Here we go round the mulberry bush – Lensbaby Blog Circle

The Lensbaby Blog Circle is a group of photographers who love Lensbaby lenses. We each publish a post at the start of the month and link to one of the other posts. Follow the links at the end of each post until you come back here, who knows what great photos you’ll see.

 

Here we go round the Mulberry bush is a nursery rhyme and game I learned as a child. We sang the song and mimed the actions. It was just one of many we learned and I didn’t give it much thought. I don’t remember wondering or asking what a mulberry was. The tune and lyrics can be found on Wikipedia. We had raspberries and strawberries in the garden but I had no idea what a mulberry was. Later I remember learning that silkworms eat mulberry leaves and then there is the famous Mulberry brand.

 

Several years ago while walking the dogs on the common we noticed and watched a man behaving strangely under one of the trees. We realised he was picking something and eating it. After he’d moved off we went to take a look and found the tree was covered in deep red and almost black berries. The black ones were incredibly sweet but I preferred the tart deep red ones. Looking them up, later that day we discovered they were mulberries. We’ve picked some every year since. They make great jam and are a great addition to cereal for breakfast.

 

 

I had a free, nutritious breakfast on the common and ended up with sticky red juice all over my hands.

 

The next post in the circle is by Katrin Bechhold who is writing about the Travelling Burnside project. Follow the links to see lots of great Lensbaby photos.

 

Walking to Work – Lensbaby Blog Circle

For me, photography is a hobby. I have a day job which funds my photography. I’m lucky enough to live approx. a mile and a half from the office, so it’s walking distance. I break my work day by going home to let the dogs out and since the spring I have been walking back to work, rather than use the bike. Its amazing how much more I notice when walking and not flying down the hill. On a day I was fed up about something ( I can’t even remember what) I realised not many people have a walk to work like I have, so I thought I’d share some of the sights.

 

It’s a short walk to end of my road and then down a path by the side of All Saints Church onto the main road. There are always flowers in some of the gardens and the path by the  church is beautiful at this time of year. The bench on the church driveway is a new addition. The gas lamps line the main road.  They were gas powered until quite recently buut today the gas has been replaced by more modern safer lighting. CS Lewis spent time in Malvern and it is said the Malvern gas lamps provided inspiration for his Narnia novels.

 

 

I then cross the main road and continue down the hill, along the side of the common. On the day I decided to take my camera I met Prince and his owner who kindly obliged with a photo. The road is flanked on one side by the open common and views of the Malvern Hills and on the other by large Victorian houses with great gardens. After crossing the railway I turn along a wide residential street. On the corner is the old Victorian post-box and a bench under the tree. As I approach work I pass site of the old Reception building, which has now gone and the disused carpark. The poppies appear every year and when I take time to explore its amazing the variety of small plants and weeds which grow there.

 

 

Of course it looks different when the dark clouds are clinging to the hills, but still equally amazing. Maybe in another post when the weather is very different I’ll take you with me again. Deciding which lens to put on my camera was difficult. I was torn between the Burnside 35 and the Velvet 85. In the end I went for the Velvet 85.

 

Follow the links and complete the circle to see lots more great Lensbaby shots.  The next blog in this month’s circle is by Ute Reckhorn “let’s meet in real life”.

 

Playing on the common – Lensbaby Blog Circle

In the first Lensbaby blog circle post I introduced Tyke. He was two months old and very cute. He has grown very quickly and is now as tall as our older springer. He’s yet to fill out but runs around the house, garden and common with the others. I was playing with my Velvet 85 when we were all on the common at the weekend and I thought it was time to get some shots of Tyke in action. What do you think? He’s the one with the white stripe down his face.

 

 

Please follow the circle to see more Lensbaby shots from some great photographers. The next blog is by Ute Reckhorn, at Californialover.com

 

Between the showers – Lensbaby Blog Circle

We had a few glorious sunny days last week and suddenly the colour has appeared in the gardens, parks, commons and countryside, but this week it’s been back to April showers.

Having treated myself to a Lensbaby Burnside 35 I was desperate for some good light to play with. I love the shots I’ve seen taken by others using this lens  and I was keen to see how it performed with my macro filters.

It’s amazing what you can find to photograph without going far from home. I put the Burnside 35 on my camera, added my x10 macro filter and had a wander round the garden. It’s a reasonable sized garden but I’m not a keen gardener so there aren’t many plants. Despite my best efforts there area small bunch of primroses which persist and some viola which appear in a different place or tub each year.

I’ve no idea how long I was up in the garden but I got totally immersed in taking the close up shots and was amazed to find I’d almost filled a memory card. I was shooting wide open and this combined with the macro filter created a very shallow depth of field. The background effect in these shots interests me almost as much as the subject.

The best shots from the evening are shown below, I hope you enjoy them.

 

This is the first time I’ve been pleased with close up Primrose shots.

Please follow the circle to see the next blog and more great Lensbaby shots by Melita Kyle

Primroses – Lensbaby Blog Circle

Welcome to the third post in our Lensbaby Circle Blog.

Primroses are a flower I’ve always struggled to get good photos of so I thought I’d have a play using different Lensbaby optics and lenses. Their delicate colour is difficult to capture and when I try post processing the results the colour doesn’t seem to look real. I got my tripod out along with my macro converters and lenses enabling me to get really close. The colours are straight out of the camera. Despite taking notes I still managed to mix up which lenses and optics I used. I need to get more organised.

I am pleased with the results below, I hope you enjoy them.

I did have the Sweet 80, Plastic optic, Single glass optic, Soft focus optic, Edge 80, Twist 60 and Sweet 35 out.

For more great Lensbaby Images follow the link to Stephanie’s blog and the others til you’ve completed the circle.

Spring Flowers – Lensbaby Blog Circle

It was one of those beautiful sunny winter days which was also freezing cold. A great day for capturing the spring flowers which are beginning to come out. Tyke can now go out , and all week I’ve been walking him round the block, past a fantastic array of snow drops and crocus, wishing I had time to go get my camera. Today I left Tyke at home and went out with my camera and Lensbaby Velvet 56.

Having had some fun there I went up the garden to the bunch of primroses which are growing in a shelter spot by the steps. My favourite shots from the day are below. I hope you enjoy them.

Follow this link to see Keri’s great photos

Introductions – Lensbaby Blog Circle

When Janet Broughton from Definitely Dreaming first suggested the idea of a Lensbaby Circle Blog I thought “that sounds like fun”. I decided to give it a go and this is the first post in this series.

I had no idea what I was going to write about in my first post and slowly some ideas started to come together but life got in theĀ  way meaning I couldn’t carry them out. Just as I was struggling to think of something, life took another unexpected turn and one of the events preventing me executing my original ideas suddenly turned into a positive.

We now have an English Springer Spaniel puppy, called Tyke. So meet Tyke …

He is eight weeks old, sleeps, eats and terrorises our other dogs Jack (2 year old German Shepherd) and Splat (4 year old English Springer Spaniel).

He makes great subject for Lensbaby lenses and to get good photos I had to work with smaller apertures than normal and get out my flash gun. The photo above was taken with the Sweet 80. I need much more practice at positioning the sweet spot to capture him on the move.

I swapped to the Edge 50 and captured the following shots, where Splat has had enough and makes his escape leaving Tyke with the sofa to himself.

Having claimed the sofa he then decided it was time to fall asleep. I swapped to the Soft Focus optic and had a play while he slept in my lap.

This optic seems to capture to gentleness of his sleep perfectly. It wasn’t long before he was up and on the go again. This time playing with Jack…

and attacking my old shoes…

These were taken with the Velvet 56 lens at f5.6. This was different for me as I normally shoot with this lens at f1.6 – f2.8, but I love the way they have captured his playfulness.

It wasn’t long before it was time for another nap…

I usually shoot flowers so it was a challenge to capture a moving target. I remembered some of the basics of using a flashgun and was amazed that these worked so well. I had fun and so did Tyke. Hopefully he’ll learn to love the camera.

To see the other blogs in the circle and more great Lensbaby photos please follow the links til you get back to where you started. To see Ute Reckhorn’s Lensbaby circle blog click here.

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