No one can say that their lives are not influenced by their parents, it is guaranteed that your Dad will influence you in a different way than your Mum will. I am lucky to have had a very close relationship with my parents, we have understood each other the majority of the time. Yes there were times we argued, i was a teenager once. Somehow I became the daughter who was nominated as the caring daughter, I was the one who was left to look after my parents, I didn’t really mind , you don’t do you they’re your parents after all. When my Dad died my husband, son and I moved into the family home to look after Mum and over 20+ years we lived together through arguments, peaceful times, births, deaths and cancer. I was there for Mum 24/7 and when she was diagnosed with cancer, Multiple Myaloma, i became her carer. We were able to laugh through much of her battle, she was lucky with her Chemo she didn’t loose her hair or suffer sickness, we had the same sense of humour but at the end she did suffer terribly and when she finally passed away peacefully early one December morning my sister and I were able to say a peaceful and loving goodbye. I held her hand and told her how much I loved her and she was gone. Her funeral was a family affair, we were all able to catch up with each other, to talk and reminisce and wonder about the strong woman she was. After Dad died she restarted her education and ultimately gained a Ba hons in the History of Art and Irish Studies, a 2:2 no less! Last night with my loving family and my sister and her girls, we said the final goodbye when we scattered Mums ashes along the beach where we used to go in the summer, near to where Dad worked so he could pick us up in the late afternoon. We said goodbye just as the sun set in a riot of glorious colours and walking back from the beach i felt the weight of caring lift from my shoulders, when we went into our home i could no longer feel Mums presence, finally I am free to start living my life for myself, with the closing of the door a new stage of my life has begun and I hope i finally get to live it how I want not around others needs. Goodbye Mum, hello me.
Several weeks ago i planned a visit to Dunham Massey to coincide with the autumn colours and the deer rut. The first day we had earmarked we couldn’t go, the day we did go we got to about a mile from our junction turn off and traffic came to a sudden stop due to a serious road traffic accident. It was a nice day and not to late on in the morning so we were not worried too much. Turns out there had been a guy knocked off his motor cycle so it was pretty bad. (but i didn’t let that stop me and i managed to get a few shots of the stalled traffic for potential stock photos.)
When we finally arrived at the park we arranged to go on a guided walk around the park in the hope of seeing the deer and learning some of the history of the place. Our guide John was fabulous, really knowledgeable and nice too. We walked with him for about an hour and didn’t see any deer at all! When we started to walk back through the park we did finally come across some young bucks and Doe’s hiding in the long grass. I managed to get a few photos without disturbing them, which can’t be said for this pair who got up right into the face of this buck. I had my camera ready just in case they were chased.
As summer has come to an end and Autumn rears its head we have started to put our garden to bed for another year. I have enjoyed our garden this summer, it had good colour, shape and scents, the roses were lovely and are still in bloom though the flowers are smaller now. And into the garden have crept ‘the spiders’ every where you look there is a web of one size or another. Every day it is a torment to walk up the garden to the bin, spider webs strung across the path from the shed to the tree to the washing line and there in the middle at face height, ‘the spider’ waits to snag you and make you scream like a girl! I have watched them grow fat on flies, starting as tiny things now they are huge monsters, fat and hairy ready to crawl on the unwary. I can see the beauty in their homes, those lacy webs sparkling in the morning dew but oh heavens what lurks in the middle to some is beauty but to me is just one big ugly splat! I am now waiting for the gardener to come and finish pruning and pulling, planting and tidying because I AM NOT GOING OUT THERE WHILE ITS FULL OF SPIDERS no how no way, full stop! I have managed, with a body guard, to photograph these eight legged scary arachnids, i hope you enjoy the pictures i certainly didn’t really enjoy taking them 😉
Opening the curtains to a lovely misty day i decided that i would drag my poor husband out for a walk and a photographic expedition but where to go? I don’t know why but i usually head down to the nearest body of water, must be my fishing family roots, though this day i didn’t want water, i wanted landscape, trees, anything as long as it was land based. So i decided to drag Chris and his sore leg to Thurstaston Hill. It is a dog walkers heaven so you have to be careful where you walk and there are always people there and we were not disappointed. We only realised later that the children we encountered legitimately had the day off for the voting and not because they were skipping school. Chris is a great writer, very talented and he also likes to take the odd photo, so he wandered around snapping away with the camera on his phone and spouting soppy nonsense as usual. I wandered around looking and i must admit, moaning about the lack of inspiration. It took a while but eventually i started to ‘see’ and i think i managed to get some nice images. The mist hung around nearly all morning and being so high up when we looked out over the Wirral it was wreathed in mist.
Thurstaston has its own ‘Rock’ in Thors Rock. We had a wander around there, through the trees and heather and wondered at the beautiful vista of ‘The Wirral’. I think i am pleased with my photographs, i like the views over the trees. Its actually looking over to Wales but you cant see past the mist. I hope you like looking at where i live, it really is a beautiful place.
So we have had the longest day and it is getting darker earlier as we head into winter. Did i get my ultimate autumnal photograph? Well in a word NO! I have looked and looked, there have been some beautiful trees here on the Wirral but they were in totally the wrong places. I would drive along the road and see lovely colour, yellow, gold, brown, red but at the side of a boring road or in someones front garden where it made an uninspiring image. So i will have to be content with the images i have managed to get and wait 12 months for next autumn. I gave it a good shot and tried different places and these are what i think are my best.
There are others i could choose but i like these, especially the leaves. I am now going to turn my camera lens towards Winter images, so bring on the cold, frosty mornings, oh yes and the snow!
I stole Chris away from his writing again on Sunday and took him off in the quest to find autumn. We have come to the conclusion that its late, going to be wishy washy green and gold with only a hint of red. So i am just going to have to keep my eyes open, my camera ready and shoot everything that takes my eye in my quest to find the beautiful colours of autumn.
We went up to Thermopylae Pass Birkenhead, the house and land was owned by the Vyner family, for some reason they later moved the house to Royden Park, then we went on to Bidston Hill. We had incredible light on Sunday, there was a light or not so light mist in places and as the sun burnt it off it created these amazing shafts of light and if you caught it at the right angle, well it looks amazing. I am happy with the photos i got out of this trip plus i really enjoyed the time out with Chris and no children! but i am still looking for the image i have in my head. I hope i get it this year, if not then it will just have to be filed away for the future.
Sunday and Chris and I are off driving around Wirral on a lovely sunny day, we wanted to find the flavors of Autumn, the colour, the crispness, the floaty leaves, the beautiful reflections. Cough cough, can someone tell the trees in Wirral its time!
We went to Rabymere, its owned by the Angling Society people so you cant walk around it and anyway the trees were still green, we went to Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve, green trees, we went to Portsunlight in Bromborough, better but not great, we went to Caldy (mega rich big houses, i could tell you its where my Dad grew up but the wrong impression would be gained. He did grow up there but was the gardeners son 😉 ) We went to Arrowe Park which was also ok. BUT not what i wanted. Am i too early for autumnal colour? Will it happen or is it going to be a ‘damp squib’, come on trees put on your Autumnal shades, Canada and America will not outdo us! anyway i can’t afford to go there just now. I think i will leave it a little longer and try again, you never know it may be we are just having a late Autumn.
If that is so, one thing, why are the trees alongside the roads changing colour? Pollution?
On Monday i dragged my poor husband Chris (clawfish) down to New Brighton. Why? Because we had the most fantastic high tide at mid day combined with high winds, sunshine and beautiful cloudy sky’s. I have recently stumbled upon a youtube video of a guy teaching a group of photographers how to make HDR photos in Photomatix Pro. I have been using photoshop and the HDR tool in that program, however i was not getting the results that i wanted. I wanted outstanding images, i know you need great images to start with and i knew i could get those but how would i get the finished image that i craved. And then along comes BHphotovideopro and shows me in a short video what i needed to do. So taking my poor husband, my Nikon D3100, which i have just discovered does not take bracketed exposures :(, and my tripod we headed off down to Fort Perch lighthouse knowing we would come home with some great images. What we didnt realise was that we would also come home covered in sand, froth from the water and with totally windswept hair.(Well me not Chris, he is a bit follicly challenged, sorry Chris.) I was so excited to load the pictures onto my laptop. I shot in raw as i believe this is the optimum for your images, opened them in Photoshop Bridge and was really pleased at my results. I chose the three images i needed, loaded them into Photomatix Pro and let it do its thing. A couple of the images came out, well wonky but I got six images that i am so pleased with, i know they need some work in Photoshop but until i figure what to do with them, then they are the best HDR images i own. I have shared them on facebook and twitter and had a lot of views and likes, one thing bothers the hell out of me though, why doesn’t anyone comment on them! How do you learn if no one tells you their opinions on what you produce. I would love to hear what they think and feel i am grown up enough not to be gutted when the idiot tells me he can do better than me, lol. So, if you have a comment, can give me constructive advice, i will appreciate it, give it a go and if it works, great. If you dont like my work tough! Its my style, my take on the genre and really i am the only one who has to be proud of what i produce. Take a look at the images, feast your eyes on the wonder of New Brighton beach and please, let me know what you think. Thanks. x