Quick tips: Woodland flowers

February 24, 2017

Local woodlands will soon be exhibiting signs of spring. One of the first flowers to bloom is the lesser celandine; its star-like blooms creating a vast yellow carpet on the forest floor. Snowdrops will also be present in some locations, their distinctive white heads bobbing in the breeze. Another firm favourite is the wood anemone whose white flower heads often have a pinkish tinge. This beautiful perennial grows in woods, hedgerows and upland meadows from March to May, but its scent is a little off-putting – the leaves give off a musky aroma earning it the alternative name ‘smell fox’.

All of these winter/spring flowers can be found and photographed with ease, but to make the most of the experience you need to consider a few things.

  1. If the wind speed rises above 5mph it’s best not to attempt close-up shots of delicate blooms such as snowdrops and wood anemones. These are best captured on calm days, and when the light is bright but overcast.
  2. Scissors, tweezers and a paintbrush can all come in handy when shooting plant portraits. Any dust, pollen or debris will stand out on pale petals, so save time with the cloning tool by removing any distractions early on.
  3. Many woodland images are shot at ground level, so take a kneeling mat or wear waterproof trousers to keep comfortable and dry. You will also need a tripod with a central column that can be positioned horizontally (or a beanbag).
  4. Reflectors and diffusers can be useful for controlling the light that falls on your subject, but it’s also worth experimenting with small portable lights and flash systems designed specifically for close-up work.