Spring is certainly showing, gaining strength and blossom is developing.

Professionally, my main focus has been people and commercial photography. But I love the natural world, and try to live a ‘green’ life as much as is practical in our modern society.

Early in my career, possibly even while still a student, I realised that it would have been hard to earn a living for example as a landscape photographer.

So I decided not to pursue it. People are better conversationalist after all:).

Now is a beautiful time in the UK with all the lush greenery and other vibrant colours in nature. .

And while I like photographing the natural world, other commitments make it seem too rarely, I have worked with many doing just that over the decades. Advised in my various technical roles, and writen a couple of books across the subject. I still run events from time to time, so maybe not as inexperienced as the above sounds?

Nikon F5 > AF DC Nikkor 135mm F/2D . Kodak Ektachrome 100VS.
© John Clements.

I wrote some time ago about my full cabinets of Fujichrome E6 slide film I have shot over the decades. I have similar captured across various Kodak emulsions also.

So an example from my files shot on an Ektachrome 100VS film in 2003 (the film was discontinued nearly a decade ago). Rich colours were one of the films characteristics and a good choice for many tastes So in that sense, an alternative to Fujifilm’s Velvia. Neither were my usual film stock for usual subject matter. But I do recall that E100VS seemed better in good light too me, less contrasty. Velvia is good under flatter lighting I find. More to it than that, but I digress.

Colour Punch.
Today of course most shoot digitally and use in camera a ‘Vivid’ or other natural world based colour palettes. Enhancing specific colour reproduction.

But it is a balancing act. I find that ‘in your face colour,’ can be used to mask less than perfect compositions. It will become the ‘subject’. Good composition and depth control is equally important.

But if you like ‘punch’ jet alone to control reflections on for example leave, few would not consider a polarising filter to enhance the saturation. Not just the colours of blossom but to also render that deeper blue in a sky for example.

But if you do choose a punchy solution, just be aware that shadows usually darken alongside, due to the accompanying contrast increase, so may detract from the overall result if not then ‘lifted’. This can sometimes be done by reflectors, fill-in flash certainly, or post capture.

Lens Scape.
And here is the other wonderful point about this time of year. It can look great taken as a mass of colour in a ‘landscape’ or ‘’cityscape’, but equally, a ‘close-up’ subject. Various focal lengths can be utilised for effect; wide, tele and macro.

In fact, you can loose a sense of time if you really ‘work the subject’ And may not have to travel far either?

Many use a tripod for best results, it certainly helps composition, but improving image stabilisation capabilities offer the next best another alternative to unaided hand holding.

The only downside is that the subject may quickly pass it’s best. And with our unpredictable weather, don’t leave it too long, or it may have to be one of the first entries in next years diary instead?

John (01/05/22).