Canon 5D Mark III Test Shots

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It’s been a while once more, since I posted a new blog post as life has been forever busy, however today I simply can’t not share the fact that I have just taken delivery on probably the most expensive item I own; a Canon 5D Mark III camera.  Ever since I started to take an interest in photography, I have wanted this camera and I have now reached a stage in my life in which I have been able to afford to treat myself to one.  Anyway, I was so itching to take a couple of shots with my new bit of kit, that I grabbed one willing subject; my daughter and quickly popped on my 50mm 1.8 lens.  I couldn’t even wait to attach my flash, let alone set up any lights.  I’m pretty pleased with these test shots.  Of course it helps that I have a very cute subject.  Thank you Sophie for helping Mummy!

canon 5d mark iii indoor low light test shot

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f7.1, 1/125, ISO-10000, No Flash.

canon 5d mark iii indoor low light test shot

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/5, 1/100, ISO-10000, No Flash.

Fighting for Help – Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome

It’s been a long time since I posted here, but I need an outlet, somewhere to post my angst, my anxiety and my pain.  It may be a while before I post here again or it may be a short time; I don’t know.  All I know is that right now, I am once again feeling as though I am fighting a losing battle.  I have come through so much since I started this blog.  A divorce, alcohol addiction, a nervous breakdown, a near death experience and to top it all, domestic violence.

Well I am so, so happy to say that the domestic violence is no longer an issue.  I am still with the faulty model, however he has changed, recognised his demons and has done everything within his power, including going on a 6 month course, to get help with it.

This time, my pain comes from my son.  He is 13 years old and since he was a toddler, I have always felt that there is something not quite right with him.  I have spent most of my life thinking that I have a screw loose, so it was only natural that I felt my son was an odd bod too.

Since he was 3 years old, I have been backwards and forwards to the doctors, to CAHMS, to dietician etc, and the outcome has always been the same; my son is a naughty child.

Admittedly, he didn’t have the best start in life; I was a drug addict and alcoholic.  But I have always put his needs first, in a desperate attempt to stop him suffering the same pain and angst that I have felt and suffered.  I have parented him in opposition to the way my parents, parented me, in order to prevent him following the same path.

Nothing I have done, even getting clean, even getting sober, even providing him with a wealthy, healthy, supportive lifestyle, has not helped.  He still seems destined to follow the wrong path.

I have tried everything within my power and ability to guide him in the right direction, yet still he opposes that guidance, and chooses to make his own way, his own mistakes, his own downfall.

The other day, after a total meltdown on my behalf, having been pushed to my limits with his behaviour, and because the school he was at gave me wrong information which effectively left us both abandoned and isolated from a normal education and society; my mother decided to do some research.

A bit about my mum… she NEVER believes in internet diagnosis.

So, after researching ADHD, Autism and Aspergers, my mum discovers a link on the autism.org.uk website, which directed her to Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome. Suddenly, everything fitted; everything made sense.  Not only with regards to my son, but with regards to my own life, too.  The need for control, the inability to cope when not in control, the mood swings, the school exclusions,  the fantasy world that we live in; it all fits.

Unfortunately, however, PDA is not a well recognised condition and thus, getting a diagnosis is seemingly going to prove difficult.  What is worse still is that now, I find myself in a situation where all routine, life as I know it, has gone out of the window.  I am not in control whatsoever. I am not in control of my life or of my son’s life.  I am not in control of the future.  Everything I feared, everything that made me feel anxious, that people told me was in fact me worrying too much, is now becoming a reality.  I do not have the skills to deal with such anxiety.  The tables the doctor has put me on, Sertraline, have taken away my PMDD and a lot of my inappropriate worrying. They have also taken away my spirit, my feist and my determination.  I feel flat, I feel terrified and I feel at a stand still.

Today I went back to the GP and presented PDA syndrome on behalf of my son.  I have now been re-referred to CAHMS and now face a waiting game until I hear back from them as to whether or not they will diagnose him, or are even capable of doing so.

After complaining to the authority, my son’s school have re-enrolled him and have set him work, but the process of getting him back into school is long and slow.  I run my own business, working alone and for the past few months, work has been the last thing on my mind.  I really do feel physically halted with anxiety..  Our comfortable lifestyle, is digressing to a state of penny watching and all routine has gone.  I feel anxious about asking family, friends and my child-minder to help, because I know that my son will throw a hissy fit in order to avoid doing what is required of him.

At this moment in time, I feel as though I have reached a dead-end.

But I will continue to break down the walls and get my son the help and support that he needs, in order to give him the best chance at a future.

Friendship – A Message to my Son

In life, people come and go but true friends stick like glue. They are the ones who see the person on the inside, they are the ones who see past your flaws and they are the ones who love you for who you are and all your craziness. They will be with you long after you leave school and some will come along later in life and never leave you. Those are the friends to hang on to. Never stop being yourself Adam, you are a kind, caring and loyal person and you care about what’s important. No one can ask for a better qualities in a friend. xxxx

 

Life in the Driving Seat

I was trying to explain to my son the other day, about how he is control of his own destiny, after he was suspended from school for persistent silly behaviour. To paint a small picture of my son; he is, to say the least, a challenging child.  By no means unintelligent but unfortunately his attention seeking behaviour leads him into regular trouble both at home and at school.  His schooling being the worst affected area of his life.  So here is the analogy I came up with….

Imagine that there are three types of children; the disadvantaged, the naturally sensible and intelligent, and himself. He isn’t disadvantaged, nor is he naturally sensible and intelligent as he lacks the common sense to use his intelligence for the right reasons.

The disadvantaged kids are forced to walk along life’s path.  They, may have the intelligence to succeed however their life circumstances may slow down their journey.  The may succeed but their odds are fewer and their journey slower.

The naturally sensible and intelligent kids are on a train.  Providing they don’t chose to disembark along the way, they are on a one way ticket to a prosperous and successful future.

Then there is my son, he’s in a car and he is the one driving it but right now he’s at a T-junction.  He can now chose to turn left, the wrong road, or he can choose to turn right, towards a bright future.  He’s already taken a few wrong turnings which have always led him back to this junction, but the older he gets, the more dangerous those paths can become.  But if he steers himself in the right direction and drives at a steady pace, concentrating on his journey, using his lights to brighten dark roads, and his wipers to clear dirty windscreens, he can so easily drive towards a happy, more successful future.  In a way, he is the luckier of the three types of children.  He get’s to choose his own path.  He gets to navigate his own journey.

After using this analogy, my son made a poster to show what he had understood about it.  All I can do for the time being, while I seek outside help, is to hope that he takes the easy route; the right road.

 

The Time is Now

Today I stand taller and stronger,
than I ever did before.
The demons that once tortured me,
don’t have their power anymore.
I have healed and I’ve recovered,
and on this day I stand proud.
I’ve never felt so happy and in control,
As I do now.

Copyright © Little Emz 2013

PMT – Pre Moon Tension?…

…No it definitely isn’t pre moon tension, there is absolutely no mistaking the fact that what I have been suffering from (and so has everyone within a 50 yard radius, indirectly) for the past 10 days is pre-menstrual tension. The reason I used the analogy of pre moon tension is this:

Once a month, just as a werewolf turns from a human to a wolf on a full moon, I turn from a (almost) perfectly functioning, caring, lively female, into a crazed, psychotic, emotional, angry, panicky, anxious, hopeless, clumsy, brainless, narcoleptic-insomniac (honestly…go figure!), with a totally insatiable appetite and an inability to interact on a normal, socially acceptable level, with practically anyone!

And so, in the same way that the stereotypical ‘good werewolf’ knows that on every full moon he must lock himself away, shackled and chained in a bunker/cellar/other solid and safe room, in order to protect society from the dangerous and uncontrollable evil from within him, when he transforms into his supernatural counterpart; I am beginning to feel that for at least a week out of every month I should do exactly as the ‘good werewolf’ does; totally incarcerate myself, in order to protect both my loved ones and general society, from the evil, horrible, dangerous monster that I become.

I write this about myself with a semi-humorous tone, but the reality of the situation is that this condition really does interfere with my daily life, for at least a week out of every single month.

Relationships become impossible, to the point that after the rage and disagreements, I completely lose all interest in my boyfriend. If he dares to speak anything other than whatever it is I want or expect to hear, which generally is anything at all other than what he says, then I simply shut him out. He can’t say the right thing no matter what, every word that comes out of his mouth irritates me and I simply don’t care. Except I do; deep inside I am full of self-hatred and self-loathing towards the nastiness that escapes me, beyond my control. It has become a regular cycle, for me to finish with my partner/s (current and past), once a month, because they do not meet my irrational and unreasonable expectations.

My kids irritate the hell out of me. Whereas normally I will tolerate their normal, adolescent back-chat, loud hyperactive bouncy behaviour and incessant demands for my attention; I just can’t cope when I have PMT. My temper is short and I snap at them without thinking, and often I swear uncontrollably, I know I shouldn’t speak that language in front of them, yet I have no control. Pre Menstrual Tourette’s?

For the past 10 days ( I came on 3 days late), I have spent 70% of my life, sleeping! On the verge of narcolepsy, my fatigue sweeping over me and taking me unconscious within moments of hitting ‘the wall’. However, at night I am unable to fall asleep without the aid of 2-3 times the normal amount of sleep aid. Hence my reference to narcoleptic-insomniac. This insomnia can also lead to panic attacks as my mind-chatter, also possessed by the PMT monster, says crazy things to me, brings up past memories that I wish to repress, and offers me frightful visions of a dark and bleak future.

I worry about EVERYTHING! I worry anyway, but seriously, when I have PMT every tiny little thing worries me and every situation I am in has the worst possible forseeable outcome, in my mind. For example: I was the only mother who waited and waved the coach off this morning as my daughter went on her first school trip. Being the only mother doing so, my mind then told me that fate was playing a part in this, and that I was waving her off because, like in some horrible tv drama, this was going to be the last time I saw her. Another example: Overtaking a lorry on the motorway. On a normal day, I would worry about the pull that happens as the car passes the lorry and the wind catches slightly. On a PMT day, I imagine the lorry swerves into me, sending my car into the central reservation, where it then spins back onto the motorway into oncoming traffic, causing a 20 car pile-up and a very horrific death for me. My kids are informed of the tragedy and 200 people attend my funeral, dressed in my favourite colour; pink.

The Andrex puppy makes me cry.

I become unreasonable. Example: On a normal day, when collecting my mail from the sorting office, I totally understand that if I’ve forgotten my collection card, that rather than even attempting to collect my post, because it is the Royal Mail staff duty to protect our post and not hand it over without ID, I would have to go home and get my card. On a PMT day, I disregard this concept, walk into the sorting office reception, explain that I haven’t got my card but since they recognise me they can give it to me anyway and then proceed to curse them and storm out, when they refuse to do so. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the female member of staff, whom I criticised for being useless and ridiculous.

I can’t concentrate and most words over 5 characters, do not make sense to me at all. Does that word even exist? etc. etc.

I could go on about this for hours, but now that my period has finally arrived, I realise that going over and over it, is wasting precious ‘calm hours’ that are better spent catching up on everything that didn’t get done over the past 10 days. It isn’t a funny thing to live with, it is debilitating, unbearable and life altering. I wonder if the myth of the werewolf, actually originated from an ancient tale about the woman who ‘turned’ (into a monster) once a month.

There is no cure, except for menopause, I assume. And that is a whole other issue/fear that I don’t even want to think about!

The Relationship Maze

Relationships are a bit like a maze; you keep trying different paths, different routes, hitting dead ends, finding new avenues.   Every time you think you’re almost there, you realise you’ve found another booby trap, another obstacle.  Eventually, one day you are either going to find the prize in the middle, or one of you will find an exit, until that day, just keep trying to solve the puzzle.

English: corn maze Deutsch: Maislabyrinth in D...

Where is Silas?

Tonight’s first look Hollyoaks has seen an explosive, devastating scene, that left me literally crying my eyes out.  However, despite the fact that all mine, and my best Hollyoaks friend’s, predictions have all gone out of the window, one question still remains unanswered:

Where is Silas Blissett?

British actor Jeff Rawle at the Kew Fair Dog S...

I will be honest with you here, I had predicted that the bully story line  between Maddie Morrison (played by Scarlett Bowman), and Esther Bloom (played by Jazmine Franks) was going to end in the death of Maddie, at the hands of Silas.  Clearly I was wrong in my prediction as tonight’s story line showed.  Unfortunately for us viewers, the evil Maddie wasn’t killed off in a horrifc murder at the hands of the serial killer who graced our screens last year.  Instead she left her friend, Niel (played by Tosin Cole) to die in order to save her own life.  I am glad that Final Destination met Hollyoaks, to finally get rid of the evil B**ch, in my honest opinion.  She deserved everything she got, although with both Maddie and Niel out of the way, and with Maddie’s last words, blaming Esther, I don’t think Esther would agree with me right now.  I was rather hoping that Silas was going to be the person to finally shut her (Maddie) up.  Clearly I was wrong.

So WHERE IS HE?  It’s been a good while since he escaped prison, and the whole of Hollyoaks seems to have forgotten about him.  Surely this isn’t permanent.  Surely, the writers haven’t simply written his character out so subtly that they thought we’d all forget about him?  Of course not, he will be back. The question is, when?

I would also like to know, who was it who slept with Sinead at Ash’s party?

I guess we shall have to wait and see.  I look forward to those story-lines far more than I am enjoying the current one.  Please don’t get me wrong, the current story-line has had me blubbering and balling my eyes out, but it’s the story-lines that could come, that have me gripped.  I hope Hollyoaks won’t let me down.  I seriously doubt it.

 

The Grand Pier Fireworks Display 2012 – Photos

I wasn’t going to go to the display at The Grand Pier in Weston Super Mare,  as it was raining for a good a few hours before hand, however I talked myself into it because I had already had my two practice attempts at photographing fireworks at 2 previous displays and it seemed a shame to waste that and have to wait another year.

I got to the display with about 20 minutes to spare only to realise that I had forgotten the connector to fix my camera to the tripod… a very big thing to forget as obviously the camera has to be still to photograph fireworks, I might as well have forgotten the whole tripod.  I didn’t have time to go home to get it so I asked a local bar for some blue tack.  They offered me a small amount about the size of a marble, this would have to suffice!

The display started 45 minutes late, so I could have gone home to get the right equipment after all, however missing the event wasn’t a chance I was going to take, not after all the rigmarole I had been through to get that far!  The reason the display was late, was because somewhere close by was having a display of their own, from the ferocity of their display and its endurance, my assumption was that the person holding it had some kind of beef with the owner of the pier, though once the pier fireworks did finally start, it certainly shone above the other one.

So I managed to get 5 good shots out of 223 attempts, baring in mind that my camera was precariously balanced on the tripod with a tiny bit of blue tack.  I am really impressed with the shots that were successful though, my 3rd and final attempt of this year proved worth the effort.

The image below shows the start of the display where fireworks streamed along the surface of the water from underneath the pier.  I actually really like the look of this image.

Close Up Fireworks – Second Attempt At Photographing Fireworks

On Monday 5th November I went to another fireworks display to set about my second practice attempt before the big display off of Weston Super Mare’s Grand Pier, this coming Saturday.  My first attempt can be seen with my favourite, overall shot here and my favourite interesting shots here.  Once again I bundled up my children, tripod and Canon 350D dinosaur SLR, this time remembering to also include hats, gloves and scarves for the kids, then made my way to the display at Hornets RFC.  I found a nice spot behind the stadium, piled my kids with treats and then set up and prepared.  I remembered to set my ISO down to 100 this time, in fact it was the first thing I did!  What I didn’t take into account was that I was at a much closer range at this display, so my 70-300mm lens was the wrong lens for the shots that I wanted to achieve, NB: another lesson learned!  As a result I ended up with a lot of very close up shots which were incredibly hard to take since the range of the fireworks in the display varied with each explosion, so I pretty much missed the display because I was too busy moving the camera, focusing and shooting.

However with all that I am quite pleased with some of the results….

Above:  f/11, 6 Seconds Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm

Above: f/11, 1 Second Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm.  Exposure offset adjusted and Saturation tweaked in Adobe Photoshop.

Above: f/11, 1 Second Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm.  Exposure offset adjusted and Saturation tweaked in Adobe Photoshop.

Above and Below: f/11, 4 Second Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm.  Exposure offset adjusted and Saturation tweaked in Adobe Photoshop.

Above: f/11, 2 Second Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm.  Exposure offset adjusted and hue adjusted to blue in Adobe Photoshop.

Below: f/11, 2 Second Exposure, IS0-100, Focal Length 70mm.  Saturation tweaked in Adobe Photoshop.