Secrets of a Bluebell Wood
The low, red evening sun reached into the forest, illuminating strips of bluebells in a magenta glow, while monolithic shadows cast by tall, slender beech trees preserved slithers of blue in their wake. I am always a little sad when the bluebells finish. They signify many things: the emergent growing season; lighter evenings; the end of winter and an overall sense of emotional renewal. Completing an entire week of bluebell photography reminds me of being immersed in an absorbing book or film and finding reality disappointing when I've finished.
Bluebells are a deceptively difficult subject and people normally competent in landscape photography, will often be left with disappointing results. The obvious beauty of native Bluebells carpeting a woodland floor leads many photographers to think emotionally, to the detriment of technique, composition and lighting. Cameras are merely pieces of equipment, designed to record subjects in front of the lens. Great subject matter will not automatically lead to great photographs. It is therefore important to look beyond the subject and craft sunlight, shadows and tones into a coherent narrative. I've been in love with forests since childhood. Only during the last few years have I acquired the skills to share that love with others. I always tell my students that while one can learn technique, love of the natural world can never be taught.