Articals

Sea Of Yellow

While commuting too and from work its hard not to notice the amount of rapeseed being grown which creates striking blocks of yellow which to my photographers eye is very appealing. 

Going down side roads can be tricky as they are often wide enough for only one vehicle to travel down and once the fields started turning yellow I consulted Google Maps to get an idea of the small interconnecting roads and I have never been down these roads. 

Playing around with different techniques can be interesting and effective such as creating panoramas and using different lenses for closeups and wide angles to capture the sea of yellow against the sky.

I believe experimenting is a good way to get a great and unexpected results with photography and revisiting the same location lots of times over a days, weeks, months and even years and at different times to really capture something great.  

Behind The Photo: St James Hill Norwich 24/12/2015

Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK - Date Taken: 24/12/2015

St James Hill in Norwich near the prison is one of my favorite places to take images because it offers views overlooking the city. It is also a convenient place for me to access as I can walk from the office in about 20 minutes up the very steep and tiring hill. 

Capturing the sunset is unusual for me at this time of year as I  do not get out if the office till around 6pm while the sunsets around 4pm. As this was Christmas Eve it was a shorter working day making this image possible.

Although I have been to this spot many times taking the same view I usually come away with a different picture every time and so far this has been on of my favorites which finishes off 2015 nicely.

I really like the range of colours in this image with the purples and oranges with the rain and cloud introducing an additional element. 

My typical approach to capturing landscapes is to defiantly use a tripod or use a flat surface. This is to eliminate any camera shake that can be introduced by pressing the shutter button. 

I had used the bracketing feature of the camera to automatically take 3 images. The first one normal and then the other two as darker and then lighter to later merge into one image to HDR illuminating the whole scene. In this case I just used the one image as I think the buildings being in silhouette is more interesting and striking. 

Most of the time I have the camera set to -1 Exposure Compensation to make the picture darker then what the camera exposes for to make sure I have enough detail in the sky. Most cameras will automate taking three or more images when the self timer is active at the same time as bracketing. 

Camera Settings 

  • Camera: Fuji X-E1
  • Lens: Fuji 35mm f1.4
  • ISO: 200
  • F/8
  • 1/35 Seconds 
  • -1 EV
  • RAW File 

Edited in Adobe Lightroom 6 

Attempting Timelapse Photography

Timelapse photography is a type of photography that I have tried a little in the past but with my new obsession with night photography the same skills and techniques can be used to create a timelapse video  and has given me a renewed interest in trying timelapse photography again.

The biggest issue for me in making a timelapse video is the amount of time required in creating one. The standard frames per second on TV in the UK is 24, to have a 10 second timelapse video I would need 240 images which doesn't sound like many.

My images of the night sky like in the timelapse video at the top taken at Wells Next The Sea are 25 seconds each plus a delay meaning I am taking two pictures a minute or 2 hours for a 10 second video.

Being fairly impatient standing around for 2 hours on my own doing nothing is quite difficult. The finished timelapse is only 6 seconds due to the sea starting to come in and also the clouds bringing the timelapse to a shorter end than I would like. 

To capture the timelapse I set the camera in full manual mode attached to a tripod and tweaking the exposure and frame before setting the inverlomitor to automatically take the sequence of images and then the hard part of waiting and not touching the camera as any movement between images can ruin the final video. 

Shooting in RAW mode I processed the images as normal, Lightroom makes this easy by allowing me to edit one image and then syncing the edit to the other images before using the additional free plugin to create the timelapse video which can take awhile for the computer to render, easily an hour or more depending on the length of the timelapse. 

Follow this link for the Lightroom download and install and usage instructions http://lrbplugins.com/shop/presets/lrb-timelapse-presetstemplates/

This timelapse taken in Hunstanton only took about 20 minutes to capture, the battery running out cut this one short. 

Macro Weekend

This last weekend I went out hoping to photograph Swallowtail butterflies which are rare and only appear on the Norfolk Broads. Getting up at 5am to travel to RSPB Strumpshaw Fen just outside of Norwich teamed up with someone from the camera club we spent a few hours walking around the reserve while visiting the various bird hides. I tried out his Sigma 150-500mm super zoom on my Nikon D7100 for a short while capturing a few birds but nothing too interesting or of good quality, not too sure I have the patience to sit around for hours with the keen bird watchers.

Not having any luck seeing swallowtails which we put down to the wind we made our way back to the car, we soon saw a row of wild flowers growing along a hedgerow which were full of Damselflies.

I shall be visiting Ranworth or Hickling Broad in the next few weeks in the hope the Swallowtails will be showing themselves for me to photograph.

The Yellow Star of Bethlehem

During the last week I have been spending time in Wayland Wood as it has started to wake up from winter. 

I have been focusing too much on bluebells which isn't a bad thing but it would be too easy to miss other beautiful flowers that are currently in bloom such as The Yellow Star of Bethlehem which was pointed being a rare plant and only appears in a small number of locations in the UK and Wayland Wood is one of those places.

Macro photography to me is very rewarding as I find a sense of achievement when I can capture something beautiful that you would otherwise not even notice.

Using a Nikon D7100 with a Sigma 105mm lens I was sitting down on a bin bag and using a tripod to get a rough position. With the wind and the size of the flower being not much bigger than a 5p coin taking a picture that was usable was very difficult. I carry a small water bottle to create water droplets on flowers to create a more interesting picture.

I often see small insects around flowers which I find fascinating and fun to watch and getting any detail from them is even more of a challenge.

As spring is well on its way im sure many more will popup on here, so please visit often to see the results.