Robert Canis's Blog for August

01 August 2016

Region: London

August is a month when not a great deal happens in the countryside and London’s green spaces. Wild flowers are now few and far between and the freshness of early summer is long gone. Now is a transitional period where leaves are turning and numerous bird species such as swallows and house martins are preparing for the long migration to their wintering grounds in Africa. There is, however, a flower that provides a welcome splash of colour in many of London’s parks, ornamental and botanical gardens towards the end of August and that plant is heather. A rather small, spiky flower that grows en masse, this stunning little flower is often seen forming huge carpets of purple. Head to Hampstead Heath or Wimbledon Common for the finest displays and consider photographing the spectacle using a wide-angle lens to show the flowers in context and then a close-focussing telephoto-zoom or, better still, a macro lens to show off the beautiful pink flowers that adorn the stem. Late afternoon sunlight works particularly well since it emphasises the warm hues and when shooting into the sun, reveals the translucency of its tiny flowers. Avoid, simply, pointing the camera down at the heather since this can look rather uninteresting. Instead, look for contrasting colours and textures to add interest such as a fern which breaks up the ‘monotony’ of purple.

Blog and image ©Robert Canis