Outdoor order

This is the flip side to my mother’s flower-filled garden in Essex, eastern England. It’s an architectural garden, built on neat lines and angles, from the solid railway sleepers to the little shed. Even some of the smaller objects reflect this order.

As a lover of symmetrical photography and the purity of its lines, this was a pleasing theme to develop over a couple of hot, sunny summer days there.

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Powdery pink

This marks a retreat indoors, away from the hot sunshine baking this usually damp island. It makes colours more vivid, while the light can be so strong that photographs can look harsh and bleached.

The subtle pink shades are from the little blooms of a succulent, taken at very close range. They’re numerous and at the height of their powers. A long away from the rigours of summer…

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Powdery pink

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A tale of two skies

Dorville at sundown

Anger

Britain is an island of tempestuousness at the moment. Sultry air has been pushing in from the south, leading to dramatic thunderstorms. While many people have been capturing impressive lightning strikes, I photographed what threatened to be the prelude to a storm.

On one side of the sky, there was beautifully pink-tinged sundown. But on the other side swirled dark, foreboding clouds. They eventually came to dominate the rooftops over my west London street, sweeping the tranquil sunset away. There was an impressive shower of rain, but the full sound and light show seemed to pass us by this time.

Everyone loves a sunset, but I am taken with the texture of the black clouds. Which do you prefer?…

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Underwater thoroughfare

London is a city of bridges, connecting its two sides which are dissected by the River Thames.

But this is an exception to the rule. Some Edwardian engineers saw fit to construct a tunnel beneath the river. To this day, it carries pedestrians from Greenwich in the south to the Isle of Dogs on the north bank and is open 24/7. You can take the original staircase or a lift to reach the tunnel.

The brightly lit, white tiled tube is a photographer’s dream for capturing perspective, distance, shape and lines. It’s just busy enough to capture both figures and eerie emptiness. The only hazard is cyclists using it as a race track, despite signs prohibiting this.

Well worth the long trip from west London, where there is no underwater thoroughfare.

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Essex in bloom

It was time to take a break from London and see my mother who lives in Essex, a two-hour jaunt east from my part of the city.

This turned into two glorious days spent in her garden, newly landscaped with gravel, paving stones and raised flower beds fashioned from reclaimed railway sleepers. It’s bursting with roses, dahlias, marigolds, lavender and a host of garden favourites.

My trusty camera came with me, and working in the garden was restful and a pleasure, punctuated with numerous breaks from the strong summer sunshine. I found abstract, floral and architectural shots in this well-structured space – rich, rewarding and relaxing in equal measure.

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And to finish off, a candid photograph of this garden’s proud owner, my Mum, resting in her swing seat, probably enjoying a crossword puzzle or reading her Kindle. The fruits you deserve to savour at a mature stage in life…

A moment of rest

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