Tag: long exposure

01 Jan

My Favourite Photos of 2012

I can’t believe that its the end of another year — it seems to have gone in a blur. What do I remember, photographically speaking, of 2012? Well, it didn’t start off too well when my tripod collapsed and broke my camera on a wet Dartmoor morning, but it got a lot better. I think I can safely say that my output improved over the course of the last 12 months. There are still things I would like to improve — on location composition for example as I do tend to crop a little too much in post production — but I can look back over the last 12 months with a feeling of satisfaction.

When compiling this list of favourites I thought of just picking out my faves and posting them but, after a bit of thought, Read more

31 Dec

My Favourite Photos of 2011

What do I mean by my “Favourite Photo”? Well, in this post I’ll be concentrating on my own photos — I have seen some pretty inspiring stuff from other photographers this year so I may well make another post focusing on those.

2011 has been the year that I’ve really got back into photography. In 2010 in an effort to stimulate myself back into a hobby I really enjoy, but which I’d let slip somewhat since the arrival of my young son, I challenged myself to take and post a monochrome photo a week. This was fun and stretched me a little bit as I hadn’t really done B&W seriously before then. I ended the year with some shots I really liked and had a new “sideline” to my hobby.

Fun and rewarding as that was, my real interest in photography is landscapes and, living in Devon, I have no real excuse for not getting as many of those in the bag as possible. So, in 2011, I chose to get up for sunrise whenever I could and get out and about wherever I was to make the best use of the pre-dawn light and the golden hour. This also coincided with my setting up a new Flickr account, having finally migrated away from the friendly but stagnating pbase which I’d used for the previous 4 years as my photo hosting site of choice. Most of my photo opportunities were limited to dawn rather than dusk as I still want to keep some semblance of a family life and I figure that getting up before the others is better than abandoning them at bedtime.

So, in purely chronological, and not preferential, order here are my favourite photos from 2011:

A long exposure of some steps at Sidmouth leading to the beach at Chit Rocks.
The River Otter as it enters the sea at Budleigh Salterton. A grey dawn was threatening nought, but just as the sun rose, the breaking cloud was lit up magnificently.
I initially cursed this woman standing at the end of the Cobb at Lyme Regis waiting for sunrise. Then I thought "what the hell" and shot away. I just wish that the tide was in a bit more ...
I cursed this chap too when I tried a long enxposure of Dawlish breakwater. However he did manage to sit still for 30s in just this one shot, which was shortlisted in the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (but which fell at the final hurdle of judging)

 

A shot of the folly called Dunstall Castle in Worcestershire

 

Teignmouth Pier in the mist at dawn.

 

Back to the Otter Estuary for a magical sunrise in December
Dawlish Warren Old Groyne on Christmas Eve - just about the best sunrise I've ever witnessed.

Here’s to more and better in 2012 — I certainly hope so anyway.

 

12 Sep

Long Exposures at Bembridge

A week’s holiday on the Isle of Wight in early autumn was supposed to yield a satisfying haul of landscape photos. Before I went, I did my research and worked out where to go, what the tides would be, and sunrise/sunset times. Of course, I did some Google image searches as well and had my “targets” well and truly lined up. Unfortunately the TV forecasters had a series of weather fronts and overcast days well and truly lined up in opposition to my plans.

Therefore I decided to change tack, and concentrate on using Read more

20 Jun

Exorcising the Dunstall Castle Ghosts

On a family visit up to Worcestershire, I got the urge to get out and about with the camera. Scanning the OS maps, I settled on Dunstall Castle, a late 18th / early 19th century folly just a few miles from Upton on Severn on the Croome Court estate. This place used to give me the creeps in a “Dr Who, behind the sofa” way when I was a kid. When Mum & Dad drove home the “back way” from my Gran’s house, they would go over a small hill, come around a corner, and the spooky “castle” would come into view. Somehow its derelict state, and position on a small back road at the side of the common would put the shivers down my spine.

No such effect now – but then I am 35 years older.

It was a showery day, with stormy clouds moving quickly across the sky, and I thought it would make for a good long exposure shot with the 10-stopper. When I parked the car, I left Helen inside. Young Connor had just fallen asleep and Helen said I should wander off for a few minutes to get my shot. Well, it was difficult, with telephone wires crossing the road right in front of the structure, and the road passing right by, to find a decent composition. I wandered around and found my inspiration fading away, especially as I got caught in a shower.

I managed to set up shop directly opposite, and under the wires for my long exposure. If I got down low enough, the foreground grass might block out the road. A three-minute exposure later, and the LCD screen told me I might have something to work with.

That shot in the bag, I wandered off with the camera and tripod seeking out some unique viewpoints for straight shots. A small path worn into the grass near the folly itself tempted me into some wide-angle shots with the path as lead-in and the clouds as a backdrop. I quickly got into “excited mode” and rattled off tons of shots from several angles. Just as I thought I was getting a bit “click happy” I went back to the car to find a none too pleased wife telling me that I’d been gone for an hour and twenty minutes. Whoops. But I think the photographic mojo is definitely back.

And I’m not scared of this place any more.

Three Minute Exposure, Dunstall Castle

Dunstall Castle

03 Apr

When that pre-conceived shot doesn’t happen

Having checked the tide times and sunrise time and angle earlier in the week, I thought that the best course of action this weekend would be to head inland to Turf Lock near Exeter. I had a pre-conceived shot in my head of the boats moored near the Turf Lock Hotel reflected in the still waters of the canal against a fiery sunrise sky. The weather forecast was looking touch and go all week, and on Friday night the forecast for Saturday morning looked bad (and that turned out to be a good forecast), with Sunday looking the best bet of the weekend. Come Saturday night the forecast had changed to overcast with the chance of rain so my hopes fell.

However, I woke up on Sunday morning at 5:30 and thought “what the hell”. I got out of bed and headed towards Exeter. Half way there I ran into rain and added “am I doing?” as a suffix to my previous exclamation. However, I persevered and got to Turf lock half an hour before sunrise, found a viewpoint clear of reeds, set up the tripod and waited. There was a clear sky above me and the earlier rain was staying to the North. Maybe I would beRead more

02 Apr

Long exposure at Axmouth

Following the clock change last week, I was really looking forward to getting up this morning for a spot of landscape photography, and I want to make the most of the next few weeks before sunrise gets really early again. I checked the weather forecast and it looked touch and go, but thought I’d get up anyway. So, come 5 o’clock I surfaced to look out of the window. Cloud. A quick check of the forecast again on the web. Cloud, to be followed by rain. Grumpily I went back to bed and dozed until woken by our 2 year old a few hours later.

I had the photography bug and wanted to get it out of my system, so I referred to my list of potential long exposure locations, and chose Axmouth. Having persuaded Helen that a family trip to the seaside was in order, I snuck the camera and tripod into the car boot and off we went.

For the umpteenth time this year I was not alone with my tripod, having to share a spot with the rather talented Mark Voce. However he was not impressed with the conditions and chose not to Read more