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Merian Gärten

Today was a beautifully warm and not too hot day. I had some time so I decided to go back to the Merian Gärten. I'd been recently and the plan was to go to the Iris garden and then walk to Schwarzpark. Well, as usual, my plans don't always go to plan. I spent too long in the Merian Gärten and didn't make it to Schwarzpark. On the plus side, it leaves me with somewhere else to go soon.

One of the reasons for going back to the Merian Gärten was to test a new lens. As part of the move to Olympus I picked up a 60mm macro (M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 MACRO), a flower garden seemed like as good a place as any to try it out.

When I arrived, there was hardly anyone around, it was lovely, peaceful and the few that were there were slowly walking around the flowers, taking in the scents and the blooms of the flowers, the garden and the bird song.

I managed to get a few images of the irises that aren't too bad, but as flowers go I'm not too keen on the iris. I feel that the structure is too random, and the petals just flop down, which makes it difficult to get a composition, or at least difficult for me. The only way that I could find something was to go in close, and as I was testing the macro, it seemed to fit well.

Apart from the first and last two images, all were shot with the 60mm macro.

Around 1000 the peace started to drift away with the arrival of a group of loud pensioned cyclists (why is it that old overweight pensioned men think that they look good in Lycra? Or is it that they think that they need every bit of reduced wind resistance to help them go faster on their electric bikes?). I turned away from the volume and headed to another section of the garden, I needed to look at something other than irises anyway, but delivered with a light cooling breeze was a cloud of perfume so strong that even the birds seemed to fall silent. Ahead of me and downwind was an organised tour who for one reason or another had all bathed in different perfumes. So I moved on again, didn't know where I was going, I only knew that it had to be somewhere upwind.

Rant finished, and on to a new flower. A flower that I can work with, well at least one that I prefer over the iris.

The background of this shot was quite dark already, so I used lightroom to turn down the shadows and the blacks, and then the spot removal tool to remove any of the lighter areas still visible.

I headed back to the Iris beds, for one last look before going to Schwarzpark.

The image below is my favourite image of the day. It was taken with the 60 mm macro. I've included a 100% crop to the right to show the detail.

I like the way that the smooth background and the light reflecting on the leaves in the top left is balanced against the detail of the web and the spider. This one really needs to be viewed larger.

Just after leaving the gates of the Merian Gärten, I saw this guy, which promptly ran back into Merian Gärten, followed by me.

This is the reason why I didn't get to Schwarzpark, I spent too much time watching the squirrel. Somebody had left some peanuts on the floor which the squirrel was running up and down the tree to eat.

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