Archive for the ‘flower’ Tag
Well we are now in the final throws of my 41st year, and only a few months to go before I step onto 42nd street! But, the adventure continues and this little beauty just leap’t out at me and so I couldn’t resist the temptation to try to capture some of the vivaciousness of this flowering plant. Please dont ask me what it is, I’m sure there are many of you out there who know but although I took time to read the label I cannot for the life of me remember the name (plus it was in Latin and so I think i was being somewhat optimistic in remembering it!). Anyway, hopefully it will bring a little ray of sunshine to you!
The weather here is quite bland at the moment, the sun is weak, the clouds mobile and the days are cooler now than a week or two before. All in all winter has crept up on us with the stealth of an alley cat stalking his prey! My camera has remained firmly tucked away, like it’s owner it doesn’t like damp days! But, to continue my challenge I took to a spot of indoor shooting, using one of my most favourite flowers, the humble tulip. This one is just the most rich shade of plum I have seen in a tulip, silk like petals and a velvety hue that cannot fail to warm you as you look at it. A beautiful reminder that Spring will be with us again……
I love the things that you wouldn’t ordinarily give the time of day to, they have a way of suprising you. Like this little plant, alongside the edge of the lake at Bosworth Park, not much to look at from first glance, but then step closer, take a good look, that’s when you see the perfect shape, the complexity of the seed-head, beautifully domed but seemingly all dried up and now facing the elements. I focused in quite close and took the shot but its only when I looked on the back of the camera that something almost magical happened, the simple seed-head which looked bland and lifeless against the grey of the lake suddenly became this intense golden crown, with a beautiful burst of gold as it’s backdrop, the darkened stem leaping out of the photo at you, the deep blue of the lake emphasized against its glow….ordinary became extraordinary to me!
Whilst out walking around the park yesterday I couldn’t help but notice the variety of people around me, families, couples, dog-walkers, teenagers, toddlers, pensioners, even the odd happysnapper such as myself! The sun was shining and although there were sheltered areas covered in a half hearted frost the day was warming nicely. Id taken the path around the lake but as I rounded the corner I saw the bench, bathed in shafts of hazy winter sun, half shadowed by a large rhodedendron bush shining with dew, the seat vacant awaiting use, but in one corner a carefully placed stem of lillies wrapped in clear cellophane. The first thing that struck me was the vivid colour of the lilies against the grey green weathered slats of wood, a contrast of age and of youth. The wrapper was drenched in diamonds of frosted dew, but the flower stood tall and defiant against the elements, almost like a statement left by the one who had placed them, a statement that shouted out to me ‘You may be gone, but you are not forgotten’…….The inscription was ‘In the memory of George and his loving wife’ …….I may stand and wonder who you were but that someone who left the lillies will always remember you.
The whole idea of writing this blog was to shoot an image a day for a whole year, to establish exactly what the settings on my camera did. Now the one thing I have learned is that there are no hard and fast rules to photography, what one person likes another will not, what one setting gives may not be the same the next time round. The 2 images below are a great example of what a camera can deliver when the settings are changed. I found these teazels whilst on a break recently to the coast, it was actually whilst walking back to my car and the sun was beginning to set over the sea, but the small amount of light left was casting a lovely glow over the teazel heads. The first image which looks like a natural shot in daylight was taken at f5.6 at 1/15sec, Iso set to 100 at 95mm focal length. The result is quite a normal natural yet warm shot clearly showing the teazel in all its spiky glory. However the second image is completely different, taken at f6.7, 1/3000sec, focal length set at 190mm but the Iso ramped up to 1600 and wow what a difference! I just love the almost infra red feel to the image, making the teazel appear to almost glow like the embers of a fire, outlined so strongly against a dark background. I love both shots for completely different reasons, amazing really that what you see with the eye can be interpretted so differently by a camera with just a flick of a button!
I haven’t really had chance to go wandering over the last week and so this evening I was looking through the last shoot which was whilst I was following a towpath walk, I say shoot but it was more like a ramble by the time I had trudged across a very muddy ploughed field, mastered 3 stiles and slipped down a very steep bank whilst avoiding a really large area of flooded grassland! The weather wasn’t at its best due to some low lying mist and the light was very flat to say the least. Undaunted I continued for 4 miles until I decided to head for home, turning off the towpath and back onto the lanes that lead to a village known as Stoke Golding. Now I have cycled around and through this village many times but walking allows you to take note of the small things that go unnoticed when your in the car or on 2 wheels. The village has a long history and is most famous for being the sight of the rural coronation of the first Tudor Monarch Henry VII following the battle of Bosworth in 1485. The village was originally known as just Stoke in Saxon ages, but Golding was added around 1570 when the word signified ‘crowning’ however the word is now obsolete from the English Language. In 1381 the Saxon village was home to 130 residents but now is the home of over 2000! There are many old properties that display plaques denoting famous residents and one shows a plaque detailing the sight of one of the first mangles! Nearing the end of my rural ramble I took the path through the field that leads back towards my home but as I made my way across the field I noted a bright pink display alongside the edge of a small pond in the middle of the field. The pond was edged with the most wonderful flowers growing quite randomly but the colour against the grey of the day was simply stunning, the image today is of those beauties, a last gasp breath of Summer amongst the grey haze of an approaching Winter.
Today is the Autumn Equinox, Summer is fading fast and the glorious colours of Autumn are beginning to show. As I drove home tonight I followed my usual route, but just before I reached home I saw this little poppy, alone on the verge, a final flurry of colour before retreating to the soil to hibernate before breaking free again next Summer. So, I parked the car, walked back to the poppy and shot into the fading light, cars speeding past unaware, or wondering what on earth I was doing. The results were odd as Id had to shoot in relatively low daylight but had the headlights of cars to deal with as well as the poppy dancing on the breeze, but having ramped up the ISO I opened it up on my computer and actually I really like the grainy effect that the low light high ISO combo has given me with the shallow silhouette. Unusual, somewhat a final curtain call for this poppy, the red curtains of the theatrical petals closing, bowing out, lights down and the end of this years show.
A lovely day and a well deserved rest, my idea of a great Sunday. Didnt have much planned so decided to go for a walk round the common and woods and catch up on some happy snapping. The woods are changing so fast now that the Summer seems to have surrendered to Autumn but Im happy as Autumn is my favourite time of the year. The green canopies of the woods have given way to dried sun-scortched leaves hanging in crispy bundles of brown, almost chargrilled in places! Other species are undergoing chemical changes and the signs of oranges and reds are beginning to show through, I cant wait for the next few weeks to see how deep the colours turn this year, weather presenters are forecasting a good year for Autumn colours, fingers crossed. But today’s image is not one of trees, it is a simple shot of a common plant found on the common land, still sunny in colour and disposition, still worshiping the sun, a reminder that although Autumn approaches, Summer can still be found if you look close enough.
It is the weekend, and what a fabulous weekend of weather we have to look forward to. So, to avoid rambling on whilst we all wish to enjoy the outdoors, here is a photo I took earlier close to the office where I work, have a lovely weekend all!
I’m back! After a short break normal service is hopefully resumed! Boxes have been unpacked and my new abode is looking more like home by the second! Having finally got the computer re-installed and running and decided to get on with the blog, and so seeing that the weather wasn’t exactly at its best I chose to go for a wander round Alvecote Wood, thinking that if the rain arrived I could at least gain some shelter from the trees. The wood was purchased by a couple a few years ago and they are in the process of replanting and bringing the ancient wood back to life, opening it up to the public on open days and photo workshops (which I intend to attend!). These are just a few of the images taken today and rather than post landscapes I thought I would share with you some of the locals that I found dwelling amongst the foliage and undergrowth!