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"Marmalade Skies"

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 23 May 2008 in Miscellaneous and Portfolio.

A stormy sky and a river of buttercups - this is a photo from the suburbs of Liverpool but why did it make me think of the famous song by the Beatles: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"?

You know the lines:

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she's gone...."

NIKON D40 1/125 second F/11.0 ISO 200 15 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Nataly from Santa Monica, United States

Love the yellow! Dreamy...

23 May 2008 6:18am

@Nataly: Thanks Nataly...I was hoping you'd like it!

Margie from Auckland, New Zealand

That is GORGEOUS! With or without the L-S-D lyrics.
I love it!

23 May 2008 6:25am

@Margie: Thanks Margie.....yes, I never really believed the John Lennon story about him writing that song after his young son had done a pyschedelic drawing at school of his friend Lucy "in the sky with diamonds".

I once had to go on a morphine drip at hospital for 24 hours after an operation on my back and this kind of weird floaty 'otherworldly' feeling is just what it was like - one of those things in life that is so intense that you can never forget it.

Whether he ever tried LSD is irrelevant in my view as the lyrics and beauty of the song stand on their own merits. It's a beautiful song.

MahGol from Tehran, Iran

its a beautiful beautiful scene .. u got the right angle and the right frame ..

23 May 2008 6:39am

@MahGol: Thanks very MahGol!

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Wow, great tones and you're right it's totally Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds lol

23 May 2008 6:43am

@Lorraine: Thanks very much Lorraine!

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

If you think about it most of the best song late 60s 70s were writen on drugs, All the big names. I think it gave them something extra. Fantastic image love the yellow flowers very dreamy :)

23 May 2008 8:10am

@Alun Lambert: Hi Alun...I'm really pleased that you liked the photo!

Alfredo J. Martiz J. from Tokyo, Japan

This is beautiful Ian, I am speechless!

23 May 2008 8:41am

@Alfredo J. Martiz J.: Thanks!...:-)

Klaus from Augsburg, Germany

Great title and also the capture.

23 May 2008 9:30am

@Klaus: Thanks Klaus!

jkjond from Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom

I've always accepted the painting story - as McCarney says, its not like Lennon ever hid any truths about drug taking, so why create stories here? From what I've read or hear, his work around this time were always based on outside inspirations rather than purely coming from within. The opening theme from Sgt Pepper being a great example, almost word for word from a circus poster he bough in a junk shop. If it wasn't for Who's Next, that would be my fave album, despite only having it on CD so missing out on the full graphics. Oh, and if it wasn't for that weird Indian Harrison creation, best summed up by their laughing at the end.

23 May 2008 10:17am

@jkjond: Hi John...yes, I'm sure that the painting story happened and was a trigger but those lyrics are so obviously drugs influenced. I believe McCartney agreed in the end that drugs (not necessarily LSD) were also an influence on the words in the song.

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

A beautiful scene and stunning sky and you've captured it brilliantly! I'll be singing Lucy in the Sky the rest of the day ... thanks for that and for sharing this magnificent scene ... you are truly a master of photographing gorgeous, expansive landscapes!

23 May 2008 10:35am

@Ron: Thanks Ron...haunting lyrics aren't they!

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

Absolutely stunning. And I do share your thoughts as connected with the Beatles' song. "Marmalade skies..." says it all.

23 May 2008 11:22am

@Viewfinder: Thanks very much Glenn!

Cheryl from Texas, United States

another beautiful masterpiece! composition, colours, perfect! also love the title and song

23 May 2008 11:56am

@Cheryl: Thanks Cheryl...I'm delighted that you like it!

Daroru from Amagasaki, Japan

Wonderful handling of light.

23 May 2008 12:04pm

@Daroru: Thanks Daroru!

IanSmith from London, United Kingdom

Wow, now that's a great photo!

My hat off to you sir.

23 May 2008 12:17pm

@IanSmith: Hi Ian!...thanks for that. It means a lot to me.

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece

lovely-moody composition, fine DOF

23 May 2008 12:26pm

@Dimitrios: Thanks Dimitrios!

Ian from Adelaide, Australia

Wow - Stunning scene..

The colours create a great mood here.

23 May 2008 12:33pm

@Ian: Thanks Ian....that's very kind of you!

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

I love the yellow flowers against the dark green, They really pop up.

23 May 2008 12:36pm

@akarui: Thanks Akarui...I'm really pleased you like the photo!

Russ Devan from New Hanover, United States

Beautiful light in this one and I love the composition. I would have tried to dodge the buttercups to lighten them up a bit.

23 May 2008 1:31pm

@Russ Devan: Thanks Russ....I already lightened them quite a bit and was worried about losing the intensity of the yellow if I pushed it much more than this.

Anthony Lambert from Germany

Great shot,great group,great city.Need I say more !!

23 May 2008 1:51pm

@Anthony Lambert: Cheers Anthony!

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Hong Kong

Just beautiful!

23 May 2008 1:53pm

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks Michael!

m a r t a from Spain

Wow! Amazing tones and wonderful composition. I love it!

23 May 2008 2:03pm

@m a r t a: Thanks Marta!

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

The colour of the sky and flowers are almost blending into one, being from Liverpool The Beatles run through your veins I know from working with someone from Liverpool.

23 May 2008 2:44pm

@JoeB: Thanks very much...I'm really pleased you liked it! from Marseille, France

Great invitation for a dream !

23 May 2008 3:02pm Thanks :-)

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

You did a great job with the light here! It simply draws you in!

23 May 2008 3:22pm

@Japanalia: Thanks very much Gabriela!

NJ & SB Photography from Spain

una escena preciosa , la luz increible, bellisima

23 May 2008 3:26pm

@NJ & SB Photography: Thanks very much!

Observing from Chester, United Kingdom

Lovely shot Ian, the yellow of flowers and the color of the sky is especially good, very good finishing.

23 May 2008 4:21pm

@Observing: Thanks very much Mike!

El Jefe from ALmeria, Spain

Maravillosa en todos los sentidos!! Well done

23 May 2008 4:51pm

@El Jefe: Thanks very much!

Pavla from Saint James City, United States

Beautiful! Wish I could lay day in the feild and maybe listen to some Beatles ;)

23 May 2008 5:38pm

@Pavla: Thanks....:-)

Michael Rawluk from Prince George, Canada

The sky seems to picking up colour from the flowers. Very nice shot.

23 May 2008 6:48pm

@Michael Rawluk: Thanks Michael...I was so pleased when I found that B&W bridge photo of yours - great photo!

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Wow, i love your photos!

23 May 2008 7:27pm

@Stefan: Thanks Stefan!

Rags from Plano, United States

all i can say is wow!

23 May 2008 9:32pm

@Rags: Thanks Rags!

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

Super shot! I never would have imagined this when thinking about 'suburbs of Liverpool', so your photo is an eye-opener in every sense!

23 May 2008 9:55pm

@MadScientist: Thanks...the suburbs of Liverpool are very leafy and green (and yellow in places :-)

Barbara from Florida, United States

Magnificent, great title. Thanks for the Beatles memories.

24 May 2008 4:10am

@Barbara: Thanks Barbara...I'm really pleased that the photo evoked some happy memories of the Beatles for you!

amy from Rocky Mountain House, Canada

Quite inspired, Ian!! Beautiful image... the added "marmalade" hues shifts this from landscape picture to sublime dream.

24 May 2008 4:40am

@amy: Thanks very much Amy....I'd actually ventured into the field to take a photo of the storm clouds with a crop of yellow rapeseed oil plants in the foreground but these buttercups on the field margin worked much better.

Sharon from Brooklyn, United States

Good Grief, Ian. This is so beautiful. You are getting quite a little fan club here on aminus 3. I do hope you plan to show/sell your work. It's very worthy.

24 May 2008 5:20am

@Sharon: Thanks Sharon...I've actually got a price list and everything set up to be able to sell limited edition prints as I had an offer a few months ago that didn't pan out. I'm entering 5 prints in a local arts fair this summer which is really exciting. It's one my Dad is helping to organise in the Waterloo area of Liverpool (not far from where this shot was taken). The city is 'European Capital of Culture' this year so there are a lot of arts festivals being organised.

Luis A. De Jesus R. from Mexico City, Mexico

Do you sell your work? It's worth paying for. I appreciate your kind comments on my work, but this stuff simply blows me away. Keep them coming. You are very fortunate to be near such beauty and you do exquisitely well at sharing it.

25 May 2008 2:44am

@Luis A. De Jesus R.: That's a really kind of you to say - I do plan to start selling limited edition large prints of these and I've got everything set up from price lists to experimenting with up-sizing techniques in Photoshop. I've successfully printed photos from this camera to a size of 24 inches (60cm) in the long dimension without loss of resolution but I'm sure that even larger prints would be possible - it's just that I haven't tried anything larger than that yet.

I'm entering 5 large size prints in a local arts fair this summer which is exciting.

tom from Frankfurt, Germany

Wow!!! I really love this shot. The field of buttercups and the light make the difference.

26 May 2008 8:05pm

Peter F from Paris, France

You've really created a wonderfully psychedelic atmosphere with this one.

29 May 2008 9:25pm

dj.tigersprout from San Bruno, United States

love the curve of the foreground... great scenery and the sky is amazing!

5 Jun 2008 6:35pm

Peter Mannfolk from Landskrona, Sweden

I just stumbled upon your blog (appologies for my ignorance...) and I must say that it is one of the best I´ve seen so far. I needed another source of inspiration (Chromasia being the one I like most) and now I´ve found it. If I had the time I´d comment on all of your images but I settled for this one right now (The Beatles reference in the title made the decision for me...). It´s a beautiful capture with a bold tone! How did you manage to create so many images in such a short period (considering that you´ve only been doing this since easter last year)? I´m also a beginner; my blog went public in march and I would love a comment or two from you since whe´re in to the same type of photos. Great work, and you´ll definitely get a vote from me! /Peter

19 Jun 2008 12:19pm

@Peter Mannfolk: Thanks Peter....thst's really kind of you.

I don't actually take that many photos as I would say I only use my camera once or twice a week, but when I find something that interests me I tend to take lots of that one subject....for every individual photo on this blog there's probably another 30 very similar ones mouldering away on my computer.

Apart from a break last Easter I've been posting a new photo every day which is why it looks like there's so many. As my own personal standards increase though I think it's going to get harder for me to keep up the daily routine of a new photo and I may switch to posting less, say 2 or 3 times a week....we'll see. I haven't decided yet.

Looking at the photos on your blog I think you're far more advanced than I was after just a few months - I was very impressed indeed by your photos - in fact it's one of the best blogs I've seen (not just here at AM3 either).

I wanted to link to you at VFXY as I use their site a lot for viewing photos but when I clicked on the link on your blog it only took me to their home page - have you had the 4 digit code yet from them for you to enter here at AM3? (IMG - Links)

Best wishes,


joshi daniel from India

this is so beautiful!
have bookmarked your site in

29 Jan 2009 11:20am

1/125 second
ISO 200
15 mm (35mm equiv.)