A quick look on the web recently turned up the fact that there over 80 different types of crocus. My mind reeled. How on earth am I going to make a dint in this total with the small number that adorns my own garden? I have blue crocuses and yellow crocuses, beyond that my garden is wholly misrepresentative! To be honest I am a lazy gardener and compared to the vistas presented by my co-inhabitants of this wonderful area my meagre efforts are to say the least modest. I tend to go for quantity over variety to which the straining shelves of my tomato chutney laden kitchen cupboards will testify.
When we’ve had to endure such a thumping this winter it is terrific to see a glimmer of colour about the Peaks and given my deadlines and threats of whippings I had to find something topical illustrate this blog. Once again the weather has been set against me. We have had rain, we have had snow, and we have had winds that would rip the heart out of the strongest walker. Given the fact that my beloved needed some well earned shut eye, I set forth across Bamford with my trusty Nikon and flask gun in hand. Armed only with a 70 – 300mm zoom lens I set myself the task of bringing home a shot that would seal my place in photographic history.
It’s worth noting that flash guns really can pull you out of a hole when on a mission. The winters in the Peaks do get dull and a flash can zip up an image nicely. As I said in the last blog, I love detail and I’m happy to leave the clever landscape stuff to the photographers with flat bottoms and plenty of patience. Given a lens that allows you to stand back and plenty of light from the flash gun you can pull out some acceptable results. An added benefit is the ability of flash to freeze the action; with the temperatures and my incessant shivering to contend with this feature comes as a welcome advantage.
Having trudged down the Hollow in Bamford and down to Bamford Mill I returned with an SD card full of pre-spring shots. Snowdrops featured heavily as well as fresh sprouts from the ivy covering many of the dry stone walls. But my arrival back home meant walking past these little fellows in the picture above. I felt guilt, I felt shame. I’d spent an afternoon two timing my own vegetation. Well, after all, I planted them, loved them and cultured them so I couldn’t walk past without promising to give them the publicity they deserved.
It is well worth experimenting with flash and for this particular shot I stood about 5 meters away with the flash set at bounce and let the camera’s metering system do its worst. Flash guns produce a very harsh light and bouncing the light against a light surface or through a diffuser can help to soften the light hitting your image.
OK, so the little fellows aren’t fully open yet. But at least they are giving the promise of a wonderful spring and summer to come and the confirmation that winter has done its job for another year and now ‘mostly’ behind us.