This is what happens when your brain is bursting with Open University STM Access Course study material and your one day off is at your grandson’s 8th Birthday Party! I see science everywhere. In this case, balloons filled with glitter and a disco light.
Am I going slightly mad?
Anyway, I shall wish our wonderful Callum a very HAPPY 8TH BIRTHDAY again! He and all the other children were just as fascinated by the patterns they could make in these balloons as I was. It was a great party!
My favourite display at the RHS Wisley Gardens Flower Show is ALWAYS the one from Pheasant Acre Plants! I adore dahlias so their display is just heavenly. They are multi-award winners, adding Best Exhibit 2018 at Wisley to their trophies, alongside a Gold Medal from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. My favourite dahlias are undoubtedly the giant decorative cultivars. I was too enthralled by the beauty of this flower to actually note it’s name! I have many images from the flower show this year but I keep being drawn back to this particular dahlia. It just has to be my entry for ShareMondays and the Fotospeed challenges this week! I captured this image with my mirrorless Sony a6000 and a vintage Helios lens. I really like the soft matte quality of the images I get. Great fun for still life, particularly floral subjects!
This last week has been a complete write-off thanks to sinus and chest infection. I know many of you have suffered similarly just recently! I’ve been back at the doctors today for stronger, more targetted antibiotics and phlocodine. Increasing my steroid inhalers has helped me breathe a little easier today but it always gives me the shakes. In short, I’m totally fed up! I just about managed to set up a piece of blown glass yesterday, so I could take a series of macro shots, from which I created a composite for today’s photo challenges from Wex and Fotospeed. Encapsulate is an abstract expression of how I have been feeling with this bug; trapped, dizzy, fuzzy, short of breath, drowning in mucus. If you’ve had one of these Winter bugs, I hope you are on the road to recovery as I very much hope for myself! I don’t do well being stuck indoors. The winter skies, misty landscapes and busy birds are calling to me!
Playing with light at RHS Wisley Gardens last week. It was only a brief outing as, like so many, I have been struggling with a nasty bug. Fresh air did me good though and I enjoyed seeing some new lighting layouts for Wisley’s Christmas Glow 2017. The last couple of years has seen the canal lined by red tulip-lights but I rather like the cooler tones in this year’s display. Very difficult to photograph the whole scene though, as those wonderful lily-lights are very bright compared to the warmer glows lighting the Laboratory Building. I found it very hard to choose a favourite from some of the images I took and processed, so I chickened out and got the hubby to choose instead! So this is my entry for the Wex Mondays challenge this week and a gallery of some of my other long-exposures and ICM play. Hope you enjoy them!
For the Wex Mondays and Fotospeed challenges this week I have created another of my little still-life squares. I added a bit of smoke to the mirror using my vape but I must say it was harder to try and control than I thought it would be! I stacked nine images together so that I could get the smoke in all the areas that I’d wanted. I kept it soft like a sea mist. These little pieces are very self-reflective. There are many times that I feel like an empty shell, a pale reflection of the person I should have become. I can put on a mask but it’s all smoke and mirrors, tricks of the light. This shell is cracked. Not fit for purpose! Even a hermit crab wouldn’t want it. Half a life of Crohn’s will do that! It’s IBD awareness week with the theme Make The Invisible Visible (Crohn’s and Colitis) so this is a way of sharing something of the impact that the disease has had on me. I think if I took off that mask and lived showing people how I really felt all the time it would absolutely destroy me. I’m a rather fragile shell really. The mask is as much for myself as for anyone else. But still, there’s beauty even in an old, cracked and empty shell.
I had another go at focus stacking this last weekend. This time my subject is botanical, the decaying petals of a hydrangea. They’re all from one flower-head but all at different stages of decay, from the age-spotted pinks through to skeletal lacy remains. The petals were arranged on glass on a black background and lit with a diffused, blue spotlight. After stacking my images in Photoshop and masking in the focused areas, I decided that the image felt more appealing, almost vintage, with some areas left soft and unfocused. I gave the whole piece a hazy, matte finish to accentuate that vintage look that is a mirror to the subject itself. I hope you like it! I’m putting this one forward for both Wex Mondays and the Fotospeed challenges this week. Good luck to all taking part!
Go back to my roots Returning to Mother Earth Remains of decay
This leaf is one of the many, fallen from the sycamore in our communal gardens. I love collecting the leaves from this tree to create macro studies from. I usually keep them all in colour, enjoying the vibrancy and richness of the many tones. This particular leaf really lent itself to a monotone study though. It’s my entry for this week’s Fotospeed challenge. Good luck to everyone taking part!