Blooms and Blossoms (and a few birds)

First comes snowdrops, then crocuses…

Then comes daffodils, narcissi and rhododendron…

Cherry, apple blossom, magnolia, and hawthorn…

Lastly, here are some feathered friends enjoying the spring weather too!

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Now, onwards to lilac, bluebells and roses!

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From winter to spring

I started a new job in January, and what with a nasty cold virus that wouldn’t go away and all those dark nights, I haven’t had much time to do a blog post, but now I have some time off so I can update you on some photographic highlights.

At weekends I try to go for walks, and am particularly fond of taking pictures of the waterfowl in Burgess Park!

Work trips have given me some variety. I went to St Beuno’s in Wales for the first time in late January, surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Also fitted in a trip to Whipsnade, where it was a winter wonderland!

I have also taken a few urban shots as I’m out and about

And I’m now fortunate to work next to the beautiful Farm Street Church DSCF0209

Golden autumn

I remember during my year abroad in Russia that the local people talked about Золотая осень (“golden autumn”), mostly because of the almost metallic glitter of birches as they change colour, especially against blue skies.

Autumn so far has been mostly dry and bright, although as we go into November it begins to bite.

Here’s a selection of my photos from October.

Oh did I say golden? Quite a lot of reds too!

The changing colours of autumn brought out by autumnal sunshine. Fortunately, I have managed to make time for lots of strolls.

Bath looking lovely in the autumn sunshine.

 

Last but not least, we managed a trip to Leigh-on-Sea before the clocks went back and the evenings drew in. A very beautiful place that made me wish I was a painter!

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First autumn stroll after the clocks change and the nights are drawing in.dscf9176

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2016 so far

Usual abject apologies for not posting enough… I’ve transferred a lot of the photo posts over to the Facebook page and Twitter in the last few months.

Winter isn’t a great time for photography, if, like me, you work 5/6 days a week, don’t do night photography too well and miss the sunlight and flowers!

I was offered the opportunity to upgrade my camera but decided to stick with the current one in the meanwhile, while I try to improve my technique.

I’ve tried to make the most of the hours of daylight and practise some night photography too.

I’ve been discovering a local park and taken a few shots there:

I’ve been taking a few ‘vintage’ style shots like these:

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Pimlico

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Bloomsbury

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Also, since the weather has been so grey, there’s been some more opportunities to practise black and white photography:

I’ve also taken some evening walks… more work to do on night photography.

Lastly, I’ve tried to capture some fauna! DSCF6357

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Taken through the window at work – real photo opportunism!

I’ve also been to try a lot harder to be patient, take more of the same shot, and to concentrate more on composition.

It has been a fairly eclectic 2016 so far but all in all I am looking forward to sunshine and spring weather. Hopefully another blog to ensue soon.

Made in Chelsea, or, how much I love bridges

Every time I go back to Bristol (or home, as I still call it) on the National Express coach I go past Chelsea Bridge. In December 2013, after one such trip, I had a really strong impulse to go there and take pictures, but kept putting it off. It seemed like a great thing to do on a dark, frosty winter night (absolutely had to be a clear night); in the summer, it would be dark too late, and on a cloudy evening, it would mean the light pollution would make the skies look orange.

It has taken me all this time to get round to it! But I finally did it, and my instinct was right, because I saw the river bathed in the lights of the Albert Bridge.

I got a lovely new tripod for Christmas which helped, and also experimented with using the timer for the first time. Any deficiencies in the results are entirely due to me not being very good at technical settings still and possibly the camera itself. But I hope this will inspire you to go down there yourself. DSCF3041 DSCF3046 DSCF3080 DSCF3083 DSCF3085 DSCF3089 DSCF3091 DSCF3093 DSCF3093 DSCF3096 DSCF3108 DSCF3110 DSCF3110 DSCF3112 DSCF3114 DSCF3117 DSCF3120 DSCF3125 DSCF3133 DSCF3137 DSCF3138 DSCF3145 DSCF3149 DSCF3150 DSCF3153 DSCF3154 DSCF3157 DSCF3159 DSCF3160 DSCF3162 DSCF3165 DSCF3166 DSCF3167 DSCF3171 DSCF3174 DSCF3175 DSCF3177 DSCF3178 DSCF3192 DSCF3223 DSCF3224 DSCF3229 DSCF3231 DSCF3235 DSCF3272 DSCF3273 DSCF3206

Spring finally..?

As you are all aware it has been a long time since most of us saw the sun. Wind, rain, more rain, and grey skies when it wasn’t raining have made this a dreary winter for the most part.

I’ve always loved spring flowers (who doesn’t): snowdrops, crocuses, narcissi, daffodils, cherry blossom, magnolia and lilac all have their place in my photos.  Followed by the roses when they come. In some cases I have been taking photos of the same flowers year on year. Occasionally this doesn’t have very good results. This year I was too busy to manage any snow drops, or maybe it was because it was raining. Anyway, why blather about something which you all enjoy anyway. Here’s to a pleasant spring ahead. Either that or building an ark.

These were taken at Gordon Square, Bloomsbury (very good for crocuses!), St James’ Park and in the garden at home. More flower pictures to follow I hope.

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Most people walk along the South Bank of the Thames. A few years ago I walked the South Bank of the Thames from Hampton Court to the Thames Barrier, an experience I would highly recommend. I love the river, which is the real heart of this city. Now I live only a few minutes from Tower Bridge. I recently decided to walk part of the North Bank to get a different perspective on things. Here are the results.

 

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London’s Foggy Day

Last year we had a foggy day and I expressed to a friend annoyance that I had not got up in the morning and taken photos of the fog. He replied ‘ what do you mean? It’s fog! There’s nothing to photograph!’ Yet as this Timeout compilation reveals, there were plenty of excellent foggy photo opportunities!

http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/12/11/23-dazzling-photos-of-the-fog-enveloping-london/

None of mine actually live up to that standard, but then again (as I discovered) it is quite tricky to get good photographs of fog. Now I have a better idea of how to do it, so – in the spirit of this blog – I am still learning…

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And then the fog cleared…