Weekly Smile: 16 May 2022

Yesterday was my youngest grandson’s 7th birthday, so I took a bus trip 10 miles out of town to join him for his birthday party. My Weekly Smile is me sharing some of my day with you:-

  • The first pic is me with a big smile sitting on the bus on my way out
  • We passed a sprayer spraying come unidentified crop in a field
  • We also passed the ‘Cloud Factory’ – it’s actually a wood-chip processing plant making pressed fibre-board, and the billowing steam funnel gives it its fun nick-name locally
  • Once we’ve passed through the airport, the bus empties out for the last bit of the journey
  • We drive along the coast to the village where my grandson lives – the water is looking nice and blue today!

I’m not sharing any pics of the party itself, but we all had great fun and ate plenty of yummy party food. The drawing I’ve shared here is my grandson’s version of the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, which his mum has put up on the wall, and the final image is my grandson wearing his new velociraptor mask – he’s a huge dinosaur fan so his big brother bought him the mask which has a chin strap (like a bicycle helmet) internally so that when you open your mouth wide the dinosaur mouth opens too, and it actually roars – what fun, and of course it looks as though the velociraptor is smiling too!

So there you have it, three smiles for the price of one today! 🙂

Review of 2021 in Pictures

Although 2021 didn’t turn out to be my best year, and inevitably the ongoing pandemic kept me close to home throughout, I see looking back through my blog posts over the last twelve months that I still managed regularly to capture some beauty in the world around me. I’ve chosen one image I particularly liked from each month of the year to showcase here, as a kind of pictorial representation or personal review of 2021.

Apart from going to work and occasionally seeing my family when possible, I effectively spent most of last year either relaxing in my garden or going out for a walk locally, and I can see my necessarily constrained photographic subjects accurately represent my reality. I can’t help but wonder what 2022 will have in store for me… Will I venture further afield, or will this year simply be more of the same? No doubt I’ll find out as I go along! 🙂

Ben Wyvis

We were walking across the Greig Street foot-bridge the other day, where my husband stopped half way along to capture a softly snow-capped Ben Wyvis with only one narrow ribbon of afternoon sunshine lifting the view.

Ben Wyvis is about 35 miles north of Inverness so is not always visible from the city – I really love the way everything looks dull blue-grey in this image apart from the highlighted mountain range itself 🙂

Early Morning Inverness

At this time of year it can still be slightly dark when I walk to work – this was taken the other morning on the footbridge crossing the River Ness. I love the semi-silhouette of the skyline, the greys and whites of the sky and water, and the different blacks of the buildings. Even in full colour there’s a calming monochrome quality to the view…

So I’m going to cheat and use my post for both today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and this week’s Cee’s B&W Challenge 🙂

View from the Bus

I found myself on a double decker bus the other day rather than the usual single decker, so I sat right at the front for the 30-minute journey and took some images of the views outside on my phone camera. Not the brightest weather, but then it is autumn in the the North of Scotland, so here I am on the bus (wearing my mask, as is still legally required on public transport here in Scotland) and the best of my rural landscape shots taken along the A96 main road travelling from Ardersier to Inverness 🙂

After the Rain

Sorry it’s not a better image of the raindrops on the bus top deck front window and the sun shimmering on the wet road at the bus stop outside Inverness Airport the other day – I only had my phone with me, an it’s really not a great camera in dodgy light, but I kind of like the moody, broody atmosphere created in this shot 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Better

Near and Far

Near to where we live in Inverness is the Caledonian Canal – it’s about a five minute walk heading west from our front door. Alternatively, a ten minute walk heading east brings me to the River Ness. A pleasant half-hour walk heading north along the canal takes me to the Beauly Firth, while a half-hour walk heading south along either the canal or the river to the edge of town brings me to a narrow strip of land where I can easily see both the canal on one side of me and the river on the other. So luckily for me, in whichever direction I choose to walk when leaving our house, at least one body of water is never far away 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Near/ Far

Into the Sun

My phone takes perfectly decent photographs for general use – I mean, I know my camera takes technically ‘better’ pictures, bigger sensor, bigger lens, better light intake, more pixels. So usually for ‘proper’ photographs I prefer to use my ‘proper’ camera.

But sometimes, to my surprise, I actually prefer the less than perfect images produced by my phone, especially when looking into the sun. The limited light coming in to the limited sensor can create a much darker, moody image than the more visually balanced ‘correct’ version made by my camera, and I really like the way the increased highlights and low-lights give an altogether more dramatic effect that captures far more accurately how I’m feeling at the time.

So sometimes, from a creative perspective, I find that art trumps science and photographically less really is more… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Starts with My