Photo a day Year 4 Week 17

This week we have birthdays – mine and husband’s – railways and serene swans.

Making a turn

Making a turn by Jill Sawyer Phypers
Making a turn, a photo by Jill Sawyer Phypers on Flickr.

Today, as a birthday treat, we went to the bird of prey centre at Shuttleworth. There are no flying displays in the winter, but there was a group of people on the field flying a couple of birds.

Cropped to emphasise the diagonal.

Great Grey Owl image processing

I’m rather fond of owls – for a while now I’ve been posting an ‘Owl of the week’ as part of my 365 project. I’d love to have more real, live owls but you don’t tend to see them very often in suburban Hertfordshire. Anyway – this evening I came across some pictures I took at the Bedfordshire Steam Fair last year at Old Warden. Great grey owls are stunning creatures – that amazing, symmetrical, nearly circular face and those piercing eyes. I’d love to photograph them in the wild, but for now it’s captive birds at the Bird of Prey Centre. However a car and rope fence for a backdrop is not ideal.

So from this taken with my Fujifilm X10:

Owls at Old Warden

Great grey owl and an eagle.

To this:

Great Grey Owl

Great grey owl

Processed in ACR, cropped, dark vignette. Photoshop – enlarged, clone out blue ropes and dirt on beak, curves adjustment, sharpen.

I know it’s not a huge image and it’s probably only good for online viewing, but it makes me happy.

Photo a day year 4 week 16

This week we have snow, snow and more snow – and buzzards and hares and owls.

Photo a Day Year 4 week 15

This week we have a bevy of swans, a trackside tea break and a (as yet unnamed) Viking complete with historically inaccurate horns. Viking name suggestions gratefully received.

Work in Progress WWI alphabet

I’ve been learning to use Adobe Illustrator over the past few weeks – and as I don’t use it at work, I’m having to come up with ideas to practise with. This came out of reading Horrible Histories Frightful First World War. ‘Signalese’ was one of the earliest spelling alphabets and was used by signallers on the Western Front. I used Stencil std bold, exported to jpg, opened in Photoshop and added a linen pattern fill layer set to hard light blending. I’ll be going back to tweak the letter spacing a bit.

WWI signalese

WWI signalese

Photo a day Year 4 week 14

This week we have celebrations, birthday toasts and memories of school days.

The old school yard

Today we took a walk up Windmill Hill to my old school, Hitchin Girls’ School. It doesn’t look much different from when I was there… I’d forgotten the walk up the hill was such a killer!

A photo a month through 2012 – a New Year’s Day post

A picture a month 2012

Marianne and Adam

January. Marianne and Adam

My daughter announced her engagement. Taken in my living room with light coming in from the window above them.


February. Blackbird in the snow

The month it snowed. The lovely contrast between the blackbird, snow and red berries – like a fairytale.


March. Titanic dresses

I took these on my iPhone 3s when I was at Angels costumiers choosing Edwardian dresses for a photo shoot.


April. Bootleg Sixties show

Bootleg Sixties show in Bedford.

owl eating

May. Owl of the year

Taken at the bird of prey centre at Old Warden. It reminds you just what hunters owls are.

June Jubilee celebrations

June. Jubilee celebrations

Taken in a pub in Biggleswade during the Jubilee weekend. The owner’s two dogs were running around in the bar. I think this one is Holly.

Bee 5NL

July. Bee on lavender

Lots of close up shots of the bees this month. And I got a new lens for the Canons.


August. Beatleweek

This was Beatleweek in Liverpool and the first outing for the Fujifilm X10. Backstage (well side stage) at the Adelphi ballroom.

September. Wedding

September. Wedding

My daughter’s wedding to Ad Lester-George. Bristol Registry Office then The Rummer and the Grain Barge. I’d bought the X10 because I didn’t think she’d appreciate me turning up with a Canon, lenses and Black Rapid strap as mother of the bride, but I didn’t want to be without a camera either. It’s turned out to be my carry-around camera and it does a really excellent job on most occasions.


October. Loft conversion

We had our loft converted in October and November. This was somewhere mid conversion – once the stairs were in there was no stopping the cats from exploring.


November. War Memorial

The war memorial by the station at Letchworth Garden City.


December. Christmas dinner

Dad’s Christmas dinner at the Galley Hall on Christmas day. He’s been very ill this year – and was/is still recovering from another bout of pneumonia, but he managed most of his dinner none the less.