This week Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge focuses on steps or stairs and if there is one thing that we discovered on our trip to Europe was that there were plenty of stairs to climb.
This week Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge focuses on circles and curves and instead of selecting all the photos from my archive of images I decided to seek out some circles and curves and take new photographs. My selection contains a mix of the old and new, some travel photos and some taken in our backyard or in someone else’s backyard.
Squares and angles, they’re everywhere, you just have to take the time to really see them
Thanks again to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for the inspiration.
This is the first time I’ve participated in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and I’m finding that the various photography theme’s and challenges are a great way of getting inspired to take more photos and to look at those I have already taken, in a completely different way.
My choice of colour for this particular challenge is blue, a colour I’ve always loved and one that is lacking in my life at the moment thanks to weeks of wet and rainy weather – I miss those beautiful bright blue skies!
You know how much I love taking photos and sharing them, I’ve been a happy snapper since getting my first kodak camera when I was about 13, madly photographing horses, cows, kittens, family and anything else that would let me immortalise it on film. My Mum was not happy when she paid for the development of a roll of film only to discover that half of the photos were blurry images of my friend’s cat and her new litter of kittens. My Mum still doesn’t understand my desire to photograph everything, this is a woman who manages to go on holiday to Singapore and leaves her camera at home or attends my wedding but doesn’t take any photos, it just isn’t a priority for her. I however, recently did a one day beginners photography workshop with BlueDog Photography because I decided that it was time to act on my desire to learn more about the technical aspects of photography. I want to get out of the habit of using auto settings and learn how to combat some of the challenges that arise in photography and ultimately, take better photos.
Blue Dog Photography is based on the Gold Coast hinterland, they offer a range of courses from Beginners to star trails, wedding photography and photography tours to places like Fraser Island, Vanuatu and Cambodia. I chose them because of friends that had raved about the course and looking at the course outline, the beginners course was focusing on the areas that I wanted to learn more about. Our teacher/instructor was Danielle, a down to earth lady with an amazing attitude and lengthy experience in the photographic industry, assisting her was David, a former student and experienced photographer, both of them very patient which is what you need when learning something new.
Theory was interwoven with practical, the course wasn’t just about how to use the manual settings on your camera, but included discussion on composition, depth of field, shutter speeds, camera maintenance, file formats and archiving files. Two important things for me to remember are: Auto is evil and to MOVE when taking photos.
One of the practical exercises was to focus on using the shutter priority mode (S on the dial) (without a tripod), we photographed moving water to understand how the shutter speed affects motion and light: a slow shutter speed blurs the water and a fast shutter speed freezes the action, as the shutter speed got faster the image got darker so we had to increase the ISO. The higher the ISO the more light is captured and voila! we had the image we wanted. The f-stop (eg. f8) is automatically set by the camera when in shutter priority mode but I’ve included it in the caption so you can see how it also changes when the other settings are changed. This is not a photography tutorial so I’ll leave it at that but you can see the difference in the following images.
For anyone experienced with photography, you already know this stuff and it is something I had learned years ago during a short course on photography but for me it was about learning how to think and what questions do I need to be asking myself before taking a photo. It was a fun day for me and I could have spent the whole weekend at that class but I’ll have to settle for putting what I’ve learned into practice and signing up for the intermediate course.
It’s that time of year again, awards season, time to roll out the red carpet, hire a limo and don a pretty frock (or tuxedo). An actor, director, writer I am not, but in the last two months I have been on the receiving end of a couple of awards and it is about time that I wrote my acceptance speech.
The lovely and talented ladies Meg and MariaGiovanna, from Meg Travels and Sharing My Italy nominated me for the Blog of the Year 2012, thank you Meg and MariaGiovanna! If you love travel, and particularly travel in Italy, you will find much to love about these blogs.
As with all blogging awards, there are ‘rules’ and the rules for this award are simple:
- Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
- Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award
- Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
- Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
- You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlogoftheYear/ and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
- As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…
Rather than nominate blogs which I haven’t nominated before as is my usual practice, the list of my nominees for this award will be a mix and I’ll also be adding them to my blog awards page.
…and the award goes to:
If you haven’t already checked these blogs out, please do especially if you love travel, photography, dogs and design.
The other award I recently received is the Versatile Blogger Award and it comes from Jax of Paper and Lace, a gorgeous blog dedicated to making life easier for Kiwi brides. Paper and Lace features wedding photography, ideas for decorator, a black book of wedding suppliers and freebie stationery designs such as calendars. Although I’m already married, I love looking at the photos on Paper and Lace and admiring the creative work that people produce to make a wedding day special. I have received the Versatile Blogger Award previously, but the badge is different for this one so I’m going to (sort of) follow the rules
The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:
- Display the Award Certificate on your website
- Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
- Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
- Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
- Post 7 interesting things about yourself
Given that I’ve done this before, see: Versatile Blogger Award I’m only going to offer up 3 things about myself and nominate 3 blogs that I haven’t nominated previously.
…and the award goes to:
Richard Tulloch’s Life on the Road - Richard is a talented, experienced and published writer blogging about his travel adventures which extend as far as Europe but also include destinations much closer to home.
Travelling Italy with Lyn – Lyn has a passion for travel, particularly travel in Italy which I understand completely and it has been a joy following her adventures in one of my favourite countries.
The Midwest Maven – I love the description that Jorie provides about her blog: “It’s like a cyber junk drawer, but with better organization and fewer rubber bands.” Jorie writes about travel, food, dogs and everyday life and I like her style.
Three things about me:
- I am a compulsive purchaser and collector of travel guides and brochures.
- Spending time alone at home with my dogs is one of my most favourite things to do and it helps recharge my flagging energy supply.
- I miss my Nanna’s old fashioned, homestyle cooking that was never fancy but always delicious. Dishes such as creamed rice with cooked peaches, chewy anzac biscuits and the best Christmas pudding and custard I have ever eaten.
Thank you for your nominations and support, happy blogging in 2013!
This post has been a long time coming, much has been happening in both my personal and working life resulting in sporadic blog posts and a lengthy delay in acknowledging awards that Two Black Dogs has received in the last couple of months.
I’ve given my response to these awards alot of thought and have decided to very loosely follow the rules mainly because my sphere of blogs is still quite small and I feel as though I just keep awarding the same blogs over and over again. You may have read Restlessjo’s post about her awards dilemma, that post is what inspired me to approach the blog awards differently, like Jo, I am time poor but I still want to be able to say thank you and recognise the efforts of other bloggers. It is not that the blogs I’ve nominated aren’t worthy of getting all the awards doing the rounds, but instead of nominating a set number of blogs for each award I’m going to nominate ten blogs that I haven’t nominated before and the recipients can choose which award (or perhaps all of them) they feel best represents them. In addition, I will be setting up an Awards page, on this I will feature all the awards that have been bestowed upon me as well as links to those who nominated me and my recipients, hopefully you will discover a new blog or several to love and cherish
First I would like to thank Fabulous Fur Friends for the Illuminating Blogger award, a blog devoted to the health and welfare of animals, highlighting the joys of pet ownership and in particular, the story of her beautiful dogs Rupert and April. I have received this award before, hence my laziness in redirecting you to that award post rather than repeating myself.
The two other awards I have received are the One Lovely Blog Award and the Very Inspiring Blog Award.
For these awards I would like to thank the Margie from the delightful margieinitaly blog, Margie writes extensively about destinations and her travel experiences in Italy as well as featuring interesting news articles that you probably won’t see in the mainstream media. margieinitaly helps me get my ‘Italy fix’, mille grazie Margie!
The other nominations for these awards came from The Lanther and Tales of life with Cats and Dogs. Both of these blogs have feature photos of gorgeous black dogs and wonderful stories and I thank you both for nominating Two Black Dogs.
The Lanther is an amusing blog from the perspective of a dog called Boulu, there is sometimes a serious side to his posts but generally it is a fun read complete with entertaining videos featuring the Lanther (read how he got that nickname) Boulu. Thank you kindly for your nomination Lanther, it is much appreciated.
Tales of life with Cats and Dogs is a blog that looks at life with cats and dogs, Bosun Dawg explores the love, joy and heartbreak that comes with pet ownership, his heartfelt words and the poetry he often posts has the power to bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger and One Lovely Blog awards, the acknowledgement is mutual.
In return for receiving these awards I am supposed to tell you (in total) 9 things about myself, nominate 30 blogs and let those 30 blogs know that they have been nominated. Now, as I said before I’m going to follow these rules loosely so here are 3 things about me and 10 blogs that I’ve never nominated before but are nonetheless worthy of these awards.
3 things about me
- I love spending my Saturdays in my winter pyjamas, they are my favourite item of clothing.
- I believe that aating chocolate mud cake is ok anytime of day, even breakfast.
- Living in the Italian countryside or the south/south west of France for 12 months (at least) is my 5-10 year plan although I would pack my bags and go tomorrow if I could.
…and the Illuminating, Very Inspiring and One Lovely Blog awards go to:
- Dogs Inner City – because they share my love of dogs, food and photography
- Adventures of a Dog Mom – another blog that combine a love of food and dogs
- Bagni di Lucca and Beyond – A blog featuring the picturesque village of Bagni di Lucca in Italy and lots of lovely travel stories.
- Sharing My Italy – What is not to love if you are an Italophile like me?
- Doggy’s Style – the entertaining antics of a Spanish Water Dog
- Paws to Talk – Bella and DiDi give great advice to pooches and their humans all over the world
- 1001 Scribbles – travel and amazing photography that makes you see things from a different perspective.
- The Fuzzy Foto – If you love nature photography like I do, you will enjoy looking at the wonderful images on this blog
- Picturette – Awesome illustration and graphic design from an Australian artist
- Apartments I like – I love home decorating magazines as much as I love travel books and dog blogs, this site is fantastic for getting a little inspiration.
Thanks again for all the nominations and thank you to each and every one of you that take the time to visit my blog, like my posts and contribute to my comments, as any Australian would say on receipt of such recognition “I love youse all”.
Have a great weekend!
Recently Two Black Dogs received a couple of blogging awards from the wonderful Meg Travels. Meg Travels is a thoughtful, positive and interesting blog and Meg always manages to pique my curiosity about destinations I hadn’t ever considered visiting, I find that we have alot in common and I am very grateful that she has nominated Two Black Dogs for the Sunshine Award and Genuine Blogger Award and I accept with pleasure. If you love travel, especially travel to Italy, please take some time to check out Meg Travels, as well as providing good stories and advice, Meg will be heading off to Italy on another trip soon.
The Sunshine Award does come with some requirements:
- Link the award to the person who gave it to you.
- Answer the questions that come with it.
- Pass it along to 10 people and let them know they have received it.
The questions and my answers:
- Favorite color: Blue
- Favorite number: 3
- Favorite Non-alcoholic drink: Coffee
- Facebook or Twitter: Facebook, I struggled with Twitter before giving up in defeat
- My Passion: Three great loves – travel, art and last but not least dogs
- Favorite pattern: Fell in love with the intricate patterns painted on the interior of Neuschwanstein Castle
- Favorite Day of the Week: Saturday because it means I have two whole days off and Sunday because I get to spend time walking and cuddling the dogs at our local shelter.
- Favorite Flower: Roses
Now to nominate ten bloggers and because it is a great idea, I’m going to follow in Meg Travels’ footsteps and nominate all ten for both the Sunshine Award and the Genuine Blogger Award (which has no specific requirements). I’ve noticed a number of my favourite blogs have already been recipients of awards of late, regardless I am going to nominate them as well, why? Because they’re worth it!
…and the award goes to:
This is my way of saying thank you for inspiring, teaching and entertaining me through your blogs. Whether you choose to accept either award or even pass them on is your choice, I’ll be notifying you of your award over the next few days. Congratulations and thank you once again for sharing and thank you Meg for thinking of Two Black Dogs
Today I received a nice surprise when I opened my email, Meg from the wonderful Meg Travels blog had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. Now, although I had seen the award on other blogs, I didn’t really know much about it and I since discovered that there are rules to follow.
Rule #1: Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
Meg Travels takes me to places I have never been as well as bringing back happy memories of the destinations I have been lucky enough to visit. Thank you Meg for your kind words, I am so glad that you enjoy my posts and the feeling is mutual!
Rule #2: Share 7 things about yourself.
- I held my high school record for the 400m sprint for 2 years
- Some of my favourite movies are old musicals and at this time of year I watch White Christmas starring Bing Crosby several times.
- I love to wear my winter flannelette pyjamas more than any other item of clothing often staying in them all day on a weekend.
- My office is filled with books and images relating to travel and art, very little has anything to do with my work.
- I have watched the Buffy and Angel series too many times to remember and I watch them in sequence.
- Celebrities can be entertaining, I enjoy watching interviews with people like Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais and Kate Winslet but I loathe this fascination that people have with the lives of celebrities and whether they’re pregnant, gay, wearing makeup or not, etc.
- My dogs mean the world to me, I cannot and don’t want to imagine a life without them and I can’t understand how people can be so cruel and dismissive of animals in general.
Rule #3: Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
I love these blogs for different reasons, some are funny and make me smile, others allow me to indulge in my love for travel and photography and a few touch my heart with their stories of second chances.
- Twenty-Six To Life
- Sarah Smiles Awhile
- Margie in Italy
- Once in a Lifetime Travel
- Love and a six-foot leash
- Cultural Comments
- Midi-Life Crisis
- Ruthless Things
- Outdoor Guy Photography
- At Home in Tuscany
- Kerstenbeck Photographic Art
- Lucky Dog Rescue Blog
- Our traveling without moving
Rule #4: Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.
Getting onto this right now!
Thanks again Meg and happy blogging!
I love it! What amazing and inquisitive creatures they are and the expressions are priceless