More varied than any landscape was the landscape in the sky, with islands of gold and silver, peninsulas of apricot and rose against a background of many shades of turquoise and azure.Cecil Beaton
I don’t have much to tell you these days, as my husband has been poorly and his treatment and recovery have been a dominating feature in our lives for the moment. But as I’ve been restricted to home for a while, I have been tinkering with various cameras and images and we managed to get away to the Lake District in June, so I’ll just post a gallery of recent images below.
I posted last time that I’d got a new Panasonic pocket camera and was tinkering with that, but since then, my lovely little DSLR has died and probably can’t be repaired economically, so I’m on the look out for a second hand one eventually, as it was just ideal for me. In the meantime however, I’ve added a larger bridge camera to my collection and am looking forward to getting to know it soon – I haven’t had opportunity to get out with it yet and frankly, it has largely rained since I got it a week ago.
I have however been playing with some images that I’d not yet published and trying different pieces of RAW image file development.
I hadn’t been happy with the results I was getting, so decided that I’m going to have to pay for a decent piece of software, so have been trying it before I pay for the full version.
I’ve been delighted with the results and some of the images in the gallery are the result of getting a decent image from a shot that initially looked lost. I do love that process of taking something that looked hopeless at the time of taking – usually because of an extensive dynamic range in the scene – and getting a nice resulting image from it.
I’ve been especially delighted with the results that I’ve been able to get from my pocket camera Considering that it has a tiny little sensor, it’s astonishing to me that I can retrieve blown cloud and sky areas, as well as lightening deep shadow areas to show hidden details, from under trees and the like. It’s a bit of a dark art and both a joy and a frustration in equal measure, but I can’t relinquish that overwhelming need to tinker with images.
I’ve published some of these photos larger than I usually do in my blog, so the pop ups when you click to view the images should be pretty much a screenful in your browser. Some originals are also perhaps a little larger than this (especially the landscapes), so if you want to enjoy more detail, right clicking the image will probably give you the option to open it in a new window or tab. If hovering over the image with your mouse produces a (+) icon, clicking it may make it larger still.
The photos below are just a selection of images that I’ve taken or worked on recently (hence the mix of seasons shown). Whilst slightly disjointed as a collection, they do pretty much represent what I like to photograph.
A favourite section amongst the trees around Tarn Hows in the English Lake District (September 2017).
It had rained hard and been stormy earlier in the day and it suddenly stopped and lifted and odd shards of sunlight glinted through gaps in the cloud. Thirlmere in the English Lake District.
I love being under trees in dappled sunlight on a hot day and this is a favourite quiet spot to stop for a picnic lunch.
Water lillies and lots of common blue damselflies at Tarn Hows in the English Lake District.
Tarn Hows in the English Lake District on a gorgeous hot sunny June afternoon.
Blea Tarn in the Langdale area of the English Lake District. The day before we’d been trying to find shade to keep cool, but this day we were glad we put coats on.
Tarn Hows in the English Lake District – the sun was out, the water lillies were in flower and the sun was warm. Life doesn’t get much better.
Walking around Tarn Hows in the English Lake District on a lovely day – we just stop on every seat to enjoy looking at the trees.
Walking around Tarn Hows in the English Lake District on a gorgeous June afternoon.
It isn’t a complete holiday until we’ve walked along the side of Windermere – it’s one of those favourite walks you do often because it has everything.
The walk along Elterwater in the English Lake District. It just started raining, so I snatched a quick photo.
One of a small family of marsh tits that visited our feeder – I don’t think I’ve knowingly seen one before. They move so fast, that they’re hard to catch – so I was glad that it paused for a moment for me.
A spectacularly clear day after a storm the day before, giving rise to good distant views over Windermere.
This blue hosta I have in the garden does form the most lovely raindrops – which I love to see on these big architectural leaves.
A favourite quite spot to stop for a brew and maybe a spot of lunch. This was an exercise in RAW file development, as it was a tricky exposure that just hadn’t worked in the in-camera JPEG.
We were delighted to be visited by a hare on several occasions, although it was only when the weather was lousy – so the light was low and the grass was blowing.
The photo isn’t sideways – this rose, which instructs you not to prune it, now flowers about 12 foot off the ground and they then flop over horizontally. I think I’m going to have to prune it after all, or I can’t enjoy the flowers at all.
We’ve had a lot of butterflies and other insects in the garden this summer and they move about so fast, that I end up with a lot of flower photos where a butterfly or insect had been.
You can see with all the tones and textures in the grass, how the hares blend in so well with their surroundings.
Thistles are the most astonishingly complicated and rather ferocious looking plants,
After a couple of visits she seemingly got used to seeing me through the window and realised she wasn’t going to come to any harm and she got more confident in her movements.
What could be prettier than a tiny spherical raindrop on the gorgeous contours of a large waxy leaf.
I’ve posted this photo before, but I re-worked this with a new piece of RAW development software and the result is significantly better.
These garden geraniums have been the most lovely delicate colour this summer.
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. John Steinbeck
I really haven’t had anything to say recently. Well, don’t let that lull you into thinking I’ve been silent; far from it. But I just haven’t had anything interesting to contribute recently. Certainly nothing anyone would want to read about.
But I’m feeling much more inspired after some days of early summer sunshine (and quite warm some days too), extra hours of daylight giving rise to long evenings and remembering that I love photography again. The winter with its early wetness and later cold and lack of light wasn’t one for getting out very far and I just stopped carrying my camera routinely, so didn’t have anything to show you – I haven’t taken a photograph for weeks.
But I’ve made up for it recently. My husband recently bought me a pocket camera – I’d had one that simply proved too large for a pocket and we found one that was much more ‘fit-for-purpose’ and I’ve reawakened my enthusiasm for photography by getting to know it properly. Unfortunately I’ve not been outside the garden much recently, so my pool of subject matter is somewhat limited. But it has been a joy to have some flowers to photograph and consequently they’ve attracted some visitors too.
The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) shown wasn’t photographed with the new camera, but with my DSLR with my close up set up – the speed of focus and subsequently taking the shot can sometimes only be achieved with a DSLR with skittish subject matter. It still wasn’t fast enough – or at least I wasn’t – a few days later when I realised I was looking at a large chubby dragonfly at rest on one of the canes in the garden. I had my camera in my hand at the time and as I raised it to try and get a shot, it spooked and flew straight out of the garden and I’ve not seen it again since.
I’d hardly touched the garden all winter and it was in dire need of a good sort out – it was looking positively scruffy and there seemed to be piles of dead leaves everywhere. I’d lost quite a few plants with the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap we had – plants that had previously survived several winters. But that gave me the opportunity to refresh a few spots that were looking tired and treat myself to new things instead. Because my entire garden is in pots, they don’t have the protection of much ground around their roots, so I’m surprised that I haven’t lost more over previous winters.
But thankfully the glorious weather we’ve had recently allowed me get a good run at it. I think we’ve had more nice days already in 2018 than we had all of last summer – we’ve certainly eaten out in the garden more times already than we managed last year. I really hope it continues, it’s a joy to have a leisurely weekend breakfast al fresco!
Testing the camera at full zoom:
We did escape for one evening out and a picnic – which resulted in wrestling bread and cheese inside the car as the wind was so severe it would have blown supper right down the valley. We do have a picnic rule; that if the wind is stiff enough to blow crisps off the plate, we eat inside and this certainly qualified. It was a favourite spot where we’ve spent many hours watching hares over the years, but last year we had hardly any sightings and I was worried that they were no longer resident in the area, so it was a real joy to watch them again. I saw three individuals in total. The one I photographed below got up to stretch at one point and did a large twisting leap into the air, something I’ve not seen them do before, other than when ‘boxing’.
I wanted to test the focus at distance with the new camera as it has a 30x zoom which is a 720mm equivalent focal length. It’s really frustrating to be chasing a squirrel up a tree or something and the camera failing to focus where you want. The hare shot below was a proper test in truly demanding conditions – late evening light (and through a car window) with wind blowing the grass about and an area of cow parsley in the foreground that periodically blew right in front of the scene and there was fencing and blowing reeds between me and the hare, yet the camera managed to lock and retain focus where I wanted it to and whilst some of the shots were dire for other reasons, in each case, the focus was at least on the hare. If you want to imagine the scenario, the landscape view to the right of the hare shot in the gallery is the scene – the bright green patch of grass just about in the centre of the frame is where she was and you can perhaps identify the wire fencing and patch of angled reeds. So you can see that it was a bit of a stretch for a camera that will slip into my shirt pocket.
I’ll pop my recent photographs into a gallery below, they have captions with them, should they be of any interest. I’ve enjoyed thinking about photographs again and tinkering with settings and getting to know a new camera. I’m hoping that we have a good summer and I can continue to bore you with flower and insect photos. I might even get out and about once in a while too.
We do see some fabulous sunsets in this spot – perhaps because the area to the left is heading out towards the sea.
Not a very good photo in any way as the wind was brisk to say the least, but I was happy to see hares again in this spot, we hardly saw any last spring.
I’ve taken this scene many times before, it’s one of my go to spots when testing a new camera. But the scene is slightly different every time.
The plants shown have already doubled in size since I took the photos. I can’t wait for more flowers to emerge.
These daisies are quite yellow when they open and as they grow, the outer petals get gradually paler.
I’ve been delighted to see these visiting large red damselfly in the garden this spring. I think I’ve identified 3 different individuals.
A new plant in the garden, a Ceanothus with tiny indigo florets – which are the most complicated and delicate structure.
I love how complicated the structures of flowers are once you get a bit closer for a good look.
Another ‘Crazy Daisy’. I just hope that the snails don’t love it as much as I do.
A Jacob’s Ladder that has just come in to flower – I think they’re the first flowers of my own to emerge this year.
I love daisies and this is a new one I treated myself to, called a Crazy Daisy.
A blue hosta that I added last year and it’s already massive this year. I love the abstract of the shapes they form.
I have a couple of gorgeous hostas and thankfully this year, the snails haven’t done much damage and it’s looking fabulous.
I loved the colour of this flower, but I didn’t read that it was early flowering, so it looks like it’s done now until next year.
A female large red damselfly that has visited me a few times now and it’s a delight to see.
My garden is very green still, but there will be a lot more colour shortly.
I’m dying to see what this hosta flower looks like, it didn’t flower last year and it’s a massive bud!
I only went out to bring in the wheelie bin and was rewarded by a spectacular display of raindrops.
I’ve always loved photographing raindrops on leaves and this blue hosta is especially good at presenting them for me.
I seem to have waited a long time for this clematis bud to open, but I think it’ll be worth the wait.
A tiny little emerging hosta leaf has trapped several little raindrops.
This plant is called Physocarpus opulifolius [ninebark] ‘Dart’s Gold’ and gets a fabulous flush of these domes of tiny blossom, unfortunately, there’s only one flowering and it’s all over too soon.
I do love hoverflies – this plant Dart’s Gold has a mass of these domes of tiny white flowers and insects just love it.
I watched this hoverfly for some time and he methodically worked from one bloom to the next.
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. John Lubbock
I was rather mortified to find that it is two months since I last posted (I would have guessed at half of that), but in truth, I just haven’t had much to say or to show you. Consequently, the photographs I’ll post in the gallery below will span a few weeks and several trips out and are rather a haphazard collection. I’ll also add a second gallery of recent work, just to prove that I have been getting on with something.
My husband was taken rather poorly in July with what we initially thought was a severe tummy bug, but at the point where he erupted in a violent full-body rash (you’d think he’d been paint balling naked, his opponent armed with red paint – and no, I have no idea how that scenario might even arise either), I decided that it was rather more than someone just passing on undesirable germs, so called the doctor. Through a bit of detective work, we speculated that it was possibly a severe allergic reaction to a portion of ice cream he’d eaten, containing chopped pecan nuts. Thankfully, the suggested hay fever meds caused the rash to retreat very rapidly and subsequent blood testing confirmed a severe allergic reaction to nuts. Rather odd, when he’d both tolerated and regularly enjoyed nuts for over half a century.
So until he can have proper testing and can learn more (the waiting list is lengthy), we’re now manic label readers. I already read everything for myself, as a diabetic who eats reduced carbs, but it’s surprising just how many seemingly unlikely products we ate regularly are now on the banned list. Not only is our own supply cupboard looking very different, but it makes eating out, both commercially and in other people’s houses, a rather risky experience, especially when foods that have the potential to prove dangerous might seemingly have little outwardly to do with nuts (meats can be fried in nut oils, sauces thickened with nut flour, added vegetable protein and vegetable oils in recipes can be derived from peanut etc. etc.). I can’t even begin to imagine what a minefield it must be to parents of youngsters with similar dangerous allergies.
As he already has several chronic and serious health issues, the severity of his body’s reaction to that very small amount of nuts has had a detrimental impact on his overall health, although thankfully he’s now showing considerable improvement. Consequently, our weekends have been spent trying to recharge the batteries and return him to previous health levels, so we’ve made a point of getting out at any opportunity to visit favourite quiet places.
We might not go far or do much when we get there, but making a point of going out, even if you only sit and read for an hour and listen to birds and the breeze through the trees, enforces a detachment from real life for a while and removes you from temptation to just get on with chores. The investment of time, we feel, is very well worth doing in this regard. I’m certain that our policy of doing this regularly has paid dividends in his recovery and certainly does me good too.
Roe deer bucks – 2 for the price of 1:
Hence we found ourselves on Saturday afternoon, sat in the car to shelter from the very stiff winds and intermittent rain, with our books and flask of coffee, just enjoying the peace and watching a group of bunnies chasing each other through the grass. There was a moment when one running shape registered as odd until my brain put it together and I realised that this was no bunny, but a roe deer, somewhat further away. It ran the full width of the field in front of us, stopped and ate for a few minutes and then ran towards us diagonally and disappeared into the trees edging the field.
I was struggling to get decent photos through the slope of the car windscreen, but was able to get out of the car fairly invisibly as there was a sign nearby that I was able to walk in line with and hide behind to get some better photos. It was a considerable distance, so the shots are significant crops (see below), but you get the idea. I’d managed to remain unseen by it until two cars tried to pass in the single track road and one revved in frustration and this got the deer’s attention, at which time it must have seen me as it is looking straight at me in the photograph.
A few moments after it disappeared into the trees, we spotted what we thought was the same deer a few yards from where I’d first photographed it, but it couldn’t have got there in the time, or without us seeing it, so we were a little perplexed. It followed exactly the same route over the field and disappeared into the trees at the very same spot. I took some more photos through the open car window and it was only when reviewing these later that I could see that it wasn’t the same deer at all. The first roe deer buck looks to be about 2 or 3 years old with 2 tines or points on his antlers, where the second buck not only has three tines on his antlers, suggesting he’s probably a year or so older, but he only had one antler, his left one being missing.
It was odd that they’d followed the same route across the field, both into view and again out of it, but as it is their rutting season, I wonder if the older male was following the scent of his younger rival, with a view to demonstrating his greater status – and perhaps that’s why he only has one remaining antler, maybe he’s already put it to good use.
A male roe deer that I estimate to be around 2 or 3 years old. It was dashing about in the open, possibly as it is their rutting season.
Whilst this roe deer buck is looking straight at me, I’d managed to hide from him for a while until a passing car revved up as it went over a nearby bridge.
We initially thought this was the same buck, but if you look carefully, he looks to be a bit older, by the points on his antlers and only actually has one.
This roe deer’s extra points on his antlers and the greyer face suggest that he’s older than the other buck in adjacent photographs.
There has been a recent programme of clearing some of the dense woodland to allow more to grow on the forest floor and it is really starting to look fabulous.
We found a new woodland friend when we tried a new path in an area we thought we knew well.
A few years ago, before they thinned out the trees, it was dark and dead at ground level, now it is springing into life.
This shot wasn’t successful in several regards, but I loved how the wings have caught the light, so worth showing for that reason alone.
I always wonder at the complexity of flowers such as foxgloves, in their efforts to attract insects.
A new clematis that I added to the garden, the stamens are almost fluorescent in the intensity of colour.
We often catch fabulous sunsets in this spot, probably because we often try and visit on the same type of sunny evening.
The moon was visible long before sunset and the sky was full of wispy pink clouds.
Just to prove that I haven’t been entirely sat on my bottom drinking coffee and gawping, these are some of the new designs added to the shop recently.
Whilst I was in a coiling mood I made these chandalier stype earrings with turquoise glass beads and hammered spirals.
Antiqued copper and glass bead pendant with wire wrapped bail and hand crafted flower bead cap.
Faux amber and mobius ring antiqued copper earrings.
Faux amber and mobius ring antiqued copper necklace with a tapered beaded section with graduating sizes.
Antiqued copper Egyptian coil earrings with a pretty little Tourmaline teardrop.
Elongated spiral link earrings with a stack of lapis rondelles.
Darkly oxed Egyptian coil earrings with an African turquoise rondelle stacked dangle.
Elongated spiral link antiqued copper earrings with a stack of peace jade rondelles.
“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.” Arnold Newman
I’ve been taking photographs for a very long time now, but I still have a perpetual and on-going battle with some aspects of image production. The word battle is perhaps rather negative and might give the wrong impression – perhaps tussle would be better.
My current (and I’m prepared to bet that I’ve blogged about it before too) opponent is image file formats and software and how to get the best possible image from the files you download from the camera. I suspect this is a matter that will never be put to rest, due to the persistent and alarmingly fast march of technology.
Dropping some pounds:
I decided a while ago that I’d enjoy my photography more if I ditched some weight. Whilst my own personal battle with the pounds is truly perpetual, thankfully the camera poundage was rather more easily fixed. Upon delivery of my latest acquisition at the weekend, I reached a stage where I felt very happy with my current gear. That doesn’t preclude the rather obvious caveat that if I had the pennies I could make myself even happier, but for now, I’m very content. I think it’s perhaps the greater simplicity I’ve brought to bear on my gear selection that removes the dilemma of which lenses to take on any one given day.
I sold a couple of heavier lenses that overlapped considerably in their focal range and replaced them with one much lighter and smaller lens that covered a good percentage of their range – a net difference of around 600g lost from my bag. So my lightweight Canon 100D body is paired with the ‘kit’ lens at 18-55mm, supplemented by its companion 55-250mm. Both have Image Stabilisation and a ‘stepping’ motor which makes focus fast and almost silent – and the IS helps with my habit of preferring to hand hold, even though I’m already pretty steady.
The kit lens I have is an especially sweet copy and I’m very fond of it and the longer one, albeit only used a little yet, looks pretty good too. I can do landscapes, stitching multiple shots, as required, for the panoramas I like to create (in place of the ultra wide lens I already sold to fund the camera body) and decently long shots at 250mm for wildlife etc. I also have various combinations of extension tubes and close up filters to allow me to get close to little things, something else I enjoy doing. The bluebell shot above was taken with the 250mm at full zoom, as it allows me decent magnification, but from far enough away to prevent me casting a shadow over the subject in bright sunshine.
The weight and volume of gear I’d choose to take on holiday or on a day out has been more than halved, yet the flexibility remains. The additional pixel density and image quality I have with the 100D means that I can easily crop tighter on a 250mm shot to make up the loss of focal length at 300mm I had on an earlier 8MP camera, so I don’t feel that I’ve actually lost anything.
Getting to grips with my Nikon:
I also supplement my DSLR kit with a supposedly ‘pocket’ camera for the times I don’t want to carry much – although the Nikon P7000 I’m currently using is a tad larger than is truly pocket-able. But having reviewed lots of models that I might be able to afford second hand (after its predecessor just rolled over and died one weekend), I was swayed by the image quality and features and size seemed less important. Having been a long term Canon and Fuji user (I still have several Fujis in regular use too), the Nikon ‘thinks’ differently, so it has taken longer to get to know and I’m only just getting to grips with it. But I’m happy that it has a considerable amount of the image capability that I enjoy from my DSLR in a much smaller package (I miss a proper viewfinder though) – and I paid less than 15% of its original new RRP on eBay and it had only taken about 500 frames. I also managed to sell the broken one for spares and accessories for about a quarter of that, so I feel I have a bargain.
I’m finding the Nikon image quality very good from RAW files especially. It doesn’t seem very competent at retrieving highlights if you over-expose, but makes up for it by being very good in shadow areas. I’ve got some outstanding results from areas that were totally black in the original JPEG. This can often come at the expense of additional noise or other artifacts, but I’m not finding that to be the case – but highlights recovered can give rise to some very funky effects. So I have at least learned one lesson this week – don’t over-expose the Nikon.
The montage left features some detail crops from test images I took to test exactly this. I deliberately exposed the shots to preserve the highlights in a very high contrast scenes. In the kitchen shot top, I was concentrating on preserving some detail in the view out of the window, which included some sky and in the garden shot below, I wanted to keep the white fluffy clouds in the sky with nice detail.
Both images consequently ended with areas of deep shadow, completely black in some instances, even with low in-camera contrast, but which I was able to get really good detail back into when developing the RAW file. With the kitchen image, it is actually a blend of two exposures, one for the outside scene and one for the deep shadow areas – from memory there were over 3 stops of difference between them. If you really needed a shot like that to work, you’d use fill flash or some other technique to get a better original, but these were deliberately shot badly to find the limits of the camera. In the garden shot, you can see that the grey lamp post at the top is tonally almost the same between the two shots, I’ve only lifted shadow, not just lightened the image.
To JPEG or to RAW?
So the hardware is sorted, the software is the element I’m still at odds with. I’m pretty sure that I’ll never come to a truly satisfactory conclusion and will never find a one size fits all solution. I have my preferred way of working – I like to take pictures with the images manipulated in camera as little as possible, preferring to do my own post processing to taste later. Consequently, I like to take RAW images and develop these in software, supplemented by the best possible quality of JPEG I can get out of the camera. To achieve this, I lower all the processing parameters and the images I get off the camera tend to be rather flat and dull. But this tends to preserve as much detail as possible and gives me a good basis to work with.
There’s a good argument that if I’m taking a RAW image anyway, I don’t need the additional JPEG, as one is always embedded with the RAW file. But having fallen foul of software no longer supporting early RAW files and preferring to use old image retouching software that doesn’t support RAW files, for me, taking both formats covers my options a little better and I feel happier knowing that I have both versions for the future. I have tried extracting the JPEG from the RAW file, as taken, but this sometimes gives variable results.
It is my practice that if the JPEG is good out of camera, I’ll work with that, but if it needs something more, I’ll be happy to develop the RAW version. Of all the images I publish here, I think they’re probably about half and half from each format. Generally speaking, landscapes need to be worked from RAW, macros and close ups are often fine from the JPEG. There have been a couple of images recently where no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get a better image from the RAW than the camera had managed with the JPEG, so why fix it if it ain’t broke. The bumble bee in the yellow tulip above is one such example.
RAW development software:
It’s the developing RAW files that is the core of my issue – I have several programs to do this and not one satisfies my needs. Cameras that can take RAW files do provide you with software, which is, as you’d image, perfectly set up to get the best from their own equipment. But they can also be limiting in terms of features and are often very specific to one model of camera. As this development software can be heavy on computer resources, having several open together might not be practical either.
What frustrates me is that if I were to develop the same image in three pieces of software, in addition to my usual JPEG workflow, I could end up with 4 different versions – each of which has good and bad bits. One application is very good with sky colour, another has better colour tweaking options, one leaves skies noisy but is good with grass texture, another is good with shadow detail etc. etc. Couple this with the fact that the resulting image sizes will differ slightly and corrected lens issues and perspective manipulation will result in slightly different shapes, I can’t just layer the resulting image files and blend the best from each, more’s the pity.
I do love working with RAW images and the option to get the resulting image better than the camera could manage at the time – it’s very satisfying to get a workable image from a file that initially looked totally lost, as the river scene above, which had a blown sky, flat green foliage (it was the end of August and the subtlety of trees just starting to turn was lost) and deep detail-less shadows. As I like to take landscapes and scenics, these often need more help than the camera can manage, due to the wide dynamic range you’re likely to encounter, from white fluffy clouds to deep shadow under trees.
So the only way forward is to start with my preferred program and if I don’t get the results I want, try it in another and see if I like that better. You only need to look at my work bench and see that I regularly use about 20 different pliers – clearly one pair isn’t suitable for everything, so software is just the same – as always, the best practice must be ‘the best tool for the job’.
With some of the lovely weather we’ve had recently, I’ve been out in the garden and a little further afield and these are some of the photographs I’ve taken. They’re a mix of Canon DSLR photos (file name will show a ‘d’ suffix) and also from my more compact Nikon P7000 (‘n’ suffix). Some were processed from the JPEGs and some from the RAW file. As an experiment, I’ve taken some of the closer shots using close up filters in front of the lens (on both cameras) – I usually use extension tubes between the camera body and lens.
If you’re interested in how shots were taken, I usually leave the EXIF image in gallery images, so you should be able to access it with a browser plug-in.
A baby robin seemed to be taking his first bath. He’d stop and look at me as if to ask if he was doing it right.
A fern frond just uncurling. It’s staggering to me that the complex structure generates within the tiny tight bud.
A large bumble rested for a while in this intense yellow tulip, allowing me to get some photographs.
I’d meant to pull up this dandelion seed head the day before, but when I saw it catching the sun I was glad that I hadn’t.
I was taking photographs in the early evening sunshine when I realised I had an audience.
I love photographing landscapes where the sky forms an important part of the scene.
This tulip was rather small and certainly past its best, but I loved the abstract of the colours and textures.
I have a lot of self-propagated ferns in the garden and I love this time of year where they unfurl, fully formed.
The tight bud of a fern frond about to unfurl itself, already fully formed.
A dandelion seed head catching the early morning sun, against an area of deep shadow.
I think an insect has laid some eggs in the bluebell at the bottom left and then glued the petals around them to keep them safe.
Another of my spring time favourites; wild garlic or ramsens.
The intense and fabulous colour of native British bluebells in the early evening sunshine.
The fabulous abstract shapes and colours of a tulip just past its best. The petals look like satin.
All the buds are emerging and this oak leaf cluster opens with the male flowers already in place.
It’s possible to get a much better dynamic range in images like this when processing them from the RAW file.