Learning Landscapes

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

I love landscape photography, I’m just no good at it. Perhaps saying I’m not good is a little harsh. I know what the problem is: I just don’t try hard enough. Good landscape photography requires effort. There are only so many views of my garden I can create.

With all of this in mind, I decided to get outside and try to capture some landscape and architecture images. Something that will get me out an about, looking at different vistas, and hopefully a little exercise whilst walking from place to place. I’m not quite at the point where I’ll be popping over to Iceland to capture the glaciers under the aurora borealis, or following in the footsteps of Ansel Adams, treking through Yosemite National Park, but anything that gets me off the sofa and practicing my landscape imagery will be a good start.

I’m very fortunate in that I live fairly close to the Peak District, so one evening recently I popped out and tried to capture a scene from the landscape.

Crowden

This was taken just as the sun was setting. I was hoping that the sky would catch ablaze with the late evening colours as the sun set, but alas this was not to be. Hoping that I’d capture the most brilliant sunset on my first attempt was perhaps a little optimistic.

Next on the agenda was a long exposure featuring water. I’ve seen lots of these images where the long exposure makes the surface of the water appear flat and smooth. I knew in my mind what I wanted, and that was some clouds in the sky that would streak, a flat, still water surface, and a high contrast black and white finish. Blakemere Moss in Delamere Forest, Cheshire provided just the scene I was looking for.

Blakemere Moss, Delamere Forest, Cheshire.

At home we’re members of the National Trust. We like to visit places on holidays in the UK, and to go for days out. I’ve already written about visiting , where I concentrated on the autumn colours. This time I wanted to take a picture of the house, but also captured a little of the wildlife whilst I was there.

The house at Dunham Massey Damselfly

I know the damsel fly image doesn’t count as a landscape, but I like it and this is my blog so it’s going in. 🙂

And now that elusive sunset. I’m very fortunate in that I get to visit Scotland quite regularly. If you want a beautiful landscape, stunning scenery, or inspirational view, then there are few places around the world that can match it. Of course Scotland obliged me with the colourful sky I was looking for.

Scottish Sunset

So far I’ve enjoyed my time learning how to take better landscape images. There is still much to learn, but the journey is going to be a very interesting one, and something I am very much looking forward to.

As always, thank you for reading.

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Early evening photoshoot with Katarina Marie

Shooting with experienced models always fills me with confidence. If they’re also photographers then I know the results will be good. Katarina Marie is one such “modelographer”, talented on both sides of the lens; a true artist.

For our first photoshoot together we decided that we should head up to Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We wanted to capture some of the late afternoon sun, and if the weather wasn’t with us at least there would be ice cream at the world famous Nardini’s. Fortunately we did get some sun, and so here are the photos we created together.

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First look was in the bag, so Katarina did a quick costume change and we walked along the coast a little and found a shelter which we thought would look good.

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There is no point going to the coast if you’re not going to visit the beach, so after getting bogged down in some deep sand we eventually found a nice section of the beach we could shoot at.

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We’ve now got some great images stored, but the sun was starting to set and we were losing the light fast. A quick costume change and a chance to capture the last throws of daylight.

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As the sun set we started to notice some beautiful colour in the sky so tried to record that too.

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I think we managed to fulfil our brief of capturing the late afternoon and early evening sun. This time of day, golden hour and beyond, is a great time to create photographs. There is almost magic in the light, and something I should do more of. Sadly we didn’t get to visit Nardini’s for ice cream, but I am very happy with the images we created together. This would not be the last time I shot with Katarina, but that’s a story for another day.

Danny.

Yorkshire Dales

After viewing Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, we decided to find out where the water fight scene between Robin and Little John was filmed. It turns out that the principal photography for the scene was in a place called Asygarth Falls in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, and not in Sherwood Forest as the film makers would have us believe. Keen to see such an area of natural beauty we found a cottage in the area to rent for a few days, packed up the car, and went on a road trip to see the surrounding area. Here are some photos from our adventure.

The journey started with tea. The people of Yorkshire love their tea. It seemed rude not to have some, and also to try some local food whilst we were there.

They love their tea in Yorkshire
They love their tea in Yorkshire
Yorkshire rarenit, made with Wensleydale cheese of course
Yorkshire rarebit, made with Wensleydale cheese of course
Lunch
Lunch

Enough of the food, how about the scenery? First stop was the planned Aysgarth Falls.

Aysgarth Falls
Aysgarth Falls
An overcast day but this does make the greens shine through
An overcast day but this does make the greens shine through

After this we decided to visit Middleham Castle.

Middleham Castle
Middleham Castle
Guards on patrol
Guards on patrol

A short drive from where we were staying took us to West Burton and the fabulous Cauldron Falls. Somewhere that I will go back to and try to create some better photographs.

This scene is crying out for a model
Cauldron Falls
Cauldron Falls
Cauldron Falls
A beautiful place to visit

Another sight that we decided that we had to see was Hawdraw Force in Hawes, Leyburn. The Internet tells me that this is England’s highest single drop waterfall. I wouldn’t know such things, but I can tell you that this is a sight to see. The noise of the water falling is quite something, and it truly is a remarkable spectacle. You can feel the water vapour on your face from 30 feet away. I loved this place.

Hawdraw Force
Hawdraw Force
England's highest single drop waterfall, whatever that means.
England’s highest single drop waterfall, whatever that means.

Entrance to Hawdraw Falls is through the back of a pub called the Green Dragon Inn. This means that this particular pub can claim the best beer garden in the world. Stunning.

I shall finish off with a couple of images taken from where we were staying, showing the nice views available of the Dales. Thank you for reading.

Nice view
Nice view
Obligatory sunset picture
Obligatory sunset picture

The best camera …

Scottish Sunset

Scottish Sunset

As world famous photographer Chase Jrvis says, the best camera is the one that’s with you. I now understand what he means. I was out at the local shop picking up a few ingredients ready to make dinner when I noticed a great fire in the sky. Mother Nature was treating us to a magical display of colour as the sun set. I didn’t have my “good” camera with me, but I did have my camera phone. I took these pictures with it. I’m very pleased with the results.

Colours of sunset

Colours of sunset