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 the  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.

The Beginning

I signed up for the Definitely Dreaming 52 project. The prompt for the first week was “Beginning”. I thought that would be quite easy as the first thing that came to mind was sunrise (the beginning of the day) and I see lots of amazing sunrises. It turned out it wasn’t that simple as the weather was wet and grey, doesn’t really go with the beautiful red sunrises I had in mind. My second thought was a flower bud, but it’s too early in the year for those.

 

I was a bit stumped. I came up with the idea about new year’s resolutions and goals and put together a still life based on this. On Saturday I felt like I was running out of time so put my idea together and got the camera out. I settled on using my Lensbaby Sweet 80 and got to work. Having played with different apertures I settled on the shot below, turned it black and white, added some texture effects and posted it.

 

Beginning
Beginning new challenges

 

Sunday morning was a bright, very cold, sunny morning. I took the dogs out on the Malvern Hills. On the way home I thought I’d check out a spot I’ve seen snowdrops growing before. When we got there I was surprised to see some in bloom. Out came the camera and the Velvet 85 lens. I got several good shots but I wasn’t happy that they showed the structure of the petals so turned them black and white. The best one is shown below.

 

This could have been my 52 projec5 first photo. It’s a subject I’m more comfortable with but it was better for me to extend beyond my comfort zone and try something different. I submitted the Snowdrops shot to the #WexMondays competition.

 

I had fun playing with both shots, I guess that’s what matters.

 

Next week’s subject is “Healthy”

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

 

 

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