Wandering Camera – February

Camera And Photo Linky Party

Welcome to the first Wandering Camera linky party! I want to thank all of you for your encouraging words about my photos that I have shared lately.  I continue to practice and learn.  That’s why earlier this year I decided to officially take at least one photo per day. On the first Thursday of every month I will share my photos from the previous month and invite you to share your posts through this monthly linky party.

Without further ado, here are my photos from the month of January.  They are in chronological order, 1st – 31st of January.

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

1. Silhouette of our neighbour’s tree against the evening sky

2.  The same tree reminds me of the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter

3. Sticky toffee pudding (told you it’s my favourite!)

4.  An old plant that has been with us forever, surviving every move

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

5. Suspended raindrop

6. Homemade bread

7. Passing wind turbines during a road trip

8. Snow in the Sierras

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

9. Cloud from an overcast day settling into the Yosemite Valley

10. A lovely morning at Yosemite

11. My muddy car after the trip.  This happens after every trip

12.  First day back at work with Charlie

 

Photo Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

13. I wanted to see the rain, Mr. Treestone wanted to play, so I obliged

14. A fallen flower for Alan Rickman

15. Sign for a place with comforting food

16. A tangled tree in the park

 

17. Spotted these lights in between two buildings while walking in the rain

18.  Old train carriages turned into shops

19. Montague is fascinated by the rain

20. My husband loves this tree in the park

 

21. A Hungarian Horntail dragon that I painted years ago

22. A Willow at dusk

23. Off to the mountains again

24. Black oaks, with El Capitan towering over them

 

25. Cathedral Rocks and a frozen pool

26. The only flower blooming on a plant

27. Inky branch against an early evening sky

28.  From the overpass in our little town

 

29. Napa Opera House

30. Victorian Houses in San Francisco

31. Inked Victorian house

 
It was a good start to my year-long project.  A lot of these photos were taken in low light because light was already fading by the time I went out for a walk.  Some days it was raining so hard that it was dark by mid-day.  That would never stop me from taking pictures, however.

You may not be able to take quilt photos outside while it’s raining, but you can take photos of almost everything else.  I think understanding light is the key to photography, so I would like to start my series of photography tips with that.

1. Change of light with seasons –

  • The Sun shifts northward after the Vernal Equinox in March and southward after the Autumnal Equinox in September.
  • If you have a favourite spot that you like to use for photographing your crafts, you will notice that the light shifts from that spot as the seasons change.  While the same spot might get dazzling light at 4:30 in the afternoon during summer months, the light is barely there after 2:30 PM during winter months.
  • The above is true even for cloudy days.  The amount of maximum light changes with the seasons.
  • You want to make a mental note of the times of maximum light during every season.  That way you won’t miss a photo opportunity before the light moves away from that spot.

2. Morning and evening light –

  • It is also good to know your preference for morning or afternoon light since they are quite different.  Morning light is much cleaner, softer and calmer.  I find the colours to be more true in the morning light.
  • Afternoon light tends to warm everything up a little too much, almost glowing, more orange.  Unless I am looking to capture the afternoon glow reflected off a mountain for example, or taking a photo of a sunset, I generally prefer morning light when I can get it.
  • You really want to avoid outdoor photography around mid-day at all cost.  The Sun is right above you and everything looks extremely washed out.  Try not to take photos of sunlit areas.  You can take photos in shadowy spots, perhaps under a tree, and let it filter the light.

3.  Indirect and diffused light

  • You know this one already, but I will mention it anyway – don’t use direct sunlight when you are photographing your crafts or any other object.  Always take the photo where there is the most light, but not direct sunlight.
  • If you decide to take indoor photos beside a window with direct sunlight, use sheers to diffuse the light.  It makes for a beautiful backdrop.  A few rays of light that come through are softened by the sheers, adding interest to your photo.
  • You can have a wonderful play of light and shadow on your photos by letting soft light touch parts of the surface, but never all of it.  You want to use morning or afternoon light for these photos as well.

4. Artificial light

  • Try not to use the flash if you can help it.  Use a stand for your camera with a low shutter speed.  I am keeping this one short because I will talk more about night-time and low-light photography in a separate post.

 
I hope you found this information helpful.  It takes practice to capture light with your camera the way you intend to show it.  Play with your camera and note what works and, most importantly, what doesn’t work.
 
Pinwheel Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

Taken on an overcast day

 
Lastly, since it has been a while I shared something quilt-related, I couldn’t help but share this little work in progress quilt photo with you.
 
That’s all I have for today.  Now it’s your turn to share your photo posts.  I am really looking forward to seeing them.  Every photo is special because it suspends a moment and everyone sees the world around us differently!  So don’t compare and contrast, just have fun and see the world that only your eyes can see!
 

Badge to share on your post and website

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month.  The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome.  You can also write a new post to link up.  Please do not link up posts that are older than the previous month, they will be removed.

Please include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up.  You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

Spread a little encouragement amongst each other.

I will leave the link-up open for a whole week.

Wandering Camera is a monthly event that will run on the first Thursday of every month.  The next post and link-up will be on the 3rd of March.  If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.

Have fun!!

 


-Soma

 

Comments (18)

Mail, Mountains And Custom Patterns

Harvest Dates Mitts | Whims And Fancies

 

I have been steadily working on custom patterns this week, so I didn’t have any time to sew.  I have also been heading out after work a lot more with my camera.  That in turn has resulted in my taking up running again.  I used to swim regularly, I miss that since we moved here.  Running is a good substitute.  In the meantime, my friend Kris got the package that I sent her early this month.  She is a wonderful friend and I love knitting for her.  I used the Harvest Date pattern again to make a pair of mitts for her.  I do love that pattern very much!  I thought it was perfect for that October yarn.

 

Harvest Date Mitts And Doctor Who Fairy Tales | Whims And Fancies

Harvest Date Mitts Again

I also included The Doctor Who – Time Lord Fairy Tales book in the package for her son.  It was good timing too, they got a snow storm right around the time she received the package.  She was able to wear her mitts and, due to cancelled school, her son was also able to read the book.  Lucky boy, I haven’t finished reading my copy of the book yet.  I liked this photo Kris took on the snow so much that I stole it from her website.

 

Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park | Whims And Fancies

 

I recently heeded the call of the Sierras again; we packed our car on Friday night and headed out for the weekend.  I have been going there for ten years and I still always find new places to explore every time I visit.  John Muir famously said “The mountains are calling and I must go”.  Who am I to disagree with him!  These are the Cathedral Rocks rising above the morning clouds.

 

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park | Whims And Fancies

 

I have never left the Yosemite Valley without taking at least one photo of Half Dome, she’s my souvenir.  I find her to be so beautiful.

 

Holding Hands Drawing | Whims And Fancies

 

Now back from the Sierras with a refreshed mind, I am ready to get back to work.  One of the great things about being a pattern designer is custom pattern requests.  I have made quite a few of them until today.

Last year I got a request from a lady who wanted to commemorate her parents’ love for each other.  The emails we exchanged touched my heart deeply.  She was very moved by this illustration that I made from a photo she had sent me.  The quilt she made from this pattern will become a family heirloom.  These are the times I am really happy to be a pattern designer.

This week I am working on two patterns that will be used to raise money for a children’s hospital.

 

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

Wandering Camera

Read The Introductory Post

The Wandering Camera Linky Party starts next week.  Hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing,
-Soma

 

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Wandering Camera

 

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

Wandering Camera is an idea that came to me quite suddenly and I thought it would be a great way to involve all of you.  As you already know, I love seeing the world through my camera lens.  I really enjoy taking photos of foreign lands, old cities, civilizations and ruins.  Nature also provides me with endless opportunities – light reflecting off mountains, wild flowers at the foothills, the night sky, flowing waterfalls, the stillness of a forest, just to name a few.
 

John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park | Whims And Fancies

John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park, California, May, 2011

 

I also take just as many photos of everyday life.  It is a rare day when I haven’t taken at least one photo, suspending a moment of life.  This year I decided to continue on that note and officially take one photo per day for 365 days.  It is based on an idea that has been circulating for a few years now.
 

Bergen, Norway | Whims And Fancies

Old Warehouses Of Bergen, Norway, September 2013

 

This year, most of my photos are going be about journalling everyday life. I am letting my camera wander and direct the photos I take.  I am often surprised by how much more I see this way.  I am hoping to be creative in taking photos around my house and also looking to learn more about the area where I live.
 

Moving Day | Whims And Fancies

Moving Day, January, 2014

 

You also already take photos and share them on your blog posts.  They range from your creative projects, vacation photos, family visits, walks in your neighbourhood and your daily musings.  I love seeing those photos and reading about them.
 

First Winter Quilt | Whims And Fancies

First Winter Quilt At Sonoma State Historic Park, January, 2014

 

I invite you to join me by linking up to the Wandering Camera event.  You don’t have to take a photo per day like me, but you can use the link-up excuse to push yourself past your comfort zone.  You can be creative with the settings, use low light to your advantage and reacquaint yourself with your camera.  Every photo is special because it captures a passing moment.
 

Jonathan Stroud | Whims And Fancies

Jonathan Stroud signed my books, April, 2014

 

After a lot of thought I decided to make Wandering Camera a monthly event.  That way we get a lot of time to play with our cameras.

On the first Thursday of every month I will share my photos from the previous month. The link-up will start with that post.

I will try to include a tutorial on photography as well.

You can add any number of links to your posts from the previous month.  The posts should have photos in them, with a story or anecdote. Your project photos (quilting, sewing, painting, knitting, etc.) are most welcome.  You can also write a new post to link up.  Please do not link up anything older than posts from the previous month, they will be removed.

Please include the badge or a text link back to this site on each post that you link up.  You can also add the badge to your blog. I am happy either way as long as you link back :-)

I will have the link-up open for a whole week.

 

Here is a little badge for you to share on your page.  Please invite others to participate.  You can either save the image or copy and paste the text in the box below to share on your website –
 

Camera And Photography Linky Party | Whims And Fancies

 

That it, super easy!!  The first linky party will open on February 4th.  If you follow me via email, bloglovin or facebook, you will get a reminder.  I really hope to see you there!  Let’s take our photos to the next level together by practising and sharing.

Let’s get creative!
-Soma

 

 

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A Long Holiday

Knitting And Gift Bag | Whims And Fancies

Various reasons called for a long holiday this year and I obliged.  For me that typically means going into hibernation, at home or sometimes elsewhere on a trip.  These getaway trips would be completely impossible for us without our fabulous pet sitter, Nanci.  She not only takes care of the basic necessities of our kitties, she also spends time with them and reads aloud to them.  She even warmed her way into the hearts of my shy kitties enough that they are completely relaxed around her.

During our Sweden vacation, we got this mug for her as a thank you.  That was in September, but with one thing and another we didn’t get to see each other again until after the holidays.
 
Knitting And Sewing Gift Bag | Whims And Fancies

Pattern at One Lucky Day

As soon as I finished the first bag using the pattern on One Lucky Duck, I had to make another one for Nanci.  It made a great gift bag, the mug fits in it perfectly.  Nanci is a quilter herself.  She also runs a craft workshop for her occupational therapy patients.  She was very excited about the bag and I shared the pattern link with her for her workshop.

 

Yellow Knitted Mittens | Whims And Fancies

Harvest Date Mitts

She spends a lot of time outside, so I made these yellow mitts for her to keep her hands warm while she is out and about.  As soon as she pulled them out of the mug, she put them on right away.  She was very happy with her handmade gifts and that in turn made me smile big.

The pattern links for both the bag and the mitts are under each photo if you want to make them.  They are very quick to make and they make great gifts!

 

Pattern Writing Blog Series

 
Speaking of patterns, Cheryl from Meadow Mist Design is starting a series on Quilt Pattern Writing.  If you are interested in writing patterns or ever wondered what goes into writing them, you won’t want to miss this.  She is also doing round table discussions and I am one of the designers participating.  It will be great to see both the similarities and the differences the various designers will bring to the table.  I had a great fun writing my answers before I started my holiday.
 
Lego Harry Potter | Whims And Fancies

This year’s holidays were all about indulging my inner child.  My husband and I love the Lego Harry Potter video games.  We spent large chunks of time playing and laughing at the silliness in the game.  The settings and the music in the game are very comforting for us and we love to get lost in that world.
 

Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe | Whims And Fancies

This is sticky toffee pudding, the most delectable dessert I have ever had.  I only make it for the holidays using Nigella Lawson’s easy recipe with reduced sugar for the sauce.  I had it for breakfast one morning with vanilla ice cream!  I really don’t care about the calorie consumption, having it for breakfast once a year won’t kill me!

 

Mary's Bread | Whims And Fancies

My friend Mary shared her bread recipe which I made during the holidays.  The bread came out perfect the very first time and was incredibly delicious!

 

Yosemite Tunnel View | Whims And Fancies

The holidays ended with a trip to Yosemite National Park.  There was an unexpected road closure due to a major rockfall.  That resulted in three separate three-hours-a-piece detours in and out of the park on icy and snowy roads instead of our usual 15-minute jaunt from the hotel.  On the second evening, on our way back, we were very happy to learn that they were about to reopen the quick route back to the hotel.

While we were waiting for the road to reopen that evening, we drove to the Tunnel View vista point.  The drifting cloud from the cold and overcast day was starting to settle into an even colder Yosemite Valley night.

Happy Creating, everyone!
-Soma
 

Comments (25)

Garnet Primrose And The Rest Of Sweden

Garnet Primrose Flower Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

I continue to work on my Downton Abbey stained glass flower quilt.  Garnet Primrose is the last of the four flowers I designed for this quilt.  Since the rest of the flower quilt patterns look like mineral crystals, I made the tips of the primrose petals less curved to keep with the theme.  I have always loved the deep red colour of garnet, plus, I also find schist – the metamorphic rock in which garnet is found – fascinating.  So I had to name this flower after the mineral garnet.

The Garnet Primrose flower quilt pattern is also on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.  Just like the other flowers, it is also a 12″ block.
 
Downton Abbey Stained Glass Flower Quilt Patterns | Whims And Fancies

Top Row – Garnet Primrose on Etsy & CraftsyKyanite Iris on Etsy and Craftsy

Bottom Row – Olivine Tulip on Etsy and CraftsySelenite Clematis  on Etsy and Craftsy

 

Here is the initial set of blocks for my quilt.  I have already printed out more copies of each pattern.  Now I need to work on the quilt layout so I know exactly how many of each flower I need to make.  Thank you for your lovely words on these quilt blocks and many thanks also to those who have purchased the blocks already.

 

I also have the last few photos of Sweden that I want to share with you.  Last time I left off at the Lerkaka windmills in Öland.

Eketorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

The next day began at Eketorps Borg.  It is a reconstructed Viking fortress, which is closed during September.  My husband emailed them about a private tour.  We were very surprised to get a reply back and we were not disappointed. Gabriella and her friend, who are both archaeologists, were waiting for us when we got there.  While her friend got busy with getting ready for the last celebration of the season, Gabriella gave us an extremely detailed tour and answered all of our many questions very patiently.  We even got to see the meticulously created props for the festival which are usually off-limits to the public.

 

Eketorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

This is the back wall of one of the reconstructed huts.  These replicated wall hangings are modelled after fragments that were found during excavation.  There is a reconstructed loom on the right side of the room.  After the tour the four of us spent more time chatting about the history of that area over coffee.  That completely derailed our tight schedule, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to rush out of there.

 

Gravfalt Sweden | Whims And Fancies

We finally forced ourselves to say goodbye to the two lovely ladies.  On our way to the Borgholm Castle we stopped by Gettlinge Gravfält – a prehistoric burial site.  This is one of the many burial sites on the island.

 

Kalmar Runestone Sweden | Whims And Fancies

There are also many rune stones in Öland.  You could literally spend days spotting them!

 

Borgholm Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

It was a fairly long drive from Eketorps Borg to Borgholm Castle.  Due to the extra time spent at Eketorps Borg and at the burial site, we only had an hour at the castle before they closed.  It was a rushed visit, but we managed to see all of it.

 

Borgholm Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

It is a castle ruin, most of the flooring is now missing.  There are four towers, one at each corner.  I took the photo of this tower from the top level.  We were desperately hungry by this time since we had skipped lunch to get here on time.  So it was time to forage for some food.

 

Ismantorps Borg Sweden | Whims And Fancies

Light was starting to fail as we drove toward Ismantorps Borg.  We walked through a short path through an extremely quiet wood at this remote place during dusk.  I could almost feel the spirits of the prehistoric people in that place.  Ismantorps Borg is a ruin, but remnants of leftover structures can still be seen.  It is suggested that it was not used as a fortress, but as a place for worship.  There is an alter-like area in the middle.

We clambered up on a wall, speculating about the area over a coffee break.  As I was coming down after taking this photo, my ankle twisted and I took a spectacular fall.  Luckily I was able to put my hands out in front of me and my face didn’t meet the rock underneath.  I got away with a limp and some bruises.

 

Kalmar Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

We spent the next morning at Kalmar Castle.  It is an impressive renaissance castle that faces the sea on one side.  We walked all around the ramparts and also alongside the castle wall.  This photo is taken from one of the ramparts.    It was such a beautiful day, sunny, cool and lightly breezy.  A group of four young boys and girls were having a small picnic up here.

 

Kalmar Castle Sweden | Whims And Fancies

The rooms were beautifully decorated with panelling and paintings.  We were really happy about our decision to spend the whole morning there.  After lunching at Kalmar Cafe inside the castle we started on our drive toward the west.

 

Lund Sweden | Whims And Fancies

On the way to Malmö where we would overnight, we stopped at Lund to see the astronomical clock inside Lund cathedral.   Very much like Uppsala, the university here is also located close to the cathedral.  It made for a very nice afternoon walk.

 

Ales Stenar Sweden | Whims And Fancies

In the morning we drove from Malmö to Ystad by the seaside to see the stone ship, Ales Stenar.  It is a megalithic structure shaped like a ship.  It may have had astronomical significance as well.

 

Malmo Sweden | Whims And Fancies

We were going to spend a little time in Malmö before leisurely taking a train back to Stockholm airport.  Unfortunately, on the way back from Ystad, we got stuck in a road closure due to a traffic accident.  That and the returning of the rental car hardly left us any time at Malmö.  A few rushed minutes at the town centre and it was time for us to depart Sweden.

Thank you so much for travelling along with me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

We explored Sweden in 9 days, across 1500 miles, 22 cities and 1111 photos.  We had to forgo visiting a few places in favour of spending more time at others, but we are very happy with the choices we made.

 

Previous Sweden Travel Stories

Kiruna To Umeå

Umeå To Falun

Falun to Öland

Happy Holidays Everyone!
-Soma
 

Comments (22)