St. Michaels Mount in Cornwall.

After a few days at the Lizard I moved on and called at St. Michaels Mount in Cornwall. It is a place called Marazion which is close to Penzance. St. Michaels Mount is in Mounts bay and is a small tidal island. There are 43 of these islands around the UK coast.

It is a very busy place with many tourists. When the tide is out there is a constant stream of people walking across the causeway. Trying to get good photographs is not easy. I went later in the day though it was cloudy the sun was shining behind the clouds. Not a great day day for photography.

The tide was out so the bit of sun that was shining came through and  was glistening on the sands. Taking a low viewpoint allowed me to pick up texture of the sands. The tide line leads the eye through the image and leads you to the castle. Taking a low viewpoint also hid many people walking along the causeway.

I did use my 2 stop graduated neutral density filter to pick up more details in the clouds. This is rapidly becoming my favorite filter. A couple more variations of this filter will be added to my collection shortly.

I have deliberately warmed up the image in Lightroom. I believe that it suited the image better. It gives the image an almost monochrome feel.

Hope you like the image. Go out and create some images yourself.

st.michaels mount, cornwall

 

Flamborough lighthouse in the landscape

It was beautiful day as I walked around Flamborough lighthouse around the area known as Flamborough head. There was a strong breeze blowing wonderful cloud formations across the sky. With it being such a lovely day there was a lot of people walking about the area. My idea was not to focus on Flamborough lighthouse but make it part of a landscape shot. I wanted to keep the shot free of people. I took a walk round and found a spot about 100 yards from the lighthouse behind a rough grass mound.

The graduated neutral density filter and set the camera aperture was set to f22. The graduated neutral density was required to balance the exposure the ground and the sky, this gives much better detail in the sky. A big depth of field was required for the shot as everything needed to be in focus from the close grass to the distant clouds. With everything set I then just had to wait for a pleasing cloud formation.

Many variations of the shot were taken but I feel this shot is my preferred shot. All three elements of the shot hold interest. The grass is lovely in its own right. The clouds have a beautiful formation with so much detail. Flamborough lighthouse is only a part of of the image but does hold your interest. The lighthouse almost joins the land and the sky together. A man made structure that blends natures elements.

Hope you like the image and go out and create some images.

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Fine art photography.

The question of what fine art photography is has no easy answer. There is no universal meaning to what it means and we all have our own view. To my mind it is something that the photographer creates in their mind. The image should be pre-visualized or visualized  when taking the image. Some people will see the image in black and white or sepia or vary the scene in color, it is a personal thing. The image should have some artistic or aesthetic quality to it.

As I have moved more into the world of landscape photography my work has moved more to long exposure photography. The effects that this has on water and clouds really appeals to me and gives me the feeling that I want in my photographs. One person recently commented on my images that they were mysterious and dreamy. Maybe that is a reflection on me and the way I see the world. For all the ugliness in the world I do like to see the beautiful side of it. As people say, I live in my own world most of the time, this is probably correct but its a happier place than the real world.

The image that I have added was taken at Betws Y Coed in Wales. It is taken using my 10 stop neutral density filter to give me a long exposure. The exposure was 30 seconds at f22 with the camera set at 100 ISO. Hopefully it has given that dreamy quality that I like to the image. If you are taking fine art based images then do not be afraid to experiment. Find out what your equipment is capable of, it will allow you more opportunities to be creative. You will be amazed at what some equipment allows you to create. The best advice that I can give is to learn to use your camera in manual and keep an open mind.

 

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Filters for landscapes.

Recently I have started looking at the filters that I use for landscapes. I seemed to have a mis-match of filters in my bag that didn’t represent what I do now and my old ones were worse for wear. I decided to purchase some new better quality ones. The first thing to decide was which filters I actually use. It really has come down to 3 regulars which would always be the ones that are in my camera bag constantly. The next thing to decide is whether to go for my usual circular filters or move to a filter system such as Cokin, Lee etc.

For landscapes I believe the most important is a polarizing filter, experience will teach you the range of uses that this filter will do. Probably the most common uses are removing glare and enriching colors. To be the most effective the light needs to be coming from 90 degrees to the image.

The next filter that I use a lot is the graduated neutral density, a 2 or 3 stop graduation is ideal. This helps balance the exposure between the ground and the sky giving much more detail in clouds rather than being over exposed and losing detail. If you shoot RAW then you can improve this but I believe it is best done in camera.

The last filter which I am using more regularly is my 10 stop neutral density filter. I love the smooth mystical effect that it has on water. It also gives a great effect on moving clouds. This definitely a filter I am experiment more with and the image I have put on below is a shot at iso 100, f22 for 30 seconds. It is shot during a bright sunny day. in Bronte country, Haworth, Yorkshire, UK.

I will decide shortly which filters I choose and how I got on. Some advice that I got was to go for a system. This slows you down and makes you think about the shot but I find this a little irrelevant as for most of my landscapes I have to set up my tripod and put my camera on which I am sure gives me enough time to think.

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