Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Lone Tree And Quarry Mound, aka Rabbit Hill, Haworth

The weather has been very inclement with a lot of high winds and torrential rain causing floods all over West Yorkshire. Kirkstall, just around the corner from where I live has been affected, as well as my beloved Haworth. Owing to this I have felt like working on a dramatic and atmospheric image. I shot this one in Haworth, back in April. It is a scene you see from the path behind the Bronte Parsonage, which leads to the main road and is on the route of many Bronte Country walks starting at the parsonage. How I wish I lived there so I could just quickly nip out with my camera to capture that fleeting light and those elusive moods as they occur! Maybe one day if I am lucky enough. For now, most of the time I have to rely on my imagination and creative ability to reproduce that sort of feel out of mundane shots.

Edited image


I applied two textures from the brand new Distressed Textures pack called "Artist Palette Seasons", and a free grunge clouds texture I found on Flickr:

It is the sort of shot that can be processed in many ways and depending on inspiration I am likely to use it again to create a completely different type of image.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Still Life with Panettone

It may seem easy to select some objects for a Christmas still life with so many different decorations, options and possibilities around, but it is not the case with me. I have to think quite hard because I am not interested in any of the usual material like baubles, Santas, snowmen, or anything gaudy or glittery or modern. As usual, I like natural or hand made things, and anything traditionally used to mark Christmas as holiday.
I thought this time I would go for food as the main focus of my photo, and I chose panettone . It is originally an Italian sweet and aromatic bread prepared for Christmas, but it is also very popular in other parts of the world, England being one of them. I like its shape and simple look (and the taste, for that matter!), as well as the texture inside. I paired it with some traditional symbols of the festive season - spiced oranges and nuts, and for a bit of splash of red colour I used poinsettia leaves and a few cranberries, both very Christmassy additions.
And I knew from the start that I wanted to use my candle bridge to create a warm and intimate mood. In fact, the candle bridge was the first thing that sprang to my mind as I planned the image. I am quite pleased about its role in the composition.
In post processing I wanted to enhance the festive feel so I gently applied a texture layer with tiny little stars. And that was it. Another Christmas still life was happily created.

*A very happy Christmas to all my readers and visitors!*

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Around Me

Christmas time is always the busiest time in my life. There is a lot to do at work (retail) and of course at home. And then there is all the Christmas shopping too. I suppose it is the same for a lot of people out there.Time for photography is scarce and I must admit that spoils it for me a bit. My plan for next year is to keep my mind open to Christmas shopping all year round so hopefully by December I will have bought all the presents and instead of walking around with bagfuls of shopping I will be strolling with the camera in my hand taking pics rather than frantically looking for those elusive presents. This year, however, I have had to satisfy myself with just a little project I set myself, and that is to capture Christmas spirit on the go through quick snaps with my android phone. So here they are in the order I shot them.

This has to be the most beautiful Christmas shop window I have ever seen. It is of my favourite Haworth shop, Rose & Co. Apothecary, known as the place where Branwell Bronte ( the brother of the three famous literary sisters) received his laudanum. It is one the gorgeous windows on either side of the doorway. I hear they take over a week to do and I think it is worth every minute of the time and effort as it creates the magic of Christmas perfectly. This image is the only one taken with my DSLR camera.

A sweet, little Victorian looking Christmas tree in the window of the Otley RSPCA charity shop. I like the oversize baubles, and the idea of the tree base sat in a colourful biscuit tin. I was so delighted by this tree I told the staff inside the tree was the best thing I had seen in Otley that day.

The wonderful, traditional Otley Victorian Christmas Fayre took place at the weekend, and there was the best shop window competition too. I was really pleased to learn that the RSPCA shop came first. What a coincidence! The lovely tree is just visible behind the lady holding up the written acknowledgement. (This is not my photo, by the way, I found it on Facebook).

Took this one at the annual Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair at  Leeds Corn Exchange. Being a vintage lover I will always attend if I can and luckily I've managed for the past two years. It is a beautiful venue and the tree was very attractive. I do not normally buy very much but really enjoy browsing followed by a very tasty American hot dog.


HAWORTH, 6 Dec 2015

I believe there is no better place than Haworth to go to if you want to get into Christmas mood. There is so much happening all along the lovely, steep, cobbled Main Street. And there are various traditional events taking place every weekend in the run up to Christmas. I must allow myself more time for trips to Haworth next year.


The first sight I was greeted by on the arrival to the village were the cheerful Morris dancers at the bottom of Main Street. Love watching this English folk dance.

Delightful Victorian fairground organ, that can be seen quite often at this time of year.

Found in the window of one of Haworth's unusual and quaint shops. The lovely snowman was bobbing his hat up and down.

A lot of Christmas magic is contained in windows and shop windows and I try not to miss any of it when out and about. This window with its lovely hand crafted decorations drew my attention immediately. Love the snow houses and figurines in the bottom.

A choir called "Pennine Chimes" singing Christmas carols. They sang beautifully.

Lovely, natural looking heart shaped wreath made me want to make one myself. Maybe next year.

And of course.....ho ho ho.....Santa was around talking to young ones.

I waited till dusk to go home just to take a couple of shots of Christmas lights. I like the relaxed atmosphere of this photo with out of focus people hanging around or having a gentle stroll at the end of a busy and eventful day.

A charming, little terraced stone house with its Christmas lights and decorations. Love the warm glow of light in the door and window on either side of the pic.


A nice Santa in a lovely, velvet suit at the entrance of some shop premises turned into "Wonderland" in the shopping centre near where I work.


This is what I see when I look out of the door of the shop I work in. It is a lovely scene to frequently rest your eyes on. There is a Santa's grotto to the right but it is the beautiful polar bears that I really like. I wish I could find some smaller ones to put in my house.

This is the window of G's Mum & Dad's brand new beautiful home's sitting room. They have only just moved in so we went to have a look at the house and help with unpacking. I set myself a small task of trying to make their home look Christmassy.

The front door of G's Mum and Dad's beautiful new home with the Christmas wreath we brought them, and a cute snowman, an old present of G's sister.

Leeds Christmas German market. I managed to visit a couple of times this year. First time around I had a lovely meal with G in the Bavarian restaurant, and the second time I popped around after work for a burger, mulled wine and a few pics. I love the traditional spirit of German celebrations.

One of the charming stalls at the German market selling white ornaments, mainly angels. The presence of a young couple adds a romantic note to the image.

A lovely, colourful and eye catching stall at the German market selling pop corn. It is very much about colour at Christmas time which is one of the things that makes it a festive and cheerful season.

*Merry Christmas! *