Thursday, 29 September 2011


Where do I start?! I have had a mental week with work, haven't even updated from my 2nd college evening! I want to tell you about my road-trip first though. WARNING: this is going to be a long one

Ok, so Monday night down to Surrey for dinner with my very good friend and a sleepover so that I was nearer to work's London office for a 10am meeting on the Tuesday. Back to Northampton Tuesday. Wednesday in Wiltshire for work, followed by a drive to Portsmouth and another overnight stay for 9am meeting in Portsmouth and afternoon meeting in Southampton.... phew!

Like a good photography student I took the Canon with me in the hope I'd come across some inspiration, especially while I was on my lonesome on the Wednesday night. The one problem with being a Tog student and I'm sure it's even worse when you become Pro... is the missed opportunities! I travel a lot with work for my full time job... I'm a Video Conferencing Consultant... the irony is I sell VC to help reduce clients travel expenditure... however seeing as they don't have it yet I have to travel to them :)

Anyway, I thought I would share with you what my eye saw but camera missed as I found it all very interesting even if I couldn't get a shot. Firstly on the train in London on Tuesday I saw some fantastic graffiti, not only that below the dark grey bricked wall, bursting with coloured graffiti, was what looked like a VW campervan grave yard... all retro and rusty and certainly not looking like they were going anywhere, anytime soon. I had no idea of my location on the train as I had my nose stuck in my book for the most part.... if only I could get down there!

Wednesday in Wiltshire... this sunshine has been glorious, and certainly makes scenic country drives a lot more bearable. It was the morning so still misty in places, I am driving along in my car and spot a beautiful cottage being re-thatched, hindsight I could have stopped but was not long into my journey and didn't know what the traffic would be like. Harvesting farmers! another opportunity that I really SHOULD have stopped for was a tractor at the field gate and the farmer himself... would have been a great portrait. The sunshine had brought out hot air balloons and even a paraglider! Simply stunning sights over the golden fields... me in my car with the radio, some nuts and a bottle of evian! Portsmouth was a constant stream of glittering scenes... boats, ferries, tides, cranes... the list was endless, and that was just the drive into Portsmouth.

I arrived at the first site for my meeting in the middle of nowhere passing by some beautiful villages. I was going to 3 locations for work in total, all of which are MOD related, which is a massive shame as I was not allowed anything on site such as a camera, mobile phone, even my usb stick that had my college homework on! After the security procedure we walked across the site and I so desperately wished by some miracle we could take photos... the bunkers, satellites, trucks and aircraft were awesome! It all felt very X-files and with all the security etc I could have quite easily have been Skully! After we left and I drove back towards the next village I pulled up and took some photos from across the field...

I think there are aliens and a spaceship in here!

I then got back into my car and remembered the corn field I saw on the way through the village and decided to get a couple of shots here, the sun was still beaming, I was a bit sweaty (nice) so did a Wonderwoman style change in the driver seat into a skirt and flip flops ready for my long haul drive to Portsmouth.

I wouldn't be lying if I said I felt like a bit of a plum when I tried to capture some lovely corn field images... firstly I wasn't brave enough to get "in" there and didn't have time to faff about too much. So I took a couple then tried a self portrait with the tripod etc.... which low and behold was when a car full of boy-racer-esque lads drove past... tooting and whistling... then back again... after I'd finished, packed up and in the car they actually came back and were pulling up! I promptly pulled away Portsmouth bound!

Can you believe it's nearly October!

I'm going to have to apologise again for the amount of words and pictures of this post... I'm not finished yet haha!

PORTSMOUTH... wow the sun looked amazing sparkling off the sea! I wish I had some technical toy that meant I could photograph whilst driving. Even the next morning when the tide was out the boats all sitting waiting for the tide to return, all jutting out stranded by the sea... I was en-route to my meeting though alas I could only look on and smile :)

After I checked into my hotel and changed out of my work top (had already changed the bottom half a-la-Wonderman) I decided to take my camera out for an evening stroll, work up an appetite for dinner and make up for missing my boxing class! It was a long walk... over an hour and a half! So I'm afraid there are quite a few photographs I have whittled them down to my favourites... The Streets of Portsmouth from my perspective...

cool lines...

more lines!

oooh GRAFFITI hoorah!

Am I camouflage?

Brilliant :)

On my way home this afternoon from Southampton, I saw an army aircraft fly overhead, across the motorway and over the fields... then down floated 6 little action men with parachutes... they were real soldiers, but reminded me of those toys, you know the ones that get tangled up in the string after about 5 minutes and piss you off! Another missed opportunity, but I was happy with the turn of events of the week and my photographs :)

Well, that my friends.... is it! Marathon blog post completed... I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed everything I saw this week... Good meetings with work, should earn me some nice dollar for new camera toys! I missed my kiddies immensely though.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Another little bit of Autumn

It's been a hectic weekend to say the least, thankfully I got some more shots done on Friday before the mayhem of the weekend commenced.

I had just dropped the half pints off at school and on my way out of the village when I spotted the fog and mist across the grounds of Overstone Manor. On a clear day you can see the Manor House from these gates but today was so misty you couldn't see a thing. After pulling up and on closer inspection I spotted the path from the gate was covered in crispy orange leaves... perfect!

The second shot, well I picked this little leafy helicopter up off the floor on my first autumnal photo jaunt and had the idea for it then. It wasn't until friday I had the chance to try it out. I actually have another squillion ideas and places I have driven past that I would like to return to but figured this is my first assignment from college and I shouldn't get too carried away just yet! So I am banking those plans for the bigger project or next assignment.

I also have this tree photograph that I cannot decide whether I prefer in black and white or colour... I know the autumnal theme tends to run along with the colours, the vibrant reds, yellows and burnt oranges etc but I kind of like the black and white for this grand tree. It may not even make the "cut" at all for my homework, we were asked for 5-10 images so I need to pick now! Decisions, decisions. I'm rather nervous about college on Tuesday and sharing my images with the class... I have not seen any of their work yet so it will be a good ice breaker and experience.... just a little daunting!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Random Smiley Lunch

Today I planned to nip to Abington Park in my lunch to see what autumnal delights I could catch with my camera. The turn of events left me smiling so much more than expected!

As I parked up I was in front of a trailer spilling over with cut flowers, they looked like a gardner had been tidying up someone's bushes... apologies now to those of you who that are Au Fait with hardy flower names... I like flowers, I think they're pretty, I like to photograph them sometimes, other times I like them in a vase on my table, but names, well they are not on my priority list of things to learn and remember... ten petal points to whoever names these beauties lol!

So anyway, I got my camera out straight away and took a couple of shots of the trailer.... felt like a symbol of the end of a season, cutting them back for Autumn.

Then the gentleman emerged from the house again, only this time he was carrying the most amount of flowers I've ever seen one man carry in my life! Inspired by Carey Sheffield's "50 Portraits in 50 Days" and the gutsy way she has approached strangers for photographs, I decided what the hell and politely asked him if I could take his picture. He asked why, I explained I was a student (which made me smile to myself!) then he agreed but said "let me just tuck my shirt in" he then promptly placed half the flowers on the floor and tucked himself in! Although I was a tad gutted he wasn't carrying them all, I think you'll agree it still turned out to be a random but good shot!

I asked him more about what he was doing and he said they tidy up the gardens and recycle the flowers at the florist "greener you see" which I thought was lovely. I walked away smiling my head off, chuffed at the randomness of it all and for having the balls to ask a stranger if I could take a photo of him. I went off to the park and took some more shots and when I got back to my car he had gone with his car and trailer full of flowers and I noticed on the pavement one solitary little bloom left behind...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

College... oooh homework eh!

College last night.... how weird was the feeling as I pulled up in the car park of a huge college building. Stood at reception wondering where the heck to go when the lady in front of me says "judging by the size of your bag, you're in the same class as me"

It was mostly an introduction to the course and lots of looking at past students work. Seemed to be a good mix of people there with different tastes and styles.

I cannot wait to get started on the project that is the two portfolios... this is what we finish with at the end of the course next year. For now our tutor set us a little assignment to get some photographs with an autumnal theme. I got home and could barely sleep, portfolio ideas running through my brain, ideas for my homework and all sorts!

I work full time so will literally have to take my camera everywhere for the homework as we need to take 5-10 images in for next tuesday. I left the house earlier this morning to drop my half pints off at school and stopped and took some shots of some sights I marvel over every morning! I struggled with light this morning, it was so grey and miserable, ended up having to use my 50mm 1.8 lense to get some light in.

I followed that by some self portraits at lunchtime in the first bit of autumnal foliage near my house! It was much better this afternoon with plenty of sunshine. This isn't the final cut for next week but I thought I would share regardless! I am going to do some more at the weekend :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

So... Let the learning commence....

I wouldn't be lying if I said I am pretty much bricking it about starting college tomorrow! I AM really excited and I AM so looking forward to really getting to know my camera, composition, lighting, developing my skills sets etc but I have to admit I am nervous.

Just the whole idea of studying again... I'm fast approaching 30 years of age, it's been a while. Don't get me wrong I work in an industry where I constantly have to update my skill sets but I am in an environment I have known for years.... This course is going to actual college...I'm going to be a proper student again.

What will the rest of the class be like, what will the lecturer be like? Will I be crap?! I've invested some substantial money into it, I hope it doesn't disappoint me either!
Have I over-estimated myself skipping level 1 and going straight onto level 2? How talented will my peers be? And as my best friend Justine would probably say "what are you going to wear?"

Silly insecurities aside, I am super excited! I have a feeling over the next few weeks my kit wish list is going to expand somewhat beyond a Kelly Moore camera bag and Canon 430EX flash! Good job I am working hard in my day job so I can save and spend for new toys! It will be good to meet other budding togs too... Maybe even make some new friends along they way.

This is the start of it all isn't it? The leap of faith into a new world, I chance to use my creativity, to seize the day "carp diem".

One Thousand Times Begin
Famous words of my Father in Law, if you want to be good at something, start now and do it a thousand times.

Let's ROCK!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Mills & Bump

T-minus two days until I start my course and I couldn't resist some family gatherings to get the Canon  out and in action!

My very pregnant sister is due in just two weeks and carries pregnancy beautifully... I'm sure you'll agree she looks like she's swallowed a basket ball! Those who know me will know my own fascination with pregnancy, birth and those first few months of Motherhood as I trained to become a Doula back in 2007. I think pregnancy is something I will enjoy to photograph more as I motor through the course and I can't wait to learn more on composition and lighting to produce some beautiful images of what is one of the most incredible things in life... new life.

Watching my Nephew with my Sister and his anticipation of the new arrival made me warm up inside. Part way through a birthday gathering we all sat enthralled as her bump performed a little dance, I looked on grinning like a cheshire cat.... there's a weeny baby in that there bump....

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Little India

I wasn't planning on blogging about my daughter as yet as I was going to find a nice spot outside for shooting some new photos with both my half-pints. Also I wanted to wait until I started my course to put some techniques into practice.

However, she's been a funny little monkey this week and I think she is actually having somewhat of an identity crisis! She has idolised her big brother for years and the result of which has been a very cute tomboy... this week at school though she has insisted on dresses and pumps for school in place of the usual boots and trousers.

This evening she has undressed from her uniform into a bright red hoody from Woolacombe and a red monster hat... then changed her mind (girls prerogative to be fair!) and much like the brit awards she had rapid wardrobe change and came downstairs like this....

Authentic Indian Outfit from Grandma's last trip to India

Thanks Grandma, it's gorgeous!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Oooh new toy!

My tripod arrived today... typically on the day my husband was working from my office so I couldn't be so discreet of a delivery of another cheeky purchase! Seems to be an ongoing joke on what I get delivered at work now he has relocated to the Milton Keynes office. ho hum!

He's at the driving range this evening, so I have been having a little play with my tripod and remote whilst the kids are in the land of nod. I am somewhat limited to my living room and well... me, so thought I would describe myself in a few shots....

I'm shy... ok I lie... I'm really not!

I love to read & always see the positive side to life ;)

I blummin love sunglasses
Incidentally there is more to me than sunglasses, but I will save my chitter chatter now for another evening. On a parting note I wanted to share this as it made me laugh a lot... I think a certain Heather @ and Productions will appreciate it muchly... funny as:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Trees & All Things Green

After staying up late last night starting this blog (and the after effects of an afternoon nap) when I did get into bed my thoughts were a scrambled with ideas and things I wanted to talk about here.

There is so much I'd like to share but before going forward I wanted to go back a little to some older pictures that I have taken.

Green is actually.... most probably... my favourite colour. It reminds me of spring time, new life and luscious fields, grand trees, asparagus... handbags! Not to forget my eyes are green. My daughter on the other hand says bogies are green and much prefers red... like blood & vampires and black like the night... you'll find out more about my charming 5 year old as the blog goes on!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

and so it begins

I decided to start a new blog... it's been quite some time since I properly blogged, I guess since going back to work full time in 2008!

Beautiful Pink & Blue Skies
As you can see in my "This is Me" section I am inspired to photograph as much as possible and on 20th September I officially become a part time student on a "City & Guilds Image Capture" year long course. To say I'm excited is an understatement... although I love to photograph, I know I have only the very basics and can't wait to start on the new path of learning in what I see as an art form as well as an obsession!

Ars Longa Vita Brevis, translated is a Latin quote "Art is long life is short"

Looking back at my photographs it is noticeable of my lack of appearance, why? because it is always me behind the camera. I was at the park a few weeks back with my 55-200mm lens and I was approached by an old friend "what are you taking pictures of?".... quite simply "everything".

I am going to be writing this blog to share with you my personal memories, my new talents as I progress through my course and well.....anything else that takes me fancy along the way.... with my left eye!