BOWTRUCKLE – 49

Bowtruckle is, apparently, a character for the Fantastic Beasts film, book, comic ย (?), I’m not sure which.

But this bendy little toy, seen in a local toy shop, looked like potential shoot material. So here she/he is – ย in a studio constructed version of what Bowtruckle’s home looks like (in my imagination!!)

Bowtruckle


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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

SHROPSHIRE – 41

We’ve just returned from a week in Shropshire where we stayed in a stunning house situated to the west of Ostwestry, close to the Wales/England border. These images are of the view from the main sitting room and verandah, looking west into Wales.

They show, not only the magnificence of the view, but also the changing light and conditions that we saw during the week.

REST ON THE HILL by John Allen-1REST ON THE HILL by John Allen-2REST ON THE HILL by John Allen-3REST ON THE HILL by John Allen-4

Even on the last days as we prepared to leave, and the rain hammered down across the valley, it still retained its splendour and beauty.

If you do not know Shropshire, go take a look. But don’t tell too many people. Keep it our secret. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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.

CORMORANT & CATCH – 39

On our trip to Berwick-upon-Tweed I decided to walk down the river to get underneath the famous railway viaduct. ( More of that later, perhaps.)

On the way I came across this cormorant that had caught itself some lunch! A huge flat-fish of some type, that seemed far too large to swallow. And, indeed, the bird did seem to spend some time trying to decide how it was going to eat its meal. Note also how much of the cormorant in the first two shots appears to be under water!!

Eventually, as shown in the final image, it swallowed the thing whole! Amazing!

CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-1CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-2CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-3CORMORANT & CATCH by John Allen-4

It sat for a while on the water, made a couple of attempts to take off, and on the third go it flew along the river and under the arches of the viaduct. What a catch.

BAMBURGH BEACH AT DUSK – 38

During our Northumberland trip we spent an evening on the beach at Bamburgh in the hour – and a little after – sunset.

The changing colour of the light was fantastic, and the colour when the sun had finally set was stunning. We could have stayed longer – but in the end the call for food, and a glass of wine, was too strong.

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

Bamburgh and the Northumberland coast is one of England’s best kept secrets. Don’t tell too many people about it!

IN THE WORKSHOP – 34

A still-life set up using many of my father’s old tools, including the wooden tool chest.

IN THE WORKSHOP by John Allen

Lit with a single continuous video lamp, through a cardboard snoot and a couple of layers of tracing paper to soften the light. The lamp glow was from a small torch behind the lamp – but the resulting very blue light needed significant ‘warming’ in Photoshop.

I hope it was worth it!