A new lexicon of words and phrases has entered our vocabulary in recent weeks, lockdown, social distancing and self isolating, to list a few. With no travel anywhere, we are getting used to a way of living that has not been seen here in over 150 years, . Effectively we, as a population, with all the opportunities we have for mobility, travel, and experiences, have been told that for our own safety we must stay at home. We can go out for exercise, for a walk, run or bike ride and for essential items like food, but that is it. It is a strange feeling that we can’t, for now, do the things we always took for granted such as meals out, weekends away, travel, and entertaining. Even a short journey to Norwich to buy plants for my garden is no longer allowed.
For me as a landscape photographer this is particularly challenging. I have to find different ways of fulfilling my hobby. My part of Norfolk lacks the mountain and hilly vistas of the Lake District or the sweeping watery scenes of the local broads – in lockdown we are only allowed essential travel, and travelling to the coast or Norfolk Broads is not essential. Anywhere I go has to be through walking or getting out on my bike for my permitted exercise. I have to find other outlets to test my creativity.
Below, I am showing some of the images I have taken whilst the restrictions are in place. They have all been shot locally, by which I mean within a 1 hour walk of my home. Remember the mantra, unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged and our police now have the powers of arrest to stop this.
The first set of images I did not need to go anywhere. I have been intrigued by Focus Stacking for a while. For those not in the know, Focus Stacking is a photographic technique that combines multiple images taken at different focusing distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field than any of the individual source images. Focus stacking is particularly useful in macro photography where front to back sharpness of a subject is required, although it can be used in Landscape Photography.
This was my first attempt at Focus Stacking. Unfortunately the tip of the stamen of this tulip is slightly out of focus but I think the overall image is quite striking.
This daffodil from the garden was my second attempt. A much better effort. Now I need a tame bumble bee to further develop my technique.
This is what happens when you mess around in post processing and you ask yourself, “what does this button do?” A red daffodil!
As you may have seen from my previous blog, we are lucky enough to live in a small village in South Norfolk, and we can walk around the lanes with little threat from traffic. We took a stroll the other day in beautiful sunshine as the spring blossom appeared. The resultant images below.
The verges too are colourful at this time of year:
Left: Wild Primroses. Right: Hyacinths. They seem to have naturalised there, not sure if the owner of the verge planted them or whether they got there by other means. Very pretty though.
A picture of contentment. These two did not give us a glance as they munched their way along the paddock.
And finally, It is not all sunshine. This last image was taken on a late afternoon walk. It was bitter cold and windy, and we narrowly avoided getting wet from this approaching squall.