Reflections and future plans.

 

Reflections and future plans is really a catch up post and a little about plans for this year. My blog has moved on dramatically over the last year. I have added lots of new posts to it, this has brought lots of new readers and moved up the rankings. A contact form has been added, a subscribe from has been added, a gallery page has been put on the blog. The blog gallery is a bit limited at the moment but will be expanded this year. 

The improvement that I love most is the link to my Instagram page. This shows a constant updating of images that I take and some fun ones. Now I know some of you who love technology will find all this easy stuff but takes me quite a while to work out how to get things working. 

My move to landscape photography began after a dark period in my life. I hold a Licenciateship in wedding photography. This year is the last time that I will cover a wedding. I will still do some portrait photography. They will only be natural portraits rather than studio shots.

My focus will be on improving as a landscape photographer. I will make mistakes along the way but hopefully even at 60 I will look to improve. 

Over the last couple of years I have learned to see the world differently. You see things that other people don’t notice. I have found that I love reflections and long exposures so will work on these. 

Because I am of the older generation we had to do things in the camera. This works for me as I prefer to be out in the countryside than sat in front of a computer. The computer side of things will continue to be a learning curve for me, there are plenty of great tutorials on You tube.

Whereas with portrait and wedding photography I would shoot hundreds of images in a day, now I happy to come away with a dozen.

Most of my shots now are done on a tripod, I still use filters rather than relying on lightroom or photoshop. Its not just about being old fashioned but about enjoying time out in the countryside. 

This year my main target is the Scotland 500 trip which I will do over 2 to 3 weeks. This will be so that I have the time to spend on areas and shots. I have yet to decide whether I will use a campervan or buy a big 4×4 to sleep in.

There will be more places covered in the UK this year. I will do a trip abroad though not sure as yet where it will be.  

I will be moving more into vlogging this year and intend to buy a go pro camera. More on this later.

 

 

River Duddon in the Lake District.

river duddon, lake district
River Duddon.

I came across the river Duddon in the Lake District almost by accident. I had set off to photograph at one place and slightly lost my way. The drive led me over the Wrynose pass. It had spectacular scenery and wild countryside. 

Never be afraid just to follow your instinct, it can lead you to some amazing things in life.

Stopping often along the route to take photo’s allowed me to take in the beauty of this quiet corner of the Lake District. It is wild, it rugged and often breathtaking in its beauty.

As I headed over the pass I came across the river Duddon. The river has beautiful bridges, waterfalls gushing through rocks and bumbling along gently. It really is a quiet corner of the Lake District worth visiting.

There are places you can pull over to explore the river. As you move along the river you will find a constant changing view of the river. Do maker a few stops to explore.

Wordsworth himself wrote extensively about the river Duddon. He wrote a series of sonnets about the river. If it can inspire this man it should inspire other mortals.

Go out, explore and be inspired.

bridge, river duddon
Stone bridge over the River Duddon.

 

 

 

Sunset at Yeadon tarn.

Yeadon Tarn.
Yeadon Tarn.

It was forecast for a lovely day so I decided to try capture a lovely sunset at Yeadon Tarn. It is in North Leeds in Yorkshire. I knew of it through a friend. She lives close to it and photographs it regularly so I knew you could get great shots there. 

I had spent most of the day out walking on Ilkley moor and decided to call at Yeadon tarn on the way back home. Arrive about a hour before sunset, this will allow a variety of shots as the sun was setting.

It is a small lake used for sailing and many people walk round the lake. It is on high ground so you do capture the sun setting low over it. There is an airport close by so expect a few planes landing and taking off.

There is a decent car park. The path round the tarn is good and walking is easy. The sun was setting over the sailing part of the tarn so I did stay towards the far end to photograph into the sun.

As with most landscape shots you should use a small aperture f16 to f22. You should have some foreground detail to give depth to the image. You should focus on this detail and have enough depth of field to keep the sky sharp.  Use a tripod if you have too a slow shutter speed for hand holding. My favourite 2 stop graduated neutral density filter was used to get better detail in the sky.

yeadon tarn, Yorkshire
Yeadon Tarn

 

Plumpton rocks in Yorkshire.

Plumpton rocks in Yorkshire is a beautiful 30 acre parkland. The opening times are limited so it is best to check the web site here if you plan to visit. Plumpton rocks can be found between Wetherby and Harrogate.

It has had a lot of restoration work done in recent years to restore it to its former glories. It does come with great credentials, Queen Mary described it as Heaven on earth and Turner painted it. A recent version of Swallows and Amazons was filmed there. 

Choose from a variety paths to walk. The focus of walking is round the lake. 6400 The lake is man made with a dam at one end. You will walk through woodland and between the impressive grit stone rocks. The rocks around the lake are beautiful and have wonderful names such as Lovers leap and Lions den. Finding your way round the paths seems like walking through a maze. 

Some of the Yew trees growing are just beautiful and seem to grow through any gap in the rocks.

Rather than having too much of a plan, it is best just to go and explore. 

The lake isn’t big but is a beautiful setting and the rocks look magnificent.  Go there for a lovely day out and explore.

6401

 

 

Bronte country near Haworth.

Bronte country near Haworth is one place that should inspire your creativity. Some of the worlds greatest literature was written and inspired by this area. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte certainly left their mark on the literary world. A map of the area is here

I wanted to make a good walk so parked up in Howarth and walked to the falls. There are places to park nearer if you don’t want to walk too far. There are plenty of tourist attractions in Howarth about the Bronte family. My main focus was to get to the waterfalls. 

The walk takes you through the village, along a path at the side of the

Bronte, waterfalls
Bronte country.

road. After about a mile you join a track. It’s a good walking track. You follow the path past the Lower Laithe reservoir, across beautiful moorland to  the falls. It is classed as an area on outstanding natural beauty. You can see why when you look at the views. 

When you arrive at South Dean Beck there is small bridge. This is known as the Bronte bridge. It was rebuilt a few years ago after being destroyed by flash floods. 

The fist image is of the small falls to the left as you approach the bridge. The water cascades down the beck. I used a long exposure on the shot to get that smooth feeling in the water. 

The falls themselves are not spectacular but in beautiful surroundings. The second shot is another long exposure shot. It gave me that smooth water with the sky reflected in the water. It does the image a great feeling of depth to the image.

Be inspired and pay this area a visit, you won’t be disappointed. 

Bronte, Haworth
South Dean Beck.

 

 

 

 

Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire.

Carding Mill Valley in Shropshire is run by the National trust. The Shropshire hills are lovely for walkers. Beautiful heather clad rolling hills. When you arrive you park by the stream.

The path up the valley is rocky so be careful walking. The walk follows the 6490stream  up the valley. As you walk up you will see the small but pretty Lightspout waterfall. It’s a lovely place to take a break. Just be a little careful climbing down to it. There are plenty of big rocks to sit and have a drink from your flask.

From the waterfall you can carry on walking up the valley taking a route to the right or to the left. Either way will take you to the hill tops. There is a big circular route to follow. The walking is fairly easy though obviously you are climbing up.

On a good day the scenery is amazing as you follow the route along the top of the hills. It is worth stopping a couple of times to take in the views.

As you follow the path round it will take you back to the valley past the waterfall. When you get back to the valley there is a cafe waiting for you. Something I like to take advantage of.

The main photo shows the stream that you follow up the valley. I set the camera to f22 to give a large depth of field. You must get as much in focus as possible on a shot like this. Having something to lead the eye and give depth to an image. The stream does this perfectly.  

Pick a lovely day and you will have great experience. Go get some great images. 

carding mill valley, shropshire
Carding Mill Valley.

 

 

Foggy days and frosty mornings.

Autumn is the time of year for foggy days and frosty mornings. Because you can’t see far doesn’t mean you cannot come up with images. You just have to be experimental and see what you come up with.

Autumn is great time for color. The variation and depth in the color is frost, bramblesamazing. Add some frost to it and it can become quite magical. Here a simple shot of a fallen tree with some brambles growing round is lovely. The colors in the natural world are stunning. This type of shot can be taken anywhere close to where you live. Most of us have small wooded areas nearby.

When you are doing this type of shot you have to think in more abstract way. Taking parts and making them into an image. Keeping too much in the image can make it too confusing.

When photographing in woodland it can be dark. You can up the ISO to get a better exposure for hand holding the camera. I prefer to go for better quality so carry my monopod with me. I can usually get away with exposures up to 1/2 second with this.

On foggy days, the camera doesn’t see as well as your eyes. That doesn’t mean you cannot come up with great images. I took this shot on higher ground. The fog was laying close to the ground. You could see the tree tops sticking out of the fog.

When the sun rose it lit the clouds above the mist. Don’t be afraid to photograph in any sort of weather. Use your imagination. You can come up with something to be proud of.

Go outdoors create some wonderful images.

 

 

sunrise, fog

 

Walking in Padley gorge in the Peak district.

Back for another visit to do some walking in Padley gorge in the Peak district. Just a place I love to visit. Any time of year it is just beautiful. The times that I love best is when the sun is shining through. When the sun shines it gives a beautiful dappled light effect.

It is quite a dark place as there are a lot of trees blocking out the sun. When the sun comes out it just turns magical. As it is quite dark I was carrying my tripod with me. It is needed if you want high quality images.

When I park at the road side I usually walk down the left bank looking downstream. On the way back I cross over a bridge and walk back up the right bank of the stream. It just gives a different of the terrain.

As I walked down Padley gorge I spotted this scene. I set up the tripod and fitted the camera. I try always to use 100 iso for the best quality images.

The technical details for those interested are the camera was set to f22 with a shutter speed of 1.5 seconds. The focus was on the rocks on the nearest part of the falls. There is good focus through the image.

Dappled sunlight gives a great depth to an image. It gives an image a 3 dimensional effect. The effects and colors on the water vary greatly. The flow of the stream through the image leads your eye through the image.

What matters most with any image is that it holds your interest. This has that magical feel of the light that I saw on the day.

There are many beautiful parts of the Peak district. I believe That Padley gorge is one of the best. Go visit and take some beautiful images.

padley gorge, peak district

 

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

 

Taking a walk at Bolton abbey.

A little while ago I went for a walk at Bolton abbey. It is a stunningly beautiful part of the Yorkshire dales. It’s a few miles past Ilkley which is regarded as the gateway to the dales.

I park in the top car park near the village. There is a car park near the river where there is a lovely cafe. The reason for parking a little away is that it gives me a lovely long walk. It goes down through a field. You can walk round the abbey from here.

If you want a good walk then cross the river using the wooden bridge or via the stepping stones. The stepping stones are not the best idea when carrying fancy camera gear.

There is a path which follows the river. As you get into the wooded area it does get a bit steep so you do need some fitness to walk it.

After about a mile you reach a wooden bridge which takes you back over the river. This leads you to the cafe. While you are here stop and have a refreshment break.

From this side of the river you can follow the path. You will walk through the woodland to the Strid. The Strid is a powerful flow of water. The river is forced through a narrow section of rocks. Most of all be wary, it is very dangerous.

You will find photo opportunities all along the walk. Because it is such a lovely destination it does get busy. With a little patience you will get some people free photo’s.

Getting back to the car park is just retracing your steps.

Go out, enjoy our world and take some lovely photo’s.

Bolton abbey, yorkshire