Thursday, 16 March 2017

Early Spring Stroll Around Haworth, Brontë Country

When my work rota unexpectedly changed last week, and I ended up having Friday and Saturday off, I immediately decided to spend that time in Haworth, always my favourite place.
From photography point of view the purpose for the visit was to capture the signs of spring, the slow awakening of nature after a long winter sleep.

As I got towards the top of the wonderful Main Street on Friday morning I turned back, and there was this beautiful, diffused yet glowing light, and a lovely smoke happened to briefly billow down in the valley; the whole street seemed enveloped in an unusual, nostalgic, almost surreal dreaminess.

The large wooden planters outside Sexton John Brown's house, on the way to the Parsonage, always draw my attention with their delightful, seasonal blooms.

Love the beautiful display of spring flowers outside the Parsonage, especially the gorgeous pink hellebores.

I spotted this delicate blossom while standing in the Parsonage garden. I immediately thought of Emily, who loved nature, and how she would have been delighted to spot this blossom, just like I was. I thought I'd pair the photo with a quote from Emily's poetry.

Saturday was a dull, sunless day. The churchyard still had that wintry/forever autumn look with its trees still bare and as yet hardly any signs of new leaves. However, regardless of the time of year or weather conditions, the churchyard always seems to retain its melancholic, bittersweet charm.

There seems to be more and more chickens in the churchyard. They started appearing not long ago. I hear they don't belong to anybody. There are some allotments nearby, and I suspect that is where the chickens come from. It looks to me like they have been abandoned by their owners, and although they are getting fed and looking beautiful and healthy at the moment, I fear there might be problems if nobody takes charge of them soon.

I was surprised to find that snowdrops were still at their best, because here in Leeds they have already gone over. The reason they are late in Haworth must be the more severe weather conditions.

On Saturday I went for a short circular walk towards Oxenhope, returning to Haworth via Marsh Lane and Sun Street. This young tree with its fragile pink blossom in Sun Street caught my eye. It looked beautiful against the contrasting background of the robust stone wall and blue light reflected in the windows of the house.

As always, I had a most pleasing stay in Haworth, and left ever more inspired to return soon, this time to photograph daffodils, one of my favourite flowers. I noticed their heads were just turning yellow, still firmly closed but ready to unfold in a day or so. I will be back to catch them in their prime.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Still Life with Mimosa

I am very happy that my first post this March is about the beautiful winter flowering shrub of mimosa. While it is widespread in Croatia, I had never seen it in England up until a few days ago. I was in Leeds market looking for some seasonal blooms for a new still life and was delighted to spot bouquets of mimosa. The florist said she got it from a Dutch supplier which for me just confirms the fact that mimosa doesn't grow in this country. I love the little yellow pom pom flowers with their subtle, honeyed scent.

As mimosa reminds me vividly of home, I thought I'd use it to create a nostalgic still life. I chose natural, partial backligthing from a window, a lot of fabric including an old fashioned table topper with crocheted edges, and an old, written postcard. I like yellow and blue colour combination; hence the vintage blue and white cup and saucer which add some colour contrast to the image.
The lighting is pretty effective in itself, so the image didn't need much Photoshop manipulation. I just used a couple of Jessica Drossin's actions, and that was all.