5.20am. I closed the car door, pulled my hat down tight over my ears, adjusted my headlamp, grabbed my tripod, and headed out into the murky darkness of the woodland.
One of the joys of shooting at sunrise is that you are forever emerging into the unknown qualities of the day ahead, as if in a state of perpetual motion. As I picked my way through the intricate maze of paths that knit together to form this fabulous woodland tapestry, I was joined by a crescendo of chorusing songbirds, infusing me with joy at the prospect ahead. I could sense the bluebells before I actually made eye contact with them, and as I neared the boundary of the woodland I was able to turn my headlamp off. My eyes slowly acclimatised to the deep shadows and the emerging mid-tones, and I could just make out the carpet of blue, hovering over the vibrant limes of the bluebell leaves.
I took my time.
Woodlands are notoriously challenging to shoot as they're inherently 'messy' places, compositionally speaking, and it was a good twenty minutes before I took my camera out of its bag and began shooting. I'd planned my location well, at a point close to the edge of the woods, facing towards the South East, in order to enjoy the first rays of sunlight, and as the sun rose the quality of the colours changed, minute-on-minute. The Blue Hour light was perfect to capture the tones of the bluebells themselves but as warmer hues emerged from the sun, the blues receded and the limes of the beech leaves became translucent and radiant in my compositions.
I'll be posting more bluebell images over the coming weeks.