Macro leaf photography practice

In pursuit of practicing photography and documenting details that would otherwise get lost in the ether of my brain - I have embarked on a new project. Or perhaps another temporary obsessive pass time. Time will tell. I realise I'm about a decade late to the blogging party but now seems like as good a time as any to swing in through the window and land on a canapé tray. All those philosophical sayings can't be wrong. Although, it would be interesting to trace back to the origins of these great ponderers and see if they ever did complete anything, and if indeed any of it was worth waiting for.

Things generally take a while to get going. I've never been one for arriving at two o'clock for a bank holiday BBQ. Anytime before four and you're just disrupting the frantic Aldi dash to buy the emergency gazebo. Or you have to muck in making tzatziki.

Hands up. This isn't quite my first ever blog post. One gold star and a cocktail sausage to you if you read one of my delightful early editions. If you didn't get the chance, fortunately you have missed out on some enthralling articles featuring discontinued jewellery items and yellow painted brooms. I have turned over a new leaf for 2018 and removed said content, hopefully averting any future frustration from potential broom shoppers.

I plan to write about the slightly more relevant and current goings on of my life. Things that make me want to take time out from the world to sit, think and type about. Things that make me get off the sofa and pick up my camera. Places that excite me and people that I care for. Most of all, it's going to be honest. I'm sure I will write about jewellery. Sometimes. I'm not sure how much. Like my jewellery this blog will follow my life and the things I get up to. I guess a little bit like a diary, but with photography projects and less wine stains.

Croome National Trust


Why this sudden urge to write a blog post? Well. Cue thinking deeply emoji. After pondering there for a brief moment (approx. twenty seven seconds). I have very nearly finished decluttering my life, and therefore my brain. I seem to now have some mental capacity available to write some words down. There must be a connection. For I have never had the urge to write about anything before, other than a travel diary a couple of summers ago and a secret diary when I was in middle school. Which I would love to say I still possess, but that I fear it is long gone. There's a part of me that hopes my Mom found it and is waiting to unveil it at some embarrassing point. The other, much larger part of me definitely doesn't need to recount that first kiss with Freddie in the pub garden. Not as romantic as it sounds. He'd already just snogged my friend and from what I can recall there was a lot of unnecessary tongue involved. From his side I hasten to add.

Being a frustratingly messy individual, I always wondered - at what age do you become tidy? I decided that this either happens when you have children or when you turn thirty. Don't ask why. These seemed like reasonable milestones significant enough to activate the dormant 'putting things away, washing plates straight after you use them and throwing rubbish away instead of leaving it on your desk or around the bin when it gets full' gene.

So. I'm not with child. But I am now tidy(er)(ish). So the latter of the two must be to blame. You are your thoughts. Isn't that what they say? (I had a fruitful discussion the other week, at the exhibitor drinks party at Top Drawer, after, actually, not that many wines, about who 'they' might be. Conclusion being that 'they' is a garden gnome who sits on a cloud. And yes, he is watching you).

Slight digression. To recap - I'm 30 this year. I've got some extra brain power available due to tidiness. Extra time available due to quitting (quitting forever, not just deactivating) Facebook. And hopefully, most importantly, I have something interesting for you to read. Hurrah you say, there's more to this waffle than just squirty cream. If this is not at all interesting, please don't feel any guilt whatsoever in unsubscribing.
Macro Feather Photography Practice
Kate Gilliland Jewellery

January marked the end of an era. There was a significant shifting of shapes amidst the Bug workshop. In fact, a whole new shape was created entirely. 

I bid farewell to my workshop buddy and fellow hoarder of sorts, Kate Gilliland. However, Kate's hoarding tendencies being more towards the deceased and decayed variety. If that sounds slightly odd, have a look at her jewellery and all should become not quite so odd. Kate prods and pokes around in the underbrush (not that kind of bush) in search of suitable timely demised specimens. Foraging I think she likes to call it. I like to call it 'frightening old ladies on the Gower by waving a dead bird around'. Kate then proceeds to give them a lovely new lease of afterlife. Beats being trodden on by a soggy hoof.

Adam's Farm Highland cows

As they (gnome sat on cloud) say - as one door closes another opens. The workshop and I will miss Kate dearly, she has become a great friend. We've somewhat bonded over many a day passed peering at... thinking about it, peering at quite a few things. Peering out the window into the gold grills dentist shop across the street, peering into mouldy cups of tea, peering into envelopes containing dead animals sent in the post. Some packaged better than others.

Croome National Trust

It's been a quiet few weeks in the workshop since Kate's departure. I caught up with her and little Lily on a trip to the Cotswold's. We share a mutual love of getting lost in the countryside. I thoroughly recommend a hot tub, plump juicy tomato stuffed olives, strawberries dunked in melted chocolate, petting rabbits and grunting hairy piglets chobbling on your shoe laces to blow away any cobwebs.

It was the first time I've used a 50mm Nikkor prime lens. It's been sat unused in my camera bag for around two years since it was recommended to me by the very helpful and lovely Pete from Photo School. I have limited knowledge of it's technicalities and the trivial fact that it's zoomless has meant thus far I've either stuck to the kit lens that came with my D7000 or a macro. I read up on the lens on the first night and after reading a fair few rave reviews I set myself the challenge of only using that lens for documenting our trip. Which meant lots of backing up, and up and up and up to fit anything in to the frame. 

Lily proved the perfect muse to practice on. She was so mesmerising to photograph and she was so fascinated by the camera. She stared straight down the lens at me. I felt like she could see straight into my soul. There is a wonder and innocence to a baby's eyes that I can't really put into words. Something I've never experienced or noticed before. Probably because I've never really had much prolonged contact with babies, other than the awkward hasty 'please don't cry or poop on me' pass around when your cousin comes to visit. It felt like pure freedom and wonder. And I suppose that's exactly what it is. She has never experienced any of the things we take for granted everyday. She knows nothing of the world that we feel so familiar. She has it all to discover. What those tiny feet do and where they will take her. 

Kate Gilliland Jewellery Snowdrops photography practice 

Happy first Mother's Day to you Kate. I wish you all the love and luck in the world for your new adventure.


Kate Gilliland Jewellery

Big love,

Ellie x