Chrysanthemum

A macro shot of a white Chrysanthemum taken at home using natural daylight. The aim of this image was to highlight the intricate curves, softness and mood of a flower that reminds me of my childhood (my Grandad is a fan of them).

With a history that dates back to 15th century B.C., chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys-” meaning golden (its original color) and “-anthemion,” meaning flower, years of artful cultivation have produced a full range of colors, from white to purple to red. Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. They’re the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower and the official flower of the city of Chicago. In Japan, there’s even a “Festival of Happiness” to celebrate this flower each year.

Source: Teleflora.


New Shoots

This week I have been suffering from the dreaded flu so the only photo opportunity that arose was when I visited my mum’s house on Mother’s Day. After dinner, I went outside into the garden where my children were playing. Whilst outdoors, I spotted this ground covering plant with ‘furry’ leaves which to me summed up the beginning of Spring. I grabbed my camera and took a couple of shots before returning indoors. After enquiring what the plant was, I found out that it is called Cerastium Tomentosum Snow-in-Summer or, as it is more commonly known, Chickweed. 


Hope

As it was St Davids Day and Ash Wednesday last week, I decided that the Daffodil was an apt subject for a shoot. This was due to it being the national flower of Wales and nicknamed ‘Lent Lily’ as it flowers during the Christian period of Lent. I chose the title of this image ‘Hope’ as the Daffodil is a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. Also, according to Welsh folklore, if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth!


Tree In The Mist

The Roaches, Peak District National Park, UK. 
This image was taken on a very changeable day in July 2016. The forecast was for light cloud yet I was greeted by thick fog that kept clearing and returning. It’s certainly not a ‘standard’ summertime view!


Jellyfish

The only time I left the house this week was to visit the aquarium with my children and this Pacific Sea Nettle jellyfish really caught my eye. It’s not normally something that I would shoot but sometimes creating work that is out of the norm leads to a new interest. I don’t think I’ll be abandoning my landscapes or seascapes any time soon but this week I’ve learned that subjects can be found in the unlikeliest of places!


Tulip

This week I was quite poorly so decided to take a picture of a tulip from my kitchen windowsill. I opened the back door of my house and placed the tulip in a vase close to the doorway. With the door being white plastic and glass, it became useful as a reflector and I positioned it so that the sunlight bounced onto the flower. Using a shallow depth of field on my camera has allowed the kitchen wall in the background to be out of focus to draw attention to the gentle curves and tones of the tulip and the slight backlighting has given a partly translucent effect on the petals.
Editing this image was very straightforward as all that was required was desaturation and a slight vignette.


Dandelion

This is quite a different subject for me as I have been quite poorly so haven’t been able to get out. I chose the dandelion seeds as a subject due to their softness and they also bring back childhood memories of blowing the seeds off the stem and making a wish. Finding a suitable specimen was quite straightforward and once I was happy that the dandelion was in focus and well lit, I took this picture. Simply desaturating the colours and cloning out a few blades of grass is all that was needed to finish off this image. 
I am pleased to announce that this image was shortlisted in this weeks WPOTY competition!


Win Hill vs Lose Hill

Castleton, Peak District National Park, UK.

This weeks image was taken in the Peak District, UK. As we very rarely get snow at home and the roads had begun to clear, I decided to head to Castleton to see if there was anything worthy of shooting. As I pulled up on a car park close to the bottom of Mam Tor, I decided that I liked the contrast between the two hills which are similar in height and close together. Win Hill is the peak topped with snow, which looks barren and inhospitable yet Lose Hill is the opposite. Using a tripod, I took three images of the scene which were later combined into a panorama in Photoshop. This allowed me to be able to crop the image whilst retaining a high image quality. Editing the image was quite simple as I only used the dodge and burn tools along with a sharpening layer and a monochrome conversion.


Shades of Autumn

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Rivington, Lancashire, England. 


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