Tag Archives: black and white

Finding Hidden Gems in Your Work

Bamburgh, Northumberland.
Bamburgh, Northumberland. Canon 5D MKII, ISO50, f/18, 1.6″

Back in winter 2013, I visited Bamburgh in Northumberland with a friend. We had both been to the area quite a few times and we had high hopes for our trip. As we made our way down to the beach for what we were sure would be an amazing sunrise, our expectations were sky high. As it turned out, there was some faint colour in the otherwise stormy sky and we found ourselves battered by the wind and rain.

The following day was equally disappointing but for different reasons. We went down to the beach again and readied ourselves for the sunrise. It was already raining hard and the wind was making it very difficult to shoot, even with a sturdy tripod. We sat in the car wondering what to do, waiting for the last moment when, if the sun broke through we would run down and catch the scene.

What happened next was amazing. The sun did break through and lasted only a few minutes, but the sunrise was like nothing I have never seen before. It was as if a weeks’ worth of amazing sunrises were compressed into a few minutes. If I described the scene as nuclear it would not be an understatement. But I’m not going to show the shots from that sunrise. They simply look unreal. The best word I can use to describe the images now is vulgar. Even the unprocessed RAW files look fake.

What I am sharing though is one of the many “failed” images from the first morning. I happened across this image looking for examples to use in my Nik Silver Efex book (I decided the original needs an update).

But here’s the interesting things. There were dozens of great images from that first morning and I had been blind to them. I suspect the disappointment of the trip lingered long in my memory

when it failed to meet expectations. It’s only now when I come to work on the image, having separated myself from the shooting, that I can really see the beauty of the morning.

It’s always worth checking your old archives.

Friday Image No.190

View down to Honister Pass from Dale Head, Lake District, Cumbria, UK.
View down to Honister Pass from Dale Head, Lake District. Fuji X-T2, Fuji 18-135 lens, ISO200, f/11.0, 1/125″.

If you know the Lake District, you will know there are a few amazing passes to drive:

  • Wrynose/Hardknott
  • Kirkstone
  • Honister

Whilst these passes are spectacular, you might not realise the best view is often above you.

The image here is looking down onto Honister Pass from the summit of Dale Head (753m). It doesn’t sound much but it can be a bit of a slog when you have walked around the other hills in the Newlands Horseshoe. You can see the road and the river running in parallel along the valley and in the distance is Buttermere.

Despite having walked the rout several times, this is one of the best views I have experienced. In the past it’s often been foggy or raining hard with poor visibility.

Initially I thought this would be a colour shot but then I tried the black and white conversion and thought, that’s the one. In case you’re interested, here is the colour version.

View down to Honister Pass from Dale Head, Lake District.
Colour version of the image.

Have a great weekend.

PS My Lenscraft July newsletter is out tomorrow.

Friday Image No.184

Genoa, Italy.
Genoa, Italy. Fuji X-T2, 18-135 lens. ISO400, 1/25″ at f/10.0.

Today is the world famous (at least in some circles) Saddleworth Band Contest. Some of you may recall the film “Brassed Off” where one of the scenes features the band visiting the contest but getting so drunk they could hardly play. Someone clearly did their research when writing the plot as there is a propensity for bands to pay particular attention to their hydration.

Unfortunately, today after what has seemed like a prolonged period (at least a week) of fabulous weather, the heavens have opened and it’s raining. Nothing unusual for Band Contest day.

As I sit writing this I can hear the first of bands playing so I guess it’s time to finish up and join my wife who’s helping at the check-in tent. I’m therefore going to leave you with another image from my Italy trip. This time it’s from Genoa where I happened to be passing an entrance and saw the image above. I think this is part of the university but I’m not sure.

I hope the weather is better where you are and that you have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.180

Ladybower Reservoir, The Peak District
Ladybower Reservoir, The Peak District. Fuji X-T2, 18-55 lens, ISO640, 1/40″ at f/10.0. No filters and handheld.

It’s Friday and I managed to get out only once with my camera this week. Unfortunately, that was a complete loss and I didn’t take a single image. I’m hoping tomorrows outing will be a bit better.

Having said that, the image on this post was taken when I there the conditions were very poor. My intention at the time was to shoot rocky landscapes. I had almost forgotten that I shot this image where I met up with a friend.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 178

Wooden structure on Formby Beach
Wooden structure on Formby Beach. Fuji X-T2, 55-200 lens at 128mm, ISO200, 1/1600″ at f/5.6

In the sand dunes of Formby Beach stands a tall wooden structure. I’m not sure how tall it is but I would guess around 10m, perhaps more. At the top of the wooden structure is a large wooden triangle. What it’s for I have no idea, but it makes a great subject for a shot.

I have captured this object many times and always been disappointed. Even this image has sat on my hard drive for a couple of months and I never new what to do with it. Today I wanted a break from writing my next book so thought I would experiment a little with this image. This is the result.

I hope you like it and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.172

Blackpool pier and beach
Blackpool pier and beach. Fuji X-T2, Fuji 18-55 lens, ISO200, 1/450″ at f/8.0. Handheld.

On Monday, just before the arrival of the snow and arctic winds in the UK, I visited Blackpool. I have already shared one of the images from that trip, where the performance of the Fuji 18-55 lens quite literally amazed me. This post shows another image from the trip, also shot with the same lens. The processing was applied in Lightroom and then with the Nik Collection.

If you’re interested in the processing, I posted the entire thing to my You Tube channel.

http://bit.ly/Robin-YouTube

The image was captured handheld with the Fuji X-T2 using the Fuji 18-55 lens. I would have loved to have used a filter on the sky, but I didn’t have any with me. There was also some clutter in the bottom left of the frame that has been cropped out in the final image.

I hope you like the image and video.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Image No. 168

Fuji X-T2, 16-55 lens at 47mm, ISO200, 1.7sec @ f/13.0. Tripod Mounted.

I can’t believe the time. I’ve been so wrapped up in my writing that I lost track and I haven’t posted a Friday image yet. I’m now feeling under pressure to pack up and see my wife (before she drinks all the wine) so I’m going to cheat a little. This week’s image is one of the worked examples in the book I’m writing.

I’ve shot this tree quite a few times and find myself drawn back to it frequently. It’s in an area of the Peak District called Padley Gorge. This particular tree is in one of the disused quarries. The image was captured with the Fuji X-T2 as a RAW file and all the conversion and post processing was done in Lightroom. This version isn’t quite finished, but it still looks pretty good.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.