The Birds.

After creating a picture inspired by a portrait of Daphne du Maurier, I thought I'd follow it up with one inspired by a story of hers, one I was the most inspired by - The Birds.
I took this picture whilst on holiday in Cornwall (the setting for her story). I loved exploring the country lanes, the whole county is full of beauty; I took this particular photo on a country lane in Looe, just down the road from the cottage we were staying in.
I'm sad that I took hardly any pictures in Cornwall that aren't touristy images, I was so inspired but so lacking in motivation. I guess I'll just have to go back again soon :-)

The Birds.

"Black and white, jackdaw and gull, mingled in strange partnership, seeking some sort of liberation, never satisfied, never still. Flocks of starlings, rustling like silk, flew to fresh pasture, driven by the same necessity of movement, and the smaller birds, the finches and larks, scattered from tree to hedge as if compelled."

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier...

Last month I stumbled across a lovely little second-hand bookshop just around the corner from where I work: Hurlingham Books is crammed full of books! Mounds of them piled high to the ceiling; the window has disappeared behind them, with the colourful spines tempting you in.
I love books, and even more so, I love second-hand books! The smell, that well loved appearance, and if there's a little note left inside - even better!
On my last visit, I was talking to the man who work's there, when out of the blue he asked me if I'd read The Birds by Daphne du Maurier, a novelette written in 1952 which was the inspiration for the film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963.
He mentioned that the original is set in Cornwall, a place that I was going soon on holiday and so I bought her book The Birds and Other Stories to read while I'm there.
Being in Cornwall, you couldn't help but feel like you were in Daphne Du Maurier's homeland, everywhere you went you were filled with inspiration.
I, as expected, completely fell in love with Cornwall. I also found a great love for an author that before my visit to Hurlingham Books I hadn't heard of before. And as well as being inspired by her writing I was also inspired by a photograph I found of her, which is really the whole point to this long-winded blog post...

The young Daphne du Maurier
I've never edited an image in sepia before, I barely ever edit in black & white, but I really wanted to try and re-create something similar to the above photograph. I love the tones of this simple portrait. It is so beautifully soft and serene; her eyes are full of emotion and completely control the image.
I wish I'd had to means to create this like for like, the textures in the above photograph are wonderful!
However, I am really pleased with how my own image turned out using digital :-)

Self, age 23.

The Alphabetical Prop Project 2012 - A to E...

I decided this year to start my Alphabetical Prop Project from the beginning again, a fresh approach to the project. I wanted to put more thought in to each image, this time round would involve more interesting props for each letter.

Make. Create. Manipulate! That's the plan this time round.

I have just completed my image for the letter E so I thought I'd write up the first blog post for letters A to E, plus the projects cover image.
It's definitely a project that I'll still be doing next year, but hey, 26 letters! That's a lot of letters! :-p

Please view them full size on Flickr.

p.s. any suggestions for letters F to Z are very welcome :-)

The Cholmondeley Ladies...

A few months ago I visited Tate Britain and was enormously inspired by one picture in particular...

The Cholmondeley Ladies - 17th Century.
The Cholmondeley Ladies is an early 17th century British oil painting. The artist is unknown but it is thought to have been painted near the Cholmondeley family's estate in Cheshire. An inscription in gold lettering at the bottom left of the painting reads,

"Two Ladies of the Cholmondeley Family, Who were born the same day, Married the same day, And brought to Bed the same day."

At first glance the two women appear almost identical, each Mother wears similar white clothes with elaborate lace and jewellery, and each baby is swaddled in a scarlet robe.

However, upon closer inspection you begin to notice slight differences, such as the smaller details in the clothes and the jewellery. For me, the most interesting difference is the eyes.
I was reminded so much about my on-going photographic project "My Family & I" and this infused further inspiration, a new way to take this idea.

My Sister's Eyes.

I have a million ideas relating to this, I find it so intriguing to see what results a slight change in features can do, especially when those features are some you are already so familiar with.

The Penrose Ladies I.
Above is my first attempt with combining cloning and feature altering, using the lovely Andrew's eyes. It's been some time since I've done a clone so it's nice to be getting in to it again and with the added interest of feature swapping!

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Street Party.

Last July, Andrew & myself moved into our first flat in a lovely area of London.
In the year so far that we have lived here we were yet to really see anything of our neighbours, being a young renting couple on a road occupied mainly by home-owning families our paths very rarely crossed.
But a couple of months ago we received a flyer about a proposed Street Party for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Andrew & myself threw ourselves at the chance to get involved! We attended committee meetings (where we mainly ate hoummous & tried to appear grown-up) and both took on roles/jobs in preparation for the day.
The whole day was so much fun, so much happiness & community spirit that the typical British weather didn't dampen anyone's day. The Flotilla boats were waiting nearby and there was bunting, flags and cake galore! I've never seen so much red, blue & white before!
I offered to document the occasion & after a few weeks of editing I have finally worked my way through them all. I am so pleased with them that I wanted to blog a few of my favourites from the day, something that I always promise myself I will do more regularly! :-)

A few favourites from the day.

Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary, Mum & Dad!

around abouts 1975

Today (April 10th 2012) my Mum and Dad celebrated their 30th year as Husband & Wife, their Pearl Wedding Anniversary.
They have been together since they were 15 years of age, a loving couple for nearly 40years. A life beautifully shared.


13 years ago this month my Dad was diagnosed with a Malignant Meningioma Brain Tumour and was given only 2 weeks to live.
With his great fight and admirable determination he has continued to defy Doctors and with every new day he gives another middle finger to The Big C!

30 years

On Easter Sunday my parents renewed their wedding vows in celebration, it was a day filled with love & happiness, with many friends there in support.
I will forever hold fond memories for this day.

Here's to many more years to come! x

My Sister's Eyes.

The next in this little series of mine is "My Sister's Eyes."
This one has turned out in a very different way to the other two so whilst I am home this week I may re-shoot atleast "My Mother's Eyes." to something a bit clearer. Finding the differences here is a little less obvious, the most noticeable detail being that my Sister has green eyes, and her upper eye lids hang a little lower.
This edit is probably going to be the most normal of them all.

*compare this with the other 2 & you can really see how much my freckles come out in the summer!

"My Sister's Eyes."