One lovely day I took a drive to photograph Janets Foss, Malham, Yorkshire. Malham is a rather lovely village in the Yorkshire dales. You can park either in the village or drive up towards Goredale scar and park at the side of the road. Wherever you choose to park, there is a path to follow close to Goredale beck. From either way you will reach Janets Foss.
Foss is used in the UK to mean force but is a Nordic word meaning waterfall. Guess this comes from the times we were overrun by the Vikings.
It is a steady walk but I would recommend a good pair of walking boots. When you reach the waterfall there are limited places to view from. You get more viewpoints if take the footwear off and go paddling. Ok if you don’t mind very cold water. On a busy day it can be difficult to get a people free photograph. Choose a quiet time if possible. As always with waterfalls it is best to go after rain so you have a good flow of water. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. It is not too far a walk to Goredale scar from here.
The image itself I would have preferred to be slightly different but will go back at a quieter time to get it just as I want. I prefer a longer exposure than I could get this day. The light was difficult as it was quite contrasty. There was dappled sunlight coming through the trees. I did a little work on it Lightroom to get detail in the shadows. The exposure was 1.5 seconds at f22. Obviously the camera was on the travel tripod and weighted by my camera bag.
Go out and photograph, there is beautiful world out there.
After driving for a hour along the motorway I pulled into the country park at Hessle. There is a short walk from here from where you can view the Humber bridge. The Humber bridge is on the outskirts of Hull in Yorkshire. When it first opened in 1981 it was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. I started my working life out as an engineer so do love beautiful structures. I find the simplicity of this structure very elegant.
When you go to places like this there limited places that you can shoot. Chances are that most shots have been been done over the years. Coming up with something new is not always easy. The best way is to choose a day when you will get some interesting light. Here a deep blue sky with lovely cloud formations gives a little drama to the image. You could go at sunset or at night to make the shot different. Definitely don’t go for one of those flat grey days.
A graduated nd filter was used to bring out detail in the sky. It would have been nice to have had a wider lens than the 24mm that I was using. I would have got a little more in the frame but as I was limited I chose this composition. I wanted to show some of the shoreline detail in the image. The reflection of the bridge shows in the water and creates subtle colors changes. I wanted the bridge to fill as much of the frame as possible and make it look dynamic. It would be easy to lose the character of the bridge by photographing it from a more straight on view point.
Go out there and make some photographs.
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.
I have had a change of name to the blog. Friends had started to call me a tramp who carries a camera so thought this would reflect nicely on my blog. I do tend to jump in the car and go off to wherever, whenever. I do love to travel about so it is a good reflection of me.
Its been a long time since I had visited Cornwall so decided to reacquaint myself with this amazing place. The place didn’t disappoint and the weather was beautiful during the visit. It has a stunning coastline with dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches, the Atlantic Ocean rolls in and attracts surfers from far and wide. Many walkers go there to walk the south west coastal path in sections.
After a torturous 7 hour drive I finally landed at Lizard point, the southerly most point of the U.K. I pitched the tent, I am determined to have a campervan for next year, I like a few comforts when travelling. I walked down to the south west coastal path and walked towards Kynance bay. The sun was setting so I found a good spot to shoot where I could get the composition that I wanted. There was foreground detail with the rocks and breaking waves.
I put my 2 stop graduated neutral density filter on. This is to equalise the exposure between the sea and the sky. The result is an amazing sky with an amazing variety of colours, shapes and shades. The light that is there is reflected on the sea giving it a little warmth.
Going back to a previous blog about filters. I have settled on a Lee filter system. At the moment it is a bit limited but expandable to my requirements. The quality of them is superb with no colour cast.
Get out there and create some images.
Being of the older generation I tend not to keep up with the latest gadget technology. My photographs are processed on my desktop pc. When I travel I have tended to use to use a laptop but as this was coming to the end of its life I started looking for a new one. Someone mentioned to me that one of the latest tablets may do what I needed. Obviously when travelling this would make life easier. The main reason for it was just to process some RAW files whilst away and put them onto social media. I would leave the bulk of work for when I got home.
After looking at the possibilities I purchased the latest ipad pro. Obviously it could connect via the cameras wi-fi. Using the Nikon WMU app I could view the images I had on the camera and download a couple to process. I have downloaded the Lightroom app to work on the images. It also has the added bonus that when out photographing I can check the images as they are taken. This is such a bonus to me as much of my work is based around long exposures and I can check them easily and quickly. A much better way to work than looking at the back of the camera. The tablet goes with me everywhere now and I wouldn’t be without it.
Enough of the technical side its images that matter. I recently visited one of my favorite spots for photography, Padley gorge in the Peak district in Derbyshire. A beautiful afternoon with dappled sunlight coming through the trees. A lovely walk through the trees and I settled on a couple of spots to photograph. One where I could do close ups of the water flowing round the rocks but the one chosen for here is from a bit further back. It shows more of the flow of the stream flowing through the rocks with an amzing range of colors.
Blue is the color that I want to talk about in this post. Your images should create an emotional feeling to yourself and the viewer. Different colors have different emotional effects on us. Blue does have some negative emotions, cold, distant, sadness. It also gives some positive emotions, harmony, faithfulness, confidence. By many people blue is regarded as their favorite color which says so much about it as a color.
I am a big believer in having a feel for an image before raising the camera to the eye. See the image and reflect how it feels in your final image. My photoshop skills are basic but I will happily play with the sliders in Lightroom until I get the image to look and feel how I want. Whatever my end image, it must project my feelings of when I took the picture. However your image finishes do not be frightened to be different. No type of art will be universally liked and it should push peoples emotions.
I was walking round the marina at Riva del Gardo whilst on holiday at Lake Garda in Italy when I spotted this shot. It was a calm peaceful scene, which is how I felt at the time. The haze gave the light an overall blue tone and the scene just had that feeling of harmony. I have increased the blue in Lightroom but hopefully kept the original feeling of the image. The jetty and the island give a sense of scale. The angles of the mountains create harmony.
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.
My new post which is sunrise over Lake Garda in the Italian lakes is really aimed at insomniacs everywhere. I have to admit that I tend to take more sunrise shots than sunsets. The reason for this is I like to be in bed early but up and about early so I have lots of sunrise shots and only take sunsets in autumn and winter when the it gets dark early. There are probably many out there who work the other way round but the advice is the same. With this shot I was waiting for the sun to appear over the mountains and I knew it would glisten on the water.
As with most landscape shots I used f22 for the depth of field. Really what my advice in shots like this is to take notice of the light which you should always do as a photographer. Take notice of what is reflected on the water, there will be more than your eyes can take in, you can pick this up later in post production. Experiment and see how you like the image. Remember that you should be creating an image rather than just recording so make the image something that you like. Just be wary that the sun isn’t too bright and you damage your eyes looking through the viewfinder. Use your live view facility on your camera the sun is too bright. As a photographer or artist then train your eyes to see the light.
If you would like a trip to Lake Garda then I can highly recommend it. Not only are there some beautiful places on the lake but the Dolomites, Venice and Verona are only a day trip away.
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.
You do not have to travel miles to get lovely landscape photographs. The image that I am showing here is from a local park about 3 miles from where I live, it is at Nostell Priory which is owned by the National Trust. It was shot one afternoon on a public holiday, I tend not to travel far on public holidays as the roads are very busy. I went to the park later in the afternoon when I knew the crowds would be dwindling. The light that day was very good so I headed to a part of the park that was fairly quiet. It really is worth getting to know your local area well as you learn when the light will be good and what will look good.
I wanted a gentle stroll so reduced the equipment to just camera and my standard 24 to 85 zoom. The sky was beautiful blue with lovely white clouds. As I walked down to the little pond which is really a drinking pond for cows, I could see that the scene was reflected beautifully in the pond. I usually shoot at 100 iso but but when out just to see what I can come up with the iso is set to 400. The camera was set to f22 for the depth of field, this gave me a shutter speed of 1/2ooth, fine for hand held shots. The tripod is used below 1/60th to be certain to get sharpness in the image.