Archive for the ‘still life’ Tag
In bygone times getting up and getting dressed was somewhat more challenging than it is today. Ladies dwelling in country houses had a maid who would await the call and then rush to the Lady’s room to assist her in dressing for the day ahead. Nowadays we simply reach for the few items that we generally wear and we are out the door, but not so long ago this act took a considerable amount of time, layer upon layer of garments were applied before the finished look was achieved, two or three under garments, corsets laced tightly, petticoats the list goes on. You can only imagine the weight of the clothing and the restricted movement that the garments allowed, but this must have been far outweighed by the beauty and elegance of the dress of the era. But somehow I feel we have lost something in the way we dress in modern society, the androgernous look of clothing worn by both men and women, little distinction of the sexes, smartness replaced by a sloppy casualness. How wonderful the days of dressing up to simply go to dinner, or to dress appropriately for church, the feeling those women must have gained from entering a room and being admired for their fashion and beauty. How sad that today the same clothes are worn to dig the garden as well as to dine out…..how mundane the choice of fashions we find upon the high streets, the same stores selling the same clothes in every town and city. The hat and the glove relegated to use at weddings and funerals and countless other accessories worn by generations of English ladies now kept locked away in trinket boxes never to be worn with the pride they once were. We live in those women’s futures, a future which they dreamed of, so why do I long for their past?
On a recent visit to a English Country House I took a wander into a very special greenhouse. I believe its actually called a hot house and boy were they right! On a cold crisp English Spring day I sought shelter in its warmth, opening the door of the hot house that has stood for over a hundred years and stepping into a subtropical world. The warmth was so welcoming, with every step further in I felt myself carried to a far away island, the scent of the plants from distant shores, oblivious to the freezing world beyond the window panes. My layers of clothing suddenly began to feel heavy and unnecessary the further in I walked, the flowers reaching up to the blue sky above yet their scent hung low and intoxicated your every breath. Through a second door and the temperature rose substantially, almost sauna like conditions prevailed here, plants resembling bananas, flowers more like aliens and exotic fruit trees bursting into bud. Within seconds my camera had completely steamed over! As I cleared the lens I looked down and below the Camelia tree was a single fallen Camelia blossom, still beautiful but in the early throws of death, petals turning a subtle shade of brown against the radiance of the creamy heart, the gold tendrils like a crown still strong and proud, lifted to the light, still hoping for attention, timeless beauty now against the clock of nature, the cycle of birth, life and death in a corner of a hot house, on the coldest of English days……
A little bit of Latin there for you! The only other Latin I know is my old school moto, Veritas, meaning truth, oh and a few plant names!! Language fascinates me, although learning it has always proved rather more difficult, how on earth I managed to pass French still baffles me! And as for those language CD’s that promise that you will be fluent in less than 2 weeks well I’m not sure they ever tested it out on someone like me! But I really envy those who are multilingual, in fact most of the world knows English which is fantastic for the likes of me abroad, but it also shows just how lazy the British are, relying on the rest of the world to know English! One day I have promised myself that I will attempt to learn French or Italian…..but in the meantime language eludes me. The image today is a section of a small lamp that sits in my lounge, I was fascinated by the patterns formed by the twisted wicker against the bulb, another image from my ‘rainy days’ selection!
Its not often I’m stuck for something to photograph but the weather over the last couple of days has been wet and windy, not great for outdoor photography. So, whilst contemplating what to have for dinner, I noticed the chime that hangs from my curtain pole in my lounge, its actually a garden chime but as it was bought at the end of the Summer I didn’t manage to locate it outdoors! After photographing it from various angles I have decided that the straight on shot is most pleasing, the colour of the glass bead reminds me of the sun, glowing and fiery, a welcome distraction amongst all the grey gloom of late January!
Following my weekend of wanderings around my home town the weather has yet again closed in and shooting outdoors would be somewhat of a damp affair! So I decided to find a subject indoors. The first issue of shooting anything indoors in especially grey fading light is to decide how to light it. Not on this occassion. I just aimed and kept my fingers crossed! Thankfully there was enough light to give quite a nice warm glow to the object, almost as if it were bathed in sunlight…..that really would be hoping for too much! Pine cones are fabled to have the ability to forecast the weather…..I think mine have issues! I’m not sure if this task is related to pine cones still attached to the tree as mine seem to be in a permanent state of ‘open’ denoting sunshine and warm weather……of which we have had neither for at least 2 months! I prefer to think that my pine cones are simply eternal optimists!
Whilst messing around with my camera this morning I fired off a couple of shots (accidentally!) Upon looking at the LCD screen I was actually quite suprised to see a couple of quite interesting images! It just goes to show that sometimes you dont have to try very hard to achieve something a bit different. I have been following a blog for a while (although there doesnt seem to have been any posts just lately) where the photographer uses incamera effects….now what that means I dont exactly know but what I do know is that my camera doesn’t really have any (with the exception of a few filters) and their results are quite nice……generally blurred images of something where the colours have all merged and become a kind of abstract painting almost! Probably not the best description of a fellow blog, but I like to think that my accidental abstract image (of a banana) reminds me of the style of the artist Mark Rothko….so I have entitled this one ‘Banana in Yellow and Brown’ as a homage to him!
Sunday, such a lovely day today too, the sun shone and the daffodils have opened up their flowers. I have had what can only be described as a domestic day today….it started with a spring clean of the house, followed by some washing which for the first time this year I was able to hang outdoors and dry in the sunshine (No thats not the image of the day!!). My plans for the day involved staying at home and getting some jobs done and once the chores were finished I had a plan for what to do with my spare time….bake! So out came the ingredients, cook book and an array of whisks, spoons and bowls and within a short space of time I had a tray of yummy looking (as Ive yet to taste them!) Red Velvet and Sticky Toffee cupcakes! Unfortunately I now have rather a messy kitchen to clean up!