Tag Archives: poppy

Every cloud has a silver lining…

What has happened to our summer? Where is our sun? April was hot, July has been damp…. But it does mean that the gardens look good, and that was brought to the fore this weekend when we went to Whately Manor in the Cotswolds, all very lush….

A fine English garden

What a place this is! A spa – where of course Mrs Peck indulged, expensively; a huge bedroom which was so large the four poster looked.., well,… small (it wasn’t), And frankly, after I had had my arm twisted to drink yet another Vodka Martini by J. Carter I needed a big bed to space out! ¬†A lovely¬†michelin starred restaurant – heavenly cooking: perhaps the best English breakfast I’ve ever had (once I managed to get up).

Come on in...

But the best were the gardens. Quintessentially English, immaculately tendered, soft, lush and full of colour.

Meadow flowers

The hot border

So every cloud has a silver lining. Especially these clouds – they have brought the best out of the gardens. Such is life in England…

Lush flowers and Cotswold stone.

If it’s not good enough, you’re not close enough! Macro Flowers.

I’ve just been going back through my files. It’s really weird to look back at what I was photographing 10 years ago. My first real subject was flowers, and close up at that. I got quite passionate about flowers, I guess I still am, and I loved taking my time, getting in really close, using the macro lens and a tripod, and trying to capture form, colour, shape, texture and line.

A common-or-garden poppy

Amazing, I think, that such beauty exists all around us, in the most ordinary things, and that we usually just pass them by without really noticing them. But that is exactly what photography forces you to do: to look, closely. The most common things become quite breath-taking. Here’s another poppy:

Another back garden poppy

There were 2 photographers who were inspirational when it came to flowers. The first is Clive Nichols, whose book New Shoots, is very much the style that I’ve copied here. The second is Robert Mapplethorpe, who is known for a quite different lens subject matter. When you realise that he died in the 90s in New York from Aids you’ll get a sense of what scene he was best known for. His pictures are truly superb, and his black and white flower photos are exquisite. Check out his book ‘Pistils’. I don’t have his eye, or his skill, yet. But I’m working towards it. In the meantime, here are a few Ranunculii:

Yellow ranunculus

These flower heads are actually quite small. About the size of a 50 pence piece. The macro lens brings all that glorious colour and form right up close and perspective is quite lost. I rather like the abstract nature of the pic above, creamy egg yolk on top of fiery layers of gold leaf paper. Delicious.

Here’s a more realistic pic of the same genus:

Yellow ranunculus, head on.

Get in contact if you ever want a print to go on a bedroom, lounge, dining room wall (I know that some people have even got my flower pics in the loo!) I probably have a flower to match any colour scheme…

And let me know if you like the photos – you can subscribe to the blog using the button on the right hand side. Cheers!