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...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Time keeps rolling on

I started a new job today and walking home, I walked past a significant new building for our town, the new Council Offices. Construction had ground to a halt as the developers had gone into liquidation but now a whole new sparkly investor has been found and the project is steaming ahead again. Its a time for stop and start and keeping faith that the start will start again...in all fields.
I like the little jogger in the foreground too, a new start for a new year for her too.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Rain Rain go away

The rain is back! Surley there cannot be any drops left in the sky and I have to walk to work in the morning because my car is in poorly car hospital-Taxi! Nipping into one of my favourite shops today, I just loved their new window display (as I usually do) and I had to take a picture, from the inside of course, it was raining!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Prince Alfred takes the spotlight

A funny one today

Poor little Alfie is blissfully unaware that mummys about to go back to work. Both the cats have got used to me being around pandering to their every need over Christmas, they have become pretty demanding to be fair and I'm quite looking forward to having a break from THEM! I've had to put a lock on the outside of the bathroom door because they jump up in the bath and the sink all the time trying to get water out of the taps and they make such a mess! Because I'm renovating my house the bathroom is a shell now, taken back to the plaster walls, bare floorboards, its very dusty and its an endless clean up job. Adding cat prints and hair, oh my word how much hair my cats shed is unbelievable, to the mix is just annoying. But saying all that Alfie is great fun and he loves to play especially with carrier bags, he does take a good picture...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Are You Watching Grandad?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not remotely proud of this picture, the composition is bad, the lighting is confusing and its out of focus. But the subject was charming!
No-one else was about in the Mead after the shops had closed as I wondered home. It was chilly, getting dark and the only sounds to be heard were the music that is piped into the bandstand and a little girl dancing and singing to her Grandad.
I sat down on one of the benches to watch.
She was running and dancing and singing 'twinkle twinkle little star' at the top of her voice all to enthusiastic encouragement.
 "are you watching Grandad?" she called out once in a while to make sure Grandad had only eyes for her. I sat there for half an hour remembering a time when the only audience you ever needed was your Grandad. Always one for rounding up local kids and putting on a show, I admired the little thing as she sang even louder when she began to draw a crowd and I just had to take a sneaky picture. Several pictures as it turned out as I just couldn't get the settings right, so this was the
best of a bad bunch.
To have moved closer and asked for a picture to get a better shot would have ruined the intimacy of the moment so I'm quite happy to have captured this snap which evokes a memory rather than being a good photograph. I'm sad that my daughter didn't have her Grandad for longer, he adored her when she was little and I wish for the millionth time that he hadn't got that damn desease. But he had many happy moments watching us all dance and sing for him during his life.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Bye Bye Christmas for another year

The Christmas decorations came down today, some friends were sad to take theirs down, others couldn't wait to get rid of the clutter. I don't really have any feelings either way. Its been a lovely Christmas, quiet but full of friends and I was a good mum this time. So a whole new year to play with and another new job to come- exciting!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Wichert Walls

Today was a good day, two good friends getting new jobs! My friend and I worked at the same photography studio for most of last year, both loosing our jobs before Christmas under not very nice circumstances and both feeling aggrieved and a little nervous for our futures. So the job hunting had begun and today we travelled down to the village that I was born in for my friends interview, a pure coincidence (or was it...) and a job that she really wanted. I had had an interview just before Christmas for another studio position but although I had been offered some hours I'd heard nothing more and was beginning to feel very twitchy! Well my friend received a phone call on our journey back to say that she had got the job and I had an e-mail waiting for me when I got home outlining start date, hours and rate. We certainly are two happy girlies today!
Now the village that I was born in (well I was actually born in a hospital but brought back to the village only hours old) is one of the most picturesque Anglo-Saxon villages in Buckinghamshire and is one of only three wychert villages nationally.Wychert describes a method of construction using a white clay mixed with straw to make walls and buildings, which are then thatched or topped with red clay tiles. It really has the most beautiful thatched cottages down its little winding lanes flanked by the areas distinctive walls and I could have taken the most gorgeous and endless photographs but it was my friends show and she is not a photographer. Sometimes you have to let the opportunities slide and I knew that throwing anything else into the mix today would stress her and I have vowed to re-visit alone with my camera another time.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Grand Canyon

This picture is of an exhibition that I visited before Christmas by photographer Deborah Bird. I went back today for another look. She had been awarded a Bursery Grant to visit and photograph within the Grand Canyon. Deborah froze her paper sculptures in water and then photographed them as they melted with the natural light and the Canyon as a backdrop. I went to meet Deborah and she was very inspiring and very tired!

Take a look at her work on www.deborahbirdart.com

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Venturing into Town

A Dismal Day
With my Christmas Chest infection beginning to ease, I decided to venture out and see what I could snap. I could tell from Facebook posts that people were going back to work and business' were re-opening today so I walked into town to see what interesting 'scenes' I could spot. Its only the second of January so the shops and the main street look very much as they did a few days ago at the height of the Christmas shopping madness with only the addition of sales posters giving a splash of red everywhere. Shoppers trudged about looking glum and drab and when I called in to say hello to my friends at the Art Cafe one of the customers commented that I wouldn't get a good picture on such a dismal day. I can usually spot a picture somewhere but I knew what he meant, no sun to cast interesting shadows, no frost or even snow on the ground to give some wintry sparkle. But when I came out of the cafe the street scene had been transformed by a gorgeous sunset. It just goes to show if you wait long enough a good picture will show up.

The town's Christmas decorations are still up and they're still switching on, even though all the merriment is over when it starts to get dark, which is nice. It had been raining non stop for about two weeks and although its stopped now the ground is soaked to bursting and the atmosphere is very damp so the pavements were glistening. Add a little interest in the foreground with a couple of A boards and hey presto!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 to you all! What a pretty poor job I did of photography and blogging last year then! Time to take action and FORCE myself back into it as I clearly have the creative willpower of...of...well of someone who has no creative staying power at all!
Last night I watched 'Julie & Julia' whilst sitting home alone on New Years Eve for the first time in my life, something I was dreading but that actually turned out rather well with this wonderful film. It is a story about an almost 30yr old office worker who really wants to be a writer. She decides to make herself complete a writing project by combining it with her love of cooking and she creates a blog on which she charts her progress in cooking all of her heroine Julia Child's recipes from her cookbook in one year- 365 days- a recipe and a blog a day.
She confesses that she starts things and never finishes them - sound familiar?
Really, come on me - New Years resolution - get back to blogging! My notebook, a new one for a new year, my portfolio books of photography work for sale and a game of patience all sitting on the sofa suddenly seemed a very fitting image to take to signify this resolution. I have also promised my daughter and two of my best friends so now I have put it out there that I have challenged myself, pride will not let me fail, now how the heck do I use this camera again????