Category Archives: Kew gardens

The Macro World

A rather nice little trip with the London Flickr Meetups mob to the lovely Kew Gardens was yesterday’s little outing, for a bit of macro mayhem.

I like Kew, and normally organise a trip there in the summer. ‘Organise’ very much in inverted commas, for this usually consists of ‘turn up at 11am, wander around until 5pm when we’re going to the pub’. I prefer informal, me 😉

It doesn’t seem -quite- the same without the Henry Moore Sculptures from a few years back (see Here, and Here, but I still enjoy a wander in the beautifully kept gardens, exploring the flowers and wildlife.

And in this case, the butterflies. There’s some info about it Here if you’d like to go too. The live ones are at the east end of the Prince of Wales conservatory. And some sculptures too.
Like this one:

A Bug. With Water Lillies

A Bug. With Water Lillies

For once, I was organised and came equipped with my lovely little Nikon 60mm Macro lens. Which, for once, I magaed to put to good use, and got some half-way respectable macros of the butterflies, in very-very-very close up (‘macro’ to you photo-y type people) mode. And a few other things, too.

You can go view them on Flickr Here.

And there’s a few bonus butterfly shots Here, as well.

Nice to see some new faces (Andrew – I was DEAD impressed with the Technica!), as well as the usual suspects.

Oh, and did I mention the new toy?

Nikon 16-35 f/4 *grins in a ‘now-I’m-borassic-but-happy’ way*
It does this sort of thing:

Temperate House

Temperate House. In Wiiiiiiddddddeeee view

First Signs Of Spring

…barely, anyway.

Spring is rather reluctant to come this year, what with it being cold and wet all winter, nothing wants to seem to make the effort to bud.

But then again, I didn’t want to make the effort to get out of bed, so i don’t see why the plants should either.

Still, on my first trip to the wonderful Kew Gardens this year, at least there was some colour to look at…unlike last year when we went for free on new Year’s Day and it was BLOODY FREEZING

Arse, And More Arse

My thoughts quite literally at the moment, as you can see. Although as this is a piece of marble sculpture, and therefore fine art
[ You may be able to see what little cultural leanings I have are not very well developed, can’t you? 😉 ], means that it’s perfectly acceptable.


Anyway, after the Week From Hell++™, when the file server at work decided to commit the silicon equivalent of seppuko – right at a critical time, as is the wont of these things to do so – and a certain company (who shall remain nameless but have a 2 letter moniker that comes before IBM in the dictionary) – who did not seem to be particularly bothered at our plight, despite being given lots of money, I needed a bit of a break. Really needed a break, in fact.
And hugs, but I didn’t get any of those as usual.

(*wails pitifully in background*)

With all that sort of ‘nasty things’ going on, the camera hadn’t seem the light of day all week (like me!), and as it was too late to organize a Flickr meet, I crawled out of bed at an obscene time in the morning on a Saturday to go the the lovely and relaxing Kew Gardens.
(Which, up until about 10:30 I seemed to have to myself, which was nice. If bloody cold!)

To harass peacocks in full regalia

and after about 11am, watch screaming brats trying to do much the same, except with more face-down-in-the-mud amusement for me, regretfully not caught on camera as I was laughing loudly behind a handy tree in case dear Tarquin’s parents took offence. Yes, I’m an mean and evil bastard, next question please…

And to go look at the Rhizotron, an interesting metal structure you can climb up and look out over the vistas of Kew, unimpeded by tree leaves for they have all fallen off by now.

Not good for the scared-of-heights crew if, as it was then, a tad windy.

And bonus of the day, a house which I didn’t even realise existed, the Evolution house which has a nice waterfall, perfect for those long exposure shots you do of water.

Even if the Gorilla Pod did get a few remarks when I attached it to a notice.

It’s all in the name of art, I tell you.


Oh Arse, then!

It’s Supposed to be Spring!

..not snowing (again). This time last year we were experiencing beautiful sunshine and warm spring days.

This year, we’ve had rain, gloom, more rain and snow. Bah, Not happy. Not happy at all.

Overworked, underpaid, eternally and hopelessly single.

Moan. Gripe. Winge.

Still, at least snow looks nice, even if it does make a complete pig’s ear of transport. Especially if you live out in the hinterlands like me. You Londoners don’t know how lucky you are – night buses (here: what buses?), the tube, things don’t generally completely halt when there’s a slight hint of unseasonal weather, etc, etc.

So what else has happened this week? Well I had two days off work sick (you don’t want to know – it was messy and unpleasant. Enough said of that!).

Took a trip to St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday and was most annoyed to find out you can’t take photos inside (oh, come on…), and it’s a long climb to the top where you can extract your camera and start clicking away guilt-free.

434 steps in fact to the Golden Gallery oop top…Nice view, wouldn’t you say?

So what other fascinatingly uninteresting items are there this week?

Err…hang on while I think about it…

Ah yes, two things. Firstly that there image on the right made the final 20 of the Henry Moore at Kew showcase, which pleased and surprised me no end.

And even better, the London Flickr-ites has 5 of the final 20!

Two for Boncey (Greedy!), and one each for Jfkglass, *Rosamundi*, and yours truely. Or Untruely, if you prefer.

And for the first time in 16 years I managed to back the winner in the Grand National.

Now there’s a minor miracle…

Night Shooting Cock-ups

Unto The Gloom

Amazing how one moment you think “Yay! Blue skies!” and not a few minutes later when the sun’s just disapeared over the horizon, you’ve met all the other Flickr-ites, got all your gear out, erected tripod and got all set, it then rapidly clouds over and absolutely pisses down.

It wasn’t just the rain (which was bad enough), but very windy too (blowing the less weighty tripods over) and generally unpleasant in your face.
Which is, frankly, a bit of a bugger when you’ve already paid. We retreated to the shelter of the shop for quite a while to dry camera and extremities out.

And then to cap it all, because of all this you forget to turn the VR off on your camera (Canonites – read ‘IS’), and it cocks up virtually all the shots you take.

Not to mention the bods who ignored the patiently waiting and rather sodden peoples with cameras who were to a very-PC-like person staying out of each other’s shots. Grr.

Wet. Heavy bag. Walking boots chaffed feet. Crap images. Only a couple of salvageable ones.

Like this, which was almost unique in being tolerably in focus.

Still kew does look good lit up at night.

I just wish you could order the weather to go with it.
(Cue best Frankie Howerd voice)
And thrice Grrr.

Blue Wicker

Taken during the London Flickr Meet at Kew Gardens. Trying to get another image into the Spring gallery of the Henry Moore exhibition.

Having already got one in the Winter section, thankyouverymuch.

Thanks to the lovely *Rosamundi* for the free pass!

Not-at-all-Gratuitous Plug 🙂
She’s got one in the Autumn Section, which had far more entries. And it’s nice. Really. Go take a look. It’s the Swan. Good, isn’t it?

Photoshopp’ed selective colour to highlight the blues, not that there was much other than gray in the background anyway.

More Here
And in the London Flickr Meetup Pool you’ll find the efforts of the rest of the mob. Go take a look. Now, please.

Stop yawning at the back!