Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Happy New 2021!



For the end of year post I have chosen some recent images from two places that mean everything to me - two images from Haworth, Brontë Country, my spiritual home and two images I took this Christmas time in our actual Leeds home - our little townhouse we like to call "cottage".



Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth




Lodge Street, Haworth




My computer room window




G and Midge having a nap on Christmas day



2020 has been Annus Horribilis, and I am sure most of us are looking forward to its end. Here is to a much brighter, healthier, happier and more prosperous 2021!


~ Happy New Year! ~








 



  

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Christmas 2020

 


"Music I lovebut never strain
Could kindle raptures so divine,
So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
And rouse this pensive heart of mine
As that we hear on Christmas morn,
Upon the wintry breezes borne.

Though Darkness still her empire keep,
And hours must pass, ere morning break;
From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
That music kindly bids us wake:
It calls us, with an angel's voice,
To wake, and worship, and rejoice;

To greet with joy the glorious morn,
Which angels welcomed long ago,
When our redeeming Lord was born,
To bring the light of Heaven below;
The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
And rescue Earth from Death and Hell."

~Anne Brontë~




A Window on Haworth Main Street, Brontë Country as seen on 19/12/20 with added snow effect.





The Modo & Co Shop Window on Haworth Main Street, Brontë Country as seen on 19/12/20





Merry Christmas!

 
I know a lot of us are struggling one way or another at the moment, but I sincerely hope Christmas brings you a moment of much needed respite, and that everyone can find it in their hearts to feel love, peace and joy of the festive season.














Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Main Street, Haworth, Brontë Country, Winter 2018

 


"The winter wind is loud and wild,

Come close to me, my darling child;

Forsake thy books, and mateless play;

And while the night is gathering grey,

We'll talk its pensive hours away;"

~Emily Jane Brontë~







Etsy Shop







Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Penistone Hill, Haworth, Brontë Country, Autumn 2016

 


"Come, sit down on this sunny stone;

'Tis wintry light o'er flowerless moors

But sit - for we are all alone

And clear expand heaven's breathless shores."

~ Emily Jane Brontë ~






Etsy Shop 





Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Penistone Hill, Haworth, Brontë Country, Autumn 2015

 


"I'll walk where my own nature would be

leading: It vexes me to choose another

guide: Where the grey flocks in ferny

glens are feeding; Where the wild wind 

blows on the mountain-side."

~Emily Jane Brontë~









Etsy Shop






Wednesday, 11 November 2020

November Still Life With Persimmon Fruit

 


"Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."

~Samuel Butler~








Etsy Shop





Thursday, 5 November 2020

Golden Hour in Gotts Park, West Leeds, 4 Nov 2020

 


Peering from some high

window, at the gold of 

November sunset and 

feeling that if day has to 

become night, this is a

beautiful way.

~E.E. Cummings~











Etsy Shop





Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Monday, 26 October 2020

Chevin Forest Park, Otley, West Yorkshire, Oct/2020


"Bright yellow, red, and orange,

The leaves come down in hosts;

The trees are Indian princes,

But soon they'll turn to ghosts:"

~William Allingham: "Robin Readbreast~















Etsy Shop



 

                                                                                      

                                                                

                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, 16 October 2020

Oakwell Hall And Garden, West Yorkshire, October 2020

October is such a beautiful and colourful month, so I am trying to visit all the wonderful nature spots I am lucky to live in the vicinity of. 

Yesterday I drove to Oakwell Hall which is a very special place to me being a Brontëite. Victorian author Charlotte Brontë visited here in 1830s when it was a school and she featured the beautiful Elizabethan manor house in her last novel "Shirley" under the name "Fieldhead".

The hall was closed as it is only open at weekends, but the gorgeous garden is open every day, and I had an enormous pleasure strolling around and enjoying the sheer magic autumn has been weaving here. Apart from leaves turning incredible colours, holly bushes boasting myriads of their little red berries etc, there was still a lot of colourful flowers around, especially deep pink sedum. Some amazing looking seed heads also held my attention, particularly those of giant thistles. 






My previous posts on Oakwell Hall can be accessed by typing "oakwell hall" in the search box on the right hand side of this page.




Etsy Shop




 

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Still Life With Haworth (Brontë Country) Moorland Heather





  

Etsy Shop 

                                                                                      
 




Saturday, 26 September 2020

Blue And Green Hydrangea Still Life

 





                                                             





Monday, 21 September 2020

A Few Timeless Images From Haworth, Brontë Country

On my recent visit to Haworth I took a few random shots I felt would make for some inspired artistic work. Here are the results.


I don't think I will ever tire of taking photos of the picturesque, olde worlde Haworth Main Street, but by now, I look at the new image and often think it is just yet another photo of the street and how can I make it different from others. I tried monochrome editing which lends itself well to the character of the street and was quite happy to go for the sepia look, created with a Lightroom preset.



I've always wanted to create a dark and ominous image of Top Withens, the ruin high up on Stanbury Moor the location of which is thought to be the inspiration for the location of the house in Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights". I managed to get a distant shot with quite a good perspective with my long zoom lens; there was no detail in the sky in the original which was perfect for adding a moody and dramatic sky overlay in Photoshop; as a final touch, I also added a bird brush.       


Upper Ponden Barn which is a hunter's lodge now. This building always catches my eye with its bleak top of the hill location on the way to Ponden Kirk, and I have to photograph it every time. The light was changing every few seconds; I particularly liked this lighting with clouds partially obscuring the sun and gently illuminating the grass making the barn and the tree stand out from both the sky and the foreground. 


Cold Knoll Farm, Stanbury. A picturesque farm I usually pass on the way back to Haworth. I have photographed it before, of course, but this is my first monochrome presentation of it. 



Haworth Moor grouse. I met this beautiful bird on my way to Top Withens. A walker coming down from opposite direction had told me there were some grouse around, but I didn't expect to see one from such a close distance. It lingered around for quite a while treating me not only to a close encounter, but also to its fascinating call. I included a couple of video clips of this lovely Red Grouse in my iMovie that can be found in this post.



Detail from Brontë Parsonage Museum, found in the "Children's Study". The room is usually associated with Emily and it is also the room where the young Brontë siblings acted out their plays and wrote in their handmade "little books". The Parsonage is a perpetual source of inspiration for me in more than one way; from my photography point of view, I always hope to come away with at least one new image every time I visit.


Prints of my images are available in my new Etsy shop.




Saturday, 12 September 2020

iMovie: Haworth, Brontë Country, September 2020

My new video comes as highlights through a selection of photographs and video clips of my recent, extremely enjoyable two night stay at my beloved Haworth in Brontë Country.  

A very special thing that happened was that my dear photographer friends, Helen and George Coupe came from Lancaster to meet me and it was such a pleasure to spend quality time with them chatting, walking, taking photos and having a meal together.  

The places featured in the video are Ponden Kirk and Stanbury Moor, Top Withens and Haworth Moor, Penistone Hill Country Park and Brontë Parsonage Museum.

The purple moorland heather, which was my main point of interest on this particular visit, was still very beautiful, but it had already started to go over. 

The best thing about the video is probably my encounter with a grouse. What a beautiful and interesting bird it is! I really don't understand how people can go out and shoot them for fun. I'd never seen a grouse from such a close distance or heard its voice before. It made my day to see it and watch it.                                                   

                                                                         









Saturday, 29 August 2020

August 2020 - Nature And Me Vlog

Now I have very much taken to creating videos on my iPhone I decided to pair my videography with my love and appreciation of nature by creating a short seasonal movie for each month of the year. Each of the movies will consist of a selection of video clips on nature around me which I took that month. The movies, which I will share from my new YouTube channel, will be accompanied by some still images also taken during the same month. 

I am pleased I start my new project with the month of August, the last summer month, characterized by a sheer riot of colour in nature. There is an abundance of  great variety of flowers out there, and berries and autumn fruit are starting to ripen. It is certainly one of my favourite months of the year.

Most of the still images were taken in Golden Acre Park, a park in north Leeds I am lucky to live not far from. I love going there at any time of year, but August is an absolute must as the colourful tended gardens are at their very best. 




















Monday, 24 August 2020

iMovie: Haworth, Brontë Country, July 2020, Day IV

Today's post is about the video of the fourth and final day of my recent stay in Haworth, Brontë Country. I'd saved Ponden Kirk, my most loved and cherished place, to visit last. I started my walk from Ponden Reservoir, and after a quick catch up with my dear friends Julie and Steve at Ponden Hall, I took the familiar track past their home leading up onto the moors and to Ponden Kirk. It was a great day both for walking and for photography, the moors looking characteristically broody and remote under the overcast, somewhat menacing sky, and the heather that just started turning purple waving in the wind. Ponden Kirk, a gritstone rock set on the top of Ponden Clough hillside, is mentioned in Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights" as Penistone Crag, and it is the spot where the protagonist lovers Cathy and Heathcliff meet. The views from the rock are breathtaking, for me the most beautiful and impressive I have ever seen. I feel a strong bond with this magical place and have it on my mind every day; it is my mental sanctuary. I continued my walk along the elevated path on the southern side of Ponden Clough valley. The path with vast expanses of heather on one side and amazing views over Ponden Clough on the other is my favourite path of all in Brontë Country. It leads to the hamlet of Buckley Green and then to Stanbury, a picturesque village a mile and a half northwest of Haworth. I like Stanbury very much; it is usually where I stop for a rest and some refreshment on my walks around Haworth, and it was the case on this occasion, too. From Stanbury I walked the usual route back to Haworth - via Lower Laithe Reservoir and Cemetery Road with more wonderful panoramic views, this time over Worth Valley. 

I posted a few photos from this walk here: https://vesnaarmstrong.blogspot.com/2020/07/around-ponden-haworth-bronte-country.html







Sunday, 16 August 2020

iMovie: Chatsworth House Gardens, July 2020

Here is my new video which is about a beautiful day out walking around Chatsworth House Gardens during our recent short break in Derbyshire, Peak district with our dear friends. The House, which was a filming location for the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride And Prejudice", was still closed due to Covid 19, but there was so much to see and enjoy in the wonderful 105 acre garden that it was more than enough to make our day fulfilled.



Photos from the trip can be seen here







Thursday, 13 August 2020

First New Addition to My New Etsy Shop

An edited version of the image I shared in this post. It shows River Wye at Bakewell in Derbyshire, where we recently spent a long weekend. Bakewell is a beautiful and picturesque small town in the Peak District; it is one of many attractive, full of character places in the area that are well worth a visit. The image fits in well with the rest of the images I have selected for print sale in my brand new Etsy shop: 










 

Thursday, 6 August 2020

New Etsy Shop









I am very excited and pleased to announce that I have finally opened an Etsy shop to sell fine art prints of my photographic work. Here is a link:


I have put in a lot of work setting up the shop; have learned a lot about selling and buying on Etsy, and I know there is still a lot to learn. The next thing is to start promoting my shop; an important thing I have not done yet is tagging my listings so buyers can find my work in their search. 

Thanks to some lovely and supportive friends I have already made two sales!!

I am excited and optimistic about the project, and just a little nervous about the starting period. On the whole, I am glad I am ready to give a go to something I have been thinking about and intending to do for a long time.












Monday, 3 August 2020

iMovie: Haworth, Brontë Country, July 2020, Day III

On the third day of my last month's stay in Haworth I walked to Top Withens, the iconic Brontë related location; the farmhouse ruin the location of which was the inspiration for the location of the Wuthering Heights house, the home of Cathy and Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's novel. I wanted to visit Ponden Kirk on the same day - another landmark from the novel, but the paths from the south and west seemed invisible and the terrain rather hazardous looking, so I decided to leave Ponden Kirk for the following (last) day. Walking from Top Withens in the north-west direction I could see Alcomden Stones in the distance, so I made my way towards them. It was an easy, clear and not very long path, and I was pleased to have visited the stones even though I didn't plan to do so. I walked back to Top Withens and returned to Haworth via Brontë Bridge and Falls and Cemetery Road.
It was a pleasant, not too sunny day, with spells of some beautiful lighting. I could not have been happier anywhere else other than those bleak, but beautiful moors. It was my first time at Top Withens this year, and after a few months of Covid 19 lockdown it was so refreshing, reviving and energizing to be in the remote Brontë Country. 
My videography learning is progressing slowly, but steadily, and with just a little bit of frustration. I managed to create another iMovie which I'm sharing here together with some of the still images I took on the day in among many video clips.