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Blue Monday: Happy Birthday Blues

Blue Osteospermum

Blue Monday: Happy Birthday Blues

I was so happy that the storms blew through over the night and this morning, enabling a small group of my family and friends to join me for a birthday celebration at RHS Wisley Gardens! It was a really lovely day and I managed to process a few of the fabulous blues that we saw whilst wandering around the gardens.

 

Hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally

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RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

Seasons: Winter at Wisley

RHS Photographic Competition Winner 2014

On Friday morning I received an incredibly exciting email. My photograph Winter at Wisley had been awarded 1st place in the Seasons Category of the RHS Photographic Competition 2014! I’ve had to keep the news secret until the awards were made public today. It’s not been easy! If I hadn’t almost lost my voice to a seasonal bug, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. I owe a great deal of thanks to all my followers here on WordPress, not just for the encouragement you all gave me when picking my selections for the competition, but also for the support that you’ve given me since I started blogging almost two years ago. The photographic community we share is inspiring and I’ve learnt so much from you all!

The Rock Garden

In fact I started this blog only three weeks before this image was taken! The snows of early 2013 may gone, but they’re certainly not forgotten and, for me, they never will be. It was also during those winter snows that I captured a photograph called Round Robin, that is featured as the December image for the RHS Photographic Competition Calendar 2015. Last Winter was a disappointing one weather wise, for many across the UK is was more than that, it was devastating. Although my fiancé, Simon, hates the cold I really hope that it’s snow instead of the incessant winds and rain from a year ago that will come our way over the next few months! I know exactly where I’ll be when the snows come 😉

It was great to get feedback from the judges that indicated that I really do achieve my goals of trying to capture the magic of a moment, letting viewers see the world from my own perspective. This is what they said:

“RHS Garden Wisley is a popular subject for many garden photographers, but few are able to capture that balance between a wintry morning, a layering of snow and the warming tones of sunlight – all at the same time. This image brings all these elements together and more – the iced water, the movement from the fountain, the shape of the planting, and the beautiful interest of the Laboratory itself, combine to make a beautiful photograph. Like all good images, the viewer can imagine actually standing there looking out over the water, and feel the chill of the cold”

Well it’s most definitely not been a Blue Monday for me but I will share this with Sally’s weekly challenge for the beautiful blue tones in the skies and reflected in the snow! I’ve added a few extra photos to the post to show you some reworked (in Nik Colour Efex Pro) seasonal images from the Winter at Wisley and Round Robin photo shoots. I’ve also linked to this week’s WPC: Gone But Not Forgotten for the White Christmas we haven’t had for years but I’m hoping will come again!

The Glasshouse

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

A Three Picture Story: The Setting Of Sculptures

One of the things that I love most about Henry Moore sculptures is that they were made to work in concert with the outdoors.

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The original design for King and Queen was made in 1952 and several sculptures were cast between 1952 and 53. One is now on display outside the RHS Wisley Laboratory, overlooking the Canal. The sculpture will be in the garden until the end of September 2014.

“Whilst manipulating a piece of this wax, it began to look like a horned, Pan-like, bearded head. Then it grew a crown and I recognised it immediately as the head of a king. I added a second figure to it and it became a ‘King and Queen’. I realise now that it was because I was reading stories to Mary, my six year old daughter, every night, and most of them were about kings and queens and princesses . . . ” Henry Moore

The setting for any sculpture brings added meaning to the piece, it influences the way we experience it. Set here in these beautiful grounds they have become, for me, an Oberon and Titania. I imagine them coming alive when all visitors have gone and dancing through their garden realm, rejoicing in the fauna and flora, hastening on the arrival of Spring.

“Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place”
Titania – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by William Shakespeare