Flash

Rose

Today I had my late birthday present come. My first speedligh flash unit, the Nikon SB-700. The weather has been rather dismal, and I thought I had been transported to autumn it has been so damp and cold here. However, between showers I manged to get a few shots in to play with my new toy. I guess I have some learning to do to get the best out of it. But it come with a nice case, some filters, a diffuser and a bounce card. I just need to get the experience to go with it.

Rose

Raindrops

Raindrops


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England in the rain, again. June 2017.

A Beautiful Chiller

Frozen Rose

Please click on images for full definition.

The past couple of nights we have had some pretty heavy frosts here, and the rose blooms that were tempted to come out in the milder weather and which had begun to decay in the damp atmosphere now look like they have just come out the refrigerator. Frozen popsicles they may be, but they are also frozen little wonders.

Frozen Rose

Frozen Rose

Frozen Rose

Photographs taken December 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

The Mouldering Rose

Mouldering Rosebud

No sweet sugar-coating here
Nor no hoarfrost to set its beauty in ice

Mouldering Rosebud

But the seasons now a confusion of warmth, chill, and dampness
Blooming at the dawn of the Winter solstice
Blooming beautiful when long sleep should be

Mouldering Rosebud

And now the creeping, crawling mould takes hold
A lingering grip of death as it lives the rosebud succumbs

Mouldering Rosebud

A painless demise as Beauty fades
Yet still conquers as it holds fast the edge of the precipice
The rose will fall
Yet Life goes on whatever the season or the turmoil


Photographs taken December 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Fading Before It Has Blossomed

Rosebud

This rosebud was enticed by the milder autumnal climate here we have been enjoying, but when the frosts suddenly hit it was nipped, in the bud, so to speak.

Rosebud

This rose will not open, and the tightly packed petals are gradually slipping away, but there is also a strange kind of beauty in that itself.

Photograph taken November 2016, front garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

The Morning After Rose

Red Rose

This was one of those unprepared moments that we all get at times. I was warming the car up and cleaning the windows of night rain, getting ready to go to the supermarket when I spotted this single red rose in bud. The droplets of water collected on the unfolded petals looked so beautiful in the morning sun I just had to stop everything and go and get my camera to take this final shot you now see here.

Photograph taken November 2016, front garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.

Softly, Gently V

pink rose

Photograph taken October 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens. Manual setting ISO 500. 1/125 sec. f/6.3. No flash, hand-held.

Softly, Gently

Rose

I find grey skies (without the rain, but just after), are ideal for flower photography. You don’t have that harsh direct sunlight, and with some camera control, you can get pretty close to the original and natural hues of your subject. Sometimes, taking a soft and gentle approach can bring about some beautiful details which contrasts with the mellowed, blurred background, especially when being this close to the subject.

This appears to be the very last flower of the season on a rose I planted in memory of my Mom seven years ago.

Photograph taken October 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens. Manual setting ISO 400. 1/250 sec. f/6.3. No flash, hand-held.

Rose Blackspot

Diplocarpon rosae

Rose Blackspot – Diplocarpon rosae

If it’s not greenfly attacking your precious roses it’s this fungus. Rose Blackspot is a serious fungal disease of roses which mainly affect the leaves which break out into blackish, brownish or purplish spots or blotches on the upper surface of the leaf. Diffuse and radiating strands of the fungus can sometimes be visible. It may also appear as small, black scabby lesions on young stems.

Rose Blackspot can affect all kinds of roses. It spreads rapidly through the plant and can infect others, and can ultimately weaken the rose. Usually the infected leaves turn yellow and drop off, and a whole rose can be affected this way. The fungus produces spores which are released in wet conditions and is usually spread by rain-splash.

Seen spring onwards. The spores overwinter. Found where roses are found in the wild, or in parks and gardens. Very common and widespread, affecting both wild and cultivated roses.

Photograph of Rose Blackspot (Diplocarpon rosae) taken March 2012, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

More Devastation

Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana)

They are at it again. I have posted on these previously this year, and these sawfly larvae, called Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana), are stripping my rose-bush leaves again. They seem to be very methodical in their consumption of the leaves, completely stripping individual leaves bare before moving onto others, leaving ravaged skeleton stalks behind them. They must be another generation.

But if the little birds catch site of them, they are a good source of protein.

Please see my previous posts ‘Balancing Act’ and ‘Life In A Week’ for more information.

Photograph of Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana), taken August 2016, rear garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens with softbox flash diffuser.

Early Stage Caterpillar

Early Stage Caterpillar

I discovered this tiny early stage caterpillar on the underside of one of my rose leaves. I wonder what it will turn into?

Photograph  taken in July 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.