A Buttercup’s-Eye View

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Today’s intended walk was cut short a mere five minutes from home – instead of wandering over to the duck pond as planned I changed my mind and simply sat down on the short mowed grass on Wanstead Flats for a while and watched the world go by…

Feeling much refreshed and relaxed, spending quality time in nature doing little more than enjoying the good weather never fails to cheer me up  ❤

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Daily Prompt: Create

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Being a creature of habit, I tend to walk the same local walks regularly so many of my images tend to be variations on a theme of the same basic scenery. So yesterday I tried to be a bit more adventurous and use the heavy dark foliage hanging down above my head to help create a kind of natural frame for my landscape views. I’m not sure how successful this has turned out, but my experiment seemed to fit today’s prompt word perfectly… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Create

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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Sometimes its fun to mix things up a bit photographically, but I really love the natural order inherent in the distinct layers of a landscape – a clear strip of foreground, a generally more interesting strip of middle-ground, and an undulating strip of background topped off with a beautiful blue sky, all together creating a harmonious blend that never fails to delight the eye  ❤

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

Daily Prompt: Uniform

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There tends to be an overarching generic uniformity to the various landscape photographs I have taken from the train on my many journeys up and down the mainline between London and Inverness. Time after time they show the same basic selection of scenes, taken from the same moving-yet-immovable vantage point, namely a moving train travelling on a single fixed track.

But still I keep on taking more new pictures every time I travel in the hope of creating something slightly different each time. And without fail, I find I never quite capture exactly the same view – or at least the same feeling – twice. Always my final images look subtly – and on occasion dramatically – different from those taken on any previous trip.

In essentials the underlying landscape itself remains reasonably constant, the mountains and rivers and lochs stay fundamentally unchanged from one visit to the next. And yet there are always variables to take into consideration. The time of year, the time of day, and the weather all create different atmospheric conditions leading to different light at any given time. Seasonal changes to foliage make a difference too, as do agriculture and forestry.

So although I know roughly where to look out to try to capture my favourite potential shots, I have no idea as to what I’ll actually find until it is actually upon me, at which point I have only a few seconds to compose-and-click and just hope for the best. In some ways I’m not at all crafting an ideal image with care and attention but rather am sticking to far a more spontaneous snap-and-see methodology.

I suppose where the skill comes is in knowing in advance approximately what I’m hoping to see and being prepared for any eventuality – sometimes for delight and sometimes for disappointment. I’ve discovered I need a standard to wide-angle lens to get the best shots – a telephoto lens is just too difficult to hold steady on a rattling moving train. And my composition has to be loose enough to play about with cropping the final image afterwards but tight enough to capture what I want without losing too much in resolution.

These three images were taken early last week, early in the morning, and are of a favourite spot on the journey. They are similar, yet are different to any other images of this spot captured before. So although there may be a uniformity in my image-taking, there is also a never-ending challenge to capture what may be, for me, the uniquely perfect shot of the beautifully scenic landscapes of home ❤

Daily Prompt: Uniform

Culloden Viaduct

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Travelling to Inverness by train from London, a favourite landmark almost at the end of my journey is the Culloden Viaduct. Crossing the River Nairn near Clava, it was built in 1898 and with a beautiful curve of 29 masonry arches spanning 1800ft in length it is the longest viaduct of its kind in Scotland. Built of sandstone, each arch is 50ft wide, apart from the central arch spanning the river itself, which is 100ft wide.

It takes no time at all to pass over the viaduct, but I was lucky to catch a fun shot of the elongated shadow cast by the early morning sun while crossing on the sleeper train last week, so wanted to share the view before, during, and after the crossing… 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

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Living in London – or any big city I suppose – can be stressful in the extreme for someone like me, who is one of life’s natural introverts. There are just so many people, so much traffic and noise and everyday hustle and bustle to disrupt my fragile tranquility…

What I most need to be able to relax and recharge my depleted energy batteries is a little bit of peace and quiet, a place to ponder and wander in nature, to help myself feel grounded again. Luckily here in East London we have easy access to several such green spaces (actually the lower edes of the ancient Epping Forest) very close by to where we live.

These images were taken as my husband and I enjoyed a very relaxing, leisurely walk around Hollow Ponds together earlier this afternoon 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relax

Discover Challenge: One, Two, Three

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Three views of our local boating pond out of season, quiet and serene in the late afternoon light, followed by three images of the moored boats huddled together on the water…

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All images taken this afternoon at Hollow Ponds, Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, East London, as warm autumn winds give way to cold winter frosts…

Discover Challenge: One, Two, Three