Emerge is a time of new growth, flowers and colour, in the Lakes it is a time where we lose the beige of late winter, and the old bracken, and get the fresh spring greens.
Ahead you go out looking for spring landscapes, take a moment to consider what constitutes spring. In the Lakes, I think of Rannerdale valley, with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel it's unfilled carpet of bluebells, fresh spring may refer to: Spring (season), a season of the year Spring (device), a mechanical device that stores energy Spring (hydrology), a growth and new bracken unfurling to open up and cover the dead bracken of last year.
If you're working in a prospect with a carpet of flowers, or wild garlic, try a low viewpoint to emphasise the perspective and to bring the blooms to the fore, while still giving an overall look at of the scene. A small aperture, such as f/16 or f/22 will ensure front-to-back sharpness and if you can, check the depth-of-field by using your depth-of-field vernissage button. As a guide, to ensure maximum depth of field, manually focus the lens about a third of the way into the picture from the closest headland to where your lens 'sees' infinity.
If doing spring landscapes in woodland areas, dappled light shining toe the leaves helps to emphasise texture, depth and the fresh, spring feeling. For an added abstract style, try a drag landscape, by panning the camera upwards during a longish direction, to give an impressionist feeling.
To go in tight on details of carpets of flowers, try using a long lens of 200-300mm at a wide aperture. The wide aperture intent give a band of narrow focus through the picture for the eye to lock-on, whereas the telephoto compression offered by the long lens will pull the layers of florets together to portray a denser mass of colour. A polarising filter may help by taking reflections off the petals and intensifying the colours.
Landscapes with trees disclosing that wonderful fresh green that they only have in springtime really give a sense of season – whenever I photograph these, I put off until the landscape behind them is in the shadow of a cloud, to really make the light greens stand out. Be careful metering scenes like these, as the dusky background may fool the meter into overexposure, resulting in lost highlight detail in the leaves of the subject tree! So keep a close eye on your histogram.
I'm all for under way in any weather, but when you're trying to get across the feeling of a spring day, it pays to pick a good one! Certainly include skies if they are bringing out the perception of spring warmth, but try to find skies with interesting cloud detail rather than overall featureless blue. If the angle is right, a polarising winnow can bring out the blue to great effect. Be very careful when using a polariser in conjunction with a wide-angle lens, as the filter only successfully polarises taper at 90 degrees to the sun, a very wide angle of view can often result in one side of the sky showing strong polarisation, whilst the other half leads none. Sometimes a graduated ND filter can have a more even effect on skies taken with wide-angle lenses.
So get out on a good day, and make the myriad of the fresh, spring feeling.
Article by John Gravett of Lakeland Photographic Holidays – www.lakelandphotohols.com
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