Flower of Scotland

I’m sure that I am being stereotypically Scottish by saying that Thistles are one of my favourite flowers, but it’s true they are. These in particular are quite special as they are home grown. We have been growing Thistles in our garden for a few years now and they never fail to disappoint. Apart from being beautiful flowers to photograph they attract insects such as bees and butterflies (doing our bit for the pollinators), I’m not one to waste a photographic opportunity when these insect visitors come calling.

I love the colour of these Thistles, the radiant purple spikey flower heads that always look bright come rain or shine. As well as helping bring wildlife into our garden and giving me another source of photographic inspiration, growing these Thistles is like having a little bit of Scotland in our Yorkshire garden.

Dark Frost

As we say goodbye to Winter and welcome back Spring I thought I would share a last glimpse of Winter for another year. Dark Frost is a set that I actually created last Winter (2019). After these photographs sat dormant in my archive it felt the right time to share them now.

I wanted to try something a little different with these shots, which resulted in a more heavily edited set than my usual work. I normally prefer to apply soft editing techniques such as tweaking histogram levels, saturation, etc. Trying to leave the captured image as natural as possible. This time though I felt the urge to be a little more creative, a little more artistic. So after playing around creating various different effects I finally came up with “Dark Frost”, which in my opinion really brings out the feeling of how cold it was when I first took these shots. I wanted to create something darker than my normal work, which I think it’s safe to say I have achieved that. Sometimes it’s good to go dark, as long as you come back to the light.

Pink Cosmos

Summer is definitely my favourite season and although Autumn may be well have settled in here in the UK, I’m still hanging on to memories of summer. One memory of this summer are these beautiful Cosmos flowers, taken a couple of months ago now (September) on a visit to the cities botanical gardens.

Strawflowers

Earlier this year we planted some Strawflowers, which I have taken various photos of during the summer. Although these are the first photos that I have shared on my website so far. These flowers have intrigued me as they are unlike most flowers that I have seen as they change appearance everyday depending on the weather. So they have provided me with endless photographic inspiration since we planted them.

Today’s rain caused their bright yellow paper-like petals to conceal their orange centres, which look amazing when the flowers are in full bloom in the sun. So far they have been very hardy plants since planting them back in the Spring. I’m hoping that they survive through Winter and continue to bloom next year. I may have to keep a look out for other varieties to add to our garden.

The COVID-19 pandemic this year has definitely made me look closer to home for photographic inspiration, and I can’t get much closer to home than our own back garden. We are slowly adding interesting flowers and plants to create our own little patch of nature to relax in. The added bonus of our own little patch of nature, apart from helping wildlife, means lots of photographic inspiration for me in the form of flowers to garden wildlife.

As we have the next two weeks off on holiday, although exploring further afield may be difficult with pandemic restrictions I’m sure I will have find at least a few opportunities to get out with my camera.

English Lavender

Most of my photography usually involves going out exploring the world around me to find that certain “something” that captures my interest. These photos were taken a little closer to home, in our own garden in fact.

Over the past three years I’ve been growing our own little lavender patch. This year our lavender looks to have really bedded in and has produced some lovely blooms. I have tried to grow lavender (French Lavender) in the past with no success. Making the choice to plant English Lavender to add to our little expanding garden has really paid off, and of course it has given me another homegrown flower to photograph.

The small intricate flowers that make up the flower heads of the English Lavender can be a challenge to photograph. I wanted to try and achieve a soft focus to match the softness of the lavender but still capture the detail flowers. I think I have achieved this in most of the shots taken.

Dandelion Clocks

Dandelions we either love them or hate them, we either see them as flowers or weeds. Dandelion seed-heads (dandelion clocks) are reminiscent of childhood. How many of us have childhood memories of blowing the seed heads of dandelions, seeing how many attempts it takes before we can blow all of the seeds off while counting “One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock,…”.

While capturing these shots I love the contrast of the white seed heads against green grass, dandelion stems and foliage. They may not be everyone’s first choice of flowers to photograph, but I find the soft fluffy seed heads interesting to photograph.

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