Friday, 28 December 2012

Still Life With Demijohn and Enamel Pots

Christmas is time for families to be united and their members to enjoy each other's company, and since I live far away from my Mum I miss her the most at this time of year. The only comfort for me are the memories of those few days we spend together each year, and of course, the photos I take on my visits. This one was taken last June while Mum and I were preparing a big family barbecue in her outside kitchen. Inspired by the beautiful light streaming through the glass ceiling I suddenly had to stop preparing the food and started looking for objects to photograph. Mum gave me a funny look but knew better than say anything. She remained quiet and patient while I was moving unwanted things out of the way and setting up my still life on one of her cookers. She has lots of old, vintage stuff around the house so it was not difficult for me to find a pleasing arrangement that suited my taste for the old-fashioned. I made sure I included her lovely little red enamel mug with white spots out of which she keeps drinking her tea despite its being worse for wear now.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

O Christmas Tree!

Every year I create what I call a "Christmas image". I am only looking to post one, so it needs to be special and not too girly or cheesy. A chance to go out and look for some nicely lit scenes are normally elusive to me for whatever reason so I usually rely on still life work. I was really struggling to think of an appealing set up this year and had already begun to panic a bit when suddenly an idea struck me the other day while I was in the bathroom taking a shower: why don't I take a shot of one my favourite decorations - the wooden Christmas tree in a frame I bought years ago?! I like it very much because it is all made of a natural material, wood, and because it's so simple. All I needed to go with it was something red (not only because I love red in photos but also because it is the main Christmas colour). I immediately thought of the little metal Santa boot I bought the other week. I really like the wood and metal combination and the idea of Santa hanging his boot on the Christmas tree frame. I added a wall texture to the image in Photoshop and slightly desaturated the colours to make it look more vintage. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Walk Around Adel, Leeds, 05/12/2012

It was a very cold but beautiful sunny day. Ice remained in shady places throughout the day. I soon warmed up walking around with my camera and felt so alive and happy. Life is good at the moment!

Adel Crag

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Old School, Adel, Leeds, 5/12/2012

I came across this charming old disused school house on the way back to the car from a lovely wintry walk around the village of Adel, a short drive north from where I live. I love the withering late autumn hydrangea and red berry shrub against the old stone brick wall. They add to the sense of abandonment. As I stood there taking pictures I felt myself being taken back in time when there was voices and sights of children playing and running around.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


G. and I came across this wall plaque with deer horns in a lovely gift shop and decided we had to have it for our dining room. It is a replica but you cannot see that easily. I thought of an image of deer skull by Joan Kocak, one of my favourite fine art photographers, and instantly felt inspired to create a still life with my new purchase. Joan's deer skull is that of a much large deer and she used a shrivelled pear, presumably to symbolize decay, whereas I have used an exotic tamarillo fruit, its upright stalk mimicking one of the deer horns. Here is a link to Joan's image:

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tower Bank Arms and Hill Top, Sawrey, Lake District, 31/08/2011

The weather and lighting conditions have been appalling, and what with Christmas preparations I normally start in the second half of November time for taking pictures have virtually been non existent. Thankfully, I always have some photos in the archives that are worth digging out and processing. The ones bellow are taken on my visit to the village of Sawrey and  Beatrix Potter's farm and cottage, Hill Top. I love Beatrix Potter. She is one of the women who inspires me the most. Every time I need a bit of mental boost I reach for one her books, whether it is one of her children's stories, her biography or anything published to do with her - I have it all. The Tower Bank Arms is the village pub that features in Beatrix's illustrations and stories. I have just processed the image, while the rest of the images I processed previously and uploaded to my Flickr photostream. The second image is my personal tribute to Beatrix. It is a shot of the bench outside her cottage window and I added a rabbit because the most famous of her characters was Peter Rabbit. The third image shows her vegetable garden, and the last one cattle and sheep grazing in her orchard and on the pastures of her farm.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tong Village, 14/11/2012

Tong is a lovely village on the border between Bradford and Leeds. It is only a short drive from where I live and since it is full of interest I often go there to take photos when I don't feel like going far. On this particular day I decided to do a circular walk comprising Fulneck with my friend Colin, who often comes with me on my walks. We had done the walk before so this time we decided to take a different path at the start. The path took us to a farm which we did not know about and then onto a field. I forgot how muddy it is at this time of year and was not surprised to realize we will not be able to walk through fields as in some places the mud was just to deep. We returned to the main road and decided to stick to well defined paths and tracks. It meant we had to go back the same way as there was no circular route that avoids fields, but we did have a pleasant stroll and managed to stay more or less mud free. And, most important, I got a few pictures. On our return to the village we went to the Greyhound, the lovely rustic village pub, and had a nice lunch of panini washed down by a glass of wine.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Autumn Night's Dream

This little wooden hut with its red brick feature on the side wall lies near a woodland path not far from Fulneck, Pudsey. One can only get a good view of it over a locked metal gate. It does not seem to be used and the owner apparently does not want people near it. It was an overcast, rather dull day and my shots had no detail in the sky. I felt the image lends itself to a use of texture that would give it a bit of drama. I came across a night with moon texture layer by Lenabem-Anna that blended nicely with my image. I also added a bird brush by SkeletalMess.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Seasons in my Window

Since my "Spring in My Window" image attracted a lot of views on Flickr I decided to create a series entitled "Seasons in My Window". I wanted each image to include a glass object as I like the way glass looks on a window sill backlit by the light coming in from outside. For my autumn image I started composition with a vintage woven bottle my Mum gave me when I was in Zagreb this summer. I like the green and red colours on it. Then I took an orange squash as a typical autumn vegetable and some grapes - an autumn fruit. I added a small oil lamp which I liked not only because of its orange glass but also as something symbolically needed due to shorter days autumn brings.
Now I cannot wait for some snow to do a winter image!

Autumn in My Window
Spring in My Window

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Troutbeck Village, 27/04/2012

This is one of the most charming and interesting villages I have ever visited. It is situated in my favourite part of England - the Lake District. My dear friend Suza came from Zagreb to stay with me for a week, and I wanted to take her somewhere really beautiful, somewhere I have not been before either. In fact, I did visit Troutbeck once before but it was raining so we left without exploring. The first image shows some gorgeous, very old houses that fascinated me because they seem to be built without cement or anything to keep the stones together. The second image is the last I took on the day. The late afternoon light was changing moodily every few seconds and I loved the spring colours that were not dissimilar to those of autumn.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Gotts Park & Golf Course, Leeds, 23/10/2012

I could not wait for a day off from work and a chance to go out with my camera to capture autumn colours at their peak. I did not have to go very far as I saw from the bus going to and fro work that the trees in the nearest park are looking very beautiful . I got there at 9 a. m. hoping the golfers would not be around yet (don't fancy being hit by one of those balls!) but they beat me to it - there was a lot of them there already all over the park. It was a dull, slightly misty, but, thankfully, dry day. And while the light would not always be very good for photography it was quite nice for capturing all the colours of autumn in a misty ambience.

Autumn Glory

Friday, 26 October 2012

Armley Park, Leeds, 23/10/2012

The park seemed more beautiful than ever when I visited. I think the autumn colours were at their best this year. I was completely delighted to come across the scene with a patch of flowers in front of trees with red leaves. Amazingly, a lot of flowers were very fresh looking. I stood there for quite a while taking different shots. This one here I took crouching down slightly to avoid an area of plain grass between the trees and meadow. It is one of my favourite images I took this year.

Autumn Meets Summer

Friday, 19 October 2012

Autumn Still Life with Harlequin Squash

Being a lover of still life I felt an urge to do an autumn still life. I bought the squash form the local supermarket and collected some fallen leaves from the park next to my house. I normally have a clear image of what I want to do in my mind but this time I did not know what I was going to end up with. The composition is pretty spontaneous but I am not sure if it works very well. It certainly is far from conventional composition rules. However, I do like the muted autumn colours and the way the textured background came out.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Still Life With Rose-Hip

The rose-hip grows in the car park outside my house. The berries come out in late September, and, since I love red in photographs, they are calling me to make a still life image every year. Because the berries are so striking and stark on their twigs I feel a simple composition works best. I like the idea of a vintage feel with an enamel bowl placed on an old stool. The second image is from 2010.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Mum, 26.06.2012

I took this photo of Mum back in summer when I was in Zagreb visiting. She is sitting at the table in the garden of a restaurant in Petrinjska Street where we had a beautiful lunch of grilled squid, chips and roasted vegetables. The midday light was tamed and diffused by the parasols placed at each table. I was quite pleased to see there was no reflections in Mum's spectacles and that the photo turned out to be one of the best I have ever taken of Mum.

Sretan ti rodjendan, draga mama! Happy birthday, dear Mum!