Malham Pt. 2

Even though it was forecast to be chucking it down all day we decided to do the circular walk. We went in the direct of Janet’s Foss – Gordale Scar – Malham Cove. I had wanted to climb up the scar but the weather conditions weren’t ideal and I’m not that brave!

Janet's Foss

When we first set out it was only drizzling a bit, so I was optimistic that the weather forecast wouldn’t be right…

Malham Cove

But by the time we got to Gordale Scar it was chucking it down! Then it chucked it down whilst e walked to Malham Cove. Then it stopped raining for the walk back.

River On the Road for Gordale Scar

Untitled

Untitled // 15 05 15

135 // 365

kB said this morning after I’d exclaimed in excitement “Hurray it’s cloudy!!” that I am possibly the only person in the world to get excited about such a thing. Whatevs. Early morning frolic in the woods with my skull.

March; In Review

The idea of blogging “properly” once a week fell through, mainly because I don’t really have much to say : P

Here is an update for the month of March, which some of my favourite images from this month at the bottom…

I have no idea what day of the week it is as we had Friday off, so Friday felt like Saturday – and now that we’re on Sunday it doesn’t feel like a Sunday, especially so as tomorrow is a bank holiday too.
Not that any of this really matters because I am off for two weeks. Two glorious weeks. HUZZAH.

 

What am I planning on doing during these two weeks?

  • Sort out my Twitter accounts – Done
  • Disable my Direct Debit to a photography magazine – Done
  • Update my website – To Do
  • Take create shots for project 365, and try different/new things – In Progress
  • Get in touch with small local businesses and offer to take photos for free – In Progress

 

Photography

I think my photography needs to have some sort of style to it. Style and direction.
Really enjoyed the low key work I’ve been doing this month, but next month want to play more with high key. This type of photograph appeals to me a lot less though so I’m not sure how that will work out. I also feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with my black and white photography.
There is still a lot to learn, but I have been enjoying what I’ve been doing, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with some of the results I have got from my shots : )

 

Exercise & Health

I knew I‘d put some weight on over Xmas but never really did anything about it. When I finally got around to weighing myself I’d put half a stone on (Although I honestly can’t remember when I last weighed myself). Since then I’ve been more careful with what I eat, and I’ve been doing exercise again. I’ve not lost any weight at all, which kind of bums me out, but I have lost almost an inch from my waist, so one much take the victories where you can. I also look thinner/more toned, which I guess is the overall aim anyway.

My knee has been really bad. I think it‘s the weather still being cold but I’m not looking forward to this being something to “look forward” to. Most days it really hurts, but if I keep mobile and don’t bend my legs more than 90 degrees I can have good days.

 

Week 2: In Review

Bwa haha that rhymes!

Anyway, moving on…Decided to move this end of week summary to the day which I actually consider to be the end of the week, Sunday, so there will be 8 photos at the end of this review.

Work:
This week has been fairly good actually. The first week back at work after a half term is usually rubbish; I feel tired all the time and want to nap and go to bed ridiculously early (even by my early bed time standards), but not this week! Having said that the week has seemed to both drag, yet the weekend came sooner than expected, which makes no sense at all. On Friday it didn’t feel like a Friday, it felt like a Wednesday or Thursday, but at the same time it felt like we were well into the term rather than it being the first week back. Weird.

Exercise:
I’m  back into doing Pilates twice a week and have ditched Zumba in favour for Hot Hula (at least for now). I’ve actually missed exercise and I don’t really know why I stopped. My knees seem to have been better for the last few weeks too. I wasn’t expecting much from Hot Hula, but in actual fact it was rather enjoyable – it’s like hula dancing so it’s a real challenge but I could feel it working my abs and thighs so I’m looking forward to seeing results and getting better at it… It’s rather difficult to walk whilst rotating your hips! I think I’m going to “cheat” and get my weighted hula hoop out and practice hip rotating, haha 😛

Photography:
Another good week where I’ve been Explored numerous times and hit the black and white target. Personally I think the worst shot I took all week is the one I took last Sunday, or maybe today. Today’s shot involved something I’ve never tried before – shooting the refraction of an image in a water drop. It’s not bad for a first attempt. Must be a theme then – Sunday = pants photo day (Which is odd considering I have the whole day to myself both times).

Photography Highs: I’m enjoying looking for shots which will work in black and white and I’m looking for them every day – obviously some days it just wont work for the photos I have in mind, but I’m defiantly starting to look for it which I never did before. Really need to get myself into gear in terms of self portraits / portraits with kB. I’ve figure out how to get my eyes in focus for a close up shot of myself, but the problem is it’s difficult to be subjective abut a photograph when you yourself are in it. I know this is part of the challenge of it, but it is still difficult.
I’m also going to add the photo I took today here, even though I’m not too pleased with it. I tried something new for the first time this year and I guess that it’s not *that* bad.

Photography Lows: The novelty of Explore has worn off though. I know it’s only a daft thing presumably based on number of views -vs- favourites -vs- comments, but before at least it was something to aspire to. With so many pictures getting into it it has somewhat taken the novelty off! But that’s not to say that I wasn’t a bit upset when the last few didn’t get added to it, but still… 😉

I’ve been looking at lenses a lot lately, and I’ve decided that I’m going to start saving for some good quality glass. I’m just torn between getting a big zoom lens and a macro lens. I already have 3 macro lenses even though they are all manual focus ones, but I don’t have a zoom lens which goes past 200mm… Well except for the 300mm macro zoom lens….. >_> I’ve also been reading that you should use manual focus rather than auto focus for macro shots anyway, which is something I’ve never had to consider before never having had the option to auto focus! It’s the 1:1 ration which is drawing me towards getting a macro lens rather than a zoom lens, as I don’t think any of my lenses are 1:1 (which I think technically makes them not macro?). Besides out of the two I’d use a macro lens more often.

 

Week 1: In Review

Inspired by Alastair I’ve decided to give “end of week summative” blogging a go… I’m really not very good at things like this so we’ll see how it goes or indeed how many weeks this lasts for…

Mainly this week has involved taking photos using my new photography equipment, playing on computer games (Borderlands, Minecraft and Sins of a Solar Empire just FYI) and reading about photography. The days have started to blur together and even though I know it’s Saturday I’m finding it hard to think what I was doing last Saturday :-/

Work:
Back to work on Monday. I have decided (for the moment) that as much as I am not really enjoying it it is not worth fretting over and I need to focus on the positives.
1. If I want to I can leave work at 330 and be home by 350; 2. The holidays; 3. The pay. If I were to change professions number 1 and 2 would be gone for sure. The main positives for these is photography and exercise.

Life in General:
Exercise: I’ve managed to start doing exercise again. I need to do my second round of pilates this afternoon then I’m done for the week. Boy did I ache after I decided to do 1 hour of cardio then 1 hour of pilates back to back after not doing any exercise at all for about 3 months 😛
Social: 2012 saw the final nail in coffin in terms of some friendships. Predominately I am a lone wolf and I prefer my own company to being surrounded by people. I find that people often come with too many of their own agendas – what happened to just being nice to people; being happy for them in their achievements and being there for them when things are not going so well?
I don’t know what to do – do I want to try and make friends with new people and risk a load of potential new drama (I know being friends with people doesn’t have to mean drama, but in my experience I’ve found it usually rears its head at some point) when in actual fact I’m quite happy as I am (A few friends IRL, a few more online but very few of them being particularly close – I’m pretty much a closed book anyway and don’t like to share much).
Do I just feel like I should have more close friends because this is how society and media thinks I/we should be? I’m not unhappy so why change?
Random: My phone saw fit to upgrade itself. Everything has gone from green to blue, and small is no longer really small. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’ve decided to be good and finally get round to buying myself a protective case for it. I’ve had it since June/July and dropped it twice. On concrete. In the rain.
Hair and Tattoos: I like my hair this new pinker colour. I didn’t like it at first, but the more I’ve washed it the pinker it has gone and it has grown on me. I also think I’ve decided on getting a tattoo on the top half of my right arm. I’m just nervous about it, and I’m nervous about telling people about the idea – the people closest to me aren’t exactly tattoo enthusiasts…

Photography:
I have (if I may say so myself) had a rather good week photography wise. The week started – yes I have checked – with a failed trip to Ladybower. We ended up in the peak district!
The last photo of the year was a bokeh lights shot with wine glasses (filled with water and red food colouring :-P) which got added to Explore* on Flickr a couple of days later. This was the last shot of 2012. I’m proud that I made it. I’m also proud of how much progress I have made it terms of photography.
The new year started with me getting up early and going for a walk. This photo got Explored on Flickr too. On the way back from my grandma’s later that day I remembered a location which I wanted to try a spot of night photography at (I say “remembered”, we drove past it) and I decided that me and kB would go back to this spot at some point. As the weather was good, that “some point” turned out to be the next day. The day after thats photo got Explored on Flickr too! That photo was a macro shot of a poinsettia leaf.
Friday the weather report said that it would be intermittently cloudy, but also sunny, so I set my alarm and went to Ladybower for sunrise. Only in between me checking it wasn’t cloudy (I could see the moon and stars!!) and me getting there it had become overcast, misty and raining. In the spirit of trying to be creative I decided to stick it out for about an hour and see what I could make from the situation.
It was hard work because the rain was the fine mist type, which didn’t seem to be coming down in any particular direction. I ended up with a couple of shots which were workable, my earlier idea of “well I’ll just edit out the rain spots” turned out to be a lot more work than I was willing to do. The shot I decided to go with is a black and white job – the first black and white shot of the new year, putting my target of taking more black and white photos well into view. This photo also ended up getting Explored on Flickr 😛
Today we went to Rivelin Valley and I have again ended up with a black and white shot. This time of a log and a waterfall.

This year I think I want to address where I am going with all this photography malarkey. Several people have asked me. I have no idea.

Photography Highs: Getting so many photos Explored on Flickr in one week! 😀 The Flickr app on my iPad has been jingling away almost non-stop for 3 days! Managing to get two black and white shots already for project 365 2013. I’ve remembered to clean my equipment after each use!
Photography Lows: The cheap filters I asked for for Xmas. The ND ones turn everything purple! I’ve asked for some better quality ND filters for my birthday – 18 days!! I can’t complain though, I asked for them because you get a lot of filters and I can try out and see which ones I use and buy better quality ones knowing I will use them – I just hadn’t expected to be buying replacements so soon!
Photography Mission for next week: Take one self portrait!

* Explore is where someone (I’m guessing it’s code based rather than human) chooses the 500 most “interesting” photos which were uploaded on a particular day.

2013 // Project 365 & Beyond

2013 will mark the third year in a row that I have taken a picture every single day. Assuming its successful completion of course 😉 At some point in the year – I *think* it’s around the end of September, I did work it out last night but I have forgotten! – I will have taken a picture every day for 1000 days. Which sounds impressive if nothing else!

What can I take from 2012?
Life wise: don’t get too bogged down with work, it is after all only a job. Take time for yourself and enjoy life. You can be confident enough to walk around in a bikini top. Lots of exercise saw to that in August, I need to get back on the exercise on January 2nd. This should also help my knees which have got progressively worse as the year has gone on. They now hurt more or less all the time, and I can’t sit cross legged for longer than a few minutes without being in pain for the rest of the day. I probably need to go to the doctors about this. I’m scared of doctors though so the likelihood of this happening is slim, but I should go.
House wise: I finally feel settled in the house. I think that getting the kitchen completely overhauled has helped in this as the downstairs is now completed redone. I’d like to see the bedroom and study get decorated this year, but with KB finishing off his PhD we will have to see.
Photography: around August of this year I had some sort of epiphany in terms of photography, and my images got dramatically better. I’m not too sure what happened, but if I am to guess I’d suggest that work had been really bad and I finally got fed up of it and decided to take more time for myself and the things I enjoy. I created this blog too in November, and I just want to say thank you to everyone who has interacted with it in some way 🙂

What can I do better in 2013?

  • Make sure that work doesn’t get on top of me
  • Make sure that I start the exercise early and stick to it. Where possible don’t drop off doing it in September like seems to have been the pattern the last few years. Keep at a constant low level routine. Zumba once a week, pilates twice a week.
  • Read read read, experiment experiment experiment, learn learn learn. Stick at it with the photography. I’m excited to see where I will be in terms of skill this time next year

Photography emphasis for 2013
When I think back I see 2011 as being the year I learnt the camera, and 2012 as being the year I learnt how to execute the capturing of a successful photo. There is still a lot of room for improvement though. I’m not suggesting I am amazing at photography, merely that I have improved dramatically over the last two years.

For 2013 I want to focus on black an white, candid shots and portraits. I also want to try and make my photos more artistic. I want to make sure that I take at least one photo with me in it every month, and at least one photo with KB and myself in it (I want this to be where the artistry comes into play). I’ve prepared a big list of places to go and ideas for photographs, so hopefully I wont get too stuck for ideas.

Project 365 Advice
Be organised – don’t end up with too much of a back log of unedited/un-uploaded photos
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for the quality of photos – bad shots are to be expected
Be prepared – keep a list of ideas for shots you can make around the house, useful for those days when you just are not inspired or can’t really be bothered
Don’t give in – it’s a big ask of yourself and some days you will wonder why on earth you are still doing this to yourself, but the rewards are worth it so stick at it
Support is key – get your friends involved for ideas and motivation, or join a group for support. There are plenty on the internet, with Flickr hosting a vast number of project 365 groups (including a small one I made for support)
Follow others taking part in the project – not only will you get the support from them, but can also ‘lend’ ideas from them 😉

Adventure Time

I use Tumblr quite a lot, though I am more of a silent watcher than a poster.
For a while now there has been posts about this odd looking ‘person’ and ‘animal’ which I concluded was a kids TV show that was also great for adults (a bit like Spongebob, oh how I love Spongebob).

Anyway I kept forgetting about it until Friday night when I was home alone and decided to look it up.

It’s a Cartoon Network show called Adventure Time and luckily for me it was on at 8pm so I set it to record.
Krys came home and we both watched it together, and oh how we lol’d.

It’s on every night at 8pm, so I’ve set it to record all week.

Best.
Thing.
Ever.

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

 

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