The forecast shows that the sun is going to reappear and the bank holiday weekends are nearly upon us. Lots of us are thinking of taking a stroll out in the bluebells and particularly looking to take photographs of our children in the sea of bluebells. I have a busy diary with bluebell photo sessions and only a few spaces left.
Here are my top tips and locations for a bluebell walk in our local area:
Dockey Woods– probably the most well known place for finding bluebells. Part of the Ashridge estate, chargable entrance and will get very busy. There are natural barriers restricting access to the bluebells and smaller paths in order to protect them so your camera skills will need to be more creative from behind the stick barriers. Go early or late to catch beautiful light and avoid the crowds.
Wendover woods– lots of bluebells to be seen and you can also enjoy the highway rat trail or cycle trails. Be aware that there is extensive building works at the moment. If you just want a bluebell opportunity there are bluebells surrounding the woods as you drive up Aston Hill with several parking spots along the way to stop and walk into the nearby woods.
Hervines Park – this park in Amersham is far less likely to be busy over the coming weeks but offers a lovely walk in the woods with large open space and is close by to coffee shops for a pit stop afterwards.
Penn Woods– the first of my hidden gems, vast amounts of bluebells and great pubs nearby.
Coombe Hill – head up to Coombe Hill and front the car park enter the woods to Lower Scrubs. Another hidden gem with lots of fallen trees and stumps which are great for sitting on for photos.
Westwood Park – enjoy a walk in the woods surrounding Chalfont and Chenies with wonderful views as you head down towards either Chenies or Latimer. For another hidden gem go to Sarratt where footpaths will lead you to a hidden wood with perfect photo spots with small paths and fallen trees.
When planning a photo shoot of your own family keep the following in mind-
1. What are they wearing? Try not to wear overpowering colours or patterns. Stick to a few colours between you all and definitely no yellow, orange or green!
2. What camera are you using? Snap away with whatever you have. There are lots of filters for smart phones and if you have a DSLR you may want a narrow depth of field (low f stop number) to create that wonderful blur in the background and foreground.
3. Composition and angles are key. Try to get onto the same level as the people in your photo so you are at eye level rather than towering over them. This produced more pleasing pictures.
4. Light- when possible avoid very bright sunlight so choose a shadier part of the woods or even better visit over breakfast or tea time for what photographers refer to as ‘golden hour’ with lovely yellow light.
Whilst we all love the short bluebell season please remember that if trodden on they will struggle to reappear in future years so stick to the paths and lift little ones over them if needs be. Keep dogs on leads to avoid them trampling them all down so we can all enjoythem again next year!
If you take any photos feel free to tag them in Twitter with #VBowdenTips to see each-others hidden gems and family snaps.