Raw in Root and Petal..


All this beauty has a purpose and it’s not to make some gormless photographer feel all fluffy (it does though). There’s a real time battle going on, the Bluebells have exploited the leafless trees and carpeted the woodland floor soaking up the available sun , in some places a natural monocrop often with the Wild Garlic so technically a  duocrop… But now, the trees are in full foliage and in the dropping light there’s a definite powershift happening, Ferns, who are more than happy to be in the shade, will take over shortly. Together with the bramble and the nettle (triocrop?) Not as emotionally engaging as the blue and the white but interesting all the same.

But, there still is the occasional optimist which should make everyone happy!



I Measure My Time In Bluebells


We in the UK are lucky to have the highest density of Bluebells in the world and many of my Springtime memories are of wandering through beautiful woodlands carpeted with purple / blue (delete as applicable)

I’m so lucky to live in an area strewn with ancient woodland, the best habitat for Bluebells, but also most of the best woods are off the beaten trail and normally quiet apart from the woodpeckers, birdsong and the occasional dog walker.


These images were taken this morning in a small wood in the village I grew up in and, 40 years on it’s almost exactly the same as I remember it.


DSC_0364-Pano-EditWould you put an exhibition dedicated to the First World War in a crisp, clean gallery?  All white walls and straight lines… Na, better to put it at the top of a hill, surrounded by mud and open to whatever the elements throw at it. You want to see it? Then you’ll have to endure a tiny fraction of what they went through, just slipping and sliding without the threat of immediate and filthy death and, when you get there, it ain’t pretty.

DSC_0351-EditIf you’re able, take a walk around Stourhead, and have a ganders at Scraptors Sculpture Trail, they take some finding and they’re not in the pretty places…

Lest we forget Peeps…

Nudging the comfort level…

dsc_9297-2I don’t know if this works but I kind of like it, it’s been the warmest day of the year so far but the pine trees had insulated the ground and the temperature noticeably dropped as you walked into the darkness.

On a technical note, I’m pushing the D3300. I’ve shot handheld and because of the dark areas, I’m at ISO800, f/4.0 and 1/40th sec.  I think maybe a tripod, ISO 100 @ f/8 and 1/4 sec would work better.


Manual 365/181 It’s Not Lenor…

DSC_4233-2.jpg Just a simple fern backlit by the (Rarely seen at the moment) sun. The bokeh is to my satisfaction and I love the fact it gives you the illusion of the plant falling off into the distance while most of it remains in focus even though my lens was wide open at f/4 @ 25mm.

But here’s the crux, in the original photo (before I rotated it in LR) the fern went from right to left…DSC_4233I spent ages looking at it, very nearly loving it, but there was just something. An itch that didn’t feel right.  I even asked Sandie for her opinion and she thinks I prefer the chosen shot because I spend my life writing and reading from left to right so am conditioned that way… Me? Conditioned? Never!…

Now, if there are any Southpaws, Arabic, Hebrew or Syriac readers / writers out there let me know your favourite. I might have to investigate this further! ;o)

Peace Peeps! x

Manual 365/101 Release The Bokeh!

Over the last week or so the scenes have been huge so I thought I’d pull it in a tad, a quick coffee with some friends and then a bit of a wander around some quite woods.

Former GloryDSC_236448mm @ f/8.0, 1/40th Sec, ISO 100

And, much as I love the sound of crashing waves the birdsong and rustling of a woodland in Spring comes just about level on the perfect scenario scale. I did catch a glimpse of what might have been a Muntjac Deer  (It could have a been a dog but there were no walkers near so I’m going with the deer) so went into *stealth mode for a bit but the constant shrill alarm call of some unseen and obviously upset bird kinda blew that for me.

So off came the 55-300mm and on went the trusty 18-55mm stock lens (the longer lens works well for macro shots but the camera shake at slower shutter speeds can be a real pain.)

I paused waiting for the woods to erupt Snow White style with critters and birds now that I couldn’t zoom in tight on them but no, just my pissed off little feathered friend continuing to announce my presence and stubbornly refusing to show himself!

So onward through the undergrowth. One thing I have noticed now that I’m actually taking the time to really observe the things around me is that nature don’t half drag her heels! I’ve been looking forward to Bluebell season for ages and still it’s not here… It is close though…

Budding “Blue”bellDSC_238455mm @ f/5.6, 1/60th Sec, ISO 100 Boken blurred further in lightroom and inverted radial filter to increase the clarity around the flower head

Old Moss HippyDSC_235842mm @ f/8.0, 1/40th sec, ISO 100

Old Fungus New IvyDSC_237518mm @ f/3.5, 1/40th Sec, ISO 100 very slightly blue graduated filters bought in from top right and top left to drop the exposure of the blown dapple effects and green filter from the bottom to bring up the greens on the ivy without affecting the top leaves.

At the beginning of my blog I briefly mentioned a couple of friends, Tanya and Nick both of who are established and extremely good artists. The woods I was traipsing around is just behind their studio.

Tanya has been a supporter of my blog since the beginning and often comments here and retweets my links to her massive following on Twitter. Tanya paints wildlife on recycled wood and I adore her work, one of her pieces adorns our living room wall. You can see her work at tanyahinton.jimdo.com (Our piece is the Owl second from the top! ;o)) and she tweets here

And Nick, where do I start with Nick?… Honestly, I have no idea where to start, he is prolific. Tell you what, go have a look:

He paints

He blogs (And he is sooo much more eloquent than I),

And he exhibits…


Thanks for the coffee guys! x

And my final effort from today


Back to work tomorrow… Booo!

*6ft, slightly puffing and dressed in blue kinda stealth. Not recommended…

Peace Peeps! x