Monday, July 21, 2008

Hampton Court Flower Show 2008

I went to the Hampton Court Flower Show a few Sundays ago. I go every year or two, but this year it was just too busy to be much fun.

I used to go to the Chelsea Flower Show but stopped going because of the large number of people in the small space. Hampton Court used to be a good alternative, the exhibitors are more of less the same.

The show gardens are different, and not as splendid as at Chelsea; but much of the plants and exhibits are the same. Above all the atmosphere at Hampton Court used to be quite a bit more relaxed.

This year there were just too many people at Hampton Court for it to be pleasant. I couldn't stand anywhere to appreciate anything, or take a photo, for more than a few seconds before someone crashed into me. It generally wasn't any body's fault in particular, just a side effect of having too many people for the available space.

I did manage to take a few photos. As it was so busy I used the 'f8 and be there' principle or using what you've got. I had aset of close up filters with me and decided to try taking some macro-esque photos.

Bearing in mind that the close up filters do reduce the quality of the images somewhat, and the fact that the light wasn't bright in the tents, I ended up with some blurry close up photos of small flowers.

Outside wasn't much better as to get the depth of field required to show any detail at all I was shooting at about f16 upwards, which again resulted in some blurry images due to diffraction and camera shake.

All the same I ended up with about half a dozen shots which I thought were quite pleasing (which I will post later when I have some time).

I'm not sure I'll be going back to the Hampton Court Flower Show next year. I may give Chelsea another try. I haven't been to a Chelsea flower show in four years so maybe things have improved.

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