Sunday, 23 April 2017

Isabella Plantation

Easter Sunday, I took a walk around the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.  The camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom, giving a riot of colour.  The park was busy to say the least, so I had no chance to use a tripod and had to hand hold all the shots.  It was a pity, as there were some excellent potential subjects there for focus stacking.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sculpture Park - Details and Abstracts

Some more from my visit to The Sculpture Park.  This set concentrating more on details and abstract shots.  There were some wonderful textures, colours and reflections.  Plus many of the pieces had holes to peer through.


Friday, 21 April 2017

The Sculpture Park

Over Easter, I visited 'The Sculpture Park' at Churt, near Farnham, in Surrey.  The website describes it as 'the world’s largest all year sculpture exhibition with over 300 artists showcasing 600 sculptures'.  The sculptures have been imaginatively set amongst woods and around water gardens.  Many of the pieces seemed greatly enhanced by their setting.  In order to best view the collection, you are encouraged to follow 4 trails, indicated with coloured markers, which wind around the park.

Virtually every piece is for sale, with prices to suit all budgets, from the comfortably off to the obscenely wealthy.  A fabulous driftwood dragon, perched atop a stone and iron pagoda, cost more than my house.  The changing nature of the inventory and the natural setting mean that you could come again, at another time of year, and get a completely different experience.  A visit also requires a full day if you hope to see everything.  We were there for 3 hours and only managed 2 of the 4 trails.  Of course the journey was slowed by some idiot who kept stopping to take photos.


Friday, 14 April 2017

Pasque Flowers on the Blasted Heath

Three shots of Pasqueflowers, taken last weekend at Therfield Heath.  Most of the flowers were past their best, but there were a huge number of them. It had clearly been a superb showing, probably one of the best in recent years.  So, I was still able to find some good subjects.  The trouble, was the wind.  Whenever I visit, regardless of the general weather conditions, it seems to be blowing a hooley on the heath. The idea of trying some focus stacking was quickly binned, and I stuck with straight portraits, with as much depth of field as the wind would allow.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Portobello Road

After a couple of club talks on street photography that included 'shooting from the hip', I bought a 24mm EF-S pancake lens, with the aim of practising this technique.  It is definitely something that needs a lot of practice.  The first outing for the lens was to a very busy Portobello Road market.  I took a lot of shots, most of which were awful.  Below are the best of the bunch.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Droplet Macro

One of the great things about Cambridge Camera Club is the Special Interest Groups, which meet outside of the regular club nights.  Amongst these is a monthly workshop of practical techniques, held on the first Wednesday of the month.  Sadly, due to work, Wednesdays aren't a good night for me to get to Cambridge, so this month's meeting was the first one I attended all season.  The theme this month was macro photography.  It was an opportunity to for those who had never tried taking macro shots to give it a go with borrowed equipment and for those with more experience to practice trickier techniques, such as focus stacking.

I had a try at shooting liquid droplets.  One of the other Paul's in the club had brought his table top droplet set-up.  A Heath Robinson looking affair, consisting of a squash bottle, part of a medical drip, stands and string.  It was very effective.  The drip tube allowed drops of one liquid (blackcurrant squash) to fall into a wine glass of another (milk) with a regular consistency.  The whole thing was backlit with off-camera flash, coloured with a gel insert and diffused by tracing paper held with a picture frame.

This kind of photography has more misses than hits, but the regularity of the dripping meant that I did get several shots timed about right.  It's definitely something I want to try again, and I will have to built my own set-up.