Our resident photographer Gareth McKillop has a few pointers to help you capture your ‘Signs of Spring’. If you take a stunning shot of Britain in bloom in the next few weeks then make sure you enter it into our photo competition – you could win a luxury food hamper!
For photographers spring is an exciting opportunity to capture fantastic images of our beautiful countryside at its vibrant best. For many the winter has represented a lean period for quality images, particularly after this wet passage of weather. The advent of spring brings a promise of warmer weather, lighter evenings and a countryside regaled in colour; there really is no excuse not to get out there and tap into your creative side to produce some memorable shots that you can share and keep forever.
The key attraction of this time of year for photographers is the subtlety of the light, during the golden hour following sunrise and prior to sunset the spring light with its soft tones provides the perfect canvas to really enhance an image and make it special. With the sun relatively low in the sky and with the application of a polarising filter you can really bring out stunning spring colours, particularly the strong blues or the fiery burst of a beautiful spring sunset. With easy adjustments to the filter you will be able to control the warmth of your shot, with dramatic results particularly for reflections. You will really notice the difference, which will transform a good shot into a stunner.
The essence of spring revolves around all pervading feeling of renewal and sense of freshness perhaps typified best by our flora and fauna. The tell-tale signs are beginning to reveal themselves, with splashes of golden daffodil yellow set alongside the alluring almost translucent snowdrop whites. It really will not be too long before our woodlands become carpeted with crocus with the prospect of bluebells to come. This is the time to really exploit the vibrant colours, especially the fresh spring greens that translate so beautifully in a carefully framed macro shot.
The exquisite detail captured within an extreme close up, or macro shot, is the perfect way to capture the delightful delicacy of spring flowers. To ensure the best quality you will of course need to carry a tripod which these days is no trouble with the modern ultra lightweight and convenient collapsibility of modern equipment. With the limited space in the shot you will want to think carefully about your aperture settings, and to get the best depth of field perhaps look at a setting of f/16. If you have a DSLR camera with an LCD panel display, this is when it will really come into its own.
Here are some ideas for great places to capture those perfect spring shots:
- Sizergh Castle, Cumbria – stunning daffodils
- Nyman’s Estate, West Sussex – exquisite magnolias
- Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall – unforgettable seascape
- Blickling Estate, Norfolk – bluebell heaven
- Badbury Hill, Oxfordshire – gorgeous woodland