V Bowden Photography's Blog
The bluebells are out and everyone is enjoying strolls in the woods and taking family photos. However, bluebells can be notoriously harsh to photograph in due to the bold colours. Here are my top tips for what to wear during your spring photoshoot:
If you are having family photographs try to not dress ‘the same’ but instead choose a maximum of 3 or 4 colours or tones which compliment each other to wear between you all.
Before you take any photos have a quick glance at your wrists too – remove any bulky watches or stray hairbands which you don’t want showing in photographs!
We have already had a sprinkling of snow and are forecast more. If we do get a large flurry and wake up to a winter wonderland you won’t be able to resist taking some photos.
If you have children get them wrapped up warm and head outside with your camera in the morning or afternoon, avoiding the midday sun which may still be bright this time of year.
Taking snowy pictures can present two difficulties – overexposed due to so much bright white, or dull and cold so needing some extra warmth.
Here are my top tips for taking photos in the snow:
- If it is overcast set your white-balance to shady or cloudy. This will add some extra ‘yellow’ warmth and stop the snow looking blue. If you do not have a DSLR you can adjust this when editing afterwards.
- If it is sunny face people towards the sun to light up their faces in a portrait, or with the sun behind them for a glowing light.
- Get down low – be prepared to get wet knees and get down low onto your child’s level. Try to take your photos at their eye level for beautiful portraits and then play around with other angles.
- If you are using your DSLR you may be able to select a ‘snow’ scene mode. Alternatively use sport mode to capture children running or portrait mode if they are standing or sitting still. You may need to use exposure compensation if your camera produces an image which is too bright or too dull. If you know more about your DSLR you could use Aperture or Shutter priority and I would use my 50mm or 80mm lens.
- Think about composition. Let the snow be your backdrop so change your position to avoid cars, buildings and lamp posts!
If you would like to learn more about how to take great photos and use your DSLR click here to find out more about my workshops and training courses. March and April dates soon to be released.
If you take some snowy pictures so share them with me at www.facebook.com/vbowdenphotography and on instagram with the hashtag #VBowdenSnow
Recently, I have had lots of friends and clients getting in touch with V Bowden Photography to ask whether I can help them to better understand their camera and provide photography training. So, after some time and hard work I have put together a photography training workshop course to teach you how to use your digital camera and start taking better photographs of your family.
This 4 hour photography training course is perfect if you have a digital camera but struggle to take good photographs or are confused by so many controls and technical terms.
V Bowden Photography will teach you about:
Basic rules of composition
Getting your focus right
Lighting and correctly exposing photos
How to get off of auto mode and understanding the exposure triangle
Family photography tips
This 4-hour training package costs £60 per person and includes:
Drinks and nibbles
Access to an exclusive area of my website
Facebook support group
Dates for June 2018 (based in Little Chalfont):
Split course (2 x 2hours) : Tuesday 12th June 7-9pm
Thursday 14th June 7-9pm
Day course (1 x 4hours) : Saturday 16th June 1-5pm
To book your place please email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting your preferred date. You will then receive an online form to complete with a link for payment.
To see a sample of my galleries and what you could learn to achieve visit www.vbowdenphotography.co.uk
I look forward to seeing you!
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.
This morning I was out walking in the Chilterns with my husband and son and peeking through the mud and the trees we saw the first signs of Spring. Tiny, white, delicate Snowdrops were rising up from the damp ground to reach the sunlight. I was disappointed to have not had my camera with me to capture their simplicity as my two year old crept closer to look at the tiny buds. It made me think of all of the photography sessions which will occur this Spring as the seasons change and the days grow longer.
Bluebells are truly beautiful but they don’t last long, sessions will be limited so get in touch now. However Spring will last for months and there will be many opportunities to capture family moments in beautiful soft light.
Small Moments – Big Memories