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Photography tips by Mark Gilligan - Bluebells

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:34 01 April 2016

Lone tree among the bluebells

Lone tree among the bluebells

not Archant

Photographer Mark Gilligan captures one of Lakeland’s great shows when the bluebells appear

Bluebells and a waterfall at Rannerdale Bluebells and a waterfall at Rannerdale

The weather is one of our main talking points. Like the land we inhabit, it is as diverse as you can get but thankfully it is rare for us to have the devastation they suffer in other parts of the world.

Now I know there are subtle changes going on with our weather but those seasons define the time of year and from a photographic perspective it is another opportunity for us to go out and capture those changes. Also, if we revisit annually, you can see how things alter over time.

In recent years, I have had the pleasure of delivering workshops to people from warmer continents and they love our seasons. They come to enjoy and photograph them because they simply don’t have what we have.

One of our most celebrated is spring when poets wax lyrical about the joys and new beginnings. From a visual perspective we are treated to one of natures finest displays. Bluebells.

Beck, rocks and blue bells at Rannerdale Beck, rocks and blue bells at Rannerdale

Suddenly, woodlands become infused with colour as these pretty flowers burst through. It is a special time and one that provides photographers with another opportunity to capture the time of year.

Here too briefly, it is best to have prepared and earmarked a spot to visit. One place that comes to life is Rannerdale over by the shores of Crummock Water. It is an open space, unusual for bluebells to thrive, suggesting that it was once a woodland. You will be hard pressed to find a better display on such a vast scale as becks and fells conspire to offer you a visual treat.

Normally in this feature I show one photograph but I think a couple of types of image will show you a different way to capture these gorgeous little flowers.

I spent around five hours walking around there last year in awe of what I saw. It changes throughout the day as the sun moves overhead and don’t be put off if it’s windy as that swirling effect on the flowers is very pleasing to the eye.

They may only be here for a short while but you can make bluebells last all year round by capturing them in your camera.

 

3 places to view bluebells

Aughton Woods - A peaceful wood in a remote location near Lancaster.

Boilton Wood - An ancient woodland sloping down into Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Brockholes reserve.

Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood - Upland oak woodland rich in mosses, ferns and liverworts near Windermere.

 

Lancashire Life freelance Mark Gilligan and TV personality and researcher from the ‘Wainwright Walks’ television series, David Powell Thompson, stage one day walks ‘A View, a Camera and You’ in the Lake District. Full details can be found at www.wastwaterphotography.co.uk and on Twitter at @wastwater1.

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