Trying to capture "spring" - so tricky...


Well-known Member
I love spring, specifically all the new bright green leaves on trees that are coming out just now. I've tried many times to capture that colour and light, but it's really hard (or it's easy but I dont know how).

Anyway, coming through Windsor Great Park today on the way home, the sun was on its way down and the woods looked just amazing. I had my new Panasonic TZ3 with me and had to stop to take a few pics. I found it really hard trying to get the exposure right with the light shining through the new leaves, and had a whole bunch of rubbish shots that I binned. I wish I'd had my 350D for more manual control (and RAW for a bit of exposure merging) and my polarising filter, but here's what I got with the TZ3 and a bit of Photoshop to sort levels & stuff:



Whilst both shots are of the same thing, one was about 30 mins after the other and the light seemed to change quite a bit during that time.

The camera mags rave on about "the golden hour" and all that lot. When should I take a shot like this? I guess early morning??? But should I wait until the sun is up, or before it comes up. Some mags say you want warm flat light (see this month's Digital Camera for example), but I assume that means no direct sunlight therefore before the sun comes up or just after sunset.

I want to re-shoot this particular location (or one like it), but what time should I do it, and what should I be looking for in the light???




Distinguished Member
Always difficult to photograph many tree like this - without it just looking like a whole load of harsh lines.

I would say that 5 - 6am will give you the best results. You get a wonderfully soft light, and sometimes a little surface mist. You'll be able to open up the aperture a little more to isolate and control the light and you'll get a nicer image as a result.

If had the energy, i'd be up at 5am to get some shots of the valley I live in - the couple fo times i've been up at this hour - usually in a hurry to catch a train - I'm amazed at the quality of the light.

ah well - maybe tomorrow. :rolleyes:


Distinguished Member
Imagine the first strong rays of light coming thorugh - but through a giant white shower curtain. :)


Distinguished Member
If I didn't have so much to do at work tomorrow, I'd get up. There are some single trees on my way to work which I have been meaning to capture for years. I just need to a good reason to do it.

Lets hope the theme for next months comp is 'dawn' ;)


Well-known Member
I think you've done a great job with #1. Rich vibrant colours that are evocative of Spring (for me anyway).:thumbsup:

An hour either side of sunrise / sunset is the 'rule' I've read but I think that you develop an eye for the colour and light qualities you're looking for. I'm finding that increasingly I pull over 'en-route' to take a picture because the light looks nice far more than I do just because the view is spectacular.

I tried getting a few landscape shots based on yellow (rapeseed?) fields this weekend that seemed almost fluorescent but all were disappointing in terms of colour achieved. Flat hazy midday light didn't help. Maybe a bit of PP could bring out what I saw but I don't want to boost saturation beyond the yellow fields.

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