Lightroom before and after.

When I became interested in digital photography I didn’t have Lightroom so I just used to post what came out of the camera with very little happening to it.  I have always been resistant to the idea of cheating,,, and as a photographer that grew up using film, using CAD packages went against the grain.  Mind you I was posting JPEG images that would have had some sort of processing inside the camera.  Then I started to shoot in RAW and immediately saw a difference, the JPEG images often being brighter, more saturated and with a higher degree of contrast. At that point I started to use Lightroom and do a little bit of post processing.

Most of the images that I put on the blog are either the JPEG version as they look good enough and I’m tight for time and processing images does take time or they are the RAW version but with just a couple of tiny tweaks.  Mostly I don’t post process much, but I have been playing with Lightroom a little bit.  I don’t use all the gizmo’s because I don’t understand them, but I am getting better at it, I think, you must be the judge.  These are two photos taken within a second or two of each other, one post processed one not.  The processed one was exactly what I was trying to capture at the time, a glorious summers day.Lightroom 1 Lightroom 2

Kamikaze Pilot.

I heard a big splash and whipped the camera around towards that direction and clicked. Goose 1And caught this goose coming into land, right in front of the boat I was on.Goose 2Saw the goose disappear in front of the boat and held my breath, Goose 3but no it was alright as it came back out the other side. Goose 4Phew! Alls well that ends well – otherwise it would have been goose for dinner!

Lunch – Chicken Kimchi upgraded.

I have a love of good food, but I also love a little bit of convenience as do many cuisines of the world, this time I was looking towards the far east. People of the Orient often like dried noodles which are then popped into simmering stock for a few minutes with a few chopped vegetables and spices and possibly a little seafood which are then guzzled heartily with many lip smacking noises. I’ve tried many versions both in restaurants and made from scratch at home with authentic ingredients and I’ve loved them all. But I don’t always have the time or inclination to make chicken stock from scratch and so I’ve been dabbling with the Chinese version of our Pot Noodle and they are good. Some have won awards and use proper beef bone stock and taste really savoury with a great mouthfeel and use no MSG and very little sugar, although not all are low in sugar, read the label. IMG_4786
As always in this house it was a go with the flow moment, I made up the chicken noodle soup with boiling water, fried off some yellow pepper and frozen chicken fillets with a handful of tomatoes, adding water and spices to broil for a few minutes. Served the chicken noodle soup in a big bowl, added the chicken, yellow pepper and tomatoes and picked a few fresh salad leaves to serve on the side. It was delicious.

Tree of Life.

Tree 1Trees are amazing aren’t they, so powerful and majestic, one can see why in children’s books they sprout legs and arms and develop magical personalities of their own.  I wonder how old this tree is?  Did Queen Elizabeth the I ride past with Sir Robert Dudley in hot pursuit, I doubt the tree is that old, I don’t doubt the pursuit.  I was lucky enough to have grown up with an oak tree at the bottom of the garden, makes me sound quite grand, when it was only a small council house. I loved the tree so much, the sound of it creaking in the winter gales, the bright acid green spring growth, the shade afforded to us in the hottest of summers and the never ending acorns and bright orange and red leaves shed in the autumn.  Simple things.


I had no idea that Moorhens could be quite so feisty. These Moorhens looked like they were going to drown each other, they certainly fought hard, for a good ten minutes at a time with one rival and then almost immediately after finishing a fight bounding after another.  It was exhausting just watching them, they certainly have some stamina. Spring is definitely sprung, hopefully summer will be more peaceful. Moorhens 3 Moorhens 5 Moorhens 4 Moorhens 2 Moorhens 6 Moorhens 7

I write because…

I write because I can, it sounds simple doesn’t it, but that’s the reason, I also love it just a little bit. When I was growing up I was surrounded by non writers, our family you see is very much working class, those that left school at 14 and had possibly found school difficult well before then.

It was my Grandad that recognised my ability to read and write at the age of three as I carefully sorted out his handwritten labels for his vegetables that he had stored in a box in his greenhouse, ‘What you doing’, he asked.  ‘Sorting out the one’s that are spelled right’, I replied, as he watched me slightly dumfounded and came over to inspect, rummaged through them and then grasped my chubby little hand and raced up the garden to tell my Nan and my Auntie, who told him that children were different these days.

From there the great thirst came, I read avidly, everything that came into the house, we had very little in the way of books, a couple of old encyclopaedias, not a matching set and the books that were passed around between my mother and my aunties, sickly love stories that did not sing to my soul at all, but there was the library and very supportive school teachers.  Next I went on the hunt for pen pals, I managed to badger an Auntie into it, but she only lasted two letters, it was simply too much of a strain for her and then I had three others, two from friends that had moved away and one from a pen pal club, I chose a boy in Zambia and was connected to Francois Xavier who announced undying love for me on his fourth letter and at the age of twelve this was far too confusing and I slowly kicked him into touch.

After english ‘O’ levels everything in the way of creative writing stopped, the world of work opened up and then marriage, children and so on.  The internet appeared, wow, the internet, I am still quite giddy about that, and it was then that I saw blogs. Blogs and writing made me so curious that my world almost stopped as I explored the possibility of having my own and then saw how simple it would be.

I’ll never be a brilliant writer schooled in the way of Oxford English, I don’t understand or can remember all the rules, but I do enjoy it, even when I know I can’t quite get it right, it gives me pleasure and for that reason and that reason alone, I write, because I can.

Another finish the sentence Friday by Finding Ninee, please feel free to join in the fun.