Sunday, 30 June 2013

Images of Thaxted in Essex

On the morning of the the wedding that we went to in Hertfordshire, my wife had arranged to help decorate the room at the hotel for the wedding breakfast in the afternoon.  I didn't think I would be needed so I decided that it would be a good idea to visit one of the local villages to take some photos.  We had met up with the brides parents on the previous evening and I had asked them to suggest a good place to go to take photos.  The brides mother said I should go to Thaxted as that was where her mother and grandmother had been born and they had just put the sails back on the windmill.

I woke up pretty early in the morning and so I decided to set off to Thaxted at about 6:30 am and it was about a 20 minute drive from the hotel.  I parked in the main street and the first interesting building I saw was the Guild Hall.  A wonderful wooden framed building with the space below and the charming leaded windows.  There was quite a lot of blue sky but in certain directions there were some big clouds starting to build.


Just further up the street were these lovely wooden framed houses on the cobbled street.  I tried to get a photo without the car in it but didn't quite manage.


Next I headed up to the church which was another magnificent building in a beautiful setting.


I moved back to get more in the image and I did a fairly radical conversion to make this black and white image.


I moved further along the side of the church to get this photo of the big windows with the old grave stones in the foreground.  The sky looks a little strange as the front edge of the clouds are starting to head towards the village.


Next to the churchyard were some lovely single story buildings and in the distance was the first view of the windmill.  This is also the first shots where the big clouds are seen heading towards Thaxted.


Around the other side of the church was this beautifully ornate entrance with the cobbled path leading into it.


Around the village were some more wooden framed houses nestled between houses with different constructions.


Here are a pair of thatched houses with rendered and painted wall.


Back down to the churchyard I took another shot of this little house with the windmill in the background.


As I headed towards the windmill I passed another lovely house with a thatched roof and an extension with a red tiled roof which didn't look in particularly good repair.


Finally went to see the windmill and I took quite a lot of shots of it from different angles.  I picked this one to add to the post as I loved the barley (I think) in the foreground.


My only slight disappointment was the lack of a nice duck pond with a weeping willow next to it but appart from that I think that this is a beautiful place to visit and have a look around.  I originally had 21 photos that I was going to post but I decided to edit down to twelve.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Punting in Cambridge

Last weekend we went down to Hertfordshire for a wedding and on the way we stopped off at Cambridge to have a look around.  As it was a Saturday the city centre was extremely busy and we tried to find somewhere a little more quite to stroll.  We followed a signpost to the Backs, which is around the back of some of the colleges and next to the river.  It was still fairly busy but I took the opportunity to take some shots of the people enjoying a warm, but not sunny, day on the river.








Tuesday, 18 June 2013

More Flowers in Beaumont Park

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that Beaumont Park is my favourite park in the Huddersfield area.  I went back there again earlier in June to take some more photos of the flowers in and around the park and I thought I'd like to share my efforts with you again.

I had arranged a day off from work and got up at the normal time.  When my wife set off for work I set off to the park to get some fairly early morning shots.  The problem that I found was that as the trees are full of leaves and are still quite big there was a lot of dark shadows over some of the flower beds.  Near the entrance to the park I did find some flowers with a bit of light on them.

Beaumont Park Flowers

I have been experimenting with taking flower shots using a very small depth of field to push the background and sometimes foreground out of focus so that the emphasis is on the main subject.  I was quite happy with the first shot but I'm not sure it has worked as well on this second one.  I'm not sure where the focus was supposed to be and the whole photo is far too busy.

Beaumont Park Flowers

I'm happier again with this third shot as the background is far less busy and the in focus flower heads are much easier to identify as the main subject.

Beaumont Park Flowers

I decided to go down to the area below the park, across the bridle path which was previously the railway line to Meltham.  I knew there would be wild bluebells down there to photograph.  I saw the sun was making making some nice shadows across the ground where the bluebells were growing and thought it might be an idea to make some photos where the sun was shining through the petals of the bluebells.

I took a few shots and then realised that I might be able to make a sunburst photo with the sun coming through the trees.  I've tried some of these before and it can be quite effective.  The technique is to use a very narrow aperture in the camera and then try to catch the edge of the sun around an object, in this case a tree.  I took a few photos and this was my favourite with the rainbow coloured flares around the sunburst and down in the flowers.

Beaumont Park Bluebells with Sunburst

I took a few more photos in the woods and then decided to head back into the park.  On the way I took this shot of the path through the woods with the line of bluebells down either side.

Beaumont Park Bluebells

Back in the park were these cultivated bluebells in a small bed with some rocks and other plants.  I was back to using a shallow depth of field and experimented with having the focus in different places.  In this photo I hade the flowers in focus ...

Beaumont Park Bluebells

.. but then I tried having the rock in focus and the flowers blurry.  I'm not sure which one I prefer, maybe I'll print them out and pin them up on my study wall for a while.

Beaumont Park Bluebells

There was still a lot of shade in the park an these blue and white bells where in a patchy area but. I still wanted to photograph them.  I wanted to focus on the white flowers and throw most of the rest of them out of focus.  It seems to work OK but the sunny areas in the background are too much of a distraction.

Beaumont Park Bluebells

Lastly, on the way back out of the park I photographed these cornflowers in the sunshine.  Again I focused past the front flowers to make the ones in the middle of the bed the main subject of the picture.

Beaumont Park Cornlowers

I hope to be posting a bit more regularly in the future now that my old day job is out of the way.  I've still a lot of work to do on my new web site but it's coming together quite well now and I hope you get chance to visit me there.