Day 120 – Bluebells, Bluebells and Bluebells

I have been out on four separate occasions to capture bluebells and I have chosen a selection of my favorite images here. Trip 1 & 3 – 18-250mm lens, trip 2 I had my 17-70mm lens,  and trip 4 my 100 mm lens – the middle two trips were to Roydon Woods and the 1st & 4th  trip was to Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington.

Sorry for the long post but I struggled to choose my favorite images … as the bluebells offered such variety!

Trip 1 – my first trip to look to bluebells on the 23rd April, there was one or two out but I could not capture the feel that I wanted and a lot were still in bud… so I waited a few days and choose another spot to explore – these was at Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington.

18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 - Back focusing, I think I am beginning to understand and it does help. I think this photo is really calming!
18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 – Back focusing, I think I am beginning to understand and it does help. I think this photo is really calming!
18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 - Just one bluebell but you know there are more....
18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 – Just one bluebell but you know there are more….

Trip 2 – Roydon Woods near Brockenhurst with my 17-70mm lens … this was not the lens I would have taken … but I did not check my camera before leaving home – these were captured on the 25th April. I was not sure where to spot the bluebells, but I do remember visiting last year and soon remembered the way.  Time was rushed … as hubby and eldest teen were with me too!

18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 - Just one bluebell but you know there are more....
18-250mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 250 – Just one bluebell but you know there are more….
18-250mm lens, f8, 1/250 sec, ISO 250 - a bank of bluebells backing onto the woodland at Roydon Woods.
17-70mm lens, f8, 1/250 sec, ISO 250 – a bank of bluebells backing onto the woodland at Roydon Woods.
17-70mmmm lens, f6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 250 - A closer look at Bluebells
17-70mm lens, f6.3, 1/250 sec, ISO 250 – A closer look at Bluebells

Trip 3 – A return visit to Roydon Woods with my 18-250mm lens, just the dogs and quite harsh sunlight which meant more contrast in between the sunlight and the shadows.

18-250 mm lens, f6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100 - Foreground interest to draw you into the wood.
18-250 mm lens, f6.3, 1/80 sec, ISO 100 – Foreground interest to draw you into the wood.
18-250 mm lens, f8, 1/125sec, ISO 125 - O love the bendy young tree for contrast against the blue bluebells.
18-250 mm lens, f8, 1/125sec, ISO 125 –  love the bendy young tree for contrast against the blue bluebells.
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/140 sec, ISO 160 - Illusions are everywhere - this was a narrow path barely wide enough for a rabbit and some very thin trees!
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/140 sec, ISO 160 – Illusions are everywhere – this was a narrow path barely wide enough for a rabbit and some very thin trees!
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/50 sec, ISO 100 - This marker was in the shade, but it lead you through the bluebell wood.
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/50 sec, ISO 100 – This marker was in the shade, but it lead you through the bluebell wood.
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/60 sec, ISO 200 - I loe the grassy path that you could walk down and explore.
18-250 mm lens, f13, 1/60 sec, ISO 200 – I love the grassy path that you could walk down and explore.
18-250 mm lens, f4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 100 - I thought a lot about getting down low with the bluebells and choosing my focus
18-250 mm lens, f4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 100 – I thought a lot about getting down low with the bluebells and choosing my focus
18-250 mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 500 - The sunlight sparkled in the background.
18-250 mm lens, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 500 – The sunlight sparkled in the background and caused lots of distraction.
18-250mm lens, f5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100 - Bluebells in the shade and in the sun - the forest is magical.
18-250mm lens, f5, 1/250 sec, ISO 100 – Bluebells in the shade and in the sun – the forest is magical.

Trip 4 – Back to Great Newbridge Copse in Lymington, a more cloudy day and as I had finally got round to looking at the other shoots I had a different idea … what if I tried to work with a fixed lens – would that work in the woods, would it control what I looked at, what I tried to capture and would the quality be the same?

100mm lens, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 400 - getting down low, choosing a background to blur and you could be anywhere!
100mm lens, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 400 – getting down low, choosing a background to blur and you could be anywhere .. but if you did not get low enough the shot did not feel quite right.
100mm lens, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 160 - this is a dark footpath behind a housing estate littered with rubbish yet with the bluebells it looks amazing!
100mm lens, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 160 – this is a dark footpath behind a housing estate littered with rubbish yet with the bluebells it looks amazing!
100mm lens, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 160 - I loved the contrast where different flowers grew together, a real sense of Spring.
100mm lens, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 160 – I loved the contrast where different flowers grew together, a real sense of Spring.
100mm lens, f5, 1/160 sec, ISO 250 - Trying to capture the essence of the bluebell wood and a sense of scale.
100mm lens, f5, 1/160 sec, ISO 250 – Trying to capture the essence of the bluebell wood and a sense of scale.
100mm lens, f10, 1/160 sec, ISO 500 - Capturing the scale of the wood was hard with the 100mm fixed lens, as the forest floor was clutter with sticks etc.
100mm lens, f10, 1/160 sec, ISO 500 – Capturing the scale of the wood was hard with the 100mm fixed lens, as the forest floor was clutter with sticks etc.
100mm lens, f8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200 - Back button focus with the intention of foreground blur.
100mm lens, f8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200 – Back button focus with the intention of foreground blur.
100mm lens, f3.5, 1/1250 sec, ISO 100 - the front of the sign in the Bluebell Wood
100mm lens, f3.5, 1/1250 sec, ISO 100 – the front of the sign in the Bluebell Wood
100mm lens, f7.1, 1/160 sec, ISO 400 - the Signpost adds interest ... a great place to walk
100mm lens, f7.1, 1/160 sec, ISO 400 – the Signpost adds interest … a great place to walk

The quality of the light was different on my fourth photo walk, but I did come to the conclusion that with any of the three lens I could capture Bluebells – it might be fun to try again with a wide angle lens … but the diversity of the woodland filled with bluebells is amazing… to just stand and enjoy the fragrant flowers, to hear the bird song and enjoy places that few people venture too… make it worth going out with your camera!

It is hard though to get the essence of the woodland, to avoid the clutter, the other woodland plants and debris when you just want the focus to be bluebells without isolating them from the background… and you never know I might share with you some more bluebells yet!

Have you got a bluebell wood near you?

100mm lens, f5, 1/160 sec, ISO 200 - Love the shallow depth of field and the colour from the cloudy sky
100mm lens, f5, 1/160 sec, ISO 200 – Love the shallow depth of field and the colour from the cloudy sky
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