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Sometimes to capture the flavour of a season in your photographs you need to resort to the obvious. Lambs, primroses, bluebells and brimstone butterflies all say ‘spring’ so they make suitable subjects. But don’t use this as an excuse to be lazy, you still need to be looking for the perfect picture and trying to make it stand out by finding a new angle or a novel idea. Before you set out, camera in hand, think about your subject and what it offers, what you can do with it that you haven’t seen in other photos. Sometimes its just a case of breaking the rules , shoot in the rain , point your camera into the sun to get some drama into your shot , on other occasions it’s a question of waiting - the dew drenched and drooping head of the bluebell would be so much better if a big fat fluffy bumblebee was hovering beneath it . There is always a better picture there, the trick is seeing it and then capturing it.

Use the winter as a research period to plan your spring campaign, find out where the best spreads of snowdrops or cowslips are which farms will have lambs frolicking in their fields or which woods will give you that amazing flush of emerald green when the beech first breaks its buds. This is a quick season and you might not have much time to capture it so a notebook full of locations and ideas will be useful.

With many species thinking about producing their young or already feeding them this can be a good time to use bait to bring things closer to you. For instance , if you are lucky enough to have foxes or badgers visiting your garden now might be the time to save the kitchen scraps for the patio ‘restaurant’ and to get them used to you laying with your camera up against the French window glass . Of course the garage window or even shooting out of your parked car can be equally good for capturing a shot of these urban favourites.

The frogs, toads and newts will be busy in your pond at night but who wants to be out in the garden in the cold? Why not set up a temporary aquarium in the conservatory and try to get some underwater shots of them without getting wet or catching a chill! Be careful of reflections of yourself in the glass , try hanging a black cloth between you and the tank with a small hole for your lens and don’t overcrowd your ‘indoor pond’ or you will have trouble controlling your subjects . And put them straight back outside when you have finished, after all they’ve got some important business to attend to!


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