Category Archives: Plants

Garden Flowers

Well the lockdown has given an excuse to potter in the garden, and there is certainly plenty out there to keep me occupied. There’s weeding to be done and shrubs to be cleared. That said, there are also lots of flowers to be photographed, which has given me the opportunity to develop this aspect of my photography. Most of these were taken with a macro lens, or the long end of my 100-400 zoom. And I got down low to take them, occasionally using a tripod and remote trigger for the very small close-up shots. They were all photographed in natural light.

forget-me-not

Forget-me-nots


I shot this in strong light, but deliberately under-exposed to kill the background. There was a small amount of tidying up needed in processing (stray leaves and bits of light on the ground), but less work than you might expect. It’s fairly typical of a lot of my photography, with the background providing a strong contrast to the subject.

buttercups

Buttercups

Daisies

Daisies


Our ‘lawn’ is more like a meadow, part of the problem (or benefit) of being on the South Downs. I do like the buttercups and daisies though.

Herb Robert

Herb Robert

Herb Robert

Herb Robert


This tiny flower is Herb Robert, which has sprung up all over the place. It’s very pretty, but quite invasive, but it adds a nice splash of colour.

grape hyacinth and anenome

Grape hyacinth and anenome


These have also seeded themselves. The grape hyacinth is dying back now, but was everywhere in late March. Same with the anenomes, which have now faded.

Cornflower

Cornflower

Cornflower

Cornflower on textured background


The cornflowers are steadfastly appearing everywhere but the flower beds. They are pretty and I had a bit of fun with processing the second shot with a textured background for a more ‘artistic’ feel! Maybe a touch of lockdown fever got to me, but I’ve been learning a lot about processing during the past few weeks courtesy of Foto-Buzz, the photographic learning community run by Andrew James and Jon Adams.

The final shot for the moment is another plant that has ‘taken over’ – a very pretty cyclamen coum. And as with the first photo I’ve made use of the strong light and under-exposed to get the dark background.

cyclamen coum

Cyclamen Coum

Also posted in Wildlife Tagged , , |

Some Small Delights

This is a bit of a mixed bag of photos,some taken over the weekend at home, and others at Falmer. I’ll start in the garden with a photo of two bees enjoying some wild marjoram that has invaded our ‘lawn’ (it’s more of tiny meadow right now!).

Bees on wild marjoram

Bees on wild marjoram

Just alongside from there we have an old prefabricated pond. The newts like it, but it is being slightly overgrown by blackberry. The fruits are ripening and will serve birds or foxes well.

Ripening blackberries

Ripening blackberries

Now for the photos from Falmer. The first was unexpected, and was pointed out to me by a workman from the local farm. A kestrel had found a temporary perch at the rear of St Laurence Church.

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

Kestrel at St Laurence Church, Falmer

The second is a bird I’ve been trying to photograph for a week or so, with little success. It’s a common sandpiper. They are highly prone to zip off into the distance, but this was just sufficiently in range and nicely perched on a floating branch in the middle of the pond.

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

Common sandpiper perched on a branch in Falmer Pond

There’s a treelined area (not quite a wood) along the southern fringe of the pond which provides a good habitat for the speckled wood butterfly. They enjoy the shade. This one is sharing a leaf with a greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

Speckled wood butterfly and greenbottle.

The last shot was taken over the fields at the western end of the pond. It’s not perfect, but capturing swallows in flight over uneven ground isn’t easy. Most of my efforts were badly out of focus, but this one just about works.

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Swallow in flight over fields at Falmer

Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS Mark II lens.

Also posted in Bee, Birds, Butterfly, Insects, water birds Tagged , , , , |