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.

Tree at Sunset, West Sussex

Tree at Sunset, West Sussex May 2020

Whether through design or cirumstance, seem to be photographing sunsets lately. In the UK, we have had sunshine for most of the lockdown period, which has made for some golden sunsets (see above).

I’m wondering if the air is a little clearer because there are fewer cars on the roads – in the evening, there is very little traffic these days – bicycles seem to be the most popular form of transport.

I don’t know when lockdown will end – could be June- but I have the feeling it may be a while, I am looking forward to pictures of people, but I think I will miss quiet walks and clear skies.

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.

Red Leaves and Blue Sky

Tree, West Sussex, 1st May 2020

I’m trying to remember which philosopher it was who talked about the power of being able to see the world a-new. Right now, we are all quite restricted where we can go and I find myself trying to find a new view of familar places. This morning I was rewarded with a blue sky to contrast with the red leaves. If I am being a techie, I notice that the scene shows additive primary colours (RGB).

What have you been intersted in during the lockdown?

Where I live (quite rural but near a large town), I see lots of families walking and riding bicycles in the sunshine.

Tree, St. James’s Park

Tree, St. James’s Park, London 2019

St James’s Park, is probably my favourite in London. In the Summer it gets very crowded, but first thing in the morning as the sun comes up, it really is lovely.

This picture isn’t first thing in the morning, but I do like the contrast between the soft pink of the blossoms and the deep green of the grass. Yes, that is the MoD Building behind the trees.

Edit – 20.06.20

As usual, when I posted this, I avoided mentioning that this was the first day of the lockdown. I wonder if posting a picture of an almost empty public space was a way of commenting on this.

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).

Foliage, Tokyo

Tree, Tokyo December 2018

This is a photograph I took in Ueno Park, which is in the centre of Tokyo. If we zoomed out, you would see that Ueno is the distict where the Zoo and National Museum are (a fascinating place as well). It is rather beautiful and manages rich colours, even in the middle of winter.

Although, it feels like a worn phrase, but I think Japan (and the Japanese) is very good at details and little touches.