Cheer for the Soul

Naturalised daffodils in KentIn spring, in our little corner of Kent naturalised daffodils are everywhere: in gardens, village commons and roadsides.

As our cottage is part of an old estate, we are surrounded by a sea of daffodils, in all kinds of varieties and combinations of bright spring colours: all yellow, all white, white with yellow trumpets, white with orange, yellow with orange. It is such a hopeful sight, to see them blooming in the spring.

Daffodils in my garden in evening light

As jolly as they are, I don’t find photographing them all that easy. They are not naturally artistic subjects, their cheery simplicity and bright colour makes them a little bit too one-dimensional to be truly interesting, let alone stylish.

I don’t hold that against them, though, as they appear in a season when anything sunny and colourful is so desperately welcome. It is a season when we need a splash of brightness, a bit of cheer and hope for our souls, and nothing can be too colourful to be garish.

Daffodils in evening light II (1024x684)

But to create interesting photographs of them,you need to pick the time of the day carefully. During the day, the spring sunshine is so strong and harsh that in a photograph the brilliant, almost overwhelming yellow hues can easily become flat and over-bright.

It is much better to try to photograph them in a softer light of early morning or evening.

Daffodils in evening light III (1024x683)

On a right spot, you may even get a lovely back light that shines through the petals.

Backlight daffodils

Back lit daffodil