I love wildflowers, starting in the spring with Bluebells, followed by Poppies and Lavender, but one of my favourites is definitely Heather. I’ve always longed for a location near to my home in Swindon to photograph Heather, without having to travel to the New Forest, or further. This year, with the help of a friend on Flickr, I struck gold. A heathland 30 minutes from home, full of Heather and it was at it’s prime.
I had been texting George Edwards (click to see his work!) over a few days, arranging a date to meet up and head down to the common for sunrise. After what seemed like a thousand dodgy mornings we eventually got a good forecast, bright sunlight and high humidity. My mist radar was pinging into life and the alarm was set for 5am on the 30th August.
I had driven through a fair amount of mist on my way to Snelsmore Common, and I was excited to get there and see what I would find. George was already there when I arrived and we wandered into the common to find plenty of purple heather, some lovely lone trees and even the odd dash of mist. Perfect. I took this image before the sun rose, I liked the path through the heather leading to the lone tree, especially with the mist providing some separation from the background woodland.
We continued to wander around, ear marking spots to come back to once the sun had risen, or risen higher! We took a small track through the heather and bramble bushes heading for a small patch of trees that had some lovely back light on them. As we got closer we realised the mist was really hanging to the shade behind the trees, and the light streaming through the clump was creating some fantastic sunrays! I could barely contain my excitement as I fired off these two images. I really am pleased with how they both turned out.
As the mist disappeared and the sun rose higher time was running out to get any further shots in nice golden light. In summer the sun light becomes harsh and bright very quickly. I wandered back to a spot I had earlier come across and composed as I had before the sun rose. The lone tree really stands out with the golden light on it, and the colours of the Heather, Ferns and Christmas Trees in the foreground was delightful.
I’m really pleased with the images I got from the morning out, and I really liked the location too. One I will be returning to over the coming months, especially with Autumn just around the corner. It’s also a fantastic place to take a walk, and it really does feel like a mini version of the New Forest, right down to the Wild Ponies!