Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

This weeks photo challenge is reflections

To see other entries click here

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

I’m not a fan of the ‘selfie’ but I do like to enter into the spirit of things so have decided to post some ‘selfie’ reflections, neither intended… the first was taken at the Village Green Festival, where my eldest son performed live, singing and playing guitar, in a festival setting for the first time. The photo is a reflection of me through his sunglasses and in the second… I was aiming to take a photo of my Mutley dog in the boot of my car after a long romp over the rolling Dartmoor hills… she (and we) had a wonderful time!

I guess the camera is a part of my heart and  soul so any ‘selfie’ was always going to have the camera in front of my face! 

A reflection of me through my son's  sunglasses!

A reflection of me through my son’s sunglasses… I love the way the photo reflects again through the lens!

Mutley... who is also a reflection of me...

Mutley… who is also a reflection of me… she is a part of me.

To see other entries for this weeks challenge, click here!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

I thought I’d go with the saturated by water element of this weeks challenge and post a photo of my beautiful Mutley looking very bedraggled after spending an afternoon on a beach in Cornwall with us this summer…

Mutley loves water as long as it's not too deep and moving too fast!

In the boot of the car, worn out after her beach adventures!

Mutley loves going into water as long as it’s not too deep or moving too fast! This was the first time she’d actually been into the sea deep enough to get completely saturated… my son was throwing sticks in for her and she finds a stick very hard to resist! 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable #3!

Time’s running out… how could I not post a few photo’s of Mutley for the weekly photo challenge with a theme of ‘companionable’ it would feel so wrong of me not to!  Mutley is, after all, my constant companion… she is loyal, never judges, makes me smile and is always totally ecstatic every time I come home!

This is Mutley...

This is Mutley…

Pigeon… In My Lounge!!!

I had just made myself a lovely lunch and a cup of green tea… everything was arranged and I was just about to get comfy to enjoy some peace and quiet… apparently not!

I heard some noise in the fireplace and upon inspection found some soot had fallen out and onto the rug… as I stood and watched, more and more kept falling down and out in front of me.  There was a few moments of nothing then again more fell out… Ohhh nooo… I looked at Mutley, Mutley looked at me… and promptly took off upstairs!  Fine protector she is!!!

I was left looking at the fireplace and said out loud “please don’t let anything dead fall out!” and then “actually, no, please don’t let anything live fall out!!!”  Literally two seconds later a pigeon landed unceremoniously in the fireplace and took flight into the room, missing my head by two inches as I ducked and ran for the door!  I flew for my camera whilst screeching to my son… “There’s a pigeon flying around the lounge!”

Doesn't look too ruffled or dirty... all things considered!

Doesn’t look too ruffled or dirty… all things considered!

My son arrived on the scene a little bleary eyed and dishevelled, having just woken up (he’s 17… say no more) armed only with an old childhood dressing up Spiderman glove, recently found in a loft clearout!

Spiderman glove meets pigeon and my son says... "Ah, can we keep him?!"

Spiderman glove meets pigeon, pigeon’s thinking ‘what the hell is that?’ and my son says… “Ah, can we keep him?!”

Flash back… to when he wanted a German Shepherd and promised to walk her and pick up her poop… Ha! Not falling for that one again!

Decided he doesn't like Spiderman glove!

Decided he doesn’t like Spiderman glove…

Taking off after the Spiderman touch!

… and takes off only to fly straight into conservatory door!

Looking out of my blinds to freedom, whilst pacing up and down... and pooping!

Looking out of my blinds to freedom, whilst pacing up and down on the back of my sofa … and pooping on my hand stitched Indian throw!

Mutley... proved to be a bit of a 'fraidy cat!

Mutley… proved to be a bit of a ‘fraidy cat!

Of course after she realised it was only a bird, not something sinister and could hear it flapping around she tried her best to get back into the room, nearly tripping me up everytime I retreated with my camera when the pigeon flew in my direction… he had already proved he wasn’t great at navigating!

All wrapped up and ready to go!

All wrapped up and ready to go!

Armed now with some more sensible gloves, my son managed after several attempts to throw my youngest son’s jacket over the pigeon so that he could pick it up and carry it out…

First flight of freedom... my son ducking to the left while pigeon makes a break for it to the right!

Making a break for freedom!

My son ducks to the left while the pigeon makes a break for it to the right!

I'm free, I'm free!

I’m free, I’m free!

He looks a bit bewildered but focused on his destination towards the rooftops and hopefully away from chimneys… mine anyway! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes…

Nature and animals are what inspire me most.  Being among nature and around animals always makes me feel calm, happy and peaceful… literally makes me feel alive, the only time I really breathe deeply.  I’ve always wondered what the world looks like through animals eyes so that’s why I’ve chosen these for this weeks photo challenge

I couldn't not include Mutley's beautiful eyes!

I couldn’t not include Mutley’s beautiful eyes… she looks dopey because she’s just been rudely awoken by my camera! Sorry Mutley! 🙂

This horse was in an enclosed field but I love to see them running free and wild!

This horse was in an enclosed field but I love to see them running free and wild!

Ah Swans... so beautiful and elegant

Ah Swans… so beautiful and elegant

This little squirrels eyes were only interested in where the next nut was coming from!

This little squirrels eyes were only interested in where the next nut was coming from!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting… #2!

I have been trying (for some time now) to capture some squirrels on camera… unfortunately for me, Mutley normally spots them either at the same time or before me and sends them scurrying up the nearest tree!

Squirrel watching Mutley...

Squirrel watching Mutley…

This one stopped to watch Mutley just long enough for me to click but not as sharp as I’d like it!  Maybe next time the moment won’t be so fleeting…

... Mutley watching squirrel... hoping it comes down the tree she's just chased it up!

… Mutley watching squirrel… hoping it comes down the tree she’s just chased it up!

Look at that face intent on the squirrel… give it up Mutley… it’s never gonna happen!

Mutleys’ pic(s) of the day!

My Son was enjoying some of his leftover pizza for lunch, so Mutley assumed the position…

Oooh that looks sooo good...

Oooh that looks sooo good…
... hot dog stuffed crust!? You're killing me here!

… hot dog stuffed crust!? You’re killing me here!

... if I stare at it long enough it may levitate towards me!

… if I stare at it long enough it may levitate towards me!

The last piece of the last slice... must concentrate all efforts into looking as cute & adorable puppy as possible!

The last piece of the last slice… must concentrate all efforts into looking as cute & adorable a puppy as possible!

 “I can resist anything… except temptation!”  Oscar Wilde

I think Mutley did a pretty good job of resisting… she was rewarded with a small piece of hot dog! 

Mutleys’ pic(s) of the day!

Tala (Mutley) quite likes all this blogging lark and has decided she would like a sideline to my blog… ‘Mutleys’ pic of the day!’  So that she can showcase all her wonderfulness!

Hmm this tastes good...

Hmm this tastes good…

... doesn't smell too good though!

… doesn’t smell too great though!

Can't you put that camera down for two seconds...? The stick's not going to throw itself!!!

Can’t you put that camera down for two seconds…? The stick’s not going to throw itself!!!  Humph…!

Sunshine…! Happy, happy, happy!

I recently got nominated for the Sunshine Award by the very person who started me on my blogging journey… my wonderful daughter, GrADABOUT, (check out her blog, she writes beautifully!) she encouraged me to start posting my photographs because she knows how much I love taking them, assuring me that the wordpress community were really friendly and she wasn’t wrong!  I am so glad I took her advice.  Knowing that there are people all over the world, not only seeing my photographs but actually liking and enjoying some of them makes me feel wonderful!

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!”

Doing this blog has encouraged me to get out even more with my camera and has given me more confidence in myself as a photographer, amateur though I may be, when someone comments on one of my posts with the words ‘beautiful photos’ it makes my heart soar!  So thank you to my lovely daughter for the encouragement and the award.  Thank you too to all you bloggers in WordPress land and beyond!

So, now on to the questions and answers, feel free to skip ahead…!

What inspired you to start blogging?

Oops! I’ve pretty much already answered this one above but aside from my daughter, I guess I just wanted to put my photographs ‘out there’ and see whether anyone other than my family thought they were any good!

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

Originally it was just ‘The Amateur’ but that was already taken. I wanted it to be a bit different and also didn’t want it to sound like I was a professional photographer… I’m an amateur photographer, my camera is my partner in crime… so was born ‘The Amateur Camera.’

What is your favourite blog that you like to read?

That’s just impossible to answer!  There are so many good one’s!  I read a lot of very different topics… of course there are many amazing photography blogs that I love but there are also some bloggers that are serious writers, some seriously hilarious that crack me up every time!  Some are poets, some live in other countries that I love to hear about and some blog about some seriously mouth watering recipes!  Too hard to pick a favourite, sorry!

Tell us about your dream job…

Now that’s an easier one… I’m probably past the stage where this is going to be possible now but I would have loved to have been a travel or wildlife photographer… preferably a combination of the two!  My other dream job would be helping with Dolphin conservation, maybe that one’s still a possibility?   Ah well, one can dream… 🙂

Dolphins are just awesome!

Dolphins are just awesome!

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Oh definitely half full!  I have my moments like anybody but I am generally a very happy and positive person… I try to see the beauty in the simple every day stuff!

If you could go anywhere for a week’s holiday (vacation, American ones) where would you go?

This is another hard one as I haven’t really begun my travelling journey yet! There are so many places I want to see but if I had to choose one I would have to combine it with another lifelong dream which is to swim with wild dolphins, so preferably somewhere exotic (not off the chilly British coast!) with warm crystal clear turquoise blue waters (see pic above) … Fiji… Seychelles… can’t I have both? 😦 Too hard!

What food can you absolutely not eat?

Easy… Faggots!  When I was a child the advert (commercial) for faggots was about a certain brand which happened to be called ‘Mr Brain’s Faggots’ I got it into my head that faggots were made out of brains because of the way they said it in the advert… ‘Brain’s Faggots!’  Even though I now know this not to be true, I still won’t eat them because of that memory!  I also use to throw my green beans out of the window so I didn’t have to eat them and got caught because they landed in front of my next door neighbours front door… but that’s another story!

This is how I remember them... they look like tiny little brains swimming in gravy!

This is how I remember them… they look like tiny little brains swimming in gravy!

How much time do you spend blogging?

That depends very much on what’s going on in my other world!  I try to spend as much time as possible catching up with the blogs I follow, on a daily basis and I try to post a blog once a week though as I said this is not always possible and I prefer to take my time to put together something I feel happy about and it can be a long process sorting through all the photographs I take!

Do you watch TV? If so, what are some of your favourite shows?

I do watch TV but very rarely until around ten o’clock at night which is when the offspring are ushered off to bed and I regain control of the remote (or ‘the buttons’ as they are known in our house!) Unfortunately there isn’t much on at that time worth watching!

I do record stuff so I can watch it when I have some peace (which isn’t often) I enjoy period dramas like ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘Larkrise to Candleford’ but I also love Documentaries about Nature and Wildlife.  I’m a big fan of ‘Friends’ and ‘Sex & the City’.  I love a good comedy, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ or from years gone by ‘The Good Life’ is a classic!  Also, dare I admit it in writing… ‘Eastenders’… it sucked me in years ago, it’s the only soap I watch… I’m sorry! 😀


Phew!  That was harder than I thought!  Now for the even harder but fun bit… spreading the Sunshine!

So, without much further ado and in alphabetical order…

Canine Psychology School  – This lady is amazing and so deserves this award for all the sunshine she brings into the lives of the dogs she fosters, especially ‘Charlie’ who was a feral dog, she adopted him into her home and he is now a happy & contented member of her family because of all the patience, love & training she has given him.  Wonderful!

Focused Moments – Beautiful landscape & nature photography with some great macro shots.  Just lovely!

Indira – Beautiful poetry and musings accompanied by lovely photographs.

Kellie Elmore – Author of  poetry & fiction.  Wonderful poetry, great writing challenges/ideas & a lovely blog.

Le Pirate – Delicious recipes with step by step lovely photos to accompany them that make you want to dust off your baking equipment!

Multifarious Meanderings – This lady lives in France with her family, including smelly dog and has a wonderful writing style that regularly cracks me up and never fails to put a massive smile on my face!  Some great photographs too!

Our Adventure in Croatia – A blog about a couple who bought and renovated a place in Croatia and their lives when they’re over there.  Great wittily written insight into life in Croatia with helpful tips for visitors & some recipes too!

Rick Alonzo Photography – Lovely photography! Beautiful butterflies, flowers & sunsets.  Some great wild Dolphin shots too… need I say more! 🙂

Speedbird 71’s Blog – Wonderful photography of nature, landcapes, animals & his travels.  Check out the lovely Glasswing butterfly!

The Peckish Kiwi – Absolutely mouth wateringly good recipes!  Ice cream reviews too!  Never fails to make me drool, especially with the way he describes how things taste!

Lastly, as I believe a big part of my blogs popularity is due to ‘Mutley’ and the pictures I post of her, I think she deserves a little praise… not too much or her head will swell even more than it has already since she started her little sideline to my blog!  So below is a pic just for her!

Slow down… and breathe…

Most of my days are spent rushing from one thing to another, always so much to do and not enough time to do it!  Except when I’m out walking Mutley…

There’s a certain point I get to in the local wood where the sun streams through the trees and the only sounds are those of the birds going about their business (and Mutley panting as she charges about chasing squirrels) that I tilt my head to the sky, slow down… and breathe…

Mutleys’ pic(s) of the day!

Tala (Mutley) quite likes all this blogging lark and has decided she would like a sideline to my blog… ‘Mutleys’ pic(s) of the day!’  So that she can showcase all her wonderfulness!

This may look like just any old stick to the untrained eye...

This may look like just any old stick to the untrained eye…

... but today my stick is a flute!

… but today my stick is a flute!

What? ... The music's in my head... and it's so mellow!

What? … The music’s in my head… and it’s so mellow!

Mutleys’ pic(s) of the day!

Tala (Mutley) quite likes all this blogging lark and has decided she would like a sideline to my blog… ‘Mutleys’ pic of the day!’  So that she can showcase all her wonderfulness!

There's nothing quite like a good stick for chomping on...

There’s nothing quite like a good stick for chomping on… once I’ve got it held firmly in place!

Phrrt phrrt... It's just annoying trying to get the bark off of my tongue!!!  Phrrt phrrt...

Phrrt phrrt… It’s just annoying trying to get the bark off of my tongue!!! Phrrt phrrt…

Happy & contented with my stick of the day!

Happy & contented with my stick of the day!

Mutleys’ pic of the day!

Tala (Mutley) quite likes all this blogging lark and decided she would like a sideline to my blog… ‘Mutleys’ pic of the day!’  So that she can showcase all her wonderfulness!!!

Wolf dog!

Crazy wolf Mutley!

Quotes that speak to my soul…

"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
What you have caught on film is captured forever...
it remembers little things,
long after you have forgotten everything." - Aaron Siskind

"You become things, you become an atmosphere, and if you become it, which means you incorporate it within you, you can also give it back. You can put this feeling into a picture. A painter can do it. And a musician can do it and I think a photographer can do that too and that I would call the dreaming with open eyes." - Ernst Haas

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by Dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
- Steve Jobs

“To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference”
― Robert Frank

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