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Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

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
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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.

 

Trail Blazin’

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Trail Blazin’

One of the first times I experienced the capabilities of the ultra wide angle lens, the Sigma 10-20mm, I remember being blown away by the amount of extra scenery you can fit into the shot.

As usual I try to fit in as many elements as I can with this shot. It’s a dark and cold evening and I’m in the mood for trying something creative. Playing around with the bulb setting on my camera, I spend a good couple of hours exposing (before my fingers drop off) trying to capture the different light trails whizzing underneath the bridge I am perched on. That’s the beauty of light trails – no two shots will be the same. The traffic is changing all of the time.

On this particular evening I am lucky that a maintenance truck is laying out traffic cones with flashing lights on the northbound section of the motorway. Great! Another element I can use.

This long exposure captures enough light from the passing vehicles to illuminate the central reservation as well as the detail in the concrete road. The light from the towns and cities in the distance help to give a slight orange glow to the base of the sky. some may see this as light pollution but I think it gives a hint of sunset feeling.

My favourite part of this shot was actually an accident (perhaps I shouldn’t admit that?). The exposure was long enough to capture the trail of a passing aeroplane in the distance. For me, it looks like it could be a shooting star and is actually makes the shot. Sometimes photography does include a little bit of luck.

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!).

Hen Cloud

March 14, 2012 2 comments

Hen Cloud at sunrise

Another trip to the Roaches in the Peak District, this time at the other end of the ridge and at a different time of day sees a new atmosphere created by the pinky hues in the sky and the mist in the valley below.

The Setup

I see the most fantastic misty vistas on my drive to work in the morning and have been desperate to get out and capture some of its eerie spell. Finally I cart my backside out of bed one morning with some friends and head out to the trust Roaches to check out its offerings.

As we pull up to the parking bays along the lane, I spy the lone tree on the other side of the stone wall just begging me to photograph it. I jump out of the car and scale the farmer’s barbed wire-rigged contraption to get into position before any of my fellow photographers get the same idea. It’s always difficult when out on a shoot with other photographers to obtain an individual photograph that no other has on the memory card by the end of the day. First up – best dressed.

The shoot

With a view towards the easterly direction waiting for the sun to rise I wait with anticipation as the valley begins to light up. My tripod pressed firmly into the soft grass, lee ND grad filter in place on the Sigma wide angle lens. This lens has helped me to produce some of the most brilliant photographs in my portfolio. I don’t know how I will cope without it when I eventually upgrade to full frame.

The sun begins to rise and starts to lick the trunk of the bare tree in front of me. It’s time to start exposing. This is the exciting bit. Not exactly the Olympics but I still get a rush when all the elements come together. Well, nearly all the elements on this particular morning. The cloudless sky can sometimes be a benefit and can often hinder the results. In this case I feel it is a huge benefit because the tree and the rock behind (Hen cloud) do not have to compete for attention with a detailed sky and the stripes of pinky blue hues are able to show off their flare.

I have my shot within the first hour of arriving at the location. I’ve got my “eye” in and can now start to explore the surrounding features of this end of The Roaches. What a great start to the day.

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!