Flowers at Darwin’s Estate 22 June 2014

I just found these photos lurking around on my pc. A couple of months ago, we went to Darwin’s old estate and joined the master gardener for a chat about what’s going on at the grounds. His staff split their energy between trying to recreate some of Darwin’s early agricultural experiments, restoring the gardens to the way Darwin had them arranged, and trying to keep some trees that were contemporanous with Charles alive.

The gardener’s biggest gripe was that most of the fruit cultivars that Darwin grew don’t exist anymore, and he was immensely frustrated that all fruit trees available in England today are better adapted for the climate and produce bigger harvests. The irony of this situation seemed to be lost on him, but I nearly LOL’d.

The gardens aren’t especially brilliant; it’s mostly vegetables and a few varieties of flowers. We were there right around the solstice, so not much was in bloom. I played around in photoshop with the photos, I wanted to really work with the idea of enhancing the bokeh with more precision than a luminance mask. I used a combination of Alien Skin’s Snap Art, channel calculation, curves on the channel mask and layer mode to put little squiggles all over the place. I like the effect, but I’m afraid it has limited uses. I also used Alien Skin’s Snap Art on several layers to create a not-quite-painted effect which I actually do like a lot. Going along with my recent fascination with contrasting colors, these vines flowering on a brick wall were probably the best shot of the day.

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