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Posts Tagged ‘cloud movement’

Seascape

April 5, 2012 2 comments

Seascape

This vista could be anywhere. There are no telling signs of what country it is in, never mind what city. This shot is taken from the beach at Colwyn Bay, North Wales near the pier.

Using the 10 stop filter during the mid morning light I manage to create some fantastic movement in the clouds as well as the milky flows effect in the water. I think you are beginning to get the feeling by now that this is completely my favourite type of subject at the moment. My favourite to photograph that is. I appreciate lots of other genres such as rugged portraiture, soft focus floral, tac sharp macro and abstract.

I love the simple nature of this image. It almost breaks a few ‘rules’ too such as having the horizon in the middle rather than on a third and the lead in line of rocks doesn’t actually lead into anything solid, just the water. I think it just works.

What do you think?

 

Kit used:-

  • Canon 40D
  • Sigma 10-20mm wide angle
  • Tripod
  • B+W 10 stop filter

Waterfall at Llandulas Beach

March 31, 2012 1 comment

Waterfall at Llandulas Beach – North Wales

Sometimes a shoot requires extra effort and some risk. The risk in this case is that I am stood in the middle of the fast flowing water with my tripod legs dipped below the surface, wedged in between some rocks to steady my kit. With wellies on I am fairly confident my feet won’t get wet, but the grip on the soles are not the best and I am conscious that if some part of me does get wet it will be all of me! All or nothing – including my camera kit! Worth it? I think so!

A neutral density filter is required for a shot like this. A 10 Stop filter would be overkill for what I am trying to achieve here. 3 stops will be plenty, given the available light on this particular day. A polariser is also needed to bring out the cloud detail in the sky.

Flowing water is a brilliant subject to photograph because you can control the kind of mood you are trying to create. You could use a fast shutter speed and freeze the movement or use a slower shutter speed as above to give a more milky effect. I particularly like the smaller flow on the right of this scene. Can you spot the caravan park?

Llandulas beach is a shingle beach in North Wales with plenty of subjects to photograph. You can see more of my work from this location on my main website. I like to work a location when I am there. There are receding groynes in the sea (wave breakers), plenty of pebbles with interesting shapes and colours and this waterfall of course. Whilst only a small beach I think it is worth a visit for any landscape photographer.

Path to the beyond

March 21, 2012 5 comments

Path to the beyond

You guessed it. This is the result of another successful trip to The Roaches. Roach End in particular. The sky is fairly cloudless and does little to enlighten this sunset picture….until the little cluster comes along and tickles the sun itself.

This shot is actually two separate exposures – one for the landscape and one for the sun. The difference in brightness is way too big for my 0.9 Lee Graduated Neutral Density filter to handle so it has to be done.

Like most other landscape photographers, I don’t consider this cheating – just using the tools I have to hand. Both images are captured by me and merged to recreate the scene before me.

Composing the scene is always the hardest part of any shot. I always like to include some form of foreground subject/interest. Whether it be a simple stone or a winding path such as the one above, I find it useful to have something for the viewer to begin their journey through the photograph and these features give depth to the image.

Having had some success, coming second in a league competition this image has been part of a local exhibition.

 

Poppies at Bamburgh Castle

March 15, 2012 Leave a comment

 

Poppies at Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Northumberland seems to have been the designation for 2011 camera club holidaymakers. Every man/woman and his/her camera has ventured here this year. The puffins on the Farne Islands attract thousands of tourists to the North East of the country each year and I am no exception. However, my love of the area lies not with the birds but with the landmarks. There are castles galore to be seen and wandered around. Bamburgh Castle is my favourite and trying to find a different view to photograph from is a menacing feat – Not least because it has been done a million times but also because of the position of the sun. One night I tried to shoot at sunset from the other side of the castle and found it difficult to get into a position where I was not also photographing my own shadow! The alternative at this time of year is to shoot into the sun with the castle in silhouette.

The shoot

Driving along the main road towards Bamburgh, with the castle in front of us, I notice the grassy field beside me with dashes of orange and red flowers springing up through the growth. The lightbulb moment happens and I pull the car over in the nearest lay-by, leaving my wife to tend to the car whilst I dash over to investigate further. Yes! Poppies! Perfect!

I know the image i want. The clouds are necessary in a shot like this, the colour of the poppies will bring the image to life and the combination of red blue and green will make the shot. I set up the tripod as low as it will go, attach a circular polariser and ND grad to bring out the detail in the sky. Using a wide angle lens has its advantages and disadvantages. It depends on what you are trying to achieve whether it is appropriate to use one. In my case I want to capture the poppies as well as the gorgeous sky. The castle has now become the least significant feature in the image. That’s ok with me. I am trying for a different take after all. It is interesting how shoots turn out.

After a good 30 minutes or so, tinkering with the composition, I return to my wife and car a happy camper. (any longer and the wife and car might have left me there!).

Derelict Beauty

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Derelict Beauty

 

I frequent The Peak District a few times throughout the year. In particular I love to photograph the rocks and surrounding atmosphere at Roach End. The Roaches is a ridge on a hill consisting of cliff face and large boulders – a lot of fun to manoeuvre when out running, but that’s another hobby. The area is so peaceful and quiet, except for the sound of the grouse fluttering by every now and then. Well worth a visit.

 

The setup

This old disused barn has been on my agenda for quite some time now and I have avoided it’s temptation on each visit because of its obvious lure to other photographers. That’s the trouble with photography – i always think someone else will have already photographed it. My challenge is to capture this barn from a different angle with some beautiful lighting.

 

I tend to find this location has more to offer for sunset than sunrise due to the positioning of the sun throughout the year combined with the direction I like to shoot the area from.

 

Running with the idea I need to shoot from a unique angle, I climb over a barbed wire fence, hobble over the mossy banks of hidden boulders and eventually position myself low down in the most uncomfortable position. This should do it!

 

I like to use my wide angle lens from low down positions usually to capture the foreground elements and give scale to the image. This time, all foreground elements were just moss and reeds. There is a boulder protruding from the undergrowth in the middle distance though. This will be my foreground interest and will require a higher viewpoint.

 

The shoot

10 stop filter is required again to capture the movement of the clouds and give this shot that little something extra. I have to be quick though because the sun is about to set and would be too low to light up the barn. I’m borrowing a fellow photographer’s Lee Big Stopper to test out the difference it makes against the B+W screw in filter. Wow! This is much easier! I have to get myself one of these!

 

Afterwards

Some minor adjustments such as levels and curves and a little bit of dust bunny bashing before I can sharpen and save this beauty. I love it when all the elements come together at the same time.

 

Lee Big Stopper ordered. 8 months later it arrives. I can’t wait to get out and play!

 

Castle Rock

February 24, 2012 1 comment

 

 

Castle Rock

Another view of Dunstanburgh Castle whilst on a holiday in Northumberland. This is photographed on the same night as my sunset shot. Well before the sun decided to appeared I worked on trying to achieve a real moody black and white image.

 

The setup

This castle has been photographed many times. Some would say you only have to look for the tripod holes in the rocks to find the effect spot from which to shoot it. I don’t care. I always have to go out and give my own take on subjects for myself. I decide to go for a long exposure because there is enough detail in the sky to be able to capture the movement of the clouds. The trusty 10 stop filter is required for this job. An exposure of a good few minutes can be achieved at this time of evening when adding this filter.

 

The shoot

Tripod all set up low down, wide angle lens attached I focus on the big rock just in front of me. Aperture set to give sufficient depth of field I meter the exposure and calculate what that should be if the scene were 10 stops darker. Being careful not to knock the setup I screw on the B+W 10 stop filter. Set the camera to bulb mode and press the shutter release cable.

 

It is always a tense moment waiting for the time to elapse and the image to appear on the rear of the camera. I don’t want to get this wrong and have to repeat the process so I always check and recheck my settings for this kind of shot. Some exposures can go into their minutes so each take is precious – even in this digital age.

 

Afterwards

Conversion to black and white is necessary when shooting RAW. Curves and levels adjustments made then sharpened to finish off. Sweet!

 

 

Knock Out Wonderboy!

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Knockout competitions seem to be becoming somewhat of a speciality for me!

At the end of each season at camera club we have a knockout competition whereby each member is allowed to enter up to 6 images to be projected digitally. The images are all entered into a piece of software on the computer and randomised. The images will then appear in a random order to be voted against the image next to it. Members vote for the image out of the two they like the best and it goes through to the next round, knocking the losing image out.

Long story short, I won! Here is the winning image…

I call it “Sticks and Stones”