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Monday, 20 December 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I have been stuck inside for a few days with a cold so I had time to try out Scavenger Hunt Sunday this week. Since I've been ill, I havn't really been outside so a few of these are off the Christmas tree!

1. Winter

I took this during the week when walking past Somerset House. During winter there is a skating rink in the square and it is like the London equivalent of Rockefeller centre, it is THE place to skate over Christmas. My university campus is literally the building next door and this year King's College London also bought part of Somerset House.

2. Black and white with selective colouring

Minty playing with his brightly coloured ball. It used to squeak but he chewed a hole and pulled the squeak out so it had been sewn back up.

3. The wind

This was the only wind theme I could find indoors. A decoration of  a Scottish bag pipe player which I bought in Edinburgh one year. I guess these need a lot of wind to play!

4. Framed

Counting down, only 5 days to go now . . . 

5. Remember when . . .

I used to play the saxophone. From age 12 to 18 I played in the school jazz band and orchestra. I swore I would keep it up at university but alas it is currently in the attic. Maybe when I graduate this summer I will have the time to take it up again. I remember spotting this angel decoration not long after I had started playing.

Take a look at all the other hunts over at Ramblings and Photos.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Winter

The theme over at The Paper Mama this week is Winter. I chose this photo of my furry baby, Minty. I love the specks of snow on his ears and the snow-covered ivy which he is sniffing. Check out all the great winter entries here!

The Paper Mama

Monday, 13 December 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Pet Faces

This week's theme over at I Heart Faces is pets. I took this photo 2 weeks ago in our first big snowfall. This is my dog Minty who is a greyhound cross i.e. a lurcher. He is a bit smaller and a bit stockier than a regular greyhound but he has all the typical greyhound characteristics.

He was a rescue dog and has never raced but he runs in incredibly accurate circuits, even though he only has one eye! You can see in the photo the two lines in front of him where he has run round once already and he literally follows the same circuit round and round. He is FAST, you really wouldn't want to be in the way of his circuit! He doesn't need long walks, just his burst of exercise each day and he's happy.

He loves the snow, gets very excited and runs faster than ever! Check out all the other gorgeous pets over at I Heart Faces!

Monday, 6 December 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Contest: Self Portrait

I took this picture when out walking in the first snowfall of the year, this week. My old point and shoot used to always make me look bleach white with bright orange hair. My new DSLR, however, gives me rosy cheeks and dark auburn hair which is what I have in real life!

Check out all the great self-portrait entries over at I Heart Faces

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Photo Freak: Sepia Contest

I took this photo outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the summer. It is a good example of a photo which really benefits from being converted to sepia. It looks more retro than the original version. Pretzels on street corners - to me, that's the classic smell of New York, mmm I could eat one right now!

Have a look at all the great Sepia entries over at Photo Freak

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Blessings

Here in the UK, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving but I certainly have a lot to be thankful for. I chose this photo which I took 2 days ago down the country lane during our first big snowfall this winter. I am particularly thankful for having a happy and healthy furry baby. As you can see, my dog Minty does not have a left eye. It had to be removed a few months back due to a tumour. I am thankful that:

1. The tumour was benign
2. He has adapted really well to having just 1 eye. Occasionally he bumps into an object he hasn't seen and I have to throw balls towards the correct side but otherwise you'd never know.
3. We decided to adopt a rescue dog. At the beginning, he was hard work to train but he has given back more than we could ever have imagined.

Be sure to have a look at all the other Blessings over at The Paper Mama:

The Paper Mama

Sweet Success

Imagine my excitement when I checked back at The Paper Mama to see the winners for the Black and White photo challenge and my gorgeous Minty was there at number 2! My eyes nearly popped out of my head! Here is what the guest judge, Tezz, said:

"Sweet Minty captured my heart early on, this week...I couldn’t get this image out of my mind; his soulful eyes, looking slightly ashamed yet playful at the same makes me think he’s just got a ”talking to” for playing with the tree, but he just wants to go right back to it again!  A fun holiday photo, taken from a great point of view...and, that added twinkle is like the ”cherry on top” :D"

I have entered only 4 challeneges since getting a new DSLR a few weeks ago. The funny thing was this photo was taken a year ago with my old point and shoot and it came out awful! I really wish I had discovered photo editing software earlier rather than just accepting dire photos but that is the great thing about the blogging community, you learn so much from reading other people's blogs and looking at their photos.

I secretly had a little aim to get a top 5 listing in a photo challenge over the course of this year, when I intend to start a 365 project, so I feel very encouraged now but there is SO much more to learn, bring it on!

Thanks Tez, you have made my day!

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Paper Mama: 2010 Holiday Card Challenge

This picture was taken on my birthday last December, one week before Christmas. I was originally going to zoom in and snap the couple with the dog who you can see in the distance but realised the shadows of me and my dog were rather lovely!

I nearly didn't make it home for my birthday because there was a record amount of snow and the UK transport system grinds to a halt even with moderate amounts. My 1 1/4hr train journey from London took 3 hours. We had our first sprinkling of the year 2 days ago but a lot more is predicted this week. Bring it on!

My previous post has a few more "cards" that I made but didn't make the final cut!

Check out all the festive entries at The Paper Mama.

The Paper Mama

Decisions, decisions

Today I have been playing around editing photos for the Paper Mama 2010 Holiday Card Challenge. I have a few favourites which I thought I would post before I link up my chosen card.

This was so much fun! Next year I might actually get some photos printed as cards. For this year, I've already bought charity cards. Now I just have to choose my favourite . . .

I Heart Faces Photo Contest: Scenic B&W

This photo is of my Dad standing in front of Herstmonceux Observatory. I often walk my dog on the fields surrounding the telescopes. We live in rural Sussex in the UK and it is really strange walking through the woods and then suddenly these telescopes appear, it's like something out of a sci-fi movie!

Interestingly, the famous Royal Greenwich Observatory was moved here after the 2nd world war because of the light and pollution in London. In 1967, the giant Isaac Newton telescope was moved to the site and was used for world class astronomical research.

For those of you who are British, the 6 beeps on the BBC news were originally broadcast from the atomic clocks at this site. Now the BBC generates them themselves.

In 1979, the Isaac Newton telescope was moved and is now in La Palma, Canary Islands, on top of an extinct volcano. About 15 years ago the observatory reopened as an educational science centre and was renovated. To me, the telescopes and site still look rather run down but I've never actually been inside.

History lesson over! Check out all the other great scenic B&Ws at I Heart Faces!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge: Black and White

This week's theme over at The Paper Mama is Black and White. I took this photo of my furry baby, Minty, last Christmas just after we had put up the tree. Originally it didn't come out very well but I've had fun editing it today. 

Minty can never leave the tree alone, always sniffing the ball balls, leaving wet nose marks on them and eating the dropped needles. He knows there are always presents for him under the tree and he gets so excited when he opens them (with a little help from me)! 

He will have an extra special Christmas this year as he had to have his left eye removed a few months back so he will be thoroughly spoilt!

Check out all the other great entries at The Paper Mama.

The Paper Mama

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Walking at dusk

Yesterday I went for an evening walk down the country lanes with my dog. The sun had very nearly set and the sky was a beautiful mix of blue and orange. When I uploaded the photos, I played around with the fixing options available on windows (I don't yet have photoshop elements). Some were beautiful originally but I had fun chaning the sky colours a bit.

There are lots of things technically wrong with some of the photos, including the blurryness of the leaves photo but I thought that actually added to its winter charm!

Flowers On Saturday *10*

Check out all the great flower shots at Blueberry Craft and Hobby Time.

Bluberry craft and hobby time

Monday, 22 November 2010

I Heart Faces Photo Contest: Paper

This is my first ever entry into an I Heart Faces photo contest. The title is "Dissertation Boredom" which is what I am fighting against at the moment, working on my dissertation in my last year of university.

Have a look at all the great entries at I Heart Faces

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Cornelius in the country

My Canon camera now has a name - Cornelius. This name makes me think of sophistication, wisdom, quality. Perhaps this is due to my memory of the character Cornelius from Babar who was the wisest of all the elephants. He is in blue below:

I am home at my parents house in Sussex for the weekend, so it is a chance to try out Cornelius on natural landscapes. I am very much playing around with the settings at the moment so a lots of shots were awful but there were a few decent ones. Firstly some berry tastic pictures:

The dome in the background in the photo above is a disused telescope in an old science observatory.

A few of my Dad and greyhound cross Minty, who had to have his left eye removed a few months ago due to a benign growth.

And lastly a few pictures of what is left of autumn. Everything was looking very wintery today and the beautiful autumn light has gone, it's quite dull and grey but I guess I'll just have ot learn how to overcome that!

I am quite pleased with my first proper try out of Cornelius, we have so much to learn together!