As the nights draw out the first signs of spring arrive.  Crisp days with clear blue skies filled with billowing white clouds, colourful sun sets and the changing scenery as the landscape is softened by the early spring flowers.  
Take a walk in the surrounding Yealmpton woods and you will be greeted with an abundance of snow drops this year. Primroses are beginning to bloom and before you know it the daffodils will soon be cheering us all up.   Local National Trust gardens such as Cothele and Lanhydrock will soon be over flowing with daffodils so why not pay a visit this March and take a stroll round the gardens with your camera.

Spring is the perfect time to perfect your camera skills and learn how to get the most from your camera,   whether it is a fairly new acquisition or one you have had for a while.  Learning more about how to use it will ensure you capture some stunning spring photos.
Shoot from low angle
For spring colour you need to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna. Many cameras have multi-angle LCD screens making it easier than ever to get the perfect view.  Plants close to the ground look best when shot from the side, rather than from above with you standing over them. So take something to kneel on and get down to plant level to take your shot.  Check out the Macro settings on your camera to get super close-ups of snow drops and other plants.  When shooting close up a steady hand is essential so consider investing in a mini tripod or a bean bag for less than£10 to ensure you get really steady shots.

A Nuthatch at the feeder
Early spring is a busy time at the bird table, so don’t forget to keep the all day buffet topped up!   You will be rewarded with an abundance of visitors to your table as they prepare for spring and the young  they hope to rear.   To get  the most from your bird table make sure it is sited close a tree or hedge so the birds feel safe and most importantly so you have a clear view from a window. With a few preparations you can then photograph the visiting birds, and squirrels, and stay warm.   

When shooting through glass always remember to clean it inside and out. A compact zoom or SLR camera with a zoom lens is the best choice but if the bird table is close enough you can still get great shots with a compact camera.  If you can shoot in Program mode and select an ISO of 200-400 as this will speed up the exposure and enable you to get clearer shots. Choose single point or small area focusing and focus on the eye or head of the bird.  To get the best shots use a tripod and leave your camera set up ready to go when you have lots of visitors.

If you would like to practice your camera skills and discover how to get better photos why not join a local spring photo shoot to capture spring colour or wildlife and get expert hands on advice on how to get shots that wow.