Thursday, 16 January 2014

'The Photographer's Eye'

First things first. A huge thank you for all your lovely comments on 2014 posts so far. And hello to new followers! I love being able to write that down. I write a post and punch it out into the ether, and someone reads it and takes the time to comment. Or wants to stay for more. Yay!!


When I started this blog, I never would have guessed how much pleasure I would get from my camera. Nowadays I take my camera wherever I go. There is always something that catches my eye or sparks my interest. I snap snap snap away at Olly doing his thing. I would Sam and Alfie too, but alas they have grown camera shy. I love taking close ups of nature, and can often be found lying on my stomach in a lane somewhere in St Ives to get the perfect shot. As I go on my daily walks, my eye is constantly scanning for something of interest to record.

I am more confident with the camera when I am outdoors. I love looking at pictures of food (as my many cookery books will attest), but find I am not so good at capturing a good image myself. I admire Gillian and Jennifer for their ability to take a snap of an evening meal or some ingredients and make it look so inviting. And their images are always so sharp! I love Jane's self portraits and her funky close ups of clothing and materials. I look forward to seeing the beautiful images that appear herehere and here. There are so many more, and I find all of them so inspiring. I'm sure you have favourites of your own.

I love the story that a photograph can tell, or the way it can make something mundane look abstract and fabulous. I love the intimate close up of a butterfly or a child's face. I relish actions shots - slightly blurred off centre images that perfectly capture a moment in time. I am always excited when I download my images to see what has worked and what has not. Sometimes I surprise myself with a particular picture.
Indulge me while I show you three several that I am really fond of:

This is Nigella taken in my garden last summer. It's obviously a flower, but it has an abstract quality to it that I find pleasing. It is sharp and has depth.

I took this snap of Alfie adjusting his skinnies on the beach. It was snapped in a moment, an afterthought really, because I was chuckling to myself at the care and attention he was giving to getting them just right. This picture sums Alfie up to a tee.

The sea was so calm and beautiful on the day that I took this picture, and the yellow boat accentuated the blue and added interest to an otherwise bland shot.

I have a fascination with boats and their accessories. Lucky me living by the sea. I can often be seen homing in on bits of frayed rope and the like. This reminds me of tentacles, and the colours are good too.

Another shot taken in my garden. This time a Large White feeding from Verbena Boriensis. I used the soft focus function on my camera to get this image. I had to be patient - she kept flitting.

Smeatons Pier, St Ives. I just like the composition, and the seagull top right gives it a harmonious feel.

Alfie again. I like the depth of this picture. It gives you a sense of space. And obviously my son looks very handsome too!

This was another off the cuff snap, but I love, love, love this. I can't really put my finger on why it pleases me, other than it just works!

A Gatekeeper (I think) on a bramble. I like the sharpness of the photo juxtaposed with the blurred background. Nature is difficult to photograph, and for every one I am pleased with there are stacks that get deleted.

Breacon 2013. The mountain is in sun and the boys are in shade looking up at it. You can tell that they are looking up at the mountain, even though they have their backs to the camera. I like the sense of scale and drama.

This has a lovely sense of balance, and it's another of those off the cuff shots that came good.

Ripples left by the sea in the sand. This has a sense of movement, and I like the clarity and light.


So the reason for all this is simply that I had a book for Christmas entitled 'The Photographer's Eye.' I have been slowly reading through it, but feel that I need to work through it practically too. And what better way than here on my blog! A weekly post, chapter by chapter with some homework thrown in for good measure.

The first chapter is entitled 'The Image Frame.' I don't intend to copy and paste chunks of the book, but I will attribute when appropriate. Rather it will be my understanding (or not) of what each chapter has to say, and applying it to some of my photographs.

Oh and I think it might be a fun project for me to do and share with you too!!

My my my this old blog is starting to go in different directions....................

Leanne xx


  1. Leanne, you are a GREAT photographer!! This should give you lots of confidence. You can take really good pictures. I mean it, really good!! Thank you for sharing them with us. My favourite is the Nigella BTW. xx

  2. I have always loved your photos. Thank you for mentioning me, that was really kind of you. I adore taking pictures. I didn't always, and was actually afraid of the more advanced cameras my husband uses until about a year ago, around the same time I started my blog. I think it helped a lot to have a place to share photos as I studied and practiced and work toward improving my skills. I'm really looking forward to your work with this book, I think it sounds really interesting. And I'm very eager to see the direction your blogging takes, it's all about growing and making the space perfectly your own.

  3. ooo i cant wait! be really interesting to find out what you are learning and practising! I love that shot waving at the train as well. Oh and thank you for the shout out! I didnt even realise it was me till i went back to follow all the links lol! xxxxx

  4. Wonderful photos Leanne, I love the butterfly on the bramble too, and the bee there as well, so much bounty to be shared around. You're right, the train shot is fantastic, a fleeting moment of a little boy's childhood, thrilled to wave at the passing train - and what little boy doesn't love to see a train go by. I know what you mean about outdoor shots. I'm hopeless at food shots, particularly after dark. Your pictures are always amazing, and I'm really looking forward to seeing you follow the book. In fact I might see if I can get a copy and go through the chapters as well, if you don't mind me joining in. I could do with a challenge, something to teach me some more.

    1. ooh go on! It will be fun!!

      Leanne xx

  5. You already have a photographer's eye! My favourite pictures are those of Alfie rolling up his skinnies and Olly watching the passing train. You are catching the essence of your boys very well, I almost feel that I know them a little. Cx

  6. Leanne your photos are great! I love that one with the calm sea and the Gatekeeper butterfly especially! And thanks for the link, you are kind :)

  7. Those pictures are wonderful especially those that just capture the moment! Although I enjoyed taking photos before starting my blog my camera is now my constant companion too and I am much more adventurous than I used to be. I look at things differently too.
    Sarah x

  8. You're a super photographer Leanne! Your photos are always really considered and inspired. I wish I had more time to improve as a photographer. Living in an Edwardian maisonette, the light is always so poor and I get shadows on everything. That combined with being so busy and not always getting out and about to do 'stuff' means that photos are usually a bit rubbish. I really need to learn to use my camera and time better! x

  9. Thanks for the mention! Any good shots of mine are more luck than judgement and so I am looking forward to seeing what you do with this project. I'd really like to know and understand more about the technical side of photography. You take lovely photos - especially of your local area. That shot of the butterfly is amazing! x

  10. Needless to say I am so pleased to see the change of direction and the good news is it is heading the right way!! Love these images and the fact that you are really focussing on getting to grips with this all. Photography is definitely not as straight forward as most people think. I did a photo journalism course in London many years ago and I used to develop my own photos in my dark room in our previous house. It was a vocation I really wanted to follow, but for whatever reason I never did. I ended up working in the city and somehow lost a little perspective. My favourite photo, the ripples left by the sea, it is calling for a frame!! Hope you have a lovely day xoxo

  11. Great photos - you have a natural eye. I've got 'The Photographer's Vision' but haven't read it yet. I've also some books by Tom Ang and John Hedgecoe with are very good. Looking at photos on blogs and photo sharing sites is also a great way of getting inspiration. Keep up the good work.