Sorting Stuff Out


Whoops! Don't forget to check the corners of the frame.

Whoops! Don’t forget to check the corners of the frame.

Running two blogs simultaneously can get a bit tricky and I’ve realised that some of the things I’ve been posting here at Shooting Fifty do not really belong here, they belong on my other blog: Lifechimes.

Lifechimes is where I experiment with writing and it feels apt to write about reading over there too.

From here on, anything that is not related specifically to photography I will post over on the Lifechimes blog – that means reviews of books for The Year in Books will now see the light of day over there. I’m sure this will make the purpose of Shooting Fifty clearer to everyone and will hopefully allow me to concentrate a little more on my photography… so I avoid mistakes like the one in the picture above! Do you see it? Bet you do. Leave me a comment, I’d love to know what you see :)

Update: 7th September 2014

As I no longer shoot exclusively at 50mm, I have suspended posting here for now and am only updating my joint creative writing/photography blog – Lifechimes


Thanks for visiting.

See you later maybe, over at Lifechimes you’ll be very welcome



The Year in Books – April’s Reads, May Choices

Bluebell Wood

Bluebell Wood | 123 mm | 1/200 sec @ f/11 | ISO 200

My how time flies when you’re having fun. Here we are already at the beginning of May and it’s time for another ‘The Year in Books’ round-up. I’ve been busy exploring writing over on the Lifechimes blog, spending rather too much time taking photos down in my local bluebell wood, and neglecting to write here at Shooting Fifty as a result. It’s time to put that right by posting a bluebell photo (above) reviewing April’s reads and listing my May choice of what to read next.

First, here goes with April’s reads:

  •  ’48 Hours’ – A City of London thriller from J. Jackson Bentley was, I thought, going to have more about the often ruthless financial inner wheeling and dealing of city life, but turned out to be more of a personal love match for the central character, Josh Hammond, an insurance loss adjuster. Still enjoyable though, with a fair bit of suspense and not too predictable as the story’s end approached.
  • Second on the April list was  ‘A Dangerous Inheritance’ by Alison Weir. I failed to even start this one… I decided to read  ‘The Goldfinch’ next instead!
  • Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch’ has kept me in a flux of longing to just sit and read it all the time or longing for it to really get started. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it, it’s intriguing me, but there are times when I could do with a little bit less description and a little more action please.

Considering the bluebells have been gorgeous in my local bluebell wood this year, demanding my time, both in adoration and the taking of almost 200 photographs (!) and finishing  ’48 Hours’, I feel I’ve done quite well in April. Apologies due to Alison and her Dangerous Inheritance of course.

So what’s in store to read during May?

  • Finish The Goldfinch. {Laura, in answer to your comment on my April post, hope it’s okay to owe you a full review until next month}
  • Next, after neglecting it in April, Dangerous Inheritance deserves to be put at the top of my to read in May list.
  • If the weather behaves and I get out and about with camera in hand, finishing ‘ The Goldfinch’ and beginning ‘Dangerous Inheritance’ could prove to be my lot for this month.
  • ‘Life after Life’, is a candidate if I decide to switch horses again like last month. Then again, I’m not sure if I’m ready to tackle that yet, so close to reading ‘The Goldfinch’. What do you think? Should I put it on my May list?

Happy May reading, see you next month for another #theyearinbooks review.


A Visit to Hatchlands Park, Surrey

Hatchlands Park, Surrey - National Trust

Hatchlands Park, Surrey | 50mm Compact Macro | 1/200 sec @ f/11 | ISO 100

An interesting visit to Hatchlands Park on the best day of this week so far weather-wise (Tuesday, April 1st) made all the more enjoyable by the very friendly and helpful National Trust staff and volunteers.

A special mention must go to Ray (I believe it was Ray) the room guide in the Staircase Hall who encouraged me to go back and view an amazing self-portrait by Maurice Quentin De La Tour. Click the link to view the portrait at Wahoo Art but better still, if you get the chance to visit Hatchlands, go and see it in person (in the first room) for although it is a work in pastel, it has the quality of a very high resolution photograph – the web image cannot do this painting justice.

I look forward to visiting again later in April/May when the Bluebells are in flower and hopefully the trees will be in leaf and provide me with a better frame for another photograph of the house.


The Year in Books {April}

Rose Petals

Red Rose | 50mm Compact Macro | 1/6 sec @ f/2.5 | ISO 250 | Aperture Priority

Before moving forward to my April book choice, a brief recap of those I read in March:

  • ‘The Rosie Project’ (hence the photo above) seemed to be on everyone’s reading list.  The search by a Professor of Genetics for the perfect wife was a thoroughly enjoyable, quite funny, quick read, though maybe not quite as enthralling as reviews had led me to believe.
  • ‘The Snow Child’ – a magical fairytale for grown-ups that kept me spellbound from start to finish. Set in Alaska,  I was captivated by the scenic descriptions and charmed by the characters. I loved every minute of reading it.
  • ‘The Husband’s Secret’ was not guessed by me until way into the story but I did not see the final twist coming and actually gasped aloud!  Set in Australia the story moves from Melbourne to Sydney and covers intertwining relationships of family and school friends.  A quite unusual, enjoyable story.

And so to April’s choice:  Continue reading

Photographing Flowers ~ Yellow Petals

Chrysanthemum Close Up

50mm Compact Macro | 1/15 sec at f/2.5 | ISO 250

Just the other day I read some glowing reviews on Goodreads of a photography book covering the subject of ‘flower photography’. Thanks to an excellent free delivery service from Amazon, in the post yesterday arrived Photographing Flowers (Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis).

It is an exquisite book, the photographs are incredibly beautiful and it contains information and inspiration in abundance. After having briefly flicked through the images, and reading the first few pages, I just had to pop the 50mm Compact Macro lens on the camera right away and have a play. Continue reading

Daffodils at Cliveden House

Daffodils at Cliveden House

Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire

Sunday, sweet Sunday. A day to catch your breath, catch up with things maybe. Things such as playing with Layouts in Lightroom. Continue reading