Daffodil – ISO 400; 60mm macro; f/11; 1/125 sec (click image to view larger size)
In English, Happy St. David’s Day!
Being Welsh, I thought I would mark St. David’s Day with an image of a daffodil, the national flower of Wales. After all, I can still remember having a daffodil pinned to my jumper before heading off to school in the 1960s!
I didn’t want just any type of image though, I wanted to try a technique I’ve known about for a long time but never managed to get around to using before – creating a black background without actually using a physical background.
This technique uses nothing more than the absence of light. It’s quite simple really, once you understand the principle. You don’t need a studio or any fancy lighting gear (I certainly don’t have any), just a flash that you can fire off-camera.
Mist Over The Punch Bowl – ISO 800; 14mm; f/5.6; 1/60 sec (click image to view larger size)
I’ve paid two visits to The Devil’s Punch Bowl at Hindhead over the past two weeks, firstly on a scouting mission for walking routes and secondly to conduct a 1-2-1 workshop which was then followed by a 2-hour stroll to scout out some more trails.
Fate – 27mm; ISO 200; 1/250 sec; f/2.8 (click image to view larger size)
Last week I attended another photo walk with the Surrey & Hampshire Photography Group. A small group of about 15 walked a route that took us from our starting point at Sloane Square to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, down to the River Thames and over Chelsea Bridge, into and through Battersea Park, crossing back over the river on Albert Bridge, along the embankment, up through Chelsea and into Brompton Cemetery, around 5 miles in total.
A change of perspective can often improve your results when out shooting, as discussed by Scott Bourne in his blog post I read recently, and most photographers are well aware of this. In my case, the change in perspective isn’t to do with moving my feet, or lying down or even selecting a different lens. It’s being unable to get out as much as I normally would due to a bad back. It’s not horrendous so I shouldn’t grumble, it’s just frustrating. When I think back to spring last year, I was out 2-3 times a week in search of bluebells.
Our visit to Australia started in Sydney, but we also returned there after our jaunt to the Blue Mountains and again at the end of our stay before flying home. So by the end of it, we’d grown quite accustomed to Sydney.
Buttermere Before Sunrise – 15mm; ISO 100; 1/6 sec; f/8.0 (click image to view larger size)
I’ve recently returned from a trip to the Lake District. I spent a week in the Northern Lakes area, staying about a 15 minute drive north of Ullswater.
As I approached the lakes driving up the M6, I could see snow-capped mountains in the distance, and I could hardly contain myself with the anticipation of the week ahead.
Quickly checking in to my accommodation, I dumped my bags and headed straight out to Ullswater as there was only about 30 minutes until sunset. I wanted to grab a few shots and check out the location for sunrise the following morning.
Solitary – 50mm; ISO 100; 180 sec; f/8.0 (click image to view larger size)
I had been looking for a workshop to attend that was a bit different from the usual landscape photography, something I wasn’t yet familiar with. I chose long exposures and, on the recommendation of a friend, decided on a course being led by Doug Chinnery. I already had some neutral density filters to increase exposure times, but with uninspiring results so far.
The meeting point was near a boating lake at West Kirby on the Wirral. There were six people in the group with varying levels of experience.