Spring for many photographers heralds the start of the macro year. The floral extravaganza never fails to impress me, and for many, it revives interest and motivation after long periods of inactivity during winter.
It’s been a colder winter than what we have been used to in recent times; more like the winters of the past. As a result, things are running a bit late. I had some ideas in mind for spring flora that I wanted to experiment with and set off to a local nature reserve near my home. However, on arrival, the flora was well behind. This required a change of plan. Sometimes we assume that our choice of location will facilitate our ideas; in this case unfortunately not. One advantage of macro photography is the fact that you can often improvise and find other subjects to photograph.
The reserve itself is a low-lying cutover bog, and it has an abundance of sallow trees and areas of Lesser Celandine; an attractive species that carpets the woodland floor with a perfusion of yellow in early spring. Although there was little in the way of flowering plants, one option was to abandon the trip and head home or explore what was available. I spent a little time at looking at the few sallows that were coming into flower and selecting a couple that showed promise. Also, a few primroses were out which provided another possibility. I finally spent a little time looking at the lesser celandines most of which were still in bud, but several in a more sheltered area were well in flower.
The sunlight was strong with little cloud cover. I had to be careful about my choice of position to minimise the chance of blowing the highlights; this restricted my options with a couple of subjects. However, having said that it is easy to fall into the habit of photographing a subject from one aspect without spending time working it from a variety of positions. I have, on some occasions, fallen into that trap myself assuming that my choice of viewpoint is the most promising. It is good practice to examine the subject from all angles paying particular attention to its background and the direction of light. You may find on your return home that the obvious choice is not always the most promising.