A Visit to Hatchlands Park, Surrey

Hatchlands Park, Surrey - National Trust

Hatchlands Park, Surrey | 50mm Compact Macro | 1/200 sec @ f/11 | ISO 100

An interesting visit to Hatchlands Park on the best day of this week so far weather-wise (Tuesday, April 1st) made all the more enjoyable by the very friendly and helpful National Trust staff and volunteers.

A special mention must go to Ray (I believe it was Ray) the room guide in the Staircase Hall who encouraged me to go back and view an amazing self-portrait by Maurice Quentin De La Tour. Click the link to view the portrait at Wahoo Art but better still, if you get the chance to visit Hatchlands, Continue reading

The Year in Books {April}

Rose Petals

Red Rose | 50mm Compact Macro | 1/6 sec @ f/2.5 | ISO 250 | Aperture Priority

Before moving forward to my April book choice, a brief recap of those I read in March:

  • ‘The Rosie Project’ (hence the photo above) seemed to be on everyone’s reading list.  The search by a Professor of Genetics for the perfect wife was a thoroughly enjoyable, quite funny, quick read, though maybe not quite as enthralling as reviews had led me to believe.
  • ‘The Snow Child’ – a magical fairytale for grown-ups that kept me spellbound from start to finish. Set in Alaska,  I was captivated by the scenic descriptions and charmed by the characters. I loved every minute of reading it.
  • ‘The Husband’s Secret’ was not guessed by me until way into the story but I did not see the final twist coming and actually gasped aloud!  Set in Australia the story moves from Melbourne to Sydney and covers intertwining relationships of family and school friends.  A quite unusual, enjoyable story.

And so to April’s choice:  Continue reading

Photographing Flowers ~ Yellow Petals

Chrysanthemum Close Up

50mm Compact Macro | 1/15 sec at f/2.5 | ISO 250

Just the other day I read some glowing reviews on Goodreads of a photography book covering the subject of ‘flower photography’. Thanks to an excellent free delivery service from Amazon, in the post yesterday arrived Photographing Flowers (Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis).

It is an exquisite book, the photographs are incredibly beautiful and it contains information and inspiration in abundance. After having briefly flicked through the images, and reading the first few pages, I just had to pop the 50mm Compact Macro lens on the camera right away and have a play. Continue reading

The Year in Books

Flora - Roman Goddess of Spring

Light Folds ~ 50mm f/3.5 1/1250 ISO 100 (Aperture Priority)

There could be no better day than ‘World Book Day’ to have discovered ‘the year in books’  blog link-up at Circle of Pine Trees. Laura started the link-up in January, so I’m pleased not to have found it any later than this. If you love reading and would like to join in the link-up each month all the details are here. There is a Goodreads group, a Pinterest Board and Flickr group too, so plenty of ways to join in and share what you are reading.

The Shooting Fifty blog has been rather neglected lately, but here’s hoping ‘the year in books’ re-kindles my inspiration and not only gets me writing again but taking photographs too. Continue reading

Truro Tree


Survivor of Storms | 85mm f/5.6 1/500 ISO 100

Recently returned from a short break in Cornwall, this tree survives against the elements in the landscape surrounding our wonderful holiday barn. I took this photo around 5.00 pm on the one day during our stay that the clouds decided to lift and bathe our part of Cornwall in sunshine – well, it is September! Continue reading