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Posted in blog, Day out, Gardens, Oxford

3 and a bit hours of heaven

I have a membership card for Oxford’s Botanical Gardens and Arboretum (https://www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk/) and I used this yesterday to visit the Botanical Gardens. I was there for a little over 3 hours, alternating between taking photos and sitting on benches doing puzzles. Some parts of the garden were very tranquil, other bits were rather noisy. Especially down by the river where several groups of students and tourists were out punting. The volume of traffic, coupled with the inexperience of some of the participants caused several clunks as boats collided, accompanied by a few cries of exclamation. There was also a general load bubble of chatter under all of that. Somehow though I managed to blank most of that out, like a kind of white noise, and just soak up the delights of the garden. I’ve been there several times now, but mostly off-season. So it was wonderful to see it full of blooms, and colour. If you have any interest in looking at gardens, I thoroughly recommend a visit. As well as the outdoor areas there are great big glasshouses, with collections of various type of plant. Which worked particularly well for me as it was showery. All in all it was a very pleasant afternoon and I was sorry to have to leave. But there’ll be another time, and in the meantime I can look at some pretty pictures.

Posted in Architecture, blog, Day out, Oxford

While the cats are away…

I’m having a few days home alone this week, my husband and daughter having gone to visit his family. My plans while they are away included getting out with my camera. My family are remarkably patient on days out, letting me have some time to go off for a bit with my camera, or bearing with me while I fiddle with settings. But there are limits, and however indulgent they are, I always feel guilty that I’m holding up proceedings, so often rush things along. So I was really looking forward to a chance for some uninterrupted photography yesterday, being able to take the time to experiment, adjust settings, and wait for the right moment, without worrying about anyone else.

I was rather disappointed therefore that it was a grey, overcast day. Very dull. Not particularly inspiring weather for a day out with lots of photos. However, such conditions can be made to work for some subjects, including architecture. I’ve been wanting to capture some of the architectural details in Oxford for some while, so I took this opportunity to potter around, at liberty to go where I chose, and to take whatever photos I liked. I started in Radcliffe Square, and I admit that the Camera there is hardly a detail, but it is a fine sight. And after that I followed my nose, and the occasional whim. It was a very enjoyable day, though I was somewhat weary by the end, and some of the results are shown below. I hope you like them and, if you know Oxford, enjoy playing “where is that?”

 

Of course, there’s plenty more to be seen in Oxford. Hopefully I will get another chance like this soon. If you have any suggestions of where I should go then please let me know.

Posted in blog, Sport

Pan-tastic!!

Over the years I have taken a LOT of photos. But one thing I’ve never done before is panning, the technique of moving the camera at the same speed as a moving subject, so that the subject remains in focus but the background is blurred by the camera’s movement. This keeps the subject clearly visible while giving a sense of movement to the picture.

Last night I went out with my daughter’s Brownie pack, who were grass sledging. I positioned myself about halfway down the hill and watched the girls whizz past. Maybe whizz is a bit optimistic. They wouldn’t have a chance in a race against a bobsleigh, but the girls said it felt fast to them. And it was a good speed for a would-be panner. Fast enough to get that sense of speed, but slow enough to be able to follow without too much difficulty.

Of course some pics were better than others. But I just want to share my most successful panned shot of the evening. And now I need to find some other moderately paced subjects to keep practising.

Posted in Uncategorized

Candles, a crown and the right to choose

I was lucky enough to attend a christening on Sunday. A beautiful baby girl. She had a lovely christening gown, all layers and lace, and a cute little crown. She looked intently at the minister, and gazed with wonder at the candle lit for her. I took plenty of photos, which I hope will help her family remember the special day. But I’m not going to share them with you. At least not the photos of the baby and her family. If you scroll down there are some pics of the church, and the candles, and I admit that I have snuck in the edge of the christening gown. But there’s no adorable baby, no loving parents, no cute little crown. Sorry, but I was asked not to put them on the internet. And yes, a little bit of me is disappointed. But that’s fine. If anyone doesn’t want their photos being shared in public, they have every right to say so. And I completely respect that decision.

 

Posted in Animals, Community, Festival

Late from the fete

Oh dear, what happened to June? I last posted here at the end of half term, on June 5th. And now it’s July 1st. And I still haven’t posted the photos from the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th. For anyone who’s been waiting, I can only apologise. But better late than never, here are some pics from a fab afternoon with fun, games, motorbikes, music, dogs, races, singing and more. A big thank you to everyone who let me take their photos. I hope you like them.

 

Posted in blog, Day out, Family, Holiday

Half term fun

Last week was half term and we had lots of fun. We had fun dressing up on a visit to the River and Rowing Museum, had two wildlife encounters at Crocodiles of the World and the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, saw scarecrows in East Hagbourne, and visited family in Norfolk and Suffolk. One day was spent seeing extended family, including some that I hadn’t seen in a long, long, time. This was lovely and we went down memory lane visiting the village where my Mum grew up and the church where she married my Dad. Then we had another family meeting, but this time with the younger generations – my niece and nephew and their partners and children. I even persuaded the youngest members of the family to sit together on the sofa for a couple of minutes.

The next couple of weeks are looking busy too. There’s the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th, our school fete on the 17th, and let’s not forget that a special young lady has a birthday next week too. So no doubt I’ll have plenty more to post soon.

Posted in Uncategorized

That’s the way to do it!

Phew, it’s hot today! Though I’ve cooled off somewhat since having a water fight with my daughter.

The sunshine makes me want to get outside and take photos. Particularly photos of you. Yes you! Because while you may worry that you’ll look feel awkward or look awful, I know that everyone has the potential to look MAGNIFICENT in a photo. Yes you read that right MAGNIFICENT. It just needs a bit of effort, but that needn’t come from you. I firmly believe that people look their best when they feel relaxed and comfortable. So that’s where the effort comes in – it’s MY task to help you feel at home. Which is why I suggest coming to your home. And while I’m afraid I draw the line at spring cleaning for you, I can help you find a spot that looks the part for taking portraits of you and your family. Or just your family if you insist, but ideally we’ll go through a few alternative shots to get a variety of arrangements. including you and the kids, the kids on their own, and maybe even just you?

So let me work with you, let me do the work while you relax, let me find the look where you (and your family) look magnificent. There’s just one bit where the effort has to come from you – you need to get in touch with me to get the ball rolling. But that’s easy enough – you see the form below? Just fill it in and hit submit. Now that is the way to do it.

Posted in blog, Community, Day out, Family, Friends, Party

A goose on the loose

Life’s been busy recently, but lots of fun. As the weather has (kind of) been getting better we’ve had a few family days out, and of course I’ve taken lots of photos. We went to The Vyne, a National Trust property neat Basingstoke at the weekend, and I was lucky enough to get up close to some robins and some geese. Several mother geese and their babies were running around on the grass down by the lake and I braved the copious amounts of goose poop to get down to their level to watch and take photos. I did get hissed at a bit, but it was worth it.

Other highlights of recent days out have included duck racing at Blewbury, playing i-spy in Oxford, seeing dragons in West Hagbourne, and the bluebell woods at Harcourt Arboretum. And I’ve got high hopes for the coming weeks too. Hopefully we’ll get some even better weather as I’m looking forward to seeing scarecrows, going to summer fetes (look out for me taking photos at the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th), and celebrating my daughter’s 10th birthday.

With a little that will give me lots of chances to get some great photos. And I’m itching to try the new filters I bought recently. Keep checking back to see what happens.

Posted in Family, portraits

Beauty is more than skin deep

Well what a delightful job I had this weekend taking photos of two lovely girls. I visited them for a relaxed session in their home and garden. And I even managed to persuade Mum to join them for a few shots. Although there was a bit of initial shyness in front of the camera, the girls soon warmed up and had lots of fun playing and dancing and suggesting new poses. They were a real pleasure to work with – beautiful girls with beautiful natures. Here is a selection of my favourite shots from our morning.

 

If you’d like to have some family photos of your own then please get in touch to discuss. I’d love to work with you and your family to take some photos of everyone looking and feeling beautiful.

Posted in Family, Gallery, portraits

Out with the Evans family

I recently had the pleasure of taking some portrait photos of the Evans family. They decided to have the photos taken outside, on location at Chedworth Roman Villa, if the weather was up to it. A week of having fingers crossed for fine weather did the trick and we had a bright sunny day without too much wind. We used two or three locations around the grounds of the villa to take photos, which provided a bit of variety with posing. Although doing a photo shoot outside has some challenges, a positive is that younger members can move around and let off steam a little between bursts of photography. This helps keep them fresh rather than getting bored sitting or standing still for long periods. And with so many things in life, if the children are happy, everything else falls into place.

If you’d like some photos taking on location then please get in touch and we can discuss where would work for you and your family.