Monday, 23 November 2015

Still Life With Peruvian Lily and Figs

My task this time around was to create a still life with elements that are autumn related but are usually not used for conventional autumn images. I happened to have some lovely supermarket bought red alstroemerias in my vase. I googled them and found out they are commonly called "Peruvian lily" and  that they flower till November, which makes them very much an autumn flower. This is one of the things I like the most about blogging - learning through research. I learn something with every single post and that fills me with a great sense of purpose.
Figs I was reminded about over on the Little Birdie blog. Jen, who is one of my favourite bloggers, was making a cake with figs that were in season. I love the colour of this sort of figs - beautiful deep purple on the outside and lovely coral red inside. I thought they went really well with the red Peruvian lily both in shape and colour.
Since my last still life was quite a complex one I decided to keep this one simple and concentrate on the light. I decided to try something different, so instead of the usual set up against the wall with the light streaming in from the window to the side I placed the tabletop at an angle in front of the window so my subject is partially back lit.

The curtains I have in the room are patterned which I did not want in my photo so I covered the one behind the vase with a white sheet. I am fairly pleased with how the lighting came out. I like the contrast between the light and shadow and the overall softness of the light.

I have now Lightroom 5 installed on my computer. I had wanted to use Lightroom for a long time and am so happy the time has finally arrived. This is the first image I processed in it. I just gave it a basic edit and then applied a couple of presets in

I still need to learn how to install presets in Lightroom and which ones would be best for my work. It is so exciting learning something new, especially when it comes to photography.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Autumn on the Haworth Moor

When we left Ponden Hall on Saturday morning, 17th October, G was ready to go back home, and I could not wait to wander around Haworth and go for a walk up on the moor. It was around 10 o'clock and the village was still quiet and sleepy. I had never been to Haworth that early in the morning. I am not an early riser and it takes me an hour and half to get here from Leeds. I watched how the streets slowly filled with people - locals taking their dogs for a walk or just out on errands; visitors like me; tourists who are abundant in Haworth at weekends....
My main intention was to take some autumn shots. It was a mild, a little damp and overcast morning which meant diffused, easily manageable, but plain lighting. My first destination was, of course, the Parsonage Cemetery. It was quiet. Even the crows were not to be heard. The only sound came from recent rain drops falling off tree branches and from drifts of fallen leaves whirling around on tomb stones in the light wind.

This image communicates the lovely melancholic feel of the Cemetery in autumn time. Love the look of the old tomb stones sprinkled with red leaves and the Parsonage and Old School just visible through the autumnal foliage.

It was a relatively early autumn time so I had to have my eyes peeled for concentration of autumn colours. This spot seemed to be the most colourful of all in the cemetery and had the greatest amount of fallen leaves on the floor. The path on which I was standing runs along the bottom edge of the cemetery and dips at this spot so I easily got a low viewpoint with leaves and branches attractively backlit directly in front of me.

Up on the moor I was amazed at a most beautiful, deep and rich amber colour of grass speckled here and there with the red of withering fireweed. There were expanses of this wonderful colour as far as the eye could see. I have recently watched the 2011 Wuthering Heights movie and was completely awed by the photography in it. The light and colours on the moor were glorious. On cloudy mornings and late afternoons there were these incredibly beautiful misty shades of green, teal and "duck egg" hues. I wanted to emulate those tones in this image. Hence the greenish hue of the sky that complements the dark gold of the grass and accentuates the broody nature of the moors.

It soon began to drizzle. I was preying it did not turn into proper rain, I so did not want to have to put my camera away. I just had to get the shots. A male figure came into view on the horizon his collar up, his step getting faster because of the, click, click quick.....

It did not rain for long. My prayers must have been heard. Very soon the sun began pushing through the travelling clouds creating a fine, hazy light down in the valley and over Haworth. The landscape slowly assumed some lovely warm chestnut brown shades.

Then the sun was out while the sky was still laden and grey. The light kept changing and yielding some fleeting, magic moments. I stood still on top of the hill, completely dazed by so much beauty before my eyes.

Now the clouds were not ominous anymore but light and white, and fluffy, and the sky became a deep blue colour. Nice weather ensued for a while. I came out onto the road and was greeted by this straggly little young tree. I love such lone surprises on the moor. Random makings of nature that break up the bleakness here and there.

It was such a great time spent walking the moor. In fact, I always enjoy it even when the weather is not so good. I personally am not worried about getting wet or cold or anything, but I do worry about my camera. It must not get wet so I definitely would not want to get caught up there with it in torrential rain. But as long as it is mainly dry I love being up on the moor. I love the openness, the bleakness, the sweeping distant views and the exhilarating and liberating feeling the whole place gives me. And I love the constant wind that brings along so many changes in weather conditions in short spaces of time. It is such a good and welcoming thing for both photography and the soul.