#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Awaken
Sapphire Spring jewels
Awaken from your slumber
Turn towards the sun
ShareMondays2020 – The Spaces In Between
The Shard is such an iconic view on the London skyline that it becomes difficult to find a new way to capture the scene. Sometimes being in the wheelchair actually works to my advantage, allowing me to gain a different perspective on my surroundings, and I couldn’t resist the angles of the bridge and stairs that framed the building. It had been a dull grey day but London becomes a colourful city when the lights come on, whatever the weather!
ShareMondays2020 – Open Wide!
My fascination with the pelicans in St James’s Park continues! I managed a short visit on Friday afternoon after an appointment at Guy’s Hospital. It’s so therapeutic after you’ve just had to hear more bad news. I was expecting it really, no big shocks but disappointing all the same. So from having to keep my own mouth wide open for the dental conservative consultant, I went to see a much more impressive wide mouth!
The bare skin on the lower mandible of the pelican is known as the gular pouch. There are other birds with gular skin but the pelican has the largest. The lower mandible expands to open the pouch allowing it to scoop it’s prey from the water. As the mandible contracts, water is expelled from the bill and the bird can then tilt its head to let the fish slide down the gullet. The gular pouch actually has a larger capacity than the pelicans stomach! You may have heard the rhyme by Dixon Merritt: “Oh, what a wondrous bird is the pelican! His bill holds more than his belican. He can take in his beak enough food for a week. But I’m darned if I know how the helican.” In fact, any surplass food is actually stored in the oesophagus!
ShareMondays2019 – Vogue
Another appointment in London led to another visit to St James’s Park last week. My lead image is a macro of one of the new pelicans. The three are just ten months old and have yet to develop their punk-like crests, but they have such beautiful shaping to the feathers on the back of their heads. They all still have some of their juvenile plumage on their wings, a brown colour, which easily distinguishes them from the three adults.
Of course the pelicans aren’t the only birds in the park! I had great fun watching juvenile coots munching on mushrooms around the edge of the lake. Anyone foraging for fungi in the Royal Parks should seek permission first! Not all fungi are suitable for human consumption, but many are an important source of food for hungry wildlife.
Lots of visitors to the park feed the birds and squirrels with peanuts. This is actually a great food for them at the moment as they contain plenty of calories to keep their energy reserves going in the colder weather. The parakeets love being fed! They’ll come and sit on your hand (head, arm or shoulder too!) to eat nuts or fruit. The smaller birds like the robins, tits and dunnocks will happily come to take bird seed from you too.
ShareMondays2019 – Golden Days
Despite all the wet weather we’ve had this month, some days are just golden! I visited St James’s Park in London last Wednesday and discovered that the flock of pelicans has doubled in size. There are now six of these magnificent birds living in the park. They were glorious to watch in the Autumn light with the rich colours of foliage on Duck Island behind them. It was lovely to see lots of people enjoying the space, feeding birds and squirrels, warming up in the cafe, having a family outing with the kids or just sitting under a tree, getting lost in a good book.
ShareMondays2019 – Tunnel Vision
I often shy away from portraiture in street photography. As much as I have always loved portraits as a subject, I feel uncomfortable trying to capture candid images of people in public. Daft really, as it’s not so different from the music events I cover! There’s something about the Leake Street Tunnel and Arches that makes me feel more at home though.
Perhaps it’s because almost everyone there is consumed by the art in one way or another. Urban artists, apprentices, viewers, photographers, party-goers and skaters. It’s a hub of activity, vibrant and constantly evolving. I rarely see the same pieces of wall art twice on my visits!
On this particular visit I wanted to try to explore the relationship between the people and the art. My lead image is an in-camera double exposure of a man who seemed to be just hanging out in the space. There was something about the lines of his face and his posture that really drew me to him as a subject. He was like a ghost passing through the space, not fully engaging, not quite there.
I tried to speak to him after having taken a few images, just to be polite and ask how he felt about me sharing his portrait online. Well, something really got lost in translation. He seemed to think that I was asking him to pose nude for me, right there in the tunnel!!!! AWKWARD! I hastily retreated and went to speak to one of the artists. That led to a much more insightful conversation. He was training an apprentice and they’d spent 7 hours working on their pieces that day.
ShareMondays2019 – The Witness
I’ve witnessed some incredible artwork in London’s Leake Street Arches over the last couple of weeks! A couple of weeks ago I joined a photowalk with Skylum Software and PhotoHound that took in the Arches, The London Eye, Southbank Skate Park and the view to St Paul’s from the Millennium Bridge. Utterly thrilled to have had one of my Leake Street images chosen as one of three winners for the challenge!
Last Friday I went up to the SheClicksNet exhibition at the After Nyne Gallery and got chatting with a number of other relatively local female photographers. What a great event it was and many congratulations to all the photographers who had their work exhibited! Feeling inspired, fellow SheClicker, Liz and headed back to Leake Street along with my lovely hubby.
The urban art is constantly evolving on the walls and I soon spotted a striking composition of a wide-eyed face, with clasping hands. It really struck me! What had this person seen through slatted fingers? It spoke to me of fear, horror, the inability to look away from something devastating. I would love to know what the original artist’s concept was! My own take on it is an in-camera double exposure, zooming out for the inverted, second exposure. The eye is just so haunting! I wanted my image to feel like fear that was spiralling out of control.
So, a huge thank you to the artists of Leake Street for this incredible, public art gallery and for providing so much inspiration with your thought-provoking pieces.
ShareMondays2019 – Walk This Way
I managed to get a few images of this wonderful robin family in the Florence Nightingale Garden, at St Thomas’s Hospital. It was absolutely tipping it down with rain most of the time! Of course that brought up plenty of worms in the flower beds. The two juveniles that I saw were loudly calling for food under the roses! I have processed my main image as a birthday gift for my brother, Robin. He and my sister-in-law, Morwenna, are expecting their first little bundle of joy, a baby boy, in September! I am one very excited auntie already and so very happy for them 🙂
This one is a fair representation of my brother a child!!
Stylised illustrative portraiture lives here.
Do everything better
VCE Chemistry teacher in Melbourne, Australia
Photographic diary of flora and fauna in the United Kingdom. Written by paulfarnfield.com
NATUR - HIGHLIGHTS - SÜDSTEIERMARK - KUNST trifft NATUR
Birds, Animals, the Occasional Dash of Whimsy and lots of Pictures.
by Sam Allen
Inspire your next adventure.