Tuesday 31 December 2013

Foamy walks on Fistral Beach

With the stormy weather continuing right through the festive season the strong winds were creating massive waves across the coast and whipping up sea foam everywhere. We might not get a white Christmas in the form of snow in Cornwall but we do get a pretty impressive show of sea foam when the winds blow strong and Fistral beach has been no exception.

Stormy seas at Fistral BeachWhipped up sea foam on Cornwalls beaches

Winter In CornwallCornwall beaches in Winter - Fistral

I suddenly reverted back to being a child and running around on the beach and chasing sea foam like a four legged friend and enjoyed some fresh air and beautiful scenery after too many mince pies over Christmas. 

Monday 30 December 2013

Christmas walks on Daymer Bay

After an epic amount of eating over the Christmas period it was time to get out in the fresh air and burn off some mince pies and turkey. With the weather over Christmas being completely challenging with storms and flooding finding a break in the weather to go to the beach was challenging but this didn't stop a walk on daymer beach over Christmas.
Daymer Bay Cornwall

Crowds on Daymer Bay

Steep hill to climb at Daymer BayClimbing the hill at Daymer Bay

Padstow from Daymer Bay

After a walk on the beach and a climb up the big hill it was definitely time to head back home and enjoy more eating and drinking but slightly more guilt free after our mornings exercise. 

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Making a ginger bread house

After my successful first ever mince pie bake I decided that my next challenge would be to make a ginger bread house. With an early Christmas present of a house cookie cutter kit I set to work on creating a festive ginger bread house.

Making the ginger bread went well and I had my dough to make the house, cutting the shapes wasn't to hard either, however getting large roof panels and walls made from ginger bread onto baking trays was another challenge entirely. But once I had succeeded to getting the ginger bread onto baking trays and successfully overcooked and cooled I was although slightly disheartened with my burnt shapes ready to construct my house.

With what can only be described as a bucket of royal icing I started to build my house and suddenly realised this was not an easy task. My walls didn't fit my roof kept sliding off I had icing everywhere including all over my hands, the floor and some on the house! With my partner returning from work to see the mess and frustration that I had created he quickly stepped in with his house building knowledge and helped get my house put together.

I decorated badly with far to much icing and lots of children's sweets but for our first effort it doesn't look that bad!
Ginger bread house

Monday 23 December 2013

Carol Singing In Cornwall

Last night I braved the elements with my family to pop down to St mawgan village for the carol singing with the St Dennis silver band. Freezing cold temperatures and torrential rain didn't stop the festivities and although the evening was cut short by a few songs, Father Christmas arrived on his sleigh with his trusty reindeer/donkey steed and everyone had a great night.

The village looked stunning with beautiful Christmas lights around the church and village store and a giant tree in the heart of the village, with the mulled wine and mince pies flowing the weather was not going to stop this event in the heart of the community from going ahead.

St Mawgan Carol service

Monday 16 December 2013

Festive baking in the photobrook house

With the parents arriving in just 5 days time I thought it would be a good time to start doing some festive baking and after seeing Paul Hollywood from the Great British Bake off make mince pies look easy I thought I would give them a go.

This is my first ever attempt at making home made mince pies and as i only had a tray that would hold six at a time this was actually quite a long winded job but I'm happy how they turned out and a few have been eaten already but the rest are now safely in the freezer waiting for the family to arrive, I just hope they like them.
Mince pie ingredients

Softening the butter and sugar

Mincemeat for mince piesMince pies before baking

Mince pies ready for the oven

Home made mince piesMince pies fresh out of the oven

Happy Christmas from a festively plump Photobrook Photography

Sunday 15 December 2013

It's nearly Christmas

With the weather outside pretty miserable and my other half suffering from the night before's Christmas work do there's nothing better than blasting out some Christmas songs and doing some Christmas baking.

Today fingers crossed I'm going to attempt my first ever mince pies, some home made meringues to go in the freezer for an emergency dessert over Christmas, I like the idea of Christmas pudding eton mess! I have no idea if this theory will work so maybe meringue and fruit will be a better idea but in my head crumbled meringue, crumbled Christmas pudding and lots of cream sounds like it could work.

And lastly on my list today is a panetone bomb, we made this last year for the family and it was really quick and easy and a real winner. I'll take lots of yummy pictures throughout the day so check back later to see if my baking skills for Christmas are a success.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Beautiful sunrise in Cornwall this morning

Usually I'm pretty grumpy about leaving my bed in the morning especially in the winter when it's so cold and it's still dark but leaving the house at 7.30 this morning I was impressed by the beauty of this mornings sunrise.

To be honest all this week the commute to work has been pretty epic, a brief patch of frost one morning, fog rolling over the Cornish fields with the sun bursting through the clouds the next and this mornings epic sunrise of pinks, purples and oranges make getting up early worthwhile.
Sunrise in Cornwall

Cornish sunrise

It doesn't feel like it is Christmas in just two weeks time with the gorgeous weather that we have been having in Cornwall lately.

Monday 9 December 2013

Can You Really Trust Yourself With Your Camera?

One of the great things about the development of the smartphone camera is that a lot of people are forgetting about standalone cameras, which of course helps to drive the price down on some excellent digital offerings out there. While Samsung come up with clever ways of making cameras that appeal to those people who have discovered photography through their average smartphone cameras, the usual suspects continue to make great cameras, which now tend to be available at rock bottom prices. It’s not hard to find an excellent SLR for less than £500, and you can pick up great pieces of kit which sit somewhere between an SLR and a point and shoot, for less than £300. This is great for all of those budding photographers out there, but the danger is that people don’t quite value these pieces of kit quite as much as they would if they had spent double the money on them. Common sense will tell you that the value is the quality of the product in your hand, not what had to come out of your wallet to get it there in the first place. With this in mind, it’s critical that you look after your camera!

Accidental Damage

These days the world moves quickly, and that means that budding photographers want to capture the action as it’s happening. There are loads of cameras on the market right now that are fantastic for doing just that, with the Nikon1 J1 being a prime example. The time between depressing the shutter and getting the shot is negligible, but this style of photography really does encourage carelessness! If you grab your camera, and rush to capture the shot, it’s so easy to slip and drop your camera. Not to mention that capturing the spur of the moment happenings does not exactly encourage you to sling the camera around your neck in the first place! It’s out of your hand and on the floor in seconds, normally in a million little pieces!

Water Damage

This is another common problem. People think that just because their digital SLR feels rock solid, doesn’t mean that it takes kindly to constant rain pouring all over it! If you take your camera out in the rain all of the time, you’re asking for trouble. The other problem with many digital cameras now is that they often find a home on a desk, with people transferring pictures from camera to computer. The problem here? Drinks. We’ve all spilled drinks on our keyboard, and that’s not too much of a drama generally speaking, but if your camera takes the brunt of a big glass of Ribena, it could be lights out instead of lights camera action!

Loss and Theft

With the values of these cameras falling, we tend not to hold on to them quite as tightly as we might have done before. This means that it is just that little bit easier to pop the camera down on a pub table for a few seconds more than you might have done in the past, after capturing a great shot. You sit back, enjoy the moment, take a long draw on your drink, and before you know it, the camera is gone. Thieves don’t mind if cameras are a little cheaper on the open market now – they can still sell them more cheaply on the black market and make a 100% profit!
Of course, cameras also get lost. So many great point and shoot cameras slip easily in the inside pocket of a coat, but does that coat always make it home? People are always losing coats, and it’s often the wallet that gets lost along the way. It could easily be your camera too, so you have to stay vigilant.

Insurance and Vigilance

There’s no real answer to any of this. Take more care seems like puerile advice really, but it’s the only thing you can do personally to stop any of these things happening. For most people though, the one thing that does get overlooked when buying a new camera is insurance. Because they are that bit cheaper, it is perhaps a little more easy to think that it’s less important to insure. Sure, if you lose it, it’s not going to cost you too much to buy a new one, but the correlation between cost and insurance cost is always related. If the camera didn’t cost too much, you can be sure that an insurance policy isn’t going to leave you out of pocket by too much. It’s worth having a look at sites such as protectyourbubble.com to find out just how much you would have to pay to cover your camera. It’s sure not to cost you the earth, and could save you hundreds of pounds if the unthinkable happens.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Operation Christmas Child 5000 shoe boxes leave Cornwall.

Today I was delighted to be asked to photograph the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child shoe box appeal as the shoe boxes were being loaded onto the lorry to start the journey over to Belarus.

With 5000+ shoe boxes loaded in the food banks warehouse in Wadebridge an army of volunteers turned up to help load the boxes into the lorry. With helpers young an old the lorry was loaded in no time and a well deserved cup of coffee and bacon sandwich was had by all as the lorry began it's journey out of Cornwall to the children who have a very different Christmas to us.
Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child Wadebidge Food Bank

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 Christmas Shoe Box Appeal

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013

Operation Christmas Child 2013

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Cornwall

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Wadebridge

Samaritans Purse operation Christmas Child 2013 - Wadebridge

A massive thank you goes out to all the people that have made shoe boxes this year and a big thank you to all the volunteers that helped load the 5000+ shoe boxes in Wadebridge today. Too see all the photos from today pop over to the Photobrook Facebook page.