Spring is at hand, despite this late winter storm. The spring ephemerals are on their way. These flowers bloom before the trees leaf out and obscure the light. They are fleeting, small and beautiful to behold. Take a walk in the woods around the area to catch a glimpse. Places to go are the Monticello trail, Ivy Creek Natural Area, The Rivanna Trail System and Chris Greene Lake to name a few.
Walk slowly and look down to find them emerging from the leaf litter. Go early in the morning for soft light or a cloudy day for diffuse light. A close-up lens will help you get close to these tiny beauties. If you don’t have a close-up/macro lens you can get an extension tube to use with an existing lens and help you focus closer. Extension tubes go between the camera and lens. Or a very inexpensive option is go get close up filters you attach to the end of the lens to magnify a subject.
In order to get good depth of field a tripod is highly recommended. This slows you down and gives you a better quality image. It’s hard to hand hold in low light and get a sharp image of your flowers. Also avoid windy days, unless you want to try blur techniques.
Spring has sprung and there is so much to explore! Not sure where to find cool locations to do some shooting. Here are a few options:
The Farmers Market downtown opens this Saturday April 7th at 7:30am. Great opportunities for shooting. Get there early for good light and to avoid the crowds. By 9a that place is packed and hard to photograph!
The Carnival for the Dogwood Festival opens April 12th and runs through April 29th. I love shooting here at night. The rides and lights are great fun. Hours are M-F 6-11p, Saturday 1-11p and Sunday 1-7p. It’s free if you don’t go on any rides. The Fireworks are Friday the 13th for even more fun. Weeknights M-Thursday will be best to avoid the crowds. Watch the weather.
The Dogwood Parade is scheduled for April 28th.
Historic Garden week is April 21-29th. Places around here are open the 21st, 22nd and 23rd – several homes in Keswick, Monticello, Morven and the Lawn gardens – but you can do those anytime!
UVA grounds – the gardens are really nice this time of year! Go during the mornings for best light. Park by the Tennis Courts to avoid getting towed.
Ivy Creek Natural Area – wildflowers, trails, streams and barn. The barn will officially reopen on April 21st 2-4p. Join us for the ceremony and tours!
The Saunders-Monticello Trail that leads from the parking area at the beginning of Rte 53 up to Monticello is 2 miles long with scenic trails, boardwalks and some views. There are numerous side trails to explore and plenty of parking in the overflow lot off of Rte 20 across from PVCC’s main entrance. Lots of nice blooming trees right now.
So take some time on one of these lovely days and get out to do some shooting!