I know. Its been ages since I've updated the blog. Ashamedly I'm actually posting this 6 months after the above date. On the flip side, there's lots of photos to share so I'm going to try and get it all out there quickly (and may have to sacrifice detailed write-ups!)
Photos taken on a lovely spring afternoon in the garden.
Technical details: Fuji X-M1 with OM MF Olympus 50mm f1.8 lens and Teleplus Macro Converter
A gorgeous Spring day at Kew Gardens, London's royal botanical gardens, and what better place to test out a new macro lens - the Fujinon 60mm f2.4 macro. I found it to be stunning - the reviews of proclaiming edge-to-edge sharpness even wide open as well as tack sharp in the centre proved to be true - a pleasure of a lens to use. With the exception of when photographing insects, the slightly slow AF can be forgiven in light of the near-perfect optical performance.
Having a quick browse through the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition displays provided some inspiration to Neha and myself for the rest of the day! I'm hoping to return to Kew later this year in late Spring / early Summer to capture the changing flora and scenery.
Technical details: Technical details: Fuji X-M1 with Fujinon 60mm macro lens.
More spring beauty in the capital. The view atop the Primrose Hill, despite the slight haze, offered wonderful views over London - with many of the prominent sites clearly in sight. It is one of the most expensive residential areas in London, and this article from the FT explains:
"If you want to understand the appeal of London’s Primrose Hill, an expensive enclave just north of Regent’s Park, simply take a stroll through the area.
Among the matrix of pretty streets and squares, you will see desirable, four-storey Victorian terraced houses neatly painted in pastel colours; G-Wiz electric microcars parked next to Porsche Cayennes; lampposts carrying makeshift signs for local book clubs and spinning classes; and, in Regent’s Park Road, about 30 small shops, half of them cafés or restaurants, with not a chain store in sight.
Primrose Hill’s unique selling point is that it is a small settlement near the centre of a world city. It may be just five minutes’ walk from gritty Camden Town or a 10-minute drive from Selfridges but “village” is the word you hear from local residents and estate agents alike."
Technical details: Fuji X-M1 with Tamron 35-80mm MF lens.
A selection of nature photos taken in early May - the beauty of Spring can certainly be seen in the flowers and young chicks below!
Location: In the Garden
Technical details: Sony a850 with Sigma 105mm lens.
Location: Springwell Lake, Rickmansworth
Technical Details: Sony a850 with Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma) lens.
Location: Regent's Park and Hampstead Heath
Technical Details: Sony a850 with Minolta 70-210mm f4 lens.
Today's blog post is brought to you by Dan...
It is not often that we venture to the east of the capital, or perhaps more accurately, anywhere east of the Metropolitan line. There is some logic to this unofficial frontier that has come to dictate our walks, at least on costs and convenience grounds given that we mostly set off from Niraj’s base in north-west London. Nevertheless, it would be hard to deny that Niraj’s inexplicable preference for the West [of England as opposed to the whole world] also plays a part.
That said, the Epping Forest Walk marked an exception to this long-standing convention. Covering some 6,000 acres, the forest is London’s largest open space and stretches 12 miles from Manor Park in east London to just north of Epping in Essex. The forest is also of national and international conservation importance with two thirds designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
Our walk began not far from Chingford Station at Connaught Water– one of a number of man-made lakes in the area that were formerly gravel excavation pits. The circular route took us on a well-trodden track through the heart of the forest, northwards to High Beech and back. Although famous for its ancient oak, beech and hornbeams that have stood for many centuries, the forest is home to an astonishing variety of trees - around twenty species in all.
Just before halfway emerged the hamlet of High Beech, the only settlement within Epping Forest. Being Good Friday, we caught a procession heading towards the Holy Innocents Church – a quaint church entirely embosomed by the forest. On reaching, we stood for a brief while in the church’s graveyard, musing momentarily on the impermanence of all things, before entering the church for some inner repose. A little while later, we headed further on, passing the Epping Forest Visitor Centre to the King’s Oak pub for a spot of well-earned lunch. The return leg took us eastwards and back south through Loughton Camp – the site of an iron-age hideout, and along the small streamlet of Loughton Brook meandering its way through the forest, before eventually reaching the far side of Connaught Water where we had begun.
Technical details: Sony a850 with Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma) lens.
A small selection of macro photos taken in the wintery weather.
Technical details: Sony a850 with Sigma 105mm 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".
A selection of photos taken with a new macro lens - somewhat challenging in the lower light of an overcast, breezy winter day and playing with an incredibly shallow depth of field. The combination of a (slight) telephoto focal length, large apertures, short focal distances and a full frame sensor are all factors affecting and reducing the depth. The small branch shoots in the third photo of tree bark are approx. 3mm long.
Technical details: Sigma 105mm lens, photos shot in raw with minor exposure / colour / white balance edits during conversion.