If I could give myself a Christmas gift this year, I think it would the gift of confidence. Not over-confidence and arrogance, but just enough confidence in myself to not feel stupid, embarrassed and not good enough. I find it very hard to believe in myself and my abilities. Even though there are many of you following my blog, I still feel like I’m not good enough. I don’t want to be ‘fishing for compliments’ as they say, just explaining myself. This pondering was brought on by the Weekly Photo Challenge this week – New Horizon:

This week, we’re challenging you to think ahead and show your work in a representative photo. If you set New Year’s resolutions, give them some thought a few weeks early. If resolutions aren’t your style, show us something that you want to achieve — it could be setting a new goal, making plans, or even tackling that pile of laundry waiting by the washer. The goal is to get out of the busy “now,” and imagine your new horizon. Go!

It coincides with a conversation I had recently about the need to be more assertive and stand up for myself, and believe I am good enough at things to deserve recognition for that. I want to be that person, but it’s so hard for me. I want to achieve this confidence and assertiveness, without bringing anyone else down, or being arrogant, or ‘blowing my own trumpet’. I think that balance must be hard, but I would like to move more towards the centre rather than being down at my end where there isn’t much confidence at all.

I was picking some photos to add to my ponderings and for no particular reason I chose this photo of a sheep. She appears to be making faces at me. Perhaps she’s trying to be encouraging!


I also chose this robin, who finally sat still long enough for me to get a photo of him a while back. I may not be a ‘robin whisper’ but I do have persistence and patience and get that shot in the end.


A big aspect of needing confidence in photography is when you take photos of people. Insects, birds and flowers don’t really threaten your confidence directly – only in your self-critical analysis of the photos you take. But when you take pictures of people there is a risk that they think your photos are rubbish. So it takes confidence for me to be brave enough to take photos of people riding, other than my daughter, and to dare to suggest the they might buy a copy if they’d like a larger version. I find myself trying not to say ‘oh they’re not very good, I’m sure they’re not worth paying for’. But there are some lovely people who have a bought one or two so my confidence is gradually creeping up in that area.

Here are a few recent photos from a show jumping competition:




I can already feel myself being self-critical. Oh the lighting wasn’t great, and maybe the balance isn’t right. The pony is too low down in the frame… etc. But I am trying to have confidence in myself.

I often find myself like this ladybird. Out on my own and not quite fitting in. But I am unique and interesting in my own way. So why worry that I’m different? Easy to say but less easy to achieve. Good luck to all in their endeavours to achieve whatever it is you are wishing for.


In the spirit of confidence, if you are interested in my photography equipment, I’ve created a page about what I use so please take a look if you would like to now more about that.


Disco Ball

edit-7544Another one of the decorations on the Christmas tree is this bauble which reminds me of a disco ball, reflecting light in all directions and picking up all the colours of lights and tinsel.

Pine cone

edit-7558There seems to be a theme developing! 🙂 Another festive photo – this time a photo of pine cone on the Christmas tree, with a sparkly fairy light in the background. I love how the light has gone all starry 🙂


Fairy Light

edit-7536The Christmas tree was decorated yesterday, so of course I got the camera out and got a few shots with the lights twinkling. I was trying to get shots of baubles reflecting the lights, which was great, but every photo has me and my tripod’s reflection in it which I don’t like! How does anyone take photos of shiny baubles without appearing in the shot? I’d love to know! Anyway I took this photo of one of the fairy lights and love the way the tinsel behind it is shining with a whole range of colours and pretty bokeh. Christmas is coming!

I think I’ll make this another shot for the Weekly Photo Challenge, so now I have a candle flame and a more modern electric fairy light for that 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be light

edit-7506I was pleased to see that the weekly photo challenge this week is based on light – that gave me the perfect excuse to light a candle and have some fun taking photos. It’s been cold out and I’ve been a bit uninspired with the lack of flowers and insects and other nice things, but now it’s coming up to Christmas so there will be more candles, and lights on the tree, and tinsel. This was my favourite of the photos I took – I like it because the flame is nicely focused with pretty bokeh from some tinsel behind it.

Soft Honeysuckle


Growing Kitten

I took my camera with me again while taking my daughter to riding at the weekend, and got another few shots of the kittens. It’s just over a month since I last took a photo of this kitten and he’s grown. His ears now look a little more in proportion with his face! 🙂


Leafy Ladybird

I’ve been able to get out a bit with the camera this weekend, so I have a new stash of photos to share. This is one of my favourites of the weekend – a lovely little ladybird sitting on an autumn leaf. I was really pleased with how the contrasting colours came out, and the ladybird stands out well against the leaf.


Robin Again

Mr Robin was hopping about the garden again yesterday, and I managed to grab a shot, which came out surprisingly well considering I had my camera set up for macro! I can’t resist a robin!



Despite the wind, I had a potter round the garden and took a few photos. The Ivy is a hive of activity with many flies, and a lot of wasps all busily clambering about. Wasps make me a little nervous but these ones were so busy they barely noticed me so I risked a few close-ups.

Pollen-covered Wasp busily at work
Tired Wasp taking a break on a leaf
Wasp having a bit of a clean up

Sun Fly

It’s blustery and not ideal weather conditions for macro photos today, but I still have some left from last weekend. I’m hoping maybe tomorrow will be less windy and I can get out again. 

The Hoverflies are still around, although there seems less of them now as Autumn comes. They’ve had to move from the Ragwort that seemed to be their favourite flower, as they’ve all gone to seed. In my garden at the moment there are lots of insects gathering at the Ivy as those flowers last into Autumn. This one was on a bramble flower in the hedgerow. I think this Sun Fly (Helophilus pendulus) is my favourite Hoverfly with his lovely stripy thorax. Very bright and sunny 🙂