Winter Photography: Snow on the Ground …

 
It’s that time of year again. Snow is on the ground so let’s bring on a spot of winter photography!

I’ll freely admit, usually I’ll head on out to take photos in the snow full of excitement and then when I get back home and start editing I’ll quickly realise that taking a good photograph of (and in) the snow is not easy! White balance is usually all over the place, your fingers are not likely to thaw out for a week as you try to tap away on your keyboard and the beauty you saw through the viewfinder somehow isn’t coming across …

This is where I’ll hold my hands up and admit that Photoshop is my dearest friend. I can’t help it. I find snow a bit boring on the screen, but with a dash or two of a Photoshop action I can spruce my pics up to look a tad more romantic than they were when they came out of the camera.

There, the secret is out! But I suppose a little like I’m convinced that I look better with a bit of make-up on, I also think I can make my winter photos a little more enticing with Adobe’s cosmetic touch-ups ;)

Still, it doesn’t detract from the fact that snow is indeed very beautiful, and although I’ve been known to swear and curse at it at times it does grace the landscape around our Lincolnshire home very well.

Here are a few photos I captured yesterday, and with a deluge of the white stuff forecast tomorrow I’m suspecting this will not be the last of my winter photography pieces!

Enjoy, and please feel free to share your photo tips in the comments below …

Lincolnshire

snow photography

winter in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire snow

Lincolnshire winter

There’s no two ways about it, we are very blessed to be living in a wonderfully rural part of the country that shows off natures white wonder to greatest effect. I recall slushy town roads all too well. Here we have a few monumental tractors ploughing up and down the lanes to quickly disperse any snow.

I’m wondering if I’ll be quite so keen to get my camera out if the current cold snap continues. I suspect my endeavours may be directed towards making pan loads of veggie soup and tanking up the wood burner. Who knows … Let’s make the most of it while we can and perhaps drink a toast or two to Jack Frost while we secretly long for a few spring buds to appear … maybe!

Until the next time … keep warm!

social media bootcamp

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, I have to be honest … I still can’t quite believe that in five days we’ll be celebrating the big HoHoHo! Day (when did we start calling it that, by the way?!?)

I think I’m almost done decorating and trimming up the Grand Old Lady, although I’m fairly certain that a fabulous project will grab me on Pinterest later and I’ll convince myself that one more won’t hurt.

Here are a few snapshots of how she’s looking; now let me see what I can do with some old jars and a few sprigs of rosemary … ;)

Ribbon-wrapped cider bottles! May look to carry this over to more projects in the new year …

I painted some old terracotta pots with gold acrylic paint, filled with moss and holly sprigs, added a candle … Et voilá!

I love these giant pine cones! Again, painted in gold acrylic and suspended with sumptuous red satin ribbon.

This ribbon ornament was made from wired metallic ribbon. What I love about these is that you can quickly add some large statement pieces to a slightly bare tree (for the first time we have a nine foot tree this year, and a shortfall in baubles!)

No handywork here … I just like the bokeh effect!

And again … loving the bokeh ;)

I’m very much a “less is more” kind of girl, so this year I opted for Scots pine branches interwoven with fairy lights only on our lovely marble mantlepiece in the sitting room. The smell is to die for!

So there we have it … for now. I have almost a hundred hours before the big day, don’t I? Let’s see what I can come up with ;)

Until the next time!

Debs x

 

Ho ho ho! He’s on his way …

 
Happy “almost Christmas” Friday, everyone!

This week has been a mad panicky rush to get the house decorated in time for the big day … I’m telling myself I’m 75% there but I think realistically it’s closer to 30%. Hey ho, who needs sleep?!

Anyway, the good news is the tree is decorated and every inch of its gorgeous nine feet looks quite beautiful.

I had the idea of taking a slightly different portrait of my boy with said tree, so I got snappy with the camera the other night. Here’s my favourite shot so far:

Hope your preparations are going fabulously well! Until the next time …

Debs x

DIY canvas: an easy, personalised Christmas stocking filler!

 

Most people have family photos pushed away into drawers that rarely see the light of day; here’s a great tutorial that hopefully will brighten Christmas morning for one of your nearest and dearest. All you need to do is sneak a scanned copy of that photo ….

I really love the simplicity of these DIY canvasses, and over the last year or so I’ve followed many tutorials online that are all broadly similar but I always ended up with a little niggle every time. Maybe there was too much of the image rubbed away (i.e. it was “too” distressed!), it wasn’t vibrant enough, or I had annoying bubbles left on the canvas.

I hope this tutorial solves all those issues; for me it’s proven to be the best and most effective method I’ve used.

Please do have a go yourselves; it’s not as intimidating as it might sound, and I’d love to hear about your results!

Firstly, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A laser jet printer for your image – very important – this won’t work on an inkjet copy
  • A photo-editing tool that will allow you to boost levels and/or contrast, and also to flip the image horizontally (particularly important if your image contains text of any kind
  • A blank canvas (I’ve used a 7 x 5 inch in this tutorial)
  • A sponge brush
  • Acrylic matt medium
  • An old credit card
  • A water spritzer
  • Linseed oil

Scan and print out your image slightly larger than your canvas – before you do this you may want to boost the contrast, curves or levels if your photo editing software allows (most photos fade over time, and you need some definition for this to work well).

Also – remember to flip your image 180 degrees horizontally before printing – it needs to be a ‘mirror’ image.

Pour some of the matt medium onto your blank canvas and cover with your sponge brush.

Do the same on your image (not too much as some of the toner will start to come away)

Carefully place the image face down on your canvas. Match up the edges but allow a slight amount of ‘overhang’ (if the image is slightly larger, this shouldn’t be a problem)

This is important … You will get bubbles appearing (it’s a bit liking hanging wallpaper!). The best way I’ve found to deal with them is to use an old credit card and smooth them away. I’ve tried the back of a spoon too but that just seemed to stretch the canvas; an old credit card is perfect!

Wait at least 24 hours for it to dry. I always wait 48 hours, because if it’s even slightly damp when you move onto the next step you could run into problems

(Please forgive the reverse image on the shot above … you don’t need to do that, I just print a reverse copy so I can keep track of which canvas is which!)

Now, grab your water spritzer and dampen the dried image. The key here is to dampen it enough to rub the paper off (too dry and you’ll take the image off too, too wet and …. well, it’ll be a mess!)

Rub the paper with your fingertips. I tend to vary the direction, from “round and round” to “up and down”.

Be warned: this is the time-consuming bit, and it can make your fingertips quite sore!

When you’re happy most of the paper has been rubbed away, set it aside to dry for 24 hours. There will be some rubbing off around the edges, but I think this just adds to the charm!

When you go back to it you will notice that the drying process has revealed a lot of paper still present and it will look a quite ‘milky’, but this is where the fabulous linseed oil comes in!

Take a bit of the oil on your fingertip and gently rub it into the canvas. The wonderful thing about this step is that it brings a vividness to the image (no amount of rubbing at the wet stage will ever remove every trace of the paper …)

Et voilà …  A lovely, personalised and unique Christmas gift!

I’m doing a few of these this year as I think they make perfect stocking fillers, and are just so cute!

If however, you don’t have the time or the inclination email me for information on ordering one (prices start at £25 for a 7″x5″ canvas)- there will be a 7 day turnaround – UK mainland only for orders before Christmas

Seeing Red!



 
Well … here we are all safely installed and now living in our delightful ‘Grand Old Lady’! It seems little more than a dream …. She is every inch what I expected; full of character and with the odd draft but teeming with potential and history.

We’re still in the very early stages of even being vaguely organised, but as I now have a semi-functioning office I’ve taken the time to go through a few shots on my camera.

Here’s one of a very beautiful tree on the front lawn; can anyone tell me what sort it is? Its red foliage looked rather splendid today against the azure blue autumnal sky …

And here are a couple of our beloved Red Arrows in action a few weeks ago. We’re so very lucky to seem them almost on a daily basis as they’re based at RAF Scampton, just a stones throw from here.

OK, so now I’d better try and get on with some unpacking, cook some supper and finish some ironing ;)

Until the morrow, dear friends!

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