Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cats on Tuesday...

This week in the world of cat...

Because she hadn't seen her friend the Buddha
for a few days, Pepper was worried SOMEONE
(we're looking at you Charlie),
might have harmed him in some way.
Here she is bravely searching for him in the snow 
(and wearing her new gold collar with panache
it has to be said).

Snow Buddha
Thankfully, she actually discovered that
he'd been there all the time, only
she hadn't recognised him as he
appeared to have acquired a new hat.

 Charlie did a soulful pose in 
return for some tuna...

... gazed at his reflection in the window,

... agreed to model the new
kitchen flooring for us
(in return for more tuna)...

... then collapsed exhausted on the bed.

Mrs Pod supervised David
removing the old carpet...
(she had to be bribed with those
biscuits to keep out of the way on
the sofa)...

... then supervised the men
who came to fit the new one.
This time she had to be forcefully
removed from lying on it when
they were trying to fit it.
She's a stubborn cat...

Her work done,
she joined Charlie on the bed,
had a wash, then slept
for the rest of the day.

For more kitty news visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Aaaaaaargh! The Snow has Gone...

Oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted.  Plus this week I've had to go into work later and leave earlier because of the road conditions, which can't be bad.

As the car was being MOTd yesterday I took a bus, (driven by someone who seemed to have been trained by Lewis Hamilton) into town, then met up with Cath for hot chocolate and her assistance in my ongoing search for a new pair of glasses.  I then dragged her to the park where I made her throw clumps of snow in the air and batter them until they disintegrated - all in the name of photographic experimentation of course.  A dog actually barked at us whilst we were doing this and Cath got covered in snow, and my feet were freezing... what I do for the sake of art...  I later found out that Helen had been in town at the same time.  If I'd only known this she could have been dragged into the snow frenzy as well.  Rats.

Today we have the excitement of going to look for bookshelves for the work-in-progress that is our living room, then tonight we're off to see Seven Psychopaths (nothing to do with Cath and Helen).

Have a great weekend!

This squirrel was trying to spy on the two crazy
women throwing snow... fail!
You can just see his friend's tail 
at the bottom left of the tree. 

Cath doing stuff with snow...

My lovely 50mm lens and a fast shutter speed.
I wish I'd opened up the aperture more, so I could have 
used a lower ISO, but I was trying to keep as much 
of what was happening in focus as possible.
If Cath hadn't been suffering from frost bite at this point
I'd have made her do it a few more times :O)

Friday, 25 January 2013


Photo Art Friday

Icicles on the roof had dripped onto this plant and created a natural work of art just outside our front door... magical.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Enchantment of Winter...

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event.  You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
J B Priestley








Monday, 21 January 2013

Cats on Tuesday - Charlie the combat veteran!

An interesting discovery was made about Charlie's past this week.  Whilst browsing his vet's website I found this...

Yes it's him! In his secret past life before he came to live with us Charlie got shot!  When asked about the incident Charlie chose to remain enigmatic, merely murmuring about 'undercover ops', then adding 'if I tell you I'll have to kill you'.  He refused to comment about what had happened to the perpetrator of this heinous crime; if I know Charlie then they're probably still searching for the body...

Charlie in the snow
Here's Charlie undertaking
training for his next mission 
(possibly somewhere in the Arctic).

For more kitty news visit Gattina's Cats on Tuesday.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Photo Art Friday... and Grow Your Blog Party!

Photo Art Friday

Because I've been up to my ears, nose and eyes in having stuff done to the house, plus sick cats, sick husband plus taking photos, I almost forgot the Grow Your Blog Party! I'm rubbish...  Anyway, it's being hosted by the wonderful Vicki over at her beautiful blog 2 Bags Full...

A little about me, well I'm Barbara, I live in the UK, I have an MA in literature and am slave to three cats who constantly thwart any efforts I make to keep them out of this page.  I'm seriously addicted to photography and books; and here you'll find evidence of both (although the photography has tended to take over just a tad.  You can tell how this blog has changed direction from its title!).  I've just started dabbling into giving tips and hints about photography hence the rest of this post.  I have got to know such great people through blogging - I just love it.  So if this is your first visit here, please take a look around, then put your feet up and grab a cat... (three very friendly ones available, although Charlie can be a tad unpredictable). The only rules are no mention of liquorice, aniseed or Marmite, all of which are the foods of Satan.  Tea aficionados especially welcome... :O)

And now for the pics...

The theme for this week over at Photo Art Friday was Entrances/Exits, so I've decided to use the entrance to Cropston Reservoir for my link-up.

I took the shots at Cropston the same day I was at Bradgate Park (see previous post) and it was a beautifully cold and icy day, but I thought how gorgeous it would look if there was only a brilliant sunset in the offing.  I was unwilling to hang around for a few hours to find out if it was going to happen, so decided to create one in Lightroom and Elements.  I'd seen the technique used for portraits but thought it might work just as well for landscapes. 

First I did basic adjustments in Lightroom, then exported to Elements where I:
1.  Added a Lens Flare filter set to 105mm Prime lens type.  This was a stand-in for the sun so I just dragged it around until I was happy with its position.
2.  I added a Gradient layer set to Linear choosing a nice warm orange colour.  I changed the blend mode to Colour.  I then used a layer mask to brush away some of the colour on the foreground detail.
3.  Then I saved the changes and went back to Lightroom to use Curves to boost the contrast and add a vignette.

This is the before and after...

Reservoir golden hour

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Great Escape...

Thursday Favorite Things

aquariann's Snowflake Blog Hop

Friday Photo Journal

Yesterday was just one of those days that were made for escaping from it all. Mist, ice, snow still lying on the ground and two days holiday booked from work.  Off to Bradgate Park with 7D then...

Gulls on a wall

I include this last shot only to point out that I WANT THAT HOUSE!

Also linking to Photo Story Friday

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wordless Wednesday - macros etc...

So what have I been doing this week?

Well I had another go at macros - this time I tried focus-stacking.  What is that I hear you cry?!  Focus stacking is simply a technique to get greater depth of field in a shot.  

When you take macros you have to get very close to your subject (thanks for stating the obvious Barbara), and we all know that the closer your lens is to anything the shallower your depth of field, right? So what you do is put your camera on a tripod, no ifs or buts, you have to do this so that it remains in exactly the same place throughout.  Then you shoot away, manually refocussing for each shot so that different parts of the subject are sharply in focus.  I think I took four shots for each of the above but you can take more of course.

Next you have to combine the shots - you can do this easily in software such as Photoshop or CS4, I think there's also some free software available if you Google it.  As I only have Elements I layered one shot at a time on another and erased the out of focus parts, then added another shot and continued adding and erasing until I was happy with the result.

Here are the images I combined for the flower shot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...