Tuesday, 29 January 2019

First iPhone Photos

Yes, I've got it! My first ever brand new iPhone! Latest, top-of-the-range iPhone xs Max. And I am over the moon with it and the fact that I am ready to take a plunge into iPhoneography (iPhone photography). It is for the first time ever in my more than half a century long life that I have a top end piece of technology of any kind. I could simply never afford such a camera, and iPhones, even though not exactly cheap, are a lot more affordable as photo equipment than DSLRs. My new iPhone is an amazing device, takes great photos and is simple to use. While I'm reading some online articles on less apparent camera features and tips on how to create best iPhone pics I have taken my very first tentative frames.

Almshouse, Saltaire, West Yorkshire

Almshouses from Victoria Street, Saltaire, West Yorkshire

Albert Terrace, Saltaire, West Yorkshire

Crabapple Tree

Booths Yard, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Post-Christmas Holly

River Aire at Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, West Yorkshire 

January Still Life

Cosy Club, Leeds, West Yorkshire
I processed these images with the iPhone built in photo editor and also with Snapseed and Mextures, which are the first two apps I have downloaded from the App Store. Both apps are great fun and easy to use, especially if you have previous photo editing experience. You don't really need more than two apps, but I am just too curious not to try some others available out there. I will definitely try Stackables, PhotoToaster, Hipstamatic, TouchRetouch, Distressed FX and VSCO at least.
When I finished editing the pics on my phone I could not resist importing them onto my computer to view them on my 19" monitor; after all I only ever edited photos on my PC and I needed to check my very first iPhone pics large. I was very happy with the quality, (the resolution is only slightly lower than that of DSLR images), but I found my beginner iPhone processing a bit "heavy handed"; I decided to give each image a tiny tweak in the Lightroom or Photoshop Elements to take the edge off their look. Some of the images may still look overprocessed, but I can live with that for now.

I must say I am so smitten with some of iPhone images out there, so bowled over by the idea of a camera that is always with you without carrying anything other than your phone and so intrigued and drawn to countless very attractive editing apps that I have decided to put away my DSLR for the time being and just take photos with the iPhone until I feel I've mustered iPhone photography. My only concern is that after having used an 18mm-200mm zoom lens as the main lens I may find the absence of optical zoom on iPhone a bit restricting. However, I also believe I can get used to that soon, or maybe not even miss the zoom as I see iPhoneography and DSLR photography as different genres of photography.

I thought the next step for me would naturally be to set up an Instagram account. Since it would mean more time spent on internet (and I'm trying to cut down on it) I have thought long and hard about it, and after a lot of hesitation I have come to a final conclusion that, odd as it may sound to some, Instagram is not the right photo sharing platform for me. So, apart from my blog, I shall continue to share my photos on Facebook and Flickr only.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Festive Winter in Haworth, Brontë Country

This post might be a little late as the festive period is now drawing to an end, but I'm trying not to be in a rush getting back to normal, usual life as there will be more than enough of it in the course of the new year, anyway. Right now I still have some images from my last visit to Haworth back in December I'd like to include in my blog, and here they are on the twelfth and last day of Christmas.
In order to have time to leisurely soak up the magic of the village at the most festive time of year I decided to treat myself to an overnight stay at the lovely Weavers Guesthouse which lies just a stone's throw away from Brontë Parsonage. That way I was able to enjoy two days of sheer bliss in my favourite place in the world. For me there is no Christmas without experiencing Christmas spirit and atmosphere of Haworth.

Day One

On arrival I dropped off my overnight bag and headed straight for the moor. As it gets dark early at the moment, and I just wanted a slow and relaxing ramble, I decided to stay local and not go further than Penistone Hill. It was a cold and misty day, and I was grateful for the mystical mood the mist created.

This was taken from about the point where Main Street and West Lane meet looking towards Main Street, Weavers Guesthouse just a couple of hundred yards behind me.

Sowdens Farm from the entrance to Penistone Hill Country Park

Lower Laithe Reservoir

View over Lower Laithe Reservoir from Cemetery Road

Empty house from the path leading to the Parsonage

Back in the village it was time to take some shots of Main Street. The light was fading rapidly and the lights had gradually started to come on. It was a good time of the day to take photos, when the deep dark blue of the sky worked pleasingly with the orange glow of street and Christmas lights.

Shirley Street, a gorgeous little cobbled street behind Weavers Guesthouse

Shirley Street

Shirley Street

It got bitingly cold by now. I spent good twenty minutes photographing Shirley Street and my fingers were going numb in the freezing air. I was so grateful to run away to the warmth of my cosy b&b room. It was time for a little rest before going to visit my friend followed by a quiet and delicious dinner at the Old Registry restaurant.

The Cobbles, a recently tastefully refurbished single room at Weavers Guesthouse. It boasts a very comfortable small double bed and two windows overlooking the cobbled West Lane.

Day Two

After a late breakfast I set out to take a few shots of the downstairs of the guesthouse which has become my favourite place to stay in the village. I just love its rustic, country decor and original building features. It is exactly what I would like my home to look like, and hopefully it will do one day in not so distant future.

Reception desk

Reception area

Guest lounge

Dining room window detail

Dining room

Having said goodbye to Weavers I spent some time in one of my favourite shops on Main Street, "Oh La la", a vintage shop where my dear friend works. It is impossible for me to leave Haworth without buying something from a Main Street shop. After having coffee in "Cobbles and Clay" I was ready for another walk on the moor. The day before I traipsed the north part of Peniston Hill, so today I walked around the southern part. Apart from still being very cold, today was a completely different sort of day, and this is something I love about moorland weather - no two days are the same. Today it was windy, clear and it started cloudy, but it brightened up while I was up there, and the sun came out from among some rather dark clouds. I ended up being treated to some lovely winter sunlight that painted the landscape beautiful colours.

Rabbit Hill from Dimples Lane

Back in the village I went to "The Hawthorn" for a much needed, warming glass of mulled wine. It was nice and toasty inside with roaring fire, and I had to wipe my steamed up camera lens and viewfinder to take the photo below.

When it started getting dark, it was time to pay a visit to the Parsonage. It was a late night opening day, and I thought I'd take advantage of that as I had never been inside the Parsonage at night.

St Michael and All Angels Church

Brontë Parsonage

And now there was only one thing left to do; something I always do before heading back to Leeds - have a glass of wine in "Haworth Old Hall" while having a quick play back of the photos I'd taken and sorting out impression of the lovely time I just had at this marvellous place.

Friday, 4 January 2019

New Book Cover For New Year

I am so pleased to have received a statement from Trevillion Images. January statements are the best ones because they come as a New Year incentive for my imminent work. I have a new, German book cover! It is a composite cover consisting of at least four, I'd say five, images with only a small part of an image of mine being used.

My image was flipped vertically, and then a small part comprising the path and purple heather was  used as one of the several parts in the creation of the book cover image. For me this book cover is special because this is the first time one of my images of Haworth/Haworth moor has been licensed, Haworth being my chosen haven and heaven on earth.
I do like this book cover, and particularly the way my bit adds colour and charm to it.

I couldn't have possibly asked for a better theme than a new book cover for a first post of the year. Thank you, Trevillion!