Over the last 18 months, wildflowers have increasingly become a target subject for me.

So often in nature photography, I can go long spells without making any images that resonate with me, creating many good images - but few great ones. This isn't surprising since there are a lot of things that go into making a really good image and therefore, a lot of things that can prevent this. Subjects might not be showing, weather conditions are less than ideal or perhaps the type of image I want to make just isn't coming together.

With wildflowers being sedentary, you might think photographing them would be a lot simpler than other subjects. In some respects, this is true. If you know where a species grows, if you're there at the right time of year, you can expect to find it. There, however, the simplicity ends.

 

Despite the certainty of being able to find my subject there is still work to do to create unique and exciting images. Plants don't tend to move much so what you see is what you get and you have to rely on other factors to keep the images interesting.

A master of this is Radomir Jakubowski, whose images of wildflowers go far beyond simple portraits. His use of low light and the frequent inclusion of out-of-focus elements into the composition takes flower photography to the next level offering complex and visually appetising images.

You should go and check him out!

Over the last week, Derbyshire has seen an inordinate amount of rain for June and while this is great for plants, the blanket cloud has stopped the sun from providing that magical warm light at the end of the day and so my camera has remained in its bag for days.

Before the rain arrived, I managed to squeeze in an evening exploring a local, disused limestone quarry and found a good selection of early purple orchids. As a bonus, during the summer months, the sun sets in just the right position, offering the maximum amount of evening light. The steep quarry walls would rule this out at other times of the year (but of course, the orchids wouldn't be flowering at any other time).

I started out with some simple portraits before turning my camera into the sun to try and create some more interesting, backlit images experimenting with lens flare.

As usual, the sun sets far faster than desired, rounding off a great evening at a quiet location only 2 miles from home. Now to sit out the rain and watch for a break in the clouds around sunset!