Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.William Cowper 1731-1800
It was Sylvie’s idea to invite the members of Cambridge Camera Club to the first ‘Start to Finish’ photography day at Shortgrove. It was so successful she decided to do it all over again for members who couldn’t attend the first day, especially those poor souls who still had to work for a living. I was lucky enough to be able to attend both days.
About sixteen of us arrived on both days, carrying laptops and a variety of camera gear. We grabbed a seat either in Sylvie’s hall, lounge or kitchen and set up our laptops ready to process the pictures we would take during the morning. As we began our walk, we passed the large pond and a variety of trees and plants. The fruit trees were still laden with huge apples and as we approached the long line of greenhouses the sun came out and shutters clicked!
On the first day I began looking for dead insects hoping their stillness would ensure a sharp picture. It is always interesting to watch fellow photographers to see where they focus their lenses. We all started in different places, some outside, some doing macro and others just wandering whilst taking note of the potential opportunities.
It was not long before I found an old fashioned watering can and using flowers supplied by Sylvie, I started to take some pictures. I came across Jenny who was thoroughly absorbed in her camera’s menu. She explained how she was using multiple exposures and I decided to have a go myself. Within minutes I was addicted to multiple exposures trying 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and finally 7 one on top of the other. In the end, I found the best number of exposures to take was about 3 or at most 4. The camera processes them into one shot but also stores each shot separately so they can be combined in a different way at a later date using Photoshop and or Lightroom. There were so many textures in these huge greenhouses that capturing each one became a personal quest! For a first attempt, I was quite pleased with my pictures when we showed our finished creations later that day and it was interesting to see what pictures others had taken and how they had chosen to process them.
I was a photographer with a mission on the second day. Whilst many new members had joined us for the day and were not quite sure what to expect, I rushed to my favourite area inside the end greenhouse. I found the watering can and Sylvie provided us with two more. I arranged the flowers I had brought specially and began indulging in my multiple exposure addiction. The windows had some textured patterns of water flowing down them as this time it was raining. Mark and Sylvie spent time mastering the new Olympus software which photostacks pictures in such a magical way. Their pictures were sharp from back to front and they made it all looked so easy! Jenny managed to get covered in mud whilst trying to capture snowdrops in the woods and Bob and Martin tried to capture birds feeding or flying in. I think everyone tried something a little different and Ann, as usual, managed to take some very creative photos using a pinhole lens.
We had two wonderful days to engage in our passion for pictures and I have included some of my favourites below. A big thank you to Sylvie for being such a great hostess!