Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Fantastic Walls

Davies Alpine House

Weekly Photo and Travel Theme Challenges: Fantastic Walls

On Mother’s Day we had a family day out at Kew Gardens. I was originally intending to post about the older glasshouse structures until I this one stopped me in my tracks! This is the Davies Alpine House, built in 2006, it’s walls of glass are not just fantastically beautiful, they are also very cleverly designed to provide the perfect climate for the plants on display. The glasshouse is set at the entrance to the Rock Gardens providing a wonderful contrast between the modern glass and old rock walls. Pure magic 🙂

“The Davies Alpine House was designed to create the cool, dry and windy conditions that alpine plants favour, without using energy-intensive air-conditioning and wind pumps. Its architects employed traditional practices and the latest technology to achieve this.

How the glasshouse works

Although the glasshouse is only 16 metres (50 feet) long, its roof reaches ten metres (33 feet) high. This creates a stack effect that draws in cool air through permanent openings on either side and releases warm air through vents in the roof. Meanwhile, a fan blows air through a concrete labyrinth beneath the ground. The air cools on its convoluted journey and is released into the glasshouse through steel pipes.

The panes of glass are 12mm thick and have a low iron content which allows over 90 per cent of light through. Meanwhile, fan-like shades on the east and west sides of the glasshouse protect plants from the most intense heat of the summer sun.”

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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 🙂

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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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NaBloPoMo – Sunday Special

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NaBloPoMo – Sunday Special

It’s the last day of the November post-a-day challenge and as we’re nearing Christmas I decided to finish with some seasonal creations!

As with all my posts for NaBloPoMo 2014, these photos were all taken and processed on my phone. The lead image was created from three separate photos, cropped with the Scribble Tool, Graduated Fades then layered, blended and merged in Adobe PS Touch. The photos in the gallery were all created with the Google Photo App.

It’s been a lot of fun exploring different ways of creating digital art using only the camera and apps available for my phone! A few years ago I would never have believed any of this possible. In art, it always pays to experiment and explore with new mediums!

I’ll round out the month with a gallery of my favourite phoneography creations. Thank you, everyone, for all your comments and feedback!

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NaBloPoMo – Saturday Night Music

NaBloPoMo – Saturday Night Music

Tonight’s music was brought to us by the brilliant STEViE – One Bloke One Mandolin. The observant among you will notice that he also has a Mandola and a Banjo! Stevie Simpson is one of the very best songwriters that I have the pleasure of knowing 🙂