Wednesday, 26 December 2012

12 days of Gladness: February

I though it might be fun to add notes at the bottom of this feature with details of how I took certain photos - go to the bottom of each of the posts and check out the photo geekery.
February 2012: The shadow of time. We were waiting to hear about my spouse visa interview date.
February in the UK, and especially Scotland, can be cold and dark and dreary; or dreich, as Scots say. It's a short month, but with short days and winter weather weariness, it feels particularly bleak.

I did a whole day of photographing parts of my parents' house in February.

It's a largely unremarkable house, a typical three-up-three-down from the mid 20th century. It was originally built as a council house set rather unusually in the middle of nowhere rather than in a town. I think it was part of a small street development for local farm workers.  The original fireplaces remain in the living room and master bedroom. My parents used them for coal fires until recently.

When we first moved in the whole house was covered in garish chintz.  The house is now decorated in a quirky and colorful style as befits my artist mother. This room, the living room, has walls painted in pastel green, blue and purple.

Incidentally, today, 26th December, is known as Boxing Day in the UK. It's a national holiday, and it feels strange to me that it's not one here in the USA.

Photo geekery: Pretty much any photograph taken indoors in Scotland is a low-light situation, especially in February when it's dark all day! Without a flash, set ISO high, aperture wide and and shutter speed as long as possible without affecting image quality (easier when there's no moving subject like a person). 

I cheated and took this photo in color and dropped the saturation in iPhoto. I'm not very good at black and white photography because a good black and white photo relies on light/shadow, otherwise it looks flat and unimpressive.

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