Spring In The Park – 07

Images of spring flowers taken this very morning on an early(ish) walk through our town park.

I won’t attempt to name them – I can just about recognise a Snowdrop – but all were taken on my Olympus EM-1 Mk II with a 60mm macro lens; all natural light with some ‘tweaking’ in Lightroom.

And followed by breakfast in the Park Café. A perfect morning.

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Ice Patterns – 05

These fantastic patterns appeared on our conservatory windows one morning earlier this week. To good to miss, I took the opportunity to take a few shots using a 60mm macro lens on the Olympus EM1 Mark II – and a tripod.

All backlit with natural light from the garden – and tweaked ( a touch ) in Lightroom Classic CC.

01-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

02-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

03-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

04-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

Flash In The Garden – 02

One of my previously broken New Year’s Resolutions was to get to grips with off-camera, outdoor flash photography – away from my usual safety net of a home studio and lots of time!

So eventually, a couple of days ago, I ventured outside into the garden with my Olympus OMD MKII, a 60mm macro lens and flash gun ( on an extension lead ) to catch whatever was about.

The first three images are of a clump of fungi Daphne had spotted growing in a sheltered corner of the garden. Fungi in January? A little unexpected – but then our winter, so far, has been quite mild – nothing to the atrocious weather that has struck parts of continental Europe. Our thoughts go to anyone who is suffering as a result!

01-garden flora by john allen02-garden flora by john allen03-garden floraby john allen

The final image is of grass growing in the crevices of an old tree stump (thanks, Trevor!!). This is probably the result of bird food left in the stump for the passing wildlife – but then again, we’ve not seen much of that over the past few weeks. They are obviously being fed somewhat better further down the road.

04-garden flora by john allen

Studio Flower Shots #2 – 50

Not much incentive to venture outside in this cold grey weather. So I’ve hunkered down in my (Slightly) warmer garage/studio and taken more studies of shop-purchased flowers.

Fairly weak on identifying  which is what, but then it’s the image that counts. Hope you agree. 🙂

Orchid
Orange
Purple Macro

The ‘Purple Macro’ is a single shot. I’ve just rediscovered my Sigma Ring Flash and dragged it out for this shot. With the flower-head just a couple of inches in front of the 60mm macro lens, even lighting is always going to be difficult. There are still some dark shadows in the centre of the image, but I think I can live with those.


Ornamental Kale?

The “Ornamental Kale” shot is a focus-stacked image – 18 individual layers, merged together in Photoshop CC to give the deeper depth of field.

All taken on the Olympus E-M1 MkII with a 60mm macro lens. Will Olympus ever bring out a macro lens in their Pro Lens series?

Connaught Water – 48

An early morning walk in Epping Forest took us to Connaught Water, a large stretch of water near Chingford.

Not great light, but thankfully the rain held off. The second image is of some tree branches close to the water – a 25 second exposure taken with a ‘big stopper’ filter to give the water that soft, creamy look.

Connaught Water
Shapes
Texture
Old Tree
Fungi

Flower Portraits – 47

It’s been much colder this week – and the light outside has gone grey and flat.

So I’ve retreated into my small studio in the garage and been experimenting with studio shots of shop-bought flowers. Maybe as Winter passes and Spring arrives I’ll try something similar with the seasonal wild-flowers as they appear during the year. Maybe even try to achieve this outside where the plants are growing. Maybe!!!

Flower by John Allen-1Flower by John Allen-4Flower by John Allen-3Flower by John Allen-2

All taken on the Olympus OMD EM-II with a 12-100mm Pro lens and a couple of flash guns. Plus a little bit of Photoshop magic. 🙂

Latton Common & Woods – 46

An early morning walk across a local common – Latton Common near Harlow – gave me these images.

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The light was amazing – the sun was creeping up, but there was mist amongst the trees, giving the woodland an almost fairy tale feel! I travelled light – just the Olympus EM-1 and a Pro 12-100mm lens.

Early morning has to be the best time of the day – especially when the photography is followed by coffee and porridge in the local coffee shop!

A MOUSE TALE – 44

I was lucky enough back in April to be invited along to witness the flying of a Tawny Owl in a privately owned bluebell wood.

At the end of the display the owl was rewarded with a meal of a mouse – and I was rewarded with a sequence of images that show the bird manipulating the meal and then swallowing it head first having initially, I am told, crushed the mouse’s skull with its very powerful beak.

A MOUSE TALE by John Allen

All taken on the Olympus EM-1 MkII + 40-150mm f/2.8Pro lens, ISO 2000, f/3.5 and 1/125sec in natural lighting.

EPPING FOREST WALK – 43

A walk through Epping Forest this morning just after a short rain shower.

The forest had everything – colour, sunshine, bright red fungi, old trees with nooks and crannies and the blazing oranges of autumnal ferns.

All images taken on the Olympus EM-1 with a 45 – 150mm lens. I travelled very light.

EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-1EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-2EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-3EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-4EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-5EPPING FOREST WALK BY JOHN ALLEN-6

Is there a better way to spend an autumn morning?

SPIDER ALERT!! – UNINVITED HOUSE GUEST – 40

LOOK AWAY NOW IF YOU DON’T LIKE SPIDERS.

Overnight this uninvited guest moved in and built a huge web in the hallway of our house. The web was anchored to a lightbulb, one of my shoes and a plastic shoe tray.

It was a magnificent piece of engineering – but it had to go – as did the spider!!

SPIDER by John Allen-1SPIDER by John Allen-2SPIDER by John Allen-3

All images taken on an Olympus OMD EM-1 MkII with a 60mm macro lens – and some extra light from a small LED torch.