The Craftsman

Some time ago a colleague found out I was interested in photography and asked if I’d take some photos for her friend who is putting together a website to publicise his skills and business.

I’ve never taken photos for anyone else before so it was a new challenge. 

 

Today was the day and I met Sarah at her house from where she took me to Chris’ workshop. When we got there a Chris produced this beautiful writing desk which he’d made. I was stunned … 

I’ve admired desks like this in the numerous gift catalogues which come through the post at Christmas but I’d never seen one like this. As a stationary lover I was thrilled. On the outside it looks like a beautiful wooden box but opens up revealing the writing desk, inkwells and numerous compartments, some you would never know were there

The finish and detail were fantastic. The locks had beautiful old fashioned keys. The outer key was finished with a ribbon of leather. It’s the perfect keepsakes box. I could just picture my Antigua Conway Stewart fountain pens, purple ink, writing paper and diary stored in it. Just as well it was spoken for.

The detail and craftsmanship was perfect. The tiny joints fitted together perfectly and all the little boxes and compartments slid in and out with ease, never sticking.

 

I left most of my Lensbabies at home as I was aware I had to take photos for Sarah and Chris, not to take what I wanted. I did however take my Edge 50 and Velvet 56. Sarah and Chris have an assortment of photos to use, some taken with Lensbabies and some with conventional lenses. The photos above are my favourites, unsurprisingly they are all Lensbaby shots

 

Playing with my Lensbaby Circular Fisheye

We were heading out to Mathon on Saturday morning. I had decided that I had enough dragonfly photos and didn’t need any more. It was supposed to be a sunny morning so I thought I’d have a play with my circular fisheye lens.

We wandered round to the pond and there close to the edge was a dragonfly clinging to the bullrushes with its wings emerging and forming in the sunshine. Despite my resolution that I had enough dragonfly shots I decided I wanted to see if I could get a good shot with the circular fisheye. It was really difficult because the bullrushes were swaying in the wind, and this was made worse by the turbulence generated by the dogs messing about in the pond. 

 

To ensure the dragonfly was a reasonable size in the shots I had to get really, really close, down to less than half an inch in some cases. The focussing was a challenge the best shot is below.

 

Balancing act
By the pond

Splat is rarely still in front of the camera, even when I’m trying to get shots of him, he comes to see what I’m doing, very frustrating. Something distracted him long enough for me to get this shot.

 

 

 

Tristan and Tyke

I don’t remember how I found out about Lensbaby lenses but I do remember the first time a got great results with some of the optics for the first time. Two of my favourites are below. They are old favourites.

 

The first photo was my first success with bending the sweet 35. We were both tired out after a long walk along the Malvern Hills. We’d met A friend and walked from the Wyche Cutting to Hollybush and back. It must be at least 10 miles. Tristan looked so peaceful sleeping on the sofa so I got the camera out. It didn’t work in colour but I love the black and white version. This is the background photo on my iPad and the only photo on my desk. Over the years a Tristan and I must have spent hundreds of hours and walked hundreds of miles on the hills.

 

 

 

The second photo was taken with the edge 80 and this was the first time I felt I’d got the focus where I wanted it to be. This shot was taken in the morning before we went out for a walk. Tyke was just lying looking at us, in the most beautiful morning light, as if he was saying “get a move on”.

 

 

 
Sadly both have gone, which is why these shots are so special. I now have another GSD and spaniel which have yet to calm down and learn that when I get the camera out they just have to lie down and stay out of the way. They are still mad keen to see what I’m doing, and frequently scare off or trample all over my subject.

Scarlet Pimpernel

Last year while walking the dogs round Mathon I came across a really pretty little red flower. I was surprised to learn it was a scarlet pimpernel.

I did spot some growing a few weeks back ,but the photos I took weren’t in focus. Since then I’ve been wandering around looking at the ground searching for tiny red flowers. I’d given up as I thought they must be passed.

 

I was really surprised on Sunday to spot some. This time I had my Lensbaby velvet 56 lens which is great for macro shots. The challenge was getting the shots before the dogs trampled all over them.

 

My favourites are shown below.

 

 

 

Green leafhoppers

When I was playing with my Lensbay Twist 60 on Saturday I spotted these tiny grasshoppers jumping around in the grass and other vegetation. They were less than 1cm in length and too small to get a decent picture of with the Twist 60 and macro converters. I couldn’t get close enough.

 

We went back on Sunday. This time I had my Sony 30mm macro lens on my a77. Its a great macro lens, enabling you to get really close. It was more difficult to spot them on Sunday. I could only really see them when they moved, but the heavy rain drops caused many false alarms. Eventually it dried up, the sun came out and do did the leafhoppers.

 

I had to resort to manual focus to get the shots below. Their snouts have evolved to enable them to feed on the sap of herbaceous plants. There is something endearing about them.

 

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