Friday Image

Friday Image No. 44

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View from Acontango, Bolivia
View from Acontango, Bolivia

Yet another image from my trip to Bolivia. This time the view across the mountains as we climbed Acontango. The original image is very blue despite being early in the morning, due to the altitude. This wasn’t a problem as I knew I could make this work for me in the conversion to black and white. The conversion was done using Nik Silver Efex pro having first been sure to remove excess noise in Nik Dfine. The image was also corrected using Piccure+ before processing in Silver Efex in order to produce higher quality edges on the mountains.

Hope you like the picture and have a great weekend everyone.

Friday Image No. 43

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Olympus EM5 12-40mm lens at 16mm, ISO200 1/1250" at f/7.1
Olympus EM5 12-40mm lens at 16mm, ISO200 1/1250″ (that’s not a typo) at f/7.1

Sometimes the power of nature just stops you in your tracks. This is another image from my recent trip to Bolivia. We were crossing a huge dried up salt lake surrounded by mountains when we noticed a storm cell forming. As we drove on the sky became more and more ominous but the storm was localised over one of the mountains. This was such an amazing site that we had to pull over and admire it. Even our guides were captivated by the scale and power of scene.

Hope you like the picture and have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.042

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New Brighton Lighthouse

I always promise myself that when I go out on a day’s shoot that I will wait for a while before I publish any images. I find that it’s this distance from the days shooting that allows you to appreciate which images are the best. That way you avoid being caught up in the emotion of the day and are not influenced by your expectations.

Then again I’m really impatient and some images just scream share me. Here’s one from last weekend. This was shot at New Brighton. It now quite a different place to that that Martin Parr captured.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.041

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Rough Seas. Olympus EM5. See text for details of settings.

I did wonder whether to post this shot or not. If you look hard at the image you find it feels cluttered. It isn’t a great composition (because there wasn’t much to compose). It’s also a grab shot.

You see I shot this whilst spending ages fighting with the Nikon D800 on a tripod. I couldn’t get into position on very slippery seaweed covered rocks. In the end, in total frustration I fired off this shot with the Olympus EM5 which was over my shoulder.

You shouldn’t be able to handhold shots like this at sunset, but you can with the EM5. The base ISO is 200 (as used here). The lens is the superb Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 set at 12mm. The aperture was f/4.0 giving a shutter speed of 1/60″. And yes, it is sharp and has sufficient depth of field. Try that with a full frame camera.

I should also add that I used a 0.6 (2 stop) neutral density graduated filter on the sky. It was one of the Lee Seven 5 series which I am very impressed with.

Now as cluttered as the scene is, it also conveys the feeling of a stormy sea well. It also has some great light on the water. It’s this feeling of stormy light that comes across to me every time I look at the image. So whilst it may not be an accomplished photographic composition I think the image works well because it has emotion – at least for me.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.040

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La Pas, Bolivia
La Pas, Bolivia

This is a very quick one. It’s a view over the city of La Pas in Bolivia. Click the image to zoom in and it’s truly an amazing sight.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.039

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Rock at Aberdaron, Wales

This week’s Friday image was shot on my trip to Wales last week. It was 10:00 in the morning on Saturday and the rain was coming down hard from the dark sky. My friend checked the weather forecast and announced the weather would clear at 11:00 and that we should leave now to be ready for the storm breaking. I didn’t believe the forecast but agreed.

At 11:00 there was a break in the clouds and within 30 minutes the sun was breaking through the storm as predicted (Ed, if your reading this well done. All that new computer kit at the Met Office is paying off). As usual when a rain front breaks you get dramatic lighting and this was no exception. We raced over to the small coastal town of Aberdaron where we thought the light on the beach would be interesting; we weren’t wrong.

At the time I had the camera set to shoot in black and white as there wasn’t much colour from the contrasty lighting. To make the image more interesting a 6 stop Lee ND filter was used which gave a shutter speed of around 1 second. The image above represents pretty much my vision for the finished image (which by the way hasn’t had a lot of processing). It wasn’t until I saw the colour version that I realised there was a better option. Printing the two images at A4 the black and white looks good until you compare it side by side with the colour version. At A3 and larger the colour image is particularly impressive.

Let me know if you agree the colour version is better and have a great weekend.

Rock at Aberdaron, Wales

Friday image No.038

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Bolivia at night. Olympus EM5, Samyang fisheye lens, f/3.5, ISO800, 73 second exposure.

This week’s image was just for a bit of fun and experimentation. Whilst I was in Bolivia I was camped half way up a volcano at around 4,300m. The sky was as clear as anything and the star show amazing. I decided to pop the camera on a tripod, whack on the old fisheye lens and see what I could capture. This is the result.

Sure the stars are moving and therefore a little blurred due to the long exposure. Despite this I am rather impressed by what the EM5 and a Samyang fisheye lens can actually achieve. I now wish I had locked open the shutter and captured some star trails. Mind you it was damned cold and I couldn’t wait to get under canvas.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday image No.037

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Nikon D800, 18-35 Nikkor lens, f/16.0 for 0.625" at ISO100
Penmon Lighthouse. Nikon D800, 18-35 Nikkor lens, f/16.0 for 0.625″ at ISO100

Here’s a recent one from the Nikon D800. After a few trips I finally seem to be working better with the D800 and more of my images are in focus and sharp. I’m shooting with the camera set to 14bit mode rather than the usual 12bit and the colours seem to be responding well during the RAW file conversions. I will of course have more to say in the near future on the D800 and will be comparing it to the Olympus EM5 and Sony RX10.

Now over the next couple of weeks I’m going to go a little silent on you all and won’t be posting. I need to dedicate some time to getting the new Lenscraft website up and running. I hope to have this finished by the end of October but I need to spend some dedicated time. This isn’t just a new website but an entire move of platform.

I hope you like the image, have a great weekend and I’ll be back online around the end of the month.

Friday image No.036

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RWhalley_5D_2011_IMG_1252_50_18_2.5

Isn’t it strange how your taste in photography seems to change. I shot this image just over three years ago. I recall considering this a poor trip at the time as I didn’t really come back with any “high octane” dramatic shots. What I did get was quite a lot of nice, tranquil scenes which I relegated to a folder on my hard drive and promptly forgot about.

Last week I was clearing out some images in order to start work on my new website (coming soon). That’s when I saw this image and wondered why I hadn’t bothered very much with it. Now that I look at it, I really like the scene and the colours.

I hope you like it and have a great weekend.

Friday image No.035

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The Moors near Saddleworth. Sony RX10
The Moors near Saddleworth. Sony RX10

The moors near where I live can be a rather bleak and unforgiving place. It’s not really a landscape that attracts photographers and you don’t often if ever see images of it in magazines. Despite this I often walk in the area with my camera so on the odd occasion that an image looks even half good it makes me happy. Here is one such recent image captured on my Sony RX10. I love the colourful golden grass in this scene and the way the contours of the land snake off into the distance.

I hope you like it and have a great weekend.