Archive for January, 2010

Garden objects

For the first time this year it was warm enough (just) to sit outside and enjoy the blue skies and sunshine. Looking around as I sat with pen, paper and a warm coffee planning out this years garden,  I notice how the texture of weather beaten objects  stood out in the bright sunshine and shade. Notepad abandoned for now, I fitted my 50mm and knocked off a few shots.

Stone duck

The remains of a Hosta seed head.

Garden Hose pipe…or snake?

Garden Table

One of our reclaimed railway sleepers we use as plant shelves.

Hmm…need to sweep the paths!

Ice defrosting on my car bonnet.

Steps leading up to the kitchen

Well, I could have carried on shooting for another hour or so, but Smokey aka ‘the boy’ demanded his dinner!

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Canon 50mm Prime with Macro Filters

Yesterday evening, my DSL modem decided to give up and refuse to work anymore. It’s a shame really as I was hoping to catch Steve Job’s keynote speech and the unveiling of the new Apple iPad.

After contacting my cable provider they advised an engineer would be dispatched with a replacement for me this afternoon – pretty quick service I must say!

A few brief hours at work this morning and then it was back home so as not to miss my appointment. Wondering what to do to pass the time I thought I’d play around with my new 50mm prime lens combined with a cheap set of macro filters I purchased last year<see post http://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/macro-filters-for-my-canon-450d/ >.

The thread is slightly bigger (I’d originally purchased them to fit my 18-55 (58mm) lens but holding them steady I was able to get reasonably close without too much distortion.

Right, time to watch that keynote speech!

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Christmas Cactus ..at last!

Well, it’s only a month late (or eleven months too early) but my Christmas Cactus I’ve owned for years is finally putting on its annual show. There’s not many flowers open yet but it won’t be long before the mass of buds erupt in to trumpets of color to brighten up these winter days.

Another late bloom is our Amaryllis. Its still got a little way to go yet but by the looks of it, two for the price of one!

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Dirty water

Inspired by one of the many great photographs @project365, I really wanted to try something similar myself using a glass and water.

Tripod mounted, 1/200 F/4.5 65mm ISO100 – With all the lights switched off I used my camera’s pop up flash.

Next time I’ll aim to get more of an explosion of water.

Dirty water – with thanks to Gene.

With the lights still off & dinner cooking on the stove, I noticed how cool the gas rings looked in the darkness. Almost like a neon flower.

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Odd jobs.

I haven’t posted for a while as it’s been a little hectic of late. I did my 4th wedding shoot at the weekend (the 50mm lens really came handy especially in the dimly lit reception hall). If my friends, the bride & groom allow me to, i’ll upload a few.  Apart from that, I’ve not actually had much free time to use my new lens so hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do so soon.

The snow has finally melted and the temperatures have actually increased to the point of being able to spend a little bit longer in the garden. Looking round, there’s a few iffy areas that need a bit of attention.  I’m hoping the weather holds enough to get out there this weekend for a bit of a ‘pre-spring’ clean. Also, at this time of year, I usually declutter the garage (in winter there’s less chance of being cornered by a spider looking for a fight 🙂

The outside tap is in need of repair because the brass fitting which keeps the water pipe attached seems to have disappeared! I’ve also got the wire mesh ‘cages’ to erect and place over the veggie beds as well as a general tidy up around the paths (I must remember to add a few more bags of gravel this year). Speaking of veggie beds, I’m off to get myself a coffee, pen & paper and continue to plan for this years planting.

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New toys!

Finally, after what seems an ages (actually it’s only been a week), my Canon EF f1.8 50mm mkII arrived this evening. I’m really pleased with the results of my initial test shots but will be taking it to work tomorrow so I can get to grips with my new toy.  I hope to post a few pictures over the next few days.

I’ve also received this years Mr. Fothergill’s Fruit, Veg and Flowers catalogues to muse over during these cold winter months as I make plans for this years garden and my second year of crop growing.

http://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/?gclid=CIaQhZTZpJ8CFYQU4wodlQ-YYw

…and as an added bonus, especially as I’m taking an even greater interest in the wildlife that’s visiting our garden (even better if I can get to photograph it),  Curstie’s gift of a RHS Birds & Wildlife book she gave me this evening topped off my day quite nicely.

It’s strange really, you pick up a book, scan over the pictures and pretty much think nothing of it. Now, I’m finding  that I’m looking at the composition, lighting etc and taking inspiration from them. It’s the same, for example with gardening magazines at the moment. I thoroughly enjoy the subject, the articles contained and advice given but I’m also in awe of the photography. Weird, but great !!

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Birdwatching – Fieldfare.

Our new visitor to the garden returned with a few friends this morning so I dashed to get my camera and fitted my telephoto lens. I was hoping to get outside and get a little closer to them but the noise of the snow & ice underfoot scared them off.  These shots were taken inside and through the Kitchen window. I found a shutter speed of around 200-250th/sec was o.k hand held but in hindsight, I wished I’d lowered the ISO and increased the EV as this might have enabled me to select an even faster shutter speed (Is this correct?) Most are f5.6 at 300mm

We also had our regular Blackbirds swooping down to the pond for a drink.

One of the many Collared Dove’s in the area keeping an eye on things.

The weird looking icicles under the roof line have come down in one mighty crash but I did managed to take a few shots earlier this morning.  Some of them were almost horizontal and touching the window.

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