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Travel Theme and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle With Freedom

Travel Theme and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle With Freedom

I love the freedom of creating abstract photography with lights and glass. It takes me back to my years of painting with oils and developing my photography in a darkroom. Starting out with a simple subject and taking a creative journey, testing, experimenting, without any agenda, just unconscious thought and the joy of the imaginative process.It often makes me feel like a small child on Christmas morning, clutching a full stocking in my trembling hands and trying to guess what’s inside from the feel and sound of its contents!

During such a busy time of year I’ve also been having fun with the freedom to artistically explore my photography with the apps on my phone! I can sit comfortably at my favourite coffee shop with a mocha and a cake and enjoy the simple pleasures of creating something that I hope might surprise and delight. I hope to spread some twinkling, festive cheer with a little gallery of stars based on our tree-topper. I used a combination of Google+ Photos, Aviary, Adobe PS Touch and the brilliantly bonkers Superphoto (all for Android). Have a wonderful silly-season everyone, enjoy the simple pleasures and have fun in all you do ๐Ÿ™‚

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Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Blue Star

Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder where you are?
Up above my tree on high,
A diamond sparkling in my eye!

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RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

Seasons: Winter at Wisley

RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

On Friday morning I received an incredibly exciting email. My photograph Winter at Wisley had been awarded 1st place in the Seasons Category of the RHS Photographic Competition 2014! I’ve had to keep the news secret until the awards were made public today. It’s not been easy! If I hadn’t almost lost my voice to a seasonal bug, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. I owe a great deal of thanks to all my followers here on WordPress, not just for the encouragement you all gave me when picking my selections for the competition, but also for the support that you’ve given me since I started blogging almost two years ago. The photographic community we share is inspiring and I’ve learnt so much from you all!

The Rock Garden

In fact I started this blog only three weeks before this image was taken! The snows of early 2013 may gone, but they’re certainly not forgotten and, for me, they never will be. It was also during those winter snows that I captured a photograph called Round Robin, that is featured as the December image for the RHS Photographic Competition Calendar 2015. Last Winter was a disappointing one weather wise, for many across the UK is was more than that, it was devastating. Although my fiancรฉ, Simon, hates the cold I really hope that it’s snow instead of the incessant winds and rain from a year ago that will come our way over the next few months! I know exactly where I’ll be when the snows come ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was great to get feedback from the judges that indicated that I really do achieve my goals of trying to capture the magic of a moment, letting viewers see the world from my own perspective. This is what they said:

โ€œRHS Garden Wisley is a popular subject for many garden photographers, but few are able to capture that balance between a wintry morning, a layering of snow and the warming tones of sunlight โ€“ all at the same time. This image brings all these elements together and more โ€“ the iced water, the movement from the fountain, the shape of the planting, and the beautiful interest of the Laboratory itself, combine to make a beautiful photograph. Like all good images, the viewer can imagine actually standing there looking out over the water, and feel the chill of the cold”

Well it’s most definitely not been a Blue Monday for me but I will share this with Sally’s weekly challenge for the beautiful blue tones in the skies and reflected in the snow! I’ve added a few extra photos to the post to show you some reworked (in Nik Colour Efex Pro) seasonal images from the Winter at Wisley and Round Robin photo shoots. I’ve also linked to this week’s WPC: Gone But Not Forgotten for the White Christmas we haven’t had for years but I’m hoping will come again!

The Glasshouse

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

The Shard

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

What does angular mean to me? Only my favourite building in the whole of London! The Shard. I’m drawn to this building in ways I can’t fully explain. I was never really a fan of modern architecture. Some have intrigued me, others disgusted me, many have amused me but The Shard fascinates me. I’ve really enjoyed processing my photographs, the building lends itself perfectly to artistic interpretations!

Its angular design, sleek lines and sharp edges, seem more like a sculpture to me than a building. It has an intrinsic beauty from every aspect that just cries out to be photographed! I can’t resist it. I’ve been up to the viewing platforms several times now and I hope to get back up there soon to capture some night views of the city. The Views from The Shard really are the icing on the cake!

I delayed posting for the challenge this week, as I had another trip to hospital in London yesterday giving me the opportunity to see some fresh angles of The Shard. All my earlier images are from the south of The Thames so I ventured over to the north bank of the river by The Tower of London to get a different vantage point. Everyone seemed to be drawn to the riverside to gaze upon this masterpiece of architecture and construction!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Salvation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

The Last Post is a mass participation project that has seen communities across the UK playing the Last Post on a variety of different instruments to remember lives of World War One.ย  In Woking, our event was organised by Andy Mabbutt from The Phoenix Cultural Centre and hosted by Eddie Jones at The Trench Experience shop and Upcycling Centre.

The Trench Experience shop was the ideal setting for our event. The Charity was founded by Eddie Jones in 2005 and has just started work on a permanent base for the educational project, on land beside Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey. The site will be developed in real-time to the events of the First World War, leading up to a Victory Celebration in 2018. The charity has chosen The Artists Rifle Regiment to illustrate trench conditions. The Artists fought as a battalion and were in the thick of the fighting with the Royal Naval Division at Passchendaele and Ypres. I’m really excited about this open-air, living history museum!

Cllr Tony Branagan, the Mayor of Woking, opened the event and welcomed us all. We honoured the memory of the Artist’s Rifles with prose and poetry from Greg Freeman, of the Woking Writers Circle, and also from me. Wilfred Owen is one of the best known members of the Artist’s Rifles and his poetry was a huge inspiration to me from my school days. I felt it was fitting to read a number of his poems including, Beauty and Anthem For Doomed Youth, two of my favourites and incredibly moving pieces. I also read my recently penned homage to Blood Swept Lands.

Vic Cracknell took us on a journey through the music of the era which brought back memories for many of us, young and old. My Great Aunt Jo was always singing with us when we were children and I was probably one of the most vocal members of the audience during the sing-a-long when Vic launched into She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain! Voices rose all around the shop for It’s A Long Way To Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. One of the most moving moments of the event came as Vic read an actual letter from the Grandfather he never met, back home to his family about having been wounded in action and losing an arm. It was full of reassurance to loved ones and gratitude for all the help he was receiving. Such an upbeat letter considering such dire circumstances!

A great achievement bringing several of Woking’s community groups together to put on such a successful and moving event!

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Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

DSC01565-Edit

Blue Monday and Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

When the sun sets on London, the city is revealed in another light. The simple lines of structures like the Golden Jubilee Bridges, that run alongside the Hungerford rail bridge, belie the sophisticated engineering, both historic and modern, that are hidden from our eyes by the dark.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

Wildlife in The Garden: The Lookout

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

After my success at having an image chosen for the RHS Photographic Competition Calendar last year (2015 Calendar) with my photograph Round Robin, I am putting a selection of images forward, for this year’s competition, in the hope of being published again! My dream, of course, would be to have the cover image! This is a gallery of my favourites for the relevant categories, but I may not be able to include them all because of costs. I would really appreciate it if you, my lovely followers, could help me choose the favourites by “liking” them in the gallery or advising me in a comment! Thank you all ๐Ÿ™‚

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy – Newark Priory

Newark Priory with circling birds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Newark Priory

Memories held in
Bricks and mortar, ruined yet
Standing steadfast still

 

The rafters are gone
Yet sanctuary remains
Birds flock to her walls

 

On ancient marshland
Cattle graze and chew the cud
Splendour lost on them