7 THINGS TO PHOTOGRAPH BEFORE SPRING IS OUT
By now, daffodils are in full bloom everywhere across the UK. They’re bright and colourful and make excellent subjects – especially against a bright blue, sunny sky.
Try taking pictures of these flowers from a low angle, shooting upwards to make them the main focus of the image. Also, turn on continuous focus: this will ensure that when the daffodils sway in the wind, you will be able to capture sharp images of them and they won’t fall out of focus.
In 2015, the bluebell was voted Britain’s favourite wildflower – and it’s not hard to see why. They’re among the most beautiful flowers we have here in the UK, and are made even more amazing when large groups of them cover the forest floor.
The best time for bluebells is April through to May. Bluebells will usually be found in big beds, but occasionally there’ll be a few lone rangers dotted around by themselves. Of course, if you have a sea of bluebells in front of you then it would be rude not to capture them as part of a wider scene – however, capturing a single flower right up close, using a macro setting or lens, will show off the intricate details to be found in such an amazing flower.
Much like the bluebell, cherry blossom is a great subject for photographers. These trees brighten up landscape scenes but they are also very versatile for any kind of shoot that needs to scream “springtime!”. If fallen cherry blossom covers the floor, it can make for a great backdrop for shooting a horizontal portrait – and it’s great for close-up images too.
by Andrew Peter Martin
While rabbits can (of course) be spotted practically all year round, throughout spring you will start to spot the emergence of the newest, youngest, smallest bunnies. If you’ve seen some living near you, keep quiet and get low to the ground and see what shots you can capture of these cuties. They’re more likely to pop out of the hedges early in the morning, so set your alarm clocks if you’re keen to get photos of them before they grow up.
Spring is a magical time for bird photography. Many birds are flocking back to the UK after wintering overseas and with many birds starting to feather their nests, there’s plenty to photograph. Many birds of prey such as male Marsh Harriers dance high in the sky, and Great Crested Grebes do a similar fascinating mating dance on water too. If there’s a bird sanctuary near you, why not pop along with your camera and see what feathered visitors they’ve had recently?
THE GOLDEN HOUR
With a varied selection of weather conditions on offer including lots of interesting clouds, sunshine and fog, shooting at first light or just before sunset is incredible in spring. It’s possible to capture every sort of environmental condition from dark, moody landscapes to bright, vivid sunsets. Why not pick a feature near you and document it throughout the changing conditions? This sort of project allows you to really study a subject and see how the altering light changes its appearance – and the resulting set of images makes for a great exhibition as well…
British weather is unpredictable at the best of times, but spring famously brings rain as well as shine – they’re not called April showers for nothing. Storms and lightning are fairly commonplace: if you’ve found yourself stuck inside by a springtime squall, why not try and make the rain your subject? Stormy seas, reflections in puddles, raindrop-covered windows, slow-shutter-speed streams: there’s water, water, everywhere, to challenge every sort of photographer. Just don’t forget your brolly…
Storm Katie by Sue MacCallum-Stewart