I’m not really sure when spring officially starts anymore but for me when the Bluebells bloom, Brimstone butterflies bop and birdsong burst from the trees, then whether its April, May or June, its spring. And its time to get out and get involved in it!
This season's gadget is the beanbag. You can buy posh ones or make your own from pillow cases and a few bags of lentils and rice. Now I won't tell you how to make a beanbag, that’s obvious, but I will suggest you make it waterproof-ish – soggy pulses are not nice! And it's about getting down where the action is, at ground level, so take a plastic sheet or a blanket and go to your nearest Bluebell wood early on a nice sunny morning. Find the densest spot of blue as far from the main paths as you can and spread yourself out flat. Unpack your kit (and sandwiches) and put your BB on top of your bag or a stump or log, anything so that you can look through your camera and be comfortable. I like to arm myself with a telephoto lens so I can peer through the plants and isolate my subjects against a nice out of focus blue background. If you are using a compact camera then zoom right in.
So what exactly, apart from the flowers, are we after lying quietly in a wood? Well, anything that comes along to be honest. Bumble bees are sure to suckle on the Bluebells and add a point of focus to your plant portraits, butterflies will also be after the nectar, but don’t forget that if you keep still you are effectively hiding so bigger animals could come within range. Thrushes may hunt worms or snails, Robins flit onto sunlit perches, Tits peck around the bases of trees. Squirrels will be looking for last autumns nuts and you never know, if you are really still then a Fox or a Roe deer may sneak through.
Don’t be too worried about getting a perfectly clear view of your subject, the idea is that you are spying into its private life and a soft veil of out of focus green or blue in the pictures foreground should look nice. You are on paparazzi patrol here, I hope you find some super celebrities to focus on!