Snowdrops – Lensbaby Blog Circle

While January seemed to last forever, February seems to have come to an end ever so quickly and it ‘s Lensbaby blog circle time again.

 

Snowdrops are the first sign that spring is on its way and they are so pretty dancing in the sunshine, sometimes covered in dew. During the last few weeks I’ve found little bunches tucked away behind hedges, under trees and some out in the open. I thought it was worth bringing together the best shots to share. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Follow the links to complete the circle, starting with Birgit Franik

 

Lensbaby Plastic Optic

I’m taking part in the Definitely Dreaming Project 52, which involves taking a photo each week throughout the year based on a prompt. The prompt this week was “Stillness”, which inspired me to get my Lensbaby plastic optic out.

 

When I went out this morning the plastic optic was still on my camera. It was a beautiful spring morning. The sun was bright, strong and still fairly low in the sky. I was trying to capture the flare and streaks of light through the trees.

 

As so often happens with Photography things didn’t go to plan. The sun was so strong and because I was shooting into it the colours were really weak. However, when I converted them to black and white using one of my favourite presets they developed a haunted feel. What do you think?

 

You can follow my Project 52 through this link

 

Orchid – Lensbaby Blog Circle

After the celebrations at Christmas and New Year, January is always a long, dull month. I was in town paying the bills and looking to treat myself to some cut flowers when I spotted the orchid. It was the same price as a bunch of flowers and even with my record of looking after plants, if it lasted two weeks, I’d get my money’s worth. So I gave in and bought it. It really brightens up the room.

I had fun afternoon playing with my different Lensbaby lenses and optics taking photos at different distances and angles. The two full size shots above, were taken with the Edge 50 and the close ups below, were the Velvets or the Soft Focus optic. My favourites are the ones taken with the soft focus optic, the light is softer. I haven’t used this optic for a while so it was great to get some shots I really like. It reminded how I forget about the older optics, which still have a place in my kit. I hope you enjoy the results.

To complete the blog circle  and see more great Lensbaby shots follow the links starting with Melita’s post 

 

Winter Walks – Lensbaby Blog Circle

Happy new year and welcome to the Lensbaby Blog Circle latest selection of posts.

 

The best thing about the holidays is that I get to walk the dogs every morning.

 

I’m still exploring the Old Hills and finding the best places to take photos. It’s strange looking across the valley and seeing the Malvern Hills, where we used to do all our walking. The weather hasn’t been great for photography, its it’s mainly been mild and grey. The few frosty sunny days we’ve had were days I had to work.

 

I tried using different lenses and optics. It was fun playing with the single glass optic, it’s been a very long time since I had a play with that one. The shots below were taken with my Burnside 35, Sweet 80, Sweet 35 or Single Glass Optic.

To see more great Lensbaby shots follow the link to see Janet Broughton’s Graveyard Wanderings

 

Exploring The Old Hills – Lensbaby Blog Circle

The Old Hills is an area of common land between Malvern and the River Severn. The weather and light weren’t great at the weekend as it was a typical dull November day. The visibility was poor but we could make out the outline of the Malvern Hills to the West and other key landmarks such as Worcester Cathedral.

 

There’s more areas of cover than on Malvern Common and the Springer spaniels had great fun exploring and following the different scents. The German shepherd was happy when he found a pond to paddle in. It was interesting to explore a new area, finding new landmarks and different things to photograph. The things which caught my attention included the shape of the fern bush, the old trees which looked really spooky in the light and the odd glimpses of colour.

 

The most vivid colour was the pink and orange of the spindle tree berries. I’d never seen them before so was intrigued when I looked them up. It is a deciduous tree native to the UK and Europe. It’s botanical name, Euonymus, derives from Greek and can be interpreted as good name or lucky, although in some areas early flowering was said to indicate an outbreak of plague.

 

 

To see more great Lensbaby shots follow the link to see what Janet Broughton from Definitely Dreaming has been doing this month.

 

A Dog’s life – Lensbaby Blog Circle

One of the benefits of my job is its flexibility, enabling me to work at home when I need to. Having worked at home a few afternoons this week, I was amused by how my dogs just settle down and sleep. Today I had my camera beside me with my Lensbaby Burnside lens and I tried to capture them at different points in the afternoon.

 

It was a productive afternoon.

 

For more great Lensbaby shots see John Mee’s post The Garden of Beautiful Bones

 

September Sunrise – Lensbaby Blog Circle

September and October are my favourite months of the year. One of the reasons for this is the spectacular sunrises. Living on the eastern side of the Malvern Hills I get to watch the sunrise over the mist which clings to the Severn Plain. On some days I can watch it rise up, engulfing everything or receding back to the river. As I got up the other morning and looked out, I knew it was going to be beautiful sunrise. I set my camera up and planned to use the different Lensbaby lenses and optics to play and investigate the different effects. As I was trying to do this in between getting ready for work it didn’t work as planned.

 

Before dawn the horizon was a deep red colour. As I went back and forth between my camera and getting ready the colour lost its intensity and then deepened again as the sun rose. The mist was thick on the ground and it was amazing to watch it move and change. It was like watching the waves on the ocean in very slow motion. As the sun came up the reflection from the top of the mist was fantastic.

 

The early shots were taken with the Circular fisheye and Burnside 35, the other are either the velvet 56 or 85.

 

 

At the weekend I had more time and was lucky enough to witness another great sunrise. The mist wasn’t so dramatic but the colour was special. This time I was playing with the Sweet 80 and the Zone plate/pin hole optic. They create very different effects. 

 

 

I hope you enjoy the photos and don’t forget to follow the circle. Follow the link to Stephanie DeFranco’s blog about Texas gold.

 

Hereford Cathedral – Lensbaby Blog Circle

I spent an afternoon wandering round Hereford Cathedral last week. Although I’ve lived in the area almost thirty years and visited Hereford often, I’ve never been inside the Cathedral.

 

 

Wandering round I came across the chantry chapel which contains stained glass windows by Tom Denny dedicated to the 17th century Herefordshire poet and cleric, Thomas Traherne.

 

 

The pictures below show just some of the details which caught my eye while exploring

 

The Cathedral is famous for its Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library. The Mappa Mundi is the biggest surviving complete medieval world map. Its amazing that it display the earth as round but with the points of the compass rotated 90 degrees. Hereford  (and Scotland) are located in the lower left corner, a very different view of the world!

The Chained library has an amazing collection of manuscripts, some of which date back to the 8th century

 

 

The SAS are based in the city and the Regimental Association commissioned John Maine RA to create the sculpture and stained glass window for the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the regiment. The work is entitled Ascension.

 

 

To see more great Lensbaby shots follow the circle, the next post is Janet Boughton at Definitely Dreaming.

 

Bokeh and Blur

Last week I took a few shots with my Lensbaby Sweet 35. I’d put on on my camera to take a shot for my Project 52 and that’s what was still on my camera when we went out. With such a great range of creative lenses I hadn’t used this one for a while. It was one of the first Lensbabies I bought and I love the bokeh and blur it creates. So today I wanted to have a play.

 

It was a beautiful sunny summer morning on the common. We weren’t out early but as the sun is rising later I still got some great light. When I’m out with the dogs its not possible to take as much time as I sometimes want or need to frame my shots. Not having used this lens for a while I was out of practice so I played with taking some out of focus shots. I like the effect, particularly in the woods where the bokeh was strong.

 

What do you think?

 

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