All posts by manadh

I'm quite introverted - probably why I'm pants at blogging!

Conkers

Quite enjoying macro shots at the moment seeing as I can’t really get outside. Looking forward to tomorrow and Sunday though, both should offer the opportunity to get outside and (on Saturday) take some autumn shots and (on Sunday) some fireworks shots.
I found this conker shell when we went to the cemetery last weekend, and brought it home thinking it might make an interesting shot.

Anyway, that’s one week down …. Six more until Christmas! :-p

I love flowers (after many years of hate)

When I was growing up I was a tom boy. A really big tom boy in fact. All my friends were boys and we would play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or cars or climb trees. I used to love football and regularly go to matches and play on the field with my friends and male family members. I distinctly remember once the boys who lived next to my cousin (who were a good few years older than me, I must have been about 13 and at a guess they would have been about 16) saying “Whose that girl, she’s alright at footie”. Because I was!

If we went to McDonalds I’d always make my mum go back to swap the toy for the boys toy and I never had any make up or dolls. I hated flowers and anything pink.

As I’ve grown up I’ve usually found it easier to talk to males rather than females, and I’m still tom boy ish (Although recently I’ve started wearing dresses, but that is a very recent development!). Compared to other females I guess I’m really still a tom boy, just maybe a tom boy in disguise now.

Even though I started to act a bit more girly in my early 20s, I never had a fondness for flowers – that is until I got my own house. A garden hadn’t really been a priority when we were house hunting. I wanted one but I didn’t garden nor did I have any interest in it so it didn’t need to be a big one, just something to sit in to have the occasional BBQ.

Since moving out I’ve developed a love for gardening and flowers in general. So I guess it’s never too late to change your ways 😛

 

Skeleton Leaves

Tonight is bonfire night, I’m ill and cold (at the best of times) so tonight I will stop in and maybe observe fireworks from the window. However all I really want to do is go to sleep. I’m fully in favour of the first day back at work after a half term being a half day.

Found some skeleton leaves on my trip to the cemetery yesterday and decided to photograph them today. Obviously. Starting to worry a little bit about what I’m going to photograph as the days get shorter; the sun was well on it’s way to being set as I got in from work today.

I love autumn

I really do love autumn, it is my most favourite season by far.
The air gets a bit crisp, just enough to pile on scarves, hats and what not (I have a worrying addiction to hats, scarves and knitwear).
The leaves on the trees go all kinds of wonderful colours, and then they fall to the floor ready for me to stomp all over them *crunch crunch crunch*, kick them in the air and generally get all excited.
Me with autumn leaves is a bit like a kid in the snow. Except if I think about it, I’m like this with snow as well….
Over the last week I have seen two people making big piles of leaves and I have used all my reserves of self restraint to not go crashing feet first into them waft arms and legs about like a loon and send all of their hard work flailing around all over the place… However I was raised a good girl (despite being urged on to destroy one of the piles by my own mother! :-O) and so far have not managed to pluck up the courage to act on my impulses. Possibly because the proud owners of said piles were stood close by.

My mission?

To destroy someone’s pile of leaves before autumn is over.
I lead a wicked life… 😛

Leaves! // 19 10 12

 

General Cemetery, Sheffield

A while ago I went looking for (and found) a photography groups based in Sheffield. I will admit I had looked before, but I’d only found those groups which required that you paid to join and I’ve always found that bit off putting. As much as I enjoy photography, and I strive to get better at it, it is only a hobby and I don’t really want to be paying to hang around with like minded people.
I left my search for a few months then I stumbled upon a group whose motto seems to be “it doesn’t matter what camera you have (even a camera phone) as long as you have a passion for photography” and about once a month we toodle out to a different location and take photographs.

This month we went to the General Cemetery in Sheffield. I have been here before a number of times to take photos, but I don’t mind returning to places I have visited before and besides it’s nice to get out and talk to new people (And I’d never been to the Cemetery in autumn before).

Harewood House

Harewood House is North Yorkshire (I think), not too far off Leeds/Harrogate. It’s a massive house which was built at some point in the 18th century and is open to the public most days. Weirdly, driving into the pay station I noticed a sign which advertised flamingos and penguins… As no-one else had noticed the sign I assumed I had misread it, but no, there were flamingos and penguins! (This is a more than a bit unusual for a building like this, just in case anyone is wondering why I’ve mentioned it).

It was a lot bigger than I was expecting, with a lake and some stunning scenery to boot.

The above shot is “mums view”, as my mum decided that if she lived here she would sit on the bench where this shot was taken every day and look out at the view.

I was definitely impressed with the surrounding lands that went with the house, the weather let us down a bit though it did pick up as the day went on. The day before we went was Halloween and the staff at Harewood had decorated the lands with halloween-y things, which was nice!

All in all it was a pleasant trip out and it exceeded my expectations 🙂 Not too sure if I would make a return trip though, as it was rather expensive to get in.
Would recommend the parkin I had there. Sweet Holy Mother it was sooooo good! Seriously the best parkin I have ever had. Very gooey and moist, om nom nom.

Bonfire Night!

There are loads of fireworks going off outside, I’m sat in the spare room (study basically) with the lights off and blinds open all like 😀
There’s a house a couple of doors down with a fire too, outside smells like bonfire night.

We were supposed to be saving the sparklers until Monday but it had to be done, went outside for 5 mins and danced around. Wrapped up super silly warm (coat, scarf, ear muffs, gloves) because I’m already ill. Now I think a hot chocolate is in order ^_^

Project 365 // 2011 – A review so far…

I’ve been thinking (OK so I’ve only had the blog for a matter of hours, but my mind does work on overdrive) as to how best go about cataloguing some of my favourite shots from this year. Originally I was thinking about doing a blog post a shot, but then I realised that I do actually have a life (hahaha not really, I just haven’t taken a photo yet for today). So for now we shall go with this approach.
I’m going to look back over each month and write a little overview of the month, commenting on any stand out bits from the month (because I think a p365 is an excellent way to remember significant things that have happened, not just photos).

Yes I know it’s November, and it might make more sense to wait until the end of the year. But you know, living life outside the box and all that 😛

Right, here goes… Shots which were “photo of the day” only in this post!

January.
A month of wonder (ha, not really just my birthday! :-D). A lot of lighting mistakes were made in this month, although at the time I was impressed – though isn’t that the way it usually goes! On the positive at least I was experimenting and trying new things. I’m a firm believer at looking for the positives in a situation…

February (why does it always take me 3 times to spell it right?).
The month which technically made the p365 a p366. But pish-pash who wants technicalities. A bit of a safe month by the looks of things. Got out more with the camera but didn’t really do anything different. A couple of dud shots towards the start of the month, but if memory serves me correctly I was going on a night out after work, so maybe time was an issue…? >_> We had snow, I had a half term. I bought a furry wolf snood and wore it just about everywhere.

March.
A good month for flowers! And it shows, hahaha, a lot of flower shots this month! Also had a week of experiments where I tried different things (shooting smoke, drops of water etc) and ended up putting Danbo in most of the shots. I had a lot of fun that week, but it was a week which was focused heavily around taking photographs so it’s not something I could maintain with a full time job.

April.
Upon review not actually as bad as I thought it was. It gets worse towards the end of the month though. This was the month that we finally got our kitchen sorted. You can really tell where things start to pile up on top of me from work! Still a safe month in terms of what I was trying to photograph.


May.
Very questionably month. Not a very good month at all really. Very clear that my heart wasn’t in photography at all.

June.
Another not very good month. Apparently if I was shooting flowers I was better than if I was trying to shoot something else. Should probably have stuck to shooting most days then, hehe!

July.
Still some questionable material in there, but you can tell that I’m starting to put a bit more effort into what I’m shooting. Especially so towards the back end of the month, which is where the six week holidays start. In July I’ve started to venture out of the house a bit more to take photographs of things other than “things which I found around the house” or “flowers in my garden”. One of the pictures from this month got Explored on Flickr, which gave me a confidence boost right when I needed it.
This month also sees the start of my love affair with getting a blown out sun in shot…

August.
A good month! I came to the realisation that work wasn’t everything (easier to get into the routine of this whilst on holiday!) and I should put more time into the things which I love. The month of August is made up of festivals and day trips, and photographing both. A lot of time was spent by myself trying to get my head straight, and by the end of the month I was a lot happier in myself and how I would deal with things when I returned to work.




September.
Another good month despite returning to work! Experimented a lot this month with back lighting, but by this time I’d decided that I really enjoy being outside and taking landscape shots, so there is a lot of that as well. Someone I know on Flickr who lives near me found a field of sunflowers, which caused much excitement. I’ve always wanted to photograph a field of sunflowers but I’d always dismissed it as being a pipe dream because no-one seemed to know of any such field anywhere near where I live. I also made more of an effort to be out at sunrise or sunset.

October.
My favourite month! ^_^ I love autumn, but what with p365//2010 being over by this time and p365//2011 being a right off for these months I’ve never really tried to photograph it. It was more challenging than I though, I had some idea which I really wanted to work out but they didn’t. All in all though another good month – just have to keep trying with the ideas until I manage to get them right!

November.
Well in so far we’re only on day 3, and I haven’t taken a photo yet for today (I’m thinking something with sparklers…)

The rest of the year….
I’m looking to finish the year off as the last few months have been, enthused by photography but not overwhelmed. After all it is just a hobby. I enjoy that I can see my own progress; I think I would define 2011 as the year I learnt how to take photographs technically and 2012 as the year I learnt how to take photographs – although we are always learning and I am looking forward to what 2013 will bring.

To anyone still sticking at a project 365 – keep at it, we’re almost there!
To anyone thinking about taking one up – it’s a lot of hard work and sometimes you will hate it, but it has massive pay offs. Each photograph will remind you of a point in your life and you will be able to see how you have progressed (if that is what you want to do)