I am often asked by other photographers where I take my lavender photographs that appear on my galleries every summer. Well, I have visited Hitchin Lavender in Ickleford, Hertfordshire for the past eight or nine years after seeing an article published in a national newspaper. In that time the lavender field has become more and more popular with photographers that try and capture the beauty of the stunning displays that increase in colour and vibrancy from mid June onwards. But also you will find visitors who are there to take cuttings away with them (scissors and a collecting bag are given as you enter), artists, there was a club painting watercolours there when I visited last year, people on guided tours with experts explaining the cultivation and different varieties of this flower.
As a photographer you are spoilt for choice, with the various compositions that are available here. I prefer to take my pictures looking up the hill letting the natural lines of the lavender guide the eye up to the top. Ideally I will check the weather forecast and visit on a sunny day when there are clouds, such as the ones in the image above, these just add a bit more interest to the overall scene.
When you do visit here, don't overlook the adjacent fields to the main lavender ones. You will find poppies growing here and next to the crops and the footpath, this creates a lovely countryside picture. Later in the season there is also a field of sunflowers to be photographed.
I am also asked about the bees that are to be found amongst the lavender fields. No, I haven't ever been stung by them, although I wouldn't recommend walking along the lines in shorts (although I do it every year!). If you have a macro lens, there are so many opportunities for close up work on the flowers and the bees. I always aim to get there at opening time, which is 10am because it does get extremely busy here, especially in the school holidays and you will want to try and photograph these glorious fields without too many people in the photo, although focusing on an individual within the fields is quite effective, as in the one that I have at the top of this feature.
After a morning of shooting it would be rude not to take refreshments in the 17th century barn where they offer a wide range of lunches and homemade cakes, where you can also browse the products made from the lavender plants.