Rule of Thirds anybody?

You know when you look at other peoples photos and you think ‘oh That’s Nice!’ And then you start to actually ‘read’ the photograph and you know they have nailed it, well have you ever wondered ‘Why’? Yes you probably have and then read it a little more and figured out why its so good, your not stupid! So this is for the ‘new to photography’ person and just so i can show off my photograph ūüėČ

Rule of Thirds, probably one of the first things we learn in photography other than learning to take the lens cap off first! The art of breaking up your image into bite sized chunks three across and three down, like this.

Formby Beach Pathway to the Sea

The¬†rule of thirds¬†is the most well-known composition guideline. It helps draw the viewer’s eye into the image and places more emphasis on the subject. Ideally, the empty space that’s left¬†should¬†be in the direction the subject is looking or heading into and as you can see from my photograph, this draws your eye down the sand dune towards the water and creates a balanced image. You might like to activate the grid on the view finder of your camera to start with, many have it in the settings. Don’t forget you have the option to crop an image to position the important subject where you find it most pleasing. The Digital Photography School has a great tutorial which goes, step by step, through the Rule of Thirds and is well worth a read.

If you have made it through the babble this far, thank you! I would just like to tell you about the Visual Artists Association (VAA) International Open Exhibition which runs from April 12th 2021 until June 30th 2021, it goes live at 6pm. You will get the chance to see the work of over 250 international artists, myself included. I do hope you will click the link and brows through the art, there is a ‘Peoples Choice’ award where you can vote on your favorite piece. The photograph above ‘Formby Beach Pathway to the Sea’ was chosen to be included. Many thanks for making it this far, stay safe and wear a mask!

https://visual-artists.org/

Peoples Choice Award

The VAA International Open Exhibition has a PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD!

Will you vote for my photograph please? Its easy enough to do all you need to do is go to the website here and scroll down the page to the Peoples Choice Awards vote button, click the button and follow the page 3/4’s of the way down to KAREN LAWRENCE and click on my name, easy. It will also mean a lot to me, i am growing my ‘Tribe’ slowly, why not become a member and follow me on facebook, instagram linkedin. Be the first to know what i’m doing, where i’m going, what i’m publishing, where i’m selling, become a ‘Spike’ and share my journey and perhaps pick up a new piece of art on the way. Thank you.

Formby Beach, pathway to the sea.

VAA Online Art Exhibition

I finally found out which photograph has been accepted into the VAA Online Art Exhibition! Its only one of my most favorite images and just happens to hang on my living room wall! ‘Formby beach, pathway to the sea’. Taken back in 2012/3 i think, on a days respite with my husband Chris when we just got into our car and drove, something we love to do. We were wandering the sand dunes and happened on a gap down to the beach, so we went down it. It was quite a steep incline which was easy to get down and we were able to explore the beach taking numerous photos as we went. Upon closer inspection we realised the tide was actually coming in and quite quickly too so there was a bit of a mad dash back to where we had entered the beach, only to find it was easier to go down than it was to get up. Especially when your laughing at each other, it was literally two steps forward, one step back as the sand shifted under our feet but we made it in the end and i managed to capture this lovely image.

Formby Beach Pathway to the Sea

The exhibition is online and free, you just need to register here for your ticket and you should receive updates etc until the start of the exhibition on April 12th until June 30th 2021. All the work is for sale and is an opportunity to purchase art from up and coming artists and photographers.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-vaa-international-online-spring-exhibition-tickets-148780200585

Saying that final Goodbye

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.

Wanderings with Chris…… a mad dash down to the beach

Driving back from Birkenhead on Tuesday evening i turned to my husband, my partner in crime and coo’d over another beautiful sunset. With a weary sigh i wished i had the energy to get my camera and go down to West Kirby and take photos of the beautiful sunset that was in front of us.
I haven’t taken any sunset photographs in over 12 months, we live in a delightful coastal town and the sunsets are glorious so you can get a bit sunset’ed out and i had made the decision not to take anymore pictures for at least a year.
We have had some lovely weather over Easter and i had watched some glorious colours in the evening sky’s and this evening i finally gave in and made my mind up to drag my camera down to the beach.
We got home, i grabbed my bag and we dashed off to West Kirby beach, a mere 3 minutes away and as i had an idea for my photographs we set off at a trot or as much of a trot that you can manage with a leg that doesn’t work properly, to where i wanted to be. Have you noticed how quickly the sun sets when you have a sore leg, are walking on sand and have to walk far enough to get your shot? I didn’t think i was going to be in time but i was! I collapsed onto the sand, luckily in the correct direction to make the shot and as happens sometimes my first shot was the best.

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I wanted something different from the usual ball of colour and scarlet sky so i concentrated on the spartina grass and kept the colour well in the background, i think it works really well and out of the five photos i thought the best i just love the very first i took. What do you think?

Wanderings with Chris…………. and Lizzy and Meg to the Black Pearl

Bonfire night, gun powder, treason and plot. I find it kind of strange and exciting at the same time that we as a nation celebrate the plot to blow up the houses of parliament in the same fashion as those who tried to destroy them. I look forward every year to the beauty of fireworks, the noise, percussion, colour and the fact that i will be among so many other people all looking to the heavens, waiting, wondering what the next explosion will bring. Some years i don’t get to see and feel the excitement because i cant get away from looking after family, the kids wont go or i remember too late, this year i have made sure i remember and if the kids wont go, well they are old enough to stay at home while Chris and i go and ohh and ahh at the pretty fireworks together. For a couple of years the Captain and his crew have been building a sculpture of the Black Pearl (Pirates of the Caribbean) on the sands in New Brighton, we have watched it develop, get washed away in storms, develop again, we have chatted to the Captain and his crew, photographed them and generally enjoyed the way The Pearl has become such a lovely tourist attraction. We discovered, thanks to the power of facebook, that there was going to be an informal fireworks display at The Pearl on the 5th and decided we had to go, fireworks, a walk, nigh time adventures for anyone wanting to come with us, a photographic expedition in the dark, heaven! Middle kid (A) doesn’t like the percussion of the fireworks,( the best bit ) so it was just Lizzy and her friend Meg accompanying us. So we (the nesh adults) wrapped up warm and headed out. When we arrived at The Pearl we were quite surprised at just how many people had come out, several hundred people in my estimation had come down to join in the fun. Some had brought their own fireworks and added them to the crew’s bundle so we had quite a show. I took the opportunity to take some photographs, of course, it’s what i do, i photographed the sculpture decked in fairy lights and children, Liverpool’s sky line and of course the fireworks, i had such fun!

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I am very pleased with the way my photos have come out, the colours are wonderful and i am pleased with myself for having the knowledge, experience and remembering it, putting it all together and actually coming away with 30+ usable images. I wonder what the guy who was stood by me with his camera, tripod and very long lens got, i used my kit lens for all of my shots and have only had to crop one image and that was because of an adjustment in camera raw’s lens correction. I wonder if with modern technology we have lost the ability to just stand and watch, it seemed that nearly everyone had a phone aimed at the sky, watching through a screen what was taking place in front of their noses, only the very young, running around and having fun watched first hand what was going on which was a shame. I think it is very important that at times you just stand and watch and record the event in your mind not on a memory card, after all that is how happy memories are made.

A chance find on youtube and Photomatix Pro is my new toy.

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