ISO 1600, F6.3, 1/320 sec – 18-250mm lens, 178mm zoom – “I think they are better over there”
ISO 250, F8, 1/250 sec – 18-250mm lens, 63mm zoom – “I am watching you”
18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 – Back focusing, I think I am beginning to understand and it does help. I think this photo is really calming!
100mm lens, f5, 1/160 sec, ISO 200 – Love the shallow depth of field and the colour from the cloudy sky
18-250mm lens, f5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100 – Bluebells in the shade and in the sun – the forest is magical.
18-250 mm lens, f6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100 – Foreground interest to draw you into the wood.
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I have been out on four separate occasions to capture bluebells and I have chosen a selection of my favorite images here. Trip 1 & 3 – 18-250mm lens, trip 2 I had my 17-70mm lens, and trip 4 my 100 mm lens – the middle two trips were to Roydon Woods and the 1st & 4th trip was to Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington.
Sorry for the long post but I struggled to choose my favorite images … as the bluebells offered such variety!
Trip 1 – my first trip to look to bluebells on the 23rd April, there was one or two out but I could not capture the feel that I wanted and a lot were still in bud… so I waited a few days and choose another spot to explore – these was at Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington.
Trip 2 – Roydon Woods near Brockenhurst with my 17-70mm lens … this was not the lens I would have taken … but I did not check my camera before leaving home – these were captured on the 25th April. I was not sure where to spot the bluebells, but I do remember visiting last year and soon remembered the way. Time was rushed … as hubby and eldest teen were with me too!
Trip 3 – A return visit to Roydon Woods with my 18-250mm lens, just the dogs and quite harsh sunlight which meant more contrast in between the sunlight and the shadows.
Trip 4 – Back to Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington, a more cloudy day and as I had finally got round to looking at the other shoots I had a different idea … what if I tried to work with a fixed lens – would that work in the woods, would it control what I looked at, what I tried to capture and would the quality be the same?
The quality of the light was different on my fourth photo walk, but I did come to the conclusion that with any of the three lens I could capture Bluebells – it might be fun to try again with a wide angle lens … but the diversity of the woodland filled with bluebells is amazing… to just stand and enjoy the fragrant flowers, to hear the bird song and enjoy places that few people venture too… make it worth going out with your camera!
It is hard though to get the essence of the woodland, to avoid the clutter, the other woodland plants and debris when you just want the focus to be bluebells without isolating them from the background… and you never know I might share with you some more bluebells yet!
I have been out on a few walks recently trying to capture Bluebells as they are just coming into flower in some pockets of the New Forest National Park, and I love them – rather than posting each time I photograph the bluebells my plan was to collect all the images together and choose a few of my favorite shots to share over a couple of days.
Most of the time when I am out taking photos and walking … I am taking my photo buddies along with me – Mack is a Golden Retriever, he is about 8 and belongs to my husband – he plods along slow and steady and Sparky (my Border Collie, 11 months old) is a bit of a wild card, full of energy and up to mischief and likes to try new things… Trying to get them to behave whilst I position my camera is never easy – if they are on the lead they tug, and ruin the shot by causing me to move the camera, they frighten away the wildlife and they just can’t help getting into shot.
Taking photos of bluebells was a real challenge – they liked the same spots I did, Mack liked to roll on the bluebells and flatten them … Sparky like to sneak into a picture unannounced just as a I pressed the shutter button.
So today’s photos that I am sharing are of my “unhelpful photo buddies”.
The plan is to show you some more bluebell photos tomorrow – I have to edit them first and I have downloaded Lightroom CC to experiment with for a month’s trial.
If you go down to the woods today … you get to see the sun back lighting the new beech leaves, you can see the vibrant colours of new growth against beautiful blue skies and contrasting tree trunks. It just makes you want to take out your camera and capture Spring.
I used aperture priority, sent the ISO to auto and let the camera decide what the shutter speed and ISO would do… and I used back button focusing… I have a video to watch on that now…. so more learning to do.
In this photo – I just loved how bright the leaves were compared to the truck behind, I choose a small aperture to try and capture some of the detail in the woods behind, but I think maybe a shallower depth of field would have worked better.
A woodland path in Spring to explore – I choose to capture this as the path leads you through the shot to the tree at the background, the green leaves look great against the blue sky and it just looks like a great place to explore!
I just loved how the sun lit the top of the leaves as I looked up from below. The higher leaves blend well into the background with this mid range depth of field – it is just a shame about the dark branches above.
Another sunlit group of Beach leaves, I like how you can see the delicate edge of the leaves almost a glow and the bokeh behind as you look up in the woodland to the blue sky above the canopy … which will no doubt disappear later in the season when the leaves have fully grown.
To shallow a depth of field on this shot below… I have focused on the leaves but not separated them enough from the path to make a great picture, but this is an example of how looking round can change your view, as this time I was looking behind me and down the hill. I am sharing this photo as one to learn from … one to think about – focusing in the right place with the right depth of field is essential to get great photos!
Who can resist baby ducks. These are a great opportunity to practice fast shutter speeds too – #Remarkable2015 – as they are quickly darting back and forth across the water, not stopping for a moment and with no real sense of direction therefore anticipation…
I was hand holding my 150-500mm lens, and was struggling to capture the ducklings, focus on them accurately and allow room for them to move into it, so plenty of negative space- #DPNEGATIVESPACE – you can read an article about is here – to balance the picture and create a good composition… I got the negative space right, but I was not always focussed sharp enough! More practice needed!
Which one works better? The next two shots are the same – but one had been flipped horizontally in lightroom – the first is as I took in in camera with the duckings paddling quickly out of shot, the photo almost stops before it starts … and the 2nd you see more of the water’s reflections somehow I think.
I need to have a look at my focusing options though … John who I follow on tumblr mentioned back button focusing the other day… so I am going to see if it will help with situations like this. I also know a quality memory card is essential as that enables the camera to write too it more quickly – I picked up that tip last weekend on my Owl Experience Days.
The only way to increase the shutter speed at my furthest focal length and widest aperture (F6.3) is to increase the ISO … but I think focusing better is what is needed most in this shots … but the ducklings were tiny and fast!
My last duckling shot – a great composition normally involved order numbers and photographing is 3’s so they from a triangle… however sometimes it is great to just break the rules – I choose to grab a shot of 2 ducklings cause to me they are twins … as a mum to twins … two cute babies brings back memories of time that has gone too fast!
Towering over the River Itchen since 1977 is the Itchen Bridge, (pictured) spanning 870 yards (800 m), is 92 feet (28 m) at its highest point and weighs 62,000 tons – as a a real treat for the event the bridge will be closed and the 10km will take you over and back across the bridge between miles 4-5.
At the top of the bridge almost 100ft up, you get a stunning view of the entire city, (not that I really appreciated it) right up the river, across the commercial centre and then out to see towards the Isle of Wight. On the descent down from the bridge back into towards the city centre, you get a close up of the vast premier league stadium St Mary’s – home of the Saints football club.
This is a view I captured of the bridge the other day on my nifty 50 on the fifth floor of a neighboring building … the view was OK from there …
This run was one of my training runs for the Great South Run which I hope to complete later in the year – I am doing it to raise awareness for Kleine Levin Syndrome (KLS) – and hoping to collect sponsors. I did not do it in my fastest time – although my husband did – he got a fantastic new PB in less than an hour, I was happy with the result… and my lovely medal – I don’t run to get a PB… I run because I can 🙂
I love fields of yellow … when you drive along through our wonderful countryside, fields of yellow make me smile. It is like a whole field of sunshine.The plant in question is the rapeseed and farmers cultivate it for its oil, and it’s also used to manufacture biodiesel, but did you know it is part of the cabbage family…
Anyway today I had the chance to pop into the field and capture my own field of yellow. I took a variety of shots, changing my angle, my aperture and my shutter speed to capture my own sunshine photos!
Below – F13, I wanted to capture the details of the field – but in reality you struggle to know what to look at… to me this is like a photo I would have taken a few years ago and been happy with it.
This is a similar image but with a shallower depth of field, and more in the shade them the above shot, the shadows are less harsh amongst the plant and your eye is drawn more to the details in the foreground.
Standing out from the crowd … delighted with this one, by changing angles and looking across the field rather than down onto it I was able to draw out the detail in the flowers and yet see the sea of yellow with the complimentary blue sky.
I would never have thought to shoot upwards .. but today I did and the rapeseed looks stirking against the blue sky, composition was much harder though as I was trying to get the flowers pointing into the image and unwanted foilage caused shadows and blur where I did not want it and did not notice in the LCD screen.
I looked up, so I had to look down – amazing what a difference that made – a totally different feel to the photo! Could you have imagined that they created such different images?
I am still back button focusing – and I discovered something amazing today … I can focus on something, move the camera and create a completely abstract shot by taking the whole thing out of focus … I love it … a really impressionist feel that I want to look at to see what I can see. A few years ago I would have thought it was out of focus, but now I am begining to get the concept that with my camera I can create an image, a feel, an impression!
I then tried selective focusing – I zoomed in onto the field and selected a plant to focus on – you can see it a third in and let the wide aperture blur the foreground and the background creating a layering effect. In the first photo I was kind of looking down onto the rapeseed and you can see lots of stalks….
Moving my feet … lowering my position and I got this shot – my favorite for today – a field of yellow sunshine which draws you into the shot to see the band of flowers in focus and then to the blur beyond.
Who knew a field of rapeseed had so many photographic opportunities!
Isn’t this the cutest little young man – he is only 11 days old and I got the opportunity to take some photos of him, there was lots to learn and it was a wonderful opportunity to capture some unique moments … but there was also so much to be aware of.
I started off by watching and reading some web sites as this was totally new for me:
I discover babies look best in black and white as it tones down their skin and makes the images look timeless.
Shutter speed of 1/100 sec plus is essential .. on the shots I used a slower shutter speed I had movement – so having a higher ISO is more important. I also had image stabliser turned on!
Props are great – I took 2 baskets with me, and they both worked – mum loved it too. I would love to try an old suitcase, or something … but the props need to be bigger too!
I used too much white/cream – a darker colour in the basket and on mum for feeding would have been better as less reflective on baby.
Babies sleep through anything once they have a full belly.
My childcare background really helps with confidence – I was happy to handle the new baby and mum was relaxed and happy that I did it … she thought he looked so cute. Going into mum’s personal space needs talking about first.
You had to go with the moment, i captured feeding, Dad holding the baby, and sleep time – and if the baby is not happy then a cuddle and a different shot … you need loads of time…
You need to move – similar shots from all different angles, zoom in and zoom out.
I want to capture more babies and I wish I had shots like these of mine, and the great news is this mum has an expectant sister… so I am hoping I get to have another go.
The photos that I gave to the Mum and Dad can be seen here:
Happy St George’s day … St George is the patron saint of England and today I took my St George’s flag down to the beach and took some photos … my original idea was to capture the flag and to celebrate being British.
However the sea caught my interest, and I ended up using my tripod and a neutral density filter to experiment with shutter speeds, to see what effect I could create with moving water, using back button focus here was great as by watching the waves I could anticipate where they were going to break and capture the shot more easily.
A high shutter speed 1/2500 sec caught the waves breaking on the rocks – timing was everything… so to get the shots that I wanted I used a high speed shutter.
Slowing down the shutter speed to 1/250 sec increased the aperture, increasing the depth of field, due to the bright sunlight and the speed of the water I was still able to capture detail on the waves.
Adding a neutral density filter, I had to manually guess the aperture to get the right exposure… here I choose a 0.4 sec exposure, and an aperture of F13 … you have enough depth of field to add some movement to the wave breaking in the background and some milky sea water in the foreground. The only thing is that my ND filter was a cheap one from ebay and it really does leave a colour cast … I need to think about setting a white balance reference point in future, or getting a better quality filter.
An increase to a 2 second shutter speed almost smooths out the sea completely, and the timing between the waves leaves the rocks covered in water.
Increasing the shutter speed to 4 secs and still shooting at F22, I was able to create a lovely milk sea with an almost eerie feel as the waves take on an almost ghostly feel – I took several shots to get the timing right and this is the one I preferred.