Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Friday, 23 September 2011

right up my street

what a great picture! this sort of capture makes me laugh out loud, not one of mine (off Facebook this morning) but it just captures that 'morning feeling' - wonderful!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

a fun project - bubble light trails

We had a wale of a time at the photography club I run last night, trying to capture shots of bubbles being blown against a black cloth background. We turned off the lights and shone two small spotlights onto the space.
Our 'bubble blower' started to blow and we all expected to capture perfectly round bubbles with pretty colours on them but that wasn't what we got!

Our cameras struggled to pick out the bubbles at all and instead focused on the colours, causing some amazing patterns to appear on the pictures.

After a lot of faffing with settings and ISOs we got the hang of it and spent a good hour snapping, laughing and playing, with lovely results (and a bit of a mess!)

My camera is a Sony 550 with an 18 to 55 lens, which I found worked best to capture these shots on an ISO of 1600 or 3200 and an f stop of 5.6
Our bubble blower got very wet (and tired) so I'd recommend one of those toy bubble machines if your going to do it for any length of time.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

keeping up with the herd - part 2

I'm adding this post today also as this picture (not one of mine) made me laugh so much.

It reminded me of my 'keeping up with the herd' post and i suppose I associate with the little guy curiously looking out of the window, instead of at what the other kittys are looking at - priceless!

to teach or not to teach.......

a project on product photography,

taken with a spotlight behind a purple scalf and the 'product' placed in frontI'm linking in with Faith and her Photography Challenge : Still Life

She mentioned in her gorgeous pears photography that she has some with her purple scalf and I found that very inspiring.

Sooo... following on from the previous post, turns out I know a lot more about cameras and photography than I realised. Actually stopping to think about it, the knowledge and experience has crept up on me without me even realising and it definitely hasn't been a chore!

Through the classes that I have attended, the photography group I run fortnightly, blogs I read and just day after day getting out with my camera I have built up a solid foundation and it feels pretty good!

Sorry - I'm NOT blowing my own trumpet/showing off, honestly! Its just nice to share with people who will understand, its the sudden realisation that I've achieved something that I value, that I'm proud of and its a lovely feeling.
The questioning began when I was asked to teach a photography class at the Art Gallery I run. Panic was my first response as I didn't think I had the knowledge, a view backed up by my partner when i mentioned it to him!

But last weekend I attended a class on portrait photography and the teacher began by saying "this is not a class on how to use a camera, this class assumes you already know how to use your camera, this is a class on how to take a good portrait"

I can do that! I can teach a photography class about seeing the shot, the best angle, about composition, what to put in, what to leave out, about light and shade, colours. I'm already doing that with my Art Classes so I can do that, yeh!

And then I slam on the brakes - do I really want to teach photography or do I just want to stay lost in my own world of creation and production.

The Art classes I have run 'Art For The Soul' have been a lot of work, the photography club I run in the Gallery takes a lot of planning and organising, not to mention the setting up of projects and topics on the day. But oh the thrill of watching the members of the group trying to capture their shots (I try them out first before hand and then make suggestions on the night of how to get the shot) They're buzzing with excitement and its wonderful to be creating that atmosphere, to be part of it and of course we're all learning off each other whilst we try each new exercise. I realise that I'm already doing it, a few tweaks and it can be turned into a class, very exciting stuff!

dropping an apple into a bucket of water project,

tricky to capture, very messy and lots and lots of fun!

Friday, 16 September 2011

the techy stuff

I went to have a look at a new Photography Gallery on their opening day in Leicester. I had to get there a little early as I had commitments later in the day but the people madly dashing around in the crazed last hour before opening said it was fine to come in. They took the time to point me in the direction of the pictures and one by one they hurriedly introduce themselves. All men I noted, not really giving that fact a huge amount of attention and then in walked my brother, looking every inch the part, jeans, black shirt, pale linen jacket, camera bag slung Cooley over his shoulder. The men I was talking to swarmed to shake his hand, engaging him in conversation, no longer even making eye contact with me. I could have walked away and no one would have even noticed. Photographers sexism? I don't know but it was odd, the total shift of mood and energy, suddenly, just like that.
Its funny because its something I've been giving thought to, especially after reading another post about the two types of photographer. I'm not about the technical stuff, ask me what settings I had my camera on when I took a certain photograph and I wouldn't be able to tell you. I could tell you what the wind smelt like, what noises were around me, how I felt, what I saw, basically the whole experience of taking the picture but not what ISO I used. My brother on the other hand is all about the techy stuff. I'm impressed. Hes read the instructions, he knows stuff and as I stood and listened to them all I realised that, clique I know but they were men and they had all read the instructions. I guess they assumed that as a girly I knew nothing about the technical side and therefore I was 'not a proper photographer' so didn't waist their time in including me in the conversation. felt odd!
Obviously I know some 'stuff' I do look up in the manual if I'm struggling or read advice on blogs or the Internet but its not to me what the experience of capturing the magic is all about. I'm going on a walk with them all on October 2nd, http://worldwidephotowalk.com/ think I'll take my friend, she can out techy the lot of them :o)