Flower portraits

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After investing on some high-quality new lenses last year, I didn’t for a long time touch my old MF 50mm F/1.7 lens. There was just something seductively easy about the smooth autofocus and wide angle of the Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8, and also about the zooming power of the 55-300mm F/5.6. But few weeks ago the trusty old fifty came out of the drawer, and has been in use a lot. In fact, I don’t know why I put it aside for so long – there’s a clean, smooth finesse to it that nothing can replicate, its sharpness as soft as it is brilliant. It does bokeh like no one’s business. The shallowness of its field of depth is magical – just look how this flower floats in the air, disconnected from its background (of shiny rose leaves) and even from its own stem, and how only the petals in the front are in focus, the rest of the flower simply rendering into shape and colour.

Oh happy fair

imgp6380 imgp6414 imgp6421 imgp7015 imgp7012imgp6494 imgp6666imgp6474 imgp6579 imgp6527 imgp6724 imgp6729 imgp6739 imgp6740imgp6990 imgp6853 imgp6989 imgp6745imgp6683 imgp6869 imgp6718 imgp6793imgp7104 imgp6974 imgp7108 imgp6999 imgp6826 imgp7121 imgp7062As a resident of St Giles, I have a love-hate relationship with the fair. There’s something undeniably magnificently bonkers about the whole idea. The fair being blessed by the priests of St Giles church is extraordinary. The clean, empty street on Wednesday morning, devoid of any signs of what’s been going on for the past few days, is nothing short of miraculous. I (sort of) love all the garish lights and colours and enjoy the smell of donuts and spit roast and hot dogs and the sight of people carrying oversized stuffed animals around. But the fair is also noisy and disruptive to all normal life, bringing sleepless nights and forcing residents away. The fair also photographs very poorly – the fast moving people and the bright, flashing lights just don’t make a good combination. The rides move fast for someone who is has problems with continuous focus. Someone will be photobombing your carefully framed portraits, or the people move out of the frame. And the light on their faces will always, always be terrible.

Cottage gardens

IMGP4886 IMGP5601 IMGP5634 IMGP6188 IMGP6324 IMGP6099 IMGP6113 IMGP6135 IMGP6115 IMGP6142 IMGP6161As a city dweller (first floor, with a view of traffic lights and a cemetery), I dream of the time when I can have my own garden – berries and apples, rhubarbs under bells, neat rows of vegetables and beets and herbs, sweet peas (which smell like heaven and don’t photograph at all well) and autumn dahlias. One day.

Lavender fields


I have always wanted to photograph a lavender field – there’s something glorious about the colour, the straight lines of the bushes, the overwhelming scale of purple stretching from horizon to horizon. We got to Hitching Lavender Farm on a hot early August Sunday; the fields were full of visitors like us, and so I didn’t quite get the wide-angle shot I had hoped for. The scent was ripe and heavy, the flowers full of bees, the air buzzing with them as they flew around, drunk on the nectar. It was a good day.

All photos have been scaled to 25% from original size with a batch processing software. Click images to see full size for best quality.