ARCHIVE 373 – OUR HAZEL, IN AUTUMN

 

 


.

Autumn leaves form a carpet around the Hazel in our back garden; 30 Oct 2009.

Used away from the horizontal, the fisheye lens has given the whole photo the appearance of showing an elevated ridge in the ground.  Back beyond the Hazel’s trunks, the patches of green lawn appear to be sloping down to either side.  And the nearest leaves seem to be bulging up towards the camera, and to be swirling in a circular fashion – which is an effect I like.

Technique: D700 with Sigma 15mm full frame fisheye; 800 ISO.

.
.
.

STANTON DREW 50 – VILLAGE LIFE 15

 

 


.

A gardener’s sense of humour, beside the little lane that leads up to the church.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film preset; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 49 – PARADISE 2

 

 


.

Not sure this is Paradise but, if it is, I wasn’t allowed in.  Even, in desperation, venturing to mention my untarnished soul failed to gain me entry, the general feeling being that, if my soul really is in such pristine condition, I must have had it Photoshopped.

The first picture of Paradise, of a rather more accepting and welcoming scene, can be found here .

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 83mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 6 July 2018.
.
.
.

ARCHIVE 364 – INSIDE THE FLOWER OF A DOG ROSE

 

 


.

Inside the flower of a Dog Rose.

I ought to know what the tall structures are but, as I firmly bade farewell to studying anything botanical in 1968, I’m unsure.  Stamens maybe?   ….. I’m more sure of one who will know the answer …. wonder who that can be??? …….. ?

Getting away from reality – oh, that’s better!!! …. –  the blurred dark element almost reaching the lower right corner, and a similar dark object diametrically across the flower’s centre, look like slim, beating wings.  And the blurred, slightly greenish “thing”(!) in the lower left corner might be a beak – so is this some exotic bird in flight, with bizarre and erect plumes on its back?

And if you don’t believe that such feathers exist, search Google’s images for flight shots of breeding plumage male Standard-winged Nightjars – and I have a feeling there are other examples in the Far East and South America too.  Ah, signs of a misspent youth …

The rose’s petals are pale, and serve as a diffuse backdrop.

Click onto the image to open another version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it.

Technique: D700 with 105mm Nikkor lens; 6400 ISO; our back garden, Bristol; 24 June 2013.

.
.
.

ARCHIVE 360 – COWSLIPS

 

 


.

In amongst the Cowslips near the bottom of our garden; 24 Apr 2013.

These beautiful little flowers have been growing in our garden for many years now.  We certainly didn’t plant them, so the initial seeds were presumably brought in by birds.

I love these simple flowers very much and, every year, encourage them to spread by delaying mowing the areas they inhabit until they have fully gone over and gone to seed.  This is one of the extremely few thought out gardening plans I have  – and it works!  Every year they spread further – wonderful!

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO.

.
.
.

GARDEN 70 – MUNTJAC

 

 


.

Muntjac stag relaxing at the bottom of our garden.  We have a long back garden.  This green space is largely “natural”, that is, untended,  save for occasional forays with a voracious petrol lawn mower lovingly known as The Destructor; and other forays with other vicious blades when the various trees and shrubs threaten Total World Domination.  But, other than that, the garden is left much to itself and, as it backs out onto a suburban wilderness, the bottom of our garden is largely a quiet, secluded, sheltered place.  Badgers and Foxes call in, and we often see tiny (roughly Fox-sized) deer called Muntjac, that have been introduced to the UK from China.

Muntjacs are mainly active at night, but during the day they are also to be seen in secluded places – and we are happy that they consider the bottom of our garden such a safe spot during the hours of dangerous daylight.  On Sunday, a pair were resting in the tangles at the garden’s end.  The doe was largely invisible, but the stag more in view.

Sitting beside me, I had the D800 camera attached to the love of my life, the 70-300 Nikkor zoom, and the more I looked at this distant deer looking back at me, the more I thought “photo!“.  The small animal was for sure a long way off and semi-obscured too, but because the D800 has so many pixels, its possible to use its sensor reduced to APS-C format, which still provides enough pixels for a reasonable image – whilst multiplying the focal length of full-frame lenses by x1.5.  So the long end of my zoom, 300mm, became a very useful 450mm – times 9 magnification – and, handheld, I was in business!

I opened the lens aperture to its widest and ramped the ISO up to 6,400 to try to avoid camera shake and, bracing myself against a wall, started taking pictures through the closed kitchen window. The camera’s autofocus became confused by the vegetation’s tangles – and so to manual focusing.  But although recognisable, these images were softened by the light’s passage through the window’s double glazing.  These deer are notoriously timid and flighty and opening the window seemed unwise but, very carefully, slowly and quietly I did it – and the stag remained still.

And here he is, with his small, swept back antlers.  He has little tusks on his upper jaw too, but even if the bottom of his face were not obscured, these can be hard to see.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in APS-C format to give 450mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Vivid film simulation; Bristol; 7 Jan 2018.

.

.

.

STANTON DREW 45 – VILLAGE LIFE 12

 

 


.

Cooking apples (cookers!) being given away in a front garden beside the road along to the prehistoric site.

Again the honesty thing – takers can leave donations in the jam jar if they wish, and the money will then go to charity.  Looking at these apples makes me think of large, deep apple pies of the sort my mother used to make, cooked with lots of sugar to sweeten the apples and served with vast outpourings of hot – and not too thin! – custard!!!

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11   .    Each will open in a new window.

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T1 and wide angle (upper image) and X-T2 with the telezoom; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film preset; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
.

.
.
.

GARDEN 69 – ANGRY MORNING

 

 


.
I was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, which faces due east, and being struck by the ferocity of the winter sunrise over to the southeast.  A wild morning, an angry morning, the sort of morning that has an undeniable wild beauty, but which takes some strength of resolve to get outdoors and get to grips with.

And in front of me an oak tree that I have watched grow up from a naturally sown acorn – perhaps buried and forgotten by a squirrel – over the past twenty or so years.  And although it does not know it yet, an unfortunate oak, a healthy and burgeoning tree that because of its close proximity to the house will have to be cut down in the near future.

But back again to that fierce, early light, which was transfixing as it radiantly backlit the few of the oak’s leaves that had managed to hang on during the recent gales.  The camera was to hand, and so to spot metering … and the wonderful luminosity of those last few leaves.

And although it is a rather underexposed caricature of the original, below is an idea, just an idea, of the angry sky that was producing this beautifully fierce, hard and cold light …
.

.

Click onto each image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); spot metering; Lightroom; Bristol; 8 Dec 2017.
.

.

.

BIRDS 102 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


.

Adult Wood Pigeon amongst the autumn leaves and raggedly cut grass on our back “lawn”, photographed through the double glazing of the kitchen window – opening the window even a tiny bit would send these birds rocketing frantically away!  Here I tapped very, very gently on the inside of the window to attract their attention and, after a brief glance towards me, they carried on foraging.

A small flock of these pigeons have taken to visiting our back grass, and its a real pleasure seeing them there.

This is in fact an agricultural pest, a bird that anyone can shoot.  And this is a species that I’ve actually eaten but, well, that was nothing to write home about – and anyway I’d far rather be looking at them!

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Bristol; 23 Nov 2017.
.
.
.

STANTON DREW 40 – VILLAGE LIFE 7 (MONO + COLOUR)

 

 


.

Child’s swing, empty, above autumn leaves – no one has come out to play!

This is a strange garden, which belongs to a short row of houses in the village.  It is quite large, and set upon what is effectively a traffic island, with the main lane through the village on one side, and two smaller lanes on the other sides.  On two sides its raised up at about head height above its surroundings so that, looking across it, your eyes are near ground level.

It houses some clucking hens and their coops, with nothing except the drop to keep them from straying off along the lanes.  And there is this swing, hanging from a large tree.

An introduction to this Village Life series can be found here: 1 .  Further images are here: 2 3 4 5 6  .    Each will open in a new window.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: D700 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 120mm; 1600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset and selectively restoring colour; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 22 Oct 2014.

.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: