Shutter speed experiments!

I recently had a great day out with my Dad. We went to a beautiful photography exhibition of trees at the V&A followed by a delicious lunch and then a walk around Hyde Park. We headed to the Diana Memorial Fountain and were soon both crouched down on the floor playing with the shutter speed on our cameras to capture the beauty of the fountain and the different ways that the water flows around it.

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A Snowy V&A!

One of my absolute favourite places in London is the V&A, so it was a treat to pay it a visit with my camera when the ‘Beast from the East’ arrived in town.

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The Natural History Museum was looking quite beautiful in the snow too!

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Springtime at Fulham Palace

To burn off some of the Easter eggs I’ve consumed in the last 24 hours, I went for a stroll and ended up in the gorgeous gardens of Fulham Palace. I love taking photographs of flowers, and although there wasn’t a great deal to see in the gardens yet there was some beautiful blossom and the wisteria was stunning. I’ll be popping back in the summer when there should be lots more to see – that’s if the pesky squirrels don’t dig up all the seedlings first as I witnessed them doing this morning!

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Kew Orchids Festival

Once again this year I headed to the Kew Orchids Festival, this is the third year in a row that I’ve gone and it’s becoming a bit of a tradition. I went to the late event which was great with a brilliant atmosphere and stunning displays however the lighting wasn’t very conducive to me taking photos (or actually admiring many of the stunning displays in person!). It’s probably best to go during the day if you actually want to study the intricacies of these stunning plants.

But here’s a selection of photos I took on the night.

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I would have liked to have the opportunity to take some more macro shots of the orchids but the lighting was not on my side so unfortunately most of my shots aren’t usable! A lesson learnt – and a different aspect of my photography to work on.

Snowdrops – winter beauties

It’s been a while since my last post, my excuse is a combination of starting a new job in December and the usual winter bugs so I haven’t been out and about with my camera as much.

A few weeks back I went to the Chelsea Physic Garden Snowdrop Days, it was my first time going back to the Garden as a visitor rather than as an employee as I had been up until recently. I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the beautiful snowdrops on display, one of my favourite plants at this time of year. Although the daffodils are starting to pop up on my balcony so look out for some shots of them soon!

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One of the few plants that I can always remember the botanical name for – Galanthus elwesii ‘Grumpy’

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I used the magnetic lasso tool to select the snowdrop and then inverse this selection so that I could make the background black and white – I really like the effect this has achieved!

As usual comments and tips are welcome, and I promise to not leave it so long next time!

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!