Friday, 31 December 2010

Day 354: Razor Wire At Dusk

They really don't want you getting in.  I kinda wish I had some clever way to link this to the old year and the new year but I'm really not coming up with much.  Maybe 2011 will be more pleasant than razor wire!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Day 353: Over Misty Edinburgh And Beyond

This is not the most exciting landscape ever (though it helps if you click on the photo to view it large).  What frustrates me at times about photography is the difficulty in conveying the beauty you see with your eyes.  There is such different perspective through human eyes and through a lens, so where I saw beautifully lit, snowy hills in Fife and an amazing swathe of fog over the Firth of Forth and coming inland through Edinburgh towards me, the camera has flattened it all.  My eyes also have far better exposure control and I could see the foreground as being lighter than this, without the snowy hills being over exposed.  It's still cool in a moody, grey way I think, but it doesn't do justice to what I saw.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Day 352: Waiting For The Tide

Me and my friend ran away to North Berwick again today, desperately hoping for Mr Whippy ice cream.  This was probably a foolish notion for a cold misty day at the end of December, and needless to say we were disappointed.  We had fun anyway.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Day 351: Cobbled Reflection

I like it when you are doing ordinary boring things in an ordinary boring way and you see something like this.  Something a little out of the ordinary that looks good to you that 95% of the people around you will not see or appreciate.  I didn't, perhaps, capture it in a way that shows just what I saw but it was a grey day again and I was working with pretty low light.  It certainly shows the concept.
On a cheerier note we sang Happy Birthday to Wrinkles tonight.  He is now 24!  His birthday is the 25th but we always have problems getting the time to sing to him and with the fact that we all eat too much turkey and don't have room for cake!  I think he appreciates having more focus on him though, so he doesn't mind having a fuss made of him after the actual event, so long as it's not too long afterwards!  Happy Birthday Wrinkles!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Day 350: Aaron Is Crackers

It turns out that Aaron remembers pulling crackers last year and loving it.  The moment the box of crackers was out the bag he'd
grabbed it and run off with it (he moved too fast to get all of him in the field of view ;-p).  The cellophane was still on but he got through that easy enough, pulled out a cracker and pulled it himself, one end under paw and the other end in his mouth.  He doesn't even mind the bang!  It has to be said though, he isn't that bothered over the items inside.  Granny tried putting a paper hat on his head and I'm sure you can guess what happened to that! 

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Day 349: Chimp

I love taking photos of the chimps but it is not easy.  Inside it is only really possible when they are up high near the big lights, otherwise the light levels are too low.  And even then, you are looking at very low shutter speeds usually so getting a sharp photo isn't that easy.  This one isn't perfect but it's not bad.  I still love it because I love the way the light makes the facial expression so dramatic and enigmatic.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Day 348: Frozen River

It doesn't quite look that way but the river was completely frozen over.  I do wish it had snowed for Christmas but at least it was all still mostly white.  It was a shame it was so overcast and grey though!  I had a good day and lots of yummy food and lovely presents.  And it was nice to get out for a walk in the afternoon with my dad :-)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Day 347: Otter Pups

Aren't they cute?!  This is the first time I've seen them and although they are about 2/3 the size of the adults they still have that babyish look about them.  And while baby animals are cute, I have discovered that they are 10 times cuter in snow!  This is not a perfect shot but it was too cute to pass up.  They were lined up because there was an idiot yelling and they all looked at him, got closer and closer together, then backed up and arched their backs before mum and dad led them off down the hill.  People really irritate me.  I got quite a few good photos today - or photos that I liked anyway.
I really should get back in the habit of putting my favourite photos on DeviantArt but this blog really has taken over everything.  Not for too much longer though!  I do have one other photo to show from today though.  I took a photo of the moon tonight and there seems to be something crossing the disk so I thought I would share it with everyone and see if anyone can tell me what it is ;-)  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Day 346: Escape Artist

Not really what I expected to find in the middle of the German Market but you get all sorts in Edinburgh!  This guy was good fun - absolutely mental and I rather approved of his use of innuendo so I laughed a lot.  And he made it out the straitjacket!  I liked this photo best because it has a good view of him trying to get out, but also because I liked the faces of the people in the background - out of focus and therefore not stealing focus from him, but you can still make out their expressions as they watch in amusement.  I am very sorry I've forgotten his name and can't properly sing his praises but thank you very much for giving me a good laugh!  :-)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Day 345: Garra Rufa Fish

This is a rather horrible photo of my toes but the fish are really cool!  It was my friend's birthday today and this, amongst other things, is what she wanted to do.  I was rather dubious but hey, they're cute little fishes - what could be so bad?  They tickle.  A lot.  It took a while but I did pretty much get used to it unless they were in the arch of my foot at which point I twitched a bit and told them to get off!  They didn't really listen though ;-)  I should have been organised and had one of my cameras in my hand to take photos but I wasn't really thinking so it was Marvin to the rescue!  I think he did a pretty good job, especially since he not only took the photo but this is a cropped version and he cropped it too!  Yay Marvin!  :-)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Day 344: Snowy Silhouette

I very much appreciated the blue sky, the sunshine and the sparkling snow.  I love snowy landscapes.  It's a shame the trees have lost their snow really but it does make them look like striking silhouettes.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Day 343: Sunset Over The River

I'm not sure there's much to say about this - I just like it.  I'm always pleased when there's a nice sunset.  I was lucky it coincided with walking back over the bridge too as I think this is a nice foreground for it.  And I like the clouds still catching the sunlight.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Day 342: Snowy Trees

It was a bit dark really but I preferred a photo outside to in.  I liked the mostly undisturbed snow around the trees.  It always feels like such a shame when you have to walk through untouched snow.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Day 341: Exceptional Value Robin

This is what I call cheating.  The original photo (below, right) is just nasty.  Even this isn't great, especially since I think it looks processed (it won't help that I don't really know what I'm doing) but I
wanted to play with it since it seemed like an amusing photo to me.  I don't think I have made it better really - I think it just requires a better photo, which is how I usually feel about processing images.  I want to get it right on the camera.  Today it wasn't really possible - it was dark, there was minimal lighting and my flash isn't good enough to cope with the distance involved.  It's a shame it's not better, but that's pretty much how it goes with photography.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Day 340: Skating Penguin

My friend and my dad both wanted to go ice skating at the outdoor rink in Princes Street Gardens.  I refused because the last time I went I got an incredibly sore back from being so tense about falling over.  So I sent them ice skating together - problem solved!  I stood at the side and tried taking photos of them pulling faces and all the rest, but it wasn't too easy getting clear shots of them with no one skating in front of them, and it was dark so I had flash issues.  It was a challenge though!  This is the penguin they commandeered towards the end of the session.  They are meant for kids to hold onto, presumably to stop them falling quite so much, and since there were no kids left on the ice they decided to have a go.  Being meant for kids though, my dad and friend were too tall for the penguin and the penguin just had a look on it's face as if to say "What did I do to deserve this?"

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Day 339: Blue Fish

I am so impressed with this photo!  I was in the kids department of a book shop with small boy and was admiring the fish while he and his mum looked at books.  I decided to try taking some photos just in case but I really didn't expect to achieve anything.  This was using the compact camera on macro and it took a bit of doing to avoid the reflection of the camera in the glass (you can just see a wee bit above the fish, next to his fin) but taadaaaa!  Very pleased with the picture of the cool blue fishy :-)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Day 338: Prize

I really didn't have much inspiration or motivation today - can you tell?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Day 337: Fifty Pence

I like this design although I can't tell you why exactly.  It's just a bit different and cool.  And I quite like writing.  And it catches the light nicely!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Day 336: Skandi Arctic

Unfortunately this was the best I could do leaning out the multi storey car park.  They really don't think about people wanting to get out to the railings and lean out to look at ships when they build those things.  It is a very nice looking ship though and it's red paint glows a lovely colour in the sunlight.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Day 335: Spiky Sunset

I took photos of the sunset but the problem with sunsets is that they need help to be interesting and pretty.  Either you need some well placed cloud or you need something in the foreground to set against the colour.  Cue some well placed burs.  Actually, it probably would have been better had there been cloud and more colour up into the sky for the background but I like this anyway.  I have also
included the photo I was originally using for today before I remembered the bur photo and unceremoniously dumped the other option.  I liked the shape of the leaf frozen onto the snowy ice and I like the faint hint of sunlight that makes the ice look a bit translucent and gives the photo some colour which has been seriously lacking since an awful lot of photos seem to occur in shade because the sun won't get high enough.  Anyway, I felt bad about ditching it so here it is :-)

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Day 334: Taste Of Chaos

I think it happens quite regularly that I pick the shot that maybe isn't actually the best, but is the coolest.  I liked this one a lot because of the fist from the crowd mirroring that of the uhhh, guy? on the screen.  I had a good time tonight.  I had never heard of Halestorm before but I really enjoyed them so I shall need to look them up.  The other bands were good too but I mostly went for Papa Roach who were, in my biased opinion, best.  Disturbed definitely had the best backdrop though.  That thing was awesome and I really liked trying to take photos of it.  It was actually reasonably easy to take photos of since it gave out so much light.  At times it gave out too much light and the biggest problem was switching exposures quick enough (I only took my compact camera - no way am I taking my precious SLR to a gig!).  I think it would be pretty cool to be a gig photographer.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Day 333: Pensive Puppy

I am always glad when Aaron turns up, even more so when I have no photos for the day.  He's a challenge to photograph because he rarely sits still and if you're on the floor with him he wants to come and sit in your lap.  But give him something to chew on and he's a little easier.  I think I have an awful lot of photos of Aaron like this on the floor chewing his Kong but at least his expression is usually different :-)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Day 332: Sunset Over Snowy Beaches

I always find it incredible when there is snow on the beach or the beach is frozen.  It seems unnatural when there is liquid right next to it, but of course freezing the sea over would be no mean feat.  The sun was setting as we set off for our walk but we enjoyed it anyway - it's nice to get some fresh air and the beach is always one of my favourite places to be.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Day 331: Geese On Ice

I got quite a few nice photos of these geese on the ice in the middle of the river today.  It took me a long time to choose just one to use and I hope I chose the right one!  It's possibly not absolutely pinprick sharp but the water was so calm and beautifully reflective, the geese have good poses and the sunlight is just lovely.  There's also a wee moor hen in there - can you spot it?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Day 330: Blue Tit At Dusk

I really should have done this earlier in the day but I like the photo anyway.  Entirely blue photos are completely underrated!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Day 329: Snowy Night

Snowy, snowy night.  And this shot makes it look like there is a spaceship hiding behind the trees and the garages.  I'm kind of impressed too - this was taken with the compact and no tripod.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Day 328: Spade

This is kind of an odd picture and quite honestly I can't give you a proper thought process behind it.  I didn't set it up or consciously think to myself "Hey, you know what would be cool?  A spade... and... some ICE!"  I was just looking around while I was out in the front garden trying to catch the Robin being wintry and Christmas cardish (so they pose all year round but it turns out they won't sit still on some sunlit snow - figures) and I was enjoying the small amount of sunshine that was coming in between the houses and wishing it was lighting something interesting as I am really quite fed up with winter's short day, sun-won't-get-above-the-houses induced, almost constant shade.  And there was the spade all wet and drippy and sunshiny and reflective and with an almost perfect gathering of frozen snow at the bottom.  It sort of perfectly sums up today: there were people digging the snow everywhere - from paths and pavements, driveways and roads - there is some amount of thawing (even though we are still under a blanket of white it is a much thinner blanket of white - like one foot rather than 2 in some places! :-p) and the base layer is about 3 inches or so of solid ice.  Somehow, today, that sunlit spade looked glorious to me.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Day 327: Action Brambling

Action Brambling to the rescue!  Well that's the pose I thought it looked like he had taken up.  Since we had the Bramblings coming in and around the garden because of the cold and the snow I thought I would try and get a decent photo of them.  It didn't really work out very well.  Our back garden doesn't really get much sunlight in winter and you can tell.  At least it is very recognisably a picture of a male Brambling.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Day 326: Lego Snowman

The Lego knights decided they wanted to build a snowman!  In the end they settled upon stealing the wizard's hat and making a snow wizard (there is a hint of a snow beard there if you look carefully).  I think they all look rather amused and pleased with themselves!  This could have gone slightly better.  I should have done it earlier in the day (that seems to be an every day occurrence) and I had problems moulding the snow into something that small which is why it turned into a snow beast.  I don't know if that was just the type of snow, or if I was just not doing a very good job, but it was so cold I didn't really want to hang around and try over and over again.  Would be cool to do it properly sometime.  I actually used the wee Lego shovel to try and mold the snow beast though - that amused me  :-)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Day 325: The Other Side Of The Fence

I didn't quite get this right.  It could really do with having been exposed for a good bit longer but at the time I was busy thinking about how bright orange it was turning out, not remembering that that didn't matter because there was no way I'd show orange photos and I would greyscale it to hide the sodium nastiness.  Greyscaling it made it look really dark though.  I supposed that's appropriate since it was taken at night but more detail would have been nice.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Day 324: Icicles

I loved our icicles - they were sooooo cool!  They're also very pretty and we've just never really had as many, or as big as this, ever.  Our roof doesn't hold snow well - when it starts snowing it's a constant series of avalanches until there's nothing up there.  It does build up and sit on the edge and over the gutter though and this is how we got our icicles.  I thought they
framed the front door really well and it was like the entrance to a grotto or something (view out the front door on the right).  My dad decided they might be dangerous and took them down though.  I dunno - death by icicle?  At least it's an interesting way to go.  Better than "died in her sleep".  I think it would have been worth it!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 323: Snowy Wilderness

It's amazing how much snow we have.  Me and my friend decided to go exploring in it and it made everything so much more interesting and exciting.  I love that quality of snow - the ability to completely transform a landscape and make it a different and more magical place.  It also made walking
rather harder than usual and we didn't get nearly as far as I had expected before we decided we were tired and going back.  We got a full range of weather too - grey and cloudy when we set off (as above), sunny, and snowing!  My main problem with the snow is I feel bad for all the animals struggling to keep warm and find food.  I always wondered what rabbits did in the snow - if they just dug through the snow to the grass beneath and ate frozen grass
but it seems they eat berries too!  I couldn't initially believe that he carried on eating so close to us but the poor thing must have been really hungry.  I hope he got enough to eat.  The day ended with a nice sunset which is always welcome.  I think it makes things better if the sun goes down on a good note :-)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Day 322: Poised For Action

This is a great pose.  The birds were all in the garden to make use of the seed feeders again today.  I'm glad they realise that we give them an easy meal when it's horrible weather and they need it most.  You definitely see patterns in their appearance - on the nicest days you won't see many at all, on the horrible days they are there in huge numbers and, on the worst days, they can even forgo all the fighting.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Day 321: Snowy Sunset

Today was one of those days of many photos so I included several.  Above is my favourite one - it was so beautiful coming back down the road from my brother's house.  My dad pulled into a lay by so I could get photos and we only managed that because something had already been in the lay by and created a set of tyre tracks to follow.  I suspect whatever
it was was rather higher than our car though as we kinda surfed our way in and out.  There's a layer of fog covering Edinburgh and making it look like the Pentland Hills are floating, and it all just glowed.  The dog (right) was loving the snow, possibly a little more than me.  He was tearing round the garden like a complete maniac, bouncing and then getting his nose in and snow plowing through it, he kept snorting it up his nose and sneezing, eating it and then coughing (sometimes I wonder how bright he is ;-p).  The last photo (below) is a snow plow on the road ahead of us once we were down
the hill and into the fog from the sunset photo.  I still had my camera from taking the sunset photos so I took photos through the windscreen of the car which was fun.  I have some better ones of a snow plow in the sunshine on a bigger road but I liked how creepy this one was and it shows the contrast between up the hill in the sunshine and down the hill in the fog.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Day 320: RR-1

I made this for an event my rocketry club were having to commemorate the launch of RR-1 (Research Rocket 1) 75 years ago.  John Stewart, the founder of the Paisley Rocketeers, was a pioneer in rocketry and RR-1 was his first rocket.  Mine is, unfortunately, not a completely faithful copy as the original had 7 penny fireworks motors in it.  Clusters are notoriously difficult to fly as lighting all motors simultaneously is near impossible, as John found out.
The other reason mine isn't entirely faithful is that I didn't have time to build a pyro rocket.  I opted instead for a film canister rocket which I thought would be easier and quicker to build.  It's also something a little bit different.  The only time I have ever done film canister rockets it has just been with a bit of paper wrapped round it and a wee flat paper nose cone and some floppy fins for show (like this) - hardly a proper rocket.  This time there was the challenge of making it look like a proper rocket and make it sturdy enough that it wouldn't just fall to bits when I was trying to get the lid on and off the canister to refuel.  You will have seen the progress through the week from my scale drawings, to the superglue fiasco and the squid.  It is certainly not how I imagined it, not least because I had to cut away part of the fins so the lid could go on and off the film canister!  But it worked.  My dad and I didn't get to the launch event because driving several hours away in  snow didn't seem like a good idea, but we had our own mini launch in the front garden with our new favourite propellant - Alka Seltzer and
water!  The launch was pretty good actually and I was impressed with the height the rocket achieved.  I figured there was every chance it wouldn't get off the ground because there wasn't enough power in it and the film canister wasn't sitting on the ground.  The launch photos aren't good though - you can barely see a tiny wee smudge.  My dad had taken the initial photos of mine and then we swapped so I could have a go and then it all went wrong.  We got 2 flights out of it and then, in the process of trying to get the lid back on my dad shoved the film canister inside the rocket, pushing the straws up and the nose cone off.  A rocket with a body the same size as the film canister may have been fine but the awkward shape of my RR-1 replica wasn't really strong enough.
I never did explain that the straws were there to fill the gap between the canister and the points on the hexagonal tube so I could glue it all together.  They also went up into the nose cone to hold it in place too since I was a prat and forgot to put tabs on it to glue inside the tube ;-)  Overall I was pleased with my rocket.  It flew, it pretty much looked the part despite the fins and the gluey bits that spoiled the paintwork and I had fun making it.  Sometimes making things is a chore, but other times it is something that gives you an enormous sense of achievement, even if it is just gluing some bits of card together.  And I am the sort of person who likes building things and then discovering glue, sanding sealer and spray paint all over her hands, remembering why it's there and smiling.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Day 319: Snow!

We started the day with barely a dusting (on the left) and at the end of the day it's coming down heavily! (above)  I am always surprised when it actually snows and lies and in any quantity.  But it is so nice when it does because it makes the world such a different place.  A really pretty place.  Today has been busy.  I was looking after small boy this afternoon, and his Lego men.
I had to hold a Jedi because he didn't want to be near the computer - this was after he had been held up to the web cam and had his photo taken in numerous different ways and with different effects... I don't blame the poor guy!  He ended up stood next to another Lego figure on the table and it seriously looks like he is horrified by the other's appearance.  This I can understand since it very much looks to me like Darth Vader having an identity crisis!  I have also been to see my brother's new house which is where the snow photo was taken.  And now I have a rocket to finish for tomorrow which currently looks like a squid.  I think it will be a long night!