The Chestnuts Blog

To post photos and comments from the 52 week photographic challenge


Week 31 – Theme 15 “Looking up”

I need little excuse to photograph my dogs and this time a clear blue sky seemed like a good enough reason. So I spent some time lying on the floor looking up at “Lugs” the dog. I love the different perspective you get from this angle and the strange expressions dogs make when you are staring so intently at them….(by the way he was yawning in the first picture not threatening the photographer!)




Week 30 – Theme 19 “Musically Inclined”

Bad weather has forced me to try some more indoor photography projects. My husband came home to find me sat in the dark in front of a blank computer screen balancing CD cases on top of a tripod. The rainbow effect is achieved by having a polarising filter on both the lens and the light source. I read that a computer screen has a built in filter and so this makes it an ideal light source to use. The old cassette and CD cases were a perfect fit to the musically inclined theme, although I’m not sure that the genre of music that I imagine fits these psychedelic colours is quite to my taste!


Week 29 – Theme 30 “Show us your (Colour) Bokoh”

I intended to work on this theme over Christmas when there were plenty of lights around, but I never seemed to find time. So this weekend, while it rained outside, the Christmas tree lights were back out and I played around with bokeh. I made some templates to do shaped bokeh and got the colour filters out to try different colours.

I found I like the images better without anything in the foreground….I thought the hearts were fun as it is valentines day this week!




Week 28 – Theme 2 “Abstract”

This is an interesting theme as so many things could fit into it. I have recently been trying to learn more post-processing techniques and so I used this theme to have a play around with some pictures of wood piles. We have some large forests in Northumberland (although compared to other countries I guess they are pretty small)  where logging is carried out and as a result large stacks of wood can often be seen along the sides of the tracks. They have such interesting colours and textures and I often find myself drawn to photographing them. Here are a few that I have played around with….





Week 27 – Theme 18 “Movie Title”

Whilst walking along the coast yesterday I passed several nature reserves with ponies grazing in them. It has become quite common for wildlife trusts to use conservation grazing  – where sheep, cattle or ponies are used to enhance the natural flora and fauna of the reserve.  These ponies are most likely Exmoor ponies although wild Konik ponies from Poland are also used in some areas. These were not very wild at all and were happy to stand and let me photograph them. Despite their quiet nature the film  Wild Horses came to mind and so I am shamelessly using this for today’s theme!



Week 26 – Theme 12 “Hair”

Whilst out walking recently we paused to admire the view at the top of a hill and came across these clusters caught on the fence. It’s a phenomenon that I have seen before caused by fluffy highland cows having a satisfying scratch against the barbed wire fence. The resulting orange hair forms these lovely clusters that seem to sparkle in the sunlight. This particular fence also benefitted from a rather lovely back drop of the Simonside hills off in the distance.



Week 25 – Theme 44 “Topless”

Not a theme I expected to see in the list, but it did make me laugh and I’ve loved seeing how fellow bloggers have interpreted this theme. I went for something less clever than some but still avoiding any nudity!  This is a place I have photographed before but I hoped that my new skills  / tools for post processing would give me a fresh approach to the  picture. So here is a new photograph of “Northumberlandia” the giant, and clearly “topless”, human figure sculpted in the earth. I played around with Nik filters and the double exposure option to create this image.



Week 24 – Theme 47 “Waiting”

For the last few years I have sponsored a donkey at the Scottish Borders donkey sanctuary. I just love donkeys and its wonderful that there are places like this that provides a home for unwanted animals. Each of the 80 plus donkeys that live there have their own story, from owners that can no longer look after them to tragic stories of neglect. My donkey is called Zenobe, she is an Andalucian donkey and was rescued from a beach in France where her and another donkey were being badly mistreated (she’s the one with the biggest ears below!). The centre runs tours at the weekend where visitors can walk round and feed the donkeys from a cart full of carrots. The donkeys are well used to this routine and wait at the fences in keen anticipation of their weekly treat. Here are a few pictures of the donkeys “waiting”.


Week 23 – Theme 46 “Distracting / Unwanted Objects”

I made a special trip up to Bamburgh a few days ago to photograph the sunrise. I was lucky that it was a fantastic morning and I joined a few other photographers on the beach waiting for the perfect moment as the sun rose above the castle walls.  I took a lot of pictures and had to laugh that Finn the dog managed to sneak into many of them as he ran around chasing sticks! I thought this fit this theme rather well as he is rather distracting (but never unwanted!)



I did manage several pictures without this distraction too….




Week 22 – Theme 38 “Street Scenes”

Having moved to the countryside we don’t really have many streets – in fact just one through the village, and so this wasn’t as easy to fill this theme as it used to be when we lived in the city. The market town of Alnwick however is not far away and the with Christmas approaching the streets are particularly interesting at night. I love the patterns from the car lights when shooting a low speed, so here are my favourites of the Christmas street scenes in Alnwick.  The bottom one was actually Santa on his sleigh going through the arch (no really it was!).