Monday, 26 December 2011

A Family Christmas 2011

Christmas Day is my favourite day of the year, and having 5 year old niece Anna in the house means everything is just that so much more magical.

We spent a couple of hours at the pub before returning home to enjoy a traditional Christmas Turkey. I don't think you can beat a mother's roast dinner!

Many hands make light work and Anna was on hand to help Granny in the kitchen.

A real fire with present opening after a late lunch has always been the family tradition.

Anna was given a doctor's outfit for Christmas so we were all given thorough medical examinations.

I think the final picture sums up the day perfectly. Anna excitedly playing with her toys and the adults always with a glass full :)

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Getting Ready For Christmas

As another long year at work draws to a close, it's nice to be able to look forward to Christmas, but as much as I love this time of the year, no-one could be more excited than my niece Anna! It is such a magical time of the year for children. Anna can sometimes be a difficult subject to get to pose for photos, but in this photo she looks adorable. I have played around in editing to try and "warm" this picture up...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


It's always lovely to spend time with the family and my niece Anna is growing up fast, and is now at infant school. Her first school Christmas was marked with a Christingle service at the local church. It was a lovely day and a great start to this year's Christmas celebrations.

The Christingle consists of:
  • an orange representing the world;
  • a red ribbon around it representing the blood o' Jesus;
  • dried fruits or sweets skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons (the representation of the four seasons was a later addition, not of Moravian origin.); and
  • a lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
The base of the candle is commonly wrapped in tinfoil. Many regard this as functional, though others ascribe it with a specific meaning.


A 500 mile day out on the road to Liverpool and Hull brought many images throughout the day, but the most striking images were the rainbows on the M40 near Oxford. At one point I thought for a moment I could actually see the end of the rainbow, but I must have been mistaken as there was no pot of gold.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Positive Creation

My recent new passion for photography has opened up a whole new world of creativity. Up until now I was a snap and shoot photographer taking holiday snaps or events and occasions etc. But there is so much to it and I am beginning to discover this, and really get into it with a passion. In some ways it is similar to another passion of mine which is writing songs. I will usually play around with chords on an acoustic guitar, get some words together and then bring the whole things together in an electric band environment and find this a very enjoyable creative process. With photography I tend to get an idea of a subject I want to photograph and then build it up step by step. Of course some fantastic photos can be taken very spontaneously, but other ideas can be developed gradually over a series of photos. On my joint photographic blog a recent subject matter was "RED", and so I built up my submission over a few stages.

The idea I came up with was to use a red balloon as my focal point for the red idea with the River Thames as the backdrop. In the first photo I just threw the balloon into the air and took a snap to see how it would appear.

I decided to try the balloon on the water, but my first attempt merely managed to put the balloon into the riverbank, although this was not a complete disaster and turned out OK in the final photo at the end of the this blog.

I then successfully managed to get a balloon out on the water, and it caught the current nicely giving me plenty of photo opportunities.

I got the idea of having ducks in the background as I could have zoomed in on this picture quite nicely.

In the end I went with a picture I set up of myself using the camera timer and tripod. I blew up 3 balloons and threw them into the air. I also wore a red shirt myself to use in the editing process.

The final shot here after the editing stage shows the complete removal of colour from the photo apart from red and I was really happy with the end result.

Two other river shots below were also contenders for my submission and went through the same colour editing.

These pictures aren't going to change the world or even win any awards, but from where I was with photography a couple of months ago I am now so pleased with my progression. I have still lots to learn, but it's such fun I really enjoy getting out taking photos.