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

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

Southend Sunday – 16

Last Sunday we took a ride out to Southend-On-Sea. It was a busy, bustling place – everyone encouraged, no doubt, to be outside in the lovely weather!

Passing the fairground near the shore-end of the pier we noticed this agitated crow – apparently concerned by the rumbling of the inverted people passing by on the yellow track.

03-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

We then discovered why he was agitated – the crows had chosen to build their nest inside the metalwork of the roller-coaster. Not a great shot, but you can just see the crow standing on its nest INSIDE the framework! We guessed this was the first day that the ride had been opened this year – and we wondered how long it would be before the nest was abandoned?

04-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

But at the other end of the pier things were a little more peaceful – but we were a couple of hours early for the anticipated ‘Folk Music & Beer’ event. ( Not its official title – and we didn’t stop for it.)

But we did spot the young Turnstone on the end of the pier. He (?) seemed a little distraught and kept calling but seemed to be completely alone. Lost or abandoned, I wasn’t sure – but I managed to get quite close to him and get these two shots. My favourite is the second one. Just a bit more movement!

02-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen01-SOUTHEND SUNDAY by John Allen

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.

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