Tag Archives: flower

Micheldever Woods

After spending the whole weekend either doing a test pack of my suitcase and camera backpack or assembling the final notes for the fast approaching trip, I had to get away from the computer and out of the house. So I found myself in Micheldever Woods, a mere twelve miles from my home.

I decided on the woods as it is regarded as one of the best bluebell woodlands in Europe and after missing the season completely last year I promised myself to come back this year. I still missed it by a couple of weeks – mainly due to work pressures – but it was still certainly impressive.

Deeper into the woods the bluebell carpet is still impressive...

Deeper into the woods the bluebell carpet is still impressive…

I was also traveling light and was using my 100mm macro lens, mainly as I was still in the middle of test-packing my camera gear and the 100mm macro was one lens I was not taking to Iceland so conveniently to hand. I say ‘was not taking’ as it really is a fun lens and, in all my research on Iceland, I haven’t seen many macro shots.

The 100mm macro lens is always a fun lens to use...

The 100mm macro lens is always a fun lens to use…

One of the benefits of being there by myself – and at 6PM on a Sunday evening there really was virtually no-one else there – meant that, aside from being alone with my thoughts, I was making very little noise. As a result the local wildlife didn’t hear me until I much closer than I’d usually be able to get.

I may have missed the height of the bluebell season, but I did get to meet the locals...

I may have missed the height of the bluebell season, but I did get to meet the locals…

I’m usually so focussed upon travelling abroad that I often don’t take time to enjoy the things on my doorstep. The hour and a half in Micheldever Woods has reminded me that I should pay a bit more attention to the wonderful surroundings much closer to home.

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A Reminder to Myself

My sister and her husband are keen cooks and I’m sure there isn’t a cook book or kitchen utensil yet invented that they do not own – a fact that has made Christmas shopping for them more difficult as each year passes. So this year I’ve tried a different approach and agreed to take three photographs related to food. It’s a lot more personal and, well, seeing my work hanging on someone else’s walls is always nice. The problem is that it is a new field of photography for me.

So far I’ve had a couple of none-too-successful attempts although I have some ideas on the look I’m after. But as I was lying there on my sofa waiting for the rain to stop so I could walk over to the supermarket to stock up on more fruit and veg for the project, I found my gaze settling on one of the old plants in the living room that has been in the house as long as I have.


The Peace Lily


It took about a dozen shots and thirty minutes to end up with this shot. Naturally side lit from the living room window the camera was tripod mounted with a 100mm macro lens. The first few suffered from framing and focus errors – so I moved the camera, stopped down to f/11 and a 4 second exposure. The background was slightly distracting  – a very dark outline of an Ikea Benno CD tower – so I put the camera on a 10 second timer, hit the shutter and rushed round in time to hold up a black velvet backdrop. It didn’t take long to get a shot I was happy with.

There was very little to do in Lightroom: a touch of clarity adjustment, vibrance and tweaked the tone curved to reduce the highlights and bring some details back into the left-hand side of the flower. Then a spot of dodging on the lower leaf to bring back some punch that was lost when tweaking the tone curve.

Of course, it doesn’t move me closer to capturing the present for my sister and her husband, but it does remind me that there is always something of beauty to photograph – even when stuck indoors on a dark and rainy winter’s day.

Posted in Frame by Frame Also tagged |
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