The summer is now in full swing and the woodland canopy has its full dress on. The meadows are covered in a carpet of flowers that keep the thousands of bugs and butterflies fully occupied with the scent of their nectar. On the rivers and streams and on the lakes and ponds, down is turning to feathers, tadpoles to frogs and nymphs to Dragons! For the mammals and birds it is a time of growing and learning to fend for themselves.
But for the human population, it is the beginning of the holiday season, and that brings a new set of problems. Holiday photography can be greatly improved with a little planning and forethought. Some of you may have chosen a destination for its picture potential, but for many it will be a holiday chosen for family reasons and at first glance seems like it will only be suitable for the normal snapshot photography.
Do a little research about your destination before you depart, to give you an idea of the equipment you might like to take along. Or in some cases, the equipment you can afford to leave behind! There is no sense in dragging that long, heavy, prime lens for a week in a built-up metropolis! Make sure also that you have enough storage media/film. Nothing worse than that shot of a lifetime, camera to hand and no space on the card!
Animals and Birds
If you are planning a holiday in this country, or have some spare time to travel around a bit, take the opportunity to look out species that may be rare in your own neck of the woods, but are more common in the areas you are visiting. Look up the site guides, many of which are available through the pages of the Wildlife Trust Partnership and their links to the 47 Wildlife Trusts throughout the UK. They also have pages dedicated to giving the children something to keep them occupied!
You may be heading to an area, such as the Isle of Wight, where there is one of the last strongholds of the native Red Squirrel or close to one of the islands where a daytrip will allow you to see breeding colonies of some of our diverse range seabirds such as the Puffin!
Landscape and Habitat
The countryside is now in full bloom with the meadows awash with wildflowers of every shape, size and description. This is one subject where it really does pay to get down to their level, and with some species only being a couple of centimetres high, that means down on your stomach! Try to isolate specimens with an uncluttered, out of focus background for the best effects.
If you have been taking a series of shots (See January) then don’t forget it now, when the foliage will be at it’s fullest. If you haven’t, then why not start now and look for a scene that has some elements that will change at different speeds or in different ways such as various varieties of trees. At least, at this time of year, you can enjoy the looking and you never know what you may find!
Out and About
Along with the holidays comes a plethora of attractions to tempt every taste. From the coastal resorts to normally sleepy country villages it seems that everywhere has something organised to fill every weekend of the summer. Carnival season sweeps around the coastline with lots of opportunity to capture the colour and every County has it’s own list of events. The BBC has lists of events on their local radio websites. I tried Shropshire to come up with Festivals, Trials Championships and Concerts to name just three.
As the British Summer is renowned for being two sunny days and a thunderstorm, there will still be the odd time when you need to find indoor pursuits, so don’t forget to enter this months ePz competition or the Lexar Perfect Pets Competition which is open to UK entrants.
EPZ Meetings and Events
There are a good number of meetings being organised around the country this month and a look in the Members Meetings Forum
Is highly recommended to get the latest news on one’s near you as I have quite possibly missed one or two, but check the following threads for an idea of what is going on!
Margam Park 23/24th July, Wales
NW weekender. This now infamous annual Meet takes place over the weekend of 29/31 July. I am sure day visits are still possible
As I mentioned back in March, an exhibition has been arranged of ePhotoziners photography during July and there is now an Exhibition launch party.
The only tip I have for you this month is to keep your camera with you at ALL times! Last week I was driving past my local airfield when I heard an above average noise overhead. I pulled into a (handy) lay-by to watch the Red Arrows do a fly-past and come in to land!
Ian Andrews www.wildaboutkent.co.uk
Red Squirrel. Sigma SD9, 105mm macro. 1/60sec f/4
Get down low to small wild flowers. A wide aperture throws the background out of focus. SD9, 105mm 1/100sec at f/5.6
Remember back in January I spotted a wild flower. This is it now. Canon 1D, Tamron 28-300mm. 1/125sec at f/8
Around the beaches. Sigma SD10 500mm f/4.5, 1/500sec at f/6.3
Lexar Pets competition. Canon 1D, 75-300mm USMIII, 1/350sec at f/9