Complementary colours

Recently I took several photos on bright, sunny days and was attracted by the more colourful contrasts, because I knew the pale, delicate colours would be washed out. Occasionally, I also like to sketch and paint and I recently bought a colour wheel. This got me thinking about the use of complementary colours in photography and their effectiveness. When opposite colours of the colour wheel are placed next to each other, they can produce an eye-popping picture.

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A seven spot ladybird on a bluebell in macro.

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An orange poppy against long, green grass.

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Red poppy anemones blowing in the wind, with a hint of green in the background.

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Just blossom & magnolia.

Not much else to say really, blossom is so beautiful. But it it believed that the first flower, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled a Magnolia and that these flowers existed before bees.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/revealed-the-first-flower-140-million-years-old-looked-like-a-magnolia/ 

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The Fibonacci sequence in nature

I saw this plant and for some reason, the term ‘Fibonacci sequence’ popped into my head. I had heard of it and knew it was linked to patterns in nature, but really knew little about it. So I did some investigating. The Fibonacci sequence starts like this: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and continue to infinity. Each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it. 

It appears throughout nature – for example, in the design of shells, the way tree branches grow out of trees, the development of leaf veins, the pattern of seed heads, the positioning of flower petals (such as roses) and is even in the shape of tropical storms. It has been described as “the code of nature” and runs through the cosmos – appearing in spiral galaxies. Isn’t nature clever?

 

Memories of Iceland

Sometimes you re-discover photos you forgot you had. Here are some from Iceland.

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The ever-changing Icelandic weather.

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The statue of Leifur Eiríksson outside Hallgrímskirkja, the first European to arrive in America.

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View from Reykjavik harbour.

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Alaskan lupine. An invasive plant species taking over Iceland. https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/why-iceland-is-turning-purple/

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View from the top of Hallgrímskirkja, looking towards Reykjavik harbour.

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Geysir geothermal area – iron rich soils contrast with the azure hot springs.

The Golden Hour

Light. That crucial factor in photography. The golden hour is the period of time just after sunrise or before sunset, which gives a beautiful, golden hue to landscape and portrait pictures. The low angle of the sun makes the shadows softer and longer. The diffused light can emphasize textures and produce specific effects.

The actual duration depends on where you live in the world (and time of year), so if you live near the equator it can be very short as sunset is quickly followed by darkness. Whereas, further north (near the Arctic circle) or south during Spring and Autumn, it can last in excess of an hour.

There is even an app which tells you the time and duration of the Golden Hour, the Blue Hour (just before sunrise and just after sunset), sunrise, sky index, light index as well as celestial events for anywhere you live in the world. All of course, subject to local weather conditions…

But there’s something magical about capturing pictures with that golden glow.

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This blossom was in a small dell, which was quite dark and with not much light. The sun came out just before sunset and backlit the blossom with a soft light.

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The long shadows from the light give an additional focus to the crocuses.

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Re-visiting the Beast from the East

Just over a year ago, we had a ‘polar vortex,’ which resulted in some severe weather conditions for the U.K. (We love talking about the weather don’t we?). We experienced temperatures of -11 celsius, not including wind chill factors. We had heavy snowfalls, blizzards and snowdrifts. This was in total contrast to the balmy conditions of 21 celsius we experienced a couple of weeks ago (What IS happening to our weather?).

Recently, I came across a picture of an icicle that someone had posted on WP. I remembered the one I had taken during last year’s extreme cold spell using a macro lens; if you can enlarge the image, you can actually see melted snowflakes within it. 

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Trapped air bubbles within the icicle.

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My best attempt at trying to capture a snowflake, I was really hoping it would snow again this year, so I could practice it again! I love the star bit in the middle! 

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It was so cold for a few days, that all kinds of birds suddenly appeared in our garden and came very close to the house that you wouldn’t usually see, in search of food. This was a migratory Fieldfare.

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This blackbird came so close, it was almost feeding out of my hand.

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On a walk in a nearby country lane, several birds took shelter on the lee side of the hedge. They had scraped away the top soil (I suppose looking for food) and had made little holes. They made little attempt to fly off, like they normally would.

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