27 December 2014

Our Annual Photo Trek

Each year, our Camera Club holds a competition called The Photo Trek. A destination is given, along with 20 set 'subjects', which members have to fulil. We are given a couple of months to get all the photos as it's not always easy for all of us to get to the prescribed place. A month or so later, a competition is held, with three Club members who haven't taken part, performing as judges. Each image is marked out of five points per judge, and those three marks are added together (to give a maximum of 15 marks per shot).

This year, the destination of the Photo Trek was Dorchester-on-Thames, a very pretty village about half an hour away from here. I went over there twice, thanks to the a fellow Club member (thanks, Lou!) giving me a lift.  The following images are my final set of 20: 

1. Open Subject. 
I chose to use this shot of a stonemason at work at the Dorchester 'Artisan' weekend.

2. Landscape. 
This shot was taken from the top of the Abbey tower. Lou managed to talk herself into a trip up the tower, and since Laura and I were with her, we got to go too. The views were amazing.

3. Window.  
I took this shot with my little Canon S95 camera, on the fish eye scene mode.

4. Roofscape. 
This shot, like No.2, was taken from the top of the Abbey tower.

5. Thatch.  
I thought I'd try and be 'different'. Instead of shooting one of the pretty thatched cottages, I entered this, more graphic, shot. I sholdn't have done that - the judges didn't like this one - it didn't score very well at all.

6. Decorative brickwork. 
Another fish eye scene mode shot - this time of some bricks and tiles on a very pretty building.

7. Trees, Plants or Flowers. 
I took this shot of flowers at the allotments in the village.

8. 18th Century Building with date.  
This was easily the most tricky shot to find. In the end every single person who entered the competition showed an image of this particular building. We did find another cottage to fit the category, but it was behind such high hedges, we couldn't get a shot of it. I decided to make mine a study of the date and window reflection in an attempt to be a bit original.

9. Behind the High Street. 
I took this shot of a private garden at a house behind the village High Street.

10. Allotments or Garden. 
Another shot of the same garden as the category before, only a wider view. It was so lovely there.

11. Open Subject.
Another open category. I entered this pretty shot of some autumnal looking leaves.

12. Black & White.
Lou and I encountered this gentleman up at the allotments in the village. I asked him if he'd mind me taking his picture, and he said not at all. 'What do you want me to do?' he asked? I suggested he just carry on with whatever he was doing, and he did. We chatted as he watered the plants belonging to his friend, and I clicked away.

13. A Row of Cottages.
There were plenty of rows of pretty cottages from which to choose!

14. Ugly.
Do you think he or she would mind me calling him or her 'ugly'? 

15. A Splash of Colour
Such lovely colours in this bloom.

16. Water
For a place having the title 'Dorchester-on-Thames' there wasn't a vast amount of water to be seen! However, we did find this little stream at the bottom of a garden, and the moored punt made a nice focal point.

17. A Coaching Inn.
There were a couple of coaching inns along the high street. Most entries were of the other one, so I was glad I plumped for this one. I got lucky that this old car was parked outside, so I gave the image a sepia tone to attempt a vintage look.

18. Close Up.
A lovely fluffy bumble bee feasting on some budding flowers.

19. The Abbey
I took so many shots of the Abbey but didn't like any of them once I got home and looked at them on the computer. This was about the best of a very bad bunch.  It is a beautiful building; I really wish I could have done it justice.

20. Open Subject.
The final category was another open one. I decided to enter this macro of a dandelion seedhead. Dandelions are such photogenic plants.

Anyway, after the competition was finished, and all the scores were added up, it turned out I came second! Woohoo. I haven't had a hugely successful year at Camera Club, so that was a very welcome turn up for the books. My friend Anna Marlowe won: You can see her set of images on her website. Congratulations, Anna!

I think this will be my last post here of 2014. I'd like to thank anyone and everyone who has visited and viewed, read, and/or commented. Next year I plan to to another 365 project (a picture a day for the every day of the year) so there will be plenty with which to bore you. 

18 December 2014

A Few More

... Shots from my 52 in 2014 project at Flickr (which I've now completed - hooray!)

Some apple and cinnamon pastry hearts, whilst in the making. I used this shot for the category 'Unfinished'. The resulting pastries took less time to disappear than they did to make.

The feet of an author I photographed at a local Literary Festival.
I used this shot for the topic 'Footwear'.

This is a picture of part of the workings of the clock in the tower of Dorchester Abbey.
I used it for the category 'Time'.

A crafty still life for the topic of 'Buttons'.
I made quite a few of these little wool mix felt gingerbread men decorations this year. 

An image taken at St Giles Fair in Oxford. I used this one for the 'Abstract' challenge.

A small tortoiseshell butterfly on a lavender flower. I am usually unlucky at attempting butterfly shots - they move so quickly! But this one sat still for a second, and enabled me to get this image, which I used for the categroy 'Insect or Spider'.

28 November 2014

I was AWOL. Again.

Well, after being much better about keeping this blog up to date, I went very quiet and absent again, didn't I? Mind you, I'm not sure anyone much visits, so not sure I was missed.

Anyway, to those who noticed: Sorry. I managed to develop a nasty bout of pleurisy in late June/early July, and was confined to bed for over a week. During that time, my coughing was so violent that I managed to break a rib, leaving me in considerable pain on top of the pleurisy.  The first round of antibiotics didn't clear the infection in my right lung, so after a month or so, I had another course of a more broad-spectrum drug. After that, I started feeling a bit better, although the rib has taken months to feel easier.

It did interfere with my photography, because it interfered with my life, but I have managed to keep up with my 52 in 2014 project at Flickr. At roughly a shot a week, it was about all I could manage!

So here are some of those I have uploaded to the Flickr group over the past few months.

This beautiful rose was one in a bouquet sent by my friend Lisa when I was really poorly. I used it as my entry for No.19 - A Treat.

A macro of a fly that hung around too long in the conservatory. I used this shot for topic No.45 - Shadow(s). 

This is Posie. She belongs to some members of the family we don't often see; so when they paid a visit in the summer, I attempted a nice shot of her for category No.18 - Canine.

In late May and early June, there was a beautiful field of poppies in a field around nine miles away. I decided to use this shot for challenge No.15 - Something beginning with 'P'.

This shot was taken at a Camera Club practical evening, and I used it for topic No.15 - Halloween. We pumped smoke from a smoke machine into the pumpkin, and then put the top of the pumpkin on - the smoke poured from the mouth.

11 July 2014

Misty March Morning

Oh dear ... I didn't realise I hadn't uploaded these pictures. I was looking in the folder where I put stuff to put on this blog, and there they were.

One morning in March, I woke to find we were enshrouded in the thickest mist I have ever seen in this part of the country. After getting the kids to school, I headed up to The Ridgeway to see what I could see. It turned out I couldn't see very much at all. But once I went into the woods, it was wonderful. 

These are a few of the images from that day.

As you can see, vision was severely hampered

Mist droplets on some spring daffodils

Looking towards the woods

I just loved the way the mist in between the trees, made the wood take on an eerie, magical feel.

1 July 2014

Art in Ardington

During May, there is a local 'Art Weeks' event. Various artists, crafters and other talented folk, open their doors and display their work for appreciate members of the public to see, and sometimes purchase.  

This year, there was a large installation of sculptures and statues dotted throughout the local village of Ardington. The weather wasn't great, but I did manage to get over there to see and photograph some of the works of Art. These are just a taster of what was there.



I really enjoyed the exhibition, which was set up so you walked a 'trail' around the village. I hope they do it again some time.

25 June 2014

Royal Visit

On a very damp Friday in late April this year, our town was hosting a visit from HRH the Earl of Wessex and his wife, Sophie. They came to open the new Art & Design block at the secondary school that both my kids attend. Afterwards, they had a soggy walkabout in the town centre. A friend convinced me to go with her, and thus we were to be found sheltering under umbrellas, waiting for the royal couple to arrive. I actually had my camera in a plastic bag and got it out when I wanted to use it. Anyway, these are just some of the shots I took that afternoon.

Soggy press photographer

Soggy police officers

Soggy town mayor

Soggy spectators (there were a lot of us being soggy spectators!)

I took this shot of the shoes of one of the councillors lined up to meet the Royals.
As you can see, it was extremely wet that day.

Soggy Town Crier

 HRH The Earl of Wessex, remaining good humoured despite the weather

HRH The Countess of Wessex, who was very friendly