Sunday, 15 January 2012

Day 365

I made this origami butterfly for today's final shot.

It's only six weeks until I fly away myself, back home to the UK, after spending seven years in New Zealand. Although I know it's the right decision, it's going to be heart-wrenching to leave behind the sweet little feline soul who's been my constant companion for the last six years, the home that Iain and I spent over two years building, and all the wonderful friends I've made since I've lived here.

This project has meant so much more to me than simply a way to make myself take more photos. I started the project in December 2010, around the same time that Iain began the affair with the colleague he would eventually leave me for. Of course, I didn't know this at the time, but looking back now, I realise that one of the main reasons I started the project was because I was feeling lonely. I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere on my own, without a car, and starved of attention from a husband who was 'working' longer and longer hours. Keeping a daily blog was a way of connecting with other people. And I'm so glad I did, because I got to connect (or re-connect) with all of you!

If you've ever visited this blog before, I'd like to say 'thank you'. If you've ever commented on one of my posts, then thanks a million. If you're a regular commenter, well, what can I say? I honestly couldn't have made it through the last thirteen months without you. I mean it. You're friggin' awesome! :-)

Love from Helen x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Day 364 & Retrospective: tilt shift

My neighbours put some calves on my land a couple of days ago. It's nice to have some bovine company again.

Today's retrospective is tilt shift shots. All the shots below are my own work, and I gave them the tilt shift treatment during my 365 project, but only one of the originals was taken during the project. I'm sure I don't need to tell you which one!

Miniature Colosseum

Miniature wool shed

Miniature San Gimignano

Miniature St. Mark's Square, Venice

Miniature Wellington cable car

Friday, 13 January 2012

Day 363 & Retrospective: people

I'll let you into a little secret: today's shot is a bit of a cheat. I took it yesterday, but I didn't get round to processing it until today. I've been so snowed under today with work and organising my move, that I've not managed to find the time to go out for a photo shoot.

There's a traditional Māori proverb that goes:

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What's the most important thing in the world?
It's people! It's people! It's people! 

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, but so far my photography hasn't reflected it. Taking photos of people is scary. If you don't know the person it feels uncomfortable, and it can be just as awkward if you do know the person. After all, no-one wants to annoy their friends by constantly snapping away. Most people don't particularly like having their photo taken. Of course, it's different if someone wants you to take their portrait, but that's not happened to me yet!

Inevitably, quite a few of the 'people' shots I took during this project feature Iain. It's painful to see a photograph of him, but it would be even more painful for me to deliberately ignore the shots I've taken of him, as if he was never a part of my life.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Day 362 & Retrospective: abstract

I've got two shots from today.

This one is of an agapanthus flower, whose flowerlets are just about to open. What initially attracted me to these flowers was their gorgeous blue colour, and yet I think this shot works best in black and white.

Some Californian thistles. They're a really troublesome weed, but their flowers are such a lovely colour.

For today's retrospective I've chosen abstract shots. I've not taken many of them during this project, but I do like abstract art, so perhaps I should start experimenting with them more.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Day 361 & Retrospective: Scully

Wonderful news: the contract on the house became unconditional today. The settlement date is set for six weeks' time. I can't tell you how relieved I feel. Such a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I'm sure that if I went outside right now, I'd float away like a helium balloon.

I've decided to take a leisurely route back to the UK, via San Francisco and New York (two cities which I've always wanted to visit, but never have). As I'm going to be spending a lot of money travelling halfway across the world, I figured I might as well see something of it, apart from just the interior of airports. I'm really excited about my upcoming trip. I haven't been on holiday in over four years, so I reckon it's about time I did!

With today's shot I was trying to create the look of a watercolour painting. I think I may have overdone it with the bright purple, but what the heck!

I've chosen my 'pet' sheep's skull, Scully, for today's retrospective. Scully is currently lost somewhere at the back of my extremely full shed, which is why I've not taken a photo of her for a while, but I'll be taking her with me when I leave. She'll be a very fitting memento of my time living in the middle of a field.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Day 360 & Retrospective: selective colour

I spotted this weird little mini rainbow this morning. I'm not sure where the rest of it was!

I've chosen selective colour for today's retrospective. To people who know about photography, selective colour is the cheesiest of cheesy techniques, but I'm still clueless enough to think it's pretty cool. :-)

I'm keeping three daily blogs going at the moment, which is a bit of challenge, particularly with my current heavy work load, so my posts this week won't be very wordy. But I will definitely try to write something a bit longer for Day 365.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Day 359 & Retrospective: land and sky

I've been incredibly busy today, and I did today's photo shoot in the middle of cooking the evening meal, which is not the smartest idea, and is probably one of the reasons why the finished shot is not very good. The others are poor lighting and not having a macro lens. It's a shot I'll definitely try again if I ever upgrade my kit.

Today's retrospective is land and sky. Here are my favourite landscape and skyscape shots that haven't already featured in a retrospective.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Day 358 & Retrospective: silhouettes

What a wet weekend it's been! It's poured down all day today. I've even had to put the heat pump on, and it's the middle of summer.

Limited to doing a photo shoot inside, I looked around for an interesting subject to photograph, and was just giving up when I happened to look down and spotted my purple tights. I love wearing them with my new red shoes. I know people say that red and purple clash, but I think they look great together!

For this shot I reused the texture from Sharon at SKC photography that I used on the Gerbera last week, but it's produced a very different effect, because I used a different blend mode and added a vignette.

I've chosen silhouettes for today's retrospective. I'll admit to having a bit of a thing for silhouettes, and these shots are some of my favourites from the whole project.