Category Archives: Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge

YES!!!

This is my entry for the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

I’m not the most exuberant person (and anyone who knows me will have no argument with that!) and indeed I lack self confidence in many ways that inhibits me from outwardly expressing myself fully and hiding behind my camera has become a godsend in some of these situations.  Other than ‘losing the rag’ at a bad umpiring decision whilst at the side of the hockey pitch or having tears running down my face when I witness first hand the suffering of some of the dogs arriving in at the shelter, I tend to feel more than I show. That being said, I do not feel nearly so much as I used to…

Since a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis about 10 years ago, I take various medications one of which helps to keep my stress levels down and depression (which I experienced in the first two years of my illness) at bay. The down side – although at times it is incredibly useful – is that I have become a rather unemotional person. Nevertheless, that is how I am now and because of the benefits, I have no desire to change. On an intellectual level I know that there are times when it would be helpful to others if I were more emotional and felt more, however, thanks to the meds – I don’t let it bother me too much! It seems to me that I have become a more selfish person, perhaps that is what is needed when living with a chronic illness and I think of it as a price worth paying. However, no matter how my behaviour is interpreted I also know that in many ways I am also a selfless person and I now, I live with the benefit of being able to chose whether to be selfish or selfless.

So, whilst it seems that I have digressed from the subject of this post is “Jubilant” what I am actually saying is that being jubilant or showing jubilation is not something that I often show outwardly. Nevertheless, as I said in my previous post, it really doesn’t take much to please me. They tend to be simple things such as finding a forever home for a dog, watching my boys have a good game (they play field hockey) or taking that photo that captures exactly what I want – whether it be a beautiful view or the character of a dog.

jubilant
For this photo challenge, however, I have selected this photo which not only pleased me but which also expresses jubilation.

Whilst most people would look at me and assume that there is nothing wrong with me, as anyone with a chronic illness knows, things are rarely as they seem. I used to really enjoy skiing, however, a couple of years after my diagnosis I hung up the ski boots for the last time and swapped them for a camera. Having 3 boys who were all keen skiers, I either joined them where I could on the slopes with my camera or stayed at home. This year, my middle boy Mark, has been studying at the University of Calgary so we joined him at half term break up in Whistler for a ski holiday. Have to say, compared to some of the European ski destinations access to many parts of the slopes are not easily accessible to non-skiers. In order to get to where I could take an action photo was a bit of a struggle. Trudging through snow especially up hill was a personal Everest for me to be honest and I had to think very carefully before going down hill as each step down equated to maybe ten steps up – and especially at high altitude this hurt. So, I had to compromise in my position. Yes I wanted to be below the action to have a clear sky background and increase the height perspective but thanks at least to having a decent lens I shuffled down into a safe place and sat in the cold snow, contented myself and did the best I could. I managed to photograph a number of boarders and skiers attempting and succeeding with various tricks and jumps which gave me that “yes!” feeling when I looked at them later. However, this boy who was simply wanting to “get air” celebrated mid air and was clearly happy with his efforts.

My own “yes” feeling from the few times I sat patiently trying to capture that moment came with these photos…

Ok so I would have preferred a blue sky background but for them but for me it was capturing them right at the top of their jump through thick heavy snow (for two of the shots at least) at a distance of maybe 50 yards, camera covered with a towel and me shaking with cold that pleased me. Usually I was putting my time in waiting to have lunch with the others between their ski runs. As I struggled back up to the meeting point zigzagging to reduce the incline and one step at a time I saw my husband looking over the balcony – he captured this of me, yes I’m smiling but oh boy my legs were complaining terribly!

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So, that is my entry for ‘jubilant’. Yet again after intending to enter only one photo, I have included a few more besides and extended into a bit more of my bio so you all know me that little bit better 😉

Thank you for reading. As ever, I really appreciate feedback and comments jx

First ever full tummies…

So there is no photographic expertise to this photo, however, it seemed to me to be pretty appropriate for this challenge. In trust I cannot remember whether is was breakfast, lunch or dinner for these wee guys but for the purpose of this Daily Post Weekly photo challenge: dinner

These 7 pups were found abandoned in two milk crates tied together with a few bits of garden string near the rescue shelter in Spain where I help out as much as I can. When I’m there, I am an extra pair of hands and can do things that require that extra bit of time – such as looking after litters of puppies and spending time with shy or frightened dogs who are finding life difficult to cope with. More on some of those experiences in other posts!

On arrival, their skinny little bodies were jumping with fleas and their skin was encrusted with flea dirt. Even with the help of a couple of friends it took a couple of days to comb it all away and get them properly cleaned up. I named and “colour coded” them matching their colour to their identity photo so they could be easily recognised not only by me but by all the volunteers.

This photo was taken on day two after their cruel abandonment. What a joy it was to see them guzzling down together in their bowl with their little tails rigid, almost vibrating with excitement as they visibly expanded and resembled “wee tummies on legs”.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

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mmmm…what to say about ‘family’? This is only my second ever blog and I have a lot in my head about a number of subjects that I hope to get off my chest at some stage including animal welfare, photography, what my last 10 years has taught me and many more things, but I will ease myself in gradually me thinks. In the meantime, taking on this weekly photo challenge will help me to introduce a few of my special interests. This one is “Family’ and indeed I have much that I would like to share about them, again, for another day! 

Of course my nuclear family is me, my long-suffering husband (I freely acknowledge I have not always been easy to live with!) and my three sons who are 15, 19 and 22. They will of course all be blogged about at some stage (!) hopefully in a…

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Weekly photo challenge: Juxtaposition

Weekly photo challenge: Juxtaposition

Bicycle on the Bridge

The juxtaposition in this photo for me was the fact that this immaculate looking white bicycle has been left unvandalised in situ with every appearance of being a piece of art in a rather ‘every day’ setting. It is simply chained to the railings of a bridge in a busy junction on one of the main arterial routes into Belfast city centre. Curiosity got the better of me one day and I parked the car to check it out. It is in fact a memorial to a cyclist who was killed at this place.
A fitting tribute indeed.

Weekly photo challenge: Window

My first ever blog – what to write about??
I’m a photographer, hobby, plenty of gear, don’t know how to use it all but “have a good eye”! My life has changed so much over the last 10 years since my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis and I am doing things now that I could never have imagined myself doing. These are the things in my head I would like to blog about. Will anyone be interested in reading? I guess that’s what we all ask when we write our first blog. Who knows, who cares? I’m going to do it anyway.
Actually, I think I actually do care because the my strap line on the blog is “be the change you want to see”. Why I chose that strap line is too long a story for today and I hope I will ease myself into that one and perhaps encourage one or two others to be the change they want to be as well. In the meantime I sought inspiration for my first blog and came across the weekly photo challenge.
Appropriately this week’s theme is Window. Whilst I am very well at the minute, since my diagnosis I have spent quite a remarkable amount of time lying on my sofa, resting, looking out the window – it is a huge window, 8 feet high, right to the floor and runs the length and width of the room – its a ‘garden room’. Being “a photographer” I never like to miss an opportunity, so, through that huge window I have photographed birds feeding, pigeons mating (!), squirrels climbing the trees and munching apples, flowers and my two dogs.
Today that window afforded me the inspiration to write my first blog as part of this challenge as the people in the house behind are having their windows replaced. My challenge – to observe the men and avoid them seeing me pointing my rather large 500mm lens in their direction. As they stood on the scaffolding they could see me as clearly as I could see them – perhaps more so! However, this is what I got…Changing windows (1)

Changing windows

I selected both because I liked the image of the two guys one on either side of the open window, you can see the reflection of the lights on my own window from the kitchen behind me. The other, thankfully no “builders’ bum” but the boxer shorts waste band showing nicely!

When I’m ill this can be as exciting as a day gets for me, however, each day that I am well, I am grateful for it and I realise that this change in my health over the last 9/10 years has given me opportunities which I could either ignore, resent or embrace. I have chosen to embrace them, photography is just one of them. These things are what I would like to write about in my future blogs. I hope some of you will join me. Jennifer