salt water pastels

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I spent hours photographing these pretty coastal blooms with my macro lens (and no tripod!) on top of a windy Bodega head, captivated by their abundantly gorgeous array of pastel candy shades, like the tangy-sweet salt water taffy we gorged ourselves on. Up close they look like perfect wedding bouquets. Though I have searched I haven’t been able to locate their name, so I would love if someone could tell me what they are called.

 

© images by Emily Hughes, 2016

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the little things

I love macro photography. It forces you to slow down, and take notice of what is around you. There is something really so wonderfully involved about focussing in on the minutiae of life. It’s a bit like discovering a secret world – the more you delve into it, the more you want to explore.

And suddenly something as small and insignificant as a blade of grass can take centre stage, and become, well, a thing of pure wonder.

Blade 5

Blade 1

Blade 3

Blade 4

Blade 6

Blade 2

© words and images Emily Hughes, 2015

breathe

When I push the shutter release, I close my eyes.

(Annelies Strba, from Shades of Time)

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breathe, 2014

I have done a lot of reflecting during this holiday period. I’ve read a lot of blog posts and facebook updates about fresh starts and being thankful and realising what’s important, and all that. I’m not knocking any of it. It’s all good and true, of course. It’s been refreshing, and liberating, to have some time to just be without the pressures of work and the day-to-day (of course I know this is only a temporary state, so I’m bracing myself for the full onslaught which comes with immersing myself back into the deep end of life). One thing which has struck me head on, though, throughout all the great stuff (and there is lots of great stuff!) is just how busy 2014 has been. And not entirely in a good way. I always like being busy. I need busy. But I have learned it is definitely not good to busy yourself to the point that you find yourself collapsing in a crumpled heap over the finish line on your hands and knees with a white flag between your teeth. It ends, usually, in tears, frustration and wounds, the kind of which you can’t slap a plaster on; the kind which take much time and effort to heal. It benefits no-one in the end, least of all you.

So at the start of this year. This shiny, brand spanking new clean sheet of a year, I am going to gift myself some much needed advice.

Just give yourself a moment.

Just breathe.
Breathe in
and out.

Look.
Close your eyes
and
see.

 

Happy New Year to all, and I wish you a peaceful, fulfilling and inspiring year ahead.

 

© images and words Emily Hughes, 2015

opalescence

 

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It’s been an up-and-down few weeks, and I haven’t been as active on here as I would like to be. Getting the time to post is proving more and more difficult, unfortunately. I went back to my little skeleton leaves, and decided I hadn’t quite finished with them. I had a feeling they would work well as layers. I use this technique a lot in my images, and it’s a surprisingly creative and enjoyable process in which unexpected things often emerge. Here, it served to enhance the shimmery opalescent shades – which were just the merest suggestions before – to create something light and lustrous, and a little bit summery.

 

 

 

 

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

sketches

Spring surprises me every year. Like a switch being flicked, the sudden buzz and hum of life at volume jolts me into attentiveness. As the earth shakes off its heavy, muffled cloak of winter, a veil lifts from my eyes, and instantly they start to sketch shifting forms cast by the wayward light. As the sun shone on our little garden yesterday, we dug to find relics buried amongst the clusters of sprightly iris and anemones proudly splaying their pert figures. I instantly loved the bare little skeleton leaves, which quivered gently in the breeze as they generously sketched and re-sketched their intricate framework against a canvas of rich coffee soil. I like to think the earth kept these little treasures safe for me, just waiting for the light, and for my eyes to open.

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Skeleton 6

Skeleton 1

Skeleton 3

Skeleton 2

Skeleton 4

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

a folk tale

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sometimes, nature knits its own stories.

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

Tangled

Maybe it’s a reflection of my current state of mind, but give me an unkempt tangle of grasses and wild flowers over a neatly cultivated border any day.

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