Thursday, 30 January 2014

taking photographs

I have taken photographs for as long as I can remember. I was probably about six years old when I got my first camera. I took black and white photographs which my father developed and printed in his makeshift dark room. Film was expensive and photographs were really only taken to mark special occasions or events.

I changed to colour photography when commercial developing and printing became cheaper which was  around the time that I considered black and white photography "old fashioned".

Photography continued to be a hobby but the number of photographs that I took was still limited by the cost. I used to send mine away for processing which at the time was the cheapest method and it was always great to get a packet of photographs in the post. I was much more selective in the photographs I took back then.

I have had a digital camera for the last seven years and now have 12,000 photographs on the computer, over 1600 of them just in the last twelve months. It is so easy to take multiple pictures but when they are "hidden away" on the laptop, I don't look at them as much as I used to when I made proper albums, securing them with photo corners and labelling with the place and date. This year I am trying to be more mindful of the photographs that I do take, more discriminating when choosing which to keep and hopefully taking the time to print more or create photo-books so I can look at the finished pictures rather than just know they are on the laptop.

Thinking a bit more about the photographs I am taking, I am joining Tash from Vintage Pretty in her February Photo Challenge. She has created a list of prompts, one for each day of the month.

I don't expect to complete them all or to take them on the correct day but perhaps if I can't take one to fit the days prompt, I might be able to search back through my older pictures and let some of them see the light of day - bending the rules a little but I don't think Tash will mind. The details of the February Photo Challenge are here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


I bought this Amaryllis as a Christmas gift.  When I realised that I wouldn't be seeing the intended recipient around Christmas time, I decided to keep it for myself and buy another gift.

That would have been the best time to plant the bulb. Unfortunately it has languished in the garage since then.

Today I opened the box. The poor plant was trying to grow and to flower still inside the box, without soil, without water and only minimal light.

I've planted it now and given it water and light and warmth which must be quite a shock for it. I wonder how it will respond.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

January garden

I was in the garden this morning hanging out the washing when I noticed these, the very first snowdrops. Last year in January we had snow and the snowdrops were about a fortnight later.

While I had my camera with me I took a few more photographs of my January garden.

The winter jasmine,

some very nibbled blue primroses

and viburnum flowers (this is Viburnum bodnantense - dawn).

After frosty nights the last couple of days have been clear and bright which is a pleasant change from all the grey and rain of the past few weeks.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

more rain, more flooding

More photographs of a flooded River Thames, this time at Pangbourne in Berkshire. The river has overflowed on both sides

and the trees on the banks are standing in several feet of water.

The river is flowing fast,

so much extra water being carried downstream causing chaos on its way.

Saturday, 4 January 2014


We didn't have the best of weather for the holiday week and for some people flooding and storm damage will take months to sort out, a very sad start to the New Year.

We have been lucky in the recent storms, no flood or storm damage affecting us directly although the rivers and streams are swollen and there is standing water on many fields.

A couple of days ago we had a few hours of sunshine and no rain, a good opportunity to get out with the camera.This is the Thames at Henley. It looks very peaceful here but the river was high and running very fast.

The water was level with the river bank and was lapping over the path. Debris nearby indicated that it had been much higher when the path would have been dangerous. Even so it was difficult to see where the river bank was.

Back at home the stream at the bottom of the village has burst its banks. The stream is to the left of the fence and many fields along its length are flooded. 

It rained overnight and we are waiting to see if the levels rise any higher flooding the roads. Nothing much that can be done, we just wait and see.

Since I started writing this I have seen the news pictures of the more recent storm damage around the coast. The strength of the sea in a storm is tremendous, so much devastation in just a few hours. The clear-up operations after these storms have passed is going to be high, both in time and money. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. I am a day late but January 1st was dull and grey and yielded not a single photograph. Today we saw blue skies and white clouds, a much more fitting start to the new year.

Christmas is cleared away now, the Christmas tree taken back out into the garden to rest and recuperate after its time inside. It is mild today so the change in temperature wasn't too great.

The photograph below is the only one I took during Christmas week, a brief time of calm in the middle of the stormy weather, a bit like the holiday really - time to pause, a break from regular routines.

Working days have started again and we feel we are returning to normal after the holidays. Much as I enjoy the break from the usual routine and having everybody at home, I am always ready to return to the rhythm of our ordinary days.

Wishing everyone a peaceful 2014.