Ice Knowing You

Do not adjust your screens – it really is I. Back for a quick photography update! (Naturally, I’m actually meant to be studying right now…!)

We spent a lovely 4 nights and 5 days in Iceland last week and I took the opportunity to play around with both a macro and fish eye lens (which was a £10 bargain on Amazon), as well as the standard lens on my Nixon DS3200. I also bought a tripod but couldn’t fit it into my tiny suitcase so it stayed home.

Photographing the Hlemmur (Exterior)

The Hlemmur church in Reykjavik’s centre is iconic in appearance but as I was on my own (Karl had stayed in the hotel rather than brave the freezing cold, pre-dawn streets with me – how odd!) I decided to try to find less ‘tourist’-type angles. These are the images that worked. I did try an idea with a potted plant and having the Hlemmur almost an after-thought in the background but it didn’t turn out as I planned.

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Buildings

Iceland has some beautiful architecture from the glass-centric Harpa building (not photographed) to the bog-standard-sheet-metal-clad family home complete with colourful roof. Obviously the Hlemmur is a testament to unusual architecture (above).

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Nature

Clearly it would be scandalous to visit Iceland and not at least try to capture its natural beauty.

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Mother and Baby

I saw this statue in Reykjavik and was struck by how much she appeared to change from each angle. I also love the TV ariel in the background, which, to me at least, looked like a symbolic Christian cross besides a figurative Mary and Jesus. I’m not religious so it’s a loose interpretation but I enjoyed photographing it.

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Hopefully I’ll get to go back to Iceland again before too long and capture more of it. 🙂

Blue Seas

In its 25th year, Karl and I decided to visit the annual May Day Bluebell Walk in Warwickshire. Hosted by a private estate for two days only, the entrance proceeds go to two good causes (Meningitis Now and Molly Olly’s Wishes) and, judging on the number of cars continuously streaming in through the gates, it raises a lot! We timed it about right as we arrived just after it opened at 10am and we left around half 12… just as the queue to get in stretched miles back!

I was looking forward to the event as I wanted the opportunity to get my camera out (and dust it off!) again. Here are some of the snaps I took:

 

 

And, possibly my favourite photo of the day; Superman amid the bluebells! I think he was just chilling out – I didn’t see any damsels in distress or likewise! 😉

 

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The Bluebell by Emily Bronte

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.

There is a spell in purple heath
Too wildly, sadly dear;
The violet has a fragrant breath,
But fragrance will not cheer,

The trees are bare, the sun is cold,
And seldom, seldom seen;
The heavens have lost their zone of gold,
And earth her robe of green.

And ice upon the glancing stream
Has cast its sombre shade;
And distant hills and valleys seem
In frozen mist arrayed.

The Bluebell cannot charm me now,
The heath has lost its bloom;
The violets in the glen below,
They yield no sweet perfume.

But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell,
‘Tis better far away;
I know how fast my tears would swell
To see it smile to-day.

For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall
Adown that dreary sky,
And gild yon dank and darkened wall
With transient brilliancy;

How do I weep, how do I pine
For the time of flowers to come,
And turn me from that fading shine,
To mourn the fields of home!

Fieldwork

I attended the first day of Moreton Morrell’s Horse Trials (May 2015) to practice taking some action shots. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a horse trails so I was a little cautious about who and what I took photos of, not wanting to overstep some etiquette code. However, I soon remembered how chilled out these types of events are and, in this world of red tape, how close you can get to the action. There’s nothing to stop you from walking on the cross-country course. If a rider’s approaching, someone somewhere (usually a fence steward in a car) will blow a whistle and then you dash off to the side to avoid being trampled on. It’s great fun and means you can get quite close to the jumps for taking photos.

It was a bit of a grey day but I didn’t use my flash as I didn’t want to spook any of the horses so I lightened some of these photos in post-production.

 

Seeking Approval

I’ve finally entered my first photography competition. I don’t expect any thing to come of it but I do want to involve myself more heavily in photography and the world of photographic art so it makes sense to share my photos for the approval of others.

The competition is run by The Photographic Angle, a group which supports professionals and amateurs with free exhibitions of their work throughout the UK. Bit of a big one to enter for my first competition but hey ho! As soon as I saw the word ‘monochrome’ I got excited and knew instantly of some shots to send. They want a minimum of 10 images but you only have to submit three in the first instance. I chose one landscape, one action and one close-up to send in to show a bit of variety.

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People tell me I have ‘an eye’ for photography, that I take ‘great’ photos but none of these people are objective – they are all friends and family members – so I have no idea if it’s true. I guess this will help answer that!

If you want to enter, visit The Photographic Angle here.