Updated: 2 days ago
and what a difference a few weeks make!
So very many new and exciting bursts of life!
Cherry Blossom siblings, from red buds to full bloom, weeks before counterpart leaves appear
The Japanese Cherry Blossom was in full bloom, and quite simply, Poetic
a mere six weeks have passed since Brigitte and I started this project. During that time, Brigitte, had posted a few visual developments on line, but that did not stop me from being thoroughly taken-back by the turn of pace of Mother Nature.
They were frantically dancing in the ever persistent breeze
blissfully unaware of the challenges Brigitte and I faced as we were trying to capture them. At times, it seemed an impossible task, but this didn't hinder our enthusiasm, nor tenacity!
I have included some HINTS & TIPS at the base of this post, on my approach to close-up photography
Bird song filled the air and the occasional Bumble Bee joined us as we started our day amongst the Hellebores
I will never tire of this view or any other view, for that matter, of Brigitte's house, especially when kissed in beautiful light, such as this! How very fitting that the Sun happened to fall upon the spot where we started February's instalment.
Brigitte was having a whale of a time waiting for a Bee to visit a certain Hellebore, then hoping that it would stay still to afford her the time to frame the shot whilst holding her breath and keeping the camera steady. We remarked throughout the day that we almost forgot to breathe when immersing in long swathes of concentration.
Brigitte will not know about the sneaky capture, below until she sees this post!
Rather annoyingly, I had forgotten my coat! I didn't fancy getting down on my belly, with the garden being wet, so I held my camera low to the ground whilst aiming the lens in the general direction of them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right!
Spectacularly Architectural Euphorbia
In the shot above, beyond Brigitte's favourite chairs is a Euphorbia. My intention was to create an etherial aesthetic when capturing it. The light was rather lovely.
A couple of quick VIDEO captures on my phone.
Japanese Spirea, I believe!
Now I know what these are, but the extent of my knowledge is that I can only say they are Roses!
Time stood still
I fell upon an area that I had not discovered previously when visiting Brigitte in her garden. On the North-West boundary of the garden is a secluded pathway. I took my time to ponder its delicate details before raising the camera to my eye.
I was drawn to what lay at my feet as I carefully trod along its pathway. Its beautiful, delicate visual offerings were reminiscent of a tiny Woodland.
I consider it a gift to have spied this Jelly Fungus on a fallen branch, a third the size in real life, when viewing this image on a Laptop. Hailed as a 'good find' by, Brigitte, so I am pleased with that.
This example is known as Wood Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae)
I love form and textures, so chose Abstract Photography to portray the leaves, below.
At this point of the day, which was nearing lunchtime, I felt that my eye was finally starting to attune itself to close-up work. The skill sets remote to those required for other genres of photography.
The new found space in Brigitte's garden was nectar to my soul
I completely lost myself in it. Nothing else existed. I forgot about life's challenges. It was a much-needed tonic ....
... for when I visited Brigitte in January, I was completely overwhelmed. It had been 2 years since I had ventured out into the World since the first lockdown, and 2.5 years since I had been behind the camera.
The anticipation of being behind the camera again and working on this personal project with Brigitte was exciting beyond words, but the thought of taking what seemed such a large step for me was a scary one.
However, when I arrived at Brigitte's doorstep in January, I was far from scared, instead I felt relatively calm, but then, Brigitte has that effect on people. She is a calming and thoughtful soul. Sometimes the anticipation of something and the effect it has on the mind makes things appear more challenging than they really are!
The light caught my eye
As I turned back toward the entrance where I first discovered the space mentioned above , the light caught my eye. The visceral draw to capture was incredibly strong. An utterly spontaneous, organic, Heartfelt moment, virtually void of consideration. A very personal moment and capture, that I find myself coming back to repeatedly for the way that it stirred my Heart.
In January's post, I briefly touched on how I am drawn to light first and foremost. I hope to expand on this in a separate post.
I would love you to visit Brigitte's post to discover her perspective on our reunion in February. Brigitte always writes so eloquently. I've provided a link alongside other useful links, further down in this post.
Brigitte's beautiful captures
I am thoroughly in love with Brigitte's depiction of these Narcissus. Ethereal and poetic.
These is an extremely clever and stimulating capture.
I love the kiss of light on the upper petal of the Narcissus to the right of the frame. The light on the lower section of the flower, again to the right of the frame and the light on the top of the Narcissus to the left of the frame. These three kisses of light lead the eye in a circle, which is something photographers seek to include in their photography.
If you fancy recording your discoveries of nature with us, we'd love you to use the hashtag so we will be able to find you!
It is so very lovely to hear that some of you have been inspired to pick up the camera more and the love you have for our respective hashtags [Brigittes #withanartistslens and mine #mothernaturesjoys].
We are thoroughly delighted that you are joining in the fun over on Instagram. It makes this personal project all the more special.
Some beautiful shares over on Instagram via #mothernaturesjoys from February, with thanks to:
@victoria_hopper - thank you for joining in, Victoria
Hints & Tips
MY APPROACH TO CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHY
I am a complete newbies of macro/close-up photography and void of a dedicated Macro lens. However, wanted to share with you my approach when I captured elements in close proximity during February's visit to Brigitte's garden.
I set my lens to Manual Focus, lined up the shot through the viewfinder, then slowly moved closer and further away from the subject until the desired focus had been achieved, then I took the shot.
Similarly, I adopt the same approach whilst in live-view via the camera's LED monitor. I favour looking through the viewfinder, because your arms will not be outstretched, which can increase the risk of hand-shake.
Perseverance is most definitely essential for Macro photography. Holding your breath during the final moments before and whilst pressing the shutter release will help keep yourself and the camera steady.
It takes skill and time to master close-up/Macro photography. It is an art-form.
To this end, I consider myself lucky to have achieved relative sharpness where it matters in my captures this time, especially as I am new this genre of work. If I find myself getting into Macro Photography, I'm sure I may need to invest in a dedicated 100mm Macro lens.
Thank you for visiting this blog, and I trust that you find some pleasure from it.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment.
MARCH WEEK 1 - a few beautiful captures by Joanne, Jane and Brigitte. It is so exciting to have you onboard and to be sharing in your nature discoveries.
Thank you for sharing with Brigitte and me. It is exciting to have you onboard. We can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring.
MARCH WEEK 2 - a few beautiful captures by Louise, Jane, Mary and me. It is so exciting to have you onboard and to be sharing in your nature discoveries.
Thank you for sharing with Brigitte and me. Thank you again for sharing with Brigitte and me. We love seeing your captures.
End of MARCH - APRIL - you have all been gloriously busy capturing Nature whilst I have been quiet and poorly. My apologies for the delay in my posting, but what wonderful captures to catch up with.
Thank you for sharing with Brigitte and me. We love your captures.