Snowdrops – Lensbaby Blog Circle

While January seemed to last forever, February seems to have come to an end ever so quickly and it ‘s Lensbaby blog circle time again.

 

Snowdrops are the first sign that spring is on its way and they are so pretty dancing in the sunshine, sometimes covered in dew. During the last few weeks I’ve found little bunches tucked away behind hedges, under trees and some out in the open. I thought it was worth bringing together the best shots to share. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Follow the links to complete the circle, starting with Birgit Franik

 

Orchid – Lensbaby Blog Circle

After the celebrations at Christmas and New Year, January is always a long, dull month. I was in town paying the bills and looking to treat myself to some cut flowers when I spotted the orchid. It was the same price as a bunch of flowers and even with my record of looking after plants, if it lasted two weeks, I’d get my money’s worth. So I gave in and bought it. It really brightens up the room.

I had fun afternoon playing with my different Lensbaby lenses and optics taking photos at different distances and angles. The two full size shots above, were taken with the Edge 50 and the close ups below, were the Velvets or the Soft Focus optic. My favourites are the ones taken with the soft focus optic, the light is softer. I haven’t used this optic for a while so it was great to get some shots I really like. It reminded how I forget about the older optics, which still have a place in my kit. I hope you enjoy the results.

To complete the blog circle  and see more great Lensbaby shots follow the links starting with Melita’s post 

 

Exploring The Old Hills – Lensbaby Blog Circle

The Old Hills is an area of common land between Malvern and the River Severn. The weather and light weren’t great at the weekend as it was a typical dull November day. The visibility was poor but we could make out the outline of the Malvern Hills to the West and other key landmarks such as Worcester Cathedral.

 

There’s more areas of cover than on Malvern Common and the Springer spaniels had great fun exploring and following the different scents. The German shepherd was happy when he found a pond to paddle in. It was interesting to explore a new area, finding new landmarks and different things to photograph. The things which caught my attention included the shape of the fern bush, the old trees which looked really spooky in the light and the odd glimpses of colour.

 

The most vivid colour was the pink and orange of the spindle tree berries. I’d never seen them before so was intrigued when I looked them up. It is a deciduous tree native to the UK and Europe. It’s botanical name, Euonymus, derives from Greek and can be interpreted as good name or lucky, although in some areas early flowering was said to indicate an outbreak of plague.

 

 

To see more great Lensbaby shots follow the link to see what Janet Broughton from Definitely Dreaming has been doing this month.

 

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.

 

Hereford Cathedral – Lensbaby Blog Circle

I spent an afternoon wandering round Hereford Cathedral last week. Although I’ve lived in the area almost thirty years and visited Hereford often, I’ve never been inside the Cathedral.

 

 

Wandering round I came across the chantry chapel which contains stained glass windows by Tom Denny dedicated to the 17th century Herefordshire poet and cleric, Thomas Traherne.

 

 

The pictures below show just some of the details which caught my eye while exploring

 

The Cathedral is famous for its Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library. The Mappa Mundi is the biggest surviving complete medieval world map. Its amazing that it display the earth as round but with the points of the compass rotated 90 degrees. Hereford  (and Scotland) are located in the lower left corner, a very different view of the world!

The Chained library has an amazing collection of manuscripts, some of which date back to the 8th century

 

 

The SAS are based in the city and the Regimental Association commissioned John Maine RA to create the sculpture and stained glass window for the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the regiment. The work is entitled Ascension.

 

 

To see more great Lensbaby shots follow the circle, the next post is Janet Boughton at Definitely Dreaming.

 

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.

 

Playing in the snow and making friends

It’s been freezing cold all week and the snow finally arrived on Thursday and Friday. We went out on the common this morning and all was quiet. Most of the people we normally meet drive to the common but the carpark was empty. Jack and Splat love the snow, the puppy is not so sure. He doesn’t have enough fat to stay warm. We were heading home when we met Saffron, which was a good excuse for some fun.

 

As we got closer to home Evie was waiting at the gate. Tyke wasted no time making friends.

 

 

It was a cold misty morning, and I didn’t really expect to take my camera out of the bag, especially as I ‘d forgotten my gloves, so it was great to get these shots using my Lensbaby Velvet 56.

 

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