Ladies Camera Club

30 Apr 2009

I teach and I learn

I teach one to one photography for people REALLY suffering how to get to grips with their DSLR. I only teach them what I know; I am not a pro pro pro photographer in the sense that I know it ALL. But what I do teach opens up the eyes of each student and has them emailing me their efforts within days of taking a class with me. I teach at a pace that won't freak them out and I make sure they leave knowing full well the 6 basics of DSLR photography - Shutter speed, Aperture, Manual, Raw, ISO and White Balance. The rest, I think is how you learn to compose your shots and create a style unique to you.
This is Raine.
She is such a doll and we had the best day ever. She took to photography like a duck to water - look..... its wonderful seeing people come out Aperture priority and work on full manual. I, myself, don't trust Aperture Priority because I think it can blow out the whites now and again and much prefer Shutter priority if it came to the push. Although 99% I shoot bog standard manual. Wooo, get me.

You know, I love to teach - I really do; I make it fun and I cease the opportunity of presenting a gift of knowledge.
BUT
There are times when I feel the need to brush up on some of my own skills and today I did that with a local photographer. I'm hit and miss on exposure (and I thought Id had it nailed at one point; but that's what you get when you run three cameras with varying outputs) and hate having to rely on photoshop to get me out of a pickle. Its not what a photographer is supposed to do. And seeing as I had a light meter in my possession since April 2006. Brand new and all the way for California. the manual was like reading chinese. maybe it was chinese.and never used the bloody thing cos it scared me; I thought Id get him to teach me.
ITS THE BEST THING I EVER DID.
So when I got home I went round the lounge during the day and night to practice my new found metering skills (I don't trust on board meters as they work on reflective light and that is pooey pants if you ask me).
Before I took this picture it was pretty dark. I was using my old techniques of taking a picture, look at the play back and teak a stop up or down. Not anymore!
My old/new light meter is my new best fwend!I thought Id have fun with this one but I have duel light here coming from the Mac screen and night time lighting. Still, its fun showing off my four ringsIm pretty chuffed with the results but will be more resolute once my grey card arrives in the post. For me, white balance is a bugger to correct or even get right. I want to work on custom or grey card assisted management.

So now I know how to use the flaming light meter and hey presto; photos perfectly exposed.

Finally - want to win this little add from the Prosperity Add on (a Studio Calico speciality, no less), as part of the National Scrapbooking day (2nd Mar)? All you have to do is leave your name in the comments selection below and I will pick a winner sometime after the Bank Holiday.

Oh - really, this is final ok?
Nail Watch.
Those bloody nails! I took this, this morning before the hair appointment to get rid of my yuksvilles roots and came back to these spangly mcwanglies.
hurrah, fully demonstrable nail-ations.

Ok - need sleep....Im off to London (to buy a heat magazine) in the morning. Bank holiday travel so I expect I might not even get there. Tune it 3pm and don't laugh.

29 Apr 2009

Escape the rush

t'other night, Mark and took Eds on one of our infamous woodland walks.
If it was not for these walks I would die. Im in this house all day long and it does my head in. Sometimes Ellie joins us, other times she just wants unwind after school and be absorbed by her new appreciation of books (rr even worse, Hannah Montana etc etc).
Ive shared so many many pictures of our local park but they truly are what makes me happy. I take my camera 90% of the time in hope that I might just find something I like and on this occasion we saw this little fella (and little is key here!) jumping between the rails. Look realy hard now! **sigh, I wish I had a 400mm**Then we saw these cutiesThen this wee dude
We get lost in our own thoughts in this part of the woods, on the decking as we call it. We look for two freindly squirrels and always find, them going about and minding their own business. Then we come across empty lanes overhanging with new buds and leaves. In a few weeks these lanes will be packed out with walkers and more foilage to add interest (and Im more likely to get bitten - booooo!)And then, at the end of the walk there are cuddles and hugs as he clearly is ready for 2 hours snoozing after a good 2 miles trekking.

And lastly, Ill leave you with nail watch. Ive had to put my shades on becuase I look ill right now. Ive had so much onthis week that I think I might die from my head exploding and willing my bloody nails to grow. I am so excited about Friday - hopef tomorrow (when I go get my roots retouched) that the stylist will buff them up for me. **see, they is growin!!**Oh and afore I forget - I have a free download on my other blog here

28 Apr 2009

Time being sucked right up

Is there somebody out there with a time sucking vacuum cleaner cos if there is, will you bloody turn it off? Thank you!
Ive got a ton of wonderful photos to share from the wonderful Gill and Elaine who have sent lil Belle some dolls house miniatures but they are on a memory card that I cant seem to locate (Prays that my munching mutt hasn't crunched them into his bucket gut).

Until then, I have got some lovely photos of Belle and Eds under a snowing cherry blossom tree. This evening was lovely and warm considering it chucked it down all day. As I ventured to the post office, the sun came out and waved its magical gloriousness over our flower park which is a haven for taking pretty pictures.The dog thought it would be hilarious to chase wee kiddies on their scooters frightening them half to death and I screamed and screamed for him to come hither but you know, that little sod has a mind of his own when he is off the leash. Or perhaps he was doggy speaking to the kids to come and admire his spangly new collar. Isn't it fab? I got it off Etsy from this bonkers girl HERE

I didn't ask belle to pose for me tonight, I just sat and chatted to her as I snapped. She is most happiest doing this and of course so am I. The dog dashed to and fro chasing falling blossom snow and his tail. Then he would rush up to us for licks and jumps and cuddles. Then he would just run around like a psycho dachshund on a barking mission to scare one and all.

Posy hair bobbles are so summery (even if they are black). She wore this to school today.The dog interrupted play by edging off our close circle to bark at air molecules and grass moving inthe wind. If it moves, he has a right monk on!
belle goes to placate him but its no good - he is king of the bloody park!
Arms stretched with a 50mm is not good for neck ligaments but fun enough for pictures!Ellie was talking to me here when a chill blew up and she hugged herself. I think she looks kind of sweet if it wasnt for the pet lip; signalling us to go home :)separating the falling blossom from the old fallen blossoms that have turned a putrid brown.

I love this one of her reaching to scoop some blossoms. Ellie is very supple and you know, she can lift her legs behind her head. Blech to look at.
Came home to dilly and dally as usual and discovered my nails have grown a little longer **Stunning picture alert!**
(Im determined for them to look a little QVC-ish at least before I go to Larndan). Also, my QVC slot has changed to just after 3pm. Im on with Craig Rowe so it should be fun fun fun!

Right - BED!

27 Apr 2009

Celebratin' more british talent

Man we love this programme - its a saturday night feast.
This is the pick of our house - THE PICK!

This dolly here is such a darling, such a fabulous talent:


These dudes - DUDES will give everyone a run for their money too. Ellie was so excited by this:
CLICK HERE

And to add, nails have grown a bit more!

26 Apr 2009

Nail watch

Eeeeek, possibly a millionth of a milimetre has grown since Friday. Still, there is time......
Bad hat = Bad hair day
**Man, my hands are looking OLD...need hand cream and lickety split quick too

24 Apr 2009

Sneaks at Studio Calico

Been working hard on many many things this week.
And next week I shall be making many many more for I am on QVC next Friday (National Scrapbooking Day Event even though Nat Scrap Day is off-ish 2nd May) and need to make sure things are ship shape and tickety boo. No, its not my CD (yet) but a software product that is fun and dead easy to use. Now normally us demonstarators are preferred to have spangly, long nails but I chewed mine off a week ago and I need a "grow quick recipe". Your answers or help on a TSV at my address please :)In the meantime, whilst I do handstands in manure (thanks Darcy!) to help the nails mature please take a wee peak of Mays Studio Calico kit. Loved the vibrant mix of colours and cork....mmmm, cork.







If you are in Burnley tomorrow and are at a loose end, pop into Craft Range and come and say hello (preferrably with some nail growing advice; and no, I cant wear acrylics nails, unfortch)

Hugs x

23 Apr 2009

Patron Saint of England

Im starting to get really p***** off with the fact that St Georges Day (23rd April) is not overly celebrated in England.
I admit Im guilty that I don't do it publicly but then again nobody puts "anything" on (events wise) so I'd look a bit of a div standing in my street waving the St Georges cross.
**for my International readers, the Union Jack (the Uk flag) is made up of individual flags from England (like a red plus sign), Ireland (like a red cross sign), Scotland (blue flag,white cross) but not Wales (weird) and the red "St George's cross" is the Englandy bit**

St Patricks Day (he being the patron Saint of Ireland) is celebrated in full style - even in the USA, which puzzles me.
St Davids Day (he being the patron Saint of Wales) sees a throng of daffodils worn by the nationals.
The Scots get to have a fantastic Burns night on 25th Jan where haggis is served in abundance and drams of whiskey sloshed down with it. **edited to add - I forgot they even have St Andrews day so that's a double whammer!**
What the hell is wrong with us? Have we lost our passion? Does anyone really give a damn?

But oh! Come a football event and the flags are cracking outside our bedroom windows and on car aerials or hanging from our knickers (and then we lose!) And yet given a whole day to being English (and non footbally), nobody wants to know. Hell, its even a government holiday in Newfoundland in Canada - CANADA! What about us?

Going to sulk until someone does something magnificent about it. And its no good approaching our Prime Minister because he is Scottish... LOL!

**edited to add (again) Just been reading Wiki about it and apparently its customary to sing Jerusalem in every church and cathedral on this day. I love that Hymn, we had that at our wedding. Might go into town, stand on a bollard and sing it my bloody self!.........."And did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England mountains green.....sob! Or even better I could blast this out from my iPod and get majorly patriotic. Will somebody please make this our national anthem?**

22 Apr 2009

If I ever flourish

.....to be as fabulous as this photographer, my life will be complete and I would die happy.
Natural light, no fancy gimmicks, no over bleached white out actions - pure and natural photography, like it should be.
And most of all, he shoots mainly in landscape, even portraits of people....in LANDSCAPE!
Just like our eyes see the world; so does his camera.

Just checked out his blog and he has posted this CRAZY video...watch and hold your breath. **Kids, don't try this at home, ok?**

That piece of music is awesome.

Erm, Happy Earth Day?

Apparently is Earth Day today.
Nobody emailed me about it and nor did my local environmental officer either.
I only found out on twitter (of all places, fancy gleaning such information from an alleged trash site!).
Then, upon further investigation I learned that its been earth day on the 22nd April every year since 1969........wtf?
Where have I been hiding for the last 38 years?
How am I supposed to celebrate or embrace it if I do not know?
How do I celebrate it anyway?
Do I go naked and hug a tree? Do I make a special effort to recycle? Shall I plant saplings in the garden (only for Eddy to kill them as he takes his business)?
Im confused.

I have one contributing solution to making the earth a little more greener.
And it goes like this:

Will those people who work in offices in town centres please switch out their lights when they go home. I am sick to death of seeing empty offices with lights on - NO NEED. And also, is their any need for motorway lighting anymore? There are thousands of stretches of motorway that don't have lights (that's what car lamps are for) so what is the point of the stretches that do?

The end.

PS: Im more likely to be holding out for celebrations for St Georges Day tomorrow - yay!

20 Apr 2009

Make hay whilst the sun doth shine

For the pat 3 years we seem to have had incredibly warm April's and May's. Then comes the June's, Jul's and Aug's and the weather goes into mega crap rain and gloom.
So we were making hay cos the sun was shining!
I love that saying; it makes me feel summery and happy.

Yest we spent a lovely afternoon on the garden swing, eating salad and nibbles and drinking ice cold diet coke. I guess it was Belle's and my diet coke break except it was marginally less enjoyable than your average advertised diet coke break where an electrician or workman comes to strip down to reveal his bare torso and offers to peel grapes and fans you under a palm frond. I really wish diet coke breaks existed. **sigh**
Instead I get to feast my eyes on this fella here.... he will do for now ;)Oh and this fella, trying to cadge a morsel of our lunch!A quick visit from Nana supplied Ellie with her Nana top up; I really love this photo :)All this whilst bed linen dried on the line......now that is the best fragrance in the world!And left over pastry from our homemade chicken pie was cut into these delightful flowers and topped with jam - simple, rustic and delicious.Today has been just as glorious. Belle has an extra day off school for teacher training so we went to town to try on shoes. Trying on shoes is just as fun as buying them but I didn't come away with any expensive ones, just these babies for £4. Belle got wardrobed up for the summer (she has outgrown her trousers and jeans - eeeek, I only notice through her clothes that she is growing) and she came away with some cool tee's and light summer jackets. I bought some beaded necklaces from junk jewellery shops to cut up and use in my own designs because its works out to be fabulously much cheaper.

Then both Belle and I went for free reads at Waterstones. I love free reads. I pore over vintage fashion, photography books, design and interiors and anything else that catches my eye. If I had the money, I would have a library dedicated to my own personal wing of a mansion completely chock block full of beautiful hard backed books with perfect imagery in them. Instead of a huge armfull of books I came away with this and belle got another magic Puppy book to add to her growing collection. I think the books are way below her peer age but they are geared towards her reading age and she can finish one in about 3 or 4 hours; which keeps us both very happy.

Another day of sunshine tomorrow, might streak nake-o down the local village. Well, why not? its warm enough.