Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Inspired Transition


Rainbow Over StonehengeWeekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Inspired Transition

I often find that the very scenes that I am photographing inspire me to create changes in their appearance that transform the original to something from my dreams.

Visiting Watts Chapel in Compton is always an inspiration! The chapel was created by Mary Watts, an Art & Crafts potter and sculptor, and her husband George F. Watts, the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor and painter. When I visited at the end of summer I wondered how the chapel would look at night. Here is a gallery of the Chapel’s transition through processing:

A week ago Simon and I went to visit his step-daughter, my friend Sam, in Somerset for the day. We drive right past Stonehenge every time we go to see them. This time I asked Simon if we could briefly stop near the henge so that I could capture a few photos. There’s a dirt road near the site itself that is just about okay to drive down in our car. I managed to capture the stones from a few different angles and this one pleased me the most. Being one of the most popular tourist attractions of the area, the scene was busy with people even though heavy rain was forecast and the skies were very threatening! Those fabulous skies inspired me to add a rainbow to my image. It’s the scene that I dream of seeing for real one day! Until that magic finally happens for me, my imagination will have to do. Here is a gallery showing the scene’s transition through processing:


Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Claremont Gardens

Weekly Photo Challenge and Travel Theme: Paint A Happy Place

Before fibromyalgia affected my manual dexterity I painted in many mediums, oils being my favourite. Chronic illness can’t destroy my creativity though! Art is not simply something that I do, it defines me. I just love Painting With Light, almost the literal meaning of photography. I’m often at my happiest finding scenes that inspire me, like these ones captured at Claremont Landscape Gardens, and using my imagination and creativity through digital processing to paint my visions. For these pieces I first processed my images in Camera Raw then worked on them extensively in Photoshop. I wanted to capture the essence of an old masterpiece by Constable or Turner, focusing on rich tones with strong elements of light and shadow.


Travel Theme: Smooth

Bailey in flight

Travel Theme: Smooth (Galleries Below)

This smooth operator is Bailey, a hybrid Gyr-Saker Falcon. What a beauty! Flying at similar speeds to the peregrine these falcons have eyesight that allows them to see their prey from distances of over a mile. Falcons are the skies most spectacular hunters! He’s so fast that photographing him was a real challenge, but I absolutely loved it 🙂

Flight sequence:


Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Capturing The Ephemeral Outdoors


Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Capturing The Ephemeral Outdoors (9 Galleries of Garden Birds)

I love watching the birds! Fleeting glimpses of my feathered friends is one of the ephemeral delights of being outdoors, exploring nature. Photographing our wild birds is always a challenge but it’s definitely one of my favourite activities. RHS Wisley Gardens is home to a diverse range of bird life and for this weeks’ challenges I have galleries of all the birds spotted in just one afternoon at the gardens. Some of the encounters were very brief indeed!

The most fleeting encounter was with Britain’s smallest bird, the goldcrest. Shy and very fast moving this little beauty was startled from his perch before I could get a good look at his face!

The nuthatches were equally hard to photograph as they were staying so high up in this old tree, feeding on insects in the bark.

The jay was showing off but still very wary of me!

The male blackbirds are all staking out territory and singing their hearts out to attract a mate. The females, themselves are busily feeding in the flower beds amongst the shrubs and trees.

I had the most wonderful encounter with this blue tit that was pecking into the base of the camellia flowers to get at the sugary nectar!

My friendly robins were the most accommodating of all the birds! At this time of year you will get the unusual sight of several robins feeding together, as they pair up for the mating season. One robin was particularly delightful to watch as he took a bath in one of the shallow pools, in the Wildwoods, before shaking himself dry again in the bushes!

I went hunting for thrushes on the lawns around the lake and also found the redwings and a delightful dunnock!

I always stop at the Glasshouse Cafe to have a cup of tea and feed the birds. I had some lovely close encounters with the great tits, dunnocks and the chaffinch. I did catch a glimpse of the woodpecker at the top of the tall trees but couldn’t get a clear shot of him. The ducks, crows and magpies were around too.

One of my favourite garden birds is the long-tailed tit and, boy, is it fast! I have always struggled to photograph the delightful little bird but managed to get a few images of them in the trees, gathering bits of web to build their nests. No if I can only find one of their nests……