Seven days of nature
I was recently tagged by a friend on Facebook and challenged to post a nature-themed photo every day for seven days and nominate a new person each day to continue the challenge. To be honest when I saw this I was more worried I wouldn't have seven friends willing to take part than I was about taking the photos.
But, in a week where both cars broke down, the weather was generally not very good and a lot was going on at work and in general I soon found the challenge was just getting out there and making some images.
In the end I found the experience quite valuable as it forced me to look for beauty in my every day surroundings, even on a dull grey day. And I was also having to rush, not something that usually goes hand in hand with good photos.
Often I will plan to shoot something and wait for the right kind of weather, the best time of day, even the best season when capturing landscape images so I guess this showed me that, even in your own garden, there is something new and exciting to make an image of.
None of these images is perfect or particularly clever but the overall process of making them was challenging and fun and I thought it would be nice to place them here, together, as a record of my week.
I'm thinking I might do more of this, set myself some goals, and see what comes of it. Anyway enough writing....here are the images:
Narcissus - right outside our front door Hannah has planted these bulbs. Smaller than daffodils but just as beautiful and especially so when glistening with dew drops as these are. This set the scene for the week; shot from below the wall they are growing on just as I headed out the door for work
These palms, or cabbage trees as my Kiwi uncle called them, are all over Cornwall. This one is on the roadside on the industrial estate where I work. Shot from my car with the sun just setting behind on one of the first days of the year when it was light as I left for home
A brush with nature - inside a conifer. Walking around the garden on a grey lunch time I tried a few different images, trying to isolate some aspect of a plant and find something interesting. I ended up poking my camera inside a small conifer and focusing on a single frond and came up with this slightly abstract image.
Initially I wasn't sure what to do with this image and had others I preferred but then converting to black and white and adding a good deal of contrast brought out the highlighted edges of the leaves and created an interesting pattern overall. I don't know what species of plant this is, should ask Hannah I suppose.
View from the Dunes - I took a view similar shots while walking the dog with my youngest daughter. To be honest I wasn't that happy with any of them but I quite liked the tones and the way the grass curves around to frame the beach on this one.
In the night garden. On this day I had nothing. It was late and I'd been rushing around all day. I tried photographing a pot plant in the lounge but wasn't too happy with it. Then when I let the dog out I saw the moon was out and the sky was fairly clear. I rushed back in and grabbed a tripod setting it up by the front door. The moon and light from our window cast a glow across the foreground and lit up the plants and there was just a little movement in the clouds to create some further interest.
This shot felt a bit like cheating since I cropped away about 75% of the image to get such a close up shot. Having fed the birds I rested my 80-200 f2.8 lens on the wall nearby and shot away with a wide aperture and fast shutter speed in the hope I would get something worth showing. It worked just about but mainly it made me realise how much time and patience (and money - those long lenses aren't cheap) goes into photographing birds and other wildlife if you want to do it properly.
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