Sunday, 17 May 2015

Life Lately // 13

Last week was SATs week. Glad that's over. The girls took it all in their stride but we made sure there were early nights, lots of words of encouragement and reassurance and some one to one 'down' time with each of them. My youngest came for a jog with me and enjoyed a few extra stories and some cake baking, whilst the eldest wanted to go walking in the woods, to chat about 'stuff'.

I love this time of year when the bluebells come out. They seem to be everywhere just now.

The carpet of bluebells was a sight to see.

My parents were down this way for a few days, so we met up with them at Seaton for a walk along the sea front followed by fish and chips. (Note: I opted for the veggie burger, but pinched a few of the Mr's chips). I've done pretty well lately, preparing salads and fruit to take to work, although my latest food love is peanut butter on toast. I like it best thinly spread on toasted tiger bread. A great post run snack.

Speaking of running, I managed to fit three runs in last week. Only short ones, but I clocked up just over 10k across the week in total. I'm slowly getting faster. Very slowly. As the weather is getting ever so slightly warmer I thought I'd treat myself to some new running clobber. I got a pair of calf length running tights and a flouro vest. You can't miss me now! I know, all the gear and no idea.. 

On Saturday we wandered around Honiton and I picked up a dress from a charity shop. £7 bargain. It's from Warehouse. Fits just right so it will be perfect for the Autumn working wardrobe.

1. Dad, the Mr and my eldest comparing stones, or something  2. veg, chicken and fruit combo 3. it's getting a lot greener around here lately 4. salad of spinach, avocado, raisins, tomatoes, beetroot, topped with turmeric and ground almonds 5. wonderful wisteria spotting 6. this girl runs 7. getting quicker 8. post-run photo bomb 9. purchase at the charity shop

Hope you've had a good week. :-)


Friday, 1 May 2015

From Auto to Manual Mode... Baby steps and all that

I finally took the plunge this week and attempted to take some photographs with my DSLR camera set to manual. That's right, MANUAL mode.

Get me.

Having had my camera for more than a year, it dawned on me that I've spent far too long hiding behind the safety of the auto mode, just lazily kinda pointing and shooting at stuff. I decided it was now time to start exploring what this piece of kit can really do.

And so, off I trotted, switched to manual, out into the garden to shoot some apple blossom.

This ^^ is one of my first 'manual mode' shots. I took a fair few but only three photos were half decent. I've had a bit of a play about with this one in Photoshop. I know, I know, its a little over-exposed, but I have identified where I'm going wrong.

I think. 

Experimenting with the manual setting is a big step for me photography wise. Especially as I've not studied the 'manual'. (There's that word again)

I am usually that person that reads the instructions step by step. I need want to understand how something works. I'm the methodical type. I don't like to miss anything and I think my desire to know how something works, whilst not putting in the time to read up on how it all works, was blocking me from just having a go. I was putting off switching to manual mode because I thought I should know all there is to know about apertures and depths of field (que?) and all the theory bits before being 'let loose' with a manual setting.

But d' you know what? Whilst it is a good idea to learn the basics, I now get that photography and getting better at it is a lot about trial and error.  Just getting stuck in is the best way of getting to know what works and what doesn't. 

So here they be. My first attempts at 'going manual'.

Going into the woods required totally different settings to the sunny blossom. I tried my best and again, these are the best of a pretty bad bunch..

There's definitely a LOT of room for improvement, but it wasn't that scary after all. I will be trying to avoid the auto setting wherever possible from now on. There's no stopping me now. And it's only taken a year.

I might even find some time to have a read of some of those 'beginner photographer' type articles from the world wide tinterweb and then put my learning to good use.

Steady on, baby steps...