Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Quick Windowsill Still Life With Red Peppers

Peppers are one of my favourite summer foods. As I was washing some Romano peppers before popping them in the oven to roast, I watched their striking bright red, shiny, bumpy surface. I thought I'd leave them in my vintage colander and place them on the kitchen windowsill with a couple of garlic heads for an impromptu summer still life image.

There are many delicious recipes with Romano peppers on internet, but for me a simple one that I enjoyed in my childhood is my favourite.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Abbey House Museum gardens, Kirkstall, Leeds

Last month, after having been to Kirkstall Deli Market that takes place inside the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey the last weekend of every month April - November, I nipped over the road to have a look at the beautiful gardens of the Abbey House Museum, a delightful step back in Victorian time museum, housed in the gatehouse of Kirkstall Abbey. I'd noticed beforehand that the gardens were looking more colourful than ever at this time of the year and I thought I'd go over and have a good look around on this cloudy Sunday late afternoon.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Summer Walk Around Haworth and Oxenhope, Brontë Country

Earlier this month I went for a walk around my beloved Haworth in Brontë country which turned out to be one of the most beautiful walks I have ever done. It was a lovely summer day; warm, but not too hot, with deep blue skies and puffy white clouds that now and again concealed and mellowed the summer sun. I set off early to avoid the midday heat and the unflattering light from a photographer's point of view coming from the sun shining directly above. From Brow road in Haworth I took the path that runs parallel with the railway and Bridgehouse Beck for about a mile and a half, all the way to the village of Oxenhope. I'd walked the path before, but at a different time of year, and on this morning it looked completely different and much more pleasing. In fact, the countryside around me was enchanting, and I walked deliberately taking the time to fully enjoy the summertime beauty of the nature.
At Oxenhope my circular route back to Haworth took a roundabout way via the villages of Marsh and Upper Marsh and then across Penistone Hill Country Park. I'd never walked that way between Haworth and Oxenhope (having usually taken the shorter route via Old Oxenhope Lane) and I needed a bit of help form a local to get on the right path. It was a delightful stretch of my walk and I am really pleased to have learned about it.

Steam locomotives at Haworth Station. Taken from Bridgehouse Lane bridge where I started my walk. 

A charming ruin that you come across walking along the path that runs parallel to the railway and Bridgehouse Beck. I believe it is used as shelter for horses at present.

Donkey Bridge, an old stone packhorse bridge over Bridgehouse Beck

Bridgehouse Beck from Donkey Bridge

My path at the point where it veers to the right to run through the woodland leading to a solitary house, Ives Bottom.

I took this photo and the one below merely to depict the feel of the light and colours in the nature around me on this glorious summer day. I felt so grateful to be able to experience the overwhelming beauty.

 After crossing the field behind Oxenhope school, on my way towards the village of Marsh I came across this hidden, magical looking beck

 A view over Worth Valley to the left of my path.

Looking back towards Oxenhope.

On reaching the two beautiful houses at Mould Greave my path became flanked by cheerful displays of deep pink foxgloves. I love foxgloves and was delighted to see they were still in their prime.

The wonderful view the two houses enjoy at Mould Greave

After passing Marsh, ascending two fields, a drive and reaching Upper Marsh I finally got onto the moorland of Penistone Hill and was greeted by first signs of purple heather in bloom. It was very satisfying to walk the moor as the final stage of my walk.

I had been walking for four hours by now. The sun was getting strong and I was getting hot; I began to look forward to some refreshments, a bit of rest and an afternoon of dawdling around Haworth. And, of course, a few pics of the Parsonage and the graveyard were in order as usual, despite having been photographed countless times.

Brontë Parsonage 

Haworth Church taken from near Tabitha Aykroyd's (The Brontë family servant) grave

The graveyard path with The Old School the Brontës taught in and Patrick Brontë's sexton John Brown's House. 

The Path in the graveyard next to Brontë Parsonage 

My walk was taken from Paul Hannon's book of walks "Haworth & Bronte Country"

Monday, 8 July 2019

Still Life With Cherries

Time for a seasonal theme still life, and my first subject this summer is cherries. I thought of creating a cherries still life previous years and wanted to make sure it does happen this year. As I was in the process of composing an image in my mind an uncanny thing happened: I came across a cherry tree while walking my dog in the neighbourhood that I didn't know was there. I had already bought some rather expensive cherries from the local supermarket, but they were quite dark in colour. I fancied some bright red cherries as I love splashes of real red in my photos, and the cherries on this tree were just the colour I was looking for. In truth, the ones I could reach were not quite ripe yet and therefore not of the best red, but it didn't matter as I could adjust the colour in photo editing; and including various shades of red seemed to me adding more interest to the image, anyway. I kept the props simple and went for my favoured dark, rustic country cottage look. It is an iPhone image edited in the Rookie Cam and Snapseed apps, experimenting with vignetting blur and colder background tones.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

An English Garden, Newark, Nottinghamshire

Just a few photos of my dear in-laws' beautiful garden, taken on our recent visit, and a couple of us happy family who got to enjoy it together.