Tag Archives: photography

Processing

Snowy sky from my living room window today.

Snowy sky from my living room window today.

Well, I am finally coming down from my time away – six days caring for my mother, and then my annual weekend writing retreat.  There is so much to deal with, so many emotions to process.  Its been a very intense time, with not much time for myself or my creativity.  The only thing I have really been able to do is to keep taking photographs.  I’m so glad I did, though.  It gave me such pleasure to be able to capture a few moments, which I’d like to share with you:

john hallettDuring my time at my mother’s home, her hairdresser visited.  John Hallett has been cutting my mum’s hair for a mind-boggling 41 years.  He used to cut mine when I was little.  It was wonderful to see him again, and a privilege to watch him work.

We managed to get a couple of walks on the beach nearby when my mother was feeling better.  Even in the bitter wind, it did us both good.

Sunbeams over the Isle of Wight

Sunbeams over the Isle of Wight

You see trees like this on every coastline.  This one is on Stokes Bay, near Portsmouth.

You see trees like this on every coastline. This one is on Stokes Bay, near Portsmouth.

The view from the train station at Portsmouth on the way home was pretty impressive too:

HMS Warrior, the Royal Navy's first iron-clad warship, seen from Portsmouth Harbour train station.

HMS Warrior, the Royal Navy’s first iron-clad warship, seen from Portsmouth Harbour train station.

I managed to settle to a bit of writing on my retreat, in spite of all the emotional upheaval.  This is a shot of my desk during the weekend:

My desk at our 2015 writers retreat.

My desk at our 2015 writers retreat.

And this was the sky outside our house yesterday morning.  Freezing cold, but sunny and beautiful.  I’m so grateful to live where I do.

Freezing cold, but great weather!

Freezing cold, but great weather!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little photo interlude.  On Friday, I’ll have a new Quickfic for you, crafted on my writing retreat!  Yay!  I got something done!

Happy Creating,

EF

 

 

 

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Inspiration (Wednesday): Patterns

Gathering Storm off the Suffolk coast.

Gathering Storm off the Suffolk coast.

Early this summer, I discovered Instagram.

Wow.

I love it.  I can make pictures now that look  how I want them to look.  Moody and intense.  Landscapes and architecture, life’s little details and self portraits. I’m an addict.

I get my interest in photography from my father, who was a passionate photographer.  In the fifties, he developed his own pictures in the bathroom of the flat he shared with my mother near Trent Bridge in Nottingham.  His little snaps of my siblings as babies, taken in black and white, developed into a fascination with seacapes that filled the weekends later in his life, when I tramped along the beach with him and his camera, looking for shots.

Southwold Harbour

Southwold Harbour

When I began my Art ‘A’ level after his death, my mother bought me a basic 35mm SLR camera, and I took lots of shots with black and white film, learning to develop them in the college dark room.  That was how I grew to share my father’s addiction for monochrome images.

He would have loved Instagram!

Sunset over Cambridge

Sunset over Cambridge

Looking back through the shots I have taken this summer, I’ve noticed a pattern developing:  a penchant for skies.

I love clouds.  The pictures I have been taking have brought this habit of staring at the sky to my own concrete notice.  I’m amazed to discover just how often I do it!

Sometimes, you have to look back at the backlog of work you have created in order to see the things you are interested in, the subjects that keep popping up in your work.

To a certain extent, lots of pictures of clouds are not really a surprise.  I live in Norfolk, known in the UK for it’s ‘Big Skies’.  The landscape here is fairly flat (although not as flat as Noel Coward would have had us believe), so there are plenty of chances to witness panoramic cloudscapes.  Living out in the countryside helps too.

Instagram has proved a great tool for me, not least because it has helped me see this interest in clouds as a new creative avenue.  I want to be taking lots more interesting skies in the future, and I’m saving up for a new camera, something a little more sophisticated than my trusty Samsung camera phone (love it though I do).

Gathering Storm at Sunset, Overstrand.

Gathering Storm at Sunset, Overstrand.

This week, why not take time to look back over your recent creative endeavours, and see if you can pick out any patterns or themes in your work.  Are you writing songs in a particular key?  Are you finding yourself drawn to crochet in fluffy alpaca wool instead of ordinary DK?  Are your paintings going through a ‘Blue’ period, like Picasso’s did?

And if you can pick out some new themes, how can you pursue and expand them?

(Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more of my photographic adventures!)

Happy Creating,

EF

 

Inspiration Monday: A Day Out

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Warning:  This post has lots of pictures!

Its a lesson my mother taught me.  After my father died when I was 13, she used to take me away.  Just for the day.  Somewhere.  She would ring the school and say I was sick and we would run away somewhere.  Salisbury.  Portsmouth.  Winchester.  Even the Isle of Wight.  Somewhere that was within a day’s drive.  Anywhere that was not home, not full of memories and sadness.  It recharged our batteries, gave us the time to talk about what we had lost, and grow closer.  I have very fond memories of those stolen days.

Running away is a lesson that I have brought into my adult life.  Now, when things get a bit much, when we need to recharge, escape, or just rememebr who we are, Husband and I run away.  This weekend, we ran away to Aldeburgh in Suffolk, which is about an hour’s drive from home.  It is the town famous for its links with composer Benjamin Britten, and the music festival he set up.  It is also the seat of a number of literary festivals, and the setting for MR James’s haunting ghost story, ‘A Warning to the Curious’.  Fishing vessels work from the shingle shore, and you can buy fish straight from the boats, as well as smoked from the new smokehouse. (I recommend their smoked prawns with garlic dip, eaten straight from the packet on the beach, yum!)

Fisherman's shack where you can buy excellent fish caught fresh that morning, or crab, lobster and various local shellfish in season.

Fisherman’s shack where you can buy excellent fish caught fresh that morning, or crab, lobster and various local shellfish in season.

Since I am trying to get back into the swing of taking photographs again, I took my camera, and here are some of the results.  I hope they get your creative juices flowing.

And if you are lacking in Inspiration this week, why not plan a day to run away and just be.

Fishing boats hauled up ont he shingle shore.

Fishing boats hauled up on the shingle shore.  Is that the figure of Willam Ager running along the strand?

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Dead seedheads by the coastal path.

Old fishing boat on the shingle in the mist.

Old fishing boat on the shingle in the mist.

The Scallop by Maggie Hambling, a local Suffolk-based artist.

The Scallop by Maggie Hambling, a local Suffolk-based artist.

The Scallop is a memorial to composer Benjamin Britten, who lived in Aldeburgh.  The words are from his opera, Peter Grimes.

The Scallop is a memorial to composer Benjamin Britten, who lived in Aldeburgh. The words are from his opera, Peter Grimes:  ‘I hear those voices that will not be drowned.’  (Are these also the voices of creativity, calling us?)

Approached from the Thorpeness (north) side, the Scallop is said to look like a knight riding a charger.

Approached from the Thorpeness side, the Scallop is said to look like a knight riding a charger.

Utterly mad cow wallpaper found in The Crown Inn, Framlongham on the way home!

Utterly mad cow wallpaper found in The Crown Inn, Framlingham on the way home!

Happy Creating!   EF