Posted on June 5, 2020
There are the things that are out in the open, and there are the things that are hidden. The real world has more to do with what is hidden.
— Saul Leiter
It’s been a bleak time. Last summer, my dad died. Set against the backdrop of the grander world stage – a stage in flames – it is a small grief, maybe. But it is my grief. I have written something about him and when I have found some courage, I will post it, but for now: small things. Beacuse the small things reveal the big things; the sum of their parts. The things that give us meaning. I picked up a camera for the first time in a long, long time last week. It was my dad’s camera. I felt it in my hands. Solid. Weighty. I thought about all the times he had picked it up. I imagined his big hands wrapped around it. His eye, seeking out moments. Sweet bursts of joy.
It was dawn. I was looking for some light.
© Emily Hughes, 2020
Category: a small world, scrapbook Tagged: art, black and white, creative writing, dawn, Emily Hughes, environment, finding light, grief, macro, macro photography, nature, photography, reflections, saul leiter, wild flowers
Posted on November 6, 2018
I love it when nature gives you such gifts of light and form and such vibrant colour as this. I have spotted these intriguing jade vines before in Brazil and I love the way they hang in curling tendrils like cascading waterfalls. I knew they would be perfect for some macro shots, but unfortunately I didn’t have access to my macro lens at the time. I was so happy to spot them again whilst on holiday in Malaysia this summer, in a butterfly farm in the Cameron Highlands. The light was perfect for creamy golden bokeh and rich vibrant colours so I whipped out my macro lens and spent a very happy half hour photographing them to my heart’s content. I haven’t really messed around with these because I didn’t need to; it’s all nature’s own grace and beauty.
More Malaysia plant life/street scenes to follow!
© Emily Hughes, 2018
Category: a small world, a small world, scrapbook Tagged: blue, colour, jade, jade vine, macro, malaysia, nature, photography, plants, tropical, vibrant
Posted on December 22, 2017
I have photographed skeleton leaves before here and here. An endlessly fascinating subject, they look like intricate filigree in shades of gold and silver. I like to play with the focus: moving in; moving out, like breathing. Making the leaves pirouette on my lens; the eddies and whirls and swirls of nature. I always hold my breath when I press the shutter… then I wait for the magic.
© words and images by Emily Hughes, 2017
Category: a small world, Uncategorized Tagged: a small world, colour, garden, macro, macro photography, magic, nature, photography, skeleton leaves, the little things, winter
Posted on December 18, 2017
Today I discovered that our dormant winter garden is full of life and energy: buds, shoots, seeds and new growth just waiting to explode. The acer stands, glowing like a firecracker amongst it all: flames flickering; vibrant and bursting with colour.
© words and images by Emily Hughes, 2017
Category: a small world, scrapbook Tagged: acer, Autumn, autumn colours, colour, garden, leaves, macro, nature, photography, seasons, trees, vibrant colours, winter
Posted on November 19, 2016
The nights are drawing in, and I’m in love with these clashing colours which take me back to happy memories of deliciously vibrant, colourful summer days.
© images by Emily Hughes, 2016
Category: scrapbook Tagged: bougainvillea, clashing colours, colour photography, Flowers, macro, nature, peru, summer
Posted on December 26, 2015
© image by Emily Hughes, 2015
Category: scrapbook, Uncategorized Tagged: anais nin, art, bloom, composite image, Flowers, introvert, layers, macro, photography, pink, quotation
Posted on June 26, 2015
I love photographing seed heads. It’s a mild obsession of mine. They are a popular subject these days, it seems, appearing on everything from kitchenware to lino prints. I’m a big fan of Angie Lewin’s lino cuts especially. I think it is a bold simplicty in their structural form, and an unassuming elegance which makes them so enticing and lends itself so well to so many different media. I have always felt like they are beseeching in some way; offering up their fragile form to the wide open sky. To me, they have become a symbol of the infinite, innocent generosity of nature’s gentle rhythm.
Usually, I would reach for the macro lens and get in close (as I did here, here, here, and here again!), but I decided to try out my rollei with some black and white medium format shots for a different perspective, still keeping the aperture as wide as I could. Unfortunately I had a bit of a light leaking incident, which is why the last image has a flecked, slightly grainy appearance (the film was fine grain), but I decided not to correct this. I quite like the otherworldly effect. It’s a bit like a meteor shower, or some other celestial phenomenon. As if their willowy limbs are tentatively reaching out to greet a scatter of star dust.
© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015
Category: in defense of daydreaming, scrapbook Tagged: 120 film, analogue, angie lewin, black and white, light leaks, macro, medium format, nature, photography, Rolleiflex, seed heads, star dust
Posted on January 25, 2015
… a little burst of sunshine.
© words and image Emily Hughes, 2015
Category: a small world Tagged: colour, frangipani flower, layers, macro, nature, photography, sri lanka, summer, sunshine, tropical flower, vibrant
Posted on January 18, 2015
I found this unusual flower on my trip to Sri Lanka where the hotel grounds were scattered with them. After some research I discovered they are from the tree ‘barringtonia racemosa’, otherwise known as the ‘powder puff tree’. They really do look like exquisite little powder puffs – dreamy, light and graceful. I love the way the festive shocks of vibrant pink and gold contrast against the creamy white strands. They look so elegant and otherworldly – like floating sea anemones, or delicately unravelling strands of silk – against the rustic earthy- grey concrete wall. I overlaid textures of crumbling Sri Lankan walls to the images to give added character.
© images and words Emily Hughes, 2015
Category: a small world, finished works Tagged: a small world, artfinder, asia, barringtonia racemosa, Emily Hughes, Flowers, macro, nature, photography, pink and gold, powder puff tree, sri lanka, tropical flowers
Posted on January 9, 2015
I don’t often photograph birds, mainly because I’m not a fan of big unwieldy telephoto lenses. It is not because I don’t like birds; quite the opposite in fact. Although I don’t confess to being an expert, I can spot a few more common varieties, and I appreciate their beauty and grace. More recently, my six-year old daughter has become obsessed with birds, and enjoys spotting and painting them, at the keen instruction of Alex – nature lover and regular bird expert. We spend a fair amount of our free family time at RSPB reserves, and more recently at this WWT wetlands centre in Slimbridge (which is well worth a visit). It was a beautifully clear, ice-cold frosty day and the light was pure gold. Perfect. Quite the most beautiful light I’ve seen in a long time, actually. Usually at these places I’m content to busy myself with photographing the scenery, or getting up close with my macro lens, but the swans, ducks and geese were abundant and friendly, so I managed to get close enough to steal a few decent shots.
I named this part II, because I realised I had done another birdwatching post in Easter 2013 (although there were no birds in that one – just an egg!).
© images and words Emily Hughes, 2015
Category: scrapbook Tagged: birds, birdwatching, cape teal, ducks, family, frost, geese, hide, ice, light, macro, nature, photography, seagull, slimbridge, swans, winter