The Golden Hour. That wonderful hour just after dawn or just before dusk when the light is coming in from an angle, and tinged with the beautiful golden tones of sunrise and sunset. This can lend a completely different perspective to photography, be it of landscapes, people, buildings or, in my case, insects in the evening meadow.
Undoubtedly the finest time of day for insect photography, the evening meadow is a perfect place to capture butterflies, dragonflies and other insects. At this time of the year, the golden light is enhanced by the golden colour of the grass, as well as the golden flowers of birds-foot trefoil. The insects are slightly less active than they are during the main heat of the day, which gives you a chance to catch up with them and picture them as they go in to roost.
After our Open Days at the weekend, we took a walk down to the meadows as the sun was sinking over the woods. We were really lucky to see a cloud of common blue butterflies which, unusually, were perching with their wings open as they were trying to catch the setting sun for warmth. They were perching in the dry grass, and the combination of the iridescent blue butterflies with the golden light and reflected gold from the grass was really quite breathtaking and very special. Even those butterflies with closed wings were outlined beautifully by the evening light.
We also found more common darters perched on top of canes, waiting to pounce on their prey, as well as some amazing emerald damselflies. These damselflies are iridescent green, but perched in the grass in that wonderful warm evening light, looked like they were made of gold.
The evening light isn’t always perfect, and you don’t always get the pictures you want, but this weekend was different. This weekend it was truly a golden hour in the meadow, and I was happy to capture these beautiful jewels in the late summer sunshine. Sometimes the light is just right. This was one of those times.