Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Killingbeck Cemetery

A pretty looking cemetery with a chapel and lone tree in the middle of it, situated in the East Leeds. I had seen it many times from the car on the way to my sister-in-law's but never had the camera with me. This time I made a point of stopping to take a few shots. It is a Roman Catholic cemetery that contains a number of graves of the victims of the First and Second World War, most of whom have their names recorded on a centrally positioned Screen Wall as the graves could not be marked individually. I hear the cemetery has been declared full to capacity now.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Shades of Spring at Golden Acre Park, 22/05/13

These images were shot with the Nikon D40X camera which I have inherited from my brother-in-law. He only used it on holidays and kept it in pristine condition, but decided he now wanted something new. It is my first DSLR but not my first SLR. When I took up photography back in 1987 I was using a SLR and shooting b&w film which I processed in my makeshift darkroom at home. Then with the digital age I decided to start shooting colour and also to keep my camera simple and light so I opted for a point and shoot camera. Now the D40X is a lovely upgrade from my Nikon Coolpix P90 which I was not very pleased with from the start. The D40X produces much better quality images so I am content now.

Most of the beautiful spring blossom will have been gone in a week or so here in Yorkshire, so I decided to capture the last of it. And as usual, the most obvious place to go to was the lovely Golden Acre Park. It was a very nice, mellow afternoon with plenty of sunshine.

Some unusual, beautiful trees at the disused miniature railway that was connecting the main attractions of the park in the 1930s. Where I was standing was the Lakeland Station.

I always remember to go to this field in springtime because it's full of various trees in bloom. This year there is so many dandelions in the grass, perhaps more than I have ever seen. I love their cheerful yellow colour.

This is a tall, huge tree with most gorgeous hot pink blossom. I just loved standing underneath it in that fairly tale woodland atmosphere.

The display of colourful forget-me-nots really caught my eye. With the blossom in the background it made for a great springtime composition.

This is one of the several identical flower arrangements placed in an alternate pattern with benches against the wall at the back of the park's cafe. They look very attractive with their charming flower and colour combination.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Rustic Still Life With Beetroot

I thought of root vegetables as lending themselves well to rustic still life work. Bunches of beets caught my eye at the supermarket with their dusty mauve surface and straggly roots. I bought one of them and also a butternut squash to lean the beets against. The green speckled courgette was also my choice as it makes for a nice colour and surface contrast. It also suits the desaturated look I wanted to create. I was pleased my antique earthenware ginger beer bottle found its place here too. And finally I had to add something reddish, as usual. I am a bit of a red colour freak in my photography! This time it had to be my little vintage red chilli oil bottle.

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Paddock, Tong Lane, 23/04/2013

This paddock is on the edge of the road I drive along on my way to work. Each morning I cannot help looking to the right to see how many horses I can see and how many are at the trough. I consider myself lucky to be regaled with such a lovely scene on my way to work (and there are many more!!). The daffodils and spring flowers in the foreground give it a special idyllic charm. 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Oakwell Hall, 01/05/2013

Oakwell Hall is a 16th century Elizabethan manor house in West Yorkshire. It is surrounded by over a 100 acres of beautiful country park and it boasts lovely gardens, arboretum and orchard. Since it is only a short and pleasant drive from where I live I love going there with my camera. The Hall is a living museum that provides an interesting and  fascinating insight into the household and lifestyle of late 17th century with its authentic and reproduced furnishings and utensils. It has been a while since I went inside the house and thinking and writing about it makes me want to go again. The romantic writer Charlotte Bronte (one of my all time favourite authors) had friends living here and she often visited. She also featured the hall as the home of the heroine in her novel "Shirley".

On this occasion I have chosen this rear view of the Hall because I like the light on the tree in bloom and the benches and steps giving a good foreground interest.

This is the Arboretum. It features over 30 trees that would have been available to gardeners of the 1700s. There is also a remembrance garden here, where people plant trees, put benches or standing stones in memory of their loved ones who cherished Oakwell Hall and spent a lot of time there. I think the Arboretum looks most beautiful at this time of year with clusters of daffodils strewn all over the place.

This is the Oak Tree cafe, its entrance hidden behind the tree on the right. It is such a lovely building and setting that it is virtually impossible for me not to stop by for refreshment and take it either outside to one of the benches weather permitting or just sit at an inside table in the cosy and homey atmosphere.

I was lucky to happen to be there right as these excursion school kids were leaving the Hall and were on their way back to the coach all dressed up in past times clothes. This image really takes me back in time and reminds me of re-enactment events taking place in the Hall and some parts of the country at certain times of year. Must make sure I attend one before long...they are great for photography!

This pond is part of the Wildlife Garden. The silvery afternoon light seemed to mellow its wild look and create a dreamy mood which I emphasized with soft focus processing.