At this time of year, I quite often head out into the Surrey Hills in search of bluebell woods that I haven’t been to before. When I’m there, I try to find compositions that I think will work well when the bluebells are flowering.
A few days ago I travelled over to Gloucestershire to attend a one day autumn colours workshop at Westonbirt Arboretum run by Light & Land and led by award winning photographer Andy Farrer. It was a good day at a lovely, colourful location with a nice group of people. Weather was a bit grey but at least it didn’t pour down!
Autumn is taking hold and colours are changing, so I thought I would post a few of the images I have made over the last few weeks from visiting several local woods.
In English, Happy St. David’s Day!
Being Welsh, I thought I would mark St. David’s Day with an image of a daffodil, the national flower of Wales. After all, I can still remember having a daffodil pinned to my jumper before heading off to school in the 1960s!
I didn’t want just any type of image though, I wanted to try a technique I’ve known about for a long time but never managed to get around to using before – creating a black background without actually using a physical background.
This technique uses nothing more than the absence of light. It’s quite simple really, once you understand the principle. You don’t need a studio or any fancy lighting gear (I certainly don’t have any), just a flash that you can fire off-camera.
The garden in question belongs to my friends who live near Vinhedo, which is about 50 miles (80 km) outside of São Paulo. They have a truly wonderful house and garden and this is the first time I have visited.
If there is one thing I have learned since starting in photography it’s this – the background is more important than the subject.
Seems like all I’m doing lately is photographing bluebells, but I suppose it is the season for it.
This year I decided to travel further than my back garden in search of bluebells. Internet research showed a couple of promising locations in Surrey within about 45 minutes drive from home.
So I started exploring in late March and weekly thereafter to check on progress. Places such as Ranmore Common, White Down, Leith Hill and Hatchlands Park.
For the last few years I have captured images of the first bluebells to appear in my garden.
There is a small patch of self-seeded bluebells to one side of the garden which have gradually invaded one corner of the lawn. The setting of these within blades of grass helps to illustrate their small size and I’ve been drawn to try and capture this and their delicateness.