Sunday, 15 October 2017

Camera Challenges

A local Camera Club advertised their new sessions as being particularly suitable for beginners, so I thought that I ought to give it a go. I have had my fancy DSLR camera for a few years now but I know that it (and I!) could do so much more if I only knew how, and I was hoping that the sessions might go some way towards that.

The session two weeks ago was a quick run down on the lessons that the club had gone through last year, and was a welcome refresher for me on the basics of apertures, shutter speeds and ISO's. Not that is to say that I am now an expert on any of those things, but I did recognise most of the topics being discussed even if I don't always practise them :)

A recent visit to Pollock House after that session was a chance for me to make sure that I used a high aperture setting to keep all of the detail of this fine country house on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Then I switched to a low aperture setting to give these thistles in the grounds a blurred background.

Clearly the lesson on quick shutter speeds to freeze the motion of this insect on the flower didn't quite sink in :)

This week's lesson was all about "Exposure Bracketing" which might as well have been a foreign language to me. Apparently it means that the camera can be set to take the same photo at different exposure settings, which can then be combined to produce a composite shot. Who knew such a thing existed???

Although we practised some shots during the session I decided to have a go at home to see if I could remember what we had been told, and here are the results.

The bottom photo above is under-exposed by 1 stop, the middle over-exposed by 1 stop and the top photo is taken at the original setting. I am not quite sure what all that means but you can see for yourself the differences in the photos :)

The trainer recommended free software, for those of us who don't have Photoshop, where you can upload the images and they will be combined in something called HDR (High Dynamic Range ????) and result in a photo that has the definition in the shadows of the under-exposure and the clarity in the light of the over-exposure. Sadly you will have to take my word that this occured as the website, Fotor would allow me to upload and combine the photos but I couldn't save the resulting image without signing up and paying for the advanced version.

I couldn't initially think of when I might use this facility on the camera, but then I remembered the trouble that I had taking photos of the amazing painted monasteries in Romania recently. The detail beneath the eaves was lost in all of my photos so maybe if I had known about the Exposure Bracketing I might have ended up with photos that showed all of the wonderful frescoes, then again maybe not without paying who knows what for the software :)

Still at least I have used a setting on my camera that I never even knew existed, maybe now I need to do the same with all those fancy settings on my sewing machine :)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Happy Mail 1

It was my birthday at the end of the summer (what summer???) and as our boys and their wives/girlfriends all live many miles away from us birthday presents these days arrive in the post.

Whilst my family obviously know that I quilt, the room full of fabric is a bit of a giveaway (!) they don't often cater to that in their gift-giving. I suspect, in part, as it is probably quite hard to work out what might be appropriate/useful and what might not.

So, you can imagine my surprise and delight when this turned up on my birthday.

Two metres of Liberty fabric from our eldest son and his wife!!!

I have bought bits and pieces of Liberty fabric over the years but other than this Jewellery Roll and this Bias Applique cushion I have not been brave enough to cut into any of it. Clearly that will need to change as my son and his wife will undoubtedly expect to see that bundle transformed into something substantial sometime soon :)

Whilst I was happily stroking that gorgeous bundle of fabric Ruth at Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner was pondering on the nature of blogging and rewarding her loyal readers with a fabric giveaway. To my surprise a few weeks later I received an email from Ruth telling me that my name had been picked out of the (virtual) hat as the giveaway winner!

After we returned from holiday this lovely bundle arrived in the post. We are just in the process of remodelling our bedroom and it will be decorated in a palette of sage greens and stone with a hint of pink so these fabrics couldn't have been a better match if I had planned it myself. The bedroom has been stripped back to the bare boards so I have plenty of time to plan what to do :)

Aren't surprises in the post lovely to receive?

Monday, 25 September 2017

Escapes and exhibitions

Welcome to this month's New to Me Link party, your chance to celebrate any attempt you have made this month at trying something for the first time.

Applaud or commiserate with your fellow bloggers who have pushed themselves out of that cosy comfort zone during September. As ever the link party will remain open until the end of the month, so there is still time to give that new technique or pattern a go and join the party!

I have had fun this month trying out new techniques and visiting new places.

 First up two New to Me stitches for my submission to the Embroiderers Guild Page 17 exhibition, Drizzle Stitch at the top and Turkey Stitch below.
 Then a New to Me applique method using Freezer Paper and liquid starch, also for the Page 17 exhibition piece.

In September I have also managed to visit three New to Me countries, although only 2 of them are officially recognised as independant countries.

Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria (the unrecognised one!)

Side on view of Moldovito Painted Monastery in Bucovino region, Romania

and Romania!

As you can see it was a very interesting trip! As well as the amazing Painted Monasteries like the one above we visited a church in Romania that is described as being covered in stonework embroidery, it was glorious! Posts to follow on the trip soon :)

So, now it is your turn to share anything that you have tried for the first time this month, whether it was a brilliant success or abject failure! We have all been on both sides of those experiences so will be happy to applaud or sympathise with a fellow blogger whatever the result of your endeavours :)

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