Monday, 26 June 2017

Update: new look Usky

Had an appointment at the hospital again today; they removed the 'temporary' cast and dressing to check the wound, redressed the area and wrapped me in a new cast...

New Cast
Rather a fetching shade of blue don't you think? Sorry I couldn't actually show you my thumb, it was too hard to get it in shot since I was using it to help balance my new Canon G9 X.

So this is how I'll look for the next couple of weeks... well no, not exactly, I will of course be changing my shirt!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Jostaberry fruit - yummy, but beware!

We've been trying to cultivate a Jostaberry bush for a couple of years now and although we get plenty of growth we haven't achieved much fruit until now. This summer one side of the bush has successfully produced berries while the other has none at all... very strange!

For those who don't know the plant, the Jostaberry is a complex-cross fruit bush in the Ribes genus, involving three original species, the black currant R. nigrum, the North American coastal black gooseberry R. divaricatum, and the European gooseberry. I'd heard of these and thought the idea sounded interesting so when I saw a small plant at the local garden centre I thought we'd give it a go. Well let me tell you I'm glad we did because the fruit are simply splendid!

Jostaberry Fruits
Rich in Vitamin C the berries are smaller than a gooseberry and larger than a blackcurrant. Flavour wise they tend to favour European gooseberries when under ripe, but are very much like blackcurrants once fully ripened. The birds love them and so do I.

Something I've just recently found out, which I don't remember seeing in any brochure or gardening website... a handful of jostaberry fruit makes an excellent laxative! 😮

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day here in the UK, so I expect to be treated to all kinds of nice tidbits and waited on hand, foot and finger... yeah right! 😆

It's not going to happen because my one and only daughter is miles away at university doing the education thing and can't be here. At my age I'm way past the days of disappointment, it suffices me to know she spares me a thought now and again. 😉

Were I the parent of small children, or grandparent to small children come to that, I might well spend some part of today rescuing this little beauty from life in a skip and putting it back into commission.

Dumped Kiddie Car
Kiddie cars never looked like this when I was an ankle-biter, no indeed children's pedal cars were far more boxy and a lot less flash looking. With a little tender loving care I'll bet this sporty little number would soon be haring along the pavement with some giggling brat behind the wheel attracting the attention of her/his peer group, leaving them swooning in the kicked-up dust. 😆

So anyway, to all the other Dads out there:

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Update: surgery one week on

It's a week now since I had the trapeziectomy on my right hand and I have to say thus far it feels like the surgery was a great success. I have far more use in the hand than I had been led to believe and am, thankfully, pretty much pain free despite having now halved my prescribed pain relief.

Am I pleased with my progress? Yes I most certainly am. I'm much further forward than I expected to be at this stage.

I'll be returning to the hospital on Monday 26th June to have the initial plaster cast removed and to have the hand/wrist redressed. I'm expecting this to be my next real milestone since I'm not sure quite what to expect in the way of a new 'dressing.'

You shall not waste!

There are some wonderful flowers on our courgette plants this year...

Courgette Flowers

Courgette Flowers
Really must make more of an effort to use them instead of letting them go to waste. Never tried stuffing courgette flowers myself, but I think now might be a good time to start. 😉

Friday, 16 June 2017

Campanula revisited

I was having a look at the capabilities of my Canon PowerShot G9 X yesterday and was somewhat disappointed with the results... disappointed in my inabilities that is, not necessarily the camera's. Having had another play this morning I'd have to say I'm rather happier.

Campanula Flowers
There's still room for improvement of course and I will be practising more in the future, but right now I'm about to be glued to the TV to watch the All Blacks v Samoa game live from NZ. 😃

Thursday, 15 June 2017

More practice required!

It's been such a long time since I took any 'serious' black and white images I'd forgotten just how hard it is to get any real depth of greys...

Take these Campanula flowers for example. If what you want is a colour image, all you really need to do is wait for the time of day when the sun gives you reasonable light, set your camera to 'automatic' point it at the plant and press the shutter, as above. The result may not be the best photograph in the world, but it will be acceptable as a simple colour image. In the world of monochrome photography that doesn't quite work!

Campanula Blossoms
I wanted my black & white image to show a cluster of Campanula flowers. A shallow depth of field is important if you want the background to appear out of focus, which I have taken care of adequately. However to get really good results when photographing flowers in black & white you really need to get the light right, which I obviously failed to do today. There is not enough contrast between the flower heads and the stems. Also the composition of the shot is all wrong; the image is far too 'busy' to be of any use. As one of my school teachers used to say on a regular basis, "Not good enough boy, go back and do it again!"

I'll wait now until tomorrow morning to see whether I can capture a better image in natural light. If the lighting is still wrong or for some other reason I can't improve on today's effort I'll have to rig up a reflector to bounce light back around the flowers... no-one ever said photography was an 'instant' art, knowledge, technique, practice and patience are required.