Posts tagged nc500
Luck in landscape photography.

There is a real element of luck in landscape photography. How will the light be? What will the tide be like? Have I already missed the best time of day?

I think that’s true, but you can also increase your chances of being lucky by getting out as often as possible. This week I spent a couple of hours at my local beach, and really nothing was working photographically. I waited until sunset and was just giving up when the light suddenly appeared.

If I had followed my initial thought, which was to give up and go home, I would not have seen this light and would never have gotten the image.

So yes. we are lucky if we get great light - but can you increase your chances of being lucky by just being out there!

"Rule number 1 - never shoot in the midday sun." Really??

As photographers we are conditioned to always seek-out the best light, and most often that is to be found around sunrise and sunset. At these times the sun is low in the sky and it creates a very pleasing soft light that can really enhance an image.

Probably for that reason I think I’ve been conditioned to avoid “harsh” light, which can make images look flat and uninteresting. That can be the case, but when there are clouds in the sky, that isn’t always true. This shot was taken at almost exactly midday, but the clouds defused the sunlight enough to allow for a really pleasing image. The colours in the sea and the sand are particularly striking I think.

Photographers can get a bit obsessed with “rules” in photography. I prefer to think of them as guidelines rather than rules. They do help, but we shouldn’t be constrained by them. I’m glad I ignored them on this occasion and took the shot anyway!

Working hard to get the shot!

We’ve been enjoying some lovely weather here in the UK, and this sunset ended an amazing day. The sky was a deep orange glow for jus a few minutes before it set.

I really like the way the river meanders through the scene towards the mountains in the background. There was a bit of climbing involved in getting this photo. Often though the best results come after the most effort. I hope you like it.

When is a landscape photograph not a landscape photograph?

There’s a debate amongst landscape photographers as to whether a landscape photograph with people in it is actually a landscape photograph at all. I must admit I hardly ever include people in my photographs, mainly because I want the landscape to tell the story of what it was like to be there at the time.

This image was an exception though. I think the boat really helps to tell the story of this photograph. Without the boat it is just an image on an (albeit very nice) rainbow. With the boat included it tells much more of the story of the day and you can start to imagine what it must have been like for the fishermen in that weather.

So is a photograph with people in it truly a landscape photograph? Is it travel photography? Does it even matter?

I’ll let you decide that for yourselves. Thanks for looking :-)

Waterfalls are tricky to photograph.

I had a long trip this week for work, but had an hour or so spare on the journey, so decided to stop and take an image in a location I love, but hadn’t been to for a few years.

This waterfall is from a place called Big Burn Falls, close to the village of Golspie in Sutherland, Scotland. It’s hidden away but well worth a visit if you get the chance.

I was really surprised - but in hindsight shouldn’t have been - at how much water there was cascading down the falls. It’s now officially Spring here in the UK, and heavy rainfall is almost guaranteed. Because of all the water, it was difficult to capture the detail within the falls. I think I did the best I could with this image, but I look forward to going back when the flow is less rapid.

There are some amazing rocks that I think will make the image even better with less of a torrent to block them.

It can also be difficult to give your waterfall shots scale and context, which is why I included a significant section of river in the photograph. It gives that sense of both scale and context, which would be lost if the image was just the falls themselves.

I also loved the green moss and foliage on the rocks, which I think enhances the picture a lot. I hope you love it too, and bear these things in mind when you’re taking pictures of waterfalls. They can often look amazing to the eye in 3 dimensions, but it is tricky to turn them into great 2 dimensional images. Good luck and thanks for visiting!

Embrace the grey

The weather this week can be summed up in one word. Grey.

It’s important not to fight the weather, but to use it to your advantage. A grey sky can still produce a pleasing light, it’s just softer and less dramatic.

Whenever it’s grey I tend to look for more subtle and intimate images, often, as in this case leaving the sky out of the frame altogether.

This singe birch tree stood out to me, and I used a long lens to compress the perspective against the trees behind. To me it’s a good example of how to “embrace the grey” in your photography. If you’d like to learn more please consider booking yourself onto one of my workshops. I promise, whatever the weather and however accomplished you already are as a photographer, you will learn a huge amount! Thanks for looking :-)

Simplicity is key.

This week was one of those when it was difficult to get out with the camera at all, just so much happening at home. I did however capture one image of my local area.

This is literally a few minutes from my house and only a slight diversion from where I was going on that day. It’s a place I know well, and the light persuaded me it might be worth a shot.

This image won’t win any awards, but given it was captured impromptu I’m really pleased with how it came out. The key to this is simplicity.

It’s a very simple image, with no distractions, and often that works well. It was a windy day so I used a 30s exposure to smooth the water. The result is a feeling of calm.

For those photographers amongst you, or those who want to develop their skills, keeping it simple is a great lesson to keep in mind. When you try and over-think images, they can be less effective.

I hope you like it, and thanks for looking :-)

Winter Sunshine!

A beautiful low winter sunrise made this image possible a few days ago. I think this is a good example of the huge difference great light can make. 
If you'd like to learn more about light, composition and technique in some amazing locations, take a look at my website for details of upcoming workshops. Whether you're a beginner or more advanced photographer, a workshop will take your photography onto the next level. for more information and to book.

My favourite image so far this year!

My favourite image of the year so far. Love how the sunrise reflects in the river. I didn't have to work too hard for this one though, it's taken from my back garden!

If you would like to enhance your photography shills why not join me on one of my upcoming workshops in Scotland for expert tuition and an amazing experience! If you subscribe to my email there is £100 off, just fill in the form at the bottom of the page. Have a great week everyone!

Golden hour magic!

The “Golden Hour” is the term used to describe the time just after sunrise and just before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the resultant light is at its softest and most colourful.

For photographers this is the time period at we are most likely to get great images. Long shadows and soft golden light really enhance the feel of a photograph.

This recent image was taken just after sunrise. The light on the rocks and cliff face give the image depth and interest.

If you’d like to learn more about composition, light and the many other attributes that can significantly enhance your photographs why not consider joining me on one of my Scotland Workshops. There is no better way to improve your photography than spending time with like-minded people from whom you can learn new skills and perspectives.

For a limited time only there is a £100 voucher available to spend on any workshop when you subscribe to my newsletter! I hope to see you at a workshop soon. Thanks for looking :-).