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Poppy Fields

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As the heat of the Summer day begins to wane the call of an evening adventure rises in my heart.

Knowing we had missed the peak but curious to wander the fields nonetheless we headed out to find poppies in the evening sun.

We searched the horizons until we saw a glimpse of silver and red up ahead…

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It’s the kind of beauty that soaks into you; stirring memories of childhood poppy fields in the waning heat of a Summer evening.

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Half the World Away

You know I have a policy of saying yes to the fun opportunities which come my way. It took me longer than it should have (oh but what if I’m too busy in April?) to say yes to a day of fun, food, photography and friends.

It turns out a day away from my desk is exactly what I needed.

Spring Door Wreath by Housewife Confidential-1-4

Ten of us headed down to a shoot house in Sussex called Walnuts Farm with the aim of capturing images for our blogs. I took four projects to photograph which is just as well because I spent all of the rest of my time chatting rather than capturing the beautiful surroundings.

I haven’t tackled my blog photos in this way before but I really found getting a group of shots nailed incredibly satisfying. It also means I have a couple of recipes and a big secret sewing reveal to post over the next couple of weeks as well as the wreath and chair (24 hours left on the giveaway!) I posted last week.

It does feel good knowing I have posts queued up for what is set to be my busiest month ever. I could be tempted to do this regularly!

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Being in such beautiful surroundings really made me think about my home. I’ve mentioned a few times that we have only done what really needed doing in our house and the rest is on a vague one day list.

I’m looking at our home with new eyes and thinking about what I can do now instead. I have a few projects in mind for this summer not to mention the culmination of Project Garden so stay tuned for some interior developments!

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As you can imagine having a group of friends with blogs makes for lots of fun. Igor made this cute collection of pink using some of my props (and props to The Hambledon for hooking me up, more on that soon) alongside the gorgeous drinks Heather brought for lunch.

I was really interested to see the different way people approached their photographs. There was lots of Instagramming and if you search for the #farmbloggers hashta you can find everyone’s photos. I could swear I didn’t spot Lottie with the camera once but boy did she capture some beauties.

Farm Bloggers Housewife Confidential Yvestown Little Star Blog Oyster & Pearl Colour Living Little Big Bell The Start Up Wife Happy Interiors Blog Growing Spaces Lily and Frank

Such a perfect day; working away at my favourite hobby, relaxing over a bring & share lunch and chatting like there was no end in sight. We even got silly for the last photo of the day – a fully propped and chickened up group shot.

Oh yes, this is the kind of day we should say yes to. A day of friends and creativity which leaves you filled up.

You will find lots more photos over at YvonneIgorLottieEmilyHeatherBridgeeGeraldineCatherine and Tina’s blogs!

Crystal Clear

I have been working hard on tightening up my focus. I’ve been ensuring that my focal point is on the eyes and yet I still wasn’t getting the sparkly clean eyes that I was seeing on other people’s pictures. I asked a couple of friends whose pictures had gorgeous eyes and the answer was a simple bit of editing.

I’m a bit lazy when it comes to editing – I’d prefer not to do it and when a picture really needs something it’s normally little more than a crop or colour/exposure correct over at Picnik (and now Picmonkey as Picnik is closing) for me. But recently I got an offer to try some photo and video editing software which piqued my interest not least because they also offered a second set for me to giveaway to you.

Old habits die hard and I am still unutterably lazy so all I have done to the two pictures above is hit the ‘enhance’ button and a quick select and sharpen to the eyes. My curiosity paid off and I think there is a noticeable improvement which can be seen when the pictures are alongside each other (original is left).

Aside from the idea of playing with eyes there was feature which hooked me in when I watched the video preview – the magic erase. Take a look at this video and tell me you’re not falling over yourself in excitement. How cool is that? In reality sometimes it is awesome and other times the picture is a bit too crowded to make it happen.

The picture below is a crop of Monty blowing bubbles in the garden. The ever present washing line which (along with the orange coloured shed) wrecks many pictures needed to go so magic erase and I had a little date and poof….

Gone! And not too obvious to my eye. I tried to take it out of the wider picture but there was a bit much going on and it started to look odd. I guess it is like every picture, a little editing on a good picture can really enhance it but it isn’t going to be possible every time – your basic skills have no substitute.

I’ve enjoyed trying something new with my pictures and I’ll be trying out the video software I’ve been sent in the next couple of weeks. Until then take a jump over here to read more about Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 7 and enter my giveaway.


I’ve spent the last few days snatching moments to play with my new toy. I have had my eye on a 50mm lens for a while as it is reputed to be amazing quality for very little expenditure. Even though my buddy Camilla often tells me it is not the camera, or the lens but the skill of the photographer I have still been hankering after this beauty for a while.

First and most obvious benefit is that it has a shallow focus meaning messy backgrounds are blurred and artful. It is also making me move with the light more than I would have to with my usual kit lens. The shot above looked terrible from every other angle (in terms of light, I know the peonies are on their last legs). The shot below was taken from the same angle at the same time of day with the difference being the sun is hitting the top of the (new) peonies. Not a perfect shot by any means but interesting how the background goes black (I always wondered how that worked).

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