Thursday 19 March 2015

Depth of field simulator

I've just found this and started to experiment Looks like to will be very useful in teaching depth of field.

Monday 9 March 2015

Gower coastal photography

The forecast for yesterday was for heavy rain in the morning possibly clearing in the afternoon. Potentially the best forecast a landscape photographer could have! The rain clears the atmosphere of dust letting the winter light penetrate to illuminate the colours in the landscape. I needed to shoot a new cover image for my walking guide to Gower which will be out as a new edition in October. A quick check of the tide times and I was in luck as the low tide was early afternoon and it was a spring meaning a the really low tide would expose more of the beaches.

I impatiently waited for the sky to look a bit more promising from my house window in the Gwendraeth Fach valley and decided at 2pm to give it a go. I headed straight for the car park at Penmaen and from there it is a short walk to one of the best landscape views in the UK of Three Cliffs Bay. The sky had an excellent cloud structure with a "cloud train" running in thr direction with my focal point of the Three Cliffs.

I knew these clouds were not going to last and a couple of hours later, the sky was an uninterrupted blue spelling the end to any landscape photos. The beach was popular that afernoon as many had taken the opportunity to go out for a walk and it was surprisingly busy with horse-riders. All these elements added scale and interest to the scene.

I then walked to the headland to the east of the bay to capture a different angle as the tide turned and rapidly advanced up the beach. The plus side of having a 36MP sensor is that you can readily crop into an image in a number of ways including creating a panoramic image. I can remember the days when only a rich few could afford a 16 x 9 Fuji film camera!

Thursday 5 March 2015

Mountain landscape photography

I ran a one-to-one mountain landscape workshop in Mynydd Du, The Black Mountain, in the Brecon Beacons National Park yesterday. It had snowed on Sunday night and the cold temperatures meant that the tops were still covered. High ground can easily be gained by driving over the mountain road from Brynamman and walking east from the car park to the summit of Foel Fawr.
The forecast was for clear blue skies which would not be good as there would be no interest/structure in the sky. As it turned out, we had the opposite problem as the mountain front to the north was creating a thick cloud bank.
We found some interesting foreground looking over to the Carmarthen Fans and the challenge was to create some sort of order

out of chaos, trying to find an arrangement that would would lead the eye to the mountains beyond. We waited and waited for a break in the clouds to hit the mountain slope in the background which would add depth and interest but we were unlucky on this occasion.
Following to the road to the north and then taking a narrow mountain road leads to some of the best viewpoints for Carreg Cennen Castle.

Advice for a first time exhibitor

I've just been having a discussion with someone who is exhibiting their work for the first time and my first pieces of advice are:

The first reaction people have when they see an image is emotion so I would make sure that all of your selected images are going to evoke a feeling in the viewer.

Secondly, you need to convey your personality in communicating this so it is important that your selected images do not invoke multiple psyches. So, avoid displaying multiple styles. Try and put differing themes on separate walls so that there is a clear distinction where one chapter ends and another begins.

Thirdly, I would select images that the viewer will admire for your photographic skill and creativity i.e. they should not feel "well I could have done that!"