Raindrops, West Sussex

Raindrops on Leaf, West Sussex June 2020

After what seems like weeks of sunshine, finally thick, grey clouds appeared and heavy rain fell. Went outside for a while to enjoy the cool breeze and splashes of rain. One of the positive things about the lockdown has been more time to enjoy my garden. What I liked here, where the little spheres of water formed in the middle of the leaf, which glistened in the light. The original was a colour picture full of vibrant greens, but I prefer this version in back and white.

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.

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).

Another Leaf in a Park, Singapore 2009

Singapore, 2009

I love here how the picture goes from blurry to sharp, from left to right in the frame. And where it is sharp, you can see the structure of the leaf.

I used my new camera of the time, a Canon Powershot G9 to take this. The reason it is worthy of mentioning, is because sharp close-ups are really hard to do handheld. Especially on something like a leaf, which is nearly always slightly moving.

This photo also reminds me of a time when I spent a lot of time in Singapore. I loved walking in the backstreets. It is the only place I know where Borders Bookshop would fill on Friday and Saturday nights.

Leaf in the Park, Horsham

Horsham Park, October 2018

Another one of those “as I was wandering past” photographs. October in West Sussex was particularly mild this year, with a number of glorious sunny days. Horsham Park is pleasant green space near to the station where I often wait before catching a train.

I think there are two types of  photographers: those who photograph leaves and those I don’t. Can’t resist them myself.

Technically speaking, I took this with my iPhone (a 6s Plus). I am really happy with the colour. In good light, I find it takes excellent pictures. It focuses quite close. My only issue is missing focus on slightly moving objects (I think I held the twig this leaf is on to keep it still enough.