Tag Archives: flowers

B4: Buds, Berries, Blossom & Blooms

I’ve been considering a (second) second blog – especially since the demise of the Mr Point’n’Shoot blog. And like I alluded to a while back, I’ve decided to go down the pretty flower route. And why not – they’re nice, and cheer people up. Wanna take a look? Click on B4, and you’re there.

Wallpaper 571: Field Scabious in Divine Light

After the funeral of my wife of Thirty-eight years, I decided to spend the following bright and blustery morning looking for one of her favourite wild flowers to photograph. It’s not really the time of the year for the little bloom, but recent excellent late summer weather had me hopeful. So, taking myself to open chalky downland I began my search. There were a few there, but they were scrawny, ill-fed, and barely recognizable. I was about to give up, when a shaft of light suddenly burst through a dense hedgerow – to reveal the very item I sought, waving back and forth in the stiff breeze. Divine light? I like to think so. Look…

 

Photography: Compact Cameras: Horses for Courses

I always have a bunch of cameras laying about the house. Their batteries might not always carry a charge, but the cameras are there – almost ready for action. Today I woke up to drizzle, so, naturally I grabbed the first camera that came to hand and wandered out into the garden. Selecting the little flower symbol – I think they call it ‘macro’ – but I prefer ‘little flower symbol’ because I deign  to be different – I began snapping anything that looked attractive. The camera was a Fujifilm T400, which was pretty ‘whoo’ in it’s day, back in 2012. It has a 10X zoom and sixteen megapixels, so it should be pretty good, even on a dark, drizzly day. It took this picture rather well, I thought…

But bedamned if it would capture a dripping Love in the Mist properly. Every shot had at least one area out of focus. So I went back inside to fetch a 8 megapixel 3X zoom Pentax Optio E40, which dates back at least four years farther. It couldn’t capture the feather for love nor money – every shot focussing on the concrete below. But it captured the Love in the Mist just fine…

Which just goes to show that you can never have too many cameras, and that you can’t trust the one you’re using to do the job in every case. Clearly photography, at least for compacts, is a case of horses for courses. You just have to know which horse to back on which course. I suggest you take a minimum of five on any field trip – tucked into the many little pockets you find in a fisherman’s sleeveless jacket. I do – and my neck only aches a little when I get home. Okay, it aches a lot: but I’m old, so I have to accept that. Yes, I suffer for my art.

This fabulously pointless photography lesson was brought to you by Tooty Nolan: Man of Many Talents – some of which are vaguely useful.

Photography: How Mauve is Mauve?

From my experience, there are certain colours that digital cameras seem to struggle with. The worst is yellow in bright sunlight. Particularly when shooting shiny flowers. Of the 50+ cameras that I currently keep in the bottom of my wardrobe, only three or four of them can cope at all. Most just flare out. The other problem colour is mauve/purple. I have a Primula in the back garden that not one of my cameras can capture accurately. But that’s another story. We don’t want to talk abject failure here on HamsterBritainDotCom, do we? No, we don’t. I also have a pleasant mauve plant, the name of which eludes me, which comes up every year in a terracotta pot on the patio. And it was to this plant I went when I decided upon  another of my famous comparison tests. Here are the guilty subjects this time…

A 4.0 megapixel Kyocera Finecam 410R. A 9.3 megapixel Ricoh CX2. and a 12 megapixel Kodak EasyShare M550. None of them are even remotely new, but I have been known to snap some quite nice pictures with all three – but never before at the same time. Here are the results of the Mauve Test…

The least mauve camera here is the Kyocera. The medium mauve, you might assume would be the 9.3 mg Ricoh. But you would be wrong. Not unusually it’s the Kodak that lets us down with a half-way-decent effort. And the winner – displaying a picture with remarkable similarity to the actual shade of mauve as seen with these aging eyes, was the Ricoh. And here’s the complete picture in all its glory…

RICOH CX2: Good camera!

In conclusion, it seems that if you want a vibrant, true-to-life shot get a Ricoh. If it’s quick snaps whilst on holiday, the Kodak will do just fine. And if you insist on an ancient Kyocera, do as I do. Just keep it as a curiosity, and maybe bring it out for a walk around the garden once in a while.

Staggered Beauty

Clematis always photographs well. It doesn’t seem to matter what colour or variety; it just looks really nice. Maybe the simplest versions are best. Anyway, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to follow one bunch, over several days, to record how they change.” I didn’t want them to go past their zenith, so I kept the study brief. I mean, no one likes to see dead flowers, or dropping petals, do they?  No  they don’t. So, may I present Nine Days of the Clematis…

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Six

Day Nine

Note how the accompanying foliage also increased, cutting out a lot of the direct sunlight. Day Ten was grey and overcast. There were no more buds to burst, so I thought I would leave it there. Nice, aren’t they?

 

Photography: Why Auto Isn’t Always the Way Ahead

WARNING: Technobabble-free post!

As you’ve probably ascertained from my earlier posts on the subject of photography, I’m a point-and-shoot merchant. If the picture on the screen looks like the thing I’ve just photographed, I’m happy. Auto is king. But not always. Sometimes you have to fiddle with your knob and twiddle your doo-dah. For example here is the picture of some Michaelmas Daisies that my Sony HX400 decided was true and accurate…

“Pretty,” thought I, “but that’s not what it looks like.”

So I fiddled with my knob. This is the result…

“Close,” I said to the Sony, “but no banana.”

So I twiddled my doo-dah. Here is the result…

This is what the garden just outside my kitchen window actually looks like.

So the moral of this tale is: a photographer should never be afraid to fiddle with his/her knob. And as regards to his/her doo-dah: well it’s just gagging for a good twiddle.

Tooty  

Photography: How Much Must You Pay to Get Good Pictures?

Recently I spent rather more than I should have for a very blue Canon point and shoot compact. Today I used it to snap this shot of a clematis bloom in my garden…

“Hmm,” thought I, “that’s very nice, but did I really need a fancy 20 megapixel to photograph a simple flower?” And the reason I had this thought was because earlier in the day, when the sun was a little less forthcoming, I’d spotted the same flower. The first camera that fell to hand was a Sony Cybershot of a mere 3.2 megapixel capability. The resultant picture looked exactly like this…

Okay, the former can stand a whole lot more zooming in before it pixellates; but if you just want an accurate representation of your subject, the latter is actually better. The mauve in the Sony shot is a closer match to the real thing than the Canon shot. And how much did I pay for this wondrous piece of ancient digital technology? Nothing: some silly sod had thrown it away – probably because it was old and out of date. And I picked it up. I wonder how much they paid for its replacement.