Sunday 23 December 2012

An afternoon Moon Walk

Afternoon Moon

Bird On The Wire

Blackbird - not singing in the dead of night

Flock of Birds!

Saturday 22 December 2012

Winter Solstice

We had decent weather yesterday for the Winter Solstice, by decent I mean the absence of rain.  Both myself and my cocker spaniel were suffering from cabin fever as we hadn't been out on a walk for a couple of days as the weather was so miserable. However, yesterday, we got out and about and here are a few pictures documenting my finds on a lovely Winter Solstice Photo Walk.


Agapanthus stem and seeds

Some kind of Bracken (I think)

You can just see a tiny red berry amongst the thorns

I love how nature reminds us that Winter is not about endings, just new beginnings being nutured over the Winter months which are not yet revealed to us. 

Thankfully the world didn't come to an end yesterday so I take this opportunity to wish you a very "Merry Christmas"

Saturday 24 November 2012

Seeing Drala Week 3

A late post from last week's Seeing Drala (Week 3) assignment entitled Garden of Impermeance, which was about looking at nature, in its ever changing state.  This was a large topic as there were many elements to think about. 

Grasses on the shoreline - Zen aesthetic

Zen aesthetic images show the simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner.  They are elegant and beautiful.  We can find images in nature that reflect this elegant simplicity. 

Fallen Leaf -Visual Haiku

 Visual Haiku images reflect the changing season, the cycle of life.  Just as in a traditional written Haiku, there is a certain tension that arises.  Something that indicates to the reader that an event has happened.   

Sand dune grass
 This grass just "popped" out at me so I took the shot, simple but quite effective.

I am noticing more things just "popping" out at me these days which is what the course is about, it's about noticing what takes your eye before you put a concept upon it.

These are some images which popped out for me this week but are not part of the assignment.

White berries - not sure what these are!
Afternoon Moon

Tuesday 13 November 2012


“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” — Edith Wharton

Monday 12 November 2012

Seeing Drala - The Ordinary Personal World

So, week 2 assignment in the Seeing Drala programme is all about The Ordinary Personal World.

Julie writes "this ordinary world of ours is actually quite extraordinary.  It might not always seem this way when we stumble out of bed in the morning finding our way to the bathroom or to the kitchen to prepare our coffee or breakfast.  Instead, our ordinary life leaves us feeling rushed or even irritated while we try to make it out of the house on time.  We’re uninterested.  Not curious.  On auto pilot.  How can we truly appreciate being alive if we are missing the seemingly insignificant yet beautiful details of our daily lives."

Week 2 was about  noticing our Ordinary/Personal world.  Exploring our own -often overlooked- personal world and hopefully find the beauty and richness in the oh-so-ordinary. 

Mental Challenges can arise out of this connection to our personal world.  Personal ‘blocks’ about our space, emotional associations (my Mum gave that to me), mental jargon (I really should sweep) and the difficulty some of us have in finding ‘space’ at home.  When photographing this assignment, sometimes the default is to ‘document’ our environment.  For example:  a picture of your bedroom or kitchen or backyard.  In these ‘documentary type’ images it is easy for the viewer to clearly feel the lack of ‘feeling tone’ because they are documentary in nature. “ This is my fridge and look how little food there is in it.” or “Here is my fireplace…I wonder when the last time I swept was.”  The stories begin to arise quite quickly.  Maybe you see your space as cluttered.   This is not always an issue of your environment being cluttered  rather the mind of the photographer being cluttered.  We can photograph a cluttered home in a mindful way, one that honors the space for what it is, rather than attempting to explain or justify it.

So, here are a few snaps from week 2:

Sunlight reflections from my table lamp

Fork and spade resting in the sunlight

Living room sofa catching the sunlight

I am enjoying looking at the world in a simplistic manner (through the lens anyhow!) and it has had an additional benefit in that I am leaning towards the "less is more" approach.  

Sunday 4 November 2012

Seeing Drala

I was lucky enough to earn a free spot on a photography course run by Julie Einstein.  (I'm not sure if she is connected to Albert!)  The course is called Seeing Drala and is a contemplative practice that is focused more on the process of "seeing" than the product (an image).  Seeing Drala focuses on learning how to identify with our perceptions and less about the photographs that we take.

Seeing Drala is seeing things as they are; on the world’s terms, not ours.  We all have ideas and concepts about what is good/bad, pretty/ugly, worthy of photographing/not worthy of photographing.  This contemplative practice helps us learn to appreciate everything that exists without our habitual overlay of concepts.of eyes.  As if you were seeing and experiencing color, light and form (and so much more) for the very first time. The moment we connect with our perceptions, a gap appears in our mind that completely frees us from our habitual thinking.  Nothing else exists except the present moment.

This week we have been asked to focus on colour and notice what colour pops out to us. The course does not allow for any post processing work such as photoshop etc and is very much about allowing simplicity and space into your photos.  So here goes for this week:

A pop of red berries against a very blue November Sky

Sunlight streaming thorugh my front door to illuminate the orange painted porch walls

I liked the simplicty of this, the relationship between the leaf and berry, and their own colours. 

More berries
I devaited slightly with this! I just liked the simplicity of finding a fallen leaf resting on the pavement.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Tea Time Magic

It doesn't matter where I am in the house, at 5pm prompt, my eldest cocker spaniel Conny will come and search me out.  If she could communicate in human speak what she wanted, I'm sure it would be very simple, only two words - "tea- time".  So, I put my College work to one side, check the sky for clouds (a recent obsession of mine).

Looking moody out there

Exit my Study and make my way down stairs to the Utility Room, to prepare the dog's tea.  I say prepare, because it's a combination of various elements to make it appetising, dog biscuit, dog food, fresh ham...and tonight they were treated to a grating of cheese to top it off. 

Tea Action

So, pretty reluctant to return to College work, I begin my early evening ritual, lighting up the t-lights.  This is a ritual, to mark the passage from afternoon to evening, to embrace the evening  energies.

I sit and write this blog post  from the kitchen table whilst waiting for tea to cook, it has taken me a while to grasp the concept that laptops are portable!

Fire Starter

I have come to find that creating ritual in our lives infuses the ordinary details with a little bit of magic.

Where do you create magic in your  life?

Wednesday 3 October 2012

My name for October is Magic

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to catch some sunshine,  and as I was playing around with my camera in the garden, I took this picture of my buddha through a lace top which was drying on the wahing line, I quite like it.

I discovered some lovely raspberries in the garden but left them for the birds to enjoy

And today I found a beautiful leaf

  And some beautiful words

Friday 28 September 2012

No Moon

Every now and then, and it usually happens when I am busy putting out the rubbish, I feel the urge to stop in my tracks and look up into the sky.  This evening I felt the pull, and as I cast my eyes upwards, there she was, a beautiful moon, not a full moon, but she's almost there.  I stayed with her a few minutes and embraced her beautiful soft energy.  And as I said my goodbyes to her and moved into the flow of my evening, I felt sad not to spend more time with her.

Moon gazing always brings back happy memories with my daughter when she was 2 years old, blond curly hair, in her pink PJ's.  Each evening before bedtime I would hold in her my arms, look out of the window and ask if she could see the moon.  Those times when we couldn't see it, she would say   "No Moon, no Moon". Funny how the little things stay with you isn't it?

In a world where all that ever stays the same is change, the Moon remains.

Look Up, What do you see? All of you and all of me.....REM

Thursday 27 September 2012

Lighting Fires

Today I have been lighting fires

I have set fire to coals of the past which have no relevance to the NOW which is my life.  Those coals are my old wedding cards.  I am divorced, and have been for 7 years or more - I have stopped counting.   But my home still represents many layers about a  marriage I am no longer inside of.  I realised that today when I was de-cluttering my home  (yet again)  when we de-clutter, it's not just "stuff" we release, it is emotional and heart stuff too.

It all started this morning when I had some unexpected time on my hands.  What to do with this time? of course!  So, I decided to tidy up some of the drawers in my closet, and, as I was doing so, I pulled out a fleece I used to wear many, many years ago. A fleece I wore when I was married, a fleece I wore when my husband and I used to go out walking. A fleece that my old cocker spaniel Oliver cuddled up to when he was very ill and had to spend a few days away from home at the Vets. It all came flooding back, the memories, the times I spent with my husband and my dog. And with it came a gut wrenching sadness.  But the past is gone, done.  I remain.

And then I remembered my wedding day cards.  The cards that I threw into the re-cycle bin a few months ago and then swiftly took out of the re-cycle bin after my friend told me that she burnt hers.  That sounded a much better idea to me.  Today, wearing my fleece, I burnt my old engagement and wedding day cards.

The words on the picture read "move on, you got to move on, you got to get you real good so you can shake on".  These words are taken from "Fire" by Kasabian, I love this song.

My friend Hannah asked me how I would honour the stories around my fleece.  I honoured the story by realising that I form part of that story too.  That fleece represents love, on many different levels.  It's ok that I haven't packed it up and donated it to Charity. Today, the fleece released its hold on me from the emotional baggage. Now I honour it as part of me.

I often think of my old cocker spaniel and the wonderful years we spent together, and once the ritual of burning my cards had ended, I continued with some de-cluttering on a book case.  Another emotional "hot spot".  As I got tough and started to pick out books which could be donated to Charity, I came across a number of Harry Potter books, one of them was Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire. I took the book off the book case, and as I did , there was a picture of Oliver, as a puppy.  For real.

You can't make this stuff up

As I'm writing this post, the other half has just got back home from work in London, he sees me sat in the back room and says "oh, oh, me thinks someone has been moving furniture around!!"  For my Making Space friends who may read this, I hope this gives you a chuckle ;o)

Monday 24 September 2012

Relentless Rain

My friend over at  getting stuff done: creating my life, posted a great video of Mickey Smith, a surf photographer, he has flipped the camera onto himself and created a video called Dark Side Of The Lens (great title). It got me thinking about my relationship with rain, as today, it is raining, its been relentless.  If it's raining, I tend not to go out if I can help it,  because it's cold, it's wet, it's uninviting, a little dark and just uncomfortable!  But wait, isn't this what Mickey Smith talks about in his video?....and yet he transcends all of this and finds beauty, wildness, life. 

September - it can be beautiful, warm, sunny. Miserable, wet and cold. I find its duality hard.  I feel myself wanting to cling onto the sunny days, celebrating the sunlight, yet find myself slowly being pulled away into the deeper energies of the autumnal equinox. 

On the autumnal equinox, many pagans celebrate Mabon as one of the eight Sabbats (a celebration based on the cycles of the sun). Mabon celebrates the second harvest and the start of winter preparations. It is the time to respect the impending dark while giving thanks to the sunlight.

The pictures I have taken recently have all been about capturing and giving thanks for the sunlight:

Finding myself challenged by Mickey Smith, I wondered if I could step out of my comfort zones and embrace the dark?...the rain?

So I cheated, I took a picture of the rain from inside!

The garden taken from my kitchen window

Gazing back over some old pictures, I surprised myself that I can embrace the darkness, all of these pictures were taken on 31 December 2011, this was my expression of respecting the dark.

And as I sign off, it's still raining.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Finding the light

I have taken a couple of  photography courses with the very talented Vivienne McMaster and always enjoyed them.  Yesterday I downloaded her e-book entitled Tips and Tricks on taking Dreamy Photos.
I can recommend it, and is a gift at £3.30 so really no reason not to!

Here are some of the results of my little trip out into St Annes yesterday late in the afternoon, where trying to capture light was a challenge. I visited Ashton Gardens, a place I used to go to ALOT when my daughter was little. I've not been in ages and it was so worth the visit.
In the e-book, Vivienne encourages you to to just experiment and shoot directly into the light, or without looking through the lens, hold your camera at hip height and just shoot.  Intentionally overexpose your photo, intentionally underexpose your photo.  Embrace blur, embrace your inner paparazzi and shoot lots of photos. Embrace Mistakes.


I always enjoy feet and shoe shots, I like this as its not my usual colour palette

Girl In The Water

Particularly like these last two "Girl In The Water" shots, they have a slightly moody/dreamy type feel to them