Horticultural delights with Fuji X-E2 + 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 lenses

Regular readers will know that I'm very fond of photographing all kinds of plants and flowers, which is not surprising I guess since I grew up with a plant nursery business run by my parents in the back garden of our house. At one time there were three greenhouses out there and lot's of fevered activity after work and at weekends generated enough income for some of life's little luxuries that couldn't otherwise have been afforded. And while 'green fingers' certainly doesn't seem have been passed on in my case, my wife is also a keen gardener who once created an amazing green city oasis from a pile of dirt and stones left by the builders who converted the ground floor flat we bought in London. 

The house I live in now is blessed by a small but incredibly fertile plot of land that is currently resembling a cross between a wild garden and the Amazon rainforest. Again regular readers will have seen ample examples of what grows out there in the test shots and videos I shoot of the various horticultural delights and the old mill stream that runs through our garden. My own activities consist of occasionally watering the bizarre cactus plants that I occasionally use for indoor test shots and that somewhat less than time consuming activity is the sum total of my botanic prowess I'm afraid.

However, I do love documenting the seasonal changes in both my own garden and some of the sumptuously designed and landscaped formal estates that are close to where I live, all now maintained by the National Trust. The above pictures were taken yesterday on a glorious summers afternoon at Charlecote Park near Stratford-upon-Avon. Some were taken in the nearby plant nursery, which is somewhat bigger than my parents domestic version and since this is the time of year when virtually every colourful species is in full bloom, we arrived home with 5 new additions which you will certainly get to see in the weeks to come.

To photograph these sunlit delights, I used my Fuji X-E2 plus 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f/1.2 lenses. After comparing the latter lens against my Sony 55mm f/1.2 I thought it would be nice to take it for a spin. Test shots are test shots, but there is no substitute for using a great lens in the real world and it certainly performed really well. 

It's nice to be able to record this amazing colour that occurs in the lush green countryside that surrounds where I live. However, as I've often mentioned this does come with a price. Last night was full of the sound of thunder and torrential rain lashing down and while the sun has finally come out now in the late afternoon it has been a very wet, dull and miserable day up to now. Still I can always retreat into my computer monitor and edit a few pictures taken when nature combined to put on a rather splendid show of colour and fragile beauty. The fact that I can earn a living doing stuff like this never fails to amaze me. I written many times that I have the best job in the world and days like yesterday just prove how lucky I am to be able to claim that I'm actually working when in fact I'm having the time of my life.

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