Frost, West Sussex

Frost, West Sussex January 2020

A preCovid-19 picture, from January this year. This is a picture of the roof of my car. I think I was walking to the station, when I saw these frost patterns on the roof – so I took a picture. The patterns in the ice make me think of feathers, why they have formed like this, I have no clue.

Bumblebee, West Sussex

Bumblebee, Front Garden, West Sussex May 2020
Bumblebee, Front Garden, West Sussex May 2020

Today, I have been trying to photograph bees, which I thought would be an easy subject – but isn’t.

Although they don’t require lengthy travel to locate, or require model releases, there are a number of challenges to be overcome.

Firstly, they are quite small, so you need a close-up lens to be able to see anything.

Secondly, you need to be able to follow when they are and point the camera to the correct place. For some reason I thought they just float about – but on closer observation I am reminded of the phrase “Busy as a bee”. They just zip about!

Thirdly, you need quick reflexes and a fast reacting camera to catch them at the right moment.

I started off using a proper camera, but then changed to my phone because I found it easier to follow movement on the screen and in burst mode, I can choose the “right” moment. There is a sacrifice in quality, but I think it looks – OK.

Leaves, West Sussex

Sycamore Leaves, West Sussex May 2020

Like most people, my outdoor photography has been restricted by the lock-down. Which is why I have been posting pictures of things I’ve seen on my exercise walks. I could post things from the past – places I’ve been – but it feels irrelvant at the moment.

This is a picture of some leaves on a sycamore tree. Initially I thought it was a maple (because of the shape), but if you look closely, you can see some seeds – which is the giveaway.

Gnomes! Bath

Gomes, Holbourne Museum Bath 2016

As a picturesque city, popular with tourists, Bath has a number of small museums. The Holbourne Museum is probably the prettiest of all of them. A few years ago it had a major renovation and now boasts a very attractive cafe with views of Sydney Gardens and the canal. They regularly host medium sized exhibitions on mix of themes. Here as you can see – on gnomes – I should have gone in and had a look.

Lasts, Osaka

Lasts, Osaka 2019

My favourite thing to do, if I go somewhere on holiday, is to spend time just wandering around. If you ever go to Osaka, chances are you will have a list of attractions you want to see (Osaka Castle, the Osaka Aquarium…), but I nearly always find that the journey there is more interesting than the attraction. The castle is quite fun though.

This picture of the lasts, is an example of something I saw on my way somewhere else.

Asiatic Lion, London Zoo

Asiatic Lion, London Zoo, February 2020

I think I have written before about my ambivalence towards zoos. And yet, I always seem to seek them out (the same with aquariums).

The weather was grey and wet as I made my way across Regent’s Park and went to ZSL London Zoo. It is rather expensive to go in (£30 for adults), but since I hadn’t been there in 15 years or so (and that was with a school party) I paid up and went in. In their defence I can’t begin to imagine how expensive it must be to run.

I expect I will update this post when I have processed my films, because there were quite a few charismatic animals, but I found this Asiatic lion having a rest in the shelter. I must say compared to the lionesses, he really did seem to mastered the whole “taking it easy” rather well. No worry lines on his face. If you are wondering, his name is Bhanu.

Leaves, Shanghai

Leaves, People’s Park, Shanghai 2011

Another leaf photo!

I’m not sure the species of tree this is – perhaps maple (it has a 5 finger leaf), but I remember thinking how beautiful it looked. On anything but the calmest of days, closeups are hard to photograph because of subject movement.

I took this photo in People’s Park which is one of the most famous attractions in Shanghai (it was built on the former Shanghai Racecourse – the idea of a racecourse in a downtown area of a city seems extraordinary to me).

Two Cigars, China

Two Cigars, Sanlitun, China 2011

I like pictures which pose questions- “Why did they throw away two almost unsmoked cigars?”. Perhaps they were getting into a car?

Background info – Sanlitun is a very smart part of Beijing, where there a lots of designer shops and a number of countries’ embassies are based. Every day, armies of gardeners groom the neighbourhood trees and bushes and everything looks unnaturally neat and tidy. You will note that the cigars are the only things in the ashtray!

What do you think?