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Rubbish at blogging

I think I can safely and confidently say, I am rubbish at blogging. I start out with great intentions. In between working, running errands with my Dad, and family life, I should be able to fit in 1 or 2 blog posts each week.

But I don’t. I run out of ideas for posts, and I get disheartened when there is no response to anything I write.

So, I’m feeling like there is little point in having this as the main first page for the site. Perhaps the shop should be at the front?

As always when I feel like this, I am debating a site update. Redecoration and redesign. It’s the part of maintaining a website that I love.

Instead of erratic rubbish blogging for the sake of posting something, I’ll move the blog part to a back burner somewhere, and post now and then when there is real news.

Well, there it is. I’ll start tinkering about tomorrow. In between gardening, cleaning out the hens, rearranging the car’s MOT….

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Sun is shining!

It’s Valentine’s Day today, the sun is shining, the sky is blue. The air is almost warm, garden is starting to think about coming to life after winter. I am still happily single, and will receive no flowers, no chocolates, and no I love yous.

And that is perfectly fine.

But Spring is coming, and it’s time to get outside again, camera in hand, and see if I can capture some of the things I see.

sun is shining

The moon always fascinates. At an average of 289,000 miles away, I find it incredible that my eye can see so much detail. Even more so that with a few tweaks to the settings, my camera can capture that detail so well.

For that shot, I used my Nikon D3300 with the Sigma 70-300mm lens – fully extended, and set to manual focus. Autofocus on the lens will never cope with that distance. The camera is in fully manual mode (M), with the settings as follows:

  • ISO 200
  • f11
  • Shutter 1/250

I didn’t change anything else. So there’s no exposure adjustment, white balance is set to Auto.

It helps if you have a tripod to steady the camera as the slightest bit of shake will cause problems. A tripod will remove that, if you have one. I’m lazy, and I lean on my washing line to steady my arm and hand. I’m pleased with the result.

While the sun is shining, and the moon is bright, I’ll be playing with the camera again, and that feels great!

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Happy Birthday

Today would have been my brother’s birthday. He would have been 46. I can’t imagine him being 46. And through his own choice, he never will be. He will be forever 22. Happy Birthday, little brother.

In a month I’ll turn 50, and I can’t imagine that either – but it’s happening anyway.

Birthdays can be hard days.

The world turns, moves round the sun, and life goes on. We lose people, we gain people. We have good days, the best days, and bad days, and the worst days. And everyone’s best and worst days are peculiarly special for each of us. My worst day might seem like nothing to you, and your worst seem like nothing to me.

But we all need to appreciate that we are all different, and are affected by life in different ways. We each need to be kind to one another, to try to listen and reach out. Not to fix, not to interfere, but just to be there, to support.

If you need help, if you’re having one of your rough days, reach out. Someone cares, someone will listen. I promise.

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Snow days

Snow days

Across the UK during the past week or so, we have had snow days. It’s nowhere near as problematic as in some places, but it does disrupt things. I suspect, mainly because we’re not used to it!

So, with closed roads and school, advice is do not travel unless absolutely necessary. But mostly, life carries on as normal, just with an extra sweater, and added gloves!

But the Nikon camera struggles with all that white. When you’re faced with a large expanse of very bright, such as snow, the auto exposure settings can struggle. You end up with images that are over exposed and too glaringly shiny. The sea on a bright, sunny, day can have the same effect.

Fortunately our snow days haven’t been a total white out, and I did get some reasonable pictures.

On most DSLR cameras there will be a way to compensate for this. On the D3300 there is a tiny button with + and – symbols, near the on off switch. Press and hold this and thumb the wheel on the back of the camera to turn exposure up and down. This only works in manual or semi-manual modes. The function is not available in the auto modes. You’ll need to play around with it and see how much difference it makes for you.

A hood for the lens can help too, it shades the sensor a little and blocks some of the glare.

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Framed prints for sale

Wandered down to the beach for my usual Wednesday lunch with my Dad, and Oh WOW! My pictures, on the wall, Framed prints for sale at Francos, Aberavon, Port Talbot.

The original canvas prints are back on the wall, and the new framed prints are up as well.

Framed prints for sale

Sorry about the reflection from the window, these were taken on my phone, which doesn’t have a brilliant camera.

Framed prints for sale

I’ve set the canvases at £20 each, and the framed prints, £15 each – just ask the staff when you’re there.

While some of you might be able to wander down to the beach, most of you are too far away. If that’s you, and you’d like a print, let me know. I can go and grab it for you, and then let you know what the postage will be.

This has really made me grin today, Thank you Franco’s!