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.

 

 

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.

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Aysgarth falls in North Yorkshire.

One of my favorite places to visit is Aysgarth falls in North Yorkshire. When you arrive there are two possibilities for parking. One is near the pub as you arrive at the village. From the park you can walk down the hill to the falls. Your other option  is to drive down the hill over the river Ure to the national parks car park. Whichever park you use easily leads you to a well defined path along by the falls. The path is probably best described as gently undulating and fairly easy walking. You do have to be careful if you go off the path, which was my undoing. I slipped on a rock and fell backwards hurting my back and I have been suffering from sciatica since the visit. Ouch!!!

I do tend to visit Aysgarth after heavy rain for two reasons. The first is obviously there is more water flowing though there is usually a good flow at most times. The second and most important reason is that it does add color to the water. The falls are split into the upper falls, mid falls and the lower falls. The mid falls for photography purposes are too limited for access. There are plenty opportunities for something different with the upper and lower falls.

Not everyone likes the effect that long exposures give you on water. It can look a little like plastic. I love the effect but whether you use it is your choice. Photographing fast flowing water with color in it can look very messy. The long exposure gives you more distinct, cleaner colored lines. Here I used a 10 stop neutral density filter and had an exposure of 15 seconds at f22. The best thing you can do is try different ways and see what you like.

Go out and create some beautiful images.

 

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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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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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Gadget technology.

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.

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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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