Two Trees, West Sussex

Two Trees, West Sussex June 2020

I think I have missed my morning walk once during lockdown. Yesterday, it was quite cool and misty early on – but by the time I went out for my walk, the Sun was up and throwing long, dark shadows. And there is a contrast with the morning mist, which is slowly being burned off.

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.

Another Tree in the Park

Tree, West Sussex April 2020

This is another early morning picture, seemingly they only kind I take these days. Like many people, with the lockdown, lots of the things I do has changed. Prior to the last couple of posts, nearly all my photos came from dedicated cameras, mostly of places I have visited rather than near where I live. Whereas now, I post pictures from my local area using my phone. There aren’t many people around, so they don’t feature so much these days either. I can see that I am photographing a lot more nature as well.

Tree, Vietnam

Tree, Reunification Palace, HCMC, Vietnam 2014

I didn’t visit the Reunification Palace while I lived in Ho Chi Minh City, only seeing it when I returned to the country on a flying visit.

The building has a rather theatrical quality, which makes me think of a film set. The gardens, but contrast, are cool, dark and rather inviting, with lots of shade to hide from the sun in. Unusually for me, I took lots of pictures of the trees which all looked unique and characterful. I liked this one best. It has a monumental quality.

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).

Tammisaari, Finland

Near Tammisaari, Finland 2004

Sometimes, I think being from the UK makes the rest of the world seem a much more dramatic place. People start to moan when the weather even gets near to 0 and when it goes a couple of degrees below, certain newspapers start trumpeting about an”arctic vortex”, when really, it is just a bit cold.

In Finland by contrast, no one mentions the weather until it gets to about -15 degrees or so. A Finnish friend asked me why I thought it was strange to ride a bicycle in the snow – it was perfectly normal to her.

If the whole cold thing interests you, I recommend visiting the Culture Museum in Helsinki. I particularly enjoyed reading about Kai Donner’s adventures in northern Finland, where it gets really cold.

Anyway, when I took this picture, it must have only been about -10. And it wasn’t windy. So no macho points for me.

But it was very quiet and still, possibly silent.