Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants


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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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IGPOTY awards 2014 “behind the photos”

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced.

‘Sarracenia Flava’: Finalist, Macro Art

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant IGPOTY monochrome photography by Stephen Studd

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

‘Watering my allotment’: Commended, Plants & Water, photographed on my allotment Old Bisley Road, Stroud.

“Watering My Allotment” commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition photograph by Stephen Studd IGPOTY

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. The summer of 2013 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.

Woman at the Market, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma): Highly Commended, Bountiful Earth

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014

This image is one of my crossover images, in that I am a travel & garden photographer. I was away on a travel shoot in Burma, whilst also looking for great locations for the photography holidays I run there. Markets are always a great place to visit in any country, especially for travel photography. I had in my mind some of the different categories for IGPOTY and Bountiful Earth was an obvious one at this market in Mandalay. The woman with the bamboo hat, the colours of the scene and the big bags of shallots drew my attention. The market in Mandalay was full of fresh produce and a photographers dream, a place I visited over several days.

Canon EOS 1DS Mark II 70mm f6.3 1/160th sec, 100 ISO

I am a professional garden & travel photographer, my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

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

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays


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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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Office V Horticulture

The Bombe designed by Heather & Gareth Battisson-Howard awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

The Bombe designed by Heather & Gareth Battisson-Howard awarded Silver Gilt Tatton Park RHS flower show 2012

A recent survey showed that gardeners and florists topped the list of happiest workers.

Having travelled the world as a travel and landscape photographer, a few years back I was commissioned to illustrate the medicinal plants that featured in the Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby.

The Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby

The Medicine Garden by Rachel Corby

I already had a keen interest in horticulture as I have an organic allotment and love tending to my garden whilst also letting swathes of it run free. This particular book commission changed my direction, I fell in love with photographing plants and gardens.

Travel and landscape photography can be quite a solitary profession, this all changed when I was asked to photograph at the RHS Malvern Show. I met the most amazing friendly passionate people involved in so many different areas of horticulture. I was hooked and from that point I now divide time between garden and travel photography.

My personal reasons why I love garden and plant photography is because the photos can be taken in all seasons, whatever the weather, and I get to meet amazing people who are involved in all aspects of horticulture.

Enough said cut to the photos:

Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire, view across pond to Exedra and Red House both reflected in pond

Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire, view across pond to Exedra and Red House both reflected in pond

Palm trees reflected in pool, Marjorelle garden, Morocco, sunrise

Palm trees reflected in pool, Marjorelle garden, Morocco, sunrise

Interior of Hartley Botanic greenhouse Chelsea flower show 2012

Interior of Hartley Botanic greenhouse Chelsea flower show 2012

Echinacea "Green Envy" dusk

“Grasses with Grace”, Awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, Designed by Sue Beesly, Bluebell Cottage Gardens & Nursery

Un Poco de Hogar ( A Little Bit of Home) Awarded Silver Gilt Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

Un Poco de Hogar ( A Little Bit of Home) designed by Alchemy Gardens & Villagio Verde, Awarded Silver Gilt, Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012

The M & G Garden,  Designer Andy Sturgeon;    Sponsor; M& G Investments   Awarded Gold

The M & G Garden, Designer Andy Sturgeon; Sponsor; M& G Investments Awarded Gold

     Show Gardens; The Brewin Dolphin Garden   Designer Cleve West;    Sponsor; Brewin Dolphin   Awarded Gold & Best in Show RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

The Brewin Dolphin Garden Designer Cleve West; Sponsor; Brewin Dolphin Awarded Gold & Best in Show RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Photography     Show Gardens; The World Vision Garden Designer Flemons Warland Design ;    Sponsor; World vision Awarded Silver RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

The World Vision Garden Designer Flemons Warland Design ; Sponsor; World vision Awarded Silver RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Stephen Studd Photography     Fresh Gardens; Rainbows Childrens Hospital Garden;   Designers Chris Gutteridge,  Ant Cox & Jon Owens (Second Nature Gardens);        Awarded Silver RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Fresh Gardens; Rainbows Childrens Hospital Garden; Designers Chris Gutteridge, Ant Cox & Jon Owens (Second Nature Gardens); Awarded Silver RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

For the florists;

Awarded Gold & Best Exhibit in the Floral Design Studio: NAFAS, Tatton Park RHS Flower show 2011 Cheshire

Awarded Gold & Best Exhibit in the Floral Design Studio: NAFAS, Tatton Park RHS Flower show 2011 Cheshire

Monday blues:

Grow your own

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun

Borage Officinalis from The Cottage Herbery garden, Malvern 2012

Borage Officinalis from The Cottage Herbery garden, Malvern 2012

Gardens can regenerate abandoned spaces

"Urban Oasis" by Groundwork UK & RHS, Designer Chris Beardshaw, RHS Show Cardiff 2012

“Urban Oasis” by Groundwork UK & RHS, Designer Chris Beardshaw, RHS Show Cardiff 2012

Recycle and reuse materials

Garden made with recycled and reused materials "Regeneration" Designed by Jane Grenan & David Lewis Awarded Silver Gilt RHS Cardiff Show 2012

Garden made with recycled and reused materials “Regeneration” Designed by Jane Grenan & David Lewis Awarded Silver Gilt RHS Cardiff Show 2012

Gardening involves community;

allotments overlooking Crown & Sceptre Stroud

Allotments overlooking Crown & Sceptre Stroud which runs Britain’s only pub-run Country Fair

Crown and Sceptre stroud country fair marquee with exhibits

Crown and Sceptre Stroud country fair marquee with exhibits, evening a good old knees up takes place.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire 2011, designed by Gary Hillery, Ken Walton, Finchale Training College

woman holding organic garlic bulbs Thermidrome ready for planting late autumn Allium sativum

woman holding organic garlic bulbs Thermidrome ready for planting late autumn Allium sativum

Garlic Article PM69 Spreads-1

Longor shallots ready for planting late winter, hazel dibber and bag full of shallots

Longor shallots ready for planting late winter, hazel dibber and bag full of shallots

Begonia Rex L`Escargot IGPOTY Macro Art Begonia Fractal by Stephen Studd

Begonia Fractal, commended Macro Art category IGPOTY competition 2012

Awarded Silver Flora "The Rain Garden"; Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2011 garden designed by Rhea Lyn Parkes

Iris

Homage to Edward Weston

3rd place IGPOTY; Homage to Edward Weston

Garlic chive seedhead in snow, winter

DIONAEA MUSCIPULA, Venus fly trap

Punk; IGPOTY commended monochrome

Sarracenia flava (heavy veined), pitcher plant

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana emerging in May planted in greenhouse

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana emerging in May

Dahlia

A big thanks to all those who have welcomed me into the wonderful world of plants and to those who I am yet to meet and to all those that have become friends along this path. Wishing everyone an amazing 2013 and years ahead of happiness in the horticultural field.

Special thanks to Rachel Corby for The Medicine Garden book commission.

More pretty pictures at http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com

For the tweeters https://www.twitter.com/StephenPhotos

I can be contacted for photography commissions on  00447706119609

I am a member of the Garden Media Guild and secretary of the Professional Garden Photographers Association

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IGPOTY Monochrome behind the photograph

Commended in the Monochrome Photo Projects category; International Garden Photographer of the Year; Winter Reflection.

Winter reflection Painswick Rococo Garden

Winter reflection, Painswick Rococo Garden

I had gone to photograph the extensive collection of snowdrops at the Rococo Garden, Painswick, on an early March 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.

Stephen Studd Photography; http://stephenstuddphotography.com

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