ShareMondays2018 – Ghosts And Echoes


ShareMondays2018 – Ghosts And Echoes

Ghosts: A colourised, black and white image of seed-pods ghosting among the grasses at Heather Farm Wetlands Centre. I loved the way they moved in the breeze, seemingly detached from the rest of the plant. The scene called to my memories of black and white film photography and experimenting in the darkroom. As I looked through the lens I could see high key, stained and etched, showing the pods off like fireworks or bursting stars. Really happy with the end result!

Echoes: One of the things that I loved doing in the darkroom was multiple exposures, either from one negative, or several, to create my art. Echoes was created from three exposures, one with more contrast and two slightly offset exposures that shifted the focal point of the subjects. This image is a homage to the way I used to work in film, now created using digital processing. Digital doesn’t dilute the origins of creative photography, it has provided me a way to recreate darkroom processes as well as opening up so many more ways to be creative with post processing in colour as well as black and white.


Ghosts and Echoes are a memory of the past, a celebration of the present and excitement for the future of the photographic process.


ShareMondays2018 – Dahlia

Dreamy Dahlia

ShareMondays2018 – Dahlia

My favourite display at the RHS Wisley Gardens Flower Show is ALWAYS the one from Pheasant Acre Plants! I adore dahlias so their display is just heavenly. They are multi-award winners, adding Best Exhibit 2018 at Wisley to their trophies, alongside a Gold Medal from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. My favourite dahlias are undoubtedly the giant decorative cultivars. I was too enthralled by the beauty of this flower to actually note it’s name! I have many images from the flower show this year but I keep being drawn back to this particular dahlia. It just has to be my entry for ShareMondays and the Fotospeed challenges this week! I captured this image with my mirrorless Sony a6000 and a vintage Helios lens. I really like the soft matte quality of the images I get. Great fun for still life, particularly floral subjects!


Blue Monday: Messing About With Boats

The Blue BargeBlue Monday: Messing About With Boats

Sadly, Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor still has no internet access so we cannot share our Blue Monday posts as a group. I am still going to share these images, taken last week at the Basingstoke Canal, as part of the theme and to share my entry for Wex Mondays on Twitter. Included in the gallery is a particularly colourful blue houseboat that always makes me smile. There was a certain irony to its Hawaiian-styled design set against the frozen waters of the canal!Sunset and SmokeMany of the resident ducks were gathered near the houseboats this week as the warmth emanating from them was keeping this one stretch of water free of the ice. I have to admit that the sight of the smoke coming from the stove chimney with streamers of sunlight cutting through the tree branches gave me a rather warm feeling inside! It’s a shame that warmth did not spread to my extremities. We’ve not had any snowfall here yet but reports are looking vaguely hopeful!

Wex Monday: Creating a vintage effect


One Four Challenge: July Week 2

One Four Challenge: July Week 2

One Four Challenge: July Week 2

Yes, I know, I’m late! My brain clearly wasn’t firing on all cylinders on Monday. Having completed the post, I then somehow forgot to actually publish it. Doh!

My second edit for July’s One Four Challenge from Robyn Gosby is a vintage style. The scene made me think of a photograph you might find in an old collection tucked away in a box. When I first started developing my own prints in a darkroom I really didn’t know much about the timings of using each chemical bath and washing my photographs. Many of my early prints are now faded and discoloured as a result of my lack of knowledge and their exposure to sunlight over time. They seem even older than they actually are! I wanted to try to recreate this feel within this week’s edit.

In Lightroom I applied a Greater Than Gatsby preset to my Week 1 edit. I used the Enchanted B&W Base which I then customised to my own liking. I opened this edit in Photoshop and created several duplicate layers of the base image. To the first duplicate I applied the Solarise filter which I then inverted, blended with Soft Light and reduced the opacity. To the second I added a Warming Photo Filter and blended using Overlay. I applied a White Masking Layer to this then using a soft black brush, gradually removed areas of the overlay to reveal the effects beneath. To the third duplicate I added a customised blur with masking layer and gradually removed the blur from certain areas. Finally I added a texture overlay of a tea stain which was again customised with a masking layer, blended with Overlay and I reduced the opacity until it felt right.

One Four Challenge: March Week 4

One Four Challenge: March Week 4

One Four Challenge: March Week 4

I’ve gone all nostalgic for the last installment of this month’s One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me. Dartmoor brings back many happy childhood memories for me, of climbing the tors and seeing the gorgeous Dartmoor Ponies. My mother’s family come from Devon and she, herself, grew up on the edge of the moors. There’s a real sense of peace and tranquility that comes from being out in one of the UK’s great wildernesses. The montage that I’ve created is a romanticised imagining of an early, plate photograph that, perhaps, I might have found in an old trunk or at the bottom of a desk drawer in an ancestor’s home. You’ll find a gallery of all my edits after the list of processes, and a poll if you would like to choose a favourite! As April is our review month, please do let me know if there’s a One Four image of mine that you think could do with a rework and what suggestions you have for me. Thanks all 🙂

Colour Efex Pro
Tonal Contrast Fine – increase all
Detail Extractor 20% Exclude from Sky
Dynamic skin softener on Blue Sky Tone
Classic Soft Focus Diffusion on Sky
Fog – Method 3 20% Excluded From Foreground
Graduated ND -20%, 30% Blend
Polarisation 80%
Pro Contrast 10% 15% 20%
Glamour Glow 15%
Save to Lightroom
Apply Noise Reduction

Silver Efex Pro 2
Brightness 20%
Contrast 34%
Structure 12&
20 Control Points to age image
Red Filter 27%
Ilford PAN F Plus 50 Film type
Sepia Toning 20
White Frame 2

Photoshop CC
Add Horses and Birds Edited As Above Using Polygonal Lasso Tool
GTG Clean Edit Base 50%
Amelia Bedelia 10%
Super Fudge 15%
Tickle Monster 10%
Fog Brush 80% across rocks, sky and foreground grasses
Flatten Image
Painterly Rich 50%
Flatten Image
Use Low Opacity Blur Tool to soften features as necessary
From Library use Crumbled Paper Brush to age edges

Basic Edit
Clarity +15
No Sharpening
Noise Reduction 25%

Analog Efex Pro 2
Add More Age Using:
Dirt & Scratches Eroded
Photo Plate Streaked
Lens Vignette Rectangular -25%
Frames White 27%


One Four Challenge: November Week 4

One Four Ways - November Week 4

One Four Challenge: November Week 4

For my final edit of November’s One Four Challenge I’ve gone all nostalgic with Nik Silver Efex Pro. I processed my image using the Antique Plate II preset before making some selective adjustments to structure, contrast and brightness. I selected an Agfa 400 film type and increased the grain-per-pixel, then toned the image with a light Ambrotype and added a vintage border. Seed-heads always make me feel nostalgic for childhood days, blowing dandelion clocks in late summer 🙂 Thank you Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me for organising this challenge. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s photo choices for December!

Here’s my gallery and a poll if you would like to choose a favourite.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

Apples & Pear 1960's Window Display

Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

It’s been a tough decade for independent retailers in the UK! The recession hit small, local businesses in villages and towns hard, forcing many closures. Even now that we are coming out of the recession and economic growth (GDP) is rising ahead of many other countries, our high-streets are still littered with empty shops and office buildings.

With that in mind it is my absolute pleasure to share with you all a story of success from my own village, West Byfleet! Apples & Pears (formerly Heather Forster) has not only endured the recession but are celebrating 50 years of trading with a 1960’s Party this coming Saturday the 27th September. With fancy dress, a bring-and-buy charity sale, 60’s DJ set and the original owner Heather Forster in attendance, it will be a great way for the community to show their support, not only for this family run gift shop, but also for all our local independent shops!

Christine and John Morrison took over the shop 10 years ago, around the time that I moved into West Byfleet. They’ve kindly allowed me to photograph many items in the shop, mainly to create abstract images for this blog. Last year during my 365 photography challenge I often turned to their eclectic shop for daily inspiration! I do, of course, buy many gifts and cards from them too, and maybe the odd little treat for myself 😉

They always have an interesting and well-crafted window display but I really have to congratulate them on their current 1960’s themed display that is a part of their celebrations! It’s so fascinating and fun that I decided to create some vintage-styled photos with my phone camera and the Google Photos editing app.


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 🙂