A weekend in Toulouse and Albi

Back in October my boyfriend and I spent the weekend in France. I only took the Friday off work but it felt like a really good break. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb in Toulouse – with a comically low bathroom ceiling (especially as we’re both quite tall) but a wonderfully comfy bed.

It was a weekend that centred around our stomachs and we ate our way through the city over the next couple of days. This included visits to the markets full of all kinds of delights – and a few horrors!

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We also took the train to Albi for a day which was a stunning town, another market to explore, a delicious lunch including snails and a trip to the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. We were much luckier with the weather in Albi so there were many more photo opportunities!

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My highlight of the weekend had to be seeing a starling murmuration over the river in Toulouse. I’ve always wanted to see this natural spectacle but had no expectations that Toulouse would be where I see it!

We’re off to Portugal next so look out for some more photos soon.

 

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First frost of the winter!

This morning Londoners woke up to the first frost of the winter and a very chilly morning. I took advantage of the frost and sunshine to capture this leaf lying in a sunny spot on the ground before the ice melted. I really love the way the ice crystals decorate the leaf, so hopefully I’ve done them justice with these photos (I hope so as I had very chilly knees getting the shots!)

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An autumnal afternoon in Richmond Park

The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of Richmond Park is the deer, and they are certainly a big attraction. I say attraction tentatively, as I found it quite bizarre how a huge stag could be completely surrounded by people with cameras standing less than 4 metres away, despite the signs warning you to always stay 50 metres away from these powerful animals. Despite wanting to capture them on camera, I tried to maintain my distance, and am quite pleased with the shots below. A more powerful zoom would have been useful – that’s one limitation with the Fujifilm X30 which I am starting to discover.

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As well as the majesty of the deer, there was also the stunning autumn colour of the park to capture.

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I did more photoshop edits on the image above than usual as there was a big streak of sunlight across the tree trunk on the left-hand side. I think it’s come out slightly too dark now, but much less distracting than the light streaks! In the two images below I left the sun rays in as I think they created a nice effect, I’ll say my inspiration is from Planet Earth II – they seem to love shots taken into the sun!

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I really recommend a visit to the park over the next few weeks, the perfect place for a Sunday stroll – and a beautiful spot to practise some landscape photography!

 

 

Grow Wild – End of a Season

At the start of the summer I registered for a free seed kit from Grow Wild, a wild flower campaign aimed to transform spaces in the UK with British native wild flowers. I planted the seeds on my balcony and enjoyed wild flowers throughout the summer. However now that we reach September, the flowers have passed their best and I spent this morning sorting out my pots, removing dead plants and planting some bulbs ready for the spring.

The advantage of this was that I had an array of dried wild flowers to photograph! I decided to experiment with the backgrounds, rather than using my usual watercolour washes. I used some pages from a colouring book (I’m someone who loved colouring before ‘adult colouring’ became a thing), the book is called Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. I also used a sheet of illustration which I was given at the V&A late last Friday, their late was called Grow You Own.

Here are the results!

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The three images above all use coloured in pages from the colouring book as the background.

 

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As always comments are very welcome and constructive criticsm appreciated.

I’m currently waiting on a film to be developed from the Pentax, I spent an afternoon in Brompton Cemetary so am really intriguied to see what shots I managed to capture. Watch this space …