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.

 

 

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Janets Foss, Malham, Yorkshire.

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.

 

janets foss, Malham, Yorkshire

The Humber Bridge.

Humber bridge.

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.

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Change of name

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.

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Blue is the color.

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.

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Sunrise over Lake Garda.

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.

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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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In a local park.

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.

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Reflections of Fountains abbey.

I am a great lover of reflections, they seem to give an image extra life, though if you know what to look for they are easy to find. Bright sunny days are where they stand out best. The shot that I have put on here is about 100 yards from the abbey so you don’t have to be too close to the thing that you want a reflection of. Sometimes it is a matter of searching out where you will find a good reflection. The problem that I had with this shot was that it was a breezy day creating a ripple on the water. The ripple was spoiling the refection that I wanted so I put a 10 stop neutral density filter on the lens. When using something like this it is better to put the camera in manual, set everything up and work out the exposure then put the filter on the lens. The filter in this case gave me an exposure of 30 seconds at f22, I needed a small aperture to give a lot of depth of field. The effect of the long exposure on the image was to smooth out the water creating a better reflection. Often with filters like this you will get a slight color cast, depends on the image whether you adjust in post processing or keep it in. Also with reflections I often give extra saturation to my images in lightroom to make them stand out more.

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Long exposures.

When I went to one of my favorite places recently, my aim was to  use some long exposures photographing a stream running through a gorge.  The place that I went is Padley gorge in the Peak district. You can get magical lighting there when the sun shines. As there a lot of trees down in the gorge you get some wonderful dappled light effects.

Because the day I chose to go was heavily overcast and the trees were blocking much of the light, it allowed longer exposures, the exposures were about 5 seconds. The camera was set on 100 ISO at f22. If the light is too bright for long exposures use neutral density filter to cut out some of the light. On exposures of this length you will need to use a tripod, here a light travel tripod was used with a rock in bag hanging from it for added stability.

The effect that you get on the water is where the water is running fast it goes almost milky. On the slower running water the effect is that it looks like  a sheet of glass. This type of photography is well worth giving a try and experimenting with.
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