After a cold winter, when nature takes a break and leaves the rain and the frost doing its job while everything else sleeps, a new peaceful moment is about to start. It’s finally spring!! Green everywhere, blooming, amazing scents, colourful gardens… Everything is so perfect and harmonious! Nothing beats spring, the blooming season!
Why do I love to photograph flowers and plants?
Flowers and Plants make me so happy, I feel calm and in peace every time I’m surrounded by nature, but what I like the most is to get my camera, my wellies and go through woods and over the hills to find these beauties!
I usually have a clear idea of what I’d like to photograph when I start my day, keeping my eyes out for colours, perfect light and colourful textures. I tend to focus on flowers and leaves, I love the intricacy of petals, and how many details there are when you get very close to them.
I’m very curious to discover new types of flowers and plants every time I go out, they’re so unique and singular so I can be creative with my photos. As said, spring, the blooming season, offers a lot of different flowers and plants to play with!
Use primes lenses like 50mm 1.8 aperture, 70mm and better if macro lenses.
Put your aperture to the minimum value of your lens. The lower the better, it will give you bokeh and a nice blurry background.
Clean your lens before shooting, always, always and always!
Make sure to put your subject in focus!! Very important for close up shots.
Check your white balance, every time the weather changes.
And last but not least, have your camera set to manual to be able to do everything I just said!
Have you ever visited Lake District? Are you a camping lover? Well, this is the right place if you are planning a wild camping weekend at Lake District! I will be sharing informations, tips and, last but not least, my own experience.
Camping is one of my favourite passions and I personally think there are no better ways to stay by the nature and enjoy its beauty. After a long hike, I love to look for a nice spot to stay for the night and be ready to see the sunrise the next day. Usually I camp between the trees, away from the noise of the surrounding towns, in the middle of the green, where the sounds of nature create an enchanting and delicate atmosphere.
Remember that wild camping is not allowed in the UK, but most of the times if you camp late and leave early, you pick up your rubbish and leave the place as you found it, no one will ever complain. So be respectful, don’t leave rubbish behind and enjoy your adventure!
My Little trip to Lake District, Cumbria – Wild camping
I went in Cumbria with my husband, my little dog and two of our friends at the end of August two years ago and we were very lucky because that summer was very warm and sunny! We didn’t plan anything, so we decided to get our tent and just be adventurers and it turned out to be amazing and very fun!
Ready! We started our trip from Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. We packed our car and we went from there. Our first stop was going to be Peak District, so we could sleep and rest for the second part of the driving up to Lake District.
We arrived at Lake District by the night, we parked the car nearby the entrance of the main park and we walked up the peak to find a spot for our wild camp. So touches in hands, bags and drinks and there we started walking. We found one spot eventually so we prepared everything ready for the night and, once finished, we went exploring just to end up the day with yet another Adventure!
It was deep night and we walked up ’till the highest peak of the park and started taking photographs of the Milky way and wild life there was there. We also spotted another wild camper there on the top who left as soon as he saw us.
Fun was over, we needed to rest for the second part of the driving which was in like.. 4 hours! Not much left to sleep really!
It’s morning, we woke up after a pretty rough night, the spot we chose wasn’t a perfect one, we were literally sleeping over a massive rock and let’s say it wasn’t that comfy for our back. So lesson learned: choose your spot with care, if you want to enjoy the night!
Don’t let me start with the sand flies issue on wild camping. From 6am to 8am is usually full of those tiny and annoying insects which love to bother you ’till you leave. They sting and let me tell you, they can reach all places of your body. My husband will be more than happy to tell you his experience. So lesson learned number 2: bring insect repellent unless you like to be eaten alive.
There we went again, jumping on the car and driving up to Lake District. Pretty boring part so I will skip it here.
We arrived at Lake district eventually. The place we already showing its beauty just by driving. Lakes, woods, parks, hills, waterfalls.. Just amazing, couldn’t wait to stop the car, jump off and go walking.
We found a car park and we went there, took all our bags and went for a hike going up to a lake at the top of a peak. It was a really nice, long and VERY WARM walk. The sun was hitting like never before in UK. Luckily there was a river just to feel a bit of cold water. We arrived at the top lake after an hour walking and it was beautiful. Stopped there for lunch and enjoyed the views.
We then moved up, to reach the second lake on an even higher peak, another hour walking up but this time me and my husband stopped as the road was to steep for our dog. Our 2 friends went up alone and managed to arrived there eventually!
All done, we reached the top.. Now what?!.. Well, going back down to where we started from!
Now the cool part! After a beer at the pub next to the car park, we needed to find a place for the wild camping night! We found an amazing spot, with a lake and an amazing surrounding woods. Many campers were there but the place was so big that you could not notice that. We took all our stuff and went in finding, once again, the perfect spot.
Found it and prepared everything for the night, prepared dinner with a portable grill and drank some beers. Now? Time to say good night, it was a very intense day and we needed to be ready for the early morning.
The beauty of Cumbria is the magical morning vibe. When we woke up , very early, we were surrounded by a thick fog, unforgettable moment! I was very impressed how intense the green of forest was, the contrast with the white of the fog was stunning and so many beautiful mushrooms everywhere! So I took the camera with me and I went taking pictures of that lovely moment! I couldn’t resist!
So that morning we had a lovely breakfast, we made a coffee in the stovetop, had some biscuits and some bread with jam (cookies for my little dog of course) to get some energy for the next hike we had planned!
Later the day we packed everything back again in the car and, sadly, started our trip back home.
Camping Tips , Cumbria – Wild camping
The Weather matter!
Sometimes it’s very hard to plan what to take with you if you don’t know the place. The weather In Cumbria is mainly light winds throughout. Mist or fog form in the valleys early and late, but plenty of dry and sunny weather expected by day. The best time to go runs between March and June but in the last couple of years British summer weather changed a lot and now it gets warmer ’till September. Be ready for a rain shower at any time though!
Some little tips on what to bring with you for Cumbria – Wild camping :
Tent, go small but not cheap. Find a waterproof, stable and easy to install one.
Remember that if you don’t like to sleep on the floor, you might want to bring a yoga mat or a camping inflatable bed (this last one is very bulky, so think if you are walking with it or not).
Snacks, water and some food on your hiking back pack.
Bring your cup and camp stove to be able to boil water and drink teas and coffees under the stars.
Waterproof layers, you never know what’s going to happen (especially in UK). Don’t freeze please, can be very risky.
Hat and sunscreen, I know it’s the UK but you never know. Our trip was very VERY warm and sunny through-out the entire hike.
Torch and head torch. One of the last thing you don’t want, is being in the dark. Especially if you like to explore during the night. The phone flash won’t last long :).
Bring a waste bag for your rubbish. Remember, leave the place like you found it. Do it for you but also for all other wild campers.
I know this will add a bit of weight, but bring your essential camera equipment, you won’t regret it. Night and wild photography is one of the most beautiful things ever during camping.
Last but not least. BRING insects repellent or you will regret you didn’t buy it. Bugs are likely to sting you and not one only, not two, MANY will do. I’m telling you by experience, my husband was full of stings in less then 10 minutes, so please bring it and enjoy you camping.
Just to end up this post, Cumbria – Wild camping is one of the most beautiful experiences we’ve had and I really encourage you to have a think and go there. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact me on the CONTACT ME page.
Some useful links just for you, Cumbria – Wild camping
Are you in need of a very good sunscreen? My ringana shop has everything you need in terms of products for camping, please take a look down here:
First of all, New Forest is an attractive large British land, located in the South of England and famous for its ponies, deer and wildlife and popular with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
The New Forest national Park is one of the most important areas in the country for lichens, beetles, bats and fungi. Many of which dependent on very old trees, including some rare species.
In these ancient, unclosed woodlands you can enjoy the beauty of nature, tranquillity, the magic vibes of the forest, stunning British lands but also entertainment and fun at the same time!
New Forest offers challenging hikes, also short distance walks for family in charming villages, lowland heaths, ancient woodlands and coastline, peaceful countryside with rolling hills and panoramic views.
I really encourage you to visit this area for a lovely weekend trip or wild camping, have a picnic and spend the day exploring, you will never get bored trust me.
I didn’t know how many beautiful horses there are in New Forest before I went there, I was literally taking hundred of photos, they where everywhere and I can’t wait to get back there for more!
Horses & Ponies in New Forest AT SUNRISE!!
Sunrise is a magic phenomenon that make me astonished every time I see one. Makes me feel like I’m in a fairy tale and I love to stop everything I’m doing, clear out my mind, enjoy the moment and just listen the sounds from the nature and only then, taking as many pictures as possible with that beautiful lighting scenario which will last for 1 hour or so.
So get up early! It’s time to photograph during this special moment!
It’s very moist and muddy early in the morning in New Forest, so get something warm to put on and don’t forget your wellies of course, if you don’t want to end up with freezing feet!
Remember to take some snacks, a huge cup of coffee and water with you, you don’t want to find yourself without food or drinks in the middle of the land, miles away from the shops and restaurants!
A good place to see ponies and horses is at Beachern Wood near Brockenhurst. They are bay, white or chestnut colour. Please remember not to feed them, not to leave your dog off the lead and not to scare them! Other than that, just enjoy their beauty!
There are lots of them and they seem to be very happy to pose for you, as you will see on my photos!!
MY PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
I will try to give you as many tips as possible to take a beautiful picture to the Horses & Ponies in New Forest, but remember that every situation is different depending on the light, weather and time of the day!
What I personally love is playing with the natural light, especially with sunrays filtering around the subject. It’s very easy to get a wonderful vibe and warm colours at sunrise in New Forest because of the usual fog they get there, that makes everything magical and vibrant!
Usually I don’t have to change much in post-production, I try and like to keep the natural light as realistic as possible during the shooting, so don’t forget the following if you don’t want to spend too much time in front of your computer to fix your photos:
Clean up your lenses!! You don’t really want to clean the spots out in Post!
Make sure you bring a tripod with you, you will need it for early morning photos and many sunrays effects! ( Will explain later)
Check your White balance!!! This is quite important if you want to avoid post production colour grading!
Manual focus on the details you want to catch. (Eyes, etc etc). Be precise, you don’t want to find out all your photos are out of focus when you get back home!!
Check you have enough space on your card!
Bring enough batteries with you!
Make sure you bring the lenses you need, don’t bring them all. Just bring what you really need. My suggestion would be a prime 35mm, prime 50mm and a 18-130mm. Don’t bring 2000 lenses for no reason or you will end up with a lot of back pain at the end of the day!
Some Camera settings tips on early morning photography:
Use your tripod to be able to drop the shutter speed to 1/50, so you don’t have your hand shaking.
Remember, 1/50 shutter speed is meant to be used when your subject doesn’t move much.
ISO, try to stay as low as possible, depending on your camera. On the 80D you can go as high as 400-1200 to be able to denoise in post.
Aperture must be open to the max level. in my case I was using a 50mm lens with 1.8 aperture, this way you get in focus subject and bokeh and defocused background. The lower the aperture the blurred the background!
Having the aperture that way will allow you to lower the ISO values cause more light will come into your lens, giving you a cleaner picture at the end!
Have fun taking pictures of Horses & Ponies in New Forest!!!
What if it’s cloudy!!??
Well, we are not always the luckiest here in UK, aren’t we. It’s not uncommon to find a rainy or/and foggy day so be prepared, because rain ain’t stop us!!
What tips for foggy photography? Here’s mine:
Try to catch the minimal effect of the fog, leaving the background blank and focus on the subject.
Take advantage of the contrast the fog gives. Fog being white/grey-ish and subject being darker creates a very nice effect where your subject pops on the viewer’s eyes.
Less is more! Try not to include a lot of elements in your photo, try to focus on a single subject and try not having your background too busy! The lighting is not helping you, being so ambient and not directional so yeah, keep it simple!! You won’t regret it!
Remember the white balance, very important! Don’t get too warm or too cold, just, you know, white!
White horses and white fog? No worries! Find something dark to have the horse pop with the same contrast concept I explained above, like the woods in the background, some trees, a bush.. Anything!
SHOPS AND MORE!
If you want to check my natural and green shop, click this link and it will bring you into that directly!
That time of the years has come and one of my favourite flowers are about to bloom! Bluebells!
Spring time is the best season to take a long walk in the woods, enjoying the magic change of the nature. When I find a beautiful blanket of bluebells it’s just breathtaking, like being in an enchanted forest and it’s just unforgettable! Aaaah the beauty of bluebells!!
Something more about Bluebells
Bluebell is a very tiny pretty wild flower. Deep violet-blue in colour, bluebells are bell-shaped with six petals and up-turned tips. Absolutely beautiful with unmistakable bell shaped, bluebell flowers create a magical blue carpets wherever they grow. Hyacinthoides non-scripta, is native to the western parts of Atlantic Europe, it reaches its greatest densities in England. Bluebells are traditionally woodland flowers. They grow in wet and undisturbed soil, creating the wonderful blue dense display we fondly associate with spring. They also grow along hedgerows, garden and in fields.
I use a Canon 80D and my lens of choice is the canon 50mm 1.8. With that I can capture all those small details of the subject, blurred foreground and background and, if I’m lucky, I can catch bees, butterflies and hoverflies trying to feed themselves on their nectar.
Here’s some settings you can use and don’t forget to put your camera in Manual Mode!!
Aperture: 1.8, the lower you can go the better.
Shutter speed based on the day, the lower the better!
What I love is creating a watercolours painting effect, with rich colours and soft and delicate contrast. Playing with the light, the background and the shape of the flowers and leaves to get an incredible magical picture. Remember to set the focus on your subject center! It’s never a good idea to take random photos and then, when checking them at home, they are all blurred and out of focus! (Yes it happens a lot more than you think!!!).
The beauty of bluebells is that you have many of them in the same spot and you can do a lot of cool effects!
Where to find them in UK
It’s very easy to find bluebells in Britain, as I mentioned before. I live in the South of England, surrounded by trees, stunning forests and green lands and my favourite spot to see carpets of bluebells is at ARLIGTON BLUEBELL WALK & FARM TRAIL. This huge amazing garden is stunning and full of beauty of the nature. The birdsongs, the pretty sunlights trough the trees, the blossom of flowers , the power of nature is just creating a fairytale experience!
It’s such a perfect place to spend all day amongst the nature, relaxing yourself, taking beautiful pictures, enjoying the bucolic British countryside, walking in flourishing woods paths and meet some cute friends, as cows, sheeps, horses and more… Having an idyllic day with your friends and family!
But don’t worry, if you are not near this place you can find them everywhere in the woods during their season!
Are you ready for my Photography Shop?
My photography shop is under development and coming soon! I will be selling all my best photos ever and you will find the bluebells as well because there is nothing like the beauty of bluebells! I love printing those photos and using them for my house!
For the moment tho, don’t forget to check my other shop where I sell products for your wellbeing!