Sunday, 5 July 2020

Bluebells in the Warwickshire Woodlands

I’m a bit late posting this, given that bluebell season is now well and truly over, but I thoroughly enjoyed photographing this year’s batch. My local woodlands is a lovely place for walking and photography throughout the year, but for a short window somewhere around April/May it takes on a whole new character. The air is alive with the sounds of bees and insects performing their duties, the spring sun provides beautiful light and shade through the trees, and the carpet of bluebells adds a sprinkle of bright, refreshing colour to the scene, like something out of a fairy tale.









All bluebell photos were taken in woodlands within Warwickshire.

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you would like me to photograph your wedding or event in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Monday, 1 June 2020

Badger Watching in Warwickshire


A few years ago I had an amazing experience whilst walking through some hills in Warwickshire where I stumbled upon an area of wasteland full of fox holes carved into a stretch of sloped woodland. By sheer luck and good fortune I encountered a group of fox cubs playing in the afternoon sun. They allowed me to get really close and either didn't notice my presence or didn't seem to mind it. I only had my phone with me but made sure I took loads of video footage of them darting in and out of their hole and chasing each other around. It left me feeling privileged to have seen it and was easily the best wildlife encounter I've ever had.

Then, disaster struck (and a lesson learnt) - when upgrading phones and after backing everything up to my PC, I formatted the phone memory card, convinced everything had been transferred to the computer. But... it hadn't. The videos were missing and the phone was now wiped. This has been a source of regret for me ever since.

Each April/May since I've returned to the same spot in hopes of seeing more fox cubs, but so far I've had no luck. Last week, however, I visited the area again with a sense of optimism and anticipation.

Suddenly I heard a rustling in the distance, then in my periphery vision I saw an unusual shape that took my mind a few seconds to decipher... This badger! I spent a fascinating hour watching him (or her, I’m no badger sex-er) from a distance rummaging around the undergrowth oblivious to me watching.

Whilst not what I was looking for, it was a really welcome substitute and a great wildlife experience. I’m particularly pleased with how these given I don’t have a true wildlife lens so had to gradually get as close as I could without being detected.







All badger photos were taken in Warwickshire on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50 - 140mmF/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you would like me to photograph your wedding or event in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!


Friday, 10 April 2020

Working From Home Because of Corona?

Original Post: https://lukebennettphotos.com/blog/2020/4/7/working-from-home-because-of-corona

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; (if you haven’t already) get a bird feeder!

Spending hours at home in front of a computer can get very boring, especially in these strange times of self isolation and quarantine. Nature probably seems like a distant memory to some people right now. Which is very sad as I firmly believe nature to be the remedy to a lot of things, introducing perspective, calmness, awe and beauty to the stressed mind.

As a photographer, if I’m not out taking photos, I tend to be indoors, alone, sorting through and processing photographs. As regular readers may have seen in previous blog posts, I’ve had some relief from my own company in the form of what’s going on outside my living room window. I get regular visits to my bird feeder from all manner of small birds and critters; from blue tits and nuthatches to squirrels and mice.

It’s really nice to see and frequently brings a smile to my face as well as a welcome distraction.

Squirrel navigates the bird feeder

Dunnock

Blackbird
All photos of the critters outside my window were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF50 - 140mmF/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.


Finding Beauty in the Old and Dilapidated - Photographing an Abandoned Barn


Sometimes photography will surprise you with subjects that you weren’t anticipating. In turn, sometimes the photos you take of those subjects will also surprise you. This was one of those occasions. 

I hadn’t set out to take photos of this old abandoned barn, but I’m glad I did. In reality, I was simply wanting a relaxing afternoon walk, on a path through corn fields I’d taken many times before. I knew the barn was there as I’d seen it in the distance, in my periphery, but as it was off the established route I’d never really looked at it properly before. 
On this occasion something drew me in closer, so I took a detour. Some may call it a minor trespass. I set my white balance in the fading light and started to shoot. 

What struck me immediately was how rich and colourful the textures were. Years of weathering worn proudly over its stoic wooden exterior. The rich green mosses usually seen on the northern side of trees in forests latched onto the jaunty, battered roof, affectionately. Looking closely against the mellow sky, I could see old nails forced up from their positions by the expansion of damp timbers that surely did their best to face off many storms and rainfalls, but had to do it alone, unassisted and unprotected by regular care or maintenance. 

Whilst shooting I started wondering; how long had it been there? Who had built it? What sights had it witnessed over the years? This old barn had plenty of character and seemingly many tales to tell. I plan to go back throughout the year to hear some more. Perhaps it will surprise me again.


Old abandoned barn

Years of expansion forcing nails from the damp wood



All photos of this abandoned barn in Warwickshire were taken on the Fuji X-T2 with the Fujifilm XF50 - 140mm F/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.
Please visit my main website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes. Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Concrete, Canals and Graffiti

Last month as part of my recovery from surgery, I took a walk down my local stretch of the Grand Union canal. It was a nice clear day, cold and bright; good photography weather. In fact, looking back, it was probably the last week where the vibrancy of autumn was still visible - the leaves have now all dropped from their branches so everywhere is looking a bit dreary and devoid of colour.
After a little while I came to a section of concrete overpass where the motorway crosses over the top of the canal. I’m not a fan of graffiti, as a rule (unless there’s an element of skill or thought behind it), but it can certainly make a photo more interesting. It just so happened that I’d arrive at the overpass as the sun was low enough in the sky to shine through brilliantly, creating severe areas of light and shadow and illuminating the tags on the concrete. Unfortunately I didn’t have my tripod with me, or it might have been fun to combine multiple exposures for more control over the balance of shadows and highlights in post production, but I think they came out OK.











All photos of the Grand Union Canal in Warwickshire were taken on the Fuji X-T2 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm F/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.
Please visit my main website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes. Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Winter Photography in Warwickshire

Happy New Year! Well done, everyone, you made it through 2019, you should be proud of yourselves!

To kick off the first post of 2020, now that autumn is firmly behind us, I thought I’d upload some wintery pictures.

The following were actually taken last winter, around the grounds of Charlecote Park, one of my favourite places to spend a few hours mooching around with my camera. I made a point of getting up pretty early that day with the hope of catching a nice frost and some sunrise shots of the deer. Whilst the frost cooperated, the clouds did not, so the lighting wasn’t as spectacular as I’d have liked.

There’s definitely a different feel to photos taken at sunrise, compared to sunset, though. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I guess there’s more a sense of optimism in the air as everything gradually comes to life, light leading the way, the birds chirping their dawn chorus. Sunset can be really nice and peaceful, but there’s more a sense that time is running out (at least for photography endeavours) as the light gradually fades.







All photos of the Warwickshire landscape in winter were taken on the Fuji X-T2 with the Fujifilm XF50 - 140mm F/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

Autumn in Warwickshire - A Farewell to the Season

Regular visitors might have noticed I’ve posted less frequently over the last couple of months. Long story short - I ended up having some surgery in October that has taken me out of action for a while. I’m still gaining full strength back but I’m pleased to say that I’m once again capable of going out with my camera again for some walks! It’s something I missed a lot whilst recuperating, especially so knowing that autumn was in full effect whilst I was bed-bound! As a farewell to the season, with the cold of winter starting to take over and the colourful leaves almost completely shed, I’m sharing some of my favourite autumnal photos from this year and last. All were taken within the county of Warwickshire at some of my most frequented walking spots.





The above shots were taken during a short walk through Hay Woods nearby National Trust Baddesley Clinton. The woods were full of those beautiful late autumn oranges in the leaves, some still just about hanging to their branches, many fallen to the floor to provide nutrients to the critters and ultimately enrich the soil for continued growth next year. The smell of autumn was rich in the air too, carried by the moisture that purveyed, contributing to the presence of lots of rich green mosses.









The photos above (with the exception of the last three, which were taken the year before) were taken this year at National Trust Charlecote Park, the day before I went in for surgery, towards the end of October. The gardens there are home to some beautiful old trees that stand impressively large on the grounds, full of amazing character; the twisted, gnarled trunks, set off impressively by their multi coloured leaves during the autumn time. The icing on the cake are the deer that like to sit peacefully under the trees from time to time, presumably in a moment of calm, gathering their energy, in between rutting.

Above are some photos taken whilst walking through the grounds of Kenilworth Castle, last autumn. The lighting was brilliant, lending enormously to the atmosphere with a slightly yellowy shimmer. All photos of the Warwickshire landscape in autumn taken on the Fuji X-H1 and X-T2 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens and Fujifilm XF50 - 140mm F/2.8 lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.
Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.
Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

I’m a bit late posting this, given that bluebell season is now well and truly over, but I thoroughly enjoyed photographing this year’s batch...