Category Archives: Landscape
Seeing photos emerging from Conor and Greg’s trip to Iceland makes me want to go back there, for now I have to be content with raiding my shoebox and processing images I never got around to, such as this one of a load of ducks on a cold lake.
Luckily for me it wasn’t really that cold when I was there. I had a biting wind every now and then, but otherwise it was mild and pleasant. Certainly not minus twenty…brrr.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see a clear sky for my whole trip either, and the Aurora Borealis was certainly out of the question – but then I did get to see these ducks, so that’s something I suppose.
Oh, I also made friends with a horse. I say friends, I haven’t heard a word from her since leaving.
Here’s an iPhone Instagram shot of the same scene.
Even with the cold and wet weather I managed to make it out of the cottage this weekend and take a walk over the beautiful ‘Seven Sisters’ on the South East Coast. I’ve been here a few times now with various people, and I always find it fascinating to see how people respond to walking close to an unprotected cliff edge…and also how differently the perception of ‘close’ can be for everyone.
I must admit that it always seem to be the photographers who get the closest to the edge, or scramble down the sections that aren’t really meant to be scrambled down, and who stand on the precarious spots that look like they have a crack but it’s likely the crack has been there for some time and ‘it’ll be fine’.
It’s not that we have a different view on mortality than everyone else, we just want to go that one step further to make the shot a little bit better.
I’m not sure, is it safer to be stood on the edge of this naturally eroding cliff that could technically give way at any time, or to be stood on the edge of 30 storey building that is being constructed in the heart of London? I guess both have their own inherent risks.
Oddly I feel safer on the cliff edge, but more comfortable on the building.
We had found a lovely spot to have lunch, and this was right beside a lake full of ice and ducks, snow covered mountains in the background and puffy clouds moving through the scene. Classic Iceland really,
Except for the ducks.
John managed to get in the way during this shot, but it made for a nice reflection so I let him stay there, and think I may have told him to stay longer than necessary while I fired off a few brackets.
Here’s a few of my Instagram shots from this location, including ducks and lunch, but not the two of those together:
Have a good weekend everyone.
Returning to Iceland again today for what to me feels like an apocalyptic scene. Sulphur and smoke in the background, a rocky wasteland in the foreground, imposing clouds and a lake that just doesn’t quite seem right somehow.
Of course, when at the scene itself it was pretty beautiful with the nice blue lake contrasted by the barren land surrounding it, a mixture of serenity and industry.
So far I’ve managed to process about 20 images from Iceland which covers a 4 day trip. Granted, the weather wasn’t the best while there. I have more to process, I’m sure, but also find that I take several brackets of the same scene, perhaps from different angles, which means when looking through my catalogue of images I sometimes skip a whole set of brackets because I have already processed that ‘scene’.
New York I processed 18 images, Austria 15, Cornwall 12, Scotland 15.
Do you find that you get a lot of images from a trip away? I know I generally look for those I like the best to process and often leave the rest, but 15-20 images per holiday doesn’t seem like many.
Another image from Iceland today, but I can’t tell you too much about it as I have absolutely no idea where I was when I took it (other than the fact I was in Iceland, I’m sure of that much).
I processed this shot while on the flight from London to Seattle. This is the reason I love having a MacBook in place of a PC. The fact I have something that is light enough to travel with, yet powerful enough to be able to handle all of the processing software is just wonderful. I stuck a film or two (Men in Black III and The Amazing Spider Man) onto the small TV screen in the seat, and then just went to work on processing a few of my Iceland shots. It was good fun, though I must admit I’m not too used to using the track pad for it rather than a mouse, and there simply wasn’t enough room to use a mouse (unless I had used the leg of my fellow passenger as the mouse pad, but I’m doubtful she would have enjoyed that).
I’ve taken this afternoon off work in case my jetlag kicks in…I find it odd it hasn’t yet. Should I remain fresh I’ll hopefully be processing some images from my Seattle and Toronto trips
Well, I’m back from my travels and waiting for the inevitable jetlag to kick in. I hope everyone are well, and have been misbehaving in my absence.
Today’s image was taken in the Don Valley Brick Works Park in Toronto with the lovely 8-15mm fisheye lens. I kinda fell in love with this lens a little while I was away, and just loved pointing it down to the ground and taking shots such of this. I apologise in advance that so many of my images from the Toronto part of the trip will be taken with the fisheye
I love that autumn is here, and though it’s a rapid descent into winter the colours that it brings out in the trees is just wonderful.
This certainly isn’t the largest or most powerful of waterfalls that we visited in Iceland, however it was one of the prettiest and also was the only one which you were able to walk around the back of – though doing this meant that I, and my camera, did get rather moist.
As a daytime shot I used the B&W 10 stop filter to make the exposure longer and smooth out the water, and this also had the added effect of making the other people on the scene disappear as they walked from one side of the frame to the other in front of the lens. One of the routes to walk behind these falls is seen at the right of the image, and so the long exposure did a great job of ensuring those walking on that path simply weren’t in the final image.
We visited these falls twice on our trip, as we drove out from Reykjavik to the South East side of the island and then back. The first time was after the first night of absolutely no sleep and we arrived here pretty early and were the only people here. The second time, on our return leg, it was in the early evening of a very dreary day and it was full of tourists. It’s odd, therefore, that John chose this latter day to don his flip flops and act like a madman by standing in the freezing cold river at the base of the falls.
Anything for a photo…right?
On the last day of our trip to Austria we visited Hallstatt. It was a long drive, one which John was reluctant to do – however, as he had shown me a ‘classic’ view of this pretty town (see image above), I had it in my mind that I really did want to visit it. Yes, it was two and a half hours there, and yes that two and a half hours was in the wrong direction when we wanted to be in Munich later that day; but by Jove we drove and what a pretty little town it was.
We drove through the town and couldn’t find a parking spot that wasn’t a mile away, so headed back through the tunnels we had entered from and found a nice spot just outside the town, about a 10 minute walk, which led us straight down to the view you see here. It was such a bright day with very harsh light so it was difficult to get something great, but using Perfect Effects by OnOne Software helped me overcome the light quite a bit during processing.
After capturing this shot we hired a boat and went out onto this lake that you see so we could see the picturesque town from a few different angles. It was towards the end of the hour long boat trip that John realised he had left his camera on ISO 1600 from the star photography we were doing the night before – oopsy.
After the boat trip we wandered around the town a little and grabbed a nice spot of lunch, and a beer for me, before jumping back in the car and driving the lengthy trip back to Munich. I think it was well worth the detour.
It’s awesome to note that China have built a replica of Halstatt…yep, the entire town!
In other news I’ve just installed an excellent little plugin called ‘Display Exif’ by V.J.Catkick . If you hover over the images on my blog now you can see the key Exif data for that image. It’s a cool and slick little plugin that has escaped me until now. Enjoy.
I think the only waterfall we found while in Austria was this one, Krimml falls. I think I read somewhere it was the 5th largest in the world; a huge cascading waterfall that sure took us some time and energy to walk up. This shot doesn’t do it justice, as you can only see a glimpse of the falls – however when we arrived it wasn’t too busy at the base where we are here and I found this lovely fallen tree that just seemed to be pointing itself at the falls. There is no way a photographer could pass up the opportunity to snap this natural leading line.
It took a little patience to get this shot as when I arrived on the scene the sun was a little too high in the sky and meant that each image I took had a shaft of light where the sun was hitting the sprary, and this did not go too well with the image. After 10 minutes or so, and with my moving a little closer down to the tree trunk, this disappeared and I was able to snap this shot.
I was using the 10stop black glass from B&W so exposed this scene for 25 seconds, allowing the waterfall to turn from the chaotic mass of crashing water into this nice and peaceful, silky smooth curtain.
This was the final shot I took on the day trip out on Sunday.
I had managed to find myself travelling without a shutter release cable so I was stood on the beach as the sun was going down and using black glass, for which I had to manually hold the shutter down for several minutes. By the time I got around to this shot the sun had pretty much gone and I was able to remove the filter and simply use the usual AV for 30 seconds which had the desired affect.
I guess you don’t need fancy filters sometimes, you just need the right light as they say.
I’ve never really taken one of these minimalist shots before, but follow a few people on Flickr who specialise in them. I have a lot to learn about the process. I also feel that the composition on this could have worked out much better, which I guess was my fault entirely.
I’m off to Austria tomorrow for a long weekend so will schedule a few posts for Friday and Monday while I’m absent.
Okay, so I admit calling this one ‘Swan Lake’ may be a stretch. Yes, it was more of a pond than a lake, and for all I know that could be a goose rather than a swan. ‘Goose Pond’ just doesn’t sound as nice though.
I loved how the mist was teasing its way through the mountains while in Iceland; this appeared to be the only real plus side to the weather we had when there. I loved the frost on the ground making everything nice and crisp and fresh also….or at least I would have done if that was frost; this shot was taken at around 9pm and for some reason the moss always seemed silvery rather than the lush green you would expect.
It was super comfy to lie down on though.
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was spent very lazily catching up on sleep and watching the three Nolan Batman movies, I wrote a little review of the BlackRapid RS-4 Strap, and I made a chicken pie. Oh, and of course the Olympics started so I have watched some of that – really enjoyed the opening ceremony. You?
Friday already, and I am very much looking forward to the weekend. I have been so tired since returning from Iceland, and having to get up for work has not helped me to shake that. I’m going to enjoy a nice long lie in tomorrow morning.
Beside the shot I took yesterday was this really nice blue lake; as mentioned, it was really odd having two areas of such contrast right beside each other, but it was nice and pretty all the same. The birds that had tried to bomb us in the area with the cracks didn’t care while we were here, so we also went from the noise of bubbling mud and birds to pretty much silence.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
This scene (again from Iceland, as all will be this week) was taken at the very South West of the island. This area had many craters of bubbling mud, and you can see the thermals rising from these in the distance on this image. The air was ripe with sulphur, which got worse as we progressed through this scene. We also appeared to get closer to nesting birds (a regular occurrence on this trip) who tried to ward us off with shrill cries and low flying manoeuvres.
The shot itself is an odd one looking back at it and thinking of how things appeared on the scene. The cracks on this image look quite large and somewhat cavernous, when they were not. I used the 14mm lens aimed at the cracks immediately in front of me and shooting at an angle. This meant I could maintain a viewing angle that looks like I’m standing but also get low enough to make the cracks appear to be quite large. The vignette blur that you see in the bottom of the frame is mostly from camera, with Focal Point (by OnOneSoftware) used to clean up a little and replicate at the top of the shot.
This is Dyrhólaey, or “Door Island”, in Mýrdalur on the south coast of Iceland – a gigantic arch of black lava which reminds me very much of Durdle Door on the South Coast of England, which I hope to visit later this year.
We arrived here on our first full day in Iceland, having had lunch in nearby Vik we returned to this spot for a few hours sleep as we hadn’t had any since arriving the day before, hoping that by the time we awoke there would be better weather and fewer visitors – that turned out okay for us.
I still haven’t caught up with sleep since my trip away, though do find myself falling asleep in the evening and sleeping right through to my alarm in the morning, which is nice.
This is Gullfoss, or Golden Falls if you want the English translation.
As many of you will know, I have just been on a trip to Iceland – and what a wonderfully pretty place it is. We had better weather than expected, as it wasn’t raining all day every day, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get much decent light in the sky even around the sunrise/sunset periods on this trip.
We stopped at these falls on the last night of the trip, and it was an unplanned stop where we decided to simply rock up as it was so close to the nearby Geyser. We had seen showers coming and going all day, and at this stage there were some awesome rainclouds in the sky, hopefully one of those images will follow at a later date.
There was nobody at this location, partially due to the time of day (it was midnight), and partially due to the weather (the wind was super, super strong). Though I was on a tripod it was being moved by the wind, so I wedged it in between a few rocks, stood as best as I could to block it from the onslaught and shoot brackets. In the end I just processed this using the single exposure as there was too much movement otherwise.
A huge thanks to John who organised and drove on the trip. I have no idea how he stayed awake while I was sat in the passenger side, head lulling, but it’s very much appreciated.
Update 06 December 2012
Here’s a workflow video which I have recorded for HDROne.com on the processing of this image.
We end the week exactly where we started. My Eternal Sunshine image on Monday featured a nice bit of sun, and you can see a bit of land in the distance. The image above is from the exact same spot but using a different lens; there was a helicopter doing a few acrobatics around there that day – but it was too small to capture very well with the kit I had. As I said on Monday, you don’t need to move far from one spot to get a different shot.
The structure you see silhouetted on the right of this image is Pendennis Castle which was one of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII. We didn’t pop over there on this occasion, but it was nice to get it in this shot.
Out of interest, here are the other three shots I have taken from this location:
I hope everyone has a great weekend.
Today we have a shot of the famous Stonehenge which I visited last year on my way back from Cornwall. Though I have known of the stones for what seems like all of my life, I had never visited them before so it was nice to finally do so. As always, Wikipedia (which I link to in the first sentence of this post) has lots of information should you be as clueless as I was and wish to learn more.
In other news, what’s going on. Well, I’m still flat hunting in London for a nice new place to live. The properties I viewed last night were grim, so I may wish to proceed with the one I saw the night before – if only I can get the estate agents to give me straight and honest answers.
I found out overnight that the apartment I have booked in NYC has now had a legal notice to cease all sublets immediately, so as well as looking for a place to live in London, I’m now once again looking for a place to rent in NYC next month. This sucks.
Work has calmed down a lot, but we’re now waiting on a delayed system to reopen before the final push can be made; and this means I get less time to do the flat hunting.
On the photography side I’ve now sold my first image in a shop based in Covent Garden, which is nice. I need to get them another copy of the image and may have to speak with them about a few shots to sell in time for the pending Olympics.
I’ve also sold my first images via Getty with 3 sales in March. I get more cash from the solo shop sale than via Getty, but I guess them’s the breaks when dealing with a stock place like that.
Oh, and I also have images in an exhibit which is ongoing at the moment and continuing through May in various locations. The exhibit, ‘No Briton Is An Island’ is organised by The Photographic Angle who approached me to take part. Various venues in London, Slough, Crawley, Uxbridge, Greenford and Bristol, possibly also Leeds and Croydon, are showing items from the Exhibit, I’m just waiting for a breakdown as to which of my images are being shown in which of these locations so I can try and pop along to one of them and see them.
That’s about it I think. Move along now, nothing further to see here.
Another trip back to Cornwall today for another sunset shot, this was taken a little earlier in the evening before the sun had passed the horizon, and just a few steps away from my Sunset on Moss image.
For a couple of images that were taken so close together, in terms of time and location, it’s great to see that they vary in so many ways. That’s the great thing about taking photos, you can often get different shots from the same locations just by walking around a little, composing differently and shooting under different light.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend
Yesterday saw a final shot of San Francisco, and today sees a final shot of Sango Bay in Durness, which is in the north of Scotland.
I just loved this location. Steve and I had driven quite far during the day (well, he drove and I sat in the passenger seat checking out the beautiful scenery Scotland has to offer). We arrived at Durness in the early evening and decided to set up camp for the night as we were going to go up to Cape Wrath early the next morning and the boat left from near here.
I enjoy a little geocaching, and the one thing that I love about such a game is that no matter where you go, you can have a look at the geocaching app and find out places nearby that are interesting to visit. I have been to so many places in London that I never knew of due to geocaching, and when visiting the US it takes me to some nice local parks and points of interest. In this instance it led us to the nearby Smoo Cave which was great to see.
We then grabbed dinner, and finally headed down to the deserted beach with a bottle of wine to catch the blue hour which was really late at night by then due to how far north we were.
Awesome location and awesome light – be sure to check it out if you’re ever in that area.
After a stupidly long week at work I managed to head out for a few hours on a very cold Sunday hoping for a nice sunset. Conor, John, Peter (our guest from overseas) and I headed to Greenwich and stood by the Royal Observatory to try and catch a few nice shots. The wind picked up making it pretty darn chilly, and though the sky looked like it may offer some interesting light, nothing much came of it.
I left thinking I may have taken the best shot of the evening on my iPhone (below), however upon checking the images out at home I found a couple that were salvageable, this one in particular I liked.
It was particularly ‘misty’ that evening, though we felt it was due to the London smog rather than some natural element. The most noticeable buildings from left to right are The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin.
Here’s an iPhone shot of the scene to add a little context.
Though I was on a trip around Scotland when I took this image, I have to confess that I don’t remember exactly where it was taken. I remember the long and winding road we were on as we drove past a sign indicating a viewing point, and when we stopped it was nice to see a view such as this one, but I really don’t know which town we were near.
I also processed it a while ago so little details such as how many images make up the pano are also lost to me, but I think it’s just three or four; five at the most. If it is five then it’s certainly had the trees on one side trimmed out.
One thing I do know, is that the title of this post does not correctly reflect the name of the body of water in this image. I simply added the word Pano to Loch.
So glad it’s nearly the weekend! Tonight I’m off on a photowalk with a few people so will hopefully have some nice shots to process
Yesterday I went on a brief photowalk with James, John and Steve around the Victoria area which saw us working our way in towards Trafalgar Square. Passing by St James’s Park we thought that the frozen over water may make for a decent reflection of the Millennium Wheel from a bridge, however it did absolutely nothing but remove the reflection, which was a shame, so I headed down to the water’s edge instead and framed up so that the wheel was visible through this tree and reflected in one of the few watery parts not fully frozen over.
In some ways I think it would have been nicer without the background lights and noise, but finding a clear sky behind a tree in London can be pretty difficult so that wasn’t to be in this instance.
I’ve never shot images in the snow before, I don’t think, so when I went out on Sunday for a quick walk with Dylan and John I found myself with a new challenge to contend with. Though most of the snow in London had melted away, there was still a little bit left in the park areas, and as we were in Greenwich park there was enough left on the ground to be a recognizable part of any image taken, even if it wasn’t the freshest snow in the world.
This image was taken shortly after the sun had gone down as we headed along to watch a firework show. As it was dark and there was little light in the park I was surprised by how much detail I was able to see in the tree, which is no doubt due to the light reflecting off of the snowy surface. I would love to be in an area that has snow over a period of weeks where I can actually attempt to learn about how it affects and image, and how to capture it well; in the meantime I’m happy to just have a go and see what comes from a shot which I know is there on a compositional level.
On a recent trip down to East Dean I popped over to Hope Gap to take a few shots of the beach and cliffs in that area. On my walk back from there to the Golden Galleon in Seaford where I was due to have a spot of lunch I stopped to take a photo of these cottages.
The other shots I had taken of these cliffs from this area pretty much had no focal interest to the right of them due to the fact it was nothing but sea, so it was nice here to be able to get a glimpse of them and use the cottages as the main area of interest, and to squeeze in the bench for that little something else.
Although there is still quite a bit that is not really doing anything, the sky and the grass, I still feel that there are three very separate areas of interest at different depths with the bench, cottages and then cliffs.
Again the overcast day was doing nothing for the colour in this image so turning it to black and white seemed to do the trick for me.
This weekend I trundled off to the coasts to try the new camera in an nice rural environment. I must admit to being a little bit lazy, as usual, though as I didn’t get up for a sunrise, nor venture out to see a sunset. Instead I just moseyed around during the day, in weather which wasn’t the best when it comes to photography…but in many ways could have been worse.
Due to the lack of colour in the sky I opted to shoot a few images knowing that they would eventually be processed in black and white, which was the case with this one.
The title comes from the small area I was in, if indeed my memory serves me well and that is the name of the location. It was a nice little beach area with easy access down steps from the cliff side, and offered some nice formations when down there. I think a sunrise from here looking towards the Seven Sisters would be lovely.