Oat Fields and Storm Clouds

The weather in the UK, as everyone here will know, has been a little bit erratic of late… One minute we’re experiencing record breaking temperatures, the next we’re enduring months worth of rainfall in a couple of hours.

Personally, I love it. I think the extreme weather keeps things interesting (although I am lucky not to live within a flood plane). Much like when snow hits the country, the extreme heat forces you to slow down and abandon your usual routines. This can either prove stressful and frustrating, or, if you’re prepared to embrace it, it can be strangely liberating!

Lately, in an attempt to embrace the stormy conditions, I’ve been desperately hoping for thunder and lighting. I have a couple of locations planned out where I really would love to capture some extreme weather on camera. Sadly, the lightning seems to be hitting everywhere but near me. I’m still hopeful though…

In the meantime, last weekend I ended up in an oat field near Kenilworth after taking a chance on a footpath I’ve driven past multiple times but never explored before. The sky was looking incredibly moody, threatening some of those vast showers I mentioned earlier. I exaggerated the stormy effect with a Lee Circular Polariser and 0.9 ND Filter to save the highlights in the clouds, and I’ve made a black and white conversion to my own tastes in Capture One.

All storm cloud photos were taken on the Fuji X-H1 with the Fujifilm XF16 - 55mm f/2.8 Lens, processed from RAW with Capture One.

Please visit the rest of my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK and visit my Print Gallery to buy high quality prints of my UK landscapes.

Also, if you are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer in Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire, the Midlands or Beyond, please say hi!

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Horse Photography in Warwickshire

This week, I have been mostly taking photos of horses…

Horses make pretty great subjects, especially when the sun is low in the sky and the last light of the day creates a nice shimmery glow around them.

I encountered these particular beasts in a field in Warwickshire that they were sharing rather harmoniously with some sheep. They seemed pretty content, being largely left to their own devices, exhibiting a lot of the natural behaviours you’d probably expect to see from a wild band of horses - drinking from a large area of pooled rain water, moving as a herd from one area to the next and following the vocal instructions and body language of the dominant male.

I really love taking my time to just observe when taking photos of wildlife. The longer you stay and the more patient and calm you are, the more natural your animal subjects end up behaving. This in turn tends to present the best photographic opportunities.

Please visit other pages on my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK. If you have a horse or any other pets that you’d like some beautiful photos of, please contact me for a quote.

To buy fine art photography of my UK landscapes visit my Print Gallery.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.

Birding With the Fuji X-H1

Recently I took one of my Fuji cameras (the X-H1 along with the Fujinon XF 50-140mm F2.8 and 1.4 x tele-converter) out for a spot of birding at my local(ish) RSPB nature reserve, Middleton Lakes. Now, I’m definitely not a seasoned bird watcher, but I do have fond memories from my childhood of visiting Leighton Moss up in Silverdale, Lancashire whilst staying with my grandparents who lived in the area. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler without googling it (- in fact I had to use Google to even find the names of some birds that I couldn’t tell you the difference between…), but I still really enjoy seeing birds doing their thing in their natural environment.

I was lucky enough to encounter two really friendly feathered friends during my trip. The first was a male pheasant, all too happy to undergo a portrait session on a fallen tree. There were definitely a few ‘Zoolander’ style looks to camera. Viewing the resultant photos on my computer, I was really amazed by how rich the pheasant’s colours were, particularly that deep red around the eyes - beautiful.

Later on during my walk I found a curious little Great Tit that did some human watching from his position up in the tree above me.

Tom Cruise Squirrel

If anyone at RSPB Middleton Lakes in Tamworth is wondering why the bird feeder above the duck pond is on the floor today, well, it's because of this guy...

British Bluebells and a Rare British White Bluebell?...

Earlier this week I continued to enjoy the bright spring sunshine by heading to my local woods. I knew the bluebells were out in full effect, having first come across them last year and taking some really nice images then - see my photo gallery for much more landscape and nature photography from the UK.

They manage to make an already beautiful woodlands even more spectacular, to me, almost like something out of a fairy tale, carpeting the grassy floor with so much more colour and variety.

Towards the end of the walk I came across more sheep and lambs in a field next to the woods. I didn't have my long lens with me on this occasion, but I love the character of the old trees in the foreground alongside the intense colour of the bluebells, with the lambs highlighted by the setting sun in the background.

On my way back home as the light was fading fast, I noticed something unusual out of the corner of my eye - a single patch of white bluebells! I'm no horticulturist, but after a bit of googling, I'm fairly certain they're the rare White British Bluebell (as opposed to the more common Spanish variety). In fact, a further google reveals they're as rare as "one in every ten thousand bulbs", so I feel pretty privileged to have spotted some.

If anyone reading this happens to be a bit more savvy with flower species, I'd love to hear from you. Are these the rare White British Bluebell as I suspect they are? (- See last image.)

Please visit my website, www.lukebennettphotos.com for much more content, including further landscape and nature photography from the UK.

Also, if you are from Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Warwickshire or the West Midlands and are interested in hiring me as your wedding photographer, please say hi!

Finally, please Help Support This Blog by Buying Photography Equipment on Amazon via this link.