Photo Walks

Last month I read the article “How to lose weight & stay in shape while photo-walking” on the Phoblographer and it got me thinking. Although I have not been trying to lose weight, my photography has definitely led me to be more physically active this year. Slightly forced by the COVID-19 pandemic & subsequent lockdown, which limited our time outside to only grocery shopping and time for daily exercise. Now as I’m not a very sporty person (I’ll be honest I’m lazy), to make the most of our daily exercise outside we would go for walks around local parks or woodland and of course our cameras had to come with us. So it was the perfect excuse to go on photo-walks.

Squirrel: spotted on one of our photo-walks

Anyone who follows my photography can tell my favourite subjects to photograph is nature & wildlife. One of the thing that this COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, especially during lockdown is to enjoy nature and the world around us more. Our photo-walks has definitely helped our wellbeing (physical & mental).

Getting back to nature exploring parks & woodland

It’s vey rare that I go out with the intention of photographing any particular subject. I normally head out with the my camera and then see what captures my attention.

Spotted on another photo-walk

I want to try and continue with photo walks going forward. This may prove more difficult as we move in to winter and looming further pandemic lockdown restrictions we may find ourselves in. It’s a simple concept which has allowed me to spend more time on my photography and be slightly more active.

A walk in the Park: parks have provided lots of floral photography inspiration

Regardless of your style of photography, whether it’s nature or street photography, photos walks can definitely be a good source of inspiration and helps to keep you active. Especially in times of pandemic, as long as we’re all staying safe & social distancing I think it’s important to get outside (ideally once a day) and breathe in the fresh air & clear our minds.

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.

Azure Damselfly

My first attempt at photographing a dragonfly, not my best work but I am pretty impressed with the end result nevertheless. As you can imagine they are quite difficult to photograph as they don’t stay in one place for more than a few seconds at any one time, so a lot of patience was required. They are also quite small and with how quick they move sometimes finding where it had moved to and re-focusing was a challenge in itself.

This dragonfly was a complete chance encounter while out for another one of my photo walks. Not actually sure if I have ever encountered a dragonfly before let alone try to photograph one. I believe that this specimen is a Azure Damselfly. I feel very lucky to have been able to witness this fellow so close up.

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.

Rhododendron

I know I keep saying this lately, one of the things that I have been so grateful for during the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic / lockdown is being healthy enough to venture out for walks. Although I’m working from home more these days I’m enjoying the extra time from not having to travel as much. Spending some of this extra time enjoying what nature has for us in our surrounding parks and streets has been a god send. Of course this leads to lots of photographic inspiration.

I loved this Rhododendron bush and how it seems to have captured the sunlight so perfectly. Made me think of hazy summer days although I captured these shots in Spring. We’ve been contemplating planting a Rhododendron bush in our own garden, but seeing how quick it can spread and how big they can grow it might not be the best fit for our little garden paradise.

As I have been able to spend a little more time out taking photos so far this year, I now need to find sometime to actually post some of the photos I have taken.

Wild June

Throughout June I have been taking part in The Wildlife Trusts annual “30 Days Wild” challenge, which I have modified slightly from taking part in something wildlife/nature related to a wildlife/nature photo challenge. The concept has been the same I have been able to enjoy the nature and wildlife around me.

As I predicted, I find committing to daily challenges, well, quite frankly, a challenge! I managed to see the challenge through until the end of June even if I may not have shared photos every day. The extra spare time of being in lockdown has definitely helped, allowing me more time to spend connecting with nature. While abiding by our lockdown guidelines obviously. I have enjoyed connecting with nature more through my photography and I am sure that to some extent it has helped me survive lockdown.

Because I can’t just take one photo when I’m on a photo expedition most of my daily photos are part of a larger series of photos that I have taken on that day, which I have not shared the additional shots as part of this challenge. I shall share these as future portfolio posts.

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