All things bright and beautiful, All creature great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
Those words take me right back to my infant school assembly! Everyone knows this hymn, even today – and most of us can say we know the words by heart – to the first two verses anyway!!
I’ve been trying to think of inspirational themes for my photography outings – much more successful with a theme!! Now it so happens that the theme for the 2021 BBC Countryfile Calendar Competition is ‘Bright and Beautiful’ so I think I might just give that a whirl.
Of course it’s light and dark that create all those great photographic effects: the photographer who can capture light falling in a special way on a scene or lighting up a person’s face (to minimize those wrinkles!) holds the key to success – candle light, the glow of an open fire, reflections bouncing back off office windows, sunlight streaming through stained glass – Christmas lights! – all lovely, but Nature’s light has the most appeal – glorious sunsets, or dappled sunlight through the trees in a forest, light caught in water droplets on a leaf or clear blue skies over snow capped mountains. I’m going in search of some of those now but in the meantime here are some I prepared earlier !
I would never want to see things in just black and white, but as far as photography goes, with the aid of Photoshop you can see your colour photos as monochrome images as well and it makes for an interesting experiment. You find yourself concentrating more on the shapes, textures and composition of a picture – it’s a bit like when you turn the volume on a television down – what you notice are the facial expressions of the people on the screen, their gestures and movements rather than just what they are saying.
Of course some people only ever shoot their pictures in monochrome and they often turn out more striking than if you desaturate an image you’ve taken in colour. Here are some of my black and white pictures: I think architectural features stand out, patterns and textures are accentuated, you notice the shadows, reflections and shapes in the windows of buildings, the markings on a butterfly’s wings or a bird’s plumage.
I love this picture – the snowy white plumage of the goose and the dark gravel behind it. Birds’ plumage and their beady eyes look great in black and white
Reflections, mirrored in water or glass, create some interesting effects
A silhouette creates a stunning image. A dark shape or outline against a light background makes for a great photo.
Eliminatiing the colour is an excellent ploy for getting people to concentrate on the details, the forms, the action …….
I’ll finish with some butterflies – one of the most colourful creatures I can think of – but with their extraordinary markings they still look beautiful in black and white !
Ha! ha! Look what we found at the bottom of our potato tub! Big Daddy – weighing in at a princely 260 grams – they weren’t all that big, but for my first attempt at growing potatoes it wasn’t a bad haul. Experienced gardeners have a tendency to give you a (virtual!) slap in the face but saying things like – ‘Potatoes are easy to grow’ – well, maybe they are but they will not squash my irrepressible joy at uncovering my very own home grown ones for the first time! And here’s dinner! Yum!
On to the other micro veg in my micro garden. Mostly in pots and troughs we have ……………courgettes
onions and leeks (all a bit squashed in too close together but i will know better next time!
I tried a cucumber plant – we grew these from seed and i nurtured and cajoled them in the conservatory to start with. Only two survived and of those 2 there is now only one looking healthy – it’s produced one edible cucumber so far – short, knobbly and bumpy like Spanish cukes but there are more coming. Yippee!!
And a bowl of strawberries – the plastic bowl has kept them up off the ground and they have ripened beautifully in amongst the fennel and nasturtiums.
And unless i turned the whole plot over to veg that is all I have space for, apart from the herb patch which has some sage and some thyme. There is a bit more thyme in pots, along with some rosemary.
The overspill is in the conservatory – 2 monster chilli plants and some tomatoes.