I went walking with the dogs in Mathon on Saturday. It made a nice change from Malvern Common, although I did miss meeting the regular dog walkers on the common, they are so friendly.
Our walk took us past a pond where I’ve watched dragonflies emerging in the summer sun. The bulrushes are much thicker this year but we found one dragonfly emerging. It fascinating to watch them emerge, grow their wings and take off.
The dogs were really excited and didn’t want to stay still. If they weren’t chasing each other round the edge disturbing the tranquillity, they were swimming causing the bull rushes to move in the turbulence created in their wake.
I did get some good shots, the best of which are shown below. I was playing with my Lensbaby Edge 50 and Velvet 56 so focussing manually was tricky. The first two shots were taken with the Edge 50 and the last was taken with the Velvet 56.
I posted last month about choosing photos to enter into the White House Vets
Photo Competition, the results are in, and my photo “I think I’m stuck” was second. Check out the other winners here
. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
It feels very strange, its great that judges really liked this shot, but it’s my least favourite and if it hadn’t been for Emily’s reaction when she saw it, I wouldn’t have entered it. He looks so sad …
Maybe that’s why I don’t like it, it upsets me.
Photography can be very frustrating as at times nothing seems to work in the way you envisage. On Saturday I took my camera out as usual when walking the dogs on Malvern Common. I attached my composer pro and the Twist 60 optic. It was a bright sunny morning and I was looking forward to trying out the Twist 60 to get some good close up shots of the flowers. It’s only a few metres down the hill but it was so much winter on the common, too windy for close ups. It was disappointing.
Sunday was another bright sunny morning and I thought I’d play with the Circular fisheye lens. I need to practice with this lens when the sprinters are jumping into the pond as I could get some great shots if I get my focus and timing right. It was almost there. On the way home I was kneeling down to get a shot of a Welsh poppy, I wanted to fill the shot with the flower, when a bee appeared and landed on the same poppy. I quickly adjusted the focus, pressed the shutter button and hoped for the best. Considering the amount of time I’ve watched bees on different occasions and been really frustrated because all my shots have been out of focus I was amazed that in this instance I’d got it pretty much right first time.
Until I spotted the fingers at the edge of the frame. I don’t know enough about Photoshop to remove them so decided to crop the picture instead. What do you think?
Our vet, White House Vets, is having a Pet club photo competition. I’m not big fan of photo competitions but I thought I’d give it a go. The last few times we’ve been on the common I’ve tried to get a photo of our young springer spaniel, Splat, jumping into the pond but he’s too quick. I have lots of great photos of dramatic splashes but no springer …
Most of the photos I have of the dogs are of them asleep somewhere in the house. It was a great excuse to go through the photos of the German Shepherd as a pup. His facial expressions are great and he looks so cute., but I am very biased.
Looking back made me realise how poorly I catalogue my photos. It’s one of those “must do better next time” tasks. Although they are all filed by date, without a reference event it’s not very helpful. Without the website I would struggle to remember what I have.
It was difficult to down select to a few, but I eventually reduced it to six.. I went for cuteness over technical excellence, so ended up with four puppy photos, a sleepy one and an action shot.
My final choice is shown below, what will the judges think?
I love Lensbaby lenses and the effects they create. I’ve built up a collection over the years and my favourite is the Velvet 56. My least favourite is the Edge 80, so when the Edge 50 came out I decided to give it a miss. That was until it was on offer on Amazon and I felt like some retail therapy, so I bought it about two months ago.
I’ve used it a few times when on the common with the dogs. I struggled with the Edge 80 and getting the slice of focus where I wanted it so I thought I take things slowly with the Edge 50.
I started using it simply as a prime lens, with no bending. I take photos of the flowers, tress and other things which catch my eye as I wander round the common. To get close to the flowers and leaves I was using it in macro mode. I also tend to shoot at the widest aperture to blur the background (for the Edge 50 the max aperture is f/3.2).
My three favourite shots are shown below.
The catkin shot below, was the one successful attempt at bending the lens to create a vertical slice of focus.
I love this lens, I love what happens to the out of focus background. It’s now become one of my favourites, although I still have to master bending the lens to get the slice of focus where I want it.
I’ll have to revisit my Edge 80.