My Bluebell Photography Project 2020

In late April 2020 we were blessed to have a week of good weather, with still mornings and sunshine forecast for every day. While in Lockdown I decided to make use of my time to head out once a day to document the local woodland scenes. The result is a body of work I am really pleased with, and proud of, and hope the images bring some joy to you as well. The photos certainly made the 5am alarm calls worthwhile!

In the past year I had been keen to do more vlogging, after watching many YouTube photography videos from the likes of Ben Horne, Thomas Heaton and Adam Gibbs. While I am first and foremost a photographer it had really enjoyable to share my experience, pass on my knowledge and to provide a story behind my photos. These vlogs were recorded on my phone and uploaded onto Instagram via the Stories feature. For this series I recorded the vlogs in exactly the same way and built them into Episodes, so people could watch the vlogs as part of a series on YouTube.

I hope you enjoy the series and I have included each Episode below, along with the images that were featured in each video. Every year I produce a Calendar and I am sure one of these photos with be in the 2021 edition!

Episode 1

In Episode 1 I introduce the project, list my equipment and give a bit of a background to my work, before sharing three short vlogs I recorded the week before beginning this more dedicated project.

Episode 2

In Episode 2 I visit a fallen tree to photograph it in the dawn and first light, trying to come up with an image that shows the contrast between the death of the tree and the beauty of the carpet of bluebells.

Episode 3

In Episode 3 I focus on a local bluebell woodland that I had scouted the afternoon before. By finding three compositions that I thought would work I was able to take these in the dawn and first light and then compare how the sunlight effects each scene. Personally I find the dawn images a lot more calming. the colours more pastel and the light more flattering. This said, the final image of a close up image of the bluebells has a real dramatic edge due to the lighting, so the morning light can add a lot to an image if used well.

Episode 3 - The Critique

After I didn’t record an ending to Episode 3 I figured it would be fun and interesting to record a clip back at home! Looking at the three main scenes I photographed in the Episode I discuss the photographs, the compositions I went with and how the natural light affected the scenes. Apologies about the colour cast, my limited video editing knowledge has let me down on this one!!

Episode 4

In Episode 4 you join me after a period of struggle where I couldn’t find a scene to photograph and nearly went home. Just before leaving I thought I would try and take an image and quickly found an hour and a half had passed and I had some lovely shots! Photography can be push your creative limits, and mental abilities, at times and I am glad I had the patience and understanding that photos would appear to my eyes in the end!

Episode 5

In Episode 5 I venture back to the same woodland I was in for the previous two Episodes. This time I stay in a different part of the woodland and get some very different images to those in Episode 3. I wanted to take more expansive images, showing the whole of the woodland and feel I achieved this with a couple of the images.

Episode 6

In Episode 6 I head to a scene I had been keen to photograph for the last two weeks, a bank of wild garlic lining a woodland floor with a stream flowing through! It took two trips with cameras to get the photo I had dreamed of getting, and I don’t think I could improve the end picture really.

Ironically, all the time I was in the woodland I felt the portrait orientation would produce a much better photo, but the landscape version ended up being much more appealing! I feel this is mainly due the portrait seeming to give of the feeling of being part of something larger, while the landscape picture clearly shows the whole of the ‘display’.

Another reason for being so against the landscape version, in the field, was that it was so much harder to frame! The portrait came to me very easy and worked perfectly, while the landscape image needed a lot more thought to get ‘just right’ I am glad I did persist with this orientation though as the resulting photo will probably be used on greeting cards and in a future calendar!