More on this Bluebell Year.

A few weeks ago, I posted a rather cynical post on the subject of photographing bluebells.

In this part of the world, last year’s bluebells started to bloom fairly early because of good early Spring weather, but then slowed their development as the warming Spring slowed down.  The result for me was disappointing, with many bluebells past their best while the later ones were still developing.

After failing last year, to get any really good bluebell shots, I had more or less decided not to bother this year.  However, we discovered a piece of woodland that looked to have Bluebell Potential, and that is what led to that first post.  A second post, Bluebells Revisited, followed but again the flowers were not fully developed.  With the very late Spring this year, I wondered whether, when nature did take hold, the bluebell display come suddenly, and be really good.

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Bluebells Revisited

My post, ‘Bluebell Potential?‘, raised the subject of photographing Bluebells>  It questioned whether, for me, it was worth the effort since I often ended up disappointed with the results.  Well, five days later, I did revisit the woodland on which I had stumbled and had a closer look.  I think that I was still a little early for the best display, but the weather forecast was dreadful for my next opportunity so I took a look anyway,  The display had certainly moved forward and a few snaps were duly taken.  More importantly, I was able to explore the extent of this woodland more fully, and it proved to be a really rewarding walk, even though the weather was not very ‘spring like’.

Here are a couple of shots to show how the flowers and ferns had come on.

Bluebells Revisited
Bluebells Revisited
Bluebells Revisited

It probably was worth waiting for, so I revisited again a few more days later.  I’ll post some more from both this visit and the later one soon.

Before they fall

Knowing that it was going to rain on the next day, and boy did it throw it down, we decided to pop out to Barrington Court to see what the gardens were looking like in mid August.  Many of the flowers were past their best, but these gardens are always worth a visit, whatever the season.

Flower photography was a challenge because of the fairly strong breeze but I had a go anyway.  This was one of photos which I quite liked, grabbed during a lull in the breeze and before these petals also fell off.

Before they fall

Olympus E-520, 70-300 mm lens at 169 mm, 1/1000 at f9, ISO400.

I recently needed to return this lens for repair of the focus mechanism and since then, I haven’t been entirely happy with it.  I think this may have been because of the circumstances in which I was using it, because I am reasonably content with this shot.  It might have been better with my 50 mm macro lens, but this would have necessitated trampling on the flower bed, which wouldn’t have been popular with the gardeners.

Richard’s Garden

It was another of our Camera Club’s informal ‘Summer’ meetings last night and by recent standards, the weather was pretty good.  Last night we were invited to the house and garden of one of our members.  There are three things in particular that are really worth saying about Richard.  Number 1 is that he is a very good photographer, number 2 is that he has a really beautiful and densely packed garden, and number 3 is that he always puts on superb food for his annual invitation.  Probably the last two are the reasons why the event is always so well attended.

Here are a few photos of his plants, taken before getting stuck in to his marvelous food.  Richard was apologetic that due to this year’s weather, most of his flowers were past their best, or yet to come out.  Regardless of this, his garden was still beautiful. Continue reading

Cuckoo Flower

Like most people, I’m fed up with Winter, and looking forward to Spring.  I was just browsing through some shots from last Spring and found this one which warmed my heart.  The Cuckoo Flower – Cardamine pratensis, also known as Lady’s Smock, is a rather nice spring flowering herbaceous perennial.

Cuckoo Flower - Cardamine pratensis

This one was captured in Forde Abbey Gardens, near Chard in Somerset last April.

Roll on Spring.

Too much coffee!

Yesterday, I drank too much coffee, so I am suffering the consequences at 02:00 am this morning. Might as well do something useful and see whether I can link photos from my Picasa Web Albums that I created a couple of years ago.

 

There seems to be a bit of tidying up to do but this image from one of my Picasa Albums seems to prove that I can, so I will try to go back to sleep now.

Lily macro shots

While having been on the topic of flowers recently, I thought I would post these.

A while ago, a mentor in our Camera Club pointed out what should have been obvious, that is if you get in really close with your flashgun, then it actually produces a fairly diffused light on a small macro subject like a flower, and that the subject can also provide its own built in reflectors.  I think these two slightly abstract Lily shots demonstrate this quite well with the absence of shadows.  Thanks Keith!

For both these shots an FL50R flashgun was remotely triggered from my Olympus E-30 with 50mm prime macro, whilst held as close to the subject as possible without being in the frame.

Hibiscus

Not many people read my blog. This is not really a surprise to me, but I do still enjoy writing it anyway, as it gives me the chance to revisit photographs from the past.

I know that I should really be continuing with my Cuba story, but I still need to choose some suitable shots and upload them.  Since I am currently packing for an upcoming trip to Maine, New England, to visit my grandchildren, the Cuba story will have to wait for a few weeks.  Instead, I thought I would blog some photos already on Flickr.

Here is the first.  This hibiscus flower immediately struck me with its beauty when I saw it in Costa Rica a few years ago.  At least Cuba has a similar climate to Costa Rica, so there are lots of hibiscus in Cuba as well.  Anyway, I liked this shot.

Hibiscus taken in Costa Rica

This was shot using a 70-300mm on my Olympus E-520, demonstrating that it can be a really good lens for macro and close up work.