Stephen Studd Photography

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IGPOTY – Flowering Agave – behind the photo

Pleased that I have been Highly Commended in this years International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, in the wildflower landscapes category with this shot taken at the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon.

Grand Canyon National Park USA IGPOTY Stephen Studd Wildflower landscapes

After I had driven to an observation point I went for a look around the area to see where the late afternoon light was hitting for a landscape photograph.

On top of a steep rocky outcrop I saw the small agave plant with the tall yellow flower head shining brightly in the sun that was hitting it. I immediately thought that it would be a great image to take for the IGPOTY competition. There was a fair bit of cloud around so I had to move quickly as it looked like the sun would disappear behind a cloud at any moment, plus the nearest rocky outcrop was starting to go in to shadow.

Setting up my Canon 6D camera as quickly as I could on top of my Manfrotto tripod, I waited until the sun was at the base of the Agave whilst still lighting up the flower head. I had positioned the camera so the flower head sat in the shadow of the background of the Grand Canyon between the two sections that had sunlight on them, that way the flower head would really shine out of the shadow. I also chose to take the image in portrait orientation as I liked the tall flower head against the backdrop of the vertical cliffs, emphasising the height of the Grand Canyon against a moody looking sky.

As my camera was on the tripod I could keep the ISO down at 100, I set the aperture at f22 as I wanted a very large depth of field with the flower head in focus to the furthest point you can see in the distance which is more than 70 miles away. I also used a 0.6ND soft graduated filter to keep all the detail in the clouds.

Within 5 minutes the scene was over as the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

If you get a chance to see the IGPOTY exhibition at Kew I would thoroughly recommend a trip to see it. Not only will you get to see the beautiful exhibition and prints, but also the very inspirational grounds and plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.


I lead photography holidays and workshops in Cambodia, Vietnam, Marrakech the USA and the UK.  www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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RHS/BBC, People’s Choice: Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – a garden photographers view.

The winners of the RHS, BBC People’s Choice award at the Chelsea flower show 2014 have just been announced, here is a small selection of my garden photographers overview of the gardens.

Show Gardens: People’s Choice

‘Hope on the Horizon’ designed by Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsored by the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes, awarded Silver Gilt.

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

 

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

Chelsea RHS Flower Show 2014 - Hope on the Horizon Garden - Designer Matt Keightley -   Sponsors - David Brownlow Charitable Foundation for Help for Heroes

‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden, designer Matt Keightley, built by Farr & Roberts, sponsors, David Brownlow for Help for Heroes

 

Fresh Gardens section: People’s Choice

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB, designers: LDC Design, sponsors Countryside awarded Gold Medal & Best in Show.

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB ,designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB, designers: LDC Design

RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - The Mind's Eye garden for the RNIB - Royal National Institute for the Blind - designers LDC Design - sponsors - Countryside - awarded best in show in the Fresh Gardens & Gold medal

‘The Mind’s Eye’ garden for the RNIB, designers: LDC Design

Artisans Section: People’s Choice

Le Tour de Yorkshire garden, designer Alistair W Baldwin, built by Aire Valley Landscaping, sponsor Welcome to Yorkshire.

Peoples Choice winner in the Artisans section: RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - Tour de Yorkshire Garden - Designer Alistair W Baldwin

Tour de Yorkshire garden, designer Alistair W Baldwin

Peoples Choice winner in the Artisans section: RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - Tour de Yorkshire Garden - Designer Alistair W Baldwin

Tour de Yorkshire garden, designer Alistair W Baldwin

 

Peoples Choice winner in the Artisans section: RHS Chelsea flower show 2014 - Tour de Yorkshire Garden - Designer Alistair W Baldwin

Tour de Yorkshire garden, designer Alistair W Baldwin

Peoples Choice winner in the Artisans section: RHS Chelsea

Tour de Yorkshire garden – designer Alistair W Baldwin

Thanks for popping by to take a look.


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com please use the contact form on the website.

I also run small group travel photography holidays and flower photography workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I am represented by GAP Photos for my garden photography: http://www.gapphotos.com/imageresults.asp?photogref=139


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International Photography Awards 2013, Burma, Angkor Wat & Iris

The International Photography Awards 2013 have just been announced and I received an Honourable mention in 8 categories, which I am really pleased with as there were over 15,000 entries from around the world.

Some of you might have seen my Myanmar (Burma) photographs when they first appeared on the Manfrotto website.

Travel and Tourism category and Fine Art; Landscapes category “Temples of Bagan”

Having first visited Bagan eight years ago, on my return visit in April of this year I had already pre-visualised a series of black and white images of the temples. There are over 4,000 temples on the plains of Bagan and the whole area has an ethereal, timeless feeling and is one of my favourite places on the planet. For the series I converted my images to black & white, then split toned them in Lightroom. It was important to have the same tone in the series as I wanted them to work together. These 3 photographs were the ones I entered.

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black and white

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan”

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black & white

Myanmar (Burma) Temples of Bagan

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black and white

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan”

Panoramic category “Temples of Bagan”

For this image I wanted to show a panoramic view from one of my favourite temples, from which you get an idea of what the stupa studded landscape looks like.

Myanmar (Burma) Bagan temples panoramic view

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan” Panoramic

Culture Category “Stonemasons Burma”

In Mandalay there is an area of the city where images of Buddha are carved from rock. I spent a morning in this area photographing the many processes that are undergone to make the statues. The air was filled with rock dust and it was quite oppressive in the searing heat of April in Mandalay. The boy to the left has to stand there applying water to where the man is drilling. This photograph was just one from a whole series shot that morning.

Mandalay stonemasons quarter boy and young man carving Buddha statue Burma Myanmar

Stonemasons Burma

Fisherman Inle Lake

Lake Inle in the Shan State of Myanmar covers an area of 45 square miles (116 km2) and is at an altitude of 2900 feet, it is home to the leg rowing fisherman. It was my first visit to the lake and it came as a welcome relief to the heat of Mandalay in April as the air was much cooler. I was really taken by the beauty of the place and chartered a boat to take me out for a few days. On my first dawn outing the boat captain drove past this fisherman who was completely oblivious to us. The sun had just appeared over the hills which made for a great silhouette and some warmth after a chilly start. I often see photographs of the Inle Lake fisherman which are over posed, I liked the natural feeling to this shot.

Myanmar Burma Lake Inle sunrise leg rower rowing fisherman

“Lake Inle fisherman”

Travel & Tourism Category; People of Burma

Myanmar Mandalay U Bein bridge woman watching sunrise

Mandalay U Bein Bridge

Mandalay stonemasons quarter boy and young man carving Buddha statue Burma Myanmar

Mandalay Stonemasons

Burma (Mandalay) Schwezigon Paya pagoda monks

Young Monks Nyaung Shwe

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma) fisherman with girl on boat

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Portrait of an old Shan man in Myanmar (Burma) Lake Inle

Trees Category; “Tree Roots; Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia”

This shot is one from an ongoing project photographing nature`s strength over humankind at the temples of Angkor Wat. The trees roots of this tree are slowly pulling the temple apart returning the stone back to the Earth and creating a new form of beauty.

Asia, Cambodia, Siem Reap, Angkor wat, Ta Prohm temple.

Tree Roots; Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

Flowers category; Iris

This image of the Iris was taken with my 180mm macro lens which is my favourite lens for close up photography. The Iris was slightly back lit from the sun which showed off its translucent petals.

Iris

Iris

I am looking forward to returning to Cambodia and Burma this winter as I host travel photography holidays to my favourite locations www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

You can sign up for my free newsletter on the website and be the first to hear of new locations and dates: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com/newsletter

My Travel, Gardens, Plants, Photography Website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays and I can be found tweeting from www.twitter.com/StephenPhotos

Thanks for popping by my blog and “may the light be with you”


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IGPOTY Behind the photo “Watering My Allotment”

Manfrotto Pixi Tripod review stephen studd photography photographer

Watering my Allotment

“Watering My Allotment” was commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, Plants & Water category. The photograph  was first taken to illustrate a review I did for the Manfrotto Pixi tripod

I had pre-visualised the shot using the mini tripod as I thought it would be able to get to places I couldn`t, in amongst my bean, pumpkin and sweetcorn bed on the allotment. This summer in the UK had been a particularly long and dry one and watering became a routine part of visits to the allotment in order to keep my plants alive.

I was after a shot that would convey the feeling of warmth, heat and watering. I chose an evening when the sun was low in the sky, placed the tripod amongst the veg and shot the photo into the sun for a more contemporary feel to the image.

With a cable release I tried a couple of test shots to get the exposure spot on (this can be tricky when shooting straight into the sun.) Then I watered the veg with my watering can, the result I was really pleased with, not only had the Pixi tripod held my very weighty Canon 1Ds Mark II but the streaks of bright backlit water added a beautiful pattern to the resulting image. The only problem I encountered was keeping the water off the camera, which was ironic after such a long hot dry summer.

My website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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Finalist; IGPOTY Macro Art; behind the photo “Sarracenia Flava”

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant

This image of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia Flava var Maxima, all green form pitcher plant was a finalist in the International Garden photographer of the Year, monochrome art category.

For the shot I wanted to give the plant an air of mystery and a fine art feel. I decided to minimise the depth of field and only focus on the nearest part of the plant to the lens. By doing this it would knock all the rest of the plant out of focus. The lighting was chosen to only have the highlight at the nearest point to the lens leaving the rest of the photo to fade into shadow, which gives the air of mystery.

Finally I converted the image to black and white and then split toned the colour in Lightroom.

The photography was shot with a 180mm Canon macro lens, at f8 with 0.5sec shutter speed and 100 ISO.

I am a professional garden & travel photographer, my website is http://stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

International Garden Photographer of the Year competition; http://igpoty.com


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Behind the photographs IGPOTY

Wild Garlic (Ramsons) Stroud, Gloucestershire; commended Wildflower Landscapes category

Wild garlic (Ramsons) Stroud, Gloucestershire; commended Wildflower Landscapes category

Wild garlic (Ramsons) Stroud, Gloucestershire; commended Wildflower Landscapes category

This shot was from a commission to photograph medicinal plants for the book; The Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby. It is one of my favourite woodlands in springtime when the wild garlic flowers carpet the wood and the new fresh leaves of the trees all burst into life, the aroma in the woods is intoxicating. For this shot it was a pre sunrise start, getting in the woods at this time is such a treat as sometimes deer can be spotted and there is an air of calmness and peace.

After reading the published book, I now forage a few wild garlic leaves to make a medicine to keep colds at bay in winter and also use them in the kitchen.

Fractal Begonia; commended in the Macro Art category.

Begonia Rex L`Escargot IGPOTY Fractal Begonia commended by Stephen Studd photography

Fractal Begonia; commended in Macro Art category

I was photographing the show gardens at Malvern spring gardening show when I came across this Begonia which really caught my eye as backlit it really added another depth to the small leaf. The backlighting really showed off a translucent quality to the leaf showing its flame red veins and patternation.  I am fascinated by the repeated fractal patterns found in nature and thought this Begonia leaf displayed a perfect fractal.

The leaf was backlit just after dawn for no more than 10 minutes and the light and pattern changed considerably in that time. I used a 100mm Canon macro lens for the shot. The result is a straight shot of the fractal leaf backlit in dawn light.

Commended in the Monochrome category;  Winter Reflection.

Winter reflection Painswick Rococo Garden

Winter reflection, Painswick Rococo Garden; Commended Monochrome category

I had gone to photograph the extensive collection of snowdrops at the Rococo Garden, Painswick, on an early winter morning when there had been the first flurry of winter snow of  2012. The morning was very still and calm creating a perfect reflection in the lake. The low level light filtering through the orchard and catching the Exedra and Red House added to the atmosphere.

The image was converted to black and white as the Rococo garden has a timeless quality which I wanted to capture.

In Lightroom 3 the image was converted to black and white. Then the image was split toned with warmth in the highlights and coolness in the shadows to give it the feel of an old Kentmere paper image. Kentona paper was one of my favourite old photographic papers in the days when I wet processed black and white images as it had a lovely warm tone to it.

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Website; Stephen Studd Photography; Travel, Gardens, Plants   http://stephenstuddphotography.com

I also host small group Digital Photography Holidays; www.digitalphotographyholidays.com                                                                           Twitter; https://twitter.com/PhotographyHols

International Garden Photographer of the Year competition; http://igpoty.com


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IGPOTY Macro Art behind the photo ” Fractal Begonia ”

Fractal Begonia; commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, Macro Art category.

Begonia Rex L`Escargot IGPOTY Fractal Begonia commended by Stephen Studd photography

Fractal Begonia commended in Macro Art category IGPOTY competition

I was photographing the show gardens at Malvern spring gardening show when I came across this Begonia which really caught my eye as backlit it really added another depth to the small leaf. The backlighting really showed off a translucent quality to the leaf showing its flame red veins and patternation.  I am fascinated by the repeated fractal patterns found in nature and thought this Begonia leaf displayed a perfect fractal.

The leaf was backlit just after dawn for no more than 10 minutes and the light and pattern changed considerably in that time. I used a 100mm Canon macro lens for the shot. The result is a straight shot of the fractal leaf backlit in dawn light.