Bundle of Wheat on a Bench

Wheat (2357)Something newly processed, if not quite new itself. Earlier this year – I actually had to check the dates on the image, this was fairly early summer – I went for a walk in Kingley vale with Andy. I took more than a few photos, but never quite got around to processing them. Sometimes I’d start tinkering with an image, remain unimpressed, and just let it be. Until last weekend I managed to process a couple from that set. The highlight of the walk, for me, were the ancient burial mounds and yew groves, but the first successful photos, I think, were the ones that came towards the end of the walk. We finished (well, pretty much) in Stoughton, and visited the medieval parish church. In the porch I found two decorations of sorts – this bundle of dried wheat, and a vase of fresh flowers, both sitting on a bench. I thought they make a great pair, so made photos of each.

I took this photo handheld as a single exposure. Post processing involved the use of selective curve layers to balance the exposure and contrast. Sometimes it’s really the unplanned that works out.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.

 

 

Red Campion

Red Campion (1840)I think I’ll be posting flowers on Friday for a while. This is a wild flower, found while walking in the woods near Ightham Mote in early spring. You can (barely) see the bluebells we went to look for in the background. I did some research and think this particular flower is a red campion. Do correct me if I’m wrong – I’m no botanist.

I took this photo handheld as a single exposure. It’s rather tricky to get the focus right when you’re so close, and particularly with the lens’s largest aperture. Post processing was minimal.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.

 

 

On life

I don’t often post quotes, as more often than not they’ll come across as cheesy or faux-intellectual. And I suspect they won’t make sense unless you’re in the right frame of mind (or rather, within the same context as myself when I found the quote interesting). Still, this was too direct to pass up sharing. Rediscovered while watching SG1 on DVD…

OMA
The universe is vast and we are so small. There is only one thing we can ever truly control.

DANIEL
What’s that?

OMA
Whether we are good or evil.

Mysterious Key

Mysterious Key (0763)A quick post today to share one of the first few photos I took with the macro lens. This was an exercise in composition at a photo society meeting, where I took only the macro lens with me to force me to stick to one focal length, and more importantly one that I didn’t often use. An adjacent room to the one booked for the society had an upright piano that has seen a bit of use. I instinctively popped open the top to look inside and wondered why the manufacturer hid their plaque there rather than placing it somewhere more prominent. I’m also uncertain about the purpose of the key above the plaque – I guess it’s to open a part of the piano necessary for tuning or some other technical work. If any of my readers know more, leave me a comment – I’d like to know!

I took this photo handheld as a single exposure. Post processing was minimal.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.

 

Dingli Cliffs at Sunset

Dingli Cliffs at Sunset (2956)

Having injured my hand while training a couple weeks ago, it will be some time before I can go climbing or practising archery again. To boot, I haven’t even been walking since about that time. So this long weekend (did I say it’s a holiday today in Malta?) I was rather itching to go out and take some photos. Sunsets lately have been brilliant, with a somewhat cloudy sky beautifully lit by the warm light of the setting sun. With that in mind we drove up to Dingli to visit the cliffs again and wait for the sunset there.

I already had in mind a similar shot to the one I shared recently. So I walked again out to the same outcrop above Miġra Ilma, looking northwest towards the radar station. This time I walked further out and down the cliffs for a slightly different perspective. I expected company, but was rather surprised it was mostly foreigners rather than locals. It’s not exactly a tourist spot, so I guess this particular place is mentioned in some guide book. As I took this I was about 200m above sea level, with the top of the cliffs about 20-30m higher.

When I packed up and left the sun had already set. Most people had gone, though some were still arriving. We were treated to a magnificent afterglow in the direction of the sunset, but sadly I had already packed my camera, and I only had my smartphone at hand. I should have kept the SLR around my neck as I usually do walking back.

For this photo, I set up on a tripod, fitted the polariser and a couple of grad filters, and basically waited. I took several frames as the lighting conditions changed, and also trying out slight changes in composition. I learnt some time ago that it’s best to leave the review until I can see things properly on a monitor, rather than trust the tiny 3″ display on camera. At home I chose this particular frame, in part because of the two very tiny figures at the top of the cliff on the right (barely visible at this resolution, but clearly identifiable as people at full size) that lend a sense of scale. Post processing involved some selective curves layers to fine tune exposure and contrast.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.

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