Thursday, 6 November 2014

Getting cosy

So the weather has turned cold, and my thoughts have turned inwards. Autumn is usually thought to be an introspective time of year. Some of my happier occupations in the last few weeks have been lighting candles and admiring their glow, and knitting up cosy articles to help me get through the cold, dark part of the year.

One of my favourite candle holders is this one, which is black with a gold inside and cut out star shapes all over. I love the way it throws star shapes across the wall. It just screams 'Autumn' and 'cosy' and 'magic' to me!

Whilst enjoying the candlelight, I've been indulging in some contemplative knitting. You probably know the kind I mean - where its so simple you can let your mind wander whilst working, and not have to worry about making mistakes.

I'm trying to knit up a stripy hot water bottle cosy. I'm making it up as I go along, and it's just simple stocking stitch with evenly spaced stripes. I love the simplicity of knitted stripes in two colours. Too many coloured stripes, and it starts to loose it's appeal for me.

Hope you're all staying cosy too! Back again soon.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Digital trickery or reality?

I've been thinking a lot this week about different perceptions of reality. The idea for this post actually come from my PhD study - I've been considering my research paradigm this week - but don't worry, I'm not going to go into the details of that here! It's just that choosing a research paradigm seems to be linked to what you think an appropriate view on reality is for your research, and so it's made me think about it.

You might now wonder "What on earth is she talking about? There's only one version of reality!", but it all depends on your view of the world. I think we all, because of differences in our experiences and what is important to us - what we choose to focus on in life - have a different perception of reality. We all choose to focus on different things in life, because of who we are - it's all about different perspectives. No two people experience the world in exactly the same way, so in that sense, there are as many realities in the world as there are people.

So, what am I rambling about? What does this have to do with anything? Well, when I was practicing getting to know the settings on my camera this week, it suddenly struck me that photography, and perhaps particularly digital photography, is just another way of trying to create an image of reality as you, the photographer, experience it. Specifically, I stumbled across the manual white balance setting this week, and had great fun playing around with that. The pictures below were taken at sunset this evening. They were all taken within a very short space of time, so that the light hadn't really changed that much between each shot. The colours just look different because I altered the white balance settings - the on the left one has a white balance towards the red area of the spectrum, while the one on the right it towards the blue-green area.

Ok, so you could say this is an example of digital trickery. I'm not going to argue for or against that point, but I think two different people looking at this sunset would see it in a slightly different way - with or without a camera with some fancy settings. We all pick out and focus on certain things more than others - perhaps this is a simple example. Maybe if we thought a bit more about this, and accepted it, we might all have more peaceful lives.

Hope you're all having a relaxing weekend - see you again soon!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A fresh start, a clean slate

What has made you happy today? For me it was the chance to get outside, just for half an hour, and enjoy the colours of autumn.

It's been great practice to try and capture the vivid colours of the leaves on camera.

I think I'm always pretty happy at this time of year anyway. I love it when it gets cold outside, and it's all about snuggly down in a cosy jumper, drinking hot chocolate, and maybe (on Halloween) watching a scary movie with your significant other.

 I've also been challenging myself to take some low light, indoor shots this week...something cosy. I'm pretty please with the results!

Happy Halloween everyone!