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In a week where weekly competitions have taken a particular beating I felt as #Sharemondays mediator it only fitting I gave my take on the whole perception that weekly comps are all bad and detrimental to our work and development as photographers.
Firstly let me state, I respect everyones views on all subjects and in no way claim to be any authority, this is just my observations from my tiny and quiet little vantage point on twitter. Personally I just can't find the time to be on twitter all day to have lengthy debates on many subjects I may otherwise like to comment on and feel I just wouldn't do my argument justice as no doubt I would be side tracked by real life events and forget to reply with conviction.
So my sparse time spent on social media may be a reasoning for my slightly different view of the weekly comps. For me weekly comps are a social event where photographers can share an image from the previous week/weekend that they have felt worthy of sharing in the knowledge there is a better chance of a greater audience and views/feedback. With a designated day, I certainly make more of an effort to get online to view others images and give a little more time to SM on that day for that very reason. Whereas generally I can quite often miss lots of posts and work from many other photographers. It's not religious though, there are weeks where it just isn't possible to give much time even on that day but generally I make that little bit more of an effort to view, comment and share others work when I feel with my humble opinion that it merits it.
Now, in respect to this weekly work being some kind of defining work, that could be seen as detrimental and in some way it lowers our standards as photographers well that I feel is ludicrous. No one is saying here is my best work from my portfolio, what do you think. I see it as an insight into our photographic week, like a snippet of what we have been giving our attention to or working on. I find it fascinating to see for instance where people visit, what their perspective of that location is and how they try to represent it in an image. There is also the experience of watching from afar, as photographers develop in front of our eyes. Seeing them flirt with all sorts of techniques and subjects which may stray greatly from their comfort zone. I don't feel this is in anyway detrimental to our development in fact I would say with the ability to be able to throw experimental work out there for interested parties to view helps develop us as photographers as we flirt with things. Surely this is only progressive.
Another benefit is the time restraint of a week, I understand that this can be seen to hinder our creative thought by putting pressure on us but need I state the obvious, firstly there is no contract to say we must submit every week or you will be sin binned and not allowed to enter again. Secondly, is there not a benefit from restricting ourselves to try and find an image that we feel worthy of sharing by using our imagination to utilise our surroundings. There are no subject restraints so it allows us to look for something unique, pretty, interesting, a reflection or a spot of light falling on a structure, in fact anything whatsoever. I'm constantly amazed what photographers see in everyday life, we have a different eye from others and I for sure learn weekly from others images. I see it as no different from shooting with one chosen prime or at f2 only for a month or one image a day for 10 days. It's like a mini project that encourages creative thinking not stifle it. If anyone has read or taken ideas from The Photographers Playbook by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern they will understand the use of restrictions. If you haven't then I'd recommend it, 307 assignments and ideas to keep you thinking. A wonderful tool and exercise in progression and development. But ultimately, if you are not in the mood to be creative, then don't, you can't force these things so just sit it out for as long as you wish and maybe if you just viewed others images you might be inspired to get creative outside your area of comfort zone. When I choose to share, I don't announce that image to be my best work, far from it. I post for many reasons, maybe sharing a new found location or a subject with potential or just to share the weather conditions I experienced. It's never definitive of my work and I'd never expect anyone to think that it was. It's a playground to experiment and converse, throwing around ideas.
Now for the judging and results. Let me just say, if you are going to get yourself upset by what is chosen then there is no point in entering. It's really just a side show for what is just a gallery of varying images from photographers on different waves of development. Of course it's obvious companies start these competitions only for promotion, they may use it to highlight an up and coming product, workshop or new article relating to their business. Let them get from it what they want and you take from it what you can, it's simple and if you are in anyway unhappy with how it pans out then don't enter or silence the hashtag. Also, Judges decisions are always controversial too as is generally evident in the reactions to LPOTY, OPOTY or IGPOTY etc when they make their initial cull or when the winners are announced. It generally goes along the lines of who has been omitted when such and such has been credited and so on.
When it comes to #Sharemondays though there is no hidden agendas. I started it up as a result of seeing everyone complain about the results and I felt what better way than to allow everyone the chance to experience the pressure of judging, where we question our every decision and flick between our favourites. I think now that it has been going for a little while it's plain to see the variation of decisions, as with other competitions not always the result we might have chosen ourselves. But when it comes down to it, #Sharemondays is all about sharing, there is no weekly prize or benefit to anyone as it basically runs itself and is merely the chance to show whatever you feel is worthy. No one will judge you for the quality etc as more likely than not its just an experimental piece of work not your portfolio. There has been some talk of a book of winners being produced at the end of the year and I think this would be a great collection of varying work. If it does come to fruition then I hope to include all the winning images giving small details from both the winner and the judge. It will be a non profit book, with only my time given to get info etc and create on a suitable platform. I see it being available as a print on demand project but the finer details will develop over the year as long as the weeklies survive that is. Domain names have been acquired and when I get my finger out a simple web page of winning images and the very loose rules will appear but for the time being you can see everything here.
If you have got this far then firstly thank you for sticking with my rambling and secondly maybe there is a chance you would still be interested in taking part in the weekly event. If so your contribution no matter how sporadic would be greatly welcomed by everyone even the ever changing judge and who knows, there may be a beautiful book at the end of the year to celebrate the positives of weekly twitter competitions.
The good people at Sleeklens asked me to have a look at their new Landscape photography Presets and Brushes for Lightroom and I have now managed to write up my findings with a short video example of a workflow using the presets.
I explained to Sleeklens that I rarely if at all, use presets in my image processing but they were still happy for me to give my honest opinion on their products. My reasons for not using presets are mainly due to the fact I feel each image need its own personal attention as it develops and a simple click does not do that for me, in general.
Having now played around with these presets by Sleeklens, I have now realised that it doesn't need to be just one click. They can firstly be a starting point to work back or forward from. One of the good things about these are the different options, you can go for the ALL IN ONE recipes and work from there or by using the layers options where you can add presets on top of each other without altering the effects of the previous one. You can start from BASE and work through EXPOSURE, COLOUR CORRECT, TONE/TINT, POLISH and VIGNETTE to finish.
By using the layer option I found that by also adjusting the develop sliders to control the preset effect more to suit my personal tastes before adding another helped make me feel more in control and of having a part in creating the image than I would have had by just clicking the ALL IN ONE and leaving it there.
In my work I try to be subtle in my processing and so loud colour bursts and crazy saturation is not where I take my processing so I would have to reel a few presets back a fare bit if I was to use then all the time. But as is with many things in life, using things like these presets, in moderation and with full control then there can be a place for them in my Lightroom workflow.
Below is a short video of an example workflow using the Sleeklens Landscape presets as well as links to their product pages. I have also included a much more detailed and professional video by Doug Chinnery who gives a review and tutorial of the Sleeklens presets used in Photoshop.
I was absolutely thrilled to here Outdoor Photography Magazine were going to use one of my images for their December Issue. When it came through the letterbox, and I saw it for the first time I'll have to admit I had a rather big smile on my face. I'm very grateful to this Magazine and particularly the Editor Steve Watkins who has supported my work in many ways especially in the last 12 months, which has allowed me to grow in confidence and believe that I might be doing something right somewhere. Hopefully I'll use this confidence and continue to develop my work naturally and to produce work that pleases me as I do believe it is the only way to enjoy and get fulfilment from making landscape images.
Coincidently I already had an article 'Quick Guide to Shooting Infrared Landscapes' in this issue which Steve had so kindly asked me to do, so needless to say I've bought a few copies as well as my subscription one to keep and maybe leave around some coffee tables.
If you haven't read this magazine before I highly recommend it. It is the best landscape and wildlife photography Magazine around with every issue packed with advice, inspiration and information. You can subscribe and also submit work here It's certainly not done me any harm.
I've been looking through my catalogue for portraits and just realised it has been years since I consciously made an effort to create a portrait image of any merit. I used to love the idea of capturing the hidden life and expressions behind an individuals mask that they put up in everyday life. I was hoping to enter an image in AP Magazines monthly competition, which this months subject, Portraits. (If I do enter I better remember to copy and paste the tick passage to the email since I've only just realised I never did this in the previous 2 rounds and so my entries would be void, oops!) Going through the archives I have came up with very little and have since tried to create something while out with the kids to make up for this, but have found I am way out of touch, although, there is still a glimmer of thrill and excitement bubbling away which has possibly started a little fire of enthusiasm again. Maybe, who knows!!!
Below are my shortlist images of possible entries, none of which really excite me except possibly the emotional one of my youngest daughter taken 2 days ago after she got upset over a dog running away with her stick while playing on Stevenson beach. She will kill me on her 21st when I unearth this from the archives.
Anyway, from this selection process I think I might try and do a little more portraiture especially when I have such willing models in my over enthusiastic daughters, if for nothing else but to humiliate them in future years. I am quite sick really, so I'm told!
Back in February I got a lovely email requesting an interview with me for Outdoor Photography Magazine, by far the leading magazine dedicated to Landscape, Wildlife, Nature and Adventure photography. The excitement quickly went from flattery and elation to, 'wait a minute is this a spam email'? After a few clarification emails back and forward I was back to excitement before then wondering what on earth they want to speak to me about.
I went over my pile of back issues of OP and reread other 'In The Spotlight' interviews which only filled me with dread. Suddenly all I could think about was the interview and trying to find something in my short time as a Landscape Photographer that would interest anyone reading the Magazine. Knowing many people far more experienced, interesting and talented that read the magazine only added to my dread.
As time went by eventually the day of the interview arrived. And, after all my worries it inevitably was all without need. Nick Smith quickly put me at ease and the interview flew by, not without me going off on many tangents as I tried to find something interesting to say. Before I knew it, it was over and Nick tied it all up with very kind and complimentary comments about my work. It was all a bit of a blur as I tried to recall what I actually said, but it was done and there was no more I could do, what would be would be.
And now its arrived through my door, within its beautifully glossy cover.
Two images accompany my article and now all the nerves have gone and all I can do is enjoy the fact someone was interested enough in what I'm doing with my photography to have me tell my story. I'm honoured and humbled to be within the cover of this magazine, I've been lucky to feature in the One Thing This Month comp before but this is entirely different and I am hugely grateful to Steve Watkins (Editor) for suggesting I do it, and to Nick for making the process very easy.
So to anyone who hasn't subscribed and received the issue early, it is available in the shops as of Thursday 5th May. It's a great read as always with outstanding images and articles from regulars and many other talented photographers including Verity Milligan, Matthew Dartford and Dave Fieldhouse. You can miss out pages 64-65, there's nothing to see there!
It was an honour to exhibit 3 of my images on Saturday at the opening event of #Connected2016 in Patchings Art Centre, Calverton, Nottinghamshire, which is a yearly exhibition of inspirational photography now on its 9th successive year, run by the incredibly committed partnership of Rob and Karen Knight. To have my 3 chosen images hung alongside the work of extremely talented photographers was daunting to say the least and on viewing their work no less intimidating.
I only got into the exhibition from the reserve list after just missing out on the initial intake which seems to be filled within hours. So it was a bit of a mad rush to choose my 3 images to submit to Rob although with an initial tip off from him I had a few extra days to mull over my choices. I decided to keep my selections to mono and were as shown below.
The opening event was excellent and it was a pleasure to meet so many like minded people and also put real faces to the twitter friends I have only ever known by their Avatars. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming with some very kind comments to my work as well which helped my inferiority complex and also allowed me to relax and feel part of the whole event.
There were talks from the excellent Vanda Ralevska and Guy Aubertin in the afternoon which was preceded by a charity Auction of images provided by exhibitors, which raised at least £600 on the day for the John Van Geest Cancer Research Centre. I managed to grab 2 myself by Peter Dyer(left) and Mike Barber(right)
I donated 'Crooked' an image from this winter.
Overall an absolute pleasurable experience and only hope I will be able to beat the stampede to next years Connected2017 which is the 10th Anniversary Event that promises to be another huge success. The Exhibition runs until 21st May and I urge anyone passing or in the area to drop in and see the outstanding quality of work on show, you won't be disappointed.
I am just back from an inspiring week in the Outer Hebrides on the Isles of Harris and Lewis with the very talented lead Photographers Doug (Singalong) Chinnery and David (Best Worst Joke Teller) Ward. I thought I would write a blog/pictorial diary of one of my best weeks, in photography terms.
This was an opportunity that only became available to me a few weeks before. When someone had to withdraw from the trip it left a place available which, after frantically consulting with work and my very understanding, beautiful wife to see if it was possible, I jumped at and quickly made plans on how to get there.
Never one to miss an opportunity I checked ferry times from Uig, Skye and realised I could squeeze in a sunset at Elgol, Skye before driving and sleeping at Uig then getting the 5.30am ferry to Tarbert, Harris, our base for the week.
The ferry crossing was unseasonably calm and it came into Tarbert just as the sun arose above the horizon to light up the rolling mountains enclosing the very small town and port. I had a few hours before the rest of the workshop arrived down from their flights to Stornoway, Lewis. So I went off to try and get some early shooting done. I had browsed over maps of the area but nothing too in-depth so this ended up being very much aimless. I did stop for the occasional side of the road shot of the views or details around the many small Lochans that litter the east coast but eventually gave up and headed for the hotel to freshen up before everyone else arrived.
The troops all arrived on time and we made our introductions before quickly heading off to start the exploration of these wonderful Isles. The two minbuses split the group into two groups of 7 each with it's own expert leading the way. Their knowledge not only of everything photography but of the secrets of Harris and Lewis was to prove invaluable. Immediately we went south and west to a beautiful little sandy beach lined with huge smooth granite rocks which would allow the rising tide to envelope in almost slow motion. I was dressed for northwestern Scottish weather but we were basking in warm autumn sunshine which in some ways was not ideal but pleasant all the same. The occasional cloud would dot the blue skies to remind us it was not a tropical island we were on.
This was a great little ice breaker where we wandered around looking for detail in the sands under the still small pools of water while looking over some of the most beautiful coloured water you will ever sea. David and Doug were offering their expertise to everyone while getting to know each of us at the same time. It was my first time meeting David but I had been on a previous workshop with Doug earlier in the year in the Cairngorms. Both are fountains of knowledge and will help you in any way they can and never make you feel stupid or incompetent no matter the level of question, which is exactly how it should be.
From here we moved just around the corner to the well known Traigh Sheileboist or just Seilebost as its better known. Another stunning beach looking out towards Taransay and sharing its sands with the humungous Luskentyre. This was to be our first sunset, and what a beautiful sight it was. Personally I think the long two days and lack of sleep etc had caught up with me and I kind of lost my way with capturing the image I would have hoped for but I just sat back for a while and watched the sky and colour change as the sun got lower and lower before dropping down behind the horizon to end a spectacular first day on Harris.
The second day threw up more traditional weather in the morning with driving fine rain moving quickly across the island. This allowed us to have a bit of a lie in and have a civilised breakfast before heading out. With the wet weather in mind David lead us to St. Clements Church at the very south of Harris near Rodel. We could shelter here while shooting the interior until the rain moved through.
The rain had started to lift leaving fast moving low cloud rolling across the surrounding hills and mountains which allowed me to get a glimpse of what would be expected as the traditional view from the local cottage windows.
From here we went around the corner to Rodel Hotel which overlooked the old harbour and would be our stop for lunch. It appear deserted until we entered only to be followed by many more customers who must have had this place earmarked for a food stop. A lovely meal was had and we were glad to find that the sun was now trying to pierce the fast moving clouds as they lifted and allowed some wonderful light to sparkle across the water and land in fascinating patches. We took this opportunity to spend half an hour exploring the harbour and the new light before moving on.
As we gathered in the car park to move on I got chatting to David. It was here that I was to see first hand what it is that makes him stand out from the crowded world of photography. All be it a small thing but to see him 'snapping' with his iPhone in amongst some wet Montbretia and producing an image with such detail and colour that he's best (but not only) known for was inspirational to say the least. Needless to say I scurried in with my D810 and Zeiss 25mm to try and emulate what he had so callously captured on his iPhone 4, to no avail I may add.
Back in the vans we headed north east to Lingura Bay where we were introduced to our first deserted crofts, 2 of many that litter the countryside of these islands. We were to visit a few on this tour but an individual blog post might be the best way to tell their story better. So we walked the path that would have been walked for years by the inhabitants of these now skeletal homes. Lined with wild moorland shrubs, streams and Lochans it seemed an arduous task that must have been undertaken each day by the crofters in the traditional changeable weather that would have been thrown at them. The first croft was literally a shell, with the roof and furnishing gone for what seemed like years.
The second was less derelict and was strangely found to have some of the home comforts that would have eased the hardship of life here. It was doing its best to crumble into nature, along with the few sheep carcass that littered the interior.
After walking back up to the vans we continued north along the east coast where we stopped at the top of the picturesque bay of Ob Leasaid which lay at the foot of Manais Township. I stayed around the top of the hill overlooking the bay which had several more derelict crofts and houses. From this vantage is was possible to experience how changeable the weather can be on the Outer Hebrides. for instance, looking northeast it was a beautiful Autumnal day with sun, cloud and rainbows.
Turning 180 degrees, looking south west it was a different story, with piles of rain falling over the mountains creating a landscape of layers.
The rain from the west eventually won the fight and put paid to any chance of a sunset, so we finished up and headed north to Tarbert and our Hotel, while watching the light dance along The Little Minch sea and northern Skye.
The middle of the trip had arrived and I was excited about what it would bring. Luskentyre was to be the start of it for sunrise and before breakfast. Facing west, this was not a conventional option for a sunrise spot, more commonly known for its sunsets. But with the chance of wonderful light illuminating the distant clouds in warm tones with strong reflections in the snaking incoming tide it was worth the effort.
Back to the Hotel for breakfast then off north to our first adventure in Lewis. We made the drive through the dividing North Harris Mountains which separate the two Isles and into Lewis which initially opens up into expanding moorland. With fine weather and glorious views south across the moors to the Mountains we had an impromptu stop to capture some of it even when it is littered with empty crofts and farm buildings.
Moving east towards the coast and after a brief coffee and cake stop, we travelled through some stunning glacial Glens and rugged mountains before arriving at Aird Feinis. A wild area of coastline, lined with Stacks and high cliffs to explore the views across the Atlantic Ocean. Unseasonal calm winds meant we were free to use tripods and LE and safety wasn't so much of an issue as we traversed the mighty heights of the sea cliffs.
This was a spectacular location that allowed us to go our separate was to find our desired image from whichever vantage point we preferred. I had pictured in my head, crashing seas, rolling clouds and changing light before arriving on the Isles but these conditions threw up their own beauty and surprisingly to me it was a manmade feature that caught my eye.
The fresh air had worked up an appetite but before dinner we had one brief stop at Traigh Uige, another of the many stunningly beautiful sandy beaches of these Isles. The tide was low and so we were free to explore the vast expanse of the white sands and all its wonderful details.
Personally I could have spent all day at this location with all its intricate details, shapes and views of the surrounding landscape.
Dinner beckoned and so it was at a delightfully renovated old school house we stopped to eat. Bellies full it was quickly onto Callandish Standing Stones for sunset. The weather had closed in and we were welcomed by drizzle. Under advice from our ever knowledgeable leaders, they suggested to get in position just in case any light appeared. An as if by professional magic, we were privileged to about 30 seconds of glorious orange/pink light on the stones before the sun finally dropped down behind the horizon.
So all of a sudden we are on the penultimate day. Rain welcomed us, and it was the driving kind that is never pleasing to stand or walk in. However, after breakfast it seemed to lift a little and David decided to take us to Kyles Stockinish, a small harbour on the east coast of South Harris. it was time to concentrate on detail as this place was filled with interesting patterns and shapes amongst the fishing boats and equipment.
I used this time to experiment with ME after being inspired by a few members of the tour, in particular Nicki Gwynn-Jones FRPS whose work I had caught a glimpse of on her camera and became intrigued by her techniques and results. This hut was about the only bit of colour in the grey overcast light and landscape, and Nicki in particular was drawn to it and I will be keen to see her interpretation of it within its environment.
The drizzle had returned and it was time to move on with another derelict croft just outside the village of Geocrab earmarked for the next stop. After a quick check to see if it was safe and appropriate to explore, off we went in shifts in the now pouring rain to scurry around the ramshackle croft house.
I think I've mentioned before, these empty dwellings deserve their own blog post with their intriguing stories. I can't help but feel it will be a sad story if ever we do find out why the apparent hasty departure of their inhabitants was so necessary.
Next up was a pit stop on our way to Leverburgh for lunch. Loch Na Moracha was where we would next alight from our vans. With the rain now stopped but damp still air it was a fight with the renowned Midge that became our main concern. With Skin So Soft and eventually Midge nets on we had some time to shoot some extraordinary Loch reeds that were far from typical of the landscape of these parts.
Off to Leverburgh for lunch now and the restaurant next to the ferry port dished up amazing BBQ ribs and a Guinness. Since it stayed dry we took the opportunity to spend half an hour shooting some of the finer parts of this small port town that serves Berneray.
I had spotted another empty house in the town from the window of the restaurant so I quickly scurried up to take a little look around. More modern and certainly bigger than anything else we had been in before, it was in this place I really got a bad, perhaps more sad feeling about the now fled inhabitants.
On my way back to the vans I had a brief chat with a local man who shed a little light all be it worrying light, on life in this area. Briefly he spoke of cancer, Chernobyl, deformed sheep and rain. You may guess the story but for this man it was no story it was very much the personal fight he was facing. Slightly deflated I wished him all the goodwill and hope I could with my powerless words and met up with the rest of the group.
Our first stop in the afternoon was the marshlands at the foot of Traigh Scarasta, which sits just north of Leverburgh on the west coast.
With light getting progressively better we moved along the road about a mile to go down to the wet sands of Traigh Scarasta, where reflections of the lifting cloud created an endless horizon.
Here the vans split up with one wanting to move on and the other happy to stay around Scarasta for a while more. With my van heading off I went along since I had a wish to find some height and capture some sea/cloudscapes with hope of some patchy light coming through. So onwards and a return to our first beach of Traigh Lar. There was a small climb to a little cairn on the far side of the beach that I had noticed on our first visit. I decided to go for it and take a chance there would be some interesting light to be captured across the sea and mountains that hug the west coast. The cloud was thinning and rays of light were beginning to appear as I reached the very humble peak.
As I turned around to view the panorama that surrounded me, I looked north across Sheileboist, Luskentyre and West Loch Tarbert to the mountains of North Harris. There was the landscape I had envisaged before coming to the Isles, wild mountains shrouded in fast moving cloud and beautiful low light piercing the landscape.
The form of the clouds were exquisite and I was mesmerised, although I had to keep an eye on the time as we were planning on a move around the corner to Sheileboist for sunset. This day was just getting better by the minute. One last shot before I came back down to earth.
After regrouping and moving round to Sheileboist we were happy to see the light show would continue while it lit up the cloud enveloping the surrounding mountains. We all took up our positions, some went to the beach where there was foreground detail in the sand and winding streams while others took to the dunes and views across West Loch Tarbert. I along with Doug, settled on a very small hill that took in the dunes and the background delight of the North Harris mountains being side lit by the falling sun.
To be honest, just watching the ever changing light was a wonderful event in itself. I was conscious not to spoil the moment by spending it looking at my camera LCD or viewfinder. A fresh westerly breeze was blowing, the air was crystal clear, the light danced and the very last bit of light passed across us bringing the last touch of warmth before eventually dropping low behind thin horizon cloud. It was a fitting end to an amazing multi stop day and equally apt as it was our last sunset together on Harris.
And suddenly it was our last day and sunrise at Luskentyre was the last stop. Clear blue skies brought a crisp feel to the morning.
Time was up and it would be hard to leave this place although the memories and images would last forever and I hope to return again with my family one day to share the experience with them.
Technically this was not the end of my personal trip though. My ferry was not until 4pm and the majority of the group left for Stornaway at 10am after breakfast. So there was still time to visit a new place on the Isle. Two of the group had the same idea so we went on a mini convoy along the high coastal road that runs on the north side of West Loch Tarbert to a beautiful beach and pier called Huisinis.
We started our journey back to Tarbert for the ferry and lunch but not without one more stop. It was a place we had noticed on our way to Huisinis. Amhuinnsuidhe is a castle/stately home which the main road passes through. It sits on a stunning bay looking south towards South Harris, and we had noticed some rolling waterfalls to the side of it and had to get out and grab a few shots.
Onto the ferry for Skye now, with Karen and Georgie for company the journey flew in. Before we knew it we were speeding off the boat still in convoy to try and make sunset at Neist Point Lighthouse on the far west coast of Skye. We managed to get there about 30 minutes before sunset and manoeuvred our way to a decent vantage point but the harsh light was fading and very uncharacteristically there was little wind, waves or clouds to add some atmosphere. We took in the view and got some shots of this spectacular landmark.
It was here we said our goodbyes as Karen and Georgie were heading straight down to Glasgow airport whereas I had one more stop to make. It was back across Skye to Portree then north again to the Quirang mountains. I arrived around 10pm and got the sleeping bag out and crashed until 5.30am to get set up for sunrise, expected around 7am. Being my first time here I was unsure of the location but Doug had given me valuable advice of where to shoot from. I expected a lot of photographers to be here as it was a Saturday but I was pleasantly surprised when in total only 4 of us littered the hillside for sunrise. A thin line on thick cloud hugged the eastern horizon putting doubt of any light getting through. It tried its best but could only delay the sun for 30 minutes or so meaning we had missed out on any pink/orange light but still had the privilege of some warm yellow light falling over the Jurassic Landscape.
So that was that my photography adventure was at an end. A huge variety of locations and weather shared with a lovely group of talented photographers. All that remained was a quick look at the road home to see my 3 beautiful girls I had missed on this trip.
Many thanks to Doug Chinnery and David Ward for their advice, knowledge and company. Look through their work to be amazed at what can be achieved with a camera. If you are ever thinking of going on a similar workshop I can not recommend these guys highly enough, on their own or if you are as lucky as me, together, they will blow your mind with advice and knowledge.
Thank you also to my fellow photographers who made the whole trip a pleasure.
After seeing the wonderful entries printed in the recent Landscape Photographer of the Year Volume 8, including the sensational winning image from Mark Littlejohn I decided I'd enter some images into this years Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year.
My previous post was of my earlier entries to the LPOTY in July where not surprisingly none of them got shortlisted. I cannot expect too much from my entries especially since I have only really ventured into Landscape photography since March of this year and I have a lot to learn and can't wait to enjoy every moment doing so.
I currently spend far too many hours as I'm sure my wife Louise will testify looking at and studying work from photographers who regularly get printed in such books, as well as troll through documentaries, tutorials and websites of some fascinating artists/photographers hoping to pick up the slightest bit of knowledge to help me develop as the photographer I aspire to become. I will be joining Doug Chinnery in February on one of his workshops in the Cairngorms where I'm hoping the experience will be invaluable to my development and really can't wait to go.
So it is with this aspiration I am putting myself through the pain of certain rejection again by entering some more images in a competition, namely the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year. I am basically using this experience to try and self critique my work better where hopefully I can use this knowledge to help my choices when setting up, choosing subjects, deciding on my goals and generally photographing in the future.
So here are my entries, mostly new ones taken since July.
I felt it was about time I started some kind of blog for the website. So today I entered the 2014 LPOTY competition. I was almost deterred when I reviewed some of the entries and realised the quality required and how for I have to go before I can come close to the standard needed to make an impact on any sort of competition. But saying that, I felt the experience of entering by selecting, preparing and thinking about the images I would enter was enough reason to have a go and hope that my future competition entries would benefit in the long run.
So here are my entries for this year. Some have been seen on the website before, others haven't.
Nothing Ventured…….and all that!
CLASSIC VIEW entries
LIVING THE VIEW & URBAN VIEW entries
YOUR VIEW entries