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Flowers and plants have to be one of the most popular subjects for photography. For the most part they are easily accessed, they are usually colourful and striking and can be taken indoors or outdoors.

Probably the first thing we notice about flowers are their colours and as you walk about the many gardens that can be found in the UK, you see most people taking photographs of the vivid displays. There is of course nothing wrong with that, some of the displays in the larger gardens are absolutely spectacular. I am however no flower expert, I’m not even a gardener. My horticultural expertise is limited to mowing the lawn. But I sometimes do take pictures of flowers and I actually like to process most of them as monochrome. Without the “distraction” of colour, I find that I can concentrate on their shapes and textures and in my eyes they take on a new life beyond that of their immediate colour attraction.

The first two images below were taken with a Nikon D800 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens, the final image was with a Nikon P7800 compact camera.

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Constellation

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The Crown

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Orb

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Most of the images that I take, and have taken, over the years are monochrome. That’s not to say I don’t like colour images, I do, very much, it’s just that l like to produce black and white photographs. I find it easy to visualise the monochromatic values of a scene when I look at it. I can see the tones, the textures and the shapes of the scene that will make a monochrome image. It is the inclusion of these three that will enable it to become a successful black and white photograph that people may want to look at.  But once that image is produced and presented to a viewer then how successful the picture is for them as an individual is down to how they react and associate with it and how the photograph speaks to them.

The image below is an example of that. As I was taking the picture, I saw the different “layers’ of light and tone. The top band of dark leaves in the trees at the top, then the line of brightness behind the trees, followed by the tree shadows and at the bottom of the frame a lighter line of grass. To me, the tree trunks themselves became a link between all of the areas of tone and texture which enabled me to move into the light area behind them.

It was also the small details that grabbed my eye; the small plant underneath the tree trunk acting as a lead into the movement of the image; the sweep of the very light area of grass with a slanted movement to the right emphasising the viewer’s journey through the image. And finally, I liked the implied peace and quiet of the scene, making me want to explore its depth, hence its title.

That is just my thoughts on this one photograph, but what is so great about art and photography, is that we all have different feelings and different views about pictures and this is how it should be.

The photograph was taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens.

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Beckoned

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A trip to Cosford RAF museum bought the opportunity not only to look at the fantastic collection of aircraft they have from the First World War to the Cold War but also to get some great close up and abstract images.

The image below is one I took of a safety ribbon which was attached to a Harrier jump jet. These ribbons are usually attached to pins on various part of weaponry etc  that have to be removed just before the plane takes off for combat.

I really liked the way that it looked like a snake waiting to strike. The top part of the ribbon – the chain – was lost in the deep shadow of the wing whilst the ribbon itself was illuminated in a shaft of light. the shadow of the ribbon I think is really excellent and adds to the feeling of depth.

I used my Fujifim X-T1 with the XF 18-135mm, f/3.5 – 5.6 LM OIS WR. Taken at 6400 ISO, 1/200sec at f/5.6.

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There will probably be a few ‘Out and Abouts’ in Berkswell this year, as I am taking part if a project by the viewfinder.club called ‘The Walk’. The challenge is to do the same shortish walk – two miles or so – many times a year, recording the changes that you see, and trying to come up with original photographs along the way.

We awoke this morning to a light smattering of snow and so I thought that it would be a good opportunity to take my first pictures of the project. I knew that the fields and paths would be very wet and boggy after all the rain we have had, so I donned walking boots and gaiters. It was very boggy underfoot. The going was quite hard in places and there was a very cold wind blasting across the top of the hill as I ascended.

I think that I have managed to get one or two photographs that will be included in the eventual book I will do.

I used my Nikon D800 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

 

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I took the image below on a trip out to Blenheim Palace at the weekend. It’s no wonder shops are suffering this Christmas with less trade, everybody was at Blenheim – the place was completely rammed full.

Anyway, this is an image of one of the statues by the fountains. I thought it would show the detail on the D7100.

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Statue

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