Daffodil 2015 #1

Every spring I try to take pictures of Daffoldils, which to me are the surest sign yet that the cold, wet and miserable winters are truly behind us and a (ever hopeful) good summer is to follow. The following photo was shot in daylight using a flash and high aperture to achieve a black background and enough depth of field to cover the whole flower!
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Technical Details
Nikon D7000 with 105mm Sigma f/2.8 macro lens
ISO200, f/10, 1/250 second, built-in flash
Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Winter blossom!

Happy New Year all! I’ve spent almost 2 months without taking a single photograph but have resolved to change this in 2015! First up, an unusual bloom for this of the year in England. These flowers are those of the Kalanchoe genus, succulent tropical species from the old world which decided to bloom in January here in Cambridge (I suppose that being on a window sill in the bathroom helped!).

Kalanchoe sp.
ISO 200, f/22, 21 second exposure. Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.

Photographed using a Nikon D7000 Camera with a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 lens. ISO 200, f/22, 21 second exposure using a remote shutter release cable. Post-processed in Adobe Lightroom 5.7.

Vibrant Rose!

There is this rose bush in my garden which struggles to survive every year regardless of what I try to do make it feel happy. But year on year it produces one or two of these really vibrant flowers in autumn! Just one of two roses sadly before the winter frosts kick in.

Vibrant Rose
Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr!

Technical Details:

  • Nikon D7000 with a 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • f/18, 1/250 second, ISO200
  • Remote slave flash SB800

Cosmos – on blue

This year I grew cosmos plants for the first time (from seed that too).. and they’ve now grown to a height of about 2 metres!! Lovely pink flowers held up on thin stalks. The height of these flowers means that they’ve opened themselves up to being photographed from underneath against the backdrop of the blue sky (as below).

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Technical Details:

  • Nikon D7000 with 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • ISO200, 1/100sec, f/13 manual mode
  • PP in Adobe Lightroom 5.5

Audley End House, Saffron Walden

Audley End house is a magnificent example of a 17th century stately home near Saffron Walden in Essex. The property was also once a royal palace in the time of Charles II (1668) who purchased the property for £5 in order to be able to attend races at Newmarket. Audley End is now managed by English Heritage but all paintings and period decorations are from the original time and form part of a private collection. 

Audley End House. Essex
Audley End House. Essex

HDR composed of three bracketed shots at -2, 0 and +2 exposures and processed in Photomatix Pro. Please click on the photo for a larger version.

Granny’s Bonnet – Aquilegia

This year has been very good for the aquilegia plants growing in my garden. This must have something to do with the mild wet winter we’ve just had here in Cambridge. Below is a photograph of a single aquilegia flower. These hardy, and highly toxic perennials also go by the names Columbine ( which comes from the Latin for “dove”, due to their resemblance to five doves clustered together – Wikipedia).

Aquilegia sp.
Aquilegia. Please click on the photo for more viewing options in Flickr.

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • f/22, 1/60 with remote slave flash fired from underneath
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and NIK Color Efex Pro.

Like a Swan over choppy waters!

On a windy day at the Staines Reservoirs. This swan made a perfect contrast to the choppy waters in which it was swimming. I was reminded of the song “Like a bridge over troubled water” except with the words “Like a swan over choppy waters”! 🙂

Mute Swan
Like a swan over choppy waters (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with a 105mm f/2.8 sigma lens.
  • ISO200, 1/3200, f/5.6
  • Processed in Adobe Lightroom

Forget-Me-Not!

In a German legend, when god had finished naming all plants, a small unnamed plant cried out “Forget-me-not, my lord”. Then god said “That shall be your name”. Another legend claims that after the Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colours, he heard one whisper “Forget me not!” There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue, but the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade.

Forget-me-not
Forget-me-not! Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.

The tiny, cheerful blue flowers of Myosotis have played an important part in European folklore and history – from being used as a symbol by Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) after being exiled by Richard II to its adoption by the Freemasons during the Nazi regime across Europe. The flowers of forget-me-not are no more than 1cm in diameter and grow in long thin stalks bearing many flowers. They are popular in gardens and grow on the side of river banks and streams throughout Europe.

Technical Details

  • Nikon D7000 camera with a 105mm macro lens with extension tubes
  • ISO 200, f/18, 1/250 with external remote slave flash
  • processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

 

Fuchsia – vibrant and lovely!

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Please click on the photo for a larger version in Flickr.

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • ISO200, 1/250, f/14 with slave remote flash
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and NIK Color Efex Pro.