August break 2014: the last week

August break week 4 | Wolves in London
Prompts, top to bottom, left to right: memory, nature, lines, love, small, adornment, morning, something new, nature (again)

So, a whole month has passed, just like that. *Clicks fingers*

Much as I love participating in projects like the August break, or my monthly garden moodboards, I am often put off by the side effect of an increasing awareness of time passing.

You start out thinking, oh yes, a photo a day for August, how lovely! And before you know it, you’re writing about the very last photo, August 31st, and the month has gone, poof, disappeared in a puff of smoke, and you’re sure you barely had time to get out of bed and brush your teeth.

Perhaps it’s something about marching, inexorably, towards my 40s that makes me rather reluctant to notice the passing of the days / weeks / months, but prefer to just live in them.

Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this August break.

I’m fairly proud of a few of my photos. I’m slightly embarrassed I posted a couple of them (two proved to be slightly out of focus when I looked at them on my computer screen rather than my phone). I struggled to think of a decent interpretation for a few of the prompts. And I’m constantly surprised by which ones prove the most popular on instagram.

(Of all the photos I took, the one from the first week, of my feet on my bathroom floor was the most popular. A great photo? Erm, probably not. Just some very lovely tiles. All credit for which surely is due to Fired Earth for making nice tiles and not to me, photographer and feet owner. Ah well…)

And so on, into the first day of September and I am already missing a daily prompt to make me think, take a few minutes to decide on my interpretation and head out there, armed with my little phone, to try and get a snap of something.

Related articles:

  • It’s all over for this year, but you can read all about it (and get ready to join in next year?) on Susannah Conway’s blog: the August Break 2014
  • And, of course, I’ll still be sharing pictures on instagram, so do follow me there if you fancy
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August break 2014: week three

August break photo collage | Wolves in London
Prompts, left to right, top to bottom: bookshelf; black and white; treasures; peaceful; shadow (twice)

Well, another week over and another weekend reached. Tick, result, breathe…

It’s started to feel a bit like that as I’ve been battling not only toddler daytime meltdowns but toddler and baby lack-of-nighttime-sleeping this week.

I just keep trying to remind myself that one day I will look back on this time and remember only the cute adorable bits, completely forgetting the sheer exhaustion of sleep deprivation and the frustrations of dealing with someone too little to understand reason who would really like to jump on top of his baby brother right now, irrespective of said baby’s need for a nap. (Cue one hour meltdowns all round…)

Anyway, the phone was about somewhere during it all and I managed to snap a few pics for the August break. Not my finest, for sure, and I missed a day for the first time too (the prompt was “jump” and nobody I spent the day with can do that yet!)

Here’s the montage from the last week. As ever, if you want to see anything larger, just click on the pics and zoom in…

Already feeling more relaxed, half way through the bank holiday weekend. If only every week had three days respite at the end!

Related articles:

August break 2014: week two

The photos continue…

August break photos | Wolves in London
Prompts, left to right, top to bottom: hands; guilty pleasure; drink; blue; look down; in my bag; look down (again); look down (and again!); handwriting

Phew, this has been a tough week.

The hubby was back at work on Monday after a five week hol between jobs. Of course, in that time, the sprog and the babe had become completely used to having him around all the time (as, for that matter, had I) so it’s been a shock to all our systems to be back to a one parent unit during the daytimes.

Having said, last week, that I was finding it a great joy taking a photo every day, this week it has definitely been more of a struggle to find even a spare minute to snap something. But I did, somehow, manage it on every day.

Here are my pics from the last week, for your delectation. (By the way, if you want to see any of them bigger, just click on the image and zoom in…)

{The August Break is a photography project of Susannah Conway’s, where you take a photo every day following prompts. See more about my participation in my post last week, or more about the whole thing on Susannah’s blog: August break 2014.}

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August Break 2014: lots of photos

Well, 31 photos to be precise. These are the first nine…

August break week 1
Left to right, top to bottom, the prompts were: orange; pattern; selfie; lunch; today is…; three; reflection; pattern (again!); window

Last year, I took part in Susannah Conway’s August Break for the first time.

It’s a brilliant (and brilliantly simple) idea. For the month of August, you take a photo every day and publish it on your blog or share on Instagram (or Facebook or wherever…)

There are prompts to follow every day, if you choose, or you can just take whatever photo you like.

It’s called a “break” because the idea is you stop bothering with blogging your usual posts, but just take a lovely photo and share that instead.

Last year, it absolutely stressed me out beyond belief. It was the most exhausting month of blogging I’ve ever had since starting the blog.

Even though I didn’t follow the prompts or insist to myself that the photo I posted was one I had actually taken on that day, I found it utterly draining finding a decent photo to publish every day. (I wrote a bit more about it on August 31st last year, if you want to hear more specific moans!)

This year, I’ve got a phone with a decent camera so I’m over on Instagram instead of the blog and, let me tell you, I am loving it!

I’m doing it properly. Following all the prompts. Taking the photo on the actual day. And yet, somehow, I’m not finding it loads of extra effort. I’m just finding it a joy to take a picture each and every day.

I thought at the end of each week I’d round up my pics over here too, in case anyone who isn’t on Instagram is interested in seeing them.

If you want to join in too, you can find out all the info on Susannah’s blog: August Break 2014.

Check out everyone else’s photos over on Instagram by searching #augustbreak2014.

And you can follow me on instagram if you’d like to see the day-by-day shots as they occur: @wolvesinlondon.

Come and play too, it’s really fun!

Related articles:

  • I’m sure that a big part of the reason I’m finding this so much more fun this year is thanks to the bloggers’ photography course I took with Emily Quinton last year. You can read more about that here: Makelight workshop.

A photo a day: August 31st

AKA the last day!

So this is it, people, my very last photo of the day. My last contribution to the August break.

Me sleeping
Don’t disturb me, mother, I must sleep until the cows come in from the fields this evening. This work has wearied me to the very core…

This is me. Collapsed in bed, my hand resting on my weary brow. A subtle photographic representation of how absolutely bloody exhausted I am from posting a photo (or sometimes more than one) on the blog every single day for the entire month of August.

(Okay, I missed two days, so in reality it’s been 29 days and not the 31 it should have been.)

To be honest, I’m not sure I’d do this again.

I knew even at the very beginning, that far from being an August “break” for me, this would be much more work than normal. I’m not a great photographer, so it’s not just a question of “snap,” one great photo taken, I’ll stick that up onto the blog and be done in five minutes.

It’s more like, “snap,” look at picture on camera screen, is that nice? I’m not sure. Maybe I should take another one. Is that nice? I’m not sure. Have I got my settings wrong? Maybe the angle’s wrong. I’ll change the exposure. Hmmm, I’ll upload them to the computer. Right, let’s take a look through them. Hmmm, one of those six might be okay. I guess I’ll give them all a quick edit and see which ends up looking best. Oh, drat, this one’s wonky. Right, I’d better open up Pixlr and try and straighten that up. Hmmm, nope, that’s not the best photo. I’ll use another one.

*Four hours pass by*

You get the drift.

Hiding
Go away. I won’t get up until it’s September.

It’s not just the time it’s taken that’s proved tricky though.

When I first started this blog, I made a little manifesto to myself that I wanted to make sure every post had a purpose; delivered a specific bit of information that could be useful to someone reading that article. A tutorial of my own would be the ideal post in this scenario, but at the other end of the scale, if I was making some jam, for example, then I wanted to make sure I included a link to the jam recipe, not just photos of the jam I had made.

So, I felt a little uneasy about simply posting a photograph without any chat. Don’t get me wrong, there are trillions of blogs out there that I love where photographs are posted chat-free, or with minimum chat. The difference is, all of those bloggers take amazing photos.

Though my photos have massively improved since I started my blog, I’m still not one of those bloggers who takes amazing photos. So I feel that every photo should be accompanied by some interesting writing as well. And so now, rather than simply posting a photo a day, I’d talked myself into writing a blog post and posting a photo a day. (There were exceptions, of course, but I look back at those posts and really don’t like them…)

So, there you have it, my assessment of the past month: tiring overall and a bit out of step with what I really intend to do most of the time on this blog. On the plus side, a huge reason I did the August Break was to stop myself from agonising for so long over all the photos I include and also because I was hoping my photography would improve by taking part. I think that it possibly has.

But for the rest of the year, we’re going to back to what I’m happier doing. Bucket loads of waffle, interspersed with the odd picture here and there.

Related articles:

  • I’m so pleased to be saying this for the last time: you can take a look at my photos for every day this month in my August break category.

A photo a day: August 30th

Do you remember my blogging view, the view I see when I sit here writing my blog?

Well, this morning I was sitting in the chair in front of the window, looking the opposite way for once and this was my view in that direction:

palm tree
Just one of London’s many native trees…

The electricity cables are the only thing that would let you know I’m not in the middle of a desert…

It seems that people round these parts have something of a penchant for tropical plants. Not only did my house sport a giant cactus out front for more than half a century, but my neighbour has this even-more-giant palm tree in front of her house. It’s almost as tall as the house I would say.

Who needs a holiday when that’s what you see out of your front window?!

Joining in with the August Break.

(And yes, drat it, I missed yesterday’s photo again. Urgh, so close to the end of the month as well.)

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A photo a day: August 28th

Vintage plate
Plate and image. Just waiting to be joined

I wish it would surprise you if I told you that I still have a wedding present to finish making for my sister who got married in May. (I wish it would surprise me too.)

I did give her most of her presents at the time, but I had an idea to pretty up some vintage plates for a really personal present too. Um, it’s still in the offing, but the other day I did get the plates out and take a look at them. That’s a first step right?

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A photo a day: August 25th

Sunday evening.

This is the sitting room floor:

Messy sitting room floor
That’s a little pile of chewed up and spat out apple on the right hand side, in case you were wondering

This is the disastrous fudge that looked like a turd, tasted little better and was as solid as a piece of granite:

Bad homemade fudge
You really, really don’t want to eat this

This is the sproglet’s chair:

Messy baby chair
Actually, it has to be said, this is not really that dirty for this chair

And this is just one of the many piles of washing up covering up every single surface in the kitchen right now:

Washing up pile
Urgh, I hate the sight of washing up even in a photo

Thank heavens it’s a bank holiday tomorrow.

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