Happiness is a warm puppy…

… said Charles M. Schulz, and oh boy was he right!

I must confess, I was instrumental in convincing a friend to get a puppy. When my friend had to go out this week I was just as instrumental in convincing her that the puppy needed looking after and I was the right person for the job. Puppy-girl is called Storm.

I really wanted to photograph Storm (the puppy) with a few different lenses and try something different. Armed with a few props, Christmas dog costumes, plenty of treats and lenses, of course, off I went.


My own puppy is a year old now and I had totally forgotten how little they are at 8-weeks. The props we too big, the costume was too big and she was just too adorably playful to stand still.

On a more technical level, the indoor light was pretty poor and, since it was raining, going outside in the garden was out of the question.

The puppy was sooooo full of energy! She never stopped playing which meant using a slow shutter speed to get a better exposure was out of the question. Using the flash spooked her so IĀ  chose to change the exposure composition and adjusted my settings as I went along.

Overall the photos turned out ok… Especially after Storm got tired and calmed down a bit.

Going back to our Lens Based Image Making lessons, it’s fair to say my nifty-fifty came in handy when making these images. The aperture worked really well when fully opened and let plenty of light in with that gorgeous soft background we all know and love in both people and pet portraiture.

I also tried photographing Storm with my 18-55 kit lens and a high definition filter. I wasn’t quite so enamored with the result. There was too much distortion, which is to be expected from the kit lens anyway.

I can’t wait to babysit her again!

Thanks for reading,

Paula, x



Easy like Sunday Morning

For years now I have been getting up at the crack of dawn wherever I am around the world just to watch the sunrise. This morning I decided it was high time I watched the sunrise in my own backyard so I woke up really early and headed for Sawyers Hill, in Richmond Park.

I love Richmond Park all year round but even more so at this time of the year. The rutting season runs from September to November during which time the parks comes alive. Being there at dawn reminded me of Jurassic Park! The calling of the deers came from all directions and I was half expecting to see a T-Rex jump out of hiding šŸ™‚

The Darling and I had plenty to enjoy. The golden light was glorious and the animals were very active near Pen Ponds, I guess one can’t beat the waterhole!

I even managed to photograph two deers locking horns! The larger male won the fight but lost an antler, I wanted to pick it up but there was NO WAY I was going to get in the middle of them!

I had to try a few different settings, different shutter speeds and different aperture. It was certainly challenging to adjust to moving subjects and light conditions.

Loved my Sunday Morning tho  šŸ™‚

Oh deer!

The Darling and I were both taken by surprise in Richmond Park yesterday. We when out hoping to shoot some deers and ended up shooting more than we bargained for.

Some called it ‘nature’ others said it was ‘mating’. Personally, I feel that, although not the kind of shot I went out, it was just a lucky shot. I had pressed the Shutter button just in time to capture nature doing what nature does!

This time I took my tripod and can see how much sharper the images are.

Unfortunately it was an overcast afternoon. Imagine how beautiful these would have been under the golden light of a late afternoon? I will just have to go back and give it another try.

Overall the images are fairly ordinary, apart from the mating shot of course, but I’m still pleased with it.


Back to the Jungle

This has most certainly been a busy summer. Just when I thought I would chill and enjoy the British sun ‘that’ phone call arrived urging me to go home and going home is exactly what I did. My adorable grandmother is terminally ill and I hopped on the first flight i could.

The journey felt like it was never going to end but when I finally landed in Manaus, in the heart of Brazil’s Amazon state, it seemed like I had never left. Not much had changed over the past 5 years I had been away.

First things first,Ā  went straight home and once settled I did what I like best, I went back to the jungle!

The day was spectacular! We swam with wild fresh water dolphins, visited a local indigenous tribe, cruised by the Meeting of the Waters and generally had a great time enjoying the weather, the people and the wildlife. I can hardly wait to go back.

I love the jungle, the native indigenous people, the weather, the indigenous food and even the mad torrential rain that descends on us on a daily basis.