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?

 

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.

 

Magical morning

After weeks of hot dry weather we had thunderstorms and lots of rain last night. It was cooler first thing this morning and misty. On the common the light was really changeable as the sun tried to burn through the clouds. Just as it appeared to be winning the light was magical.

 

 

The harebells are out and add a contrast to the golden colour of the dry common.

  • Harebell
  • Harebell

I’m always playing catch up after stopping to take photos. After loosing sight of the others after stopping to take the harebell shots this little guy caught my eye. My Velvet 85 was wide open and I quickly adjusted the focus and fired off some shots before he took off. I then reduced the aperture and got some more. As I often find my initial instincts create better shots. The smaller aperture shots weren’t in focus.

 

 

The last shot is one I wanted to take last weekend but I was playing with my circular fisheye and it didn’t work. Today with the Velvet 85 and the magical light it did.

 

 

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

 

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
 

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