Autumn Bouquet

autumn-bouquet

I was in the supermarket after work today buying milk and other boring essentials, and saw this lovely autumnal bouquet reduced to clear – so I bought it to cheer myself up! πŸ™‚

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Transformation

mummy

This elderly woman is thought to have died in Thebes around 2700 years ago – a stunningly delicate example of the exceptional art of Ancient Egyptian mummification. Perhaps not the everlasting bodily preservation expected in antiquity, but an impressive transformation nonetheless. She currently resides in the British Museum in London, sleeping peacefully in her glass case for all eternity πŸ™‚

Weekly Photo Challenge: TransformationΒ 

Daily Prompt: Particular

roundel.jpg

I’ve always loved the beautifully simple design of the London Underground roundel – modern roundels (like in Oxford Circus station, below) have an open red circle with a blue bar across, but this mosaic example from Maida Vale (above) shows the older, solid red circle with blue bar, and is a particular favourite of mine.

oxford-circus-roundel

And I took this shot of a wonderful rainbow-coloured Pride roundel over the summer πŸ™‚

oxford-circus

Daily Prompt: Particular

Sunset Over London

london-sunset-leytonstone

City sunsets to me are rarely as impressive as those seen in less built-up areas – too much light pollution and less expanse of open space along the skyline to properly appreciate the full effect – so whenever I see even a promising hint of orange glow on the horizon I try to capture it as best as I can.

This was last night’s sunset over London, taken on my way home from work by my camera phone from the footbridge over the A12 in Leytonstone, East London. Not a perfect photograph by any means, but infinitely better than missing the shot altogether.

What surprised me most wasn’t the small number of people like me happy to be capturing the fast-changing colour on their phones on their way past, but the far greater number who walked on by without even lifting their heads to see πŸ™‚

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental Autumn – Motion Blur

 

This week’s photo challenge from the guys at the Daily Post is Experimental, so I went out for a walk with my camera this afternoon to try to capture the inevitable abundance of autumn leaves in a slightly differently way than usual, by experimenting with motion blur.

I initially tried to get some shots of leaves moving in the breeze, but I just don’t seem to be able to get the hang of using an ND filter to slow down the exposure time – I only got one reasonable shot out of a lot more than I’d care to admit to…

slow-exposure

Then I thought I’d experiment with the HDR setting coupled with still having the aperture closed all the way to see if that worked any better, but no, the end results just look weird…

HDR-f22

So instead I experimented with trying out a zoom-burst effect in a dimly-lit leafy tree-lined lane – no ND filter, no HDR setting, just ISO-0160, f/22 on Aperture priority, and zooming as smoothly as possible while the shutter is open. I’ve tried this technique a couple of times before, indoors, each time on a bunch of flowers in a vase, but I’ve never tried it outdoors before…

zoom-burst-1zoom-burst-2zoom-burst-3

As ever it took several attempts to find the right spot along the lane – no light at all made the final images too dull, but too much light blows out the highlights – and I also had to find the right rate of turning the zoom, and in the right direction. Now I’m home I can’t remember whether turning steadily from telephoto to wideangle, or wide-angle to telephoto was best – one gave the above result, the other created a lighter, finer streakier, less recognisable image, like the one below…

zoom-burst-4