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the story of november

As I wrote in my latest newsletter, I am determined to find the available light in the darker months. Even when the weather is bad. Inevitably this involves embracing the shadows and being more creative in my photography but happily I have discovered a new love for candles and fairy lights, which create a beautiful warm glow.

Slow shutter speeds are, indeed, my new best friend...

Back in September I photographed Catherine and Bea's food photography workshop in London. It was actually really inspiring as food is not something I photograph often, and Bea's bundt cake props were something to behold! They are more tricky to bake - or de-tin - than they look, I have had a bundt pan for years and have never successfully turned one out. Bits always get stuck..

Until last week when the one above happened! So I declared that no-one could touch it until I had had chance to take its portrait, inspired by Bea's cake below. Perhaps not a new direction for me though, food photography is more time consuming than it looks and while I like eating food, I don't know if I have time to put all my effort in to preparing it for photography too at the moment...

I planted a winter flowering cherry 3-4 years ago. I forget exactly when. It as been joyful since then, flowering on and off between November and about February, but it is still relatively small in stature.

That said, for about a week this month it decided to wear both autumn and spring at the same time and was utterly enchanting. Worth a moments celebration I think!

Another small celebration - and I won't mention it again - came with winning an award. I have never won an award. Unfortunately I couldn't make the event, but it arrived in the post a week later and I can officially say I won the best use of photography category at the Amara IBA's 2019!

I am truly grateful to whoever nominated me, and to everyone who voted for my blog. Writing a blog really does feel like talking to oneself so it is wonderful to know that what I do is in some way appreciated. You can see all the other winners through the badge at the foot of the page, if you are interested.

by the light of the moon...

Have you met Magic Organic Apothecary? If not, please let me introduce you. It all began with an organic healing balm which can be used for many things - you can read all about that here.

This autumn MOA's range has grown to include this beautiful moonlight candle, one of which they have kindly gifted to me. Their candles are hand poured with plant based waxes and essential oils. Its scent is wonderfully herbal, with oils of white sage, jasmine, camphor and myrrh which smells wonderful. I do love an earthy fragrance.

In fact, I am forever seeking natural products and scents for my home. And the more I do so, the less inclined I am to buy synthetic fragrances. I just think they smell better. Needless to say there is also something comforting about candle light during the darker months.

I took the candle away with us this weekend to a lovely holiday home (more on that soon) and a small green bath potion too. We don't have a bath at home as we chose to have a generous sized shower instead, so any excuse I have for a relaxing bath I'll happily take...

You can find both the candle and bath potion in MOA's shop here.

After so much rain, the end of November was beautifully sunny. I have taken many photographs this weekend and am looking forward to sharing them later. But for now, here is just one with the hint of a sunny day on the other side of the door. I find the sliver of light in the crack of the doorframe so enticing.

Here's to December...

J x


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