27/3/2021 Jenny’s topical Nature tips for April 2021

Hi Everyone.

I’m more hopeful that we can start to do a little bit more in April and even maybe in a small group of no more than 6 and we can go to a destination to find wildlife.

My intention is still to organise a lot of trips from May through to August. I have had a very kind offer of help from Shelia Ballantyne -Smith to find destinations and dates when on etc. So we are working behind the scenes with a view to get members to explore new things and to enjoy different trips along with always abiding with the Covid rules. Luckily all the events will be outside.

The fantastic talk by Phil Savoie last Tuesday evening should have given you all an insight into Nature possibilities around us in the garden. I cannot get the image of the bee at the end of the talk with the grains of pollen on it out of my mind. I was in awe of that image.

Also I know that club photography rules differ from international but the latter competitions include landscape of nature and plants if not managed by humans and geology. So there is still so much scope to gather up many nature images.

The bird life is thriving at the moment. Beaks full of food, some late comers with beaks full of nest materials all make potential amazing images. If you are feeding birds still that is great for the adults but take care nuts and seeds spell danger for chicks. Meal worm is a safe food for the both young and adult birds. Blackbirds will be grateful any older or soft apples as they hunt for worms.

A great potential image is a bird alongside blossom. Maybe, if you have a feeding station you could arrange some twigs of blossom so you have a pink bokeh behind the bird or yellow from daffodils. Just a thought.

There are some water birds about too. Nesting Crested Grebes will be doing the beautiful mating dance but access to them could be restricted although Arrow Valley will possibly have a display going on. Wildlife Upton Warren will still be closed.

Some Butterfly are waking up but they are very much on a mission. Small Tortoise mainly and they are difficult to get. Maybe towards the end of April the meadows will have some flowers and Butterfly photography opportunities will be more prolific. We do need the meadow flowers.

Eades Meadow is a wonderful meadow to lose yourself in for a few hours. If anyone needs guidance on where it is, just ask me. I tend to go at the top end where there is also a footpath leading to other meadows and more wildflowers.

You may recall I took a wild flower/weed image and although I was playing with Nature I entered the finished image in Colour and have had so much reward from it. We do have to realise that although we love to go out and find and shoot Nature, sometimes it is better displayed as another genre.

This talk on Nature opportunities is still restricted as indeed are we. If we could travel we could be thinking of travelling to other areas in UK, Wales for the Kites, Scotland, Yorkshire for Red Squirrels and so much more but not yet.

Those photographers out there who need to build up their portfolios urgently could think about booking hides. They are run Covid safe. Just book yourself the hide. Then your portfolio can include Red Squirrel, Little Owl, Harvest Mouse, Kestrel, Fox , Badger in the bluebells, Buzzard, Kingfisher and so many more. They are out there, even in the depth of Covid. I booked a hide last year, it was all handled safely and correct.

I just wanted to say something that Phil spoke about on Tuesday. It is so true and something I have said and totally believe in. He said that we should try all genres, not stick at just one and I agree. I have my favourite, the one that I wish to be known for but through delving into other genre, I have learnt so much. Studio work has taught me light control, Landscape has taught me positioning within the final image, Sport has taught me shutter speed and ISO and on we go. Every genre teaches you and gets you more comfortable with shooting in manual and being in control. There is a certain satisfaction when your portfolio contains images from many genre and even more fun when people do not know that it is your image as they do not associate that genre of photography with you.

Another idea. Moths are a great subject and will start to be available in a moth trap from April onwards. You can buy a machine that is obviously non harming or one can be homemade. Information is on internet on how to make your own. Moths make a great nature subject. I recommend this exciting adventure.

Plans for trips, although quiet this month, are being discussed for May. We are trying to keep the cost in admission down. As soon as we have an event it will be posted. The details will be last minute so when it comes up reply quickly. Stratford upon Avon horse racing is an idea.

That’s all for now folks. I wish you luck this Spring and keep safe.

Jenny Webster.