Abstracting Angles

Take a picture and twist it,

Mix it,

Turn it round and bend it,

Don’t mend it.

Shake it up,

Blend it.

Shape that space,

No disgrace to fix it.

Give it Grace,

Make a place,

New is ace.

Change its face.

There’s no race,

Just keep up your pace.

Spin that pic,

Twin that pic,

Win that pic.

Love that pic.

That pic is sick!

(A possible Rap) x

Skies

One thing about living in a temperate climate in the Midlands of England is the variations in the sky. We might have just had one of the hottest summer’s on record, but like most people here I am waiting for the rain to come back. The country usually gets enough, but at the moment satellite imagery shows the grass burnt to brown instead of the greens of summers. Trees seem to be fairing better because they have deep roots. But hopefully when the rain comes down from the sky the land will recover.

Skies….

Clouds fly on the breezes and winds,

Blue skies soon turn grey,

Magic sunsets illuminate the sky,

Stars shine out on high.

Shooting stars obscured by clouds,

Planet’s seem so bright.

Moon and Sun in turn appear,

Sometimes Moon hides Sun.

Look up, look up, into the air, not just to the ground,

Above your head the sky astounds,

The world below is gone.

 

Well I do like skies. There is something called the cloud appreciation society which has interesting information about clouds. They suggest blue skies are boring, and watching the different sorts of clouds is the thing to do, from cirrus, cumulo nimbus, asperatus, mammatus, stratus, so many names. New cloud formations identified. ..

Skies are such a barometer (no pun intended) of our atmosphere. I would hate to live in a country where the weather stayed the same for months.

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Mow Cop

Mow Cop…..

If you ever drive on the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton, look to your left as you are driving North, just past little Moreton Hall. You might catch a glimpse of Mow Cop on top of the hill…

Mow Cop is a folly, built to look like a castle, and it stands above the village of Mow Cop, giving views of the Cheshire plain and Shropshire and the Welsh hills.

We decided to visit today as a group I am in- Stoke USK, (urban sketchers group) is due to visit on Saturday but I can’t make it.

I did some brief sketches of the castle and the view, clouds were quite low over the plain and rain was threatening. I irritated myself because I started the castle drawing too far over the page so had to start again.

While we were there we saw a carved stone with lettering on it. I could just make out the words. “To the Glory of God
A camp meeting near this spot on May 31st 1807 began the Religious Revival led by Hugh Bourne and William Clowes known as Primitive Methodism (unveiled?) By the president of the Methodist Conference 13th May 1948”

I knew that the Methodists had started in the area; Bethesda chapel in Hanley , the city centre of Stoke on Trent, is currently being restored. I imagined people gathering at Mow Cop, listening to the Victorian preachers, in rain, wind and hail. A romantic view I know. But the place is very atmospheric.

We finally tried to walk up to the castle, but the steep steps defeated me so I only got half way up. Richard managed a bit further.

Want to visit?  The castle is a bit difficult to find. Once you are on the hill you can’t see it as well. However there is a good sized car park when you get there. You will see a National Trust notice board and it gives the opening times. Roads approach from the A34 and a road from Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent.

Icelandic poppies

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Richard just brought a pot of Icelandic poppies in from outside. He said he wanted to enjoy their colours. I understand why. Our garden is not really visible because we have high window ledges so the view is blocked off.

These poppies are nodding their heads because I have the fan on to cool the air in here. Outside it hit 30C again in the yard. It frequently does at the the moment because its very sheltered and south west facing, trees and hedges surround it so as the Sun goes down it gets cooler. That’s when we water the hanging baskets (which keep wilting in the heat).

We are getting green tomatoes but despite the sunshine  they are not ripening much. I think I need to trim some of the lower branches.

I will try and get a good photo of the yard soon, if the plants recover a bit. In the meantime enjoy the Icelandic poppies……

Inkwell..

 

 

There is a particular filter on Instagram that I sometimes use when I want to convert colour photos to black and white. There are a few options you can use including one called willow I think, but I  prefer inkwell. I generally adjust the colour balance first and then go to the filters and choose inkwell. The blacks are rich and deep and the light and white colours are not overexposed. The grey tones are warm and the overall picture remains as it was when I took the original photos.  I generally don’t do any more editing than that.

One thing that can be confusing is when it snows, the image of the wire and gemstone ygdrasil tree hanging in our window , with snowy roofs behind is a case in point, I chose it from a tiny thumbnail, and now looking at it the sky seems a bit pink? Actually when you look closely you can see the brass ring on the window hanging is coloured. The world can be black and white without filters!

Black and White cats

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Two tiers of cats, one tries to get higher than the other. Both sleep, then a tail flickers or a whisker twitches, and they wake, wash, then chase each other round the room, upstairs, into the front bedroom, thundering paws shaking the floorboards.

Hot cats sleep more in this weather, try to find cool places. The newly refurbished kitchen is ideal at night. Apparently there is a lack of insulation in the roof so it gets cooler in the evening. I walk in there and one cat is curled up in the fruit bowl and the other is lying on top of the cooker cover.

One morning this week the male cat was asleep in a box. Why would an animal covered in thick fur decide to take a nap in something that would make it warmer?

Black and White photos of black and white cats appeal to me. You can see more of the patterns on their coats. The background colours are not there to distract your vision and the gradation of greys makes for a more interesting picture.

Sometimes one cat is easier to take a picture of than the other. Our female cat is very friendly when she wants a fuss but more often than not she will find somewhere quiet under a cupboard to sleep. She also runs off when I try and photograph her.

They are a brother and sister…..but the male is twice as large as the female. I like it when they move in synchronisation or lie down in mirror image positions.

I love my cats, and I think they love me back.

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Kaleidoscopic

One of my favourite things to do with photographs is to put them through the google layout app that allows you to take a photo, flip it and flip it again. You end up with strange abstract patterns, of symmetry and asymmetry, depending in how many photos you use.

I treated the goose photos two different ways. The large goose has been tipped and twisted 4 ways do that there is a pattern of S shapes. The other is 4 vertical panels, all the same size. That I have called “get your geese in a row”. The third picture is of partly completed kitchen cupboards “kaliediscoped”…

The fourth picture is two photos of almost the same view. Both were flipped,  but I made sure they did not line up for a change.

The fifth us of the pilings supporting the cafe at a local lake. The cafe seems to float above the lake and these pillars help to support it. The final photo was of oriental poppies at a local pottery….there seems to be a stepped path up through the foliage.

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