I've barely shot a garden this year that doesn't feature one, three or even dozens of Stipa gigantea, the golden oat grass, an unassuming clump of tussocky leaves that transforms itself into an effervescent fountain of light-catching dazzle when its arching flower spikes emerge in early summer. Rather more 'fishing-rod like' to my eye than the dieramas that angels supposedly use to catch their suppers, stipa's shoals of tiny awns swim in unison like glittering fish, catching every infinitesimal bit of breeze going, so to photograph them close up is quite a challenge.
In July, on a very still evening in a garden in Herefordshire I got one of the best close ups I've managed so far, shutting down the aperture to make the detail 'pop out' from the background, of the stripey casings opening to reveal fluffy seeds inside. Converted to black and white it shows the structure better.
Some years ago I was lucky enough to see them ignite orange red at dawn in a Northumberland garden. It was on 15th June, about a week away from the longest day, so dawn was very early and this sequence of shots were taken from 4.50am until 5.06am. By 5.20 a bank of cloud had descended and the magic had gone. Heart pumping, adrenalin gushing I took a wonderful sequence of images where the stipa glowed orange. Worth the early start!