Sunrise in Narnia

The gas lamps in Malvern are really pretty and are said to have inspired CS Lewis. They are no longer powered by gas but retain the gas lit atmosphere.

 

It was an early start on Sunday morning and a quick tour round the common with the dogs. I thought the timing might be right for a great sunrise photo across the pond, capturing the reflections. It wasn’t to be but as we headed back home the colours were intensifying as the sun rose behind the gas lamps on the Wells Road and All Saints church.

 

I’d thought about a very similar shot before with a full moon behind the gas lamps but I hadn’t thought about this one with the sunrise. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Sunrise behind the gas lamp
Gas lamp
Sunrise behind the spire
Sunrise behind the spire
 

Through a crystal ball

It was a beautiful sunrise on Saturday morning, the sky was a beautiful array of colour. I’ve taken lots of sunset shots from the attic window, looking across the Severn Plain to Bredon Hill and the Cotswolds. It’s always different.

 

Today I got my crystal ball out and tried something different. I set the crustal ball on the windowsill and shot through it, using my Lensbaby velvet 56. I played with the aperture to get the view through the crystal ball in focus while the surrounding area was blurred. The best shot is shown below.

 

Sunrise

 

The shot without the crystal ball is below.

 

 

First Snow

After the beautiful, clear ,crisp, frosty morning yesterday, today was very different. When I got up, there was six inches of snow outside. When it came to taking the dogs out it was still snowing and blowing a freezing, cold gale.

They had fun playing in the snow in the woods. We didn’t make it to top of the hills. The snow got deeper and the wind got colder the higher we went so we cut back down through the woods.

It wasn’t a good day for the camera and I lost count of the times I went to get a photo of something and they charged through destroying the shot. I did manage to get the shots below, with my Lensbaby Velvet 85, which I’m pleased with.

 

 

A Winter walk on the Hills

I had a great walk with dogs today. It was a glorious fresh clear sunny morning. It was bitterly cold, especially on top of the hills with no shelter from the wind. It was a great day for playing with my camera and my new Lensbaby Velvet 85 lens. I love it.

The sun had not long risen and was low in the sky, creating some great effects. I was surprised to find a harebell and gorse still in flower. The best shots from my walk are below.

First Impressions

 

I treated myself to a Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been having a play an getting used to finding and placing the sweet spot of focus.

 

We went out with the dogs on Sunday morning, it was a grey dull day not great for photography but out of habit I took my camera gear. While we were wandering round the common I thought I’ll try for some action shots of Splat fetching the tennis ball. I set the aperture and shutter speed and focussed on where I expected him to run through.While I was setting up they had a false start and there were a few shots which included Jack.

 

The shots of Splat didn’t work, he moves faster than I expected so they were blurred. There was something about one of the early shots including Jack which appealed to me. I think it was the expressions on their faces and the sense of movement. The focus wasn’t sharp as they were both just outside the sweet spot.

 

I’ve downloaded Topaz Studio and had an initial play but still have lots to learn. I thought I’d have a play with the free Impression adjustments. I love the result, see below. It turned an very average photo into something I really like and was happy to post  on social media. I’ll have to play some more.

 

The Chase
On the common

 

 

Dog day

It wasn’t great day for photos yesterday. It was dull and overcast but was supposed to brighten up later.

Having pre-ordered the new Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic, I was playing with the Sweet 35 and Sweet 50 to get used to moving the sweet spot. It’s tricky to get the hang of and I haven’t used these lenses much recently.

There wasn’t much inspiration on the common, the summer flowers are passed but the autumn colours are just beginning to turn. The dogs always play with a ball as we pass the playing field and then charge about chasing each other. I set the sweet spot to the centre of the frame and the focal distance where I thought they would cut across in front of me. I then hit the shutter as they charged chased one another.

 

Jack
At play

On the way home we passed Evie’s gate and there she was, waiting for us. She’s a really friendly German Shepherd cross Rottweiler who comes running down from the garden to see Jack and Splat, and to get some fuss. She’s watching Jack and Splat heading down the road home.

 

Evie
Please come back
 

It was great when I got home and downloaded the photos to find that I caught Jack exactly in the sweet spot. His face is in almost perfect focus. All I had to do was crop the image and make the background black and white. His colour doesn’t look good against a green background.

 

Evie is just beautiful and the background really shows off her colour.

 

 

It would have been great if I’d got a photo of Splat to complete the set …

Dragonfly metamorphosis

I know I’ve posted lots of photos of dragonflies. I was updating the content on my website when I came across the photos below. They started my fascination with dragonflies. 

I was sitting by the pond one day, I’d spotted discarded larva skins on the bulrushes on previous visits. They were a dull brown colour and dried up. 

This day I spotted a  bug like creature emerging from the larva skin. It wasn’t moving and I thought it was dead. I was surprised when I looked again some time later and realised it wasn’t dead and spotted the beginnings of what would eventually be the wings. It was a real privilege to sit over the period of a few hours watching the little white grub I thought was dead grow longer, it’s wings grow and form, transforming into a beautiful dragonfly. It was an amazing transformation I’d never witnessed before.

 

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

 

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