After an incredibly busy start to the year yesterday was spent in Dorset with Colin Varndell on a photo-day shooting spring flowers. Booked much earlier in the year it came at exactly the right time, and but for the poor weather we have had for the last few weeks and a colder day reducing or chances of seeing large numbers of butterflies in the evening to almost zero it was an excellent experience, and an opportunity to get outside with the cameras for personal enjoyment and nothing else.

The day was exceptionally well organised with both Colin and his wife Susy excellent hosts. From simply memorising everyones names on arrival, engaging in great banter, and providing amazing spreads of food, flapjacks and cream teas.

The small group of photographers quickly settled into the day, with a large proportion being on their second visit and some obvious regulars at Colin’s days. We started at The Happy Return, Colin & Susy’s lovely home and amazing 5 acre garden capturing wild flowers, and with great fortune a roosting butterfly which was found by one of the workshop attendees. Then after lunch we all headed off to a large area of orchids and cowslips growing in the wild where a couple of hours were spent lying down on my stomach getting a worms eye view. Our last stop, after the cream tea, was an area of woodland and common ground with bluebells, bracken, wood sorrel, moss and other species to photograph and as dusk arrived we all headed back and said our goodbyes.

Colin worked his way around the group who were all allowed to get on with the business of photographing their own subjects, ensuring everyone was OK – and several times through the day handed me a tip each of which will dramatically improve my natural history photography. We were also privileged to be able to view some of his compositions and images which he found during the time at the locations.

I would heartily recommend spending a day with Colin and Susy and their photo-days can be found on their website.

Here are a few of the images I captured on the day…


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