jewelry photography the sea the seaside the shore

Jo’s Jewellery – an update

Jude the Undergardener and I were so proud when we attended the launch evening of a new season at a gallery in the world-famous riverside town of Ironbridge. The gallery is appropriately called Ironbridge Fine Arts, which aims to showcase the best local artists and crafts people. We arrived in the dark of a winter evening to have a look at Jo’s jewellery in the gallery, and on the way to find her display I set to work with my camera.


And then there its was – Jo’s work.


While on holiday in Norfolk with daughter Jo and her husband Rob, we found a beach where we could photograph some of her jewellery for her new website. Here we used the colours and textures of sea-battered wood of groynes and supports for beach-huts. Jo works mainly in silver with some gold embellishments and some resin work so you need the right backgrounds to enhance the character and characteristics of the work in photos.

Once we realise we have come across a suitable location, we are so pleased with ourselves – not all ideas work out! We soon get to work if the light is right, checking out backgrounds, angle of light, cloud cover, and then homing in on colour, texture and patterns for each piece of jewellery. Sometimes we strike lucky and the piece matches and works with the chosen object behind it and the effect of the light of course. Sometimes though we wander around trying a single piece in lots of different places until the feeling is right. All four of us discussed each and every one of the photos so it was real teamwork.

A perfect location will afford us the chance to photograph against a background that enhances the jewellery, adds atmosphere and adds interest without distracting from the subjects themselves. This beach was spot on and the row of beach houses on stilts was an added bonus.


Here was plenty of potential for shots to be taken. We had the sea, the sand and the sky to photograph against as well as rusting metal surfaces, sea battered wood and pealing paintwork.


It feels good to be involved in Jo’s jewellery craftwork. But even better is being able to contribute my photographic interests with Rob’s IT skills on Jo’s website he designed and  runs. Here are some of the successful photographs from the session on the beach.


More recently more new jewellery awaited photographing and this time we used the colours, patterns and textures of the autumn garden, including our Seaside Garden. This time Rob and I worked together to find the best backgrounds and positioning of each piece – we work well together.  I thought I would share twenty or so of the many photographs we took. So I hope you enjoy this gallery – as usual click on the first pic and then navigate using the arrows.

To check out Jo’ creations and Rob’s website skills please look at the website at .



autumn light light quality photography winter gardens

Simply Beautiful 1 – delicacy in the border.

Sometimes the simplest of things are the most beautiful!

Take one twig!


Pink leaf petioles.

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A single flower from the complex head of an Hydrangea sitting on a leaf.

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I will be looking out for more such simple beauties and sharing them with you from now on. My new challenge for my Nikon lens!

colours flowering bulbs garden design garden photography garden ponds garden pools gardening gardens grasses hardy perennials light light quality ornamental trees and shrubs photography shrubs spring bulbs spring gardening water in the garden

Aiming for a year round garden – early spring.

We looked at our garden in late winter to see if our aim of creating a garden with interest all year was paying off. Now in Early April things have changed a lot in the garden since our last look so I thought we could have a look at it in early spring. Are we getting there?

I shall start with a look out over our gravel garden, The Chatto Garden, which illustrates just how important Euphorbias are at this time of year. The second shot illustrates how our new border has developed since we planted it up earlier this year.

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Foliage is still a key element in early Spring including fresh foliage of newly emerging herbaceous plants.

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Plants don’t have to be new to be good! Just look at the old favourite shrub, the flowering currant – just ask the bees and they will say how important they are! And of course daffodils and muscari bring life to our spring gardens every year without fail. All bulbs give little splashes of colour to brighten the dullest spring day.

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Our Hellebores are still going strong.

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And now a quick visit to our Japanese Garden and the pond side border alongside. There is a lot of colour to find here.

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Our native Primrose is perhaps our favourite plant in our garden at this time of the year with the delicacy of its scent and colour. Other small flowers star before their larger neighbours take over the borders.

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The star plant in our garden for early spring has to be the Chatham Island Forget-me-Not, Myosotidium hortemsium, with the flowers in a shade of blue that is so intense it is impossible to describe in words or give labels to. It lives in our Shade Garden so we have to make an effort to go and see it. It deserves our effort.

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One part of the garden that we have given a spring clean to is the Seaside Garden which was in need of a face lift.

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And for a promise of scent and colour soon to come  we need to turn to the Viburnum family.

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There are just too many photos left so I shall move into a gallery for you to enjoy.

landscapes light quality log piles logs

Take Two

Recently I published a post about one tree, today I follow up with a post about two logs. Of course they are from Silver Birch trees, my favourite trees. When we have our log supply for the winter delivered the birch logs always look so colourful and full of textures. These two started getting more colourful and as the bark dried and peeled the textures got more interesting.

So I popped them down on the back lawn and took these shots. Please enjoy! You just have to like the curly bits! Look closely and you will find landscapes in miniature brought out by the bright sunlight.

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garden photography gardens open to the public photography trees

The Survivor – Take One Tree

Whilst on a garden visit recently to the National Trust’s Dunham Massey, we came across an ancient tree just about hanging on to life. There was very little left of the main trunk and what was left was hollow and had lost its bark.

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One branch had found enough life there to grow out from one side and produced  healthy looking growth. It gave the impression of  a young tree growing on top of the remains of a dead one.

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I tried a few of the pics in black and white  to emphasise the textures.

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Gwyndd light light quality photography the sea the seaside the shore townscapes Wales

Closed for Winter but not Deserted – Barmouth – Part One

So after journeying through Wales we were getting very close to the sea.

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The road along the Mawdach estuary gained sharper bends and narrowed and we soon found ourselves alongside the sea. The railway bridge crossing the estuary came into view as we approached Barmouth , a crisp silhouette cutting through the seascape.

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The road rose up a final slope taking us up and over this row of old boats and fishing huts.

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The road into the town was covered in drifts of sand built by the combination of recent high tides and strong winds. We slowed to a walking pace as driving became difficult. We made our way to the first car park, wrapped ourselves up well in thick coats, gloves, scarves and I had the added protection of a hat and set out to explore our one of our favourite seaside towns. We noticed that the sand had drifted right up the promenade seats burying their legs, and almost to the tops of the concrete sea defences.

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We found the town mostly closed along the sea front, all closed up safely for winter. Cafes, amusement arcades, fairgrounds all empty of life. Outdoor seating was locked away and the fairground rides in wraps. We were surprised to see that Elvis had his own parking space alongside Las Vegas Amusements.

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The hotels and guest houses glowed in the sun with the deep blue-black of the stormy sky, the white  of their window frames and doorways intensified. Suddenly a rainbow began to grow before our eyes and we watched as it became a full semi-circle of every colour under the sun.

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One tiny building was very close to the sea, actually situated on the promenade, making it very vulnerable to the ravishes of the winter tides and storms. We discovered lovely sayings written on rustic boards. Even closed this little beach cafe, The Beach Cabin, had a lovely atmosphere.

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Welcome to the beach cabin

No worries

No cares

No dramas

Relax you’re on beach time

No watches

No clocks

No deadlines 

Life is good on the beach

Across the promenade from the Beach Cabin sand dunes covered in rough grasses formed a barrier between the cabin and the beach and sea. We made our way over the dunes to explore the seashore itself and go back towards the way the entered the town. Follow our footsteps in my next post, Closed for Winter but not Deserted – Barmouth – Part Two

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countryside Gwyndd landscapes light light quality photography the seaside Wales

Over the hills to the sea – part two.

Continuing our journey from home across the Welsh mountains to the sea, we turned more to the north and climbed up steeply into far more rugged countryside. Each corner revealed new startling views of deeply cut glacial valleys and ridges eroded by the grinding action of glaciers in the last ice age. Few trees grow on these steep slopes with their shallow soils. We were now out of the county of Powys and travelling through Gwynedd.

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We drove into a pass that took us up Dinas Mawddry where steep rugged mountains rose up on either side. This is notoriously difficult stretch of road often made impassable by deep drifts of snow. Back in the seventies when we first drove through this pass when cars were less powerful than today cars were often beaten by the steepness and the sharp bends. At the bottom drivers took a deep breath, crossed their fingers and put their foot down. Today’s cars take it in their stride and drivers can instead appreciate the beauty of the place. Some of the following shots were taken through the car windows so are less clear, but it was at times impossible to stop safely.

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As we bypassed Dolgellau the valley widened out and in places rich pastureland spread out either side of the road.

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We turned into a wide valley and the road passed through marshland and muddy areas of the Mawdach estate. Clouds hung low here. The view became hidden and the hill tops disappeared in their mistiness. The road ran through stone walls and the bends slowed the traffic.

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We were now close to our day’s destination the seaside at Barmouth. My next post will be all about our day there.

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Taking advantage of the light.

Early September sees the light values changing in subtle ways. As the sun dips against a blue sky and evening takes over from the day, light comes into the garden from much lower down. This angle has a magical effect on the prairie planting in our Beth Chatto Garden.

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I couldn’t resist taking my camera with long lens out the first time I was lucky enough to spot these first signs of Autumn. Please let me know what you think of these photos. I have included every shot I fired off in a brief ten minutes of special light. Catch the moment!

So here is the gallery warts and all, no interference from Photoshop. As usual click on any photo to get going and then click on the arrow.

garden photography photography Shropshire

Our Log Pile

Each summer we have a delivery of logs, a truck load of hardwoods mostly oak, birch and poplar with just a few softwood pieces. We stack the logs to let them season well before we need them in the colder months to come. They dry out and become much more efficient burners, giving off more heat and burning for longer.

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This year they have been subjected to periods of very hot dry weather so have changed colour dramatically and dried out completely. Any bark left on the birches has curled into lovely shapes as it dries out exposing a rich mahogany red layer below.

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Please browse and enjoy my gallery of photos taken on a bright day with strong light and deep shadows.

And now for a final shot of a surprise find in the pile as I moved a few logs. This little critter was hidden away and didn’t even move when I spoiled his hiding place and removed his security.

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He eventually realised he was left exposed so fluttered off to feed on the nearby Buddleja bush.

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buildings photography Shropshire

The Architectural Heritage of Shrewsbury – Part 1 From Station to Castle.

Back to some Shropshire architecture for this posting as promised. At the back-end of 2012 I posted a couple of articles based around the market town of Ludlow after being challenged by some followers to feature architecture photos. So here is another batch of posts on the architecture of Shropshire.

Just ten minutes up the road we find the county town of Shropshire. It is not a large town but its ambition is to become a city. Shrewsbury is famous for its historical buildings, for being the birthplace of Charles Darwin and for being the friendliest, most well-mannered town in England.

We don’t go into our shire capital often for the usual reason ie shopping. We avoid shopping whenever we can and try even harder to avoid shopping in town centres. Too much noise, too many people, too much traffic!

But we love Shrewsbury for its buildings and the entertainment it provides for us. Theatre, cinema, jazz club and coffee houses.

This series of posts feature the buildings of our town. They will not follow a chronological order but we shall explore streets, alleys and lanes in bite-sized chunks of town, chunks just the right size to explore in a half day. It would be all too easy and obvious to present the architecture in historical order but I really want to give you the atmosphere of patches of the town. Sometimes the selected areas will seem random but that is how my mind works.

The starting point for today’s random collection of buildings is the coffee shop in Marks and Spencers. After a latte (Malc) and cappuccino (Jude), we are suitably refreshed and warmed up.

First stop is the school attended by Charles Darwin, where we find a big, bronze statue of the great man himself sat outside, while inside on one of the windowsills is the scratched signature of his brother. The building now houses the town’s public library and this famous graffiti is in between the book cases. Darwin is often described as the town’s most famous son, but he is more than that. The most intelligent person ever to have lived for example?



The building displays interesting detail in its stonework and a wonderful big sundial with two faces sits astride the one corner.





The cobbled lane leading to the library is overlooked by an interesting row of town houses and a beautiful gateway.



We walked on down Castle Street towards one of Shrewsbury’s most photographed buildings. It appears in many books about railways and about the Victorian era. The railway station. How can a railway station look so good?



To the left of the station forecourt we spotted a real “Mary Poppins” balustraded roof garden constructed in wonderful shades of red.



From the railway station we see hints of the castle, so we made our way towards it.









As we walked around this small corner of Shrewsbury town little details attracted my eye and my camera lens.

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