This avenue of trees is from Micheldever Wood in Hampshire, a spot about which I have heard much. Unusually, it is the first photo I took at the location. Typically, the initial press of the shutter results in something which is OK but, in reality, is the start of exploring the scene. More creative ideas follow on from the obvious viewpoint. I suspect that applies to most photographers. As soon as I saw this scene, though, I knew instantly that it had potential. It is close to car park and is remarkable for the number of tall trees growing straight in an orderly manner across a large are. Woods are seldom so organised and it can be a challenge to find a coherent composition.
About Micheldever Wood
The wood is renowned for its bluebells, for which I had gone in search en route to the South Coast. In my heart, I knew that I was both too early and too late. Too early, as I did not expect the flowers to be fully out. Too late, since I did not get there until mid morning, long after the best light had gone. That did not matter as my suspicions about the state of the flowers proved correct. A local photographer who I met while walking around and knew the woods well, estimated that they were around 30% in bloom. My venture was more of a foray to investigate options for another time.
Bluebells are tricky flowers to photograph. They like shade and come out just as the leaves on the trees are forming. Once the canopy is fully in place, it blocks most of the light and the resulting photographs frequently lack drama. As spring progresses, other plants grow up around them and makes it difficult to find an area which is a solid patch of purple. In reality, there is just a brief period of a few days each year when they are at their best.
Writing this blog at some remove from the time of shooting, I know that the bluebells largely eluded me this year. As will become apparent in subsequent posts, I was nowhere near a bluebell wood when they reached their prime.