Saturday, 23 April 2011

If You Go Down To The Woods Today

Near to where I live is bluebell wood that I have wanted to photograph for many years, and with the recent warm weather the bluebells are now out and it has coincided with the Easter break and I am able to get to see them at their best, and with not too many people spoiling the experience by getting in the way. I also took the opportunity to shoot with a model, as it seems to be a common theme in the current model and photographer world in the UK.

I took the opportunity to add a couple of days holiday to the long weekend that is Easter and arranged with Miss Lou Lou to model for me on the day. It was organised some time before the day, and I was hoping that the weather would be fine, as it usually is at this time of year. On this day I the weather forecast was excellent, but the reality at 7:00AM was not looking too good.

I met Lou at Swindon station at 8:00AM and we set off for the first location of the day, stopping briefly for the opportunity to grab a breakfast snack from a franchise with a clown called Ronald as an attraction to draw children in through the front door. Location number one was the bluebell wood, locally known as Badbury Clump, a beech wood on the site of an Iron Age hill fort, the main structure of which had been mostly destroyed by Victorian ‘Improvements’. The place is popular with dog walkers and at weekends is often used by people who enjoy running around in medieval costume wielding swords engaged in some form of re-enactment or play-acting.

On arrival I was somewhat despondent as there were a number of cars in the car park, but I need not have worried, as most of the people had gone deep into the surrounding woodland walking their dogs. Lou and I walked around the perimeter of the site and quickly got down to photographing the scenery and Lou, and at the appropriate place I persuaded Lou to go topless for a couple of shots. Continuing our walk around the perimeter of the site many photos were taken in the improving lighting conditions and after less that an hour we moved on back to my place to review the shoot so far and give Lou an opportunity to get changed for location number two.

Location number two was the site of a Monument to Lord Wantage that is on the Ridgeway overlooking the Vale of the White Horse. In an attempt to stop damage to the ancient path, it is closed to motor vehicles in places and this site was one of them, so I had to walk to the monument, which was not too far, but I had not reckoned on my arthritic joints taking umbrage and making walking very painful and requiring me to stop frequently. We finally got to the monument and did a series of shots at the site. There was a Red Kite flying in the area, but it did not get close enough to take a decent photo.

Location number three was at another place on the Ridgeway not far from Waylands Smithy, but on this occasion Lou did another quick change and I photographed her in a field of flowering Oil Seed Rape. As my legs were complaining too much, we did not spend that much time at location number three, and sped off to location number four, my garden.

At my place we downloaded the images and reviewed them, then did the final few more image in my garden. The sunlight was a bit too bright by now, but I still managed to get some images that I hope to do some Photoshop magic with, and I will post them onto my web site in the future.

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