Daffodil – ISO 400; 60mm macro; f/11; 1/125 sec (click image to view larger size)
In English, Happy St. David’s Day!
Being Welsh, I thought I would mark St. David’s Day with an image of a daffodil, the national flower of Wales. After all, I can still remember having a daffodil pinned to my jumper before heading off to school in the 1960s!
I didn’t want just any type of image though, I wanted to try a technique I’ve known about for a long time but never managed to get around to using before – creating a black background without actually using a physical background.
This technique uses nothing more than the absence of light. It’s quite simple really, once you understand the principle. You don’t need a studio or any fancy lighting gear (I certainly don’t have any), just a flash that you can fire off-camera.
Fate – 27mm; ISO 200; 1/250 sec; f/2.8 (click image to view larger size)
Last week I attended another photo walk with the Surrey & Hampshire Photography Group. A small group of about 15 walked a route that took us from our starting point at Sloane Square to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, down to the River Thames and over Chelsea Bridge, into and through Battersea Park, crossing back over the river on Albert Bridge, along the embankment, up through Chelsea and into Brompton Cemetery, around 5 miles in total.
A change of perspective can often improve your results when out shooting, as discussed by Scott Bourne in his blog post I read recently, and most photographers are well aware of this. In my case, the change in perspective isn’t to do with moving my feet, or lying down or even selecting a different lens. It’s being unable to get out as much as I normally would due to a bad back. It’s not horrendous so I shouldn’t grumble, it’s just frustrating. When I think back to spring last year, I was out 2-3 times a week in search of bluebells.
Snowdrops – 60mm; ISO 400; 1/200 sec; f/4.0 (click image to view larger size)
This was the first time I’ve attempted to photograph snowdrops. Nursing a bad back, I haven’t managed to do much photography lately, but this morning I headed out with just my Fuji X-T1 and a 60mm macro lens so I could travel light.
I’d seen some snowdrops in Richmond Park previously and I was lucky with the light. Although mid-morning by the time I arrived and the winter sun bright in the sky, these snowdrops were in partial shade with dappled light coming through overhead trees.
Today I became the happy owner of a Fuji X-T1 and a set of 4 lenses.
After trying one out at a Fuji X-perience day and further research since, I made the decision to switch and now was the best time to buy with fantastic cash-back offers from Fuji about to come to an end.
What better way to celebrate than with a test shot taken on the 35mm f/1.4 to check out the limited depth of field it produces?
Amber – 50mm; ISO 100; 1/250 sec; f/2.0 (click image to view larger size)
I was lucky enough to bag a ticket, along with about 60 other photographers, to a Fuji X-perience day held at the offices of Amateur Photographer magazine.
I was mostly looking forward to getting my hands on a Fuji X-T1 and a selection of lenses to try out a mirror-less system. I’d seen some impressive results from other photographers and I was keen to lighten the load in my camera bag.