My Sunday Photo: 25 September 2016

Flowers and Seed PodsI found these flowers while out on a short walk yesterday (Saturday.) I’m not even sure what they are, but what struck me was the way this picture is symbolic of the turn of the seasons; there are still a few flowers around, but there are seed heads and fruits, too. Here, they sit side by side, just for now.

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My Sunday Photo: 18 September 2016

Nature Reserve at Old CollieryThis past week was a very busy one for me, but I did get a moment or two to visit a favourite haunt of mine, which I find is a good ‘thinking’ place. It is a nature reserve on the site of an old colliery. Scenes like this one seem to symbolise the calm superiority of nature over man. I wonder if, just sometimes, at midnight, you might hear the clanking of wheels and the hiss of steam?

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My Sunday Photo: 11 September 2016

Fallen Fuchsia FlowerOK… So today (Saturday) was the day of the local flower show. This caught my eye as I stepped out of my car. I’ve given you the whole image, as I took it – this isn’t cropped. I think the negative space adds impact. Somehow, what I saw seemed strangely symbolic of modern life; one solitary fallen,but beautiful bloom left abandoned in the hustle and bustle of setting up the exhibits. A strange poignancy – what do you think?

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My Sunday Photo: 4 September 2016

Apples in Morning SunshineOne of the fascinating parts of learning (by experience) about photography is finding out what a difference the direction and character of light makes to the way we see any object. Early yesterday (Saturday) morning, I went outdoors into strong sunlight. This was coming from a low angle, and the Sun in a clear sky is almost a point source of light. now, this is often horrible for portraits, but it gives punch to pictures of many ordinary things like these apples.
I really am the last person to talk when it comes to getting up when I don’t have to, but morning light really is amazing!

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My Sunday Photo: 28 August 2016

Snowdonia from the coastThis picture was taken looking inland from a lovely beach. Wales has its own brand of scenic beauty; you can actually bathe in the sea, and look at scenery like this. Dunes and sea grasses make incredible studies in shape and line, and sunlight dances in patches through the clouds that caress the hilltops. It is not a country to visit if you are in a hurry!

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My Sunday Photo: 21 August 2016

Large ThistleI only found this plant today. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. The lower, rounded, part of the flower heads varied between about 60 and 80 millimetres, and they weren’t particularly prickly. In fact, there were no spikes on these plants at all. Shortly after I came across these flowers, I found out that they were planted for the benefit of bees and butterflies – an idea I love!

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My Sunday Photo: 14 August 2016

Rose - Gruss an AachenThis picture was taken a day or two back, once again in my father’s garden. I like roses to be like this; you’ll notice these blooms aren’t perfect, according to the commercial notion of perfection. But they seem to just shout nature and floral beauty, and they have a delicate, but very present, scent. Only yesterday, I saw roses for sale, that had no scent, and looked almost artificial!

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My Sunday Photo: 7 August 2016

Ant Stuck in ResinSome situations, as we all know, are easier to get into than out of. This ant evidently found out too late. If you’ve seen those pictures of insects encased in amber (or even the real thing) then you can imagine how such things occurred, a very long time ago.
I found this scene on the side of a pine tree in my garden. The resin is seeping from a small side branch that was recently cut off. There were, in fact, many more ants running about, and they seemed to keep well clear of the resin!

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#BML16: A Few Thoughts…

I know I’m late to this party, but I just want to grab a few minutes to put down, as I say, a few thoughts. It was great to be there again, even though there were a number of differences from the event last year, which was the first time I attended.
The most obvious difference was that the event was fitted into just one day, a Saturday. Views on this varied a lot. I know that it made attendance less workable for some, and more workable for others, the main issue being the impact on the necessary travel and accommodation for attendees. Some, like myself, could manage without staying away from home – a significant cost saving, if you were paying your own expenses. On the other hand, many would have needed to stay away for two nights in order to attend for one long day. Also, I felt this arrangement left less time for chatting to each other!
Another difference, though, and a very positive one, which I think was partly due to the one day arrangement, was that many more babies (and ‘on the way’ babies!) were present. I thought this was particularly lovely, considering that a lot of blogging is about parenting and related issues.
As before (last year) the content of each part of the event was excellent. I’d like to mention one thing specifically, namely, the address to us all from Anne-Marie Cockburn, who spoke with amazing bravery and openness about the death of her 15-year-old daughter, Martha, as a result of taking the drug Ecstasy (This included reading extracts from her book.) To listen was an extremely moving and eye-opening experience.
I’m going to get other small negative points out of the way: I didn’t find the range of commercial sponsors and contributors quite as exciting as last year (that may be just me.) Also, there were just a few moments when I didn’t feel quite as welcome as I’d have liked. (Again, I may be doing people an injustice.)
I’m very happy to say, though, that for by far the most part of the time I felt very much appreciated and accepted, and it was great to meet several bloggers I already knew, and many more whom I’d met ‘on line’ since last year, and could now greet face to face!
I have just one more important point to make, in similar vein to how I felt last year. I shall begin by adding a photo.
Railway Station RoofYou’re probably wondering what the roof of St. Pancras Station has got to do with BML16 and blogging. Well, materially, very little, apart from the fact that this photo was taken on the same day. But this sight on the way home got me thinking, from a symbolic and figurative point of view. It’s like this: the whole structure is very strong, functional yet beautiful, often taken for granted, and a great many people were involved in its design and construction.
Now, how like the blogosphere, as we call the world of blogging, is that? You see, I especially commend this to the many bloggers, some known to me, who feel their place in this scheme of things is not very significant. Maybe you were present at this kind of event for the first time, and, after the award ceremony, were left thinking “Well, that’s me put well and truly in my place!” You know, in one way, you’re right. You were put in your place. And your place, dear blogger, is a special one, just for you.

That place is right here. You matter.

That’s right. Alongside those winners of all the awards, many great people I feel honoured to know, you belong. Just like each and every piece of steel in that amazing roof, it would make a difference if you were missing. So, if you came, we are glad you did. If you haven’t done so yet, we’d love to see you next time.

Thank you for reading. Here’s to #BML17.

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My Sunday Photo: 31 July 2016

Negative Space: SummerThis week, I wanted something that said something about my day on Saturday. Well, where I was, on 30 July 2016, nothing amazing happened. But, if we look at nature and the world around us, life need never be boring. So in this shot, I used the concept of ‘negative space’ to symbolise summer – the top branch of an apple tree, reaching into a vast clear sky, with just a few smeary clouds at high altitude. Looking up at cloudscapes of all kinds is a marvellous way to relax, yet sharpen your power of observation at the same time!
‘Filling the frame’ – the opposite photo technique – is also one I use and love a lot, but the ‘message’ is different, yes?

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That Firefly Phil bloke, still knocking out photography and other stuff.