A Journey Into Nature

Over the summer myself and my new camera went on a little journey of discovery together, a nature adventure across the very modest expanse of my garden. Looking at all kinds of life and what we found was amazing.

There was stuff happening all around us, constantly. But unless you look, really look, you might not even notice. Bees, butterflies, spiders, snails, lavender, strawberries, sweet peas and more. All of these were moving, changing, growing and adapting over time, it was wonderful to watch.

IMG_1439_a_C

I really enjoyed catching some of these moments with my camera, such vibrant colours and the challenge of capturing tiny moving creatures going about their business. Patience is definitely required for this close-up macro work, unfortunately, a bee is not going to wait and flash you a winning smile! But when you get a nice sharp image from this environment the time spent feels justified.

Patience is definitely required for this close-up macro work, unfortunately, a bee is not going to wait and flash you a winning smile! But when you get a nice sharp image from this environment the time spent feels justified.

IMG_0704_c2_C

What did I learn?

  • Well, we are surrounded by some truly beautiful creatures and situations, that are so close, easily accessible and cheap (if not free).
  • When you see something that you love, share it with somebody, especially if you have kids. My daughter was fascinated by this, she‚Äôs 5, so much of the world is still new, she didn‚Äôt know what a bee and butterfly look like really close up. It was a great feeling for her to be so interested in something I had created myself.
  • As a race we need to slow down, we‚Äôre so driven by technology (which for the most part I think is good ‚Äď see next point) but we need to take a few moments every now and again to look around. Get away from your desk, put your phone down, breathe the world in!
  • What we are able to see and capture through a camera¬†lens is incredible. All these tiny elements that cannot be seen by the human eye alone. I love it. It feels a bit like we‚Äôre peaking through a window, looking into part of nature‚Äôs world where we‚Äôre not really allowed to be.

Looking forward to sharing more with you soon.

Until next time

Michelle

[All images are my own and taken with a Canon 700D]

The Bee’s Knees

I mean I can actually see the bee’s knees!

Wait….do bees even have knees? Where’s an¬†Entomologist when you need one?

Anyway, this week my daughter and I have been on ‘Bee Watch’. Now our garden is in full bloom we luckily have lots of regular bee visitors, especially to the lavender. So Daisy and I spent a lovely sunny Sunday in the garden and every time she spotted a bee, she shouted¬†to me (you know, the deafening¬†cry of a 5-year-old, the one the rest of the street can hear) and I grabbed my camera.

For the child that cannot see her shoes when I have placed them neatly in front of her, this was a surprisingly¬†successful strategy. Here’s what we captured:

IMG_0709_b2_C

I honestly can’t believe these two shots (above and below). I love them; the clarity, the detail and against the beautiful purple of the lavender. I was chuffed with these, to say the least. The level of detail I’m able to capture now, on my new camera is incredible. These two shots were taken with a standard 50mm lens!

IMG_0722_b2_C

We had a different bee friend on our Sweet Peas, the fuchsia pink serves as a wonderful background for this little bee going about its pollination work.

IMG_0674_b2_C

Bee on sweet pea

I wanted to include a shot that wasn’t a close-up. I love the lines and shapes created by the lavender stems on the right-hand side of this one.

IMG_0704_c2_C

On this last one, I changed the angle of the image when cropping it, creating an arch effect. I think this can work really well when you have a single subject with little else in the background. It draws your eye across the picture and just makes it a little bit more interesting.

IMG_0705_b2_C

I haven’t done much ‘small’ nature photography before, it was quite exciting and very challenging, trying to capture tiny constantly moving targets. I also really enjoyed the post production work because shooting insects on a 50mm lens means you can’t actually see how good the shot is until you zoom in quite drastically. Many of the images, as I expected were quite blurry but there were enough good ones to make it worthwhile.

We will be hunting for more small things in the garden this weekend too. Who knows what we might find!

Until next time.

M

[Cannon 700D with standard 50mm lens. Some shots were taken using the Macro setting and the rest were taken using the Aperture Priority (AV) mode]

 

#PointShoot

Roses In The Summer Rain

For my Mum’s 70th birthday, my Dad bought her 70 red roses, in 2 batches of 35. I know, what a lovely gesture. The second of the 35 arrived on the day of her party, in the midst of a short summer rain shower. This meant they had that wonderful glistening look and were covered in shiny water droplets. So whilst my sister hunted for another vase, I grabbed my camera and took a few shots to capture this unexpected opportunity that my Dad and nature had just presented me with!

The first two images are in the natural ‘rose’ red where you can see the real detail of the water droplets and the layers of the rose petals.

Red Rose Close Up

Red Roses

The next two images, I have added a Photoshop Autumn Filter, which I personally love. The darkening of the outer edges gives real focus to the brighter centre part of the image. Your attention is naturally guided to where I would like you to focus and enjoy the detail!

Red Rose with Autumn Filter

Red Roses with Autumn Filter

With this last image, I have taken the colour away with a black & white filter and made the contrast quite high. I love doing this, where I can because it makes the image look quite raw and adds so much texture. You really notice the layers of the petals and the difference between the light and dark areas of the image.

Red Roses in Black & White

Until next time….

M

[Cannon 700D with standard 50mm lens. ISO-100, f/5].