Posts Tagged With: yellow

Anti-Ansel Adams Series – Narcissus

I know.

I took my time.

And after all that effort I put into explaining my theory behind the Anti-Ansel Adams Series too! (If you missed it, you can find it here).

I expect, for the time being, I’ll stick with flowers. I took this picture while I was out in my back yard. The light was fading, and I could hardly see the image after I took it. But I clicked a button on Photoshop – I call it “season-all” –  you know that one … Image > Adjustments > Adjust All.

And Voila!

This was the result.



© Alice through the Macro Lens [2014]


Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bug-a-day #30 – Alder leaf beetle

I can’t be completely sure, because quite honestly I didn’t spend much time looking very closely at this latest bug, but I think the blue/black shiny little critters dallying in the dandelions are Alder Leaf Beetles.   As you can guess, the photos are probably more about the dandelions than they are about the bugs on this occasion.

I took the two pictures on two completely different days at different places – but got the same kind of effect with each picture.

As is my usual position, I haven’t done anything to the pictures (not even cropping on these occasions) except colour correction. All the blur and abstractness is part of the original picture.  But, quite frankly, even I wouldn’t believe somebody if they told me that! Personally, I think they look like they’ve been Photoshopped to the noo noo.

SO, as I’ve finally figured out how to read the “properties” part of these pictures, I will share with you the camera settings at the time of taking each picture.  Perhaps it will mean more to you than it does me 🙂

Dandelion + Beetle #1

f 2.8; 1/1000 sec;  30mm;  no flash

Dandelion + Beetle #2

f 4.5;  1/400 sec;  30mm;  no flash

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Bug-a-day #20

Nearly forgot again after posting for the Weekly Challenge.

This is another of my accidental discoveries, only found when looking through some pics I’d taken of Daffodils last month. Not sure what he is – possibly a young dragonfly or something similar?  Anyway, he looks pretty pissed off at the world whatever he is!

A face only a mother could love 🙂


© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]


Categories: Alice's world, Bug-a-day, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Bug-a-day #5


When I said (initially tongue-in-cheek) that I was going to start doing this personal challenge of posting a picture of a bug a day, I never suggested that I was going to know what they all were.

As it happens, I’ve been out again today, snooping very closely into various wildly growing flowers, and I now have a veritable smorgasbord of little critters to keep us all going for a minute or two – none of which I can identify.

But bugs I promised, and bugs they certainly are!   And as eager and excited as I am to post them all for your cringeworthy perusal, I shall try and contain myself to posting one each day.

I found this one in the bell of a daffodil. You have to love its headwear – it looks like it’s off to Ladies’ Day at the races!

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bug-a-day #4 – Gnat

According to Wikipedia:

“[Insects] are among the most diverse groups of animals on the planet, including more than a million described species, and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The number of extant (that means “currently living” – I had to look that up, too) species is estimated at between six and ten million, and they potentially represent over 90% of the differing metazoan life forms on Earth.”

Soooo … a simple challenge like “Bug-a-day” should be an easy task, right?  …


Plenty of bugs around in the woodland, even during this early part of the year. But could I find one that would stay still long enough for me to photograph it this afternoon? Could I heck!

So you’ll have to make do with a Gnat.

Not my favourite bug, no real point to them in my opinion. They’re about 2-3mm long (that’s 1/10th of an inch to those working with old systems), and they like to tickle your arms and fly into your nostrils. They seem to enjoy hanging out in swarms – particularly near water (where I was) when the sun is setting (which it was).

Having said that, considering the luck I was having pinning down bumblebees, butterflies, and grasshoppers, at least this Gnat sat still on a closing Celandine long enough for me to take a few shots.

So, for what it’s worth (at least until tomorrow), Gnats are my new best friends …

In fact, I love this one so much, I’m posting two pictures of him/her/it:

And yes, I have an admission to make – in case you hadn’t guessed. The photos weren’t as sharp as I would have liked, so I used a Photoshop Tool! (scream…). Something called a “smart sharpen” apparently combines “gaussian blur” with the sharpening tool. I pumped it up to about 200% and came up with the above.  I have no idea what any of what I just said means – but I’m quite pleased with the result.

Looks almost painterly 🙂

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

What a shame …

Something else I found on my foggy walk this morning. The daffodils around the castle had all been picked and then simply strewn on the grass. I was there around 9am, and the daffodils were still relatively fresh, despite a layer of dew, so I can only assume (and from watching too much CSI) that they had been plucked earlier that morning – perhaps kids on their way to school.

Such a waste of such a pretty flower. At least they are perennials, and the bulbs haven’t been dragged out too, but I’m sure there are more people than me who feel a sense of pleasure and peace when they come across flowers growing naturally, and whoever did this obviously didn’t give any consideration to the disappointment this type of mindless action causes.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What’s in a name?

I have a friend who I hear from on a reasonably regular basis. But in all the times we have spoken, he has never once pronounced my name correctly. It’s not a massive mistake – I mean he doesn’t call me Gertrude or Bertha or Tracy or whatever – but he never says my name right. And to be honest, it really bothers me!

Granted, my name is not common, but it’s not unheard of, and it only contains two syllables.

As you are aware from my “about” section, my name is not really Alice, and I’m not going to share what it actually is here. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, my name is Jane.

He calls me and starts the conversation with, “Hello, Jean?”

“It’s Jane,” I reply.

“Oh, yes, yes, of course, June. Sorry!”

“No, Jane,” I reply again.

“Oh, that’s right. Jane. Sorry …… So, anyway, Joan…. how have you been?”

I kid you not! (except about the actual name itself).

Bless his soul, and he’ll know who he is if he reads this … but it has become so frustrating to me. I know it’s not intended to be disrespectful or insulting, but I do think it feels that way – especially when it happens so often.

Misspelling I can deal with – my real name does have an unusual spelling, so I can generally forgive people for spelling it wrong. Oh, except on formal documents, like my “Little Ducks” swimming certificates, my Dean’s list plaques, or my replacement birth certificate (yes, they did!). Then it just pisses me off.

I had a headmaster who mispronounced my name for the entire four years of junior school. I was a pretty bright student, so I was called up to the stage quite often on Prize Days to receive my Observer’s Books of whatever, and it always caused a few sniggers to be heard from the floor. But that made no difference to him.

Perhaps as a result of my own experiences of having my name slaughtered on a seemingly regular basis throughout life, when I started teaching classes myself, I made a point of learning each student’s name as quickly as I could AND making sure I pronounced it correctly. It was interesting to hear, especially from some of those who had more unusual names, how much they felt included in the class when they felt the teacher had at least bothered to learn that much about them. Remembering someone’s name means you’ve listened to them … which can, in turn, be interpreted that, at least for that brief moment, you showed some real interest in them.

Someone tried to point out to me once that, according to Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name is still as sweet .” And I appreciate that I am exactly the same person whether you called me Sally or Francesca or Edward (although if you call me “babe” too often, I just become the Harpie from Hell…).  But when Juliet was waxing lyrical about roses and sweetness, she knew exactly what Romeo’s name was – she just wished it was something else. She didn’t keep getting it wrong!

Imagine …. “Oh, Romero, Romero. Wherefore art thou, Romero?”

“It’s Romeo, you daft cow!  Ah, bugger this.  I’m off to find Rosaline!”

Maybe, I’m just getting over-sensitive in my old age, but I think it’s important to get it right, and I occasionally recall another of those fleeting conversations I had with some bloke on a first date:

“So, Jan, what do you do for a living?”

“It’s Jane, actually”

” Ahhh, Jane, Jan … what difference does it make?”

“Well, one is who I am, and the other isn’t.”

No second date then?

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And a not-so-dangerous liaison …

What a difference a couple of yards makes (metres for any metric people).

Same grass verge, same day, same time (give or take a few minutes) as the Stinging Nettle below.

So how come one brings so much pleasure, and the other brings so much pain?

Ah, Mother Nature and her mood swings ….

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Better late than never… (musings of a technophobe)

I’ve been having a bit of an inspiration shortfall the past couple of days, so I haven’t been very keen to write. Thankfully, the days have been friendly weatherwise, and I’ve taken to wandering through the woods with my trusty camera, so I’ve managed to keep the momentum going with a few photos.

I have a confession though.  I really didn’t want to start blogging, and I have a phobia against all things electronic or technical.

So nobody is more surpised than me that I’m finding my venture into the world of super-cyberdom to be quite an enjoyable experience so far. Blogborough is not really the scary place I’d anticipated and feared it would be. Since finally introducing myself to the ether exactly 12 days ago, the blogging community has made me feel shockingly at ease.

I think the reason for my acute techophobia is because I appear to have missed the rise of the machines along the way somewhere. When I was in school, it was notebooks and pens and textbooks and blackboards and chalk. Not a keyboard in sight, except the one attached to the piano in the hall that accompanied us while we sang hymns in Assembly. I went to an all-girls grammar school, and we were “gals” who were expected to excel in academics – none of that hands-on business, learning secretarial skills or typing or shorthand. Goodness no! That was for the High School riff-raff across the field!  The only practical skills we were trained in were Cookery and Needlework …. After all, what else would such ladies need in life ?

I didn’t do too brilliantly at that school – never did quite fit in with the programme, so to speak. And when I left, after trying my hand at a coupIe of colleges, I decided to take off and float around the world for a while. I hadn’t intended to disappear for more than a couple of weeks or so, but as it turned out, I stayed away from England for the next 17 years. No, I didn’t meet someone and settle down, nor did I become some CEO of a major company, nor spend time in some steamy forgotten jail… But I did become rather adept at bullshitting my way into some pretty interesting adventures over the years.      I digress, as usual…

The point of all this is that I basically wasn’t paying attention when the computer age took over, and now that it’s here, I don’t really know how to use it! I don’t know anything about mobile phones or cable TV or downloading or uploading or digital thingamibobs. I drive a 20-year-old car because it has no computer gadgets in it. I hunted high and low for a washing machine that has a fanbelt-driven cylinder, because I can’t get my head round computerised spin cycles. I can’t play games with my son on his PS3, because I have no hand-eye coordination or ability to remember the difference between pressing X or O or squares or triangles or whatever the heck else makes the soldier shoot! Mine just seems to duck all the time!

I tried Facebook once – became pretty obsessed with Farmville and pumpkin growing – but never really got into the need for letting everyone know my bowel movements every ten minutes. I had a “friend” who once announced her status as “I feel like ten tons of shit and wish a bus would just run over my head.” If that wasn’t bad enough, ten people had sent her that little thumbs-up sign to say they liked it!

Maybe it’s me – I’ve been accused of being “antisocial” for as long as I can remember – but when another “friend” sent a status update to Facebook from her I-phone no less, to tell the world, “I’ve been standing in the queue at Primark for five minutes already! Why doesn’t the shop assistant stop talking, and just get on with serving?!”  I decided it wasn’t really my thing.

So, when the suggestion of blogging arose recently, I can honestly say I didn’t go quietly into the good night. I know I want to write my thoughts down somewhere, and I’ve tried and failed many times to keep some form of diary, but I find too many reasons not to pursue anything for more than a couple of hours. I’ve had to force myself recently just to keep a mood chart. But, having been encouraged by a young woman at my Creative Writing group who has a personal poetry blog, I decided to take the plunge and write something online.

I had heard that writing can be particularly therapeutic for someone like me – a bit of a hermit, no real outlets, but with a head brimming with the constant hubbub of ideas and questions and imaginations and realisations, even when I sleep.  I don’t do well in social circles, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about myself in public – but I think it’s about time I let out some of the steam out of the pressure cooker.

I have no real agenda for the blog, but I know that, despite my illness and all its efforts to drag me to places I don’t want to go, I don’t want to give it any power. So I will not get doomy and gloomy – even if I feel it. I have decided that I am content to reveal parts of me honestly, and sometimes candidly, but I want to feel I can invite anyone to read it – even my son sometime down the road – without need for censoring or disclaimers, or the excuse that “I was having a bad day when I wrote that.”

Pressing the “publish” button was the bravest thing I’ve done since admitting I was moonlighting at “Boobs” discoteque in Plymouth when I was still President of my college Students Union..!  But I’m glad I did (press the button, that is), because in the few days I have been writing and posting photos, I have received some really encouraging feedback.

I don’t crave approval by any means, but I must admit it’s quite a nice feeling when someone acknowledges that they “like” the post I’ve submitted, or goes out of their way to send a positive comment. Especially if a “real” photographer says they like a photo I’ve taken, or a writer appreciates what I have written. Having spent the majority of my adult years wandering the world on my own, it is a rather warm feeling to actually feel as if I’m part of something larger than just me.

Wonderland’s a pretty good place to be right now, and I’m having a blast!

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]


Categories: Alice's world, Cyclothymia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tete a Tetes a Nets!

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]Gotta love the Springtime!

Categories: Alice's world, Pictures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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