journal

wild flowers

04.19.16

Wild flowers are my favourite. Their understated prettiness, their determination to grow in the most unlikely of places and their abundance in late spring and early summer appeals to me. I have often wondered whether it has something to do with the Flower Fairies books I loved as a child, Cicely Mary Barker’s magical world has stayed with me since I first read her poems…

wild flowers |ox eye daisy

I have been photographing wild flowers for over 3 years now, trying to capture their essence as it were. I started the wild flower series as a place to collect these photos though over time it has filled with many more photos from other people and I now share them here too. Although this is by no means the full collection as I have countless photos now. This year I am hoping to grow the gallery some more!

tips for photographing wild flowers

If you are thinking of taking photos too there are a few simple methods I use to capture them, a handful of tips to share with you.

I usually try and get my camera (and often my head so I can see what’s going on) down to their level. Don’t wear your poshest frock, if you’re anything like me your knees won’t stay clean! Although a photo from above is perfectly pretty, getting yourself between their stems captures the growth habit and nature of the plant. It also captures a little more of the plant’s next to the one you are photographing – as in the photo of Vipers Bugloss at the bottom of this post – the mixture of grasses and flowers is a charming addition to the composition.

Do think about the background. As with any photograph it’s really important. Wild flowers often grow in very crowded patches and too many little details in a photo can confuse the eye. Find some next to a wall or perhaps angle your camera to use the sky as a backdrop.

Remember they move! A lot. They sway in even the slightest breeze so patience can be involved in taking a decent photograph. Wait for a quiet moment or maybe even consider taking a video to capture the motion. Otherwise decide which flower you would like to focus on and ignore the motion in the rest. Some of my favourite photos have only one or two flowers in focus with a field of blur beside them.

Consider your photography basics, I wrote about them here.

wood sorrel

picking wild flowers

Over time I have noticed a growing trend for the love of wild flowers, or the sharing of photographs of them at least. It always makes me smile when they appear on my feed. With so many flowers picked though I just wanted to share gentle reminder to be considerate. Never pick a whole plants-worth of flowers, leave plenty for others to enjoy and remember they need to produce seeds for next years plants to grow. Please don’t use the hedgerows as a florists shop each week, an occasional posy maybe, just not a regular picking.

More importantly though, know your flowers before you pick them as some are protected by law and should never be cut. Also be aware that it is illegal to uproot any wild plant. For more information please read this.

If in doubt, leave them be, take a photograph instead! I am so looking forward to wild flower season this year…

Julia x

Vipers Bugloss

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