The 18mm f2 lens was the first of the trio that I sold shortly after today ... spending an afternoon with it initially led me to believe that it wasn't the right focal length for me (27mm in 35mm equivalent). However looking through the photos, I think they have a different feel to my usual - I can't quite put my finger on it but its more than just the wider perspective and greater atmosphere caught by using a wide angle.
The dreary clouds tempted me to switch into monochrome and my walk started by crossing Lambeth bridge when the Garden Museum caught my eye. Well worth a quick visit, the homespun milieux seems almost out of place within the church, while the Garden Cafe serves vegetarian and vegan meals prepared from seasonal produce grown in house.
The view over the Thames and the millennium foot bridge was taken from the restaurant at the top of the Tate Modern, also worth the climb for the views alone. Although I didn't realise it at the time, I've photographed the same woman twice, the second of which I found quite amusing. Another Friday afternoon of rambling finished several miles down the Thames path, past London Bridge, Butlers Wharf and Bermondsey before concluding at Rotherhithe.
Technical details: Fuji X-M1 with Fujinon 18mm lens.
Like last year (click here), here is another round-up of some of the most memorable images taken over the past year. Click the photos to navigate to the associated full blog post. Happy viewing!
Please take a few minutes to vote for your favourite photos - click here.
A break in the torrential rain and gale force winds allowed us to take a pleasant (albeit muddy!) walk around Overton - home to a Roald Dahl museum (closed on xmas eve) and was once the site of a great sheep fair where 50,000 animals would be driven to the pastures by the river to be sold. There is also the remnants of an important milling industry - flour, silk production and cotton paper for bank notes. However, the historical highlight of the walk was an adventurous walk on The Harrow Way (fifth photo) - claimed to be Britain's oldest road that can be traced from Dorset to the Kentish coast. "Tin-traders, farmers, hunters, drovers, warriors and pilgrims have trodden out its course over perhaps five millenia - maybe much longer[!]" (Sommerville quotes in Walks in the Country). All the more dramatic as many trees lining the edges of the road had fallen in the recent winds and created and obstacle-course-like trek through what I thought was going to be a shortcut. I thought the sign shown on the photo was ironic! Finally, this area is also the inspirational setting of Richard Adam's classic tale Watership Down.
The more regular Capture the Soul blog readers will be aware that I rarely delve into the world of Instagram-esque photographic effects. However, something (I'm not sure what!) inspired me to play with the Art filters on the PEN Mini: most of the below have been taken on with using Dramatic Tone, however the second and third use the Grainy Film and Diorama filters (the latter I noticed is frequently used in the great BBC series Sherlock). Lastly, photos 5 and 8 have used the Pop Art filter.
Technical details: Technical details: Olympus E-PM1 with 14-42mm lens.
Testing out a new lens while taking a countryside walk in Witney, during the Raj Saubhag Yuva Retreat. Aside from slightly slow focusing (and the known small aperture of lens), it didn't disappoint - especially considering its value for money, size and weight.
Technical details: Technical details: Olympus E-PM1 with 40-150mm lens.
Our dear friend Bal had long recommended a visit to the national arboretum (a botanical garden devoted to trees) in Autumn and we were lucky to have the opportunity to witness this riot of colour, or as the Forestry Commission describe it, "a natural firework display"!
Details on the arboretum: "The historic, Victorian picturesque landscape and internationally important tree and shrub collection contains 14,902 labelled trees (around 2,500 different types of tree), comimg from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates. Planting started in the 1850s by Robert Holford; the rich Victorian landowner to whom the Westonbirt estate belonged." (Forestry Commission)
Technical details: Sony a850 with Tokina 19-35mm and Tamron 28-75mm lenses.
Photos taken during a circular walk that trails away from the Aquadrome, across farms and into the woodland - details and map can be found here.
Technical details: Olympus E-PM1 with OM Zuiko 28mm f2.8 lens.
A very belated Happy New Year everyone. Apologies for the delay - I've got a several exciting 2013 posts coming very soon!
Wanted to share some highlights of the year in an end-of-year collage.Actually, I've only included the second half of the year (1/2 / 2012 ?) since the blog was started in July. Looking through, I feel privileged to have had so many stunning opportunities to attempt to capture this variety of visual beauty. Click on the images to take you to the relevant posts from earlier this year. Unusually, photos are square-cropped here so not in original shape. Alternatively you can see the images in their normal form in the slideshow below.
Comments / feedback welcome - just click on the "add comments" text at the bottom on this post.
Slideshow of above photos. Hover over the photo and click "play".
Today we are treated to a delightful guest write-up by our dear friend Bal - with whom we had the pleasure of staying and spending time with on this fabulous Autumn weekend.
"The serene county of Gloucestershire is well known for the beauty it nurtures and what better way to appreciate this beauty than a walk in the Forest of Dean? Perfected by the most crisp and sunny autumn day this was indeed a day we will cherish for years.
Friends add humour, fascination and beauty to life. They keep us humble when we get too self-righteous and make us smile when we take ourselves too seriously. Good friends are there to help us when life throws one of its little curves at us and things look worse that they really are. What wise words... it had been many months since we had all spent some quality time together and so much had happened in this time... being able to enjoy a lovely autumn walk whilst catching up was truly one of life’s near perfect moments.
We had all good intentions to leave home at the crack of dawn this lovely Sunday however, sleep engulfed us and we left much later than we planned (the 2am sleeping on the night before is unlikely to have helped). Nevertheless, we were packed and ready in no time... and an hour later we were walking along the forest’s sculpture trail. The trail has along its path, various sculptures, as the name suggests, some more appealing than others. The giant chair is the most obvious and gives a spectacular view of the forest canopy. The autumn colours were breathtaking as the sun reflected the auburns, yellows and reds along the path. The most exciting part of the sculpture trail is that it keeps you searching for its well hidden little secrets – the giant chair, the deer, the rail track and the boats, just to mention a few.
Several hours later and with shoes covered in mud we hesitantly headed back, having explored only half the trail. This is one of life’s greatest realities – we are bound by time and all we can do is make the most of what we have. We left the other part of the trail with the promise to come back... a promise we shall endeavour to keep. "
Technical details: Olympus ZD 12-60mm lens; all unedited and straight from the camera.
Discussion, contemplation, introspection and meditation - a magical weekend away with great company. Today's challenge for like-minded spiritual aspirants: to maintain focus on the glass of water while taking a walk in the quaint village of Oakridge Lynch, in the same way an enlightened soul lives in the worldly sansaarik life around them. A massive thanks to Ajay who organised the trip and to our Guru Param Pujya Bhaishree, whose blessings were (and are) continuously with us, inspiring us and guiding us.
Technical details: Sony 35mm f1.8 lens (except last photo taken using 18-55mm); all unedited and straight from the camera.
More autumn colours from some urban green spaces.
Technical details: Olympus ZD 12-60mm lens; all unedited and straight from the camera, except the second photo which has had levels adjusted.
St James's Park:
Regent's Park (taken on 5th November):