Coffee cup

The latest challenge from my Dad was simply ‘a paper cup’.

I decided to use similar techniques to those I used to take the daffodil photos, and this was the result! I ripped off the outer branded layer of the cup so that it was just plain white, but I quite liked the coffee stains so I used this to focus on in the first image.

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Coffee cup

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Daffodils: inspired by Leendert Blok

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Silent Beauties. Photography – Leendert Blok, Courtesy of Hatje Cantz 

I recently came across this blog post  Silent Beauty: A Photographic Compendium of FlowersIt introduced me to the work of Leendert Blok, a Holland-born photographer who took extensive photographs of various flowers. But rather than have them in garden settings, he photographed the plants in front of plain, simple backgrounds.

The photograph here is absolutely stunning. I love the sense of movement and life that this photograph evokes. Many of his photographs look like paintings, a quality which I really admire. I would love to be able to do botanical painting, but following a morning in a class I’ve realised that the level of delicacy and patience required is just not in my nature (if you’d seen my A-Level art portfolio you would know why – think Jackson Pollock meets Anselm Kiefer). So perhaps this style of photography is a way for me to capture flowers in a more DSCF1871artistic way using my camera.

Feeling suitably inspired I decided to have a go. I had a couple of bunches of daffodils which had passed their best so I decided to use these as my subject matter. I did some watercolour washes to use as my backgrounds to try and create a similar effect to Blok’s work.

 

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I’m quite pleased with the effects of the watercolour wash as a background, and taking macro photos of the daffodils to create abstract shots. I really enjoyed being slightly more artistic and would love any feedback!

 

 

Orchid Festival at Kew

On Saturday my Mum and I braved the windy weather and headed to Kew Gardens for their Orchid Festival. Last year we attended one of the Orchid Lates and had a wonderful evening sipping cocktails and viewing the displays. This year we decided to go during the day, both with our cameras at the ready. The Princess of Wales Conservatory is a new camera owners dream, with exquisite displays and lots of opportunities to practise my macro photography! Before heading to the glasshouses we visited the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition, something for me to aspire to …

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I took over 200 photos, so here are a selection of the ones I am most proud of. I did not do much post production on these photos apart from adjusting the lighting on a couple. As always I’m very open to constructive criticism.

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As part of their display they had suspended orchids from the ceiling showing off their roots, this provided me the opportunity to take the photo below.

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We also had a look around the Palm House and the rest of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, where I took the photos below.

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We had a lovely afternoon despite the weather, and I really enjoyed spending a few hours with my camera capturing these beautiful plants. Experimenting with the aperture was particularly interesting on this camera outing!

Red sky at night

You’re probably sick of seeing photos of Albert Bridge now, but I couldn’t resist tonight with this stunning sunset….

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I experimented with the light levels and contrast in the images above to try and make the contrast of the pink and the light of the bridge as pronounced as possible. Without it just looking ridiculously photoshopped.

I was hoping I could catch up to the pink sky when I got closer to Lot’s Road Power Station, however it had faded a bit so in the image below I experimented a bit more with the contrast.

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power station_edited-2As with most of London, it was a shame about the cranes. So I used the Clone Stamp tool to edit these out. It was quite difficult with the layers of clouds, so to try and make these edits less obvious I used some of the blur and artistic filters in duplicate layers underneath the top image.

I need to find a new route to walk home so I stop taking photos of the same views! I’m planning a trip to Kew’s Orchid Festival this weekend if the weather is kind, so look out for another post soon.