2014 pics – one a month

Same as I did last year - one photo from each month of 2014. It was actually quite difficult for January and November as I didn't take anything of note. I could have cheated, but instead you have ended up with a photo taken from the hard shoulder of the M4 on a cold January morning when I had a puncture, and a photo of the cushions on a hotel bed in October (a recurring theme on Facebook) - these really were the only photos I took in those months. I also had to use two from the summer holiday, but that's OK as we started right at the end of August and went into September. ...
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More Tattoos (NSFW)

Last week I had the opportunity to take photos of another friends' tattoo - a really exquisite cherry blossom. From a technical point of view, I still have some work to do on lighting - although there is only so much you can do with a couple of flashguns. The black backdrop works well with pale skin, while the washed out backdrop gives a good high-key effect. I was particularly pleased with a couple of the photos - the lighting was just about right and the poses were excellent (considering this was her first time doing anything like this, the poses were elegant and natural-looking). Contains some mild nudity. " order_by="pid"]...
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Chateau and D-Day

Rather than ruin all that relaxation by dashing back through France in one go, we tend to take our time and have a couple of overnight stops on the way home, which also enables us to do a bit of sightseeing. On the Sunday morning, we went to the château at Chenonceau, just east of Tours - actually on the Cher river rather than the Loire, which is where you tend to think the famous châteaux are. As well as being the one with the arches over the river, it has two excellent formal gardens. And on top of that, it also has a magnificent vegetable, herb and flower garden, which it would be easy to miss - and which you really shouldn't! On the Monday, we were further north and visited Arromanches, Gold Beach on D-Day and where the Mulberry Harbour was - and where bits of it still are. We were lucky that the tide was out, so we were able to walk around some...
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Waterlilies

While at the gite in France, we took just one day trip (we basically spent two weeks sat in the shade of a large oak tree, reading) - this was to the "Jardin des Nenuphars", Latour-Marliac, at Le Temple sur Lot, a few minutes from Villeneuve-sur-Lot. This is where hardy waterliliy hybrids were first grown and from where Monet bought the lilies for his garden at Giverny. They house the French national collection. A lovely place, really interesting (and with a good cafe), although the greenhouse containing the exotic/large lilies was unbelievably hot and humid - it took me a fair while to recover from just a few minutes in there! ...
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