Peachy: to cure butterfly eyes

Posted on February 24, 2013 by Admin under contemplate, D90, floral, macro, Nikon 105 f2.8, peachy, petals, rose, savour, texture, velvet

Take a moment to do something we so rarely find time for in our lives.  Take time to look.  But not just to look. Take time to really see.  

Look at a rose.  Take a while.   Can you feel the velvet touch of the petals? Almost smell the delicate perfume? It’s sumptuous, its sensuous. It is beautiful.

I love this type of photography – that an image like this can capture more than our eyes usually see.  Last time you glanced at a rose, did you really take in the texture? Did you want to touch it? To feel the soft velvet? Our senses are so intertwined, so inclined to prompt each other,  that if you didn’t, then perhaps you didn’t really look.

Because that is what we do in our daily lives: we glance.  Our eyes are butterflies flitting from sight to sight, resting just long enough to record an impression, to snapshot a scene.

And if I have an aim, a desire in the pictures I share here – it is to encourage you to go beyond that butterfly moment, to rest your eyes in one image for a few moments, and to really see what is there.  Then next time you pause to admire a rose, you may look closer, to seek what you previously discovered in a photograph on my website or in a picture on your wall, and to savour a moment that you may otherwise have missed.

If I have tempted you to do that – come back and tell me what you found.

Thank you.
Sonning Creatives

For cards, prints and canvases of this image please visit my page here:

Be mine, Columbine

Posted on February 11, 2013 by Admin under backlit, Colin Kemp, Columbine, flower, macro, Nikon 105 f2.8, petals, pink, Sonning Creatives, valentine, yellow

Valentine’s day is coming fast and roses are everywhere.  But whether it’s my cheesy alliteration  or the sheer joy I got when I saw this on the camera LCD – it’s this shot of a Columbine with which I want to say ‘Be Mine’.

So why the passion?  Well, sorry to be a camera geek, but this was taken within 10 minutes of unpacking my first proper macro lens – the trusty Nikon 105.  Bought on ebay, picked up by a relative in Hull, brought down to ‘sunny Southend’ where it was unpacked on a beautiful June evening.  Not being blessed with the proverbial green fingers, my garden is not well endowed with luscious blooms.  But this Columbine was  in flower,  and it was back lit by the evening sun.  What’s more, the area behind it was in quite deep shadow.

Metering so that I exposed for the bloom, hand held despite this being the non-VR version of the lens, I was blown away by the outcome.  So blown away, that a good proportion of my work is now close up or macro.  I love the fine detail we can pull out with close ups, detail we may not even be aware of with normal vision… just look at those fine, back lit hairs along the petals!

So be mine, Columbine.  Or perhaps, what I’m whispering those sweet nothings to… is Nikon’s Micro 105 f2.8.  Gorgeous! 

Oh… sorry Mrs Kemp!  You are gorgeous too!

You can get closer to my Columbine as a card, a print or even a canvas, over on Redbubble where this my most viewed image:

Photography: feet can be as important as hands

Posted on February 10, 2013 by Admin under autumn, big sky, mirrored water, reeds, reflection, Snape Maltings, Sonning Creatives
 Photographs are taken with the hands – right?  Well, perhaps not!  Sometimes the photographer’s feet are just as important!

In November I visited Snape Maltings – a gentle, reed-girdled river just in from the Suffolk coast.  It was a perfect Autumn afternoon, the river showing a classical mirrored stillness.  The colour contrast between river / sky and the reeds was glorious and I couldn’t wait to get the camera out.  
This part of the east coast always offers huge skies, but with no cloud, the interest was in the landscape.  My first shot showed that big sky and good reflections.  But the image lacked something.  It had no pizzazz.

So I walked on a little … no more than 30 or 40 yards… and suddenly the vista opened up, revealing a beautiful S-curve.  The final key to the shot was to engage knees too and take it from a lower position to provide some foreground interest by emphasising the reeds on my side of the river.

The final image needed very little post-processing – a judicious crop, and a little detail boost was about it.

This shot makes a great canvas – but you wouldn’t give it a second glance if I hadn’t moved my feet!

Available as canvas or print at


Posted on February 3, 2013 by Admin under black and white, bourbon on the porch, Kennebunkport, reflections, Sonning Creatives

It was late afternoon at the end of May 2012.  We were on our first visit to New England and had just one night in Kennebunkport.  And you know how it is: just when you want pristine, puffy-cloud scattered skies for the perfect sunset over the marina – that’s when you get overcast skies, drizzle and lousy visibility.  But as we wandered across the bridge at the head of the harbour, I knew I had to capture the view.  And I wanted it in black and white.
Looking out over the lagoon from the bridge you can’t miss a fabulous large residence or hotel.  The woods behind were shrouded in mist, and the lagoon was still enough for pleasing reflections.

It was so damp I did not want to risk changing the lens – Nikon’s excellent 16-85 DX was on the camera.  The first shot was nice and wide – but there was too much grey sky, too much grey lagoon.  Zooming in to bring the building to prominence at an effective 75mm produced this shot. It’s OK in colour, but it’s in black and white that I see what I had hoped to capture.  It’s a timeless image – nothing to suggest 2012, or indeed, the time of day. Perhaps, like me, you can rest your eyes here – and contemplate life overlooking the lagoon… Nice glass of bourbon on the porch, anyone?

 PS: Do you know Kennebunkport?  Please let me know what this building is on my feedback page.