Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spring is sprung

Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdie is?
They say the bird is on the wing -
But that's absurd!
I say the wing is on the bird.

  It's been beautiful outside so I've been out playing with my camera! The first rose is out, plenty more to come. They're early this year. This is one of Mum's. Mine are a bit behind - one's been in too shaded a spot (fixed that) and the others have recently been moved from ground to pot. They all survived but I'm not sure if they'll flower this year.

Mum's orchids are also stunning this year. There are more spikes that haven't opened still. Every year Mum manages to get them to put on a stunning display.

Whilst this last shot isn't a traditional garden beauty shot this caught my eye, especially as I've been reading a book on finding great photos in ordinary places, particularly with different subject matter. There is a lot on colour and texture as well - unfortunately some pattern-focused photos I took did not come out as well as I might have liked - I think I needed a greater depth of field. I will have another go at those when the light is where I need it again.

It is amazing just how many photographs you can find to take in a small area. I can spend hours out there with a camera - there's always something else to photograph. When I start I find the big and obvious things, but the more time I spend in a session the more detail and interesting subject matter I find.

The rose and orchid photos were taken using a Sony DSC-HX100V, the geranium seeds with a Pentax K200-D. Whilst the latter is a DSLR the Sony, a superzoom type camera, has been better for close macro work. It has a focus ring for manual focus and operated in aperture priority does a very nice job indeed. Hopefully I'll be able to save up for a macro lens so I can do the rest with a DSLR. The general-purpose lens with a macro setting is just not cutting it. I'm not sure whether I'll stick with this body or change to another for that. Anyone have any suggestions? It'll be some time until I can justify the expense but I eventually want a good setup for macro and night photography.

I'd also like a tilt-shift lens but I think I'd need to win the lottery to justify that...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take one sheet of blue cardboard

I might not have as much opportunity to craft as I did before, but I'll take what I can get. Paper crafts take up an astonishing amount of space (not to mention the array of tools and materials) but I absolutely love working with paper. I tend to be more creative with it than other crafts in my repertoire.
I had fun this evening playing around with card making materials. I made the card blanks for both cards in this post from a single 12x12 square of card stock. The card above is just me having fun with buttons and paper and seeing what I can do with them. I'm normally a bit wary of using stripes - you have to get them just so or it looks wonky. This card's not been made for any particular occasion but I'm sure I'll find an occasion for it at some point.

This card is for a 60th wedding anniversary I'm going to in the near future - I'm not too worried about the intended recipients seeing it, so I might as well show it off now. I began with one concept and asides the pretty bird not much of the original idea stayed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The World of Poo

Terry Pratchett's a busy author this year - courtesy of my library I'm looking forward to reading all of the new releases. A couple I'll likely buy as well. I certainly got some interesting looks when this arrived at the library! A few recognised it as tying in to Snuff but certainly not the majority.

Fiction from within fiction, though only fantasy by virtue of the outer level of fiction The World of Poo is most certainly a book that's aimed squarely at the (fictional) six to eight year old boy. I'd love to find out what a real seven year old boy would think of this! So long as the setting didn't confuse I like to think it'd be a hit, though possibly not inspiration to imitate the protagonist? This twenty-eight year old woman found it a bit of fun too. I particularly liked the mention of Unseen University in the visit with Harry King. My inner child got the giggles...

This was a quick read, well written and a bit of fun between chunkier books. If you've read the Discworld books, particularly the more recent ones, I'd give this a go. And if you happen to have the chance to introduce it to a suitably aged boy, do let me know if they liked it!