‘One of the highlights of spring is the appearance of bluebells across our countryside,’ writes Robert Birkby. ‘Late April and early May tend to be the optimal times to capture bluebells at their best, and although much photographed, it really is difficult to resist those fabulous swathes of colour across our hills and woodlands. At the same time, grass starts to grow more quickly and new leaves are beginning to appear on deciduous trees. After a long and dark winter these fresh, vibrant greens and blues form a magnificent palette of colour.
Some regard bluebell shots as clichéd, but with a little effort it’s possible to capture something more original. The opportunities are endless. Try low and high viewpoints, and adjusting depth of field, focal length and brightness.’
- Early mornings in bluebell woods often produce the best results. Still and misty conditions are common at this time of year. Mist adds atmosphere and depth, while a carpet of bluebells is the icing on the cake.
- The famous bluebell locations are popular, so you’ll likely be sharing your view with other photographers. But bluebells can be found in the most unlikely locations, so try to find your own untrampled patch.
- Use the viewfinder to carefully seek out a good composition. It could be that the trees are balanced in the frame or forming repeating patterns. Gaps between trees help pull the viewer into the scene.
- Don’t forget to take some close-up or macro images of the intricate beauty of bluebells. Choose a healthy looking specimen that is not in direct sunlight, otherwise highlights are lost at the edges.