Capturing The Cider Orchard

This week the weather finally looked perfect and we got to shoot the old Cider Orchard I mentioned in a previous post.
I arrived on my own at the orchard just after sunrise and spent nearly two hours in the beautiful autumn light capturing all the images I would need ready for the composite.
I should explain again that the plan was to capture the orchard now while full of Apples and then photograph the guys from Richies Cider when things quieten down for them after the harvest.
The shoot was pretty simple and most the time was spent trying to create nice clean compositions as there was just so many trees full of fruit close to each other that it was a little too much !
We now have to create our backdrop from the images captured and arrange to return to Richies Cider Farm in a few weeks to capture the images of the guys to complete our vision for the final image.

 

 

A Tranquil Mooring, A Moving Visit To Cadgwith

Who does not love Cornwall? I even love the picturesque A30 despite the fact it can be a bastard if you get caught in a jam.
I’ve lost count how many times I have visited since a kid and I even did what most have thought of doing and lived there for a short period…great in the summer not so easy in the winter!
Needless to say, I have photographed most of the more familiar spots over the last 18 years and many charismatic fishermen most of which are no longer with us.
So it’s sometimes either not really appealing to revisit places already well photographed in favour of somewhere new or a challenge to look at places with fresh eyes and creativity.
Having said that as photographers as with most things in life we grow and our vision grows and changes so the images I shoot today will not be completely the same as those captured previously.

I captured this image “A Tranquil Mooring” at dawn at Cadgwith on the Lizard a few weeks ago, it’s a place I’m very familiar with and happy to revisit with or without my camera.
On this visit, I noticed a new bench near the spot I was photographing dedicated to a young lad called Toby who had very sadly died aged just 16 and had no doubt loved Cornwall as much as me.
Reading that inscription on the bench certainly left an impression on me and I’ll be sure to return next time and leave a few flowers.

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A Tranquil Mooring.. Dedicated To Toby

 

Time Lapse Photography, Dancing Shadows Over The Crops

I’ve been shooting and editing video for a good few years now for the purpose of presenting and illustrating Photography & Retouching training.
This year however I find myself shooting more and more creative video type work which blends stills & video.
Some of this work is nearing the end of production for a client so I’m unable to publish just yet but here is something similar we shot for our Studio based Cafe

Something else we have started to play with is Time Lapse photography which once again blends still photography with video.
Below is a short video titled “Dancing Shadows Over The Crops” we shot last week on a glorious summer afternoon in a beautiful field of crops and Butterflies.
This was our first attempt at Time Lapse and it requires a lot of images,batteries and most of all patience !..more to follow.

 

A Passion For Somerset

I know I have mentioned this before both here and probably many times on my photography training site but I love the Somerset Levels.
Somerset has been my home since the age of seven and the Wetlands are where I spent many many hours shooting and mastering my photography.
These days most of (but not all) of my photography tends to be planned in detail rather than simply exploring and capturing what I find although this often more fun!
Following some extreme flooding in late November here in the U.K I decided to take a trip to some of my favorite areas of the levels with just a single camera and a single 70-200mm lens. I occasionally reduce myself to a limited amount of equipment to kind of stretch/exercise /challenge my creativity.On the day in question the winter light was beautiful combined with a striking cold frost that barely shifted all day.It’s days like these that there seems to be an image waiting to be captured around every bend.It’s also days like these that reminds me of all the years of learning and why I’d do it all again in a flash..pun intended ūüôā

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Honorable Mention In IPA Awards.

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I’m pleased to announced one of my images has received an Honorable Mention In IPA Awards.
The awards which are in their 10th  Anniversary Year received over 10,000 entries and judged by over 80 international photography professionals.
The image which was entered into the Advertising self promotion category is Untitled is one of my Life In A Somerset Landscape series.
The image features a Fox in a spring dawn at Burrow Mump at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels.

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Photography Location “Preparation” for successful Landscape Photography

 

Photography Location “Preparation” for successful Landscape Photography

I don’t normally post any kind of tutorials here they are normally posted on my Digital Photography site but I’ve been asked a couple of times how I approach some of the work in my Travel Photography Portfolio so thought I’d add a short post here.
A Photography Location is not always the easiest of subjects to capture unless you do a little bit of pre-planning.

That’s not to say I don’t sometimes just stumble across a well-lit scene or just head out and explore an area without any planning because sometimes I do.
However, a professional vacation photographer will almost always do some scouting before shooting.

Weather can be unpredictable especially in the U.K where it changes very quickly and of course, we can’t be prepared for that!

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Rotterdam Traffic On A Misty Morning

I’ll often research the area via good old Google and Google Earth to get ideas of the locations terrain and possible shooting angles.

I’ll also phone local tourist offices who can often be invaluable in recommending good vantage points or even specific times of the year they believe are best to visit although they are rarely photographers themselves and their idea for a chocolate box image/vantage point will rarely be yours!

Looking at books or local postcards can also help show the more popular spots and this can be a good starting point but I’ll always search out a new angle where I can and try to make the image my own.
If you are out scouting locations consider using a compass or better still a smartphone app like Focalware.
I use Focalware on my iPhone and it tells you the sun/moon angle during various times of the year which can be extremely handy especially in hilly areas where parts of your scene could fall into shade.

Another way to find out what time the sun rises and sets for the chance to create some creative travel photography is a site like Time & Date and of course, check the weather forecast while you are online too!
Even after viewing forecasts the weather can be unpredictable so be prepared to have to wait around for the light so perhaps pack a good book or a laptop to entertain yourself.

Travel and landscape photography can mean early starts or a late finish so a¬†flask and a snack are other items I never leave home without especially when I’m out shooting at dawn.

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Rowing To Market, Couple Rowing Small Boat In Canal Venice

Stay close to your chosen viewpoint and be prepared (especially if the wind is up and clouds are moving quickly) to grab the unexpected change in the light.
Early morning and dusk can also mean unexpected wildlife too so again be prepared for a few grab shots.
Landscape photography is not the hardest subject technically to capture but sometimes does take a bit of planning to get the best images that the location has to offer.
Be patient and be willing to cut your losses and return another time (if that’s possible) if the light or weather is too poor for the image you want.

 

Lucky Bastards !

I love the sea especially the Mediterranean around Greece & Turkey and despite not being a sailor I have always lived on the coast and love boats.
I put this attraction down to my father who also loved the ocean and served on the Aircraft Carrier HMS Indomitable during WW2 in the Pacific.
So it’s no surprise really that over the years lots of my images feature the ocean and the people who work on it.

It was while in Majorca that I came across the coastal town of Porto Cristo one morning and decided I had to return later that week to shoot the beautiful cliffs and bay when the light was more sympathetic to the location. The finished image shown here represents my vision/interpretation of Porto Cristo and despite not all the elements existing in the scene at the time it sums up the place quite nicely in my opinion.
Am I the only one who struggles naming new images I have produced ? Im guessing not and it can drive me nuts.
When it came to naming this one I was tempted to name  it after my initial reaction to seeing such an idyllic scene and beautiful craft
..”Lucky Bastards !” but I’ve since decided on a more polite naming of ¬†“Living The Dream”

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Living The Dream

The Unamed Life Image

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A new year brings a time to look at your work/life and where you want to be heading.However It was in fact last June while while in Turkey that I decided it was time to start shooting more people/life images.

I’d found myself shooting very little life based images over the last couple of years and capturing the landscape alone was no logger challenging me enough and I was getting creatively a little stale.I also needed to produce a new book (Portfolio) for the coming year so new work was needed.


I started my Professional career shooting lifestyle images of models for Clarks Shoes so shooting people whether models,celebrities or cornish fishermen (that’s another blog post !) have always featured in my body of work somewhere and something I enjoyed and felt very comfortable doing.

So last week I started to make calls to various people in the South West from semi pro cyclists to fossil hunters and introducing myself and my work and simply asking if I may photograph them.So far he response has been very good and images from my recently completed shoots will be posted here shortly.

 

In the meantime here is an image that I have just completed to add to my personal project “Life In A Somerset Landscape”¬†The project features animals in well known Somerset Landscapes and has challenged me both as photographer and retoucher with this particular image taking approx 4 days to complete in post production alone.

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The Fox was photographed at Secret World Wildlife Rescue near where I grew up in West Huntspill Somerset. The lovely people at Secret World where very helpful and kindly allowed me to get up close and personal with their rescued foxes and I got some great images despite falling up to my knee in a hole full of ditch water !

For the techies the layered photoshop image was a bit of a monster at well over 1 Gb in size and consisted of 30 layers which is not uncommon for some of my images.

The location in the image is Burrow Mump located on the Somerset Levels and the image is as yet unnamed so if you can think of a great title I’d love you to post your idea in the comments below.

 

Ice Fog

This location is a mere 10 min walk from the centre of my village where I live but it’s also one of my most memorable shoots.
The location RAF Merryfield which is an old airfield used by the Royal Airforce and United States Army Airforce during WW2 and now used to train helicopter pilots.
The reason this shoot was so memorable was the weather and light that evening where simply stunning and probably the best I have ever experienced in my 23 + years of shooting.
We where in the middle of a week of very heavy snow and ice and as the sun set in the clear crisp sky I watched as a very eerie bank of icy cold fog slowly rolled across the airfield towards me.I found myself transfixed on this amazing sight as it was illuminated backlit by the wonderful colours in the afterglow of the sunset. I continued shooting until the light was completely gone knowing full well it might be a long time before I experience such a stunning display again.

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