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Saturday March 12th - Scouting Erlestoke Park Woods

Quite how I managed to squeeze so many Saturday mornings in in 2022 I'm not really sure, as my photo days are generally limited to Sundays only - but who am I to argue with the date settings on my Lightroom Catalogue!

It might seem like I make things up as I go along, but in reality I do spend quite a bit of time researching locations so that I can maximise any opportunity I get to go out with my camera. A couple of years back I'd read a blog on the excellent website 'Hidden Wilthire', about the Bluebells at Erlestoke Park Woods, and so as the season was approaching, I thought I'd start some early scouting.

Erlestoke is about 45 minutes from where I live, and as the mornings were starting to get a bit lighter, it was quite early when me and photo friend Simon rocked up in his pimped out Volvo.

Our initial reaction was meh - the forecasted mist had once again failed to materialise - but as the morning went on and we explored a bit more, the photographic potential of this little woodland started to reveal itself.

The conditions meant that I was never going to get any world class images (yeah right...the conditions...) but I certainly saw enough to make me want to return in better light..

With Bluebells and a bit more green, I think this scene has potential to be an interesting shot - the centre tree certainly held my attention, although ultimately there's probably a bit too much going on in the background...

It was still too early for the spring greens, and so I was quite drawn by the different colours of the trunks instead; see exhibit A below..

I REALLY liked the potential of the composition below, and I spent some time trying to align the trees in a pleasing way (spoiler - I think I prefer this version better than the final Bluebell image I captured..)

I quite often accompany my edits with a Black and White version, which I think worked quite well here...

Do you ever get drawn to a scene and you're not quite sure why? See an example of this below..

I think it's the different textures within the scene that caught my eye...

While photo friend Simon frollocked with the local Salukis I kept trying to force scenes which probably didn't really exist - a couple of weeks earlier and this might well have worked very well with the Snowdrops in their prime.

As home time approached we finally got some light, but by that time I was pretty much scouted out, and while I lined up a couple of half hearted compositions, there was only so much exposed trunk I could handle in one session....

Despite the early alarm and 'so so' photography, I really enjoyed my stroll around this part of Wiltshire and I was feeling pretty smug with my scouting skills. In the past, when I have been similarly excited about a new photo location I will repeatedly visit it to within an inch of it's life and overload my hard drive with photos that I ultimately have no passion for - let's see how it goes over the next couple of months....

Cheers for reading! (lol)


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