A Quiet Beginning

I hope you are all enjoying a great start to the new year and the return to normality after the festive season has not been too arduous. 2020 is now well and truly underway.

My new year has started quietly, which is in no way a negative thing. It is way too easy to get swept up in the wave of feeling like you have to change dramatically because of a new year.

I am very optimistic with the goals I set myself for the year ahead. I am taking my time to not rush through them, to do them properly. In turn, this should hopefully help negate feelings that I am not achieving enough, or feeling like a failure when more likely than not, a resolution is broken.

Following on from last week, I continued photographing the birds that had visited the garden.

House sparrows have always been a constant visiter, I do sometimes wonder how they feel, now that there is a lot more competition at the feeders.

One of the newest visitors, who I had mentioned in last weeks post; the Long Tailed Tit returned. Thankfully, I had my camera in hand to get more pictures of this cute, round fluff ball.

Moving on from the garden, this week saw me go to a local landmark. I don’t know if this happens to others, but I struggle to photograph landmarks/places I am very familiar with. I am always more comfortable with new destinations.

I wish I could offer a coherent explanation for this, but it has definitely gone onto my list of things to learn upon.

I have provided the only picture of the cathedral I was happy with from that shoot. Maybe later in the year I will try this location out again, to see if I have improved or have overcome the uncomfortableness of shooting locally.

The cathedral is located next to the River Severn, and it provided me with a subject I am more comfortable with. It wouldn’t of felt right if I had left the river without a swan shot.

The week finished as it had began with bird photography. I look forward to seeing what the next week has in store for me.

Lichfield Cathedral

After the disappointment of last weeks shots, I was determined more than ever to stay positive and to keep trying my best in whatever/wherever I am shooting.

The pictures I have managed to produce this week I am more confident with and am happy with the results. I am defiantly learning from my mistakes!

This weeks offering is from (as the title suggests) Lichfield Cathedral. Apparently this Cathedral is the UK’s only medieval cathedral with three spires. I took a couple of shots to demonstrate this.

The sky was grey and with the slight mist around the West midlands at the weekend, everything was damp, this just added to the dominance that the Cathedral eludes to the surrounding area.

The Cathedral itself felt quite imposing. The architecture of this place (inside and out) is outstanding. I cannot even begin to fathom how this place was created, I was just in awe of it.

Mixing the modern with the traditional as you walk into the Cathedral, you cannot help but notice a huge light installation. This is an art exhibit for Advent (part of Cathedral illuminated) from artist in residence Peter Walker in collaboration with local schools and people from the Diocese.

It is hard not to be inspired by the Cathedral, the architecture, the grand ceilings, stained glass windows, ornate decorations and the light exhibit all offered shots to be had.

I must admit I was not previously aware of this magnificent location to shoot at, it was recommended to me. What an absolute gem of a place, I am very glad I listened.

Following on from Lichfield Cathedral, I am going to research and make a list of local locations to potentially shoot. I am hoping to find a few more surprises. .

Weekend Outings

For the last couple of weekends I have been determined to go out into the world to scratch my photography itch (so to speak).

Free time is just so rare, with work responsibilities, family /general life, I definitely don’t get out to shoot as much as I’d like to, I think many other hobby photographers feel that way to.

The first stop on my photography tour was Stow-on-the-wold, St Edwards Church to photograph a doorway. You may be thinking…”why? to just shoot a doorway?” Well; this particular doorway is supposedly the one that inspired Tolkien for his door to Moria in The Lord Of The Rings story.

Even if this isn’t true, you can certainly see why people would think so. Tucked behind the back of the Church, the doorway is very unassuming. To be honest, after shooting it, I felt like I didn’t really capture anything to depict the magic of architecture and nature mingled together.

Looking at my uploads back home and playing about slightly with the edits (I try not to mess about to much with what I shoot) the 2 I have chosen to post are to me my best representation. I am happy I did manage to get something! It all goes towards experience.

Next stop was Witley Court and Gardens, more architectural shooting although I did manage to find some nature shots.

I absolutely love the fountain at Witley, for those who haven’t seen it, the statue in the centre show the moment Perseus (atop of Pegasus) defeat the Kraken to rescue Andromeda (I adore Greek myths too, so shooting this was a delight).

Witley itself is a very grand house, gutted by a fire in 1937 the stone structure still alludes to the opulence that once was.

At the moment there is an art exhibition which is is intertwined within the property. One of the exhibits is shown below. Its well worth a viewing if you get the chance. (In Ruins- 12 July-3 November 2019)

As I was walking around one of the pathways, a flash of red caught my eyes. Tucked right under one of the trees, swamped by various foliage. I had found my first red mushroom!

Fly agaric I think it is known officially. I had to off road to get close, it was the only one I managed to find but this one was enough for me. Worth the muddy knees as I got right down to shoot. The things photographers do for a shot!

The final stop for this set of tours is the unmistakable Stonehenge. I had never been before. I had gone full of optimism that I wasn’t going to shoot the cliche shots, the ones you see all the time. The truth is the best ones I took that day were the standard ones.

The weather didn’t help, very flat grey skies and drizzly rain (I forgot to take a cover, which was poor planning really). A lot of my shots were scrapped as had rain on the lens, which could of been completely preventable if I had been more organised. Again more lessons learnt.

The stones themselves are quite intimidating, I was quite naive really. I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to show this aura in my pictures and having played around with some of the shots to monotone I have hopefully given a sense of what I felt that day. Fingers crossed!

Bath

I must start this post with an apology, I have not been great at posting recently. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had the chance to get out to do a nature shoot, which is very frustrating for me. Over the next couple of weeks I am hoping to dedicate some time to ensure I am out and about in nature.

To compensate for the lack of nature this time; I recently travelled to Bath for a day trip, like most of my photography skills I am not the strongest at landscape or architectural shots but I am always willing to give them a go.

I have never visited Bath before and I must say it is an absolute gem of a city, enhanced by the Autumnal sunshine. I had a great day soaking in the culture. I’d definitely recommend if you were looking to visit somewhere with a rich history or just wanting to recharge!

The photos below are of the Abbey, the Roman Baths and Pulteney Bridge.

I hope you enjoy my take on Bath.