In search of snowdrops

As winter begins to make way for spring I have been eager to find a good spot to photograph snowdrops, before they wilt and wither to be replaced by more fair-weather flowers. All I have found so far is a few underwhelming isolated clumps here and there on my daily walks, not quite the carpet of white I had envisioned.

Quite by accident a few days ago I stumbled across just what I was looking for. It turned out that these flowers have been right under my nose all winter. During an afternoon stroll in the grounds of Nanteos Mansion where I work, I found this lovely patch of snowdrops growing right beside the stone labyrinth. I’m not sure if they bloom here every year or not, perhaps they do and I have simply not taken the time to notice.

The sun was shining and luckily my camera was in my car from the previous evening. I was only armed with my trusty 70-300mm telephoto lens, but that was perfect for the shots I wanted to create.

By shooting low to the ground and using a wide aperture I was able to achieve a very narrow depth of field, isolating individual flowers and creating a great sense of depth. This is always my preferred technique for photographing flowers and the results are always quite satisfying.

Snowdrops are a delicate yet hardy flower, able to tolerate frost and harsh winter conditions which would kill most other species. As one of the first plants to flower in the year, blooming anywhere from January to March they provide a vital first source of nectar for many newly emerging insects such as this hoverfly.

I was joined on my walk by my little dog Kaiya, who is always a very willing photography subject and was happy to pose behind the snowdrops in exchange for a throw of her tennis ball. She may be a rather scruffy little thing, but what she lacks in traditional good lucks she more than makes up for in personality. She really is a true delight!

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2021

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