Tag 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.
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.
I really would like to get into the area of compositing, but know I have a heck of a lot to learn about Photoshop before I can do that; plus a lot more shots to take if I want to purely use my own images for them. However, over the weekend I felt in the mood to give it a try, and after processing one image that I felt needed something a little extra – I ended up with the above shot.
It started out with my processing a shot from Iceland; it was taken in an area where there was a lot of sulphurous steam and I liked that I could make out a fence post in the right hand side of the frame; here’s the shot I started off with:
Though I liked the image I did feel that the fence wasn’t quite visible enough to make it the sole focal point of interest in the image, and I wanted to try and add something extra.
As the shot was taken in Iceland my mind immediately went to the downed plane that we found there and I thought it would be a perfect fit; so I returned to square one and re-tonemapped a few of the shots which included a second set of brackets for this scene and a set of brackets of the plane:
Once I had these, I drew a mask around the plane and cut it out into the new frame, reducing it in size as I went. I added shadow underneath it and then went to work on the Color Efex (by NikSoftware) and Perfect Effects (by OnOne Software) filters to get the feel I was after. I preferred the ground of the original image I had processed so I brought some of that into this shot also.
Finally I needed to add a little more of the steam to the shot than what was in there so I went ahead and did this using a combination of some smoke type brushes I added to Photoshop and a little cloning also.
I’m pretty happy with the result, and though there wasn’t too much missing from my originally processed image I did enjoy adding the plane into the scene and hope to do a lot more of these – likely with more surrealism – in the future.
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.
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.
Another image from my trip down to the South Coast in January; this tree is in a field at the back of East Dean along with lots of friendly sheep.
It was pretty poor weather for photography so I wasn’t expecting too much decent light as the sun was setting, and my expectations were met; however that didn’t stop me snapping away where I thought there was something interesting and this tree caught my eye as I approached it – I was walking from the distance towards camera when looking at this image. I worked my way around the tree until this form was in front of me. It’s a pity there are a few trees behind this one, as I would have liked it to be standing completely solo; there was another tree closer to me that had two branches poking into the scene but a little photoshop work with the content aware fill and cloning cleaned those right up.
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.
‘Beachy Head’ on the South Coast of England is a corruption of ‘Beauchef’ which means Beautiful Head[land] in French and was the name given to this stretch of cliffs up until 1724.
It’s interesting what you find out on Wikipedia when struggling to find a title for an image!
So, this is the last new image you will see from me in 2011 as we’re quickly approaching the New Year. I’m going to put up a post tomorrow with a roundup of some of the images I’ve posted here since the photoblog began, and then it all starts again on Monday – hurrah!
As many of you may guess, this image is from Loch Lomond in Scotland. If you didn’t guess this from the title then that perhaps means you’re not familiar with Runrig, or the song that the Scotsman voted as ‘Scotland’s Greatest Song‘ in 2008. Here it is on YouTube if you really feel like subjecting yourself to it.
I’ve mentioned before how wonderful, and uncharacteristic, the weather was during my trip to Scotland earlier this year – and as we drove up the Eastern side of Loch Lomond we just had to pull over at one point to make our way down to the rocks and sample the views that were on offer.
This one I share with you
I was stood waiting for a boat at around 9 in the morning on a cold and wet Scottish morning. The boat would take me across this little expanse of water and would be followed by an 11 mile ride in a minibus to Cape Wrath, the most North-Westerly point of mainland UK.
I liked how the fog was wrapped around this mountain, and though I couldn’t muster the energy to get my tripod set up, I did reel off a few handheld shots to try and capture this view which, to me, was what my trip around Scotland was going to be full of. As this was the only morning with the fog and and rain, the rest of the time being bright blue skies, it was going to be the only chance I would get on this trip.
Today we’re heading back to Cornwall and a spot near Lizard Point lighthouse where we took in a mediocre sunrise. I had climbed down a series of slippery rocks to try and get out to a flat formation that had some interesting rocks around it, and found myself here with the sun about to peek out from behind the rocks ahead of me.
In my mind I had the rough textures of the stone as my foreground, the clouds as a bit of added interest and the sun meeting the sky and rock in a beautiful starburst. That starburst didn’t work out too well for me in the final shot, which is unfortunate, but I still quite like it anyway.
Thanks also to everyone for the warm reception that yesterday’s image Caught in the Act received – I appreciate the tweets and love that you showed it – thanks.
Driving around Cornwall in the early morning we came across a valley that was covered in fog, and which this image does not fully capture. I love scenes where you’re looking down on a landscape and can see the morning mist settled like a blanket over the low points. It didn’t last too long, and within a matter of minutes the ever growing sun had burnt it off, but it was a lovely scene when there.
I’ve had super busy days at work this week, and today will be no different before I head out of London tonight where I’ll stay in a hotel in order to get a real early start tomorrow morning for a photography session. There will be an automatic post in place as usual.
A sunrise from Cornwall to start off the week, and this one was a speedy dash back to Lizard Point in the morning and a short walk to an area that’s called the Devil’s Frying Pan. I don’t know the area, but a quick look on Google just now and it seems that the Devil’s Frying pan is a rock arch at one particular point…certainly not something I found to photograph while I was there.
We really didn’t get very spectacular sunrises that week, but I managed to get some colour in the sky.
For those into topography, and with knowledge of where I have traveled to this year, you will possibly guess that this particular spot is in lovely Scotland.
This particular burn looks deceptively shallow from this shot – but it isn’t. Sure, it’s not too deep, but I did wander in there to try and get a few shots looking upstream and the water pretty much came up to my knees in places, and was full of both very sharp, pointy stones and a slime which made it very slippery indeed. I had to use my tripod/camera to ensure I didn’t end up flat on my back – and every step I took left me praying that I didn’t fall over and take the camera in there with me.
As this goes live I may actually be stood in another stream…or up a hill…or in an abandoned factory of some sort. Who knows, as I’m in Cornwall.
Well…I’m probably actually in the pub waiting for the rain to pass to be honest.
This is one of the views on offer from the Golden Gallery, a viewing platform at the top of the dome on St Paul’s Cathedral. The two towers you see are part of the cathedral itself with Ludgate Hill running away from it and into Fleet Street in the distance.
The Thames runs down the left hand side, with the Millennium Wheel and BT Tower two of the visible iconic buildings in the frame.
I’ve made a couple of trips up here over the past month or two and look forward to returning again as winter sets in. It’s pretty busy up on the small Golden Gallery, so I’m hoping the coldness of winter will keep people away and allow me to take some shots as day turns to night, not possible just now with the early closing hours. I’m also thinking this may be a nice place to try and get a timelapse video done.
I can’t believe that my trip to Scotland was a month ago already!
As I may have mentioned; we were extremely lucky with the weather on our drive around this beautiful country. For a location that has a reputation of being thoroughly miserable we had sun pretty much all the time we were there; extremely lucky when I wanted to spend my time taking photos.
The only downside to this, if indeed there is one, is that I always envisage the mountains to be shrouded in mist and menacing cloud formations and not lovely blue skies. Blue sky is nice…but sometimes you want a little more for your images.
To provide a sense of scale…the rock in the foreground of this image was around waist height. The rocks in the background were much, much higher
I’ve been pretty poor at geotagging my images from this 1400 mile trip, so I have no idea where in Scotland this actually is. If you recognise the big rock in the foreground please send location to me in a comment, email, postcard or back of a dead animal to the usual addresses. Thanks.
I had a mental checklist of a few things I wanted to get a shot of during my trip to Scotland. A few things I didn’t manage to get (star trails, rainbow, majestic stag beside a castle), and a few that I did (fisheye of a highland cow, castle at sunset).
One of the shots I had in my mind was of a lone tree, preferably windswept, which I could process in black and white. This one fit the bill almost perfectly.
As we drove around the Scottish countryside I was always keeping an eye out for potential trees, and many passed us by that weren’t quite what I wanted. Eventually, one did leap out at me as a potential candidate, and so we pulled up at the next available spot, I grabbed my gear and ended up walking back down the road and through a bit of a field to get to it. Steve opted to sit on the beach section where we had parked and wait for me.
After a few shots of my tree I headed along the water to meet him, and found him sitting on a rock relaxing and pointing to a tree nearby claiming I could simply have taken a photo of this one instead of walking all that way for this other.
He was right; this new tree was the one in the shot above and was a much better one than that which I had found (though of course, only by wanting the other would we have found this one). I wanted to shoot it with my nifty fifty, and due to this and the composition I once more had to kick off my shoes and socks and work my way cautiously over slippery rocks so that I could stand in the cold water, submerge the tripod and set up.
I’m a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams and so had him in mind when first capturing this scene as I knew before I even found the right tree that I wanted to do so in black and white. Though different to the image I had in my mind before starting the trip, I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.
As regular readers will know, last week I took a week out for a little holiday which involved driving around Scotland. I spent 12 years growing up in the North of Scotland, and though I had been to a few places of interest I had never taken the time to do a decent tour of the beautiful place. A week isn’t time either, but I gave it a good go and hired a car for the week, threw a tent in the back and headed out there. A big thanks must go to Steve for driving the whole way, and as we did 1400 miles in 6 days it certainly allowed us to see a lot of the country. As a non-photographer a big thanks also to stopping whenever I really wanted to do so along the route, and hanging around for longer than most friends would as I stood patiently snapping away – though saying that, armed with 3 cameras he certainly looked more of a photographer than I did at times.
The above shot is of Eilean Donan Castle and was taken at Sunset a week ago today. We had set up camp nearby and headed here as the last photo session of the day. A few other people had come to photograph the same scene this night though we were the only ones to venture down on to the rocks which I feel was the better location to get a decent foreground, and there was a nice sunset but not enough cloud cover for my liking – two awesome looking clouds were there at one point but never blew into the frame which was unfortunate.
I encourage you to check out the Eilean Donan Castle website to find out further details about this picturesque location, though perhaps you may remember it as the castle featured in the Highlander film.
We are unwashed, have had little sleep, and we’re a motley crew to look at.
You wouldn’t want to walk into us in the middle of an abandoned building, but that’s possible as we’re two days into an urbex trip. Our idea of fun is breaking into old asylums, factories and the burnt out remains of a murder scene.
Yet driving from one of these derelict sites to another in the North of Wales we can’t help but be attracted to the beautiful scenery that surrounds us. I was in the lead car and we all saw the amazing site to our right and agreed without the need for words that we should pull over and take a few photos. As we parked up the second car in our mini convey pulled in behind us – the three guys in there had the exact same thoughts as we did, and were grateful we didn’t just drive on.
I’m not usually one for taking landscapes, and to be honest this location is held more in my memory than on my storage drive, but I thought I would process this one anyway.
In this particular shot I wanted to get the post in, so you actually miss out on some of the scenery which is hidden here by the turf in the foreground. I’m going to say that the rookie mistake of having the horizon line in the middle of the image was actually done on purpose…but I would be lying. At least I managed to get the horizon to be pretty much straight though.
Regardless of what your preferred subject matter is for taking photos, it’s good to know that you don’t always need a wall covered in peeling paint to see the beauty around you.
This image was taken, as you can see, standing on the cliff edge of Beachy Head in East Sussex. It’s very picturesque, and the third highest rated suicide jump spot in the world. You have to wonder why someone who is in a position to kill themselves has it in their mind to do so at such a beautiful spot. Do they wish to see one last bit of beauty in their life before they go…or do they just know that there is a high success rate here?
My boss grew up in this area so wanted an image to use as a screensaver for his laptop; I’m hoping this is sufficient – though would be willing for him to schedule a ‘work trip’ to the top two suicide hot spots if they are more desirable…I hear San Francisco is nice.
I’ve made it sound like my boss has a desire to have a photo of a suicide hotspot – that’s not the case…I hope.
In other news, I’m finally getting organised with my images. With a new blog comes new responsibility, and what with coming back from a weekend away with around 1500 images (sure, mostly bracketed) I thought it about time I actually figure out a system to store, process and – more importantly – retrieve my images.
I must at this point give credit to Brian Matiash and his HDR Best Practices Guide, especially Part Two which covers image management. I read Part One when I started learning HDR and it was a great help. Give it another 6 months and I’ll be ready to grasp Part Three! I certainly recommend this to anyone learning HDR. I know the go to guide is the Stuck In Customs one, which I read also and did learn a lot from, but I’m finding the one from Brian has a lot more depth to it and is the one I’ve returned to after learning the basics.
Over time I think image management will be easier, perhaps second nature. All I know is that it’s currently a mess but getting better. I’m moving my photos over to a new 1TB drive and tagging them, etc, in the process. It’ll take a while to go through the historical stuff, but it’s a good thing to do and at least I’m doing it one year in, and only 6 months into my HDR stuff, so that’s better than having many years worth of images built up before I finally grow up and get it done.