Stephen Studd Photography

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Snowdrops, Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Close up detail of snowdrop

This is an update from my blog entry last week on the snowdrops.
 

 Setting off this morning and seeing the thermometer in the car at -7C I knew I was in store for a cold one. Driving to Painswick Rococo Garden with the most layers on so far this winter I felt like the Michelin man. Despite the cold, the light when it is so crisp I really love, it has such clarity and warm tones. Everything feels so fresh and clear, even your thoughts.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops backlit.
This morning I was lucky in that the air was still as I needed some close ups. When working with a macro lens, snowdrop flower heads move with even the slightest whisp of air movement, so are always tricky to capture a sharp image.
Today especially I really wanted it to be still as I was using the 180mm macro, which shows up any tiny movement. Even managed to shoot with 1/15th sec exposures! (Don`t try this at home unless you have a steady tripod).
 
 It was far colder than when I was here last week when there was snow on the ground. Today my hands were sticking to the tripod and dials harder to use than normal, but worth it.
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Sweeping vista of bank of snowdrops

 The light for me was perfect and the air still, the snowdrops looked like iridescent fairy lanterns lighting up the woods.

On my way home listening to the radio it seems we are in for another cold night.  If you get chance to visit the gardens, then enjoy that crisp, clear, clean winter air that we seem to have avoided so far.

On Radio 4 I heard that on Candlemass/ Groundhog day, there is a saying that if a hedgehog casts a shadow on that day, it means 6 more weeks of winter! Keep warm wherever you are.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Garden

 

I am leading Garden and Flower Photography workshops at Painswick Rococo Gardens through the seasons. Please see my website for further details (there is a discount for RHS members) www.stephenstuddphotography.com
 
 
 


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Snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire

Just back from a photo shoot at the Rococo Gardens in Gloucestershire on a beautiful sunny morning. A great surprise to wake up and see snow on the ground. Snow scenes are one of my favourites to photograph.

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snow on the ground Painswick Rococo Gardens, Gloucestershire

 After last years snow it looks very light, but I still got one of my favourite sounds, the crunch of snow under the feet.

Painswick Rococo Gardens has one of the best and largest collection of snowdrops in the UK. I find this garden truly magical as it has something to look at all through the seasons, a hidden gem.

James Montgomery said of the snowdrop “The morning star of flowers”

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops "the Morning Star of Flowers," J Montgomery

 Looking back on my data from last year the snowdrops are a good two weeks early and for a photographer looking really pristine at the moment, with the white petals having no blemishes!

Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops and snow
The snowdrop has a beautiful luminescence and most people seem to have an affection for it. Wordsworth wrote of the snowdrop;
 
“Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!”
 
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire

Snowdrops, spring is approaching

 
The gardens are a great place to photograph snowdrops. Tip; I think they look great photographed with the sun behind them as it really shows off their delicate white flower heads, shape and form. I really like it when they have water droplets on their flower heads too. Be careful not to underexpose the shot and look out for lens flare!
When photographing snow scenes or ones that have lots of white in, be attentive to your meter readings and check your histogram for perfect exposure, its very easy to underexpose a predominately white scene. This is because your cameras meter mostly averages for 18% grey.  So check the histogram and look out for those blinkers too!
 
The fallen leaves backlit here add extra colour to this shot.
Galanthus - Snowdrops; Painswick Rococco Gardens, Gloucestershire
Snowdrops backlit
My advice as a photographer would be to see them now as they are at their most fresh and vibrant, feel the fresh crisp air in your lungs too!
 
 
I am leading Garden and Flower Photography workshops  at Painswick Rococo Gardens through the seasons. Please see my website for further details (there is a discount for RHS members) www.stephenstuddphotography.com