Chinodoxa are a lovely spring bulb, although they have a reputation for being invasive. They naturalise rather prettily. These were captured at RHS Wisley earlier this month.
On Friday afternoon I spent a couple of happy hours rediscovering my macro ‘eye’ by photographing bees on cherry blossom. The light was bright and unpromising but I found a spot in the shade of a cherry tree where I could capture something of the softness and delicacy of the blossom. I am not sure who was happier, me or the bustling bees.
I very rarely re blog, but this post on a blog I follow is well worth it, even though it is not really about photography. Kat is a healthy, fit 40-something photographer with an active lifestyle. If she can get DVT without flying so can any one of us.
The tree of life. I decided it was an appropriate choice for a henna tattoo on my exposed right calf while the left calf was encased in a black compression sock. I limped around the Minnesota State Fair a week after I was diagnosed with a blood clot–a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) with suspected PE (pulmonary embolism)—and decided to take a load off my feet at the henna tattoo parlor. One never knows what may be lurking inside the human body.
March is Blood Clot Awareness Month
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has posted these statistics and sobering facts, reminding us that blood clots can affect anyone:
- The precise number of people affected by DVT/PE is unknown, but estimates range from 300,000 to 600,000 (1 to 2 per 1,000, and in those over 80 years of age, as high as 1 in 100) each year in the United States.
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Spring has well and truly arrived. Birds are feverishly gathering moss for their nests, bees are getting drunk on blossom nectar and daffodils are lighting the roadside verges with sunshine. I have been getting out with my camera as much as I can rather than spending time indoors at my desk and I am very behind with blogging and replying to comments. Please bear with me – spring fever will wear off eventually. In the meantime, this is the first of a series of short posts celebrating the arrival of this most hopeful of seasons.
I know this poem has become cliché, but really it is so beautiful I can’t think of any reason not to enjoy it again, and again.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
– William Wordsworth
Last weekend, Amateur Photographer magazine invited people to apply for places on a street photography workshop in London. I sent in some images and was delighted on Monday to hear that I had been given a place.
The workshop, which took place on Thursday, was being led by Damien Demolder, former editor of AP magazine and an experienced street shooter who regularly runs photography workshops in London.
The day began at the Tate Modern. There I met Damien, Phil from AP magazine and my fellow enthusiasts, Tim, Steve, Gagan, and Nic. Over coffee, we chatted about our experience in the genre so far and what we hoped to get out of the day. I mentioned that I would like to get closer to my subjects, not necessarily physically, but to create more of a connection between the viewer of the image and the subject. I thought I was waffling but Damien seemed to understand what I was on about.
As the day had brought us bright light with strong contrasts, Damien set us the task of using shadows in our compositions. He showed us how to use the transitional space between dark and light, capturing moments when the subject was lit but with darkness behind.
Several of us commented that we tended to walk about seeking images so Damien had us find a location with good light and then stay in one spot and wait for the shot. I really enjoyed this approach and will definitely be using it from now on!
Damien’s ‘can do’ attitude was so infectious that it wasn’t long before I had plucked up the courage to ask someone if I might take their photo.
Once that taboo was broken there was no stopping us! I had a super day thanks to AP magazine and Damien. This photo workshop thing is addictive so it’s a good thing I am booked on another workshop with Damien in April, this time as a birthday present from my husband.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and this post about my trip to the Gironde Estuary, France with Ocean Capture is long overdue.
These beguilingly delicate structures are so fascinating and so photogenic that Jonathan Critchley, the tour leader and owner of Ocean Capture, sometimes found it difficult to drag us away to do essential things like eat, sleep and, of course, as we were near Bordeaux, drink wine.
Jonathan is a great photographer, and I recommend a visit to his website. He’s also a super host and an all round nice bloke, and he plays a mean game of table football! We stayed in La Maison du Meunier, a delightful bed and breakfast hotel on the quay in Mortagne sur Gironde, where we were made to feel at home. Even though we were only there for three nights, I missed it after we left.
If you ever fancy a photography adventure in a beautiful, unspoilt region of France, I can thoroughly recommend this one. I liked it so much, I have booked another trip with Ocean Capture for next Spring. Now I just need to save some pennies!
I have many more images of the carrelets and other sights to share and a slideshow in the pipeline, but the next post will be something rather different, the images taken on a street photography day with Amateur Photographer magazine in London.