This is a rare post by my husband.
[May 2022] This year I decided to join a Japanese photography club in London which my wife has been part of since it was founded, I am one of the few non-Japanese but luckily they all speak excellent English as they are people who live in the UK for many years.
Every month the club organizes a kind of internal competition between all registered photographers and the club leader who also bears his name, a retired former professional photographer, chooses a theme.
This month the theme was “flowers in parks and gardens” very seasonal and quite simple theme.
In addition to the internal competition, a “photo session” is also occasionally organized, usually on Saturday afternoon, and this time the “Isabella Plantation” location within Richmond Park was chosen as the location.
My wife had already planned another engagement that she could not cancel that Saturday, so I decided to participate for the first time alone.
We met at the “Isabella Plantation Cafe” at 3 pm.
In fact, contrary to the usual, the participants were very few, less than ten people in all.
It was not easy to get to my destination, I had to change two buses and in the end from the entrance it took about 20 minutes to walk to the cafe.
The day was quite hot and the ground quite dusty, but the park was so beautiful and it was still a very pleasant walk.
The feature of this garden is the presence of many Azaleas, Camellias and Rhododendrons.
This large garden of 16 hectares was built around 1830 in Victorian style, and opened to the public in 1953.
There is no certain information on the name, but it is thought that it may be the name of the wife or daughter of a person of the park staff, or it is much more likely that the word Isabel, which in the past was used to define the colour of the earth present in that area of the park.
A few minutes after the agreed time for the meeting, we walked towards the entrance of the garden a few metres from the Cafe.
Then everyone went their own way in search of beautiful subjects for our photos.
The day chosen was May 21st, usually a time of full bloom, but this year the most spectacular flowering had arrived a couple of weeks earlier and for this reason it was less crowded.
To take beautiful pictures of flowering plants, the fact that there were fewer people could be a big advantage, with so many people around I don’t think it’s easy to take beautiful photos of natural subjects.
The various paths inside the garden are in fact paths in the midst of large trees where every now and then you meet more open areas with a small stream or a small pond.
Even though we were at the end of flowering the flowers were beautiful, deep red in some cases, or pink or white.
Fortunately, it was possible to find areas where there was hardly anyone to focus on the subjects to be photographed.
Like everyone else I took dozens and dozens of photos, trying to include subjects other than just plants or just flowers, for example, at the intersection of two streets there was a beautiful wooden bench that beautifully matched with the landscape, and in a small meadow there was a family with small children playing, and so on.
In the end, back home, I chose the 5 photos I liked best taken at the Isabella Plantation and sent them to the club.
Unfortunately none were chosen as the best, but one of my photos was posted on the club’s website and this made me very happy.
I spent a nice afternoon outdoors in a place that is worth visiting surrounded by nature but not far from central London.