LAVENDER FIELDS – 29

This week the photography club took a trip to the Lavender Fields in Ickleford, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire. We chose a very hot day, but the lavender looked good, the bees were humming and the occasional splash of red from the poppies added to the scene.

From a selfish photographers perspective, it was quite crowded but I managed some shots to capture the colour – and the atmsophere.

Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

A busy white-tailed bumble bee.Hithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

Poppies against the lavenderHithchin Lavender @ Ickleford

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PANSHANGER PARK -28

On Friday we took a look at Panshanger Park, near Hertford. More info here Panshanger Park

Plenty of walking space across open fields and through wooded areas. To cover the whole are you’ll need a few hours – downside to this : no toilet facilities ( that we found ) and no refreshments ( that we found ). But still, a place to visit.

Some images from our trip : The Osprey Lake

Panshanger Country Park by John Allen-4

A colourful Peacock butterfly, sun-basking on a rough path.

Panshanger Country Park by John Allen-2

Cardinal Beetles securing their future

Panshanger Country Park by John Allen-1

Be careful what you say – these trees have ears.

Panshanger Country Park by John Allen-3

All taken on the Olympus EM-1 Mk 11 with a 12-100mm Pro Lens

The Shuttleworth Collection – 27

First, an apology. I tried something different last week – a slideshow of images from my visit to Ickworth House.ICKWORTH HOUSE – 26 I think some people had trouble seeing the images – they weren’t always visible in email handlers, the blog needs to be opened in a browser window – click on Pixels and Pronouns in the header line and this should happen.I’ve edited it back into my usual look! Sorry about that.

This week, more in my old style and set-up!!

Yesterday, Sunday 7th July, I went to the Shuttleworth Collection near Biggleswade, for their Military Aircraft airshow .

Here are some shots of some of the aircraft on display – flying and/or on the ground.

The highlight of the day? Easily, seven Hawker Hurricanes flying together. Only eight of these beautiful aircraft flying in the UK, and Shuttleworth managed to get SEVEN of them together – the highest number to fly together since 1946!!.

Hawker Hurricanes

Shuttleworth Air Display-1Shuttleworth Air Display-4Shuttleworth Air Display-5

Boeing B-17G ‘Sally B’

Shuttleworth Air Display-2

Westland Lysander

Shuttleworth Air Display-3

Bristol Boxkite, 1910 ( Replica )

Shuttleworth Air Display-6

Avro Triplane, 1910 ( Replica )

Shuttleworth Air Display-7

Not been to Shuttleworth? Go! It’s a must visit ( IMHO )!!

Flower Images – 25

Some different takes on flower photography this week.

The first is the studio shot of a freshly cut rose. This was an experiment into 3D ( or stereoscopic ) photography and this is only one of the pair of images I took. Sadly at the moment I can’t show you the 3D effect – but maybe later.

FLOWERSby John Allen~ 1

This one is a table decoration in a local coffee shop. A grab shot on an iPhone with natural light. I left the ‘order number’ and the books in the shot as added interest.

FLOWERSby John Allen~ 2

These last two are of wild flowers on a recent visit to Switzerland : the first a worm’s eye view, and the second thistle-like ( or clover? ) plant attracting the interest of an small insect.

You can see I’m not at all clued up on the names of Flora and Fauna – but in my mind, it’s the image that counts!

FLOWERSby John Allen~ 3FLOWERSby John Allen~ 4

TEXTURE – 24

This week I’ve been thinking about Texture as an important element in my images. Of course, everything has ‘texture’ to some degree, but capturing that in an image is not straightforward. The answer, in the main, is in the lighting – and certainly side-lighting is a great way to bring out the texture in many subjects.

Using texture as a form of contrast in the image is always powerful, as in the feather and chain shot. I’ll leave it to you to decide if these work for you. That , after all, is the acid test!

Feather and ChainTexture by John Allen-1

Old Paint.Texture by John Allen-2

Rendered BrickworkTexture by John Allen-3

Chasms in the SandTexture by John Allen-4

 

From Austria – 23

Just back from Zell am See in Austria – a little late with the post, but I’m trying to catch up. We’ve only been away for a week and there seems so many things to do!!

Anyway – up near the Großglockner mountain ( Austria’s highest ) in the Hohe Tauern National Park, the snow was still stacked pretty deep!

DEEP SNOW by John Allen

The Krimml Waterfall – absolutely stunning – too high to walk to the top – but you can get quite wet just by stopping to watch the water. Apologies for the water droplets on the lens. Perhaps i should have taken an underwater camera mount!!!

KRIMML by John Allen

And a perfect reflection in a small tarn, as we would call it – or is it a reservoir? – just above Zell am See where we were based for the week. Some twenty seconds later the breeze came up and the reflection was gone!!

REFLECTION by John Allen

So, just three of my 700 plus images – and some bits of video. A fantastic week – and I travelled very light – my Olympus EM-1 MkII and a single lens – my 12 -100mm f/4 Pro lens. I did take a wide angle (8mm) and a macro lens but they never left the hotel room

Thro’ A Crystal Ball – 21

I’ve been photographing black and white geometric patterns through a crystal ball. In fact, two crystal balls in the second image – a small ball balanced precariously on top of the larger one.

The challenge proved to be getting the shot without reflections for the lights. I ended up using a long exposure and painting in the lights with different torches and video lights.

The Live Bulb exposure facility on the Olympus OM-D EM1 was very useful here as you can see the image build as well as being able to monitor the histogram develops

Crystal Balls by John Allen-2

Crystal Balls by John Allen-3

Crystal Balls by John Allen

All taken on the Olympus EM-1 with a 12 – 100mm f4 Pro lens, imported into Lightroom Classic CC  and then tweaked  and cleaned up in Photoshop CC. The background pattern was also created in Photoshop and then printed out as an A3 image.

SMOKE & MIRRORS – 19

This week I’ve been making smoke! Joss stick smoke, in fact.

All of these images started off as a shot of smoke lit with a single flash unit, against a black ( very black ) background. Each was then post-processed ( ie manipulated ) in Photoshop CC,  which is where all of the colour and the reflections were added in.

Like inkblot images, you can see things in most of these shots! Well, I can!

01-SMOKING by John AllenAngels?

02-SMOKING by John AllenKissing Ducks?

04-SMOKING by John Allen

05-SMOKING by John Allen

A burning joss stick – multi-layered, the exposure for the joss stick layer was flash plus 2 seconds to catch the red of the burn.

A Week In Kent – 18

Just back from a week away in Kent. We stayed south of Canterbury, on a farm in a small village called Stelling Minnis. Came back with too many images – can’t show you them all but here are a favourite four that might just interest you!

Maybe next week I’ll show you some more. On the other hand …..

The cloisters at Canterbury Cathedral. A superb building, but unfortunately covered in scaffold for a much need clean. 01-KENT by John Allen

The White Cliffs of Dover. We were lucky enough to see a ( two seater ) Spitfire ( maybe from Biggin Hill? ) that did a run past the cliffs then came back and barrel-rolled overhead the docks. Sadly, wrong lens on the camera – I was travelling light that day!02-KENT by John Allen

Coloured chairs outside the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery at Margate. Is this ‘Still Life’? Or just a picture of four chairs?03-KENT by John Allen

The evening sky the night before we left. Not quite my last shot of the week, but it certainly made me feel good.04-KENT by John Allen

More next week? Maybe. 🙂