Thought for the Week

"A hug is a perfect gift - one size fits all and nobody minds if you give it back."

Husband Meme

I stole this from Laney, who in turned took it from Akelamalu

How long did you date? We dated for 16 months and had a baby before we moved in together, and we married 6 months later.
How old is he? He's 46, 5 years older than me, which I always thought would have been great as we would retire in the same month of the same year... then the government said women had to work til 65 and that put paid to that! Bloody politics.
Who eats more? err... if I had to pick one it would be him, but I would be a very close second
Who said “I love you” first? I really can't remember, but I think it was him
Who is taller? He is, by about 5", which is just right.
Who sings better? He does. My singing is best reserved for the car when I'm on my own, and even then the radio has to be loud enough to drown me out!
Who is smarter? He is, without a doubt
Whose temper is worse? Mine. Neither of us are particularly short tempered, but he is far more easy going than I am.
Who does the laundry? I used to, but since becoming ill, he does ours and the girls do their own.
Who does the dishes? He does, always has. I used to cook and he would clear away.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Now see, I'm not sure if this is the right side as you stand at the foot looking at the bed or the right side from a laying in bed position, if it's the latter, then I do.
Who pays the bills? Everything concerned with money in our house is paid from the only account we have, we've never gone in for 'his' and 'hers' when it comes to the finances.
Who cooks dinner? As before, I used to, but now he does that too.
Who drives when you are together? This one's easy. Not only have we always shared finances, we have ALWAYS shared the driving 50/50. He drives there, and I drive home!!!
Who is more stubborn? Me, definitely.
Who asked who out first? He asked me, but we had known each other for some time, and those of you who have visited for a long time will have read about us getting together in two of my Memory Monday posts. If you missed them you can see them here and here
Who kissed who first? He kissed me.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I am. My stubborness doesn't stretch to not admitting when I'm wrong.
Whose parents do you see the most? We have only mothers living, and we each see our own the most.
Who proposed? He did
Who is more sensitive? I am. I always go out of my way to make sure everyone around me is happy.
Who has more friends? He does.
Who has more siblings? He was an only child, I have a brother and 2 sisters.
Who wears the pants in the family? He does, but only cos I let him!!!! lol

College Exam

Well, we have reached the last stage of the AS Photography course, the exam question.

I have decided to do the question on portrait, god only knows why, it is probably my weakest area in photography. Actually, I do know why. Prior to seeing the exam question, I had booked the studio and arranged with my neice to shoot her in several of her dance outfits as a 'padding' to the first unit of work we completed.

Having discussed ideas with her, and worked out a time scale for costume changes etc, I knew there would be enough to enter as a whole unit, so when the portrait question came up on the exam paper I was chuffed.

At college, the tutor will always help you set up the studio, lights, backdrop etc and make sure you take the light meter reading correctly and accurately transfer it to your camera.

On the night in question my tutor put on one softbox, and took a light reading.

"Do I not need a second softbox on a lower setting on the other side of the model"? I asked.

"No, one will be fine, we've taken the light reading and the aperture will control how much light enters the camera" he said.

Me, thinking this was strange, but heck, he's the tutor asked,

"Should I use a reflector on the other side to bounce some light back in then"?

"You can do if you like" was his reply.

My brain is working overtime, how the hell will light from one side only be enough? Sure, you can do it with a model who sits and poses, but for a dancer, moving, jumping, twirling???

I decided not to go with my instincts and trust the tutor. I shot for almost 3 hours, with my neice doing costume changes quicker than superman in his telephone box, and we managed to use 6 different ones. The poses, leaps, twirls and smiles were awesome, and on the back of the camera they looked great. 284 photos later, I set off home. It was nearly 10pm by the time I got in, and the nights shoot had taken it's toll, but I was desperate to see the images on screen so I shoved my card in the slot and downloaded them all.


Should have gone with my own instincts.

The shots were all really dark on one side, well when I say dark, I mean just about black. The only shots that really worked were the last costume she wore, which goes by the name of 'zombie'. For this outfit, I had decided that I would turn the modelling light down low and use a really bright torch stood on the floor to illuminate her face in a ghostly glow. The ones I took without the torch and with the studio light turned up worked quite well too because the lighting was what I had planned.

Downhearted, but not yet beaten, I booked the studio for two days later and we went back on the Thursday afternoon and did it all again. Because this was not my tutorage time, I had to set the studio up on my own, but for that I was actually grateful. One softbox on full power to the left, one softbox on half power to the right and another light with barn doors to illuminate the background. Perfect.

200 shots, and almost everyone totally adorable.

This is one of the zombie photos from the first shoot.

It is so hard to pick a favourite from the second shoot as there are so many really lovely shots, but I think this is right up there. It captures the movement I was striving for beautifully and I took it at exactly the right moment to catch her arms and her leg in the perfect position. The fact that she is so photogenic helps of course.

OK, so if you all club together, you could buy me a studio for christmas, and I could do this for a living!! What do you reckon?


Another part of my environment unit. I wanted to do some woodland photography and decided to visit a large wood quite near me.

As a child, I lived opposite this wood and spent hour after hour roaming, romping, playing and generally hanging out in this wood. I always loved to be there. Carpets of bluebells in the spring, with nearly as many primrose. Hills and hollows to explore and a myriad of interconnecting, winding mud paths, not that we always stuck to those, not even the smaller ones. There were a few areas that weren't open to the public, retained for MoD training, but on the whole, we were free to wander. Many a weekend and holiday Mum would pack us up a lunch and me and my sister would go on an adventure, usually ending up in our favourite picnic spot, a large open hollow, with real grass to sit on, and trees and wildlife encircling all around.

There were a scattering of old buildings amongst the trees too. When I say buildings, they were mostly about the size of a small caravan, but brick built, and they were used by the MoD in the last war I believe. One of these was a little larger, but all were damp, and pitch black past the first foot or so inside the entrance. The larger one was well known to most of the younger generation as 'The Old Iron'. Not sure where it got its name, but it was in this very unromantic, dark, dank, cold space that I had my very first kiss ... at the tender age of 9!

Back to the present, I grabbed my camera and tripod and off I went, really looking forward to traversing the paths I used as a child. Parking in the entrance, it was immediately obvious how much it had changed. A very informative board gave you a little of the history of the woodland and pointed out that you were not permitted to leave the set paths.

OK, I thought, I can handle that. I'm not a teenager any more, I don't need to be hacking my way through tough undergrowth, I'm not looking for adventure, just some photographs.

Reading the rest of the sentence, it appeared that there was only ONE path. It started and finished here, and provided a convenient circular walk.

ONE path! What's that all about? Still, fired up to produce some photos here, I set off. What they didn't mention on the board was that this ONE circular path led you around the edge of the woodland. Most of the walk had woodland on one side and open fields on the other. Fine if you're walking the dog I guess, and every single person I passed had one, but not what I really had in mind! Still, I had my camera, tripod, walking boots and enthusiasm, so here are a couple of the photo's I took.

This is a shot I took across the fields. The single tree, outlined against the sky and the red growth underneath caught my eye.

Another shot, facing into the wood. The sunlight was streaming through the sparse winter canopy and I liked the way it lit the tree trunk.

Another London Shot

This shot, inspired by one of my friends who had seen a similar photograph during his research, worked perfectly. We had taken some during daylight to get the feel for the right angle, but by the time dusk arrived it was raining so there weren't many people around. I think it works well as it is though.

St Paul's Cathedral, via the Millennium Bridge

Catch Up

In an effort to put some posts up on my blog, which have been sadly lacking of late, I thought I'd share some of my photographs with you that I have taken for my AS Course.

For the environment unit, we had to research and then photograph different aspects of the environment. My final images are all of the shoreline, but working through the unit, I also photographed other environments.

This is one that I took in London on a trip I made with 3 of my college friends. Being a Sunday, I expected it to be busy and had to wait patiently for quite a while to get this shot, still it gave me time to set my camera up to capture the movement just the way I wanted it.


About 4 month too late for a white Christmas! This is my back garden today.