Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.   ~Mary Oliver

It was a trip I had been anticipating for months.  A week in London, visiting my eldest daughter.  Throughout the week we talked, we laughed, we shared stories.  We went to the theater, explored Oxford, practiced yin yoga at her favorite studio, had high tea with her friends.  It was lovely.

Since Kate had to work, I spent most of the week exploring London on my own.  I had thought about bringing my trusty Canon with me to photograph the sights, but decided instead to just depend upon my iPhone 7+ and was pleased with the quality of the shots.

Marylebone Neighborhood, near the street where she lives.

Kensington Gardens

"london is a roost for every bird." ~Benjamin Disraeli


Because I was traveling solo, I was able to visit museums to my heart's delight.  Over the course of two days I wandered through the National Gallery of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Royal Academy of Arts, where I saw an amazing Matisse exhibit.  I got about mostly by walking and taking the bus, and never tired of the street life.

The Royal Academy of Arts

Chalk art outside of the National Gallery.

Piccadilly Circus

P {for Pantry}, where I stopped for a cappuccino and pain au chocolat

"If you're curious, London is an amazing place." ~David Bailey

One of my favorite days was spent at Covent Garden.  When I set out that morning, I had no idea what to expect.  In my mind I was picturing a traditional English garden.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived and discovered instead a bustling hodgepodge of shops and restaurants.  

Tucked down an alley near Covent Garden was Neal's Yard, named after Thomas Neale, a vibrant and colorful hodgepodge of herbal remedy shops, smoothie cafés and New Age shops.

"London opens to you like a novel itself.... It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, door, passsage, door. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand."

~Anna Quindlen, Imagine London


During my final morning we took a walk through Regent's Park.  We strolled past playing fields, a pond, canal and Queen Mary's Rose Garden.  Although it was long past their season, many of the roses were still in bloom.

"London's like a forest... we shall be lost in it." - Mary Elizabeth Braddon


My trip ended all too soon, especially the time spent with my daughter.  Although I was happy to return home to my husband and Popeye, I am already looking forward to when I visit London again.  There is so much left to see of this beautiful city.  










A Shift in Perspective

Have you ever stopped by the lovely photography blog titled Viewfinders?  It is a collaboration of 15 amazing photographers dedicated to recording the world around them.  Yesterday I read a post written by Deb Achak titled Freelensing.  Freelensing is a photography technique where you create a new perspective of a subject by detaching the lens from the camera and then manually holding the lens close to the camera body and playing until you get a focus point.  

....Deb does a much better job of explaining the technique in her post!

I was intrigued by the idea, especially how it can cause a shift in your perspective of the subject you're shooting.  I decided to try it out myself.  For the shots below I used a 50mm lens and my Canon EOS T3:

 This shot evokes such a dreamy mood, doesn't it?

This shot evokes such a dreamy mood, doesn't it?

 I love the light leak in this shot.

I love the light leak in this shot.

I had varying degrees of success with my first attempts at freelensing, but I do like the way this technique brings a softness to photographs.  Unfortunately I was the only one home when I was playing; I would have liked to try it out using one of my daughters or husband as my subject.  My Yorkie, Popeye, was just not interested in being my guinea pig!

If you want to read a little more about this technique, I recommend you head over to Viewfinders and read Deb's post.  You will be so glad you did!