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ShareMondays2019 – Interstellar

Interstellar

ShareMondays2019 – Interstellar

I’m actually judging ShareMondays this week so my image is only being entered into the Fotospeed challenge this week. I’m still keeping the ShareMondays title up there though as this piece was created very much in the spirit of our Twitter togs challenge. It’s really all about connecting photographers, generating discussion and inspiration. It’s for the love of art!

I spent a fantastic day with my godchild, Quinn, last week, sharing our love of creativity and photographic art. They’re currently doing an art project at school based on patterns in nature. It’s something I know we’ll explore more at RHS Wisley Gardens soon, but I thought we could try a “rainy day” project and create our own, imagined, cosmic patterns. For our subject we used milk, cornflower, food colouring, inks and a couple of straws to create the swirling patterns we wanted.

Our results really spoke to the science-fiction fan in me and I decided to take a couple of the base images a step further with two 3D rendered spheres as planets. I added some light effects in overlays for stars and bands of particles spiralling out from the planets. This one’s for you Quinn! Keep creating, keep seeing the cosmically-beautiful in the small and simple things x

Cosmic Imagination

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ShareMondays2019 – Ringing In The Rain

Bluebells

ShareMondays2019 – Ringing In The Rain

I thought I’d join the bluebell party this week! I found these little bells at the Valley Gardens, which are linked to Virginia Water and Savill Garden, part of Windsor Great Park. The azaleas and rhododendron are absolutely glorious but the bluebells were totally enchanting!

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ShareMondays2019 – Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Red Kite movement

ShareMondays2019 – Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Red Kites regularly fly over the wetlands at Heather Farm on Horsell Common. Such a glorious sight! I wanted to use the photos I took yesterday to try to convey a sense of the movement as this kite swept in a lazy arc across the wetlands. Rising and falling on unseen thermals the kites can suddenly shrink from your vision as they’re carried ever higher. Of course their vision extends far beyond our own! As the kite soars out of sight it’s probably already got its’ eyes on something a mile or more away. Have a great week everyone!

Red Kite

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Be The Canvas, Embrace The Colour!

Amy Turk - Be The Canvas, Embrace The Colour!

Be The Canvas, Embrace The Colour!

It’s the wee small hours of the morning but I just wanted everyone to start their Monday off with the joy of colour, collaboration and art. Amy Turk, you were an absolute joy to work with. This is the final image from the day when all the paint and Holi powder had been (literally) thrown into the mix of our painted canvas backdrop and make-up done by myself and Julia K. Our team was completed by videographer, John Hoskinson and my wonderful hubby, Simon Williams. Turns were taken mixing paint, placing and holding the backdrop, setting lights, making tea, chucking paint and powder about, all whilst looking like a bunch of extras from Breaking Bad or CSI in our blue boilersuits, gloves and shoe protectors! What a BRILLIANT way to spend a Sunday 😀

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ShareMondays2019 – Soft Snowflakes

Soft Snowflakes

ShareMondays2019 – Soft Snowflakes

Last week’s weather was pretty wild but we didn’t get any snow down here. Just rain, sleet, hail and thunder! Friday was much more settled and I managed to get out to RHS Wisley Gardens for a while. These snowflakes in the Cottage Garden looked so soft and sweet, I couldn’t resist them!

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ShareMondays2019 – Pelican In The Park

Preening Pelican in St James's Park

ShareMondays2019 – Pelican In The Park

Another week, another royal park! This time it’s the smallest and oldest, St James’s Park. Set in front of Buckingham Palace, the park was originally created by Henry VIII as a hunting ground. Later, it was redesigned by Charles II and became home to the first, royal Great White (or Rosy) Pelicans. They were a gift to the King from the Russian Ambassador in 1664 and the park has been a home to pelicans ever since.

St James’s has a fascinating history that has really left it’s mark on the area. Charles II had avenues of trees planted alongside his Paile Maile (similar to croquet) lawns. Locals started calling the main road alongside these lawns Pall Mall and the nickname stuck. The King opened the park to the public and was a frequent visitor, feeding the ducks and mingling with his subjects. He filled the park with animals including camels, elephants and crocodiles and built a row of aviaries for his collection of exotic birds. The adjacent roadway gained the name Birdcage Walk. People still gather here to feed the birds and a few exotics have returned, the ring-necked parakeets!

John Nash redesigned the park in the 19th Century. The original canal was transformed into a natural-looking lake and in 1837 the Ornithological Society of London presented the park with a collection of birds and erected a cottage for a birdkeeper. Both the cottage and the position of birdkeeper remain to this day. Duck Island cottage is where you will find the pelicans being fed every day between 14:30 and 15:00. There are also around 15 species of waterfowl living on the lake.

Exploring this lovely little park was just the tonic I needed on Friday afternoon after another disappointing appointment at Guy’s Hospital. The day may have started out negatively but I turned it into something very positive! Another busy Monday ahead so I am putting my pelican into all three Monday challenges. Have a great week everyone!

Pelican In The Park

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ShareMondays2018 – The Deep Shadows

Shadows On The Wall

ShareMondays2018 – The Deep Shadows

I went to the Tower Of London last Wednesday, to witness the commemorative sound and light display, Beyond The Deepening Shadows: The Tower Remembers by Designer Tom Piper and Sound Artist Mira Calix. Yeoman Warders, members of the armed forces and a team of volunteers proceeded to light the installation, gradually creating a circle of light, radiating out from the Tower as a symbol of remembrance.

Lighting The Torches It was so evocative, eerily beautiful and a thought provoking tribute to those who fought and died during the First World War. With an estimated 40,000 visitors watching on Wednesday evening, I felt lucky to have a view and was delighted to be able capture some images, so that I could portray the emotional impact that this event has had on me.

Deepening ShadowsAs the Yeoman Warders directed the many volunteers to their areas, I couldn’t help but think of prisoners of war, paraded in line, heads hung low, their steps measured and cautious. Under spotlight and the wavering flames of the torches, shadows appeared on the Tower wall. They could have been the shadows of lost soldiers. Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce et Decorum est came straight to mind:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Shadows of RemembranceI felt like I was looking down into those dreadful trenches, transported into the past and standing witness to the extraordinary sacrifice of so many. The music was hauntingly beautiful, an extra dimension to this evolving installation. You can download it free HERE to hear the words of war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets to a Soldier in this specially commissioned piece of choral music.

The Deepening Shadows Of The TowerSet against the backdrop of the Tower with it’s own history as a palace, a fortress, a prison, a museum, with the walls covered in so much of the symbolism associated with wartime, this was a stark reminder of the tragedy of war. I want to say a personal thank you to the Historic Royal Palaces, the Tower Of London and all those involved in the production from it’s conception through to the final note, the extinguishing of the last flame. I was moved to tears.

Bugler

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ShareMondays2018 – What Am I?

What Am I?

ShareMondays2018 – What Am I?

Need a clue or two?

1) I haven’t fully grown yet!
2) I am growing from the duff
3) I thrive in the damp
4) I live under a golden canopy
5) I will pop if hit by a raindrop!
6) My skin is very tough
7) Believe it or not I’m edible!!

Still not enough? Check the tags 😉