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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Finding the Path

I was walking with my family through the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds when I noticed a beautiful bed of tulips. Unfortunately the background was rather messy and didn't immediately favour either a situational or macro shot. However, the bed was surrounded by a rather ugly tarmac path and I wondered if I could get close with a 25mm (50mm equiv) f1.4 lens to render it as a smooth background. After trying several tulips and angles, I was finally able to isolate the flower against the dark grey background of the path. On viewing the image on a PC it was clear the dark grey background didn't complement the flower, however with Lightroom 4 it was possible to lighten this tone to a warmer light grey that was a better match.

I also found this tulip worked well in both black and white and as a cross processed image. Image captured at 1/1600, f1.4, ISO 160:

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Melford Hall Revisited

I have previously blogged about Melford Hall, and how it makes a great place to take photos. I like to share my best images on Flickr, so when I saw there was a group for the National Trust East of England I included some of my pictures from Melford Hall. The group runs a monthly photo competition, and the winner has their photo displayed on the National Trust web site. This month I received the exciting news that one of my photos from that shoot won the National Trust East of England May photo competition. Enthused, on the Jubilee weekend I decided to return to Melford Hall with the Pany 25mm f1.4 lens I recently purchased. The photos below are all taken with that lens apart from the winning image which as taken with a Lumix G Vario14-140/F4.0-5.8.

Melford Hall Summer House
1/500, f6.3, ISO160
Looking out from the Summer House
1/320, f6.3, ISO 160
Winning Photo: The frontage of Melford Hall, Suffolk.
1/1000, f6.3, ISO 160 (LUMIX G VARIO 14-140/F4.0-5.8)

The blue sky does make a great backdrop to the hall, but don't limit yourself to just taking photos in sunny weather. Here is a photo of Melford Hall taken on the cloudy Diamond Jubilee day with flag flying.

Melford Hall on the Diamond Jubilee 1/800, f5.6, ISO 160

There is plenty to photograph indoors if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Ideally avoid bank holidays, otherwise it can be difficult to get some scenes without people in them.

1/125, f1.4, ISO 400
1/250, f2.8, ISO 160
1/160, f1.4, ISO 400

1/160, f1.4, ISO 400
1/60, f2.8, ISO 400

My set of Melford Hall photos on Flickr.

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