Benington Lordship, Hertfordshire, England

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The Benington Lordship historic Georgian manor house,  Gardens, and the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle, is located just east of Stevenage, and around 35 miles north of London, in the picturesque village of Benington, in the county of Hertfordshire.

The garden at Benington Lordship are open at various times of the year, the snowdrop walks throughout the grounds are particularly popular towards the end of wintertime.

Visit the Benington Lordship website for more information. Click Here

Orchid on White

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Trying out some different lighting for an orchid image, I set up a small infinity curve using a Colorama Colorgloss White background which was lit from behind by a single Elinchrom RX4 and softbox.

I used a couple of small white polystyrene discs to bounce a little light back onto the orchid, as per the setup below.

Backlit Orchid setup

The aim was to get good lighting on the orchid, with the background completely white. Even thoughI was shooting at f8, the shallow depth of field with the macro lens required me to stack the images.

The final images were stacks of 10 – 12 images each with the focus point slightly moved. The images were align using Photoshop and then blended into a stack.

For the second image I got in closer which again resulted in a minimal depth of feild.

 

 

 

Winter Garden Photography

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Thorny FrostWith autumn now passed and winter taking a hold the garden is not looking its best and floral subject matter is minimal. A few leaves are remaining and the birds are finishing off the berries. A damp and cold time of year, but looking closely still provide plenty of different subject matter for winter garden photography.

While most of the colour consists of greens and browns, there are still some colourful leaves and berries adding orange and red splashes. When the frost hits, the crispness and sparkle also gives the garden a different look especially with a bit of added sunlight enhancing the bokeh effect.

Toadstools in the grass.The rain, mist and fog while dulling the day provide more subjects to photograph that would perhaps not be so appealing in their dry state. Toadstools emerge from from the lawn, nestling amongst the grass and on the warmer days start the new growth on the Honeysuckle. Bulbs are starting to show, ready to provide the colour at the end of winter and into spring.

Looking closer at the decaying leaves, fungus, and lichens they all provide remarkable miniature detail and provide excellent macro subjects for the colder months. The ice crystal formations in the frost again provide excellent detail, with even the greenhouse glass putting on a display of natures art.

 

The dull weather can make winter garden photography a little difficult, but the possible quality high ISO of digital SLR's and a sturdy tripod will help tremendously and allow for a smaller aperture and greater depth of field. One thing that is for certain is the garden is always changing and the more you look the more detail and subjects you will see, and not just the plants, remember the birds and animals will also be feeding and active and with some strategically placed food may come and pose for a shot or two.