31 January 2016
Seasonal advice from award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer, Robert Canis.
Snowdrops are among the first flowers to appear and due to the very mild weather (other than the brief frosty period we experienced) they can be found flowering right now in all manner of places from damp woodlands through to parks, gardens and, especially, graveyards.
More often than not they are seen in large numbers and in some places form swathes of nodding white heads and their sheer volume can be quite an assault on your senses making it difficult to know where to begin. Consider working in a methodical manner by starting with capturing the scene with a wide-angle lens, kneeling and positioning yourself close to the flowers which puts the flowers in context and creates images with impact. Next, look at photographing the plant as a whole or closer still, concentrating on just the head using a lens of at least 100mm to soften foreground and background vegetation and if it’s bright and sunny, shoot into the sun. Don’t be afraid of flare, welcome it as it can produce soft, ethereal results. I find a beanbag and right-angle viewing attachment incredibly useful and a small pocket reflector to fill-in dark shadows.
Look for those specimens that are on the periphery as opposed to working on those in and amongst all the others. This will not only make isolating a single plant more straightforward but will, also, lessen any chances of you inadvertently flattening nearby snowdrops.
Finally, experiment. Seek out unusual angles, silhouette snowdrops against the rising or setting sun or shoot through other snowdrops creating a white vignette. There really are so many possibilities that the only limitation is your own imagination!
Image: Snowdrops © Robert Canis
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