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The importance of a local patch.

Whenever I have heard/read a photographer or camera operator giving an interview, they always highlight the importance of your ‘local patch’ – an area near your house where you can observe nature and wildlife and develop your craft. Now more than ever with the U.K lockdown being slightly eased, people’s local patches are critical.

I had meant to get this blog out on Saturday, but I received my first motion graphics job over the weekend (wahey!) so I had to crack on with that and didn’t have the time to write the blog until now.

Agree or disagree, the U.K lockdown laws were slightly eased recently, with one such ease being that we are now allowed to take unlimited exercise, and are allowed to relax in green areas. When I heard this news I couldn’t wait to get out (responsibly) with my camera as it had been so long since I have.

I knew that I needed to stay local, and that’s when I thought that never have local patches been appreciated so much. People often get so caught up in ‘the grass is greener on the other side, or some place else’ so feel the need to drive a distance to be able to appreciate nature, when a lot of us are fortunate enough to have green spaces on our doorstep. This is when I thought I’d write this blog and try and create a little challenge for people - go out to your local patch and capture 5 photos that show off nature in all of its beauty, so if you’re reading this, next time you go out for a walk, take 5 shots (let's name it 'My Local Five'), post them on Facebook or Instagram and tag me, be it a camera phone, a DSLR or a point and shoot digital camera - it doesn’t matter!

Now time for my 5; these were taken over a couple of walks to my ‘local patch’ of the Clifton Downs in Bristol. I tried to avoid too much wildlife as this often isn’t as accessible to everyone and turned my attention to plants and flowers, something much more abundant!

First up this shot of a Daisy. Daisies are literally everywhere, often overlooked because they are so common, but when you take time to appreciate them, they are beautiful, I love the simplicity of them.

I came across a patch of daisies in dappled sunlight, laid on my front, and crawled around until I found one by itself. Getting low to the ground gave me the lovely green foreground and allowed me to shoot up at the daisy to isolate it in the frame.

Simplicity is beautiful.

Secondly we have I believe, an Ivy seedling. I was walking through the woods at around 7 o’clock, intentionally coming when the sun was lower in the sky to get some patches of sunlight and that is exactly what I found. Just off the path was this little seedling, perfectly catching the early evening sun, for just long enough for me to get the picture I was after. I couldn’t decide if I prefer it in colour or black and white, so I thought I would treat you to the luxury of having both!

Do you have a favourite?

For number three we have the underneath of a leaf. Shooting into the sun gave me an incredible shot of the intricate vascular system of this leaf. This shot looks a lot more impressive than it actually was – next time you’re out with your camera on a sunny day, give it a go, shoot the underside of a leaf towards the sun, but not at the sun OK, don’t blind yourself.

Give it a go, it is easy!

For number four we have a beautifully lit Red Valerian, again this looks more impressive that it was, the sun did all the hard work! Golden hour is such a beautiful time to photograph. For those of you who don’t know, golden hour is either the hour after the sun rises, or the hour before the sun sets, arguably the best time to get out with your camera!

Sun flare!

For the fifth and final shot I couldn’t resist including a bird photo – a gorgeous Song Thrush. This could well be my first (satisfactory) shot of a Song Thrush, and despite it being on a man made path, I am very happy with it. Getting low to the ground again on this shot let me get the beautiful blurry foreground that directs your eyes straight to the subject.

Do you think he has seen me?

None of these shots are amazing, ground-breaking or worthy of winning any awards but I just wanted to highlight the importance of local patches, especially in today’s world with all that’s going on, it is nice to get out and escape the stress. So next time you head out, take 5 pictures, share them with me and get some friends to do the same!

Thanks for reading,


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