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...

Saturday, 31 December 2011

a new path

When the clock strikes twelve tonight it will be the start of a New Year and a start of a new life for me. Right now all I want to do is go home, back to my life, the one I have known for ten years. I want to walk in the front door when I visit my daughter later, clean my kitchen surfaces, make a drink for my family and sit down on our sofa just like every other Saturday I have had for years. There were so many parts about my family that I loved and so many things about the man I was with that I loved and I always hoped that we would make it, I can't imagine there being no 'us'. But for a while now, the bad bits had outweighed the good and although it is devastating to be without him, to have it fail, I know in the long run it will be for the best. Its such a shame, such a waste when you have given your heart.

So brave face at midnight and I will try my hardest not to cry when all the couples are kissing, I may even leave before that point, I will have to see. The photograph below, I have put on here before but when looking for a picture that symbolises the start to my year, there can't be any other than this one. Taken on a morning, very early, when it was just me alone in the woods with my camera and nature at its most glorious it shows me my future. I will be able to do this thing again that makes me so happy, wandering along with my camera capturing the magic, along my new path.

Friday, 30 December 2011

hope for a happy new year

The fog is beginning to lift and I am beginning to feel human again, I may venture out with my camera any day now!
Tomorrow night will be hard but its just one evening and I can get through it, I have a couple of invitations, one with our old couples friends so I will call in on them early in the evening before emotions run high and I get tired. And one invitation with my artist friends so I will see in the New Year with them as I wont have any reminders around me of the man I will miss so much when the clock strikes twelve. I am so lucky to have such good friends.

I have been looking at property to buy and renovate which is very exciting, I always thought I would do that in the last ten years and never have so I'm coming full circle, as that it what I did before and I loved it. I always knew this day would come, I hoped against hope it wouldn't but deep inside I knew that it would. Its a bit of a shock that the event I had been trying so hard to prevent has actually happened but now that it has I must be strong and move on into the New Year. So if I don't get time to write tomorrow, a very Happy New Year to all and give your loved ones an extra big cuddle as the clock strikes as you never know how much longer you will have with them.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

new beginnings

Its a whole new start for me now in many ways, in a whole new year and its both sad and exciting at the same time. I don't yet feel the relief of it all but that will come when the strain of the last six months begin to lift. There will be new strains of course, finding somewhere to live, a new job on the horizon and the inevitable pressure of moving two teenage children's lives but along the way I have a constant now that I didn't have this time last year.
My blog means so much to me and has helped me so much during my losses of this last year and now that I have lost again, it will remain the constant daily ritual in my life that has become so important to my creativity.

I am immensely proud of myself this year for creating a portfolio of photographs and the direction in which photography has taken me, I have become the me I always should have been and have found the missing piece that I was looking for. Its strange how that little box and the images that it produces can do that and as I read others blogs I can see that it does that for them too, its quite magical. My mother bought my daughter a camera for Christmas. She is still living with my ex-partner for now, whilst I find a place for us to live and when I went to visit her yesterday, she asked if we could go 'photographing' together today. We have done it a couple of times before but I'm hoping now that she has her own camera it may become a passion for her too.

I wont push her of course but I will be keeping an eye out for the signs with bated breath!
I think next year will be quite a girly year, hence the girly photographs taken in the railway station cafe at 'Shakerstone Station' near Market Bosworth, Leicestershire.
My daughter and I will make a new life together and I will spend more time with my wonderful friends who have been so supportive and caring over the last fortnight, I'm very lucky.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all

Some Creative Lights:Exploring with a Camera

The pain of a relationship break up is indescribable and what timing to have it happen over Christmas.
Part of me wants to turn the clock back and have it never have happened and part of me wants to fast forward time to a place where it no longer hurts so much and all the uncertainty is over.

But I am so aware that much worse things are happening in the world and we all have so many things to still be grateful for. In that spirit I wish you all A very Merry Christmas and heres hoping for a happy and artistic New Year

for everyone!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

peace please

mortal muses musing-PEACE

I haven't written a personal post for quite a while, which is how my blog started out really, all emotions and pain. Two days ago was the first anniversary of my Fathers death and today my Brother and Mother went to fetch his ashes and bring them home for Christmas. Four days ago my ten year relationship ended and I am now back in my Fathers house, I've come home for Christmas too.
It hurts, it all hurts so so much and there is no need for me to try and make light of it or to make it funny, I'm afraid this is a post of utter sadness. I promised myself I would always be real on here and four days before Christmas this is as much reality as I can give. Sometimes events unfold in such a way that you cannot believe that the universe can be so cruel. It was my daughters 16th birthday on dads anniversary too. She had agonised over how we would combine the two and she decided we would go on a shopping trip to meet up with family from afar during the day and come home in time for dinner in the evening. We would mark the moment dad died at 7pm with a Chinese lantern. On the day, I pulled all my motherly strength together and despite my enormous break up pain and pushing grief to the back of my mind, I determined to give her the best 16th Birthday I possibly could under the circumstances.But it wasn't to be. The shopping trip was a disaster, a totally out of the blue argument developed between some family members which ended the trip and distressed my daughter. We decided the best thing to do would be to come home so we began the long drive home, on which we witnessed two serious car accidents and were involved in calling the emergency vehicles for a third horrific one. My poor poor baby. I honestly began to wonder what evil was causing all this! I dropped her back at the house that was my home less than a week ago and went back to my Fathers house to sleep in the room where he spent his last tortured years before he was forced to leave. Its unbelievable how life can turn on a heartbeat, for my children and I, for those poor people in the crashes and of course for my poor old dad.
Last year his death was a relief from the month of half life, half death that he endured after an operation, in which his body slowly gave up, exhausted from years of Parkinson's Disease. I doubt anyone would wish that on a soul and we said goodbye in a trance of acceptance that for him it was a release and in some ways for us too. But this year it is just death, death that happened to someone we loved and we could do nothing to stop it. This year there is no relief only sorrow and a huge hole where he used to be. I don't know what will happen in my life now but the universe has swirled around again over the last couple of days and I have been receiving job offers.Re-offers for jobs I interviewed for a few weeks ago, jobs that I really desperately needed and didn't get. Then a friend called to say that a photographer she knows is looking for an assistant and an Art Gallery in New York has sent me an e-mail that they are interested in showing my work. Its unreal how life can be and for me it always happens at Christmas. Next year I'm hibernating right through it. Next year my wish is for Peace of Mind, this year I have lived in a financial and emotional mess and I'm exhausted. I'm hiding out over Christmas and doing a lot of deep thinking , I hope to find Peace and a way forward in 2012 what ever that will be. I wish everyone Peace and happiness.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

cherries and chocolate

Nature has been rather dull here as the Autumn glory is over and were left with a mucky brown landscape. The crisp glistening world of winter hasn't begun yet and although the berries are on the trees there is no frost to make them sparkle.

Theres a lot of rain and a lot of wind, not exactly ideal photography weather for someone who gets cold just looking out of the window.

This time last year I had gone a real pearler on the ice walking to work, one of those embarrassing legs straight from under you moments on a puddle that had iced over and been hidden by the snow. I remember it hadn't been the first dicey moment that winter so its all rather mundane this year, that we've had no decent weather to inspire or to warrant getting

frostbitten fingers for.

I'm sure if I went tramping over hill and dale I'd find something that caught my eye. The light is a dull not really bothering to try kind of light but I would think with a bit of editing....

no I'm not drawn to it.

So instead of wallowing in the negative, I went to the supermarket and bought some bits to have a play with. Cue my living room window cill (with a lovely warm radiator underneath)

a spotlight, a piece of black board, a spare bathroom tile and a bar of chocolate...

perfect photography conditions I'd say!

Looking at the pictures, there are a little too many stalks and perhaps the tile could have done with being black too as its a little busy but oh the light and darks, the reflections and shadows!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Frigiliana, Spain

Frigiliana in Southern Spain, within the province of Malaga is a stunning location if your looking for traditional Spanish streets to photograph,

particularly during the last four days of August when they hold the 'Festival de las Tres Culturas' when the streets are draped with colourful flags and there is a traditional market with street dancers and shows.
The town is high on a hill with a labyrinth of cobbled streets and plazas, whitewashed houses with wrought iron balconies holding masses of potted flowers.
Roof top gardens at the many small restaurants give amazing views at sunset and the church
where the wedding was held that we were a part of was attended by many local Spanish ladies, dressed all in black, flicking beautifully decorated fans. Photo opportunities around every corner!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

swirls and circuits

We tried some swirly projects at photography club this time, that weren't entirely successful but have potential.
There just wasn't enough light to get a crisp clear focus of the food colouring being dropped into water. Some cameras managed to capture the mushroom shaped first clouds and following swirling shapes but my Sony and the Nikon's just weren't happy. Obviously the idea is to crop in tight on the shapes leaving no jar visible but mine here are just too blurred.
Next we tried to capture smoke from 3 distinguished matches against a black background ( a piece of card leaning on an easel) It took a lot of experimenting but the trick is to shake the matches out rather than blow them, you get more smoke that way and to pre-focus on an object just in front of the card first (a hand is good) and then move that away and quickly make the smoke. A spotlight needs to be directed on the area that the smoke will billow to really bring out the shapes. Again my camera wasn't playing but some of the group got some beautiful clear swirls.

Finally in contrast to all the swirls a member of the group had brought in some circuit boards. I was too tired by that point to really see the shots but I'll defiantly have another go with these, some of the group got some dynamic shots of them and as one member said you can get a very striking 'cityscape' feel with them held vertically.

Sometimes the atmosphere in the club is electric with fabulous pictures captured as members boundaries are pushed but this time the atmosphere was strained. They didn't really enjoy the projects, couldn't get cameras to play ball and I haven't received one excited e-mail with pictures from the night. But thats okay. Having spent years in the company of other creative people I know how just one un-sucessful attempt at creativity can make artists want to throw away paint brushes, photographers hang up cameras and crafts people throw scissors, fabric, papers and needles to the four winds. Theres nothing like a duff piece of work for convincing you that you have no talent, your waisting your time and who did you think you were in the first place for even trying!
But we live to try again, we drag ourselves out of the doldrums and have another go and when we do its very often magical....