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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Kayaking In Kynance

August is notorious for being quiet for business due to the summer holidays and the photography industry is not an exception.
With this in mind I decided to catch up on some new personal work that I had been planning and to also produce a short video for some promotions that we have planned.
This image is of a good friend of mine Dean who is also the manager at The Monks Yard where our studio is based.
Dean is a keen Sea Kayaker and when not working hard at Monks Yard (gotta say that!) he is often found off the Dorset coast fishing in his Kayak.
I had several images in my archives that I thought would make great environments to use in this portrait and eventually I decided upon one of Kynance Cove in Cornwall, I know not quite Dorset but hey it’s my image so I get creative license 🙂

The image took approx 5-6 hours to retouch and ended up being quite a monster PSD file.
The promotional video below shows a brief overview of the shoot and the post production.

 

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South Drain

This is a location I have photographed many times over the years South Drain Nr Burtle on the Somerset Levels.
The view up the river is halted by the iconic Glastonbury Tor (too small to view in this image) rising above the Somerset Levels.On this occasion I was simply enjoying a weekly drive across the levels with my dear old mum.I often take her here as it’s not only a favorite spot for her too but a great place to show my youngest daughter the many Swans and Dragonfly’s that occupy that stretch of river.
On this occasion I saw something I’ve never seen before and that was The National Rivers Authority (or someone) cutting the reeds on the riverbank.I’m not sure what this machine was but it seemed to be collecting any cuttings that where floating on the water.It was very graceful and had Tank like tracks which meant it simply drove up the side of the riverbank when it had finished.
Here is an image from my trusty iPhone to record the scene.

 

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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.

 

Gill’s Allotment

I was asked a few weeks ago if I could produce & present a training video on shooting Environmental Portraiture for Envato Tuts Plus Network in Australia.
Over the last few years I have produced many training videos for Envato’s PhotoTuts’s premium content so this was not a particularly unusual request to receive.
For this shoot I decided to photograph Gill who I’ve captured before and is not only a great character to shoot but also happens to be my father in law !
The location is Gill’s allotment located in the beautiful South Somerset landscape and was perfect to demonstrate photographing people in their personal spaces.