Stephen Studd Photography

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Snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire

Just back from a photo shoot at the Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire on a beautiful sunny morning. A great surprise to wake up and see snow on the ground. Snow scenes are one of my favourites to photograph.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snow on the ground Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire

 After last years snow it looks very light, but I still got one of my favourite sounds, the crunch of snow under the feet.

Painswick Rococo Gardens has one of the best and largest collection of snowdrops in the UK. I find this garden truly magical as it has something to look at all through the seasons, a hidden gem.

James Montgomery said of the snowdrop “The morning star of flowers”

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops "the Morning Star of Flowers," J Montgomery

 Looking back on my data from last year the snowdrops are a good two weeks early and for a photographer looking really pristine at the moment, with the white petals having no blemishes!

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops and snow
The snowdrop has a beautiful luminescence and most people seem to have an affection for it. Wordsworth wrote of the snowdrop;
 
“Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!”
 
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops, spring is approaching

 
The gardens are a great place to photograph snowdrops. Tip; I think they look great photographed with the sun behind them as it really shows off their delicate white flower heads, shape and form. I really like it when they have water droplets on their flower heads too. Be careful not to underexpose the shot and look out for lens flare!
When photographing snow scenes or ones that have lots of white in, be attentive to your meter readings and check your histogram for perfect exposure, its very easy to underexpose a predominately white scene. This is because your cameras meter mostly averages for 18% grey.  So check the histogram and look out for those blinkers too!
 
The fallen leaves backlit here add extra colour to this shot.
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops backlit
My advice as a photographer would be to see them now as they are at their most fresh and vibrant, feel the fresh crisp air in your lungs too!
 
 
I am leading Garden and Flower Photography workshops  at Painswick Rococo Gardens through the seasons. Please see my website for further details (there is a discount for RHS members) www.stephenstuddphotography.com
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Garden, Plant and Flower photography workshops 2012

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

Allium Purple Sensation against sun

 So another year has begun 2012. Last year seemed to whizz by, a very busy one for myself. Was really pleased with the awards received for my photography. Would also like to thank all the amazing people I worked with in 2011, such spirited passionate horticulturists are always a pleasure to meet. The shows I attended last year were excellent and one always walks away from them with great new ideas.

My allotment produced lots of food with no major glut, except for fruit, which filled the freezer which I am working through in these exceptionally mild winter months.

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

Organic kale seedling Nero de Toscana

2012 sees me teaming up with Painswick Rococo Gardens, near Stroud in Gloucestershire for some garden photography workshops. There are still places left on the 1 day Garden, Plant and flower Photography workshops.

Dates are;

Saturday March 24th

Saturday May 19th

Saturday July 19th

Saturday September 22nd

This will give a good cross section of seasons. There is lots to photograph at the magical Rococo Gardens. Group size is limited to 5 people maximum.

Price for the day includes all tuition, tea/coffee home made biscuits on arrival, 2 course lunch and tea/coffee and cake in the afternoon.

Further details can be found at; http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Heres to a fruitful year in 2012 in all that we do.


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Articles for Landscape Juice

Last week I was approached by Carol Miers who is a journalist for Landscape Juice to write an article on the things we need to do in those winter months such as tweaking our websites. Those things we can put off and procrastinate about.

 In the articles in Landscape Juice I mentioned about captioning images for better SEO placement. Search engines won`t be able to find images unless they are captioned.

I would like to show two examples. The first image has not been captioned it just has the file number on. Hover your mouse over the image and all you will see is _R4D5147.jpg. This is not very handy for search engines to find the content of the image.

This second image is captioned and in WordPress the following have been filled in;

Title; Watering can covered in snow, winter. (Now hover the mouse over the image to see the title, this image can now be found by search engines)

Alternative Text; Watering can covered in snow, winter, photography by Stephen Studd

Caption; This is the wording that you will see below the image on the page.

Description; A description of the image.

Watering can in snow

Watering can covered in snow, winter

Also Carol asked me about advice on getting the most out of camera phones. I have to admit that in my profession I do use top end Canon digital cameras, however I do play around with my camera phone and use this more for a journal of ideas and details that interest me.

The walk to work

The walk to work

It is also useful for taking images of scenes that aren`t quite right to take at the time on my pro camera but great for my phone as a reference.

This year at the Tatton Park flower show I really liked the show garden designed by Sue Beesley of Bluebell Cottage Gardens. The planting and colour combinations I was really drawn to. This was a 5 day shoot for me so I had plenty of time to observe when the light was best at certain gardens. The Echinacea “Green Envy” amongst the grasses looked really strong. The image below is my reference shot on my camera phone.

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

Sue Beesley Garden "Grasses with Grace" Awarded Gold

 This was great as a reference and with the use of a compass to see where sunrise and sunset would happen, I was blessed on a later day with low level sunset light from behind the flowers to capture this shot on my Canon.

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

Echinacea "Green Envy", Sue Beesley Gold medal Garden, Grasses with Grace at Tatton 2011

 On the same shoot at Tatton Park I really liked the show garden designed by Gary Hillery, Ken Walton, Finchale Training College, which won a Gold. When I first got to this garden late on the first day I was looking for views. On my cameraphone I took the first shot as a reference.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,

 This second shot is the same view, but given an aged feel to it in Lightroom 3, which the garden purveyed. There are also lots of apps which could be used.

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

"The Schedule", awarded Gold Medal

Finally the image below I didn`t have my camera with me, but captured this image of these Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) on my phone. In Lightroom 3 I altered the image to show how easy it is to change the feel of a photograph.

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

Dicentra, Bleeding Heart

 The link to the articles in Landscape Juice;

Have fun creating images whichever way you choose!

I am leading some Garden and Flower photography workshops in 2012, details can be found on my website

In 2012 I will also be blogging about my allotment through the months and seasons, with photography taken on site, hope you can join me.

 


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RHS Photographic Competition 2011 Winners Announced

The winners of the  RHS Photographic Competition 2011 have been announced today. Congratulations to Stephen Webb for receiving the award of RHS Photographer of the Year 2011.

Lady Godiva Pumpkin showing naked seeds

Lady Godiva Pumpkin

 I received 1st Place in the Grow Your Own category for a shot of Organic Lady Godiva Pumpkins I grew on my allotment.  These were then shot on my kitchen table with Elinchrom Studio flash lights and was my first shot using tethered capture straight to Lightroom 3 on my computer. I wanted that gentle side light that was used by the Dutch Old Master painters.

This particular pumpkin was grown for its hulless or naked seeds, hence the name “Lady Godiva”. The actual flesh was really quite bland, but ok in winter stews, however the yield of seeds was excellent.

This was shot at my allotment and I liked the way the seedlings really stood out bursting with energy against the dark green coat. Thanks to my wife for helping out.
Woman holding organic Little Gem lettuce seedling ready for transplanting

Woman holding organic Little Gem lettuce seedling ready for transplanting

 

 In the Gardens Through the Seasons category 3rd place for “Blue Shed on Allotment in Winter.”

Last winter we had really heavy snow which is a photographers dream. I trudged through heavy snow, slipping and sliding (I live on a very steep hill and my allotment is up another steep hill) to go to the allotments which are on Old Bisley Road. Stroud. They are always a good source of gardening, plants and flower photographs. Alison who is my allotment neighbour has this fantastic blue shed with matching blue water butt.

The scene all fitted together with the blue tint in the sky matching the blue shed, the bamboo canes mirroring the leafless trees. In the background the rustic seat, wheelbarrow leaning  against the shed and Daves polytunnel straining under the weight of snow making it a great capture of my allotment in winter.

On November 3rd I shall be appearing on the Alan Titchmarsh show with other contestants, where the Blue Shed also makes its debut.

Blue shed on allotment covered in snow, wintertime

Blue shed on allotment covered in snow, wintertime

This was shot at dawn in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona at the Saguaro National Park.
I spent around 5 days in this wonderful part of the world and was totally captivated by the cacti there. It takes up to 75 years for these cacti to send out one arm!
On this particular morning the big Arizona sky produced the beautiful colourful clouds and warm glow to the ground. To pull the sky and ground together I used a Lee Filters graduated .6ND filter.
USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro National Park, Saguaro cacti

USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro National Park, Saguaro cacti

 
 
 

 One Day Garden & Flower Photography workshops

In 2012 I am leading One Day Garden & Flower Photography workshops at the stunning and magical Painswick Rococo Garden in Gloucestershire. These are being held on a Saturday on the following dates; March 24th , May 19th , July 14th  and September 22nd. There is a maximum of 5 people on each day giving a great student to tutor ratio.

Please visit my website www.stephenstuddphotography.com for further details or to pay a deposit.


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One Day Garden and Flower Photography Workshop at Painswick Rococo Garden, Gloucestershire, 2012

I am pleased to announce the dates for my one day Garden & Flower Photography workshops at the Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire. The garden dates back to the 18th Century and is a hidden Cotswold gem and a magical garden at any time of the year.

Iris Siberica, Painswick Rococo Gardens

Iris Siberica, Painswick Rococo Gardens

The one day workshops will be held on the following dates in 2012 from 10.00am until 4.30pm.

Saturday March 24th

Saturday May 19th

Saturday July 14th

Saturday September 22nd

Prices;

£120                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

RHS Members £105

Price includes tea/coffee homemade biscuits on arrival. Two course lunch with tea/coffee and afternoon tea and cakes.

Maximum group size is 5.

Please visit my website for further details and booking;

http://www.stephenstuddphotography.com/

Link to Painswick Rococo Garden; http://www.rococogarden.co.uk/


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One day Garden and Flower Photography Workshops

Dahlia Weston Stardust

Dahlia Weston Stardust

 

NEW FOR 2012

 One day Garden and Flower Photography Workshops

2011 has been an exciting and busy year for me workwise and winning awards. Due to interest in my work and requests I am introducing a programme of gardens and flowers digital photography workshops for 2012.

These will be for small groups at inspirational gardens near to Stroud, Gloucestershire, held on a Saturday throughout the year. Please visit my website for dates and further information.

www.stephenstuddphotography.com

The workshops will lead you to feel and be inspired by the beautiful gardens we photograph in. I am a firm believer in the creative process of photography and learning in a fun and relaxed way.

Whenever out on a shoot I feel what I am drawn to and start from that point. Most of my photography is tripod based so it is important to bring along a tripod.

Below is a selection of my award winning photographs.

Blue shed on allotment covered in snow, wintertime

Blue shed on allotment covered in snow, wintertime

 

USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro National Park, Saguaro cacti (Cereus giganteus)

USA, Arizona, Tucson, Saguaro National Park, Saguaro cacti (Cereus giganteus)

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

Palm trees reflected in pool, Marjorelle garden, Morocco, sunriseTulip Professor Roentgen

Homage to Edward Weston

Homage to Edward Weston

 

Allium ursinum Wild Garlic Ramsons in woodland, Sroud, Gloucestershire dawn

Allium ursinum Wild Garlic Ramsons in woodland, Sroud, Gloucestershire dawn