Saturday, 26 April 2014

Newby Hall and Gardens, 15/04/2014

This has to be one the most wonderful places in the UK. It lies just south west of Ripon on the banks of the river Ure in North Yorkshire. The magnificent country house was built around 1695 by Sir Edward Blackett who was a MP for Ripon. For the past 250 years it has been in the Compton family whose members still live there. The fabulous gardens we see today were largely designed by the family between 1920 and 1970. It was my first visit to the house and definitely not the last as the place must be seen in the summer too when the herbaceous borders are in flower. Anyway, it is the sort of place where one wants to go back again and again for a great day out, to relax in the midst of the glory of nature or to watch all the amazing plants at different times of the year. For as it rightly says on the cover of the visitors brochure the place is "Bordering on the sublime".

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wentworth Castle Gardens 08/04/2014

This is a very beautiful estate near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. It consists of a mansion owned by the Northen College, a number of beautiful gardens and interesting architecture pieces. It owes its name to Thomas Wentworth who bought the mansion (called Stainborough Hall at the time) and nearby park in 1708. In 2004 a long term restoration process of the estate began and a lot of work is still to be done.

 The mansion is visited by the public on pre-arranged tours only.

 Lady Lucy's Walk. Closely spaced avenue of lime trees.

 Stainborough Castle. Early gothic folly built as a playground for Thomas Wentworth's children. There is a  circular staircase inside and a viewing platform on the top providing breathtaking panoramic view across the estate. 

One of the golf buggies used by elderly visitors for sightseeing.

The Victorian Flower Garden. Originally probably used as a bowling green this garden has seen many changes and transformations over the centuries.

 Glorious camellia shimmering in the spring sun. One of my favourite shrubs and spring sights.

 The patio in front of the entrance to the Conservatory.

The Conservatory. Full of lovely scent and colourful plants.

Deer in Stainborough Park. They were easy to photograph resting peacefully, unfazed by people standing at the barrier.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Little Corner of Spring

I am not sure what these trees or shrubs are but the blossom and flowers and new leaves in a shady corner against the stone wall looked like a scene from a magic, secret garden to me. I particularly liked the flowers that have fallen to the ground so I focused on them by softening the rest of the image. Taken at the end of my walk around the beautiful Wentworth Castle Gardens, South Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Trevillion Images

I am a very happy and proud woman as I have recently been accepted as Trevillion Images photographer. They are one of the leading creative photo agencies in the world. A lot of their clients appear to come from Book Publishing but their images are also used by various other creative clients. The quality of images as well as the standard of selection are very high. I submitted  over eighty of my best images and had twenty three taken on for licensing. Here are five of the images that I have not previously shared on my blog. The rest can be seen here:

Overgrown Path, Aug 2011, near Fulneck Settlement, Pudsey, Leeds

Still Life with Nectarines, Sept 2010

Malham Village, Yorkshire Dales, Feb 2012

Still Life with Baby Breath, Jan 2011

Misty Cemetery, Jan 2010, Pudsey, Leeds

Friday, 11 April 2014

Beautiful Magnolia

I just adore magnolia tree. It is because of magnolia that spring is my favourite season. I took the first image the other day when I went to Wentworth Castle and Gardens. It was a glorious spring day even though a bit on the windy side, and the sky was a magnificent blue colour. I exposed the shot for the highlights making sure they are not burnt out which meant I ended up with a deep dark sky. I lightened it a bit and modified the colours to get a more pleasing, less contrasty, pastel tones. Also added a bit of "bloom" to the image to make it dreamy.
The second image is from my archives. It was taken a few years ago.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bathroom Still Life

My bathroom window faces south and gets some lovely light in the afternoon, particularly at this time of the year when the sunlight is not very strong. It has frosted glass which diffuses and softens the light making the window, blind and windowsill an irresistible background for a still life shoot for me. The bottle with some dried flowers in it that lives on the windowsill was an easy subject choice, and combined with some hand made soap provided a simple, minimalist composition. To round up the bathroom theme I applied a water drops texture layer in processing. I also decided to crop this image square and then use a ttv frame which I feel works well with simple square images with light(ish) background.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spring at Foxhill Fold Farm

Another photo I took on my way home from work. There are a few farms lying along the lane and this is the entrance to one of them. I love these very English name signs hanging by chains off a wooden frame. I think they add very much to the charm of the countrysides. They swing in the wind and make inviting noises. And the lovely cream daffodils! To tell the truth I only noticed there was a farm there when the daffodils sprang up and caught my attention. In processing I have continued to play with blur. I like how in Photoshop you can blur any part of the picture, something you cannot quite achieve in the camera.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Blueberry & Lemon Curd Cake

I found this delicious cake on the Little Birdie blog Jen is one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers. Her food recipes are always so simple and tasty. I have recently decided to become a bit of a domestic goddess and have started baking and cooking from scratch more often. Not only is that part of my quest to go back to more natural and healthy living but also it gives me something new to photograph - food! Now I have to make sure I understand the basics of food photography.