I recently enjoyed a day out capturing images in the South Downs National Park, with my friend, Asmita Kapadia. Asmita runs photography workshops in the area and showed me some marvellous locations. More information about her tours can be found on her website. She also has a page on Facebook
I was rummaging around in an old hard drive today and came across this forgotten image from 2009. It reminded me that I have been promising myself a return trip to the American Southwest for a long time. Monument Valley and a full moon; a magical experience. I didn’t really know what I was doing with the camera back then; I’d love to have another go now.
Fields of oilseed rape are in full bloom right now.
Oilseed rape is not a subtle crop. Each Spring it blazes out its presence in the English countryside, briefly turning this ‘green and pleasant land’ into something far more extroverted.
I took the opportunity to capture some of its moods twice last week, near Wisley in Surrey and the village of Northchapel in West Sussex. It was interesting how the colour changed with the light, from acid yellow to something far more mellow, with a hint of amber.
The farmer of this field has sown his crop right over one of the many public rights of way that criss-cross the meadows here.
If you are not a fan of swathes of yellow in the countryside, you might be interested in this news item from last year, although after seeing the artist’s impression of how the future of oilseed rape farming could appear, you might feel that yellow is not so bad!
I am delighted to have been accepted into Landscapes by Women, a collective of inspiring photographers with a growing presence in the industry. My fellow members not only have strong portfolios but they also educate, lead tours, inspire through lectures and contribute images and text to prestigious publications here in the UK and beyond. I am honoured to be in their company.
By why Landscapes by Women? In this emancipated age, do we really need a group specifically for women? Landscape photography is a male dominated field. There may be purely practical reasons for this. Issues of personal safety complicate being out alone with expensive kit in remote locations and low light. Although there are many exceptions, generally women take the larger role in raising children. It can be hard to chase the best light when tea has to be made, homework supervised, bedtime stories read. I can’t count the number of times I have watched beautiful light through the window while cooking dinner.
I hasten to add that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel privileged to be a mum and consider it the best and most important job I will ever have. But you can see why landscape photography might favour the men.
However, there are more female landscape photographers now than ever before. Landscapes by Women celebrates that fact and aims to ‘show that regardless of any challenges women face, we can bring unique and compelling images’. I would love it if you had time to visit the website and see for yourself. You can also find us on Facebook.
I can’t believe it’s been well over a week since my last post. I am really neglecting Focused Moments at the moment. Shame on me! But there have been good reasons for my lapse. It’s been an eventful few weeks, photographically speaking. There are some really exciting projects beginning to come to the boil but they are time-consuming. I am not ready to write about most of them yet but there will be lots of news in the next few weeks, fingers crossed. In the meantime, I can share a nice little surprise from this morning. One of my images of poppies from last summer is presently featured in the window of a gallery in Barcelona. If you have been around here for a while, you may remember that I love Barcelona, so you can guess how pleased I am. The picture below is courtesy of The Shed Gallery. I wrote a post all about The Shed in the Autumn; you can find it here.
As I am going to be recording lots of news about my photography, I am also going to write occasional posts featuring other photographers and artists whose work I admire. Any small successes I enjoy would never have happened without the inspiration I derive from the work of others and I want to share that here.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter? I have been developing my pages there and would love it if you had time to pop by and say ‘hi’.
Chinodoxa are a lovely spring bulb, although they have a reputation for being invasive. They naturalise rather prettily. These were captured at RHS Wisley earlier this month.
On Friday afternoon I spent a couple of happy hours rediscovering my macro ‘eye’ by photographing bees on cherry blossom. The light was bright and unpromising but I found a spot in the shade of a cherry tree where I could capture something of the softness and delicacy of the blossom. I am not sure who was happier, me or the bustling bees.
I very rarely re blog, but this post on a blog I follow is well worth it, even though it is not really about photography. Kat is a healthy, fit 40-something photographer with an active lifestyle. If she can get DVT without flying so can any one of us.
Originally posted on Travel. Garden. Eat.:
March is Blood Clot Awareness Month
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has posted these statistics and sobering facts, reminding us that blood clots can affect anyone:
- The precise number of people affected by DVT/PE is unknown, but estimates range from 300,000 to 600,000 (1 to 2 per 1,000, and in those over 80 years of age, as high as 1 in 100) each year in the United States.
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Spring has well and truly arrived. Birds are feverishly gathering moss for their nests, bees are getting drunk on blossom nectar and daffodils are lighting the roadside verges with sunshine. I have been getting out with my camera as much as I can rather than spending time indoors at my desk and I am very behind with blogging and replying to comments. Please bear with me – spring fever will wear off eventually. In the meantime, this is the first of a series of short posts celebrating the arrival of this most hopeful of seasons.
I know this poem has become cliché, but really it is so beautiful I can’t think of any reason not to enjoy it again, and again.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
- William Wordsworth
Last weekend, Amateur Photographer magazine invited people to apply for places on a street photography workshop in London. I sent in some images and was delighted on Monday to hear that I had been given a place.
The workshop, which took place on Thursday, was being led by Damien Demolder, former editor of AP magazine and an experienced street shooter who regularly runs photography workshops in London.
The day began at the Tate Modern. There I met Damien, Phil from AP magazine and my fellow enthusiasts, Tim, Steve, Gagan, and Nic. Over coffee, we chatted about our experience in the genre so far and what we hoped to get out of the day. I mentioned that I would like to get closer to my subjects, not necessarily physically, but to create more of a connection between the viewer of the image and the subject. I thought I was waffling but Damien seemed to understand what I was on about.
As the day had brought us bright light with strong contrasts, Damien set us the task of using shadows in our compositions. He showed us how to use the transitional space between dark and light, capturing moments when the subject was lit but with darkness behind.
Several of us commented that we tended to walk about seeking images so Damien had us find a location with good light and then stay in one spot and wait for the shot. I really enjoyed this approach and will definitely be using it from now on!
Damien’s ‘can do’ attitude was so infectious that it wasn’t long before I had plucked up the courage to ask someone if I might take their photo.
Once that taboo was broken there was no stopping us! I had a super day thanks to AP magazine and Damien. This photo workshop thing is addictive so it’s a good thing I am booked on another workshop with Damien in April, this time as a birthday present from my husband.