Welcome to my 2010 photo blog.

During this year I am taking up a challenge to post a photo a day on this blog. I am a beginner photographer hoping to learn much about my camera and how to take photos.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun Friday - Fresh Fish

These fabulously fresh marshmallow fish were quivering on the plate, crying out to be rescued from the large greedy lady who was about to gobble them up. They really were delicious and reminded me of my childhood when one of our uncles used to come and visit on his pay day and hand out these fish to all the kids.

I've really enjoyed the "camer-aderie", sharing and learning that this challenge has brought. Each day I look forward to seeing what my photo friends have posted. And of course I have the stress of finding my own subject to photograph. Today I decided to just have a bit of fun. Perhaps I'll do it every Friday - fine finking.....
P.S. the fish were fabulous.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Welcome to my world

This is the front entrance to our home. The house was built in 1928 and we so enjoy its charm and character.

This photo also reflects the reality of life in South Africa. The entrance is gated and barred and of course there's the usual alarm company board to the left of the stoep.

We've been very happy in this house. It's warm and cosy and just right for the two of us. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Light of the World

 "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it". John 1:5 NIV.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trip Preparations

Only about 6 weeks left before we take off on our trip north through Africa. We anticipate camping some of the time and so today we took out our tent and put it up in the back garden to check out all the bits. Mark washed the fly sheet and the sleeping bags and made sure the zips work easily. Clean, sort, repair.... So now we're one step nearer being good to go.

The photo is not amazing or well composed - merely a record of our preparations for the big trip. We are getting very excited. Tomorrow I will buy my malaria prophylactics (Mark has his), we've both had Yellow Fever injections and we have international driver's licences. The non perishable foods have been bought and packed and we're starting to pick out and put aside clothes we'll be taking with us.

Sorry we'll be missing out on most of the hype of the Soccer World Cup but what an opportunity......

Monday, April 26, 2010

Loveable Face

This beautiful dog is a resident at Heartfelt Home where my Dad lives. He doesn't have contact with the residents but guards the owners' house next door. He has the most gorgeous, appealing face. I'm not sure what his name is - something like Robber - and he wasn't very co-operative when I tried to get this shot. It took me 6 shoots to get his one. Just love those eyes.....

Macro Leaf - 25 April

This is actually yesterday's photo. I had someone holding it up to the sun whilst I took the photo on macro setting. I love the maze of veins - looks a bit like a navigator map. I had no idea there were so many veins in such a small area of a leaf. I'm still really enjoying the challenge of this project. I keep finding amazing sights and it's extending my photography skills. Thanks Jill and Maggie for keeping me going.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Something Fishy

Today I visited someone who has this lovely aquarium in their home. I took this photo using the aquarium setting on my camera. Very useful for capturing this lovely scene.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Popeye Bugs

I called this a Popeye bug because I caught him eating the spinach in our vegetable garden. He is quite small and has rather pretty marking. When I saw about 10 of them on the same leaf I cut it off and placed it on the garden table to get a better photograph with macro. This chap decided he wasn't having anything to do with the papparazzi and decided to gap it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dutch Iris

This bloom is actually past its prime. I found it tucked away in the undergrowth today after a shower of rain. I was looking for a topic to photograph when I discovered this iris. I love these flowers and I was delighted to find this one.

The main point about this shot is that I am trying to use the manual focus on my camera rather than the auto point and shoot. A bonus was to see raindrops on some of the petals. Yes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gazillion Dollar Gazanias

I'm very aware that when I go into the garden these days I'm looking for insects I can practice my macro shots on. I even planted these gazanias recently to try and encourage butterflies to the garden. Perhaps because we are in a built up area or because of the drought, but we just don't see much. A few bees, the odd butterfly that doesn't perch on a flower or the pesky flies are all we have.

Nevertheless I continue to nurture the gazanias, tulbaghia, wild dagga, plumbago and bush violets in the hope that we will have more visitors. Here's hoping......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trapped and Terrified

This silly (naughty) pigeon came inside for a visit this afternoon. He and his family are a pest because they come into the laundry looking for the dog food and when something startles them they fly into the house instead of out side.

This chap first perched on the pelmet in the kitchen then when I tried to coax him out he flew into the living room and perched on this shelf looking for all the world like another ornament. The amusing thing about this photo is that the picture on the mug on the right is of John Wesley preaching but in this context he looks like he's trying to shoo the bird away. The duck on the left is hissing at the pigeon telling him to "be gone!" and the guinea fowl is wandering around saying, "What? Where? Who?" in her usual pea brain way. The situation gave me my afternoon chuckle. Shortly after this the pigeon flew down to the open window and escaped.

Amazing Dogs 19 April

This was my photo for yesterday. I realised this morning that I neglected to post to my blog yesterday so here it is.

This cute little poodle was one of five dogs that came to our school for a dog show yesterday. He's 5 years old and he's full of character, racing around and just adoring his trainer. Here he is showing off his speed as he runs towards the tunnel.

I was quite pleased with the obvious action in the shot and the fact that I managed to catch him in mid air. I used the sport setting on my camera.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Delightful diplodenia

I just love this plant. It grows in a tub on the corner of our car port and it always greets us with its cheerful pink blooms when we drive in. It was planted over two years ago and it's always had blooms since then. Doing this photo challenge really does make me more aware of my surroundings - both the obvious sights and the not so obvious - particularly nature.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fiery Sky

I looked up from my work a short while ago and saw this wonderful sight out of the living room window. This photo is uploaded just as it was when downloaded from my camera. I certainly didn't have to enhance it.

"The heavens declare the glory of the Lord..."

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sombre Trees

Today was a grey and overcast day. I drove out to visit my Dad at his care facility. When I got out of the car the sun was trying to break through the clouds behind these trees. The effect of the light was very pretty and I tried to get a shot but the auto setting didn't work for this one. I should have made some adjustments.

Still the trees make an interesting photo if somewhat sombre and funereal. By the time I arrived home from my visit it was starting to get dark and I didn't have much energy left to go looking for another photo so this is my photo for today.

Fun Colours - 15 April

This is actually the photo for Thursday. Thanks Sam for jogging my memory this morning.

Yesterday I took my photo at the "gym" where I go and excercise in a heated pool. Whilst doing my kicks and cycles in the water I spied these lovely colourful noodles. The day outside was grey and overcast so this riot of colour was just the thing to brighten my day. A rainbow on steroids. :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Full Blown and Framed

Today was one of those days when I had no idea what I was going to photograph. I wandered into the garden knowing I probably wouldn't find any insects and there aren't any interesting blooms right now.......

I started taking photos of this old window frame on the side of our garage. The frame is on the list of things to deal with in our old house. I was enjoying the lines and the angles and the textures and then I had the idea to go and fetch a rose in a bottle from the kitchen table. The rose is past its prime but I think the effect of the contrasts makes an exciting shot. Sometimes I surprise myself. :-) 

Book Club

This is the second time this week that I've uploaded my photo to Facebook but forgot to add it to my blog. Old Age!
This photo was taken shortly before the start of our Book Club/ Reading Group which I hosted. From the photo one could surmise that all we do is drink wine. Hmmm.
Well it's actually not that bad. Last night the discussion was about Amitav Ghosh's "Sea of Poppies". It's a fascinating story dealing with the period of the Opium Wars. We had an excellent presenter and the evening was most enjoyable. Good friends, good wine, good snacks, good discussion. What better way to spend an evening.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Purple Profusion

I would love to find out the name of this plant. It comes up in our garden every year at this time of year. The plant itself looks like a weed. Then it suddenly bursts into bloom with a profusion of these deep blue/ purple flowers. They really brighten up the garden. It goes to show - it doesn't matter what you look like, you have hidden treasures that bloom in the right season. :-)

Tiny Beetle - 11 April

When I was preparing to upload my photo for today (Monday 12 April) I realised I hadn't uploaded yesterday's photo. This is the photo for yesterday. It's a small step of progress in my attempts to master macro photos.

I saw this tiny beetle on a rocket plant as we arrived home yesterday. It was almost midday so it was difficult to get very close without casting a shadow. But this is progress for me. :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Double Rainbow - double blessings

Today was a busy day. I facilitated the second session of Peer Coaching. Just as I was leaving home I noticed a rainbow and reached for the camera. It was only when I took a closer look I realised there are actually two rainbows. The second is much fainter but it's there......

I did have a blessed day in spite of the busyness. The Peer Coaching went well and I really enjoyed the group of teachers I'm working with. They're great and so enthusiastic. Thank you Lord for the beautiful sighting.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful Morning

This was the start of the day in PE. There's already signs of turbulence up there with swirling clouds. By 10 am the wind had come up and right now we're having a howling gale. It's unpleasant out and I'm rather glad I don't have to do sport practice today. It's the sort of weather that leaves one's eyes watering and sinuses blocked.

Apart from the wind I've enjoyed my last day of Easter break and I'm almost looking forward to going back to school on Monday - even if it is Grade 1's all day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

White on White

Today I spent a very quiet day at home. It was restful but I did get a lot done pottering around. Late in the afternoon I was still looking for inspiration for a photo for my blog. I didn't find any inspiring flowers/ insects/ reflections....... Blank.

So I took a photo of a painting I did a couple of years ago whilst attending art classes. It's in oils and it was done as an exercise in shading and texture. The teachers put all these "white" items over a chair and we had to capture the shades and the textures of the fabrics. It was absorbing and therapeutic and of course I learned a lot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

African Hoopoe

This photo is not about to win any prizes. It's marred by the remains of a phone wire across it. I tried fixing it in iPhoto but I need more practice at that sort of thing.  However, the African Hoopoe is a great sight for us urban dwellers. We live in a very built up area of PE. The most we usually see is pigeons and Cape swallows.

This morning I was standing in the garden when I spied this beauty in a tree two gardens away. I had to use the full digital zoom to capture him and then still zoom in using iPhoto. It was a great start to my day. :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ripples in a Barrel

 I spent a lot of time looking for a photo today, including sitting in the flower beds and waiting for a likely bee/butterfly/insect. I saw a number of insects but none of my photos were particularly interesting. The insects just didn't co-operate by sitting still long enough and eventually I was in danger of nodding off in the lovely warm sun. Then I looked into this barrel we placed beneath a leak in the gutter. It took a long time to catch this shot. It includes the sides of the barrel, the sky and the wall of the house. The bonus was capturing the three ripples as a drop hit the water.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Special Chocolate at Special Price

This morning we took the opportunity of a day off to go and shop for all the non-perishable stuff we need for our trip to Tanzania in June. There's still two months to go but it's not often one gets the opportunity to shop without pressures of time. We had a leisurely time finding all the items on our list which we drew up on our drive to see Dad on Saturday.

One bonus was to find out that our favourite chocolate, dark variety, was on a very good special today. We bought some for the trip and some to sustain us until we leave. We will try not to eat it all before we go.... LOL.
Planning and packing is going well right now. We first listed everything we thought we'll need. We then reviewed the list and edited it. Now we are starting to put stuff together. Some years ago we bought some great plastic crates which we are using and organising items for similar purposes together. We even wrote on the top of the cans so the contents can be easily identified in the container without having to lift each individual can. Hmmmm better check Mark packed that can opener....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mr Gorilla Pod

I'm having a bit of fun today. This is my new mini tripod called a gorilla pod - not the head , of course. He's very flexible and it's possible to bend his three legs at contorted angle. This morning I spied the pomegranate in the fruit bowl and had the idea of playing around with it. The result is Mr Gorilla Pod.

I'm hoping that he will assist me in keeping a steady hand with future macros when appropriate. Here's to some happy experiments for Mr Pod and I.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Macro for sure...

Yesterday I was so excited with my tiny spider (he was about a third of the sized of my smallest finger nail) especially when I discovered that he was actually eating a little fly. This was pointed out to me by Renée on Facebook. Thanks friend :-)

So today I decided to consolidate what I've learned. I couldn't find a butterfly or any insect that kept still long enough but I found this tiny little flower on what I consider to be a weed. It's size is evident when compared to the sized of the rose thorns. It's really such a delicate little flower and I love the transparency of the lower petals, or are they sepals? The little yellow heart just completes the beauty of it. The God of small things......

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tiny Spider

Anyone following this blog may have gathered that I've been struggling with macro shots on my camera. I always seem to get the subject blurred and the surrounding parts in focus. Well, today my friend, Shan helped me find out why that happens. It appears that my shaky hands are the problem. I need to use a tripod or rest my hands on something to stop the movement which blurs my image.

So today's photo is of a tiny spider. It's not the best macro shot in the world but it's a start. I look forward to many macro photos in the months to come.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beach Girl

This rose is called Beach Girl. I photographed one of them on 14 January. This one today looks even better - and it has a raindrop on one of its petals! I love the delicate colours of this rose and the scent is really lovely too. What a pity roses are so short lived. Those that do last longer are often scent-less.

We had some rain overnight. This is the second time this week. It's really great because now our rain tanks are full and it means I can begin planting again. Beautiful rain, lovely rain. Blessings.