Photography 101 – Triumph

brazils

Triumph

Focus on the
positives,
the small triumphs
permeating
everyday life.
Turn attention away
from negative thoughts,
from the failures,
from all the things you
cannot do,
all the things you
have not done,
that bind in tangled knots
dragging ever deeper
into defeat.
Celebrate instead
each success,
striving to achieve only
the greatest goal of all:
happiness.

brazils 2


I found today’s theme really hard to take (or find) a picture for. I have no photos that really represent achievement and most of the things that I feel triumphant over at this point in time don’t really translate well into photography. My main feeling of triumph right now is having stuck with the photography 101 all the way through. And also managing to write a poem to go with each post – I have never, ever written so much poetry before!

In the end I decided to take the time to achieve something new – one of life’s little achievements. I always make lots of sweets and chocolates at Christmas and just yesterday my dad presented me with a bar of dark chocolate and a bag of Brazil nuts and reminded me that it was nearly December. Chocolate coated Brazil nuts are his favourite… Coating the nuts in chocolate is really easy but putting the little swirly bit on the top is something that doesn’t always work. If the chocolate isn’t thick enough it just spreads out. As you can see from the photos above most of them turned out okay. I definitely feel triumphant about that! I decided to present them in that particular dish as it has a slight trophy-esque feel to it.

I hope you all like it.

Here are a couple of other pictures I took – the hand is my dad’s. He kept trying to pinch them before I’d finished photographing.

nutsthief!2 thief!

 

Photpgraphy 101 – Double

soul

Consciousness

Viewing
life through the
glassy sheen
of material
reality,
its gaze remains
consumed by a
sweeping vista
beyond
mortal eyes.
It is your
double,
existing upon a
wider plain,
reflecting
infinitely onward.
It is the
owner
of the voice
that whispers
behind your thoughts.
It is
pure energy,
encompassing self
It is
you,
to the deepest
level of
being.

woman soul


I’m quite fascinated by theories of consciousness. As part of my Open University degree I took  the course ‘Philosophy of the Mind’ and found all of the different ideas intriguing. Unfortunately the main focus was always on the physicalist approaches, which argue that consciousness is purely related to the physical body and without it cannot exist. Dualism – the theory that body and soul are separate entities –  is a theory, or so we were informed, with such big holes that it cannot be supported. When you consider that most religions follow a dualist approach, this is an interesting stance.  My own personal view is probably closest to one theory that we barely brushed upon – that a spark of consciousness exists in every particle in existence and that the level of consciousness relates to the way in which these particles interact in creating a physical form. It’s a theory I could probably tear holes in myself if I wanted but I don’t plan to do so any time soon. 😀  Here’s a link to a Wikipedia page on the subject if anyone wants to read a little more.

The two photos above were both taken using ornaments and a mirror. The first is one of a pair of African heads that my Grandfather brought back from his travels in the 1960s. The second is a figure that my sister bought me a few years ago.

Here are a few more photos taken today. As you can see, I had lots of fun with the pair of heads – though I did try to find a few other things!

heads aligned heads warmHeads non aligned  cow jugs boat

Photography 101 – Edge

      Mossy Fence

Divisions

We draw lines,
create
walls and fences,
borders,
to divide the ground
into mine and
yours,
claiming ownership
of a landscape,
of an Earth,
that will persist
long after our
demise.
Does it belong
to me?
To you?
Can it belong to
anyone?
We are but
a fleeting presence
in an existence
that stretches for
millennia.

Fence with tree


I finally managed to get a post up on time – just! And actually with the pictures I took today. I didn’t think that was going to happen. Ordinarily I would perspective trim this a little on Photoshop to remove the lamp-post on the far right hand side without losing any width. Unfortunately I had been using a trial version of Photoshop cc which ran out yesterday. Rather than just paying for the full version of that I thought I’d buy Elements, which I’d heard would be suitable for my needs. Now, the program is bought and downloaded, but doesn’t want to install. ::sigh:: This means that I don’t have any Photoshop right now, which is irritating. Add to this that my dinosaur of a computer also won’t read my camera… and it keeps freezing… and some files won’t open…

I think I need a new computer.

Anyway, here are a few of the pictures from my archive that, for a while, I was considering using for this post. In case you can’t tell – I have a fondness for fences in photos.

snowy fence Overgrown fencesnowy day

 

Photography 101 – Glass

    Rays4

Rays

As light
reflects from
surface to
surface,
a smile
passes from
face to
face,
a laugh
echoes from
voice to
voice,
love
reaches from
heart to
heart
and joy
spreads from
soul to
soul.


I had great fun playing around with candles and cut glass bowls. I hope you like the effect I managed to create.

Here are a few more shots:

Rays 2Half sun bowl

Photography 101 – Treasure

bee in flight cropped

Bee

Awaken
in shades of amber
to a life of
fertile creativity,
performing
the timeless dance
for the queen,
Mother
of the hive.
Defiant
of earthbound laws,
find harmony and
take flight
on diaphanous wings,
following
the entrancing essence
in search of
precious gold.


I adore bees – I’ve always said that someday I will keep hives –  so when I saw the theme of ‘treasure’ it didn’t take me long to decide what to focus my post on. They are a treasure to me and, I believe, the world. Bees pollinate a large proportion of the fruit and vegetables that we consume and unfortunately they are vanishing from around the globe. There are various reasons for this, including pesticides, parasites and loss of habitat. If you want to learn more about bees and the dangers they are facing, you can go here.

I also love the symbolism of bees and their importance to mankind, stretching back through the ages. An interesting (if rather long) article on this can be found here.

Here are a few more pictures I took – all from the same session, in case you can’t tell! I do have others but the bees weren’t as in focus. As it’s nearly December and I live in England I’m sure you can also guess that these are from my archive.

I hope you like them.

bee 4 bee from back croppedbee with proboscis

Bye-de-byes. 🙂

Photography 101 – Weekend 3 – Detail in Architecture

Ageless Splendour

See the beauty
in the detail:
each elegant curve,
each fragile
carving,
all remnants of
ages past.

See how the
smallest wonders are
concealed in
nooks and
corners,
every recess
holding its secrets.

See how nature
seeks to reclaim:
moss inching over
stonework,
birds making home
anyplace
they desire.

See the efforts
of modern society:
eager support
to stay the
decay of years.
But how long can it
be held back?


I’m not quite sure how I found the time, but I decided to take some photos of Newark Castle again for this weekend’s challenge. As per the specifications on photo 101, there are establishing shots but I’ve also focussed in on the detail. There are so many pictures I could share with you, but I thought I’d limit it to eleven. I’d intended to limit it to ten (a nice round number), but each of these insisted on being included – especially once the poem had been written!

The challenge was also to try out a different form of gallery – well, I tried out all the different ones but then decided I didn’t particularly like them. As you can see, I ended up back with my familiar layout, tiled mosaic.

I hope you all like it.

Bye-de-byes

Photography 101 – Landscape

Right of Way

Public Footpath, Nottinghamshire, UK

Right of Way

Follow
in the footsteps
of the ancestors,
along paths
travelled by
multitudes before,
walking the
ancient
rights of way
wherever they may
wander.

Explore
the patchwork
landscape,
shaped over
centuries
by human design,
few curves or dells
to lend it beauty
but possessing a
splendour
entirely its own.

Patchwork Fields

Fields on Lincolnshire-Nottinghamshire border, UK


My paternal grandfather was a man by the name of William Bunting who, among many other things, campaigned for the preservation of the ancient land rights of the common people – including the rights of way, many of which cross land claimed as private property. Many farmers still try to ignore these rights, growing crops on and fencing off areas which we should all be able to use. There are organisations such as the Ramblers who make a point of walking along these routes and keeping them accessible. Someday (if I ever don’t work on a Sunday when they meet) I will join them. In the photograph is an example of a public footpath near my village that crosses right through the middle of a farmer’s field. We are fortunate. The farmer never plants crops on the path, leaving it open to walk. The poem below is one that my grandfather always quoted on any documents he wrote.

“The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.”
C17th folk poem

Today’s photos are both from my archive. Here are a few other pictures which were nearly chosen for today. The first of them is the only picture that I took today that’s actually worth sharing. Lincolnshire in late autumn / early winter does not provide a particularly impressive landscape – especially when the sun decides to hide behind clouds for most of the day! The first two shots are local to me; the second two were taken while on holiday.

Autumnal Field, Lincolnshire, UK

Autumnal Field, Lincolnshire, UK

Field with Dandelions, Lincolnshire, UK

Field with Dandelions, Lincolnshire, UK

View towards Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales, UK

View towards Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales, UK

View from Castlerigg

View from Castlerigg, Lake District, UK

Photography 101 – Weekend 2: Play With Light

 

Window

Watch
as the day
progresses,
sunlight’s caress
stroking slowly
across your view
whilst you sit in
peaceful solitude,
bathing in the
tranquillity as
you renew your
sense of
self.


Well, it’s nearly a week late, I know, but I couldn’t just ignore last weekend’s challenge. I loved the whole idea of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures then as I was working (and in a place where I can’t take any pictures without lots of signed permission sheets because of all the children running around). These pictures were taken mainly on Wednesday, though the dawn shots were Tuesday morning. I hope you like them.

Bye-de-byes.

Photography 101 -Swarm 2

dandelions

Dandelion

Wandering
with blissful disregard
for boundaries,
watch as they are
carried
wherever the wind
will take them.
Floating,
they fill the air,
a swarm of
wingless creatures
in search of a site
for future
proliferation.
Drifting,
they begin their
journeys into the
unknown.


I hadn’t originally planned on putting up a second post for this theme but I found this picture while sorting out my archives (which are in a bit of a muddle at the moment as I keep moving things around) and just couldn’t resist. It was another one of those times when the words of the poem came straight into my head. I did think about saving it for another day… but then I thought, why wait, and decided I’d share it with you all now.

Bye-de-byes

Photography 101 – Swarm

 roots

Reaching

A writhing,
coiling mass,
a swarm
slithering in serpentine
formations
out of the darkness of
concealing earth,
into sunlight,
in search of
nourishment,
tendrils stretching
in longing
for richer soils.

roots 2


I have to confess that today’s pictures were actually taken a few months ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really happy with anything I took today. Nothing inspired me. These, however…