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King Parrot Profile by Okavanga

22nd February 2015

Animated Rainbow Star Divider by Gasara

There have been delays in approval of submissions with some being timed out, and I apologise on behalf of my fellow admins. I have now opened up some of the main submission galleries to auto-approval of 1 submission per day.

Free Flower Icon 5 by RevPixy

Please let me know if you would like other galleries on auto-approval or if you have any other suggestions on how to refresh the Group.


Animated Rainbow Star Divider by Gasara

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Features and Journals

CFS 2015 Part 1 - The Gardens

Journal Entry: Tue May 26, 2015, 11:36 PM
The Chelsea Flower Show… the premier horticultural event of the year in the UK. I was lucky enough to be able to attend again this year. Apart from commercial stands and stalls, all the catering, military bands and other side attractions, the Show comprises two main arenas: the sponsored gardens and the Flower Pavilion. In this short feature, I show some of the sponsored gardens, so far as the milling crowds permitted reasonable shots. These gardens are designed and fabricated on site by national and international gardeners who obtain sponsorship from commercial and other sources. The hoi polloi like myself are not allowed to enter these constructions, but must gawp and gaze from a roped off perimeter. Consequently, such gardens, which can be of considerable size,  may not look their best from outside the fence. In my humble opinion, I thought some of them wouldn't look any better wherever I was standing, there being more than a touch of "the Emperor's New Clothes" about some of them. Nevertheless, others were well worth the visit.

A couple of technical points: I tried to find angles to minimise the number of people in view and to minimise any external structures such as the Pavilion and side stall; shots have been processed via Lightroom with a minimal treatment; the images are best view under magnification for details.

First, a shot of a trio of the famous Chelsea pensioners, resplendent in their scarlet coats and black hats. The Chelsea Flower Show takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in which these former servicemen reside.

CFS 2015 Chelsea Pensioners by Okavanga

The next shot shows one rather colourful part of one garden, along with some of the throng at the outside rope! Some gardens were very formally laid out such as this Islamic garden with its decorative doorway, minimal plants and bushes, but beautifully arranged lounging area. Some had vibrant displays of flowers as seen in the next image - an area dominated by alliums. My fourth garden shot is of the one sponsored by our very own Prince Harry. It was called Sentebale - Hope in Vulnerability and is an idealistic view of a centre in Lesotho for the treatment and rehabilitation of children suffering from HIV. I am sure the intention is good, but the reality "on the ground" in Lesotho is unlikely to resemble this!

CFS 2015 Colourful Garden by Okavanga   CFS 2015 Islamic Garden by Okavanga

  CFS 2015 Allium and Path Garden by Okavanga  CFS 2015 Prince Harry Garden by Okavanga

The following shot is of the overall winner - a garden based on part of the grounds of the famous Chatsworth House in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Everything in this show garden was transported from Derbyshire, including the rocks, grasses, plants and so on, and built onto the triangle of ground that makes up the front area of the flower show arena. The concept and design was by the top gardener at Chatsworth, Dan Pearson, and the garden was sponsored by Laurent-Perrier. No doubt at all that this was a very impressive effort, but I could take you to places not half an hour from my house, even more impressive than this, open to anyone to wander around, and designed by Nature. So, to my mind, this top prize was won for the ability to recreate (at considerable expense) a piece of natural landscape far from its home.

 CFS 2015 The Winning Garden by Okavanga

Here is my choice for the top garden at the show - the Japanese Artisan Garden, illustrated in the following two shots. My wide angle lens was not sufficiently wide angle to capture both of these aspects in one frame, but the left hand shot, is a view into a Japanese room, through a circular window in which has been placed a bonsai tree, mirrored by another on the table in the background, with the window also rhythmically reflected in the wall design. The window is surrounded by moss covered cobbles, such being a common motif in Japanese gardens. To the right of this structure, as portrayed in the second shot, runs a rushing stream through acers and other typical Japanese plants, and past a Japanese shrine. The whole effect was one of peace and harmony, reflection and repose.

  CFS 2015 Japanese Artisan 1 by Okavanga  CFS 2015 Japanese Artisan 2 by Okavanga  

Finally, a piece of whimsy - there are dozens of vendors of garden furniture and garden ornaments at the Chelsea Flower Show - and this sculpture caught my rye - through the diaphragm of a lens perhaps!

CFS 2015 Whimsy by Okavanga

In Part 2, I shall show some of the blooms from inside the Flower Pavilion.

Thank you for looking and reading.


David aka Okavanga :iconokavanga:

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast modified by Okavanga

Spring Flowers

Journal Entry: Sat May 16, 2015, 12:54 AM
 Just a short Feature this time of some mostly wild spring flowers to be found along the banks of the Ladybrook, a tributary of the River Mersey that runs close to my house in Bramhall.

Technical points: I used the Canon macro lens 100mm 1:2.8 L IS USM, with narrow apertures to obtain depth of field, a set Tv of 1/250 or 1/125 seconds, and a floating ISO.

As usual, given my limited botanical knowledge, the names of the plants are not necessarily correct and I bow to those with greater authority in these matters. I'm pretty sure the first is a buttercup. I have used the spot metering of exposure evaluation to highlight the flower itself and underexpose the background. The second image is of forget-me-nots (?). This is a very tight crop of very small flower heads, so we get some noise appearing. The third image is of wild garlic, again with spot exposure to accentuate the white flowers, stamens and shadows, at the expense of the background. As with the forget-me-nots, these flower heads are about 3 times actual size.

DARW7459-Edit-2 by Okavanga  DARW7449-Edit by Okavanga  DARW7451-Edit by Okavanga

My fourth shot is of a feather! Well, a feather caught in a hawthorn blossom. I have made a slight saturation tweak to this shot. Because the magenta stamens are surrounded by lots of "white" tiny flower heads, the original colour was slightly washed out. Thus, I have increased the magenta channel to restore the colour to the stamens. The fifth image is of a mallow (?) plant with one bloom having burst and another about to. I quite liked the whole configuration of leaves with the diagonal composition adding a bit of movement. My final shot is not of a wild plant but of a species of peony (?) growing in a neighbour's garden. I thought the shading in the leaves quite spectacular.

DARW7434-Edit by Okavanga  Darw7452 by Okavanga  DARW7472-Edit by Okavanga

All the images have been worked up via Lightroom and most with Google/Nik sharpening software.

Many Thanks for looking.

David Okavanga :iconokavanga:

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast modified by Okavanga
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ArtWorldToday is a Group for anyone who enjoys art. You don't have to make it to be a member. Art comes in all forms and what is art to one person might not be art to another. So you must be kind to other members. We will have beginners as well as established artists in this group, so there is a variety to look at.

My husband and I used to live in a town that had a active Art Walk. We enjoyed going on the First Friday of every month. There were so many talented artists in the town we lived in, and this was a way for people to notice them. We have since moved and the town we live in now doesn't have a Art Walk that show cases artists the way our old town did. I miss the environment of the Art Walk, I miss the getting to know the artists and I miss seeing all the new artwork.

I thought fine I will make my own First Friday Art Walk here on the web. I hope that we will build a fun group with lots of networking, interaction and support amongst artists of different types and abilities.

Not everyone can go to an Art Walk but here on the internet we can have our own form of Art Walk. On the First Friday of every month we will feature new artists for the month!
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MarcoHerrera Featured By Owner May 5, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much for the art request!! :)
AyameBrigi Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  New Deviant
thank you for accepting my request:happybounce: Clap
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ratinrage Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
 :wave: thank you for accepting me :) 
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GargoylesBlood Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
:shamrock: "I am done being in this group. All I see now are females in thongs and hardly any clothing for art lately. No offense, I think it is disgusting my opinion. If all I see are nude arts with bra and panties, I will go somewhere else, good day." :shamrock:
SoulcolorsArt Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the request :)
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