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.

 

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.

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.

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
 

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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