December 31st, 2014
Like most of us, I cannot believe how fast 2014 has flown by, and yet at midnight tonight we will be saying goodbye to the past year, and ringing in the new.
It has been a quiet year for me photography-wise. A trip home to England to visit my family in the summer was most certainly the highlight of my year, and one I hope I am able to repeat next summer.
There really is little comparison to the beauty of Britain; the rolling hills, the greenery everywhere you look, and the familiarity of all things home, make my trips back all that more special.
My love of photography is refreshed whenever I go home; driving around the beautiful countryside no matter if it's rain or shine - there is always something to capture the attention of my lens.
This year also brought a scary reminder to ALWAYS back-up my files somewhere safe, after my laptop crashed and I lost a sickeningly high number of precious images that I hadn't yet gotten around to saving to my extra hard drive!
Fortunately, I was able to scavenge around my family for copies of any images that I had sent to them, so all was not completely lost, and my photos of the UK are 90% intact.
In 2015, I hope to motivate myself and get out more to shoot with my beloved camera. While Texas isn't as green or compact as the UK is, there are still plenty of interesting, unique, and downright weird things to be taking photos of!
So here's to 2015 ~ may it bring us happiness, good health, prosperity, and joy.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
April 19th, 2012
I have a new little project going on, folks! I was looking through my images recently and it suddenly occurred to me that many of my photographs would look pretty fantastic as greetings cards! Yes, yes, I know that FAA can produce greetings cards from the images we upload, but only BLANK ones.
What about genre-specific ones? Huh??!
So I got to work, first selecting images that would be appropriate for that particular greetings - snow scenes for Christmas, flowers for birthdays and what not, and I now have a whole list of galleries related solely to specific occasions!
I am also including inspirational and motivational cards which will eventually have words and poems written by myself, but that will take time (and brain power!) so for now I am just listing a few examples of how these cards will look, using famous prayers and quotes instead.
ALL of my cards are customizable to the individual - just choose one of the images that you like most from any of my galleries, and if it's not already available as a specific occasion card (ie birthday for nephew, or bon voyage to niece), then let me know what you would like the front to say, and I will create it for you!
All for no extra cost than the price of the card itself.
Not bad, eh?!
So keep 'em peeled because I'm adding new pieces daily, and if you're feeling particularly generous, perhaps you could share my gallery with your friends and family!
Cia for now!
March 26th, 2012
Well, the last few weeks have been interesting to say the least, and not necessarily in a good way, although I am determined to remain positive and see the good in life, and continue to pursue my photography dream wherever it may take me!
So, what's been happening.... well, while recovering from a nasty bout of acute bronchitis (kindly accompanied by a head cold), I left a full glass of high pulp orange juice right next to my laptop and yes, you guessed it... the cat knocked it right over my keyboard.
I have spent the last week or so painstakingly removing bits of dried orange from under each key as best as I could, although now, my keys seem to have a mind of their own. They're still sticky when I press them, and don't always 'take' unless I give 'em a good whack. Sigh. It's made it very interesting trying to type out tags and titles and what not.
Aaaaanyway, before I even had chance to fully recover from THAT lurgy, I develop strep throat. OK so not properly diagnosed but it's been the sore throat from hell. Neck aching, fever, headache, another cold... you get the idea.
And in between all of this, I'm frantically trying to get out to shoot photos of the Texas Bluebonnets before they wither in the coming heat!
God bless my husband Woody, is all I can say. He has been an angel, offering to carry my equipment for me, changing out the lenses on my camera, and being patient when I am silently screaming in frustration because the sun is too bright or the shadows are too dark.
Must be such a joy to be married to me! ;O)
We did have a nice day at the Japanese tea gardens though, and managed to get some very pretty photos depicting Spring.
So here's to hoping you enjoy the shots, and of course, any questions or requests that you may have, please don't hesitate in contacting me!
Ciao for now!
March 12th, 2012
Today was simply beautiful; warm, sunny with clear blue skies, so I decided to take a drive out to FM 3009 to see what I could find. I hadn't expected to see many wildflowers yet, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw row upon row of beautiful blue, yellow and pink flowers all along the sides of the road. It's somewhat difficult to drive and scene-spot at the same time (my apologies to the person who's heart almost gave out when I accidentally veered towards their lane whilst admiring Bluebonnets on the opposite side of the road!!), but never-the-less, I found a fantastic, hidden little spot just down a narrow lane that led to some old farm buildings.
I just stood admiring the scene for a few moments, finding myself laughing out loud at how much the Bluebonnets resembled a field of Smurfs with their blue bodies and little white 'hats'!
I even managed to get caught trespassing on someone's private property as I leaned over a wall to try and get some shots of rusting old farm machinery! Fortunately, the lady who's property it was found it endearing when she heard my English accent, and drove away laughing at my embarrassment. (Could have been worse, I guess - this is Texas after all, so it wouldn't have surprised me if someone appeared waving a shotgun in my direction, lol).
Anyway, I managed to get some pretty shots of the brand new spring flowers - I've uploaded a couple already on here and will work on processing the rest tomorrow!
I'll leave with a reminder of one of my favourite mantras: "Always stop to smell the flowers (and listen to the music!)"
March 10th, 2012
I came to San Antonio, Texas, in October 2007, after meeting my (now) husband on an internet social network site in 2001 (Nooooo, not a dating site!!) and it was shortly after arriving here that my interest in photography was truly ignited. Having been born and raised in the Midlands of England, I had never really opened my eyes to the beauty right there on my doorstep, viewing the world like any other non-photography minded person - "Oh yeah, pretty sunset I suppose"! - and going about my daily life with blinkers on.
Stepping off that plane, though, into the steaming, oppressive October heat of Texas, my vision seemed to clear (while my sinuses filled up!) and I began to really take a wide-eyed look around me.
I remember the first thing I actually noticed while walking with my husband. It was a group of strange looking black birds making even stranger hissing noises, and I inquired as to what they were. Turns out, I'd met my first grackle!
We don't have those in the UK, you see. Crows, jackdoors, ravens, yes - no grackles, so my attention was immediately taken by this whole new concept; "Oh wow, they have different wildlife over here! Cool!!!"
Now, at this point, my photography had been your average kid-type shots of a seagull 3 miles down the beach or an aeroplane that looked like a streak of dirt on a white sky with a fluffy cloud if I was lucky, all taken on my little 110mm camera that cost about 19.99 GBP from Boots the Chemist and had no other settings or functions than the shutter button! After that was my Olympus 3MP which was pretty much used solely for taking photographs of my Ebay listings, and then when I realised that it was pretty rubbish, I took to borrowing my father-in-law's digital camera, which wasn't much better!
And then, on my 32nd birthday, my husband bought me a lovely Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS which I completely fell in love with. It had a 12x zoom, 7.5 MP and had lots of lovely functions to work with.
And so started my love of macro and wildlife photography!
Imagine my delight the first time I captured a pretty good close-up of a hummingbird? Or caught the "Oh God, I hate Mondays!" face on a squirrel perched in the tree outside my window?
I was HOOKED!
And my photography has gone from there. Last year (2011) I treated myself to a CANON Rebel T3 and a telephoto lens, tripod, various filters and a number of editing software programmes.
My dream had begun.
And so, my friends, as I work on building my portfolio, getting in as much practice as is humanely possible, I hope that you'll stay with me on this road towards turning a passionate hobby into something prosperous.
I can quite honestly say that I have never put my heart into anything as deeply as I have with my photography, and I can only hope that this shows in my images.
Please fasten your seat-belts and enjoy the ride!
March 10th, 2012
Anyone would think I was back home in England what with all this wet stuff falling from the sky! What a lovely treat though to have this much rain after at least 4 years of drought here in South-Central Texas. The Edwards Aquifer was at an all-time low over last summer, but now that we've had a good amount of rain, let's hope that this coming summer won't be as thirsty for all the plants and wild animals out there!
So what does a photographer do on rainy days?
Well, in the middle of a particular heavy downpour this afternoon (combined with deafening thunder and bright flashes of lightning!), I could be found sitting in my car at the local park with my camera poking out of my window, trying to get some decent shots of early spring flowers nearby.
Good job no one was around or they might think I was a weirdo, hahahahah.
Did I get anything good?
Well, not in the floral sense, no, lol, but I did snap a cute little sparrow perched on a leafless Mimosa branch, braving the elements to chirp away at her husband who was poking his head out of a bush!
So you see? Even when the weather is against you, there's always SOMEthing to catch your eye.... and your shutter!