Monday, 5 December 2011

Rings, raffle prizes and lots of copper spirals

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a rush, with lots of work to finish to pending deadlines. Because of promises I'd made, birthdays coming up and favours I needed to repay, only a small part of this work has ended up as paid work, but I've got through a significant volume of work - and all on time.

I'd promised my mother-in-law that I would make a couple of items for a raffle she was holding - it was her 80th birthday party at the weekend and she wanted to hold a free raffle to give her guests back some gifts as she holds many fundraising raffles and is always asking people to donate prizes or buy tickets, so she wanted to give something back, for free.

Chalk turquoise and antiqued copper spiralled bracelet.

So I looked what beads I had a decent stock of and decided that bracelets are fairly universally worn - most people can wear an average size and it might prove easier to get right than earrings or a necklace. So I made two copper bracelets, one with some chalk turquoise beads and another with mahogany obsidian.

Mahogany obsidian and antiqued copper bracelet made for a raffle prize.

With raffle prizes, it is my practice to gift wrap the item and place it into a sealed gift bag with a photo label describing the contents tied outside the bag - it saves the packaging from being disturbed to see what it is and if it isn't to the recipients taste, it's already gift wrapped to give as a gift. So, having taken some photographs for that purpose, I decided I might as well list them for sale as 'made to order', so took some more photos for that purpose - considering that its often the most tedious part of the selling process and I'd already half done the job.

My mother-in-law is a long term arthritis sufferer and experiences great pain in her hands and a little while ago bought one of my one of my rosebud knot rings to see if there was anything in the reputed health benefits of wearing copper. She absolutely swears that it has significantly improved the comfort level in the finger she wears it on and asked for another ring for the finger on the other hand that gives her most pain.

So I wanted to make her a selection of rings, for her birthday, in the size we'd established would suit so that she could mix and match - so I made two decorative rings and a pair of co-ordinating stackers. The main feature ring is polished raw copper featuring a central twist section. My favourite I think is a slightly hammered copper band with a solid nugget or pebble of Sterling silver. I've oxed it darkly to highlight the silver.

I supplemented the decorative rings with a plain, square profile chunky stacking ring and a simply made and rather rustic antiqued faceted stacker in a slightly finer gauge.

My other work entailed making several sets of necklaces and earrings featuring the spiral coils of copper between stones that I've blogged recently. I got some gorgeous Indian Fancy Jasper stones from my friend Maisy to make a set up for a very good customer in the US who fancied the idea of some of the stones in this design of necklace and I'm very happy with how it has turned out, the blue green of the stones looks fabulous with the antiqued copper tones.

I hope that the customer will like it when it makes its way over the Atlantic to her.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Anniversary, the last few leaves and new puppies

As I wrote a note this morning and went to date it, I realised that today was actually my on-line selling anniversary - I have no idea how that snook up so quickly. 4 years under my belt now as a proper on-line self-representing seller.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger version.

I just love the colours of sunshine on beech leaves on a crisp autumn day - against clear blue sky. It would have been criminal not to get out and appreciate it.

I think I probably actually started selling in the spring of 2007, but I spent a long while faffing about trying to settle on a system for selling - whether to try and develop my own shopping cart, just use PayPal buttons or to make life a little easier and use a third party selling venue. In the short term, I settled on selling through Etsy and set up my shop there, embedding it into the page of my own web site, whilst I sorted out a proper cart behind the scenes to replace my initial shambolic efforts.

So the day I opened my Etsy shop became my official anniversary as it's a line in the sand that I can identify with as a corner turned and the date is there in my shop as a reminder. I now have over 520 items in my own shop and those first scary efforts feel like a lifetime ago.

Who wouldn't want to walk down this path. I passed more people in hiking boots than I think I've ever seen in the area - everyone obviously felt the same way that I did about not wasting the opportunity.

So I decided to hold a short-notice 48 hour sale to celebrate, so I have 20% off everything in my shop and coupon code ETSYVERSARY20 will secure you the same discount if you prefer shopping on Etsy.

We had a couple of gorgeous days last week and I took myself out for some fresh air whilst it lasted and I suspect that I got to enjoy the last decent showing of autumn colour for 2011. One tree that I had photographed in absolute glory only 9 days previously was now almost bare, so the wind we've had over the last few days is sure to have seen many more leaves off.

I fear that the next time I walk this path it will be devoid of leaves and will feel much more bare and wintry. So I shall let you enjoy the photographs before we have to face the on-coming winter.

Last weekend we visited with family as it was my Mother's birthday and my sister has just given a home to her new Miniature Snauzer puppy Klara - who is just over 9 weeks old - she's been waiting for this since before she was born, having put her name down with the breeder after the Mum's pregnancy was confirmed.

She's absolutely adorable; cute as a button, full of energy, affectionate, very bright (learnt to sit on command over a weekend) and full of beans and extreme cheekiness. So I'll leave you with an "ahhhhh" moment which should warm your heart on this cold November evening.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Stateside chums.

It's not obvious from the shot above, just how tiny she is, until you see her with Mr Boo. He's not that keen on dogs apparently, but he always seems to have one on his lap and they always seem to want to be there!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

PHP server upgrades, autumn leaves and lots of coiling

Isn't it just typical - we get a day of glorious autumn weather on a day when we have other commitments and can't take full advantage of it. Why couldn't it have been gorgeous yesterday instead.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view.
The first click takes you to a gallery overlay, but you can view the larger originals (which should include the EXIF data) by clicking 'Show original' in the bottom left hand corner.

One especially spectacular beech tree, against a perfect blue sky. I just love that combination of colours at this time of year on the odd few days we're lucky enough to experience it.

Oh no, wait, that wouldn't have worked either, I woke in the morning to find that my web host had done some scheduled upgrades overnight (I've known about it for months, I just didn't comprehend the potential implications to me) that had stopped my web site working and I spent the day alternating between tearing clumps of hair out that I can little afford to lose, trying to keep my already rampant hypertension under some degree of control and in trying to find someone (Stateside and on a Saturday morning) who knew a lot more about it than me, who could give me a guiding hand to fix it.

As I no doubt post ad nauseum, I love to see sunlight through leaves - it lifts my spirits more than just about anything else. If I can heard birdsong too, that's a great bonus.

Thankfully I did find a kind soul on the cart developers forum who directed me to detailed instructions for a fix to what was a well known problem with my cart when the PHP version is upgraded on the server. Thankfully, the instructions were very concise and I have just enough experience of modding my own shopping cart to know how to download and edit the code files in question and restore the new version to the server. And I refreshed the site pages holding my breath and was astonished that it had indeed fixed it.

This particular stretch of path is always accompanied by the best selection of birdsong - there's a good tract of ancient woodland to the right of the wall and it always sounds lovely.

The problem had initially looked pretty terminal, with screen-full after screen-full of lines of error codes and I wasn't able to even log into my admin panel to see what version of the software I was running - so I wasn't expecting the fix to be quite so easy to implement and fully expected that my initial efforts might fix one problem, only to have to face the next one presented. So I am extra-ordinarily grateful to have got the right help very promptly and that it only actually required one line of amended code to fix what seemed like a catalogue of assorted problems. Phew!

I just love the rich coppery colours of the beech leaves against a blue sky. This was actually a long way above the ground, but my 700mm lens easily closed the distance.

It wasn't exactly how I planned spending my Saturday, but having experienced that first sickening lurch of my stomach in the morning when my site got borked, I was thrilled to have it up and running again properly by the afternoon. The only harm done, I suspect, is to my nerves.

As we drew the curtains this morning we were met with the most glorious clear sky and there was even a light white frost on some of the rougher textured surfaces outside. Mr Boo had a long-standing commitment for the afternoon, so we couldn't go too far before he'd have to leave, so decided to at least enjoy some of the sunshine by doing one of our favourite local walks after breakfast.

It really was a prefect autumn day - clear fresh crisp air with just a little bite to the breeze, wall to wall blue sky and gorgeous golden sunshine - which as it rose in the sky ended up remarkably warm and very pleasant to be out in. I was delighted to get out, stretch my legs, blow the cobwebs out and come home with rosy cheeks and a few photographs in the can.

My work this week - all a bit coil-tastic:

I had reason to re-make an old design for a customer who wanted a variation of something she'd bought some years ago and it enforced me to re-visit a technique I've not done for a while - coiling wire to make a rope-like structure. I've done various different wire 'ropes' in the past, variously twisting or coiling wires of different gauges to get the desired effect.

Whilst I almost always antique or oxidise my copper, I do love to see it all peachy and shiny after tumbling and cleaning, so couldn't resist taking a 'WIP' photograph to show all the textured shiny metal.

This week it was all about coiling. Having done a little practice to establish the best gauges for the effect and weight I was after, I soon established a rhythm for making rope-like bead sections to use within pieces and got totally swept away with ideas using them.

It started with a couple of kilt pins in a series I'm making for the holiday season, as they often sell for gifts for people who don't wear much jewellery and I had a few in progress. Having done this pair with Indian fancy jasper stones, I routed out some other gemstones of a suitable size and the amethyst came next - and I loved the faceted stone next to the copper, so the necklace soon followed, with its matching earrings. Now that my fingers are starting to recover, I will no doubt do some more - my head is still full of ideas.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Can you take decent product shots with a low end camera?

There was a thread started in the Etsy forums recently in respect of the limitations of low end point and shoot cameras and their suitability, or lack of it, for taking product shots for selling. A lengthy discussion ensued and as is usually the case, every possible interpretation and perspective on this issue was aired.

From the opening post by WillowontheWater:
"Sure, you CAN get some great shots off of a low end camera, but how long does it take? Not only to get the shot, but then to edit it? I have said it before and I'll say it again... the proper tool makes all the difference."
I added my own thoughts to the subject too. Whilst the opening post had some indisputable truths, I felt that it was in no way the whole story. Getting decent product photographs is a combination of equipment - both camera, lighting and staging - but perhaps the most significant factor is technique. Understanding your camera, some of the basic principles of photography and how to get the best from what you have, would actually solve the vast majority of photography problems posted about in the forums.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view, they look rather dark here on the page.

A polymer clay faux dichroic glass pendant taken with a very basic point and shoot camera with minimal setting options.

I don't think that I've personally seen a thread where the photography problem could only be overcome by buying a new camera - that the camera was the only factor letting the user down. In almost every case, the problems can be overcome - or at the very least, improved upon - with an adjustment in camera setting or a modification of technique - such as focusing in the right place or using a support for the camera to remove camera shake. Most users experiencing difficulty would probably be better served spending money on additional lighting, daylight bulbs or a small tripod - and not necessarily on camera equipment.

Most of the problems posted are about 4 main issues; blurred images (due to either camera shake or inappropriate focus), the wrong part of the subject being in focus (usually due to using the camera closer to the subject than it can focus), incorrect white balance (whites looking blue or orange etc.) or exposure problems - and those are almost always about items on white backgrounds looking too dark and coming out with grubby backgrounds. It doesnt matter how much light you throw on your subject, if you underexpose for the scene, the images will always look too dark.

The advice posted is often to shift the levels in photo editing software retrospectively, when in reality, all the crafter needs is to do is to add some positive exposure compensation to ensure that the white background looks white in the resulting images.

Using a little positive exposure compensation in shots that are predominantly light can ensure that your white backgrounds stay that way - in this case I used two thirds of a stop of positive exposure compensation (+0.67 EC).

Much more detail on overcoming this sort of photography problem is covered in my small item photography tutorial and doesn't need to be repeated in detail here at this time - and I have a list of all my photography articles and blogs on this page here on the blog.

It's an oft-posted mantra that the crafters don't have 'enough' light to get bright photographs - in reality, it's possible to take perfectly good photographs in very little light indeed - what does matter, is how you expose for the light that you do have and how you manage your technique when the light levels fall.

If your lighting level is low, you may encounter problems associated with slow shutter speeds for example, resulting in camera shake from your hands moving whilst the shutter is open to take the shot - that can be overcome by either changing camera exposure settings to ensure a faster shutter speed, where that's practical and possible to do so (it wasn't in my little experiment shots here due to camera limitations), or by using a support for the camera, like a tripod or bean bag.

The opening post in the forum thread in question linked to a blog with some example photographs taken with a basic model second hand Canon point and shoot camera - which actually had a higher spec than the examples I've posted here. Considering that the poster is an experienced and very capable professional photographer, I think the photographs were taken by just pointing and shooting and very little regard for correct technique for the subject in hand, perhaps just to make the point that you can't just 'point and shoot' them. The photographs were pretty appalling (the point the poster was making) - but I didn't think they needed to be.

It was my contention, as already stated, that technique is by far the most powerful tool in your arsenal - I've often said that a little know-how and understanding can make a massive difference. All of the photographs posted here were taken with a Fujifilm A850 camera that my husband uses as his own walkaround camera. He has no interest in fiddling with settings, so I've pre-set this model with some settings to suit his personal uses for the camera and he just switches it on and squirts away at the scenery and gets some annoyingly good results too.

The camera is very basic - it cost us under £60 GBP 4+ years ago. It has 3 modes, one for photographing babies that doesn't use flash and offers soft skin tones (I'd like to try that for this task, it might actually work quite well), fully Automatic and what they call a 'Manual' mode - which in reality is the same as auto, but the camera relinquishes decisions about some settings to the user. I chose the latter and put some objects in my usual lighting setting - a daylight fluorescent ring light with a diffuser over my subject - I couldn't adjust exposure other than by using exposure compensation and I couldn't even turn off the flash, which seemingly came on when the shutter speed went too low - so I found I could prevent this from happening by being careful with the exposures I secured.

I used macro mode, which allows the camera to focus closer to the subject than for general photography and I used Auto white balance for most of the frames, as I was using a daylight tube and it seemed to work reasonably well - some looked a little cold, so I swapped to the fine/cloudy pre-set, but once on the computer, these actually weren't as realistic for colour, so I adjusted them to match the earlier AWB shots.

I found focusing more tricky than with my usual, slightly more featured product photography camera and I can see now that some aren't optimally focused, so some more time with the camera would learn the quirks of its focusing - as it tended to shoot with a wide open aperture and this led to a shallower depth of field than I usually try to achieve, which in turn gives a greater margin of error for sharpness - so as I can't control aperture, I'd need to be more mindful of that in future and focus more carefully.

Far from spending a lot of time on these, they had exactly the same workflow as I usually perform on my product shots - in fact somewhat less, as these are sharpened in the camera and have higher contrast than I normally use, so I reduced/omitted these stages in my post processing. I started typing my post here less than 30 minutes after picking up the camera, so that was the time I spent taking the shots, dusting some of my props, booting the computer I download images onto, transferring them over the network to my working computer (which acts as my back up method too), choosing frames, post processing and saving the finished images.

The exposures/tonality are largely as they came out of the camera, I cropped for framing, tweaked white balance a little as the auto WB did fluctuate a bit between frames (I wouldn't normally choose it for that very reason), did very modest levels adjustment - as I would with any shots - cloned out any fluff or dust and reduced in size and locally sharpened. If you want to see the exposure information, the EXIF data should be intact in the images, but you'll probably have to click through the image to the gallery overlay, then select the link for 'Show original' in the bottom left hand corner.

I was curious to try and see just how workable a very basic 'low-end' camera could be in practice and whilst I can see there are clearly some shortfalls in these photographs and they certainly don't look that pretty at full resolution, the results are actually better than I was expecting and having checked them on the computer, if I were to repeat the exercise now with what I've already learned, I would expect the next series would be somewhat better with appropriate tweaks in my own technique appropriate to this camera.

The clocks go back this weekend - sale to cheer us up

I realised as I showered this morning and was listening to the dawn chorus outside the bathroom window - that the clocks go back this weekend and next week I'll maybe miss my birdsong, but it will start to go dark before teatime. Which is quite a depressing thought, as the days approach their shortest and the temperatures plummet.

So we perhaps all need some cheering up - and it's that inevitable time when we have to consider the approaching festivities and I'm determined not to be as last minute and manic as I have been the last couple of years.

So, I decided to hold an impromptu sale - over the weekend and for the rest of the week - and have knocked 15% off everything in the shop. This might help you to treat yourself to something cheering, or make a start on your Chr . . . no, can't say it yet . . . let's just say . . . pre-festive purchases.

Please click on any of the photographs for a better view.

Some one of a kind entirely hand crafted beaded bead earrings just added to the shop, with faceted fire polished crystal, Swarovski Elements crystals, black and silver seed bead netting and Sterling silver metalwork. More colours to be added shortly.

If you prefer to buy through Etsy, I've activated discount coupon code WINTERSALE which if you enter where requested during checkout will give you the same 15% off there too.

Some autumn colour photographs:

We managed to get two of our very favourite walks done in the English Lake District last weekend, possibly our last trip there this year and although the weather was pretty poor, the foliage colours were still spectacular. Walking was a little squelchy underfoot after torrential rain overnight created mud and brought a lot of wet leaves down, but I'd still rather be there in the rain than most other places in sunshine.

I love doing shots that I call 'macro landscapes' - the camera that I'm currently using as my walkaround camera, the Fujifilm HS20EXR has a tilt screen which allows me to shoot low and a super macro wide angle mode, which allows me to get very close, but include a lot of the scene too.

If only I'd moved a smidge to the right, I might have caught nice reflections in the puddles!

Coming next:

After a forum discussion about how point and shoot cameras are wholly unsuitable for product photography - a point that was illustrated with some extreme, very poorly managed shots, I aim to take some product shots with the oldest and least-featured cameras in the house and see if I can make a better job of it - I am of the view that technique is a perhaps the most important factor.

I also have an idea of taking some photographs with very little light (candlelight maybe?) to illustrate how it's not how much light you have, but managing what you do have properly that matters.

Friday, 21 October 2011

I didn't expect that today

Life has a way of occasionally presenting you with a variety of unexpected experiences - some very welcome, others not so much.

Often it's those innocuous ordinary days that can turn up something quite different. Perhaps it's their very ordinary-ness that makes the unexpected turn out all the more delightful.

Thus it was last Friday. We were away in the English Lake District in our favourite spot for a long weekend and because we'd decided to go away at the very last minute, we hadn't really planned it very well. So we needed to spend our first morning doing some food shopping and headed off to an out of town shopping area with several adjacent supermarkets. One of the things on our list that we'd been unsuccessful with in the supermarket was bird food - there is a small bird table outside the caravan and we enjoy seeing the visiting birds, so we headed across the car park to a couple of more likely stores for supplies for our feathered neighbours.
Please click on any of the photographs for a larger view.

Elmo, a fabulously striking Bengali Owl

One of the stores was a large pet superstore and outside the main entrance was a chap with 4 owls on perches, talking to the public and collecting money and raising awareness for his owl rescue sanctuary; Wise Owl World based in Barrow in Furness. He does this on a regular basis to educate people about owls and give them a wonderful hands-on experience of these gorgeous raptors. All of the birds are rescues and have a variety of problems or injuries that would prevent them returning to the wild.

They looked well cared for and in good health and obviously experienced at this meeting the public set up and when put back onto their perches were chilled enough to start to fall asleep - he clearly circulated the birds that were handled so that they all got some peace between times.

The largest owl was Elmo, a Bengali Owl.

He gave me a leather gauntlet so that I could hold one and he handed me Sky, a gorgeous 12 year old barn owl. I didn't hear the full story that he'd been telling someone else, but she's obviously been rescued from the jaws of a large dog and was missing a portion of one wing. He described how he'd been called in when someone had found her and she was clearly badly hurt and he said that "we looked at each other quietly for a while and then I gently talked to her and told her how I was going to make her better and we gradually made friends." The way he interacts with them, they clearly are all friends and they certainly trust him. The Tawny owl Cuddles even allowed him to part her feathers to show me inside her ear - I was totally unfamiliar with the structure of an owl ear before last Friday.

Cuddles - a Tawny Owl - who kindly let me look inside his ear.

I was surprised at how light Sky was, I'd held my arm slightly upwards as he placed her, expecting it to drop to level under her weight - but she was deceptively light. I stroked her gently and was very surprised to find that the bulk of the roundness of her head was predominantly fluffy feathers - her skull underneath the plumage is quite small, the fullness of her head largely consists of the downy soft feathers she uses to dampen any sound in flight and to help direct even the tiniest sound into her super-sensitive ears.

Sky, a 12 year old Barn Owl - deceptively light and incredibly fluffy

There were 4 owls with him, ranging in size, from the tiny 8" tall Tropical Screech Owl (who don't actually screech apparently, but he did chatter at things that annoyed him - like passing dogs and crows) called Olly, Sky the barn owl, Cuddles a Tawny Owl and the largest Bengali Owl called Elmo. I asked if I could take a few photographs and he said yes, which was such a joy to have the opportunity of getting so close. Unfortunately, they were outside the main entrance of a modern-built out of town superstore, which was plastered with signs, posters and a burglar alarm - so the background was somewhat unnatural and distracting, so I've largely framed in very tight on their faces.

The beautiful Barn Owl that I got to hold called Sky.

Cuddles was clearly distracted by something above him, he periodically looked skywards and turned his head around, as though being vigilant about some perceived threat from above - I asked if it was the car park crows that concerned him, but apparently, the burglar alarm box above them on the wall periodically emitted a high pitched sound that we humans couldn't hear, but clearly Cuddles, with his super-efficient hearing (Tawny's have the best hearing of our domestic owls, hence the ear-demo) could hear it and wasn't sure what to make of it or quite where it was coming from.

Olly, a tiny Tropical Screech Owl - just as he was starting to be irritated by the nearby crows.

It was the tiny wee Olly that was troubled by the crows - at one point they noisily passed, gathering in a small murder on a roof-line nearby, squabbling noisily amongst themselves. Olly first narrowed one eye and looked in their direction with a disapproving eye, then as they continued making more fuss, his demeanour changed somewhat and he apparently took on what the chap referred to as his "angry face". And by golly jingo was it one angry face. He drew his cheeks in and raised various feathers to take on his most fearsome "don't mess with me" expression.

Olly wearing his 'angry face' - which despite his diminutive size, was quite intimidating.

I learned several things that morning - what an owl's ear looks like, how light and fluffy a barn owl is, that you can tell a daylight owl from a nocturnal one from their eye colour; coloured eyes like Elmo's are daylight owls, Cuddles' dark eyes prove that he's nocturnal. And I now know what a truly pissed off owl looks like!

What a truly fabulous and special privilege it was to meet them and to learn more about these fabulous and efficient creatures in such close proximity.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Autumn scenes and a heatwave

As those in the UK will already know, we've had a glorious Indian summer period this week, with record breaking temperatures and wall to wall sunshine lasting several days. A fabulous and much-appreciated treat.

Please click on any of the photographs for a larger, better quality, view.

I just love to see sunshine filtering through trees - which can be quite a challenge to do justice to photographically - your eyes are much more efficient at taking in the subtle nuances of the lighting on the scene than the camera can manage in a single shot.

We didn't want to waste the opportunity yesterday of the last fabulous day forecast in this run, so we dealt with our errands in the morning and packed the picnic basket and set off to get some much needed fresh air and to stretch our legs.
I don't know much about them, but I do love taking photographs of wild fungi - maybe because they grow in my very favourite environment, so are synonymous to me with being in places I love.

I think this particular photograph was my favourite of the day - I like taking low level macro shots and especially with a slightly wide field of view to give a hint of the wider scene for context.

It was rather incongruous to be walking through very autumnal woodland, with dry golden leaves underfoot and some trees already almost bare, yet for it to be sweltering hot and us to be glad of the shade under the trees and the gentle breeze. We often get a lovely period at this time of year, which is why we're usually away on holiday at this time, but it was incredibly hot for the first day of October.

We chuckled when we remembered doing the same walk in August in fastened up coats, scarves and gloves when the brisk wind was too bitter to eat outside and we retreated inside the car for lunch.

This tiny emerging fly agaric mushroom was about 6 feet away from the clump I photographed and posted recently - no doubt part of the same colony, which grow on the roots of trees and these are the above-ground fruiting bodies.

I can't resist little scenes like this where a natural detail is highlighted in a shaft of sunlight, emphasised by areas of shadow behind.

I took this frame, then as I turned the camera to take a more vertical shot from the centre, the sun vanished behind the trees and was gone for the day.

I don't have much else to report this week, I've been dealing with things that are beyond the remit of my blog and not very interesting, but I'll try to add something more worthy and interesting next week - I really should address some of the many tutorial or technical subjects I have as 'works in progress'.

In closing I'll add a couple more photographs from the first of the nice days earlier in the week before it got quite so hot, but I managed to get a nice walk in during the day - after all, I can work when it's dark and it's a shame to miss out on such nice - and rare - opportunities. This is one of the lovely advantages of being self-employed, you can at least manage your time in this manner.

I've taken this standing in the local park and looking towards a field that usually has several horses in it, but they were out being ridden at the time. One of them at the fence would have finished this off nicely. I took this particular series of shots using an in-camera film simulation (Astia) which tends to give a rather yellow tone to images, thinking that it might work well with the colours on this particular day.

I posted a similar frame of this scene last week, but the light was rather better on this occasion and I made a better job of metering the scene and it has some additional warmth from the film simulation used too.


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