All posts filed under: Photography

Lumix DMC-GX8

Costa Rica Bound

It’s not very often that I hanker after a new camera – I’ve always been far more interested in pictures than shiny new equipment. Lately though, I’ve been looking at the merits of Compact System Cameras for travel photography, and with a three week trip to Costa Rica on the horizon it seemed a good opportunity to give one a try. My trusty Nikon D300s serves me very well for macro, flower and garden photography (usually paired with a 105mm Micro-Nikkor) but is relatively heavy and not at all discrete for reportage and street photography. My Fuji x-10 on the other hand, although a handy little compact, seems a little inadequate for such an epic trip. I’m expecting to encounter a wide range of subjects in Costa Rica; plenty of exotic plants and gardens of course, but also atmospheric landscapes (jungles can be very rainy and humid, even in the dry season) and cameos of local life.  In short, I was looking for a mid-priced lightweight yet versatile camera with an element of weatherproofing, small …

Old gardening boots photographed by Michael Turner

Not Miss Jekyll’s Gardening Boots

Not Miss Jekyll’s gardening boots. But similar… Last week Janet and I travelled to London to see the superb, temporary exhibition of garden-inspired paintings currently on show at the Royal Academy of Arts. ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’* features over 120 (mostly) Impressionist paintings of flowers and gardens and the stories behind them. Tucked away amongst the floral masterpieces and photographs of the Impressionist masters at work and play was a small, sombre painting, created in 1920 by the artist Sir William Nicholson. The painting, normally held at the Tate Gallery, features a pair of old gardening boots owned and cherished by celebrated garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. You can take a look on the Tate website here. Seeing┬áthis oil painting reminded me of a photograph I took of an equally well-used pair of gardening boots in an old allotment shed in North Manchester. Garden footwear fashions may have changed a little over the years, and I’m not sure what Miss Jekyll would have made of modern Doc Martens, but the ‘job well done’ …