My Fotospeed challenge entry this week is of the humble garden spider, araneus diadematus. Our garden is almost overflowing with them at the moment! Fortunately I’m not afraid of spiders, they genuinely fascinate me. I’ve been meaning to try focus stacking for macro images for quite a while now. This spider was in a sheltered spot on the back door, keeping nice and still for me to get close with my 30mm and capture 20 frames, handheld, manually adjusting the focus. I combined the images in Photoshop, using masks to brush away the unfocused areas and reveal much more detail of my subject than I would have been able to capture in a single frame. I have a long way to go to get to where I’d like to be in this area of photography and processing techniques, but I feel like I’ve made a relatively good start. Lots to learn and even more equipment to acquire! Any advice would be gratefully received.


One Four Challenge: December Week 1

December One Four Challenge Week 1

One Four Challenge: December Week 1

A new month, a new image and a whole new look! I’m going abstract for December’s challenge from Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me. As it’s the start of the silly season (Christmas!), I’ve chosen coloured lights as my subject. I’m going to be terribly mean to you all though and not reveal my original image until the very end of the month!

I’m working in Photoshop CC this month to create my abstracts. I’m using lots of layers but they’re all derived from the one image. I won’t add any extras in this month. Maybe for a future One Four?

The six layers in this image were treated with a combination of blurs and blended using four different modes. I adjusted contrast, saturation and levels. I finished by merging my layers and adding two canvas sizes, blue and black, to frame the abstract.


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 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction


Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

This week, let’s play with light! Show us what refraction means to you.

Simply put – Light + Glass + Camera = Abstract Delight!


Travel Theme: Interior

Brooklands Museum-73

Travel Theme: Interior

I’m so glad that Ailsa picked this topic for Travel Theme as it forced me to search my folders for inspiration. I discovered a whole treasure trove of unprocessed photos, from both DSLR and my phone, of Brooklands Museum from almost a year ago! All these images are from the different areas inside the museum and some are the insides of engines and a variety of automobiles, old and new!

My first gallery has some family photos with my friend Sam, her children and her sister, Charlotte’s two boys. Amazing to see Matthew only a couple of months old! I love the photos I got of both Zach and Callum inside the F1 race car 🙂

My second gallery is from inside the London Bus Museum which is within the grounds of Brooklands itself. The boys were so excited about this exhibit! It was really hard to get them out again.

The Museum sits on the site of the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, constructed in 1907. Brooklands was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, home of Concorde and the site of many engineering and technological achievements throughout eight decades of the 20th century. Of course it’s far more than a simple museum with scores of events held throughout the year! This last gallery shows many of the exhibits from the main interior of this brilliant venue.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag


Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

I have to thank my friend Julia K for providing the subject matter and inspiration for this week’s challenge! Julia has long been a fan of my abstract work, her words of encouragement and genuine delight are succour to this artist’s soul.

Julia recently completed work on her own music-recording studio and rehearsal room. It’s truly fantastic! I just love some of the finishing touches too, like these antique-style, zigzag light bulbs! I had great fun with these manual focus, macro shots and the post-processing in Lightroom. If any of you were curious about my Silent Sunday image, it was a defocussed photo of one of these bulbs! I love painting with light 🙂


Monochrome Madness: Allium

Monochrome Madness: Allium

Monochrome Madness: Allium

There are sixty one intriguing images for your viewing pleasure in Monochrome Madness, Week 14! Leanne Cole and Laura Macky are inspiring loads of us to find our inner Ansel Adams, Angus McBean, Man Ray or David Bailey. These are a few of the photographic artists who have inspired me throughout my career!

All of these artists were forever experimenting with their chosen medium, finding new techniques and developing processes. Life is a constantly evolving learning curve! I love trying out lots of different developing methods and styles with some of my images.

As I’ve said before, monochrome doesn’t work with everything, you need to pick the right subject. This week I’m focussing on floral photos. Strong contrast and shapes can make a really good monochrome image. My featured photo is a white allium. The tones and sculptural shape of this flower make it a perfect choice I think! It’s really important to have a good base image to work from when you’re converting your photo to monochrome or B&W. I think the allium looks great in both colour and monochrome!

Using details of a plant can create a really great monochrome abstract. I was drawn to this next plant for the beads of rain caught in the hairs of the flower head. Again, I think this works well in colour and B&W.

These lilies have great contrast and shape, but it’s the colour contrasts between the orange stamen and the green stems and background that really make the image for me. Converting this to B&W lost the real beauty of the original!

The mass of daisies covering the stone wall really caught my eye. The image works well in both colour and monochrome but needed very different processing styles. I cut the contrast and softened the colour tones for the colour image but then boosted the contrast, sharpened and brightened the flowers for the B&W.

I love Dahlias! When I saw these white dahlias I knew they would make a great monochrome image. There’s nothing wrong with my base colour image but the high contrast B&W really speaks to me.

I find white roses are really hard to photograph well in colour! The shape of this rose looked like it would make a really great B&W image. It doesn’t work at all for me in colour but being able to isolate the flower in monochrome changes it from a mediocre photo into something beautiful 🙂

I hope this gives you all some ideas and I’d love to hear your thoughts on colour versus monochrome. Is there anything in particular that you’d like me to create for my next Monochrome Madness image?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist – Bracken

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist - Bracken

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

Among the many sights I love at this time of year when I’m out alongside the Basingstoke Canal, is the new fronds of bracken unfurling. One of natures constantly twisting and changing sculptures!