Gazania – on black

Gazania‘s are native to south africa and are commonly grown in the UK as an annual. The lovely flowers light up any border with their profuse blooms and long flowering season. These gazania’s are from my garden in Cambridge.


Technical details:

Nikon D80
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
1/100 f/18 with flash.
post-processed with Adobe Lightroom 4.1
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Daffodil on black

I know it is strange to talk about spring blooms in the dreary days of autumn! I came across this picture in my collection taken earlier this year and thought it would offer a chance for us facing shorter days, cold and rain to cheer up with thoughts of spring!

Daffodil against a dark background. Click to see a larger image.

Technical details:

Nikon D80
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens
1/3200 f/7.1
External SB-600 speedlight flash used.
post-processed in Adobe LightRoom 4.1

Growing Indian Vegetables in the UK – Part 3

My previous two posts on the same subject commented on the germination, and growth of calabash and other indian vegetables in the UK. Unfortunately for us here in the United Kingdom, this was the wettest summer in the last 100 years. With lack of sunshine and lots of rain, many of the experiments I had planned to conduct on the efficacy of growing traditional indian vegetable came to nothing.

However, it was not all doom and gloom, and I’ve actually managed to harvest a few calabash (lauki, dudhi) this year (see picture below). The plants are now well over 10 feet long and have many young fruits on them (sadly, I think the winter will catch up and kill them before they get a chance to mature).

Lauki/Dudhi fruit about one foot long.

I have also had limited success with indian green aubergines (but not spectacularly).

Take-home lessons for 2013

At the end of the year, these are the lessons I’ve learned.

  • Start as early as possible with all Indian vegetable seeds (to give enough time to flower and fruit)
  • Use a heated germinator to maximise chances of growth. Germinate a second round of seeds a month after the first to use as backup
  • Keep the plants away from draughts, keep inside polythene bags to sustain growth
  • Gradually acclimatize to outside when all danger of frost has passed
  • Do not over water.
  • Plants such as Lauki and Karela are vigorous climbers and therefore need stable and strong support. They also grow really long (10 feet or more).
  • Once the first flowers appear, feed once a week with high potash fertilizer like tomorite.
  • Keep well watered
  • Beware of mildew (using a spray of 1tbsp baking soda with one teaspoon of dish washing liquid does wonders!)
  • Keep harvesting regularly to keep the flowers going.

You may wish to read the previous blogs on the same subject:

  1. Growing Indian Vegetables in the UK – Part 2
  2. Growing Indian Vegetables in the UK

Yellow-on-monochrome

 

Nothing probably gives a better contrast and highlights a picture, like something yellow on black on monochrome background. To test this hypothesis, I put forward this picture of a yellow flower against a desaturated background.

Yellow on grayscale.

Really interested in your thoughts!

Technical Details:

Nikon D80 
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens
1/300 f/4.5
Processed with Adobe Lightroom 4.1