing with the Fringe festival – this year juggler was an obvious and I was right


amidst all the tourist crowds I also found a painted bus


and a sign in languages other than English


Which left just two items on my list – bakery and sunrise.  I found one of them


As Julie noted, a sunrise should be easy as it happens everyday at a known time and place.  But in high summer that time is 4am here and I’m not sufficiently dedicated to the hunt to get out of bed and walk down to an horizon viewing spot at that time of night.  So I left the sunrise until September when sunrise is around 6.45.  But we have had morning fog daily for the past 10 days so no sunrise to see.

However I did find both of the substitute items



So a full 21 items for me this year and another summer nicely filled with keeping my eyes open for items and making a few trips to capture other items – thank you Rinda.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

zoom in but still foggy

we have had a lot of fog over the last week - both in quantity and longevity - not uncommon for this time of year.  Taking photos of obscured scenery may seem like an odd occupation but the fog gives a soft wash without the use of textures or apps

wondering what else people will zoom in on this week

Friday, September 12, 2014

a graduation album

my nephew graduated this summer so, being the memory keeping / PSE savvy aunty, I collected together the photos everyone had taken of the day to make a photo album.


we decided from the start to combine graduation photos with photos of him growing up so the book became a celebration of his path to graduation. 


We already had a lot of old photos scanned from a photo book I made for my sister several years ago and were able to access photos from his student days thanks to social media (the social side of his student days).


Dylan is really pleased with his book.

I created all pages in PSE using variations on a simple design that left a good size white margin all around – as well as being a pleasing design it removes the problem of where the cut will come if photos go to the edge.  For photobooks I always create the whole page in PSE, save as a jpeg and then import and use the ‘one image to cover the page’ layout. 

[I use photobox for all my photobooks and have always been pleased with the results}

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Zoom in at the village show

after months of talking and planning, my crafting for charity group finally set up our craft stall at a local village show to see if we could raise money with what we make as well as sending needed items to charities

the weather was lovely and there were lots and lots of families there to enjoy the entertainment and stalls.

Young girls with pocket money burning holes in their purses made up over half of our customers, attracted by the hair decorations and my little animals.  Dog owners were another good group buying the handmade dog biscuits and toys.

We took  £200 and learnt a lot about doing a craft stall - only 2 of us had been involved in craft shows before - and are talking about trying a Christmas market next.

Anticipating a fine array of  zoom in zoom out this week, as always and thank you to everyone who joins in

Monday, September 8, 2014

enjoying a riot of colour

every month Sandie invites us to take lots of photos in 5 minutes and then share the best 5 and this month I thought that the fabulous riot of colour that I see on my daily walk would be a good subject


along by the river the flower beds are full of ‘meadow flowers’ a lovely mix of colourful flowers.  I love that the mix varies so that some bits are very orange and some are more pink


I love the detail of individual flowers


I love that the whole bed still looks bright and colourful even though many of the individual flowers are not at their best  and many are just seed heads now


I love that the flowers are clearly a great source of food for insects


with brown leaves on the ground and a decided nip in the air I’m enjoying this riot of summer colour – thanks Sandie for the prompt to capture it digitally

Friday, September 5, 2014

August algorithms

As another month starts I’m putting on my numerical glasses and joining Julie to look back on the numbers of August

For the first 6 days of the month I was still in the Commonwealth Games village – it seems such a long time ago now, much more than a month ago.


As soon as I was finished there I was into all the bustle and theatricality of the Edinburgh Fringe.  I saw 20 shows (from the over 3 000 on offer) with 5 on one day.  The lowest score I gave was 3/5 for a version of Macbeth infused with Scottish dancing which I knew could be dodgy when I booked but just couldn’t resist. I saw 2 other versions of Macbeth – from the viewpoint of the witches and a 2 minute dash within the longer potted Shakespeare. I gave 9 shows 5/5


I received another 2 postcards in the lovely summer postcard swap organised by Sian – thank you Nicole and Julie


I started level 1 of British Sign Language class with 6 others from the beginners’ class and 7 other people and was pleased at how many signs I could remember

I added faces to 15 hearts and finished the rabbits so that I now have 90 pocket friends and 30 hearts for our craft stall next weekend


I read  books on my kindle including a sci-fi trilogy by Melissa Scott and another story of Nigerian life by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I highly recommend her novels. I took 346 photos, including 63 in 4 high speed bursts of the cycle road race which I had to cross 5 times to get from one train station to the other in the middle of Glasgow


Thanks Julie for the invitation to stop and review each month in numbers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Zoom out on the promenade

Alongside the nearby beach is a carless paved promenade which is great for walks, kids, dogs and bikes.  It is also a great venue for events and last weekend was the busking festival where buskers are invited to come along and do their thing in one of the many chalked circles all along the promenade.  We went to have a look and listen - each armed with 3 50p pieces to reward our favourite artists

Buskers ranged from experienced groups with CDs and web pages to school kids showing off their new musical skills.  Sometimes it was hard to hear one busker because of the proximity of other buskers - particularly those near to drums, bagpipes or the well amped.  We did wonder how satisfying it is for the buskers when the sound overlaps and people tend to wander slowly rather than stop and listen.  Having some coins to distribute was a good plan as we contemplated which were the most deserving and if any merited 2 coins.

Looking forward to seeing what you have focused on this week

Monday, September 1, 2014

mobile Monday–panorama

I’ve enjoyed the images that Prairie Jill and Miriam have been sharing using apps on their mobile devices and kept thinking that I would experiment with the images I can take or edit on my phone.


Faced with a lovely horizon on a sunny day at the beach I decided to try the panorama app that I have – easy to use as long as you start on the left of the image and pan right.  It creates lovely images of a broad view but then I started playing with creating a distorted image


I like the ones where I turned around as I scanned so that I get a flat image that I can’t actually see with my eyes (and to think they used to say the camera never lies).  In this image I was looking out to sea and the benches were on my immediate left and those building on my immediate right so I’ve captured 180 degrees


then I played with following the railings – didn’t manage a smooth pan here but I like the effect.

And my favourite is also a distortion but you wouldn’t know it – I like the lines converging and big sky


I was disappointed that I can only take a horizontal panorama – even though you can use the phone either horizontal or vertical you can only pan right – you can’t pan down.

I’ll be experimenting some more with this app in different places and looking at what other apps I can use – it seems that many of the fabulous apps that Jill and Miriam use are for the other kind of mobile devise.  Anyone else use android and have recommendations for photo effect apps?  And any tips for fun with panorama mode?