Over the Christmas break I bought a new book “Masters of Landscape Photography”. I would love to say I was featured, but alas I have been overlooked once more. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have bothered with a book such as this, but Amazon was offering a heavy discount. I took a chance and I think I have been well rewarded.
The book covers sixteen photographers, so you only see a small sample of work by each. The images that are presented though are very good. Someone has put a lot of effort into selecting a diverse range of interesting and beautiful work. Yes, there are a few of the usual names (at least for those of us in the UK) but there are others who are less well known.
One of the photographers you should probably look up if you don’t know him is Marc Adamus. Whilst I wasn’t familiar with his name, I have seen his work in galleries and his images are simply stunning. They may be a little too far from traditional landscapes for some readers, but you can’t deny they’re impressive.
Over the Christmas break I headed out for a walk a number of times. Quite often I found myself taking the Fuji X-T2. Now that I have the 18-135mm lens, I find I’m using it more frequently as a “grab and go” camera. I’m also very pleased with the results.
On this particular morning, it was quite dull and grey. A heavy fog had descended and I didn’t hold out much hope of capturing anything useful. We decided to walk over to Doverstones reservoir as this can be quite atmospheric in the fog.
Our route took us along the canal which is when it happened. The sun started to break through the mist and the gave a lovely warm glow to the morning. It lasted around 20 minutes, during which time I managed a few different compositions. This one I seem to like in particular although it was quite tricky to process.
In the end I have did most of the processing in Lightroom. I started by applying the Fuji “Camera Pro Neg Std.” colour profile. I did try other profiles such as Astia and Provia, but all seemed to create a very false look to the colour. I find it’s always worth experimenting with the colour profiles as many seem to improve the Adobe Standard default profile.
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
The weather forecasters managed to get it right (almost) and it snowed at the weekend. What they didn’t quite get right was the volume of snow. The 10-20cm of predicted was more like 5cm. And if your reading this from Buffalo or NYC, 5cm is sufficient to bring the UK to a halt.
Despite the shallow snowfall, it was enough to transform the landscape. I headed up onto the hills at the top of our village and found this group of sheep sheltering together from the weather.
In my previous post, I mentioned the Trinnacle rock that my friend Dave wanted to photography. Today I thought I would share an image that I shot that evening. The Trinnacle is the rock on the left and from this angle you can’t see there are three pillars (hence the name).
The image was captured on the Fuji X-T2 with a Fujinon 10-24mm lens. This is a great lens for landscape work and doesn’t seem to suffer from much distortion. It’s also produced a very detailed image here despite my processing the RAW file in Lightroom. I really must try reprocessing it using Iridient. I expect the detail will be superb.
I also had the camera mounted on a tripod and used a 0.9 (3 stop) ND graduated filter on the sky. This helped to balance the exposure of the sky with the valley and the Trinnacle rock.
In terms of processing, the conversion from the RAW was done in Lightroom, which I also used to liven up the heather. It’s a little late for heather now and I had to breathe new life back into it by enhancing the red in this area. I then enhanced it further using the free Nik Viveza software and control points (see my book if you want to know more about using Viveza).
I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.
At the weekend, I did something I haven’t done before. I headed up into the hills behind Dovestones reservoir for photography. Now I need to qualify that statement as I have taken plenty of photographs in the area. The difference this time is that I was heading out for the purpose of photography and nothing else. Usually when I take photos here, I’m out walking and happen to have a camera with me.
The problem when you’re out walking is that you have a different primary purpose. You may pause for a few seconds or even minutes to grab a shot, but it can’t compare to dedicated photography. The most noticeable difference for me this weekend was that I would leave the path regularly to find the right viewpoint as well as the best angles and composition. This probably seems obvious but I hadn’t previously realised how wedded to the path I was when walking.
The image above, which is one from the weekend is a good example. To reach this you need to leave the path and scramble over some rocks. You would never achieve this view or vantage point by keeping to the path, even though it’s only around 100m from the path. What it’s made me realise is that whilst I have always maintained that this is a difficult area to photograph, the problem was my approach. I’m now wondering how many other good locations I have missed because I had the wrong primary purpose.
I should also say a big thanks to Dave who was the reason I ventured up to this location in the first place. He had wanted to photograph the Trinnacle rock for a long time (that image is still to come). Although I was never keen to photograph in the area (because I thought it was difficult and I live here) I said I would take him as it can be tricky to find. If it hadn’t been for this I would possibly never have opened my mind to the possibility.
I suspect many of you, like me are guilty of ignoring the landscape on our doorstep.
Very recently I bought a book covering different photo locations in the Peak District (http://amzn.to/2eSTEEk). As I started to flip through the book, I thought I recognised a couple of locations. Sure enough, there was a section on locations near to where I live and the book was talking enthusiastically about the area.
Looking at the images, I started to see the area with new eyes. I actually have some great photo locations on my doorstep but I seem to be ignoring them. To put this right, I thought I would share this image shot from Alderman Hill, looking across the valley. I took this on a walk from my house (only a couple of miles). Apparently, you can shoot some great sunrises and sunsets here.
I’m going to make an early New Year’s resolution. Over the next 12 months I’m going to shoot more images nearer to home and cut down on the travel.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog you may have noticed I didn’t publish the usual Friday Image last week. Instead, I was at a used car dealership picking up a new car. I decided after more than 6 years of excellent service, it was time to change my trusty Honda Civic for a newer car.
The Honda was now 9 years old and had 108,000 on the clock (90,000 of which is my mileage). The replacement car is a 3 year old Volvo, which I hope to run for a similar period and also hope is just as reliable. You see, I like to buy good quality used cars with low mileage, then run these until they start to wear out. This way, the bulk of the depreciation has already been suffered by someone else.
Taking the Honda as an example, the engine was running amazingly well and had plenty of miles left. But there were a few niggling problems starting to surface. The windscreen washer motor had sprung a leak and had to be replaced. Then the air conditioning had packed up a few weeks back. Then most worrying there was an odd mechanical clunk from the engine when setting off or slowing down which could be felt through the peddles. Time to change.
Whilst thinking about buying a low mileage quality used cars, I realised that my camera buying habits were quite different. Most of my cameras tend to be purchased new and I am the one suffering the depreciation. What I should be doing is looking for good examples of excellent used equipment that’s been well maintained. I could probably have saved myself a small fortune by now.
Changing the subject almost entirely, the image you see at the top of the screen is the one that I would have published if I had been able to shoot it in time. It’s a rock formation called The Trinnacle, found at Dovestone near to where I live. It’s one that I have tried to find a number of times in the past but often the path has been blocked by various natural and man made features. This time I was able to reach it and captured the image using my Sony RX10.
Since I had the RX10 repaired (the lens unit was replaced as it had a fungus problem – so much for being sealed) it’s performed brilliantly. The image quality definitely exceeds the previous lens and this continues to be my go to camera for walking. I wonder at what stage I will decide it needs to be traded in for a newer model.