Blue Monday: Mineral Magic
Blue Monday: Mineral Magic
Jen has asked us to discover the intimate details of something unexpected, and share our images. On returning from snorkeling in Kos one day, I discovered this almost perfect example of a Scarce Swallowtail butterfly, that had sadly expired just outside our apartments. It’s not often that I get the chance to get my 30mm macro lens out to study a butterfly’s wing in such close detail! I believe it had just reached the end of it’s natural lifespan, having mated and laid its’ eggs on the citrus trees in the garden. I was very fortunate to find it before the ants did! Nature always recycles it’s own. I’ve saved the images at a slightly larger file size than I usually would so that you can see the extraordinary details of the scales on the wings. Click on the individual images for a closer look!
Wordless Wednesday: Oleaginous
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 🙂
It was wet and horrible outdoors today but I made a quick stop into our local gift shop, Apples & Pears, and was confronted by all the wonderful colours and scents of Christmas! I found one or two ideas for presents but mostly I just enjoyed browsing in such a comforting atmosphere.
With Christmas approaching, it’s getting harder to find blue colours when I’m out and about. It’s not the most popular seasonal colour! These flowers all started out as very different colours indeed. I used Adobe PS Touch for the first and last image and Google Photos for the second. My first image was created using tonal adjustments, inverted layers and graduated fades. The second image had a cool-toned Retrolux filter added before popping the colours with an HDR and Drama filter. My last image was created with a tinted filter and merged with a high-contrast B&W layer to add some drama.
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. 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!
by Sam Allen
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