Wey-hey! A Weymouth away day

We’ve just had a couple of nights away in Dorset. As yesterday was a lovely bright day, if a little chilly, we went to the seaside. Weymouth. I promised my family I wouldn’t drag loads of kit around or spend hours fiddling around – they are very patient and generous with the time they hang around indulging me but I felt this should be family time more than anything. So I took minimal kit (one camera, one lens, one mini tripod, one filter) and grabbed a bit of time on the beach before lunch, and otherwise fitted in quick snaps.

The filter was one I’ve had for a while but not used yet. A variable density neutral density filter. So I popped it on the camera, set to maximum density and used a low ISO as it was a bright day. I set a long exposure and put the camera on a mini tripod down on the beach close to the waves. I tried a load of variations with exposures between 1 second and 20 seconds. I tried some with a burst of flash followed by the long exposure to catch ambient light. Overall I was disappointed with the results, though I kind of liked the one above where the flash has caught the waves and created a sparkly trail. I think I need to keep trying, in particular finding a better view/angle, and really try a range of exposure conditions. Most importantly I need to be methodical, keeping all but one thing constant and then working through the full range of settings, rather than flitting about changing several things at once. Then I might get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. But that will take more time than I was prepared to invest yesterday. However it was a start and I have now got that filter out of the box.

My favourite snaps from the rest of the weekend are shown below. I hope you like something from them at least.


Busy busy busy … and paws

So much going on at the moment. It’s exciting and a little bit scary and my head is beginning to spin slightly if I’m honest.

Last week was rather busy as we had two nights out at the theatre to see Dave Gorman and Ross Noble. And I had two nights at our local arts centre (Didcot Cornerstone), one for choir and one to find out about Oxfordshire Artweeks. Last night I went to a networking event with wedding suppliers – it was good fun and informative (who knew that “Bride” originally meant cake or that May is the unluckiest month to get married?) and I met some lovely people, including the amazingly tricksy Jono Blythe. So there’s all of that to be thinking about plus a couple of other ideas at the back of my mind, AND I’m taking photos at a dance show this coming weekend. No wonder I feel a bit dizzy – one of the speakers said last night that we can only hold 7 ideas in our head at one time.

But for a bit this afternoon I did stop – I sat peacefully on the sofa with my big old soft, soppy, nincompoop of a cat (pictured above) snuggled up on my lap. It was lush, even though it did only last about ten minutes. We all need a little time out, whether it’s to stroke the cat or the dog, or to read a book, or have a bath, or a nap, or a walk, to call an old friend, or a new one, to sit in silence or listen to some music. Today is World Mental Health day, so I hope you have or you will make sure you take a bit of time out. And not just today, but whenever you need it, because in today’s busy life we should all pause (or paws) for a bit once in a while. One of my favourite things to “nourish my soul” is to get outside, spend a bit of time with nature. With all the other things going on it’s probably a good job that I got out to do just that at the Harcourt Arboretum last Friday – I hope you like this selection of photos. And please let me know your go-to time out activities – I know we’re all different, but it’s good to share ideas.