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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 …
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.
I recently came across this blog post Silent Beauty: A Photographic Compendium of Flowers. It 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 artistic 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.
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!
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 …
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.
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.
We also had a look around the Palm House and the rest of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, where I took the photos below.
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!