Bluebell season came around early this year and I was determined to get to see them. I would be in luck this year as the Bluebells have lasted a long time; it has been particularly cold this year so it has extended the season. My first foray was to Piddles wood but I was a little disappointed as there has been a lot of forestry work going on and it was difficult to see the Bluebells at their best.

I decided that Bonsley Wood was the best option although I would have to walk some distance to the woods. I went early in the morning leaving home around 6am, of course I took Tilly my new companion, a rescue mixed breed dog on the walks, she gets me out and about! The first morning I went up it was clear and the sun was shining through the Beech trees. I took my tripod but unfortunately it kept slipping and many of the images were blurred when I got home.

0.3sec f18 ISO 200 50mm focal length

The next time I decided not to take a tripod and use a high ISO to get the pictures. It was quite dark in the woods and the quality was not as good as with the tripod when it didn’t slip of course!

1/100sec f8 ISO1250 105mm focal length

The next time Tilly and myself went up there it was after the first rain we had for the best part of April and I spotted the low cloud on the hill and so I hoped to get images of misty Bluebell woods with maybe some sun’s rays. There was mist but no luck with the sun but that’s the way it goes. I didn’t take my tripod again and used my 300mm lens the pictures were acceptable, but I’m not sure if they would print well with the high ISO.

Bluebells in the mist
1/250sec f8 ISO5000 207mm focal length
Light mist in the trees
1/80 sec f8 ISO4000 78mm focal length

My final visit was a chance visit as I knew the Bluebells were on their way out but I had just bought a new ultra wide angle lens for my camera and I wanted to try it out. I traded in my 10-20mm Sigma lens for crop sensor cameras for a 12-24mm Sigma lens for full frame cameras recently. I decided not to bother with a tripod and shoot at 5.6 with automatic ISO and just see what I got. 

1/30sec f5.6 ISO1000 18mm focal length

Using wide angle lens is quite challenging I found I had to think of how I was going to compose my image getting close up to the foreground so it didn’t get lost in the image. I was really pleased with how the lens performed and using the wide aperture enabled a good shutter speed so the pictures came out nice and clear even in the background. 

1/40sec f5.6 ISO400 24mm focal length
1/30sec f5.6 ISO250 24mm focal length

Before we went home for a well earned breakfast we made a little detour to a glade I knew where the Bluebells carpet the area. I wasn’t disappointed, the flowers were starting to go over but were still a lovely blue. Well worth the walk  and I could hear a Cuckoo in the woods and we spotted the occasional Roe deer in the woodland.

1/40sec f5.6 ISO500 16mm focal length
1/40sec f5.6 ISO500 13mm focal length
1/30sec f5.6 ISO640 14mm focal length
Wild Garlic on the path
1/40sec f5.6 ISO640 17mm focal length

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