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Up for Discussion – Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

Recently I was lent some Cokin Z Pro Series filters with the filter kit and I’ve been trying them, and talking about them here.  I know lots of people are bit confused about filters and how to use them and I was thinking of doing  a post on it myself when Adrian. , made a comment and I asked if he would be interested in writing something for us here.  He doesn’t use the Cokin filter systems, so I want to add that the filters I’ve been using have been great, however, no matter what brand of filters you are using much of what Adrian has to say is relevant to you. If you don’t don’t have any, this will help you realise why you need some.  

Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

There are a few essentials that no landscape photographer should be without. There’s the camera of course and almost as importantly, there’s the tripod. Third on the list of landscape photography essentials is a set of Graduated Neutral Density Filters. Neutral Density filters are also useful although not essential so I’ll be mainly talking about ND Grads in this article suffice to say, neutral density and graduated neutral density filters are your camera’s equivalent of a pair of sunglasses. They cut down the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor and whenever you cut down the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor, whether it’s by stopping down the aperture or using a filter, exposure time is affected.

Trebarwith Strand

Neutral density filters cover the whole of your lens and therefore cut down the light hitting the whole of the sensor.  These are useful in extending exposure times allowing you to achieve that lovely silky water effect in rivers and waterfalls.  These come in a variety of strengths right up to the now very popular 10 stop Neutral Density Filters.  These allow just a tiny fraction of available light to enter the camera allowing you extend exposure times significantly allowing you flatten and smooth the ocean or achieve the silky, smoky water effect even in bright sunshine.  These 10 stop filters are so dark it’s not possible to see through them so it’s necessary to compose your shot and focus before attaching the filter.  Ten stop filters are often used by architectural photographers to simply make people disappear from busy buildings.  All the time people are moving, they will not show up in a long exposure.  There is a lot more I could say about using filters like the Lee Big Stopper but I’ll perhaps save that for another article and get back to my favourite filters of all, the Graduated Neutral Density Filter or ND Grad.

Early MIst After

ND Grads are used to balance exposures. The sunglass effect is graduated such that skies are darkened leaving foregrounds unaffected. One sure fire thing that will let your photographs down from a technical standpoint is blown highlights and lost detail in shadows. These are very basic faults and the easiest ways to avoid them is to pack a set of ND Grads. If you have a bright sky and darker foreground, some of it in shadow, without filters you have two options, expose for the sky and you’re going to lose details in shadows; expose for the foreground and there is a good chance you are going to blow out the highlights in the sky. Strictly speaking you have a third option and that is to use exposure compensation and bracket a series of shots but I’ll get to that.

Camera plus Filter

Once highlights are blown there is nothing in post processing that will allow you to bring them back.  Conversely, modern sensors are very good at garnering every ounce of detail from any scene you are shooting but if your shadows are just too dark, attempts to recover them in post will give you blotchy unattractive results.  You can’t make detail appear that just isn’t there and believe me I’ve tried.  Attempts to do so look very messy indeed.

Lee Hard ND Grads

ND filters normally come in sets of 3.  The filters are labelled differently depending on manufacturer but a set will usually allow for a 1, 2 or 3 stop exposure compensation.  The table below relates to both ND and ND graduated filters.


It’s important to note I think at this point that it’s worth spending a few pounds on these filters and avoiding the cheaper options you see on websites like Amazon. You can easily find a set of ND Grads for under a tenner if you look but anything you put in front of your lens will degrade your image. Why spend hundreds of pounds on a decent lens and then put a cheap piece of glass or worse, plastic, in front of it. These filters will last a lifetime if treated well so it’s worth saving a little before taking the plunge and buying a set.

number 10

I use Lee filters because I think they are arguably the best and I have no affiliation with Lee. Hitech filters are right up there however and I’m hoping to put that to the test. Both of these companies offer 100mm filters with holder systems. When using my Nikkor 14-24mm lens, I use the Lee Super Wide system and 150mm filters. The bigger sizes really come into their own if you’re using wide angle lenses. Cokin Z-Pro filters are also 100mm I believe but I have no experience or knowledge of those. The first set of filters I had were of the smaller Cokin variety and I used to have to crop my wide angled shots rather defeating the object This was because the edge of the filters were picked up by my Nikkor 24–70mm lens at 24mm but if you’re on a budget, these are an ideal choice, certainly to get you started.

Another point to be made in favour of spending a few pounds or dollars is that Neutral Density Filters and ND Grads are so called because they have a neutral impact on the colour of your images, or at least they are supposed to. Not all ND and ND grad filters are created equally. Colour cast can be a real issue with cheaper filters and even with the more expensive ones when you get up to 10 stops. It can be corrected, using colour balance tools, but it’s best to try and keep things truly neutral from the start.

Bedruthan Steps

For most landscape shots, I like to keep my aperture constant at f/11 for maximum depth of field.  You need to choose the right ND Grad to get the right effect.  The sky is naturally brighter than the ground so you want to keep it that way.  To achieve the most natural looking result you need to choose the right ND Grad to correct exposure difference to within 1 stop.

Therefore, if I point my camera at the sky, not the sun, and take a light reading and my light meter suggests a shutter speed of 1/200sec and I then point my camera at the foreground and take another light meter reading and my light meter suggests that to properly expose the foreground I need a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. This would be two stops and I would choose my 1 stop filter which would be my 0.3.

I would of course have the option of keeping my shutter speed the same at 1/200 sec. and opening the aperture from f/11 to f/9…  This would still be two stops and I would still need my .03 filter to even the exposure.

Likewise, if my light meter suggested that to properly expose the sky at f/11, I would need a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. and to properly expose the foreground I would need a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. this would equate to three stops.  I would therefore use my 2 stop .06 filter to darken the sky enough for me to shoot at f/11 and 1/125 sec. This would ensure I wouldn’t lose any details in the shadows and highlights wouldn’t be blown out in the sky.  A balanced exposure in other words.

Wheal Coates from Chapel Porth

ND Graduated filters, as well as coming in different strengths as it were, they also come in hard and soft varieties.  The hard and soft relates to the graduation between the darker glass and the lighter.  Soft filters have a much more gradual division between the two halves.  My recommendation would be to buy a set of hard ND Grads.  It may be tempting to go for soft thinking this will allow for easier blending of the filter effect.  The problem with soft grads is that often times you end up pushing the filter so far down the filter holder it’s nearly out the other side to darken a bright horizon.  Having darkened the sky above the horizon sufficiently, because you’ve pushed the filter in so far, you end up with the area below the horizon being adversely affected by the filter.

The graduation on a hard ND Grad is not as stark as it at first might appear. You’re not going to see a hard line across your horizon unless of course, you set it too high but this is less likely because the hard edge also makes it much easier to set the filter in the right place. It’s not always easy to see through the lens, especially with the 0.3 filter, exactly where you need to set the filter. It soon becomes evident when you try and process the picture if you’ve set it in the wrong place however. A dark smudge right across your landscape does not look good. A dark sky with a bright strip just above the horizon doesn’t look good either but you’ll soon get the hang of setting the filter in the right place.


I had hoped to show some ‘with filter’ and ‘without filter’ photos to demonstrate just how effective these filters are in properly balancing an exposure but we have had thick fog in Cornwall for the last five days and with no let-up in sight, I’ve run up against my deadline for this article but please, take my word for it; with a set of these filters in your kit bag, you’ll be able to tackle shots you just might not be able to manage otherwise without under or over exposing one part of the picture or other.

On this note, I’ll come back to bracketing as another way to balance awkward exposures.  Bracketing can be very effective and when weather conditions make the use of filters awkward, I use this technique myself.  But, bracketing is going to give you a whole lot of work to do in post that you just won’t have to do if you use filters.  You can use programs like Photomatrix to make light work of merging bracketed shots but in my experience, this is difficult to do without getting an HDR like effect, even when using the ‘exposure blending’ rather than the ‘HDR’ option within Photomatrix.  Filters are the best, and in terms of workflow, by far the most efficient option in my opinion.

St Michael's Mount

As well as balancing exposures, you can also use a darker ND Grad than your light meter suggests for creative effect.  I’ve peppered this article with photos I’ve taken where the use of a filter was essential in order to get a proper exposure and others where I’ve used a darker filter than was necessary to create drama or to otherwise enhance the sky.

With a decent set of filters and with these pointers in hand, the best advice I can give is to get out there, take photographs and experiment.  For the added effort of a few minutes setting up, you’ll be amply rewarded, your landscape photographs will improve enormously and you’re going to look very professional to boot.

I would like to thank Adrian/Chillbrook for writing this informative post for us.  He is also going to answer any questions you might have.  Don’t forget to go and take a look at his blog , and check out his amazing seascapes that he takes along the Cornwell coast, they are stunning.

I am going to put his wonderful images into a gallery for you now as well.

Looking at the ANZ Building on a Quiet Thursday

Today I thought looking at the ANZ Building on a Quiet Thursday seemed like a good idea.  This building is one that anyone who loves Melbourne will know and love.  For a relatively modern building the architecture is really outstanding and I wish more buildings could be built here that considered where they are and how they influence their environment.



This is an image I took from the top of the Myer building through a glass window.  It is a fairly typical view of the Melbourne skyline, well one from here.  The ANZ building is the second tallest in this image.  The gothic looking one and it is brown.  I love the shapes and lines in it.  It is a very distinctive building and one I’ve been chasing and trying to get an image of for a while now.

Recently when I was in the city for a Social Snappers Photography Excursion we were near this building, so I took a little detour.  It wasn’t where I thought it would be, and I can’t believe I have walked past it a couple of times and not realised. I didn’t miss it this time, and I took some photos of it and the other day decided to play with it. I was really glad that I had taken my 14-24mm lens with me, it was perfect for this shot with the Nikon D800.  I was going to do it for the post on the city in Weekend Wanderings, but I knew I wanted to do more with this one.


So the other day I started playing.  I haven’t down a brilliant job with it, but I am happy with how it is has come out.  Of course I replaced the sky and played with the lighting in the image.  I did have the whole building, from the road all the way up to the top, but in the end cropped it a bit, got rid of the road at the bottom with the parked cars, and other buildings at the side and behind.  I think it seems to be standing tall now and is quite dominant.  I am quite happy with it.

I hope you having an easy day.  The weather here has been more rain, but the sun is starting to peek out, so hopefully off to the coast to try out the filters more this afternoon.  Have a peaceful day.


MM35 – Monochrome Madness 35

Here we go again, another week of Monochrome Madness, week 35 now. There does seem to be a bit of a theme happening in this weeks MM, and I bet you can guess it is Halloween.  We don’t do Halloween in Australia, though many of the younger generations are trying to make it happen, not sure how much luck they will have with that.

Don’t forget that this challenge is all about challenging yourself to make monochrome images, they aren’t judged and it really is all about participating.  So if you think you could benefit from doing more monochrome work, then consider joining us. The instructions on how to do it are list at the bottom.



When I was trying to get an image for today I thought I was going to use one of the ones that I had taken of a rainforest that I visited recently, but after doing five of them and not being happy with any of them I saw an image that someone else had done on another blog and I remembered this image.  This image I took over two years ago while on a trip to the Mallee, and I was never totally happy with the way I processed it, so I dug it out and tried to see what I would do if I were to make it Monochrome.  I like the result, and in the end knew this had to be my image today.  I have put the other ones up on my other blog and you can see them here, Trying More Black and White Photography.


Laura Macky has sent in this image this week and if you would like to hear more about it then go to her blog, Laura Macky and her post Forgiveness – Monochrome Madness

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.


Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs

Every Tuesday I get to this post and I have no idea what I am going to tell you about, what is happening in my world of photography. There are some things so I think I can do a post on it this week.


Maxwell International Australia have sent me two more filters to play with and experiment with for the Cokin Z Pro series bracket and I will be heading down the coast in the next day or so to see I go with themgarden-flowers-macro-083.  It is good using the filters, it gives me a much better understanding of how to use them.  I think I can can see an Up for Discussion post on using graduated ND filters coming too, so for those of you that have no idea how to use them or why you would use them, it will help explain it.

Macro Lens

I still have the macro lens from the same place as above, Maxwell International Australia, and I’m still trying it out.  I was asked yesterday if I would do a post on how I am finding it, so I will prepare a post on it for you next wegarden-flowers-macro-087ek, I might do it on Tuesday.  I have used it so much, it almost feels like part of my kit now.

The photos in this post were taken with the Tamron 90 mm Macro lens and are flowers in my garden.


I’m trying to get people interested in the workshops that I am going to be running up in the Mallee in just over a week.  I have one in Swan Hill on Saturday the 8th of November and one in Hopetoun on Sunday the 9th.  I didn’t realise that harvesting had already started and it seems that many who would like to do the course can’t, because of it.  I guess that means I will have to go back early next year to run them for the people that could’t do them this time.

garden-flowers-macro-086The workshops are really basic ones, they go right through how to use your camera, the different things your camera can do.  Then looking at how to take photos with it.  I call the courses Getting off Auto, I love the name, a great description of what the workshop is about.

For more information Click Here.

The Mallee

Of course this all means that I am returning to the Mallee and will be able to take more photos up there.  Not sure what I am going to take garden-flowers-macro-088at this point, but I am hoping that I will get to the Pink Lakes again, I missed going there last time.

Social Snappers

I don’t know if many of you have been to the Social Snappers website lately, but I have done a logo, sort of. It isn’t what I am good at, but I like it, but think it could be refined, so I will have to work on that.  If you want to check it out, it the header for

Gift Vouchers for Christmas

I’m also busy with Social Snappers trying to get some dates down for first term next year, so I can advertise gift vouchergarden-flowers-macro-084s for Christmas.  I should do the same for my One on One Photography Lessons.  I just think they could be a great gift from someone who knows a person likes photography, but they don’t know what to get them.  I will have to do Sample Vouchers to advertise them.

I think that is about it this week.  I am doing lots, but not a lot of anything in particular.  Today I am putting the Monochrome Madness post together, so if you haven’t got yours in yet, you better hurry. Here are my macro flowers.


Introductions – Mike Powell

With all the talk that has been going on about Macro lenses and how I have a loan of one at the moment, the Tamraon 90mm Macro, I have noticed that I have been gravitating towards other blogs that have macro images.  When I was trying to decide who I would ask about todays Introduction post, Mike Powell’s name came to me. Mike Powell, and his blog, by the same name, have some amazing macro images and I wanted to share them and introduce him to you.


There were some things on his blog I couldn’t show you, but you will see them when you go to over to take a look for yourself.  There is an abundance of insect life over there, and I am in awe of it.  I see insects in my garden, but they never stay still long enough for me to take photos of.  When I am out with the camera, they never seem to be around either.

When Mike explained where he lived, that helped to explain why he can get so many insects.

I have lived in Northern Virginia in the greater Washington D.C. area for just over twenty years in a suburban townhouse community. This area is blessed with an abundance of gardens and parks that let me indulge my passion for nature and wildlife photography, generally without having to travel more than about five miles from my house. We are on the migration pathways for some migratory species and are a migration destination for some others, so there is always lots of interesting animals, birds, and insects to see and to photograph.


As he just said, about the birds, there are birds on his site, some amazing photos of them.  It isn’t all insects, but there is a lot of nature there.  It is something that I never thought I would be interested in, but in the last 12 months my interest has grown a lot.

I asked him why he take photos for how long he had been doing it.

Photography allows me to experience the world in a different way. It has had a transformative effect on the way I look at my surroundings, and not just when I have a camera in my hand. When I was in college, I majored in French language and literature and spent a year studying in Paris. Several of my friends noticed that my personality and even the tonality of my voice changed when I was speaking in French. At that time I was quiet and introverted, but when I switched languages, I somehow felt freer to express my emotions and grew to love 19th century romantic poetry, for example. Over the years, my personality has shifted and I have become more like that original French personna. I sense that a similar process is taking place with photography, as my senses become much more attuned to the natural world and I am experiencing life in a deeper, more self-aware way.

Most people in the Washington D.C. area are incredibly career-oriented and define themselves by what they do for a living. They rarely look at each other when they are in public, with their heads often buried in their electronic devices, and are often obvious to the natural beauty of their surroundings. Three years ago, I decided to step off that treadmill and retired from full-time work, having spent twenty years in the US Army and an additional fourteen years in the federal government. Those jobs had been marked by a sense of stability and security, but I felt a need to experience something more, to rediscover the idealistic side of myself that had been buried for many years.

To celebrate, I spent two weeks in Paris and had a kind of photographic rebirth. Although I already owned a Canon Rebel XT DSLR, I had rarely used it, but somehow I decided to take photos every day that I was in Paris and to post ten of them every day in Facebook account. That experience rekindled my love for photography and I started taking photos regularly, particularly since July 2012, when I started my photography-oriented blog.



While I tend to think of Mike’s blog as mainly nature photographs, there are other images on there, and you will find a mixture, though I do think Mike does concentrate more on the natural world, rather than the man made one.

I asked Mike what his inspiration was.

The single greatest inspiration for my photography is undoubtedly my dear friend and photography mentor, Cindy Dyer. Cindy is an amazingly talented free-lance photographer and graphic designer and is one of my neighbors. Over the past three years she has been a continuous source of instruction, encouragement, and inspiration for me. I was particularly struck by a photographic exhibition that she did in early 2012, entitled Garden Muse, A Botanical Portfolio. I was blown away by the quality and beauty of the photographs and I wanted to be able to shoot images like that.

Cindy took me out shooting with her on numerous occasions and taught me many valuable lessons. More importantly, she sat down with me after many of those sessions and went through my images with me. Most of us are more comfortable sharing our images only after we have selected them and processed them and cropped and adjusted them. Cindy was willing to take the time to look at my raw images, to see how I was composing in the viewfinder, and to make suggestions.

Over time, we have ventured off photographically into somewhat different areas. I started off shooting her preferred subjects, flowers and the occasional insect, but gradually migrated to primarily insects, with the occasional flower. She still shoots primarily botanical subjects and five of her fern images appeared on US postage stamps this year.

Cindy and I talk regularly and shoot together occasionally, but I feel her presence and her influence whenever I am taking photos–she is my photographic muse.

I am also inspired by a wide range of photographers that I have met through my blog and who I consider to be my friends, despite the fact that I have never met most of them. These friends include Lyle, Sue, Allen, Ed, Gary, Phil, and Walter.


This image seemed a little out of place, but you know I love cats, so I couldn’t leave this one out.  I loved the intensity in the eyes, I know that look, I’ve seen it many times on my own cat.

I asked Mike if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I consider myself to be an opportunistic shooter. I spent a lot of time wandering through the back trails and the unmarked areas of my favorite marshland park, Huntley Meadows Park. I never know for sure what I will encounter and try to be alert at all times. I’ve been fortunate to see bald eagles, a river otter, a banded juvenile hawk, a family of beavers sleeping outdoors, a beaver breaking through the ice, and an amazing variety of colorful birds and insects, particularly dragonflies.

I shoot almost exclusively in RAW and currently process my images in Photoshop Elements 11 on a relatively old Macbook, though I am planning to migrate soon to Lightroom. I feature some of my favorite shots on my WordPress blog, which serves as my primary creative outlet. I’ve discovered that I enjoy writing my postings as much as I do taking the photos and try to inject my somewhat personality into those posts.



Recently I was on my way to a place to take photos and as we headed up this road, there were dragonflies everywhere.  The friend I was with was so excited, she wants to shoot dragonflies, but when we got to our destination there wasn’t one to be seen anywhere, she was so disappointed.  I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed myself. I thought perhaps there were very hard to do, but then I see Mike has lots and lots of photos of them, and they are so beautiful, so I want to know how you did it Mike?

The last question is always about gear.

I enjoy being on the trailing edge of technology and use a somewhat outdated computer and camera. I now shoot primarily with a Canon 50D DSLR (and will be moving soon to an original Canon 7D and shot for the first year of my blog with a Canon Rebel XT. During much of the year, I enjoy shooting with my macro lenses, the Canon 100mm and the Tamron 180mm, and when the weather turns colder and I focus more on birds than insects, I tend to shoot with my Canon 70-300mm zoom lens. On certain occasions, I will use my original Canon kit lenses, the 18-55mm and the 55-250mm zoom lenses, and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.

In addition to my camera and lenses, I tend to have a tripod with me most of the time and frequently a collapsible diffuser and reflector. I am not very experienced in using an external flash and tend not to carry one with me. This winter I hope to learn more about using external flashes and plan to add one to my camera bag soon.

Thank you Mike for giving me permission to feature you and your images here on my blog.  I hope everyone will go and check out his blog Mike Powell, he was talking about doing something special for you all today on his blog, so please go and take a look.  I have a gallery with lots more photos that I really liked for you to look at now.

Weekend Wanderings – Collins Street, Melbourne

Last Sunday I had another Social Snappers Excursion and this time we explored the architecture along Collins Street in Melbourne.  Traditionally, or maybe historically, Collins Street was the business district of Melbourne, and to some extent it still is.  As you walk along it, you can see the shopping part, which is the east end and then as you cross over Swanston Street and Elizabeth Street you start to head into the more business end, the end with the big buildings, the ornate buildings, the ones that say money is here.


We started at the Spring Street end, where Parliament House and the Treasury Building is, and one of the first buildings we came across was ANZAC House.  For those that don’t know ANZAC refers to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and here in Australia we remember what they did in the first world war and the second, mainly the first.  It is a terrible tale of waste of our soliders by the British in many respects, and was a time when countries like Britain didn’t think much of our soldiers and they were often sent where the British wouldn’t go.  I’m happy to say that that attitude did change.  I don’t know the whole story, but that is what I have been lead to believe.


In the first half there are also a few old churches and they have the architecture and smaller associated buildings as you would expect from older churches.  This is the Assembly Hall, and I think it is part of the Scots Church in Collins Street, one of my favourite churches.  I love the gothic style architecture, and I also love that the ties to the past have not been removed.


The corner of Collins Street and Elizabeth Street.  I thought it would be interesting to show you what our streets look like. I imagine not that much different to other parts of the world.


The entrance to the old Stock Exchange Building.  When gold was found in Australia in the mid 19th century Melbourne really benefited from it, since most of the gold was found in Victoria, Melbourne became one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and had to have the buildings to match.  Unfortunately not all the buildings remain, and there are photos of some really amazing buildings that have since been torn down to make room for out massive impersonal, ugly skyscrapers, where the developers are more interested in building the tallest buildings without much concern about how horrible they are.  It is sad to see that craftsmanship, like in this building is gone and we most likely will never see buildings like this being built ever again.  I love the detail.


This is right down the other end, and our journey was almost over.  A new building going up and by looking at it, the most interesting thing about it the reflection of the buildings in it.

It was a great excursion, we walked all along it, we went from sunshine to overcast, from being warm to being cold.  We stopped at the Lindt shop for afternoon tea, and chatted about photography, and some other things. It was a great afternoon, I really enjoyed myself and the other ladies did as well.  I have more photos to show you know, so will put them into a gallery for you.  I hope your weekend is going well.



Weekend Wandering – Abbotsford Convent

On Thursday was another Social Snappers excursion, this time we went to Abbotsford Convent, an old place that was once the home of the nuns that belonged to the Order of the Good Shepherd. It is quite an amazing place.  The nuns sold it in 1975, and today it is more an art precinct, with many artists having studios there.  It is nice to have a place that you can just wander around.


The buildings are much what you would expect a convent to be.  They are large, but they aren’t grand.  Of course they are beautiful, but they don’t have the ornate details that buildings of this size would often have.


“If the walls could talk?” It must have been an incredible place at one time.  It is a very busy place now.


There are some amazing out buildings, and if you are going to go there, then you have to walk around the outbuildings as well.  This one is quite popular and a lot of people have their wedding photos taken in front of this one.


I had been there before, but not for many years.  The last time I was there to take photos I was using a compact camera and the photos I got were not very good.  I am much happier with the images I got this week.  I also don’t remember how the gardens were, which could just mean that I didn’t pay attention.  This time we were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful garden and many flowers blooming in them.


We chased this butterfly around everywhere.  It didn’t stay still for long. We finally got it on a plant and it just stayed for a while. I got out the Tamron 90mm macro lens and had fun taking photos of the flowers in the garden.  I really do enjoy using the macro lens.

I have a gallery of images for you now. We had a great time at Abbotsford Convent, and I could happily go back there another time. I would like to explore the inside more, the public spaces.  I love buildings with lots of history.  I am going to have to go and do some research now.

On a side note, before the gallery, my daughter got her license yesterday.  She said she will still go out with me to take photos, I hope she does.  We need to plan another trip.  What are you planning this weekend?




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