Saturday, 31 March 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

Some old, some new this week...

Me and my camera...
Just me and my 7D.

Vanishing point...
We have had brilliant blue sky and sunshine this week - 
not a cloud to be seen, hence this archive shot.

Wet bench in the sun 12/366
Sun flare...
Another archive shot - 
 I was obviously so distracted by the lack of clouds
this week that I forget to take a sun flare shot.

High Angle...
Helen doing her 'international woman
of mystery look'.
She was sitting on a bench - I was standing on the other end of it.

Low Angle...
Helen putting on a brave face
whilst sitting on a cold sharp rock.
She's a game woman.
See what I mean about the sky?

Another low angle shot...
'I wandered lonely as a cloud...' etc
Wordsworth isn't my favourite Romantic poet, 
in fact I thought it hilarious when I found out 
that Byron called him Turdsworth... (snork...)
(Can I just thank Laurie for that sound effect) :O)

... and because I obviously have an addiction
to shooting from a low angle - here's another couple of shots.
This is Charli from last week...

... and one of a building in the local town
taken in early morning fog.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Friday Photo...

It's Friday - it's half a day at work, coffee and cake with a friend, then blowing bubbles to entice cats to chase them in the garden.  The cats weren't interested but I still enjoyed myself...


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday... Out and about with Helen

I've had three days off from work this week as a mini holiday and today is the last day (boo-hiss).  I spent it with Helen and we went over to Bradgate Park where I took a lot of photos and she gamely did whatever I asked her to do in the name of photography.  Thanks Helen, I had a brilliant day, and I like the fact that you take payment for your modelling in the form of chocolate eggs!

My brolly is now so famous it insists on its own credit in photo shoots...

... it's from Aspire in Stratford upon Avon if anyone has brolly envy.

... It gets everywhere.

Helen-7 Helen's fee...

 ... Ah, the infamous 'about to hurl flowers at someone' shot

I have no idea what this is about...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cats on Tuesday...

Not a lot to report this week as the cats have mainly been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather by sleeping.  Mrs P did go to the vets again for her final ear check-up, and Aga was very pleased with her as not only were her ears fine, but she'd put on weight too.  Mrs P was quite well behaved until Aga trimmed her claws for her (because she doesn't go out much they'd become so long that they were catching on the rug), the Podster then became apoplectic with rage and started screaming, hissing, growling, spitting and generally swearing in a most unladylike manner...  When we got back into the waiting room people were giving her sympathetic looks - thinking what terrible things must have been done to the poor itty bitty kitty cat to cause it to make a noise like that... which of course Mrs P played up to by looking pathetic.  I felt shame.  She celebrated by stinking the car out on the way home and then eating a large amount of food as soon as she got in the door.

I did try to get some pics of Pepper this week but she was being a flighty minx, so instead here are some of Charlie (he doesn't move as fast so is easier to catch on camera).

Charlie from above...
Charlie - ever at the alert for signs of danger and/or food...

and here he is showing his versatility in posing on the bench...

Exhausted by his morning in front of the camera he collapses on the furry throw...
(Thanks to David for taking that last shot!)

For more kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Photo Shoot...

I got to participate in a photo shoot at Turwestern Aerodrome yesterday.  Obviously there were a lot of planes there (don't ask me what - they were just planes, ok?), as well as a model called Charli.  These are some of the shots I took.

The lovely Charli, taken with my equally lovely 50mm lens...

Charli and the Tiger Moth...
(I know this one as it had it written on it)

Even my brolly got in on the act...

... and there's Charli languidly lounging 'neath a wing...

... and wearing a rather nice vintage dress

Friday, 23 March 2012

That Friday Feeling...

Yay it's Friday!  Just wanted to say have a great weekend everyone.  I'm off to see The Woman in Black tonight - even though I haven't yet decided whether Daniel Radcliffe can actually act or not... On Sunday I'm going to Northants with David as I'm, ahem, 'assisting' him at a photo shoot.  Now obviously my level of assistance comes at a price... it will involve me obviously being allowed to take photos too, and also getting some more of Lush's fabulous 'Breath of God' perfume... and possibly lunch out as well... because I'm worth it ;O)

And for no particular reason other than everyone should get to see a cute cat on a Friday - here's Posky keeping an eye on me over his shoulder.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tilt and Shift Effect...

Do you like the effect of tilt and shift lenses but not the price tag?  I read recently about 'free-lensing', a technique where you remove the lens from your camera,  and manually focus and angle it until you get the effect you want before clicking the shutter.  Please be aware that if you do this outside you risk getting dust etc inside your camera, so be prepared!  It's also easier if you use a tripod so that you have one hand free to hold the lens and the other can use the focussing ring on it.  It can be tricky but the effects you can achieve are so different that it's well worth the effort.

Found this lovely portrait on Flickr using the technique

And here's a couple of quick shots I tried myself:

Mrs Pod - tilt and shift effect
Here's Mrs P...

... and a still-life.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Cats on Tuesday...

A week which saw Posky have THE BIG FIGHT with Little Creep... it happened at about 5am one morning and the evidence was found later in the form of a fog of Posky fur floating around the garden, and his collar having been ripped off.  As he went for his Posky-puncture last night Linda found more evidence in the form of bites on his legs and head - we both told him that as he was about 17, it was probably more sensible to run like hell through the cat flap rather than get into altercations with a big bruiser of a cat.  Not that he'll listen - he's not an aggressive cat but he's not one to let insults or threats go by without sticking his oar in...  

Elsewhere, Pepper glued herself to the electric blanket on the bed and had to be prised off it when David wanted to get in, Mrs Pod ate some pesto sauce, and Charlie scratched me when I tried to cut a knot from his fur - a pretty average cat week really...

Pepper ponders whether getting up to eat 
is worth the risk of losing her spot on David's blanket...

Posky In the garden-6 b&w... and Posky keeps a look out for The Creepster.

For more kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

Nature's Own...
Went to Stratford yesterday and got
hassled by some geese in the car park.
Here's one giving me the evil eye...

Nature's Own #2
Tree in the fog...
I could lie and say the fog in Leicestershire really is
that strange colour...
Actually I split-toned it for no better
reason than that I could...

One from the archives.
Real team-work involved in this image, 
(thank you David) :O)

Word or Quote...
On reading this my first thought was 
'Do they?  Well why doesn't someone tell them to stop it?!?!'
My bete noire (sorry, don't know how to put the accent above
the first 'e') is missing or misplaced apostrophes!

They do it with mirrors... People...
Well it's actually David reflected in an art deco mirror...

Photographer's Choice...
Love this fountain - it's made from a repeating
pattern of Spitfires.
I wish I'd used a faster shutter speed to really freeze those water droplets.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing...

Photographer's Choice #2
The hotel at Sywell.
Fabulous art deco building... love that style.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's all about me... :O)

IMG_4767 112 Photos in 2012 #1

So who is the strange woman behind this blog?  These are some of the things you might not know (and could care less about)...

1.  It's Barbara, not Barb, and definitely not Babs.  My sister calls me Bee.  She probably calls me a lot more besides.

2.  Things that irritate me/make me yawn: celebrity gossip, Downton Abby, any reality tv show, and soap operas.  Also people with bad manners, and people who say something horrible then justify it by saying 'I just tell it like it is, I say what I think', no it's just an excuse to be rude and make someone else feel bad.  

3.  Things I find extremely interesting: the stars, books/programmes about space/physics (if Brian Cox is introducing them then all the better), cats, photography, philosophy, art history, poetry, trees, literary theory and history.

4.  My musical tastes range from classical to Leonard Cohen. My favourite musical instrument to play is the piano.

5.  My favourite books that I've read over the last year are The Master by Colm Toibin, and John Connolly's Charlie Parker novels which I read in a splurge!

6.  I'm a vegetarian because I think we have no right to inflict pain and suffering on any other sentient creature, because I think factory farming is unjustifiable (we're the only animal that has made an industry out of cruelty and death).  I also think it's hypocritical for people to say they love animals and then to say in the next breath 'I don't like to think about where meat comes from'.  

7.  I had a half brother who died when I was about ten, my Dad died when I was twenty, and my Mum died six years ago.  I guess it's always made me very aware of my own mortality, of how short life is.  That's why I never like to put things off and am always trying to cram in as many things as possible.  I'm with Nike - 'Just do it'! :O)

8.  I'm very undomesticated - I'm no good with babies, I don't like decorating, and I cook because I have to, ditto with housework (I think it's boring and pretty pointless in that as soon as it's done you have to start all over again).  I like Quentin Crisp's thinking when he said, 'Never sweep.  After four years the dirt gets no worse'.  No-one has ever died from eating anything from my kitchen so it can't be that bad...  You will insult me if you say I am boring, stupid or a talentless photographer.  You will never insult me by saying my house isn't tidy enough.  I just can't imagine being on my death bed thinking 'Damn, I wish I'd dusted more...'.

9.  Things that make me laugh: David (ok it's often unintentional), my friend Cath, Laloofah (from Mehitabel Days), my cats, Stephen Fry, Black Adder, Monty Python.

10.  I love learning new things, challenging myself - I'm not easy to live with if my mind isn't occupied...

11.  My philosophy?  I'm with the Dalai Lama, 'If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them'.  I try to keep things in perspective by thinking, 'The human race hasn't been on this planet that long, and they won't always be here.  We're really not that important.  Get over yourself'.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Apologies for the lack of blogging at the moment - I blame my Doctor.  Have you ever been to the Doctor and got some medication that made you feel worse than the original symptoms?  Yeah...  so at the moment I'm feeling a little foggy, grey and miserable.  Hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible (or as soon as I change Doctors...).

Foggy morning
Fog - not a great state to be in mentally, 
but the real stuff does make for great photo ops...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cats on Tuesday...

This is a Pod post (maybe I should have called it Podcast :O)) this week.  First of all Mrs P went to the vets for her ear check-up yesterday and was declared free of any nasties, plus she hadn't lost any weight, so hurrahs all around!

Then we had a new sighting of Pod the elusive Kelmarsh Panther - he's the black cat who lives at the Meditation Centre.  We think he should by called Ozymandias, or Raphael, something with a bit more dignity and general, well, oomph, befitting his status.  Anyway, he is the most disdainful cat I know and enjoys ignoring me whenever I try to talk to him.  I managed to get some photos of him not taking any notice of me.

Mrs Pod and her toys #2
Mrs P (not the Kelmarsh Panther) - ears clean and ship shape!

Pod the Kelmarsh Panther.
This is him ignoring me inside...

Black cat
...and this is him ignoring me in the grounds of the Meditation Centre.
I'm obviously not worthy.

For more kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Monday Quote...

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.
(Kahlil Gibran)

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' - probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on. (Woody Allen)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday...

 'There is no spoon...'

Samadhi Raja Sutra

Know all things to be like this:
A mirage, a cloud castle,
A dream, an apparition,
Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.

Know all things to be like this:
As the moon in a bright sky
In some clear lake reflected,
Though to that lake the moon has never moved.

Know all things to be like this:
As an echo that derives
From music, sounds, and weeping,
Yet in that echo is no melody.

Know all things to be like this:
As a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,
Nothing is as it appears.

The Buddha

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cats on Tuesday...

Cat burglar spotted in Stratford upon Avon!!

Our Warwickshire correspondent, talking to us from out of his tree, yesterday reported that infamous cat burglar 'Ginger' has been up to his old tricks of breaking and entering.  And we have the photographic proof!  (When we later caught up with Ginger he was his normal smooth-talking self, merely saying that he had entered the boat to alert the owner to the security risk of leaving their door open.  And the string of sausages he was seen eating were a present from 'a friend').

Our man (or rather squirrel) in Stratford,
ever alert for a potential non-story!

For more kitties visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.


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