Bluebell Wood, Pencarrow House, Bodmin, North Cornwall

Bluebells Wood, Pencarrow House, Bodmin, North Cornwall (David Carvey)

Bluebells Wood, Pencarrow House, Bodmin, North Cornwall

Spring is finally here, and one of the signs of the change in the season is the arrival of bluebells. Between now and mid May they can be spotted in lots of locations, but most often in wooded areas. These are at Pencarrow House, a few miles north-west of Bodmin. The gardens at Pencarrow House are a delight at this time of year and provide plenty of opportunities for photographers. Bluebells are notoriously difficult to photograph because of their colour, a quick search on Google images will reveal hundreds of colour shades from purple through to cyan. I don’t know why this should be but to get over this problem I usually try and adjust the colour in Adobe Camera Raw until I get the shade that most closely matches my memory of he scene. The white patches you can see on this image are of Ransoms or Wild Garlic, which is also prevalent in wooded areas at this time of year.

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Corn Marigolds – West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall

Corn Marigolds - West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall (David Carvey)

Corn Marigolds - West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall

West Pentire in July is a great time to visit as during this month you will most likely catch the Corn Marigolds in flower. I visited here last year and was lucky to take a number of images featuring this flower. The day was a little overcast, the cloud cover acting as a giant softbox and this type of light is actualy supeb for taking flower close-ups. In harsh summer light you will get bright highlights and deep shadows which makes it difficult to get a balanced exposure, however in subdued light the dynamic range of the scene is contracted and the camera can handle the light differences much better, colours will also be nicely saturated. I made this image using a wide aperture, focussing on the flowers in the lower third of the image, this has led to the flowers in the background becoming out of focus. Creatively it is sometimes a good idea to forego having everything in perfect focus and allow part of the image to become out of focus. This is achieved by having a shallow depth of field and using a wide aperture allows this. In this image the flowers in the upper half form the background and because they are out of focus the emphasis in the image is directed towards the elements that are in focus.

To see more images from my West Pentire Gallery – Click Here

Corn Marigold Impression – West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall

Corn Marigold Impression - West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall (David Carvey)

Corn Marigold Impression - West Pentire, Crantock, Newquay, Mid Cornwall

These are Corn Marigolds which I found growing at West Pentire, a headland just to the west of Crantock, near Newquay. The field where these can be found can actually be seen on Google Maps as a patch of yellow, though the best time to see them is in June/July. At the same time this patch plays host to a display of wild poppies, though it should be noted that the display is variable and in some seasons may not even appear. The reason they are here at all is that the land is owned by the National Trust and they have left the ground to its own devices with no fertiliser or grazing, though the ground is ploughed in once a year.

The day I visited this site it was very windy with an overcast sky so the light levels were not ideal and I had great difficulty in getting a shutter speed fast enough to arrest the movement. With this in mind I decided that I would literally go with the flow and allow the movement of the flower heads and leaves to dictate the composition. Basically I composed the shot and set a shutter speed 1/8th of a second which considering the fast movement would be more than enough to show movement. The title of this image is Corn Marigold Impression and I think that is what the images depicts, there is very little detail to focus on but what comes across is the colour, which basically comprises two colours – green and yellow. These two colours complement each other and so despite the chaotic nature of the picture the colours hold the composition together to present an harmonious whole.

To see more of my Images in my West Pentire Gallery – Click Here