Hello, It’s been a while. Health problems getting in the way and a certain amount of WordPress fatigue to be honest but I thought I’d post a few pictures from a while back. I haven’t been taking as many photographs as I’d like but I’m just back from Fuerteventura and will be posting some of those pictures hopefully over the coming weeks.
I hope you enjoy these photos of the magnificent Cornish coast and the fearless surfers. The waves are always unpredictable as this man found to his cost. At least the surfers are dressed for the waves. Thankfully when I took this picture, I was standing well back with a 24-70 lens.
I’ll be back in Cornwall next month for a fortnight dedicated to photography. I can’t wait.
I’ve seen a fair amount of debate on WordPress about the pros and cons of entering photography competitions. To be fair, it seems to me the majority of posts have been anti. The fear of being judged and found wanting, being a big motivator not to enter. I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s worth giving an entry a go. I’m not a fan of paid entry competitions, I believe these to be money making machines for the organisers but there are a great many free to enter competitions out there. One of them that I entered last year was Weather Photographer of the Year. I was lucky enough to take first place with the picture below. The reason I’m posting it again now is I’m a judge on this years panel and having gone through 3,500 plus photographs, I was only able to choose 30 pictures.
I’ve seen so much better from the photographers on WordPress I follow, and those that I don’t, as I simply don’t have time to follow everyone, so my advice is enter!!. Enter!! Enter!! It’s worth it I assure you. Enter and forget about it, you might just get that email which is what happened to me. I couldn’t even remember the picture I’d entered. The photography in this community that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of for the last 4, nearly 5 years is of an incredibly high standard. I’m just passing on my knowledge of viewing a huge number of pictures recently.
We’ll be going through the shortlist on Friday, I’ve approached the judging firmly as a photographer and looked for photographs I wished I’d taken. I set myself such incredibly high standards and lately I haven’t been able to travel to take the pictures I’d want to post here. I hope my back catelegue stands testament to that. I’m very much looking forward to Friday and seeing what the other judges have brought to the the judging. As well as photographers, the Chief Executive of the Royal Photographic Society for one, there’ll be meteorologists and a TV weatherman, who’ll no doubt have their own individual take on things.
The picture below shows a blizzard approaching a small seaside settlement AND me of course. Driving became extremely difficult when, having got out of the 4×4 to take the picture, the blizzard hit within a few minutes and created complete white out for us. I was quickly to learn why Icelandic roads have yellow markers every 25 yards to help you on your way.
..Otherwise known as Porth Nanven. This is a designated site of Special Scientific Interest because of the prehistoric raised beach that sits above the cove, regularly delivering dinosaur egg sized pebbles down to the beach below. The pebbles are captured in clay, probably a 100 or so feet above the beach. Weathering causes them to be released from where they’ve been held captive in the clay for millennia. These pebbles are prehistoric, evidence of a beach that existed millions of years ago. To contemplate the weather patterns that could create such huge pebbles should probably give us pause for thought. We can understand tides that can turn small rocks into pebbles. What forces must have been in play to create a pebble you couldn’t possibly lift. I’m not so great on my prehistoric geology. I know a man who is but he’s not here right now so I can’t tell you more.
Besides the scientific interest, this is a superb place to take photographs and that’s just what I did but I really didn’t get what I wanted
Instead I’m posting a picture I took last time I was down on that beach. As photographers we’re so dependent on conditions, tides and a ton of other variables. The great Ansel Adams said if you could get 12 pictures a year, you were doing well. I don’t think I’ve quite managed that, not that I’m in any way comparing myself to him, but it’s a reminder that so many factors have to come together to get that memorable photograph. The one that’s really worth something. Worth pondering. It may be a little conceited but I have this one on my wall. It’s Cornwall, it’s the ocean, it’s the beach, all the things I love.
I’ll aim to try and post once a month now. See how we go. Sometimes with photography it’s about putting yourself in the right place and waiting for the right time. Sometimes, lets be honest, it’s pure luck. I’ll not deny I’ve had a few of those. This was one of them. Within seconds of taking this exposure, the whole scene was deluged with incoming sea water and that delicate balance between the fresh water making its way to the sea and the sea water surging forward was gone. Catching the moment is what it’s about.
By the way, I’ve been chosen as one of the judges for this year’s Weather Photographer of the Year competition. I feel quite honoured. It’s going to be an interesting job, trying to pick a winner. :-)
I’ve forgotten how to post. Hi everybody. A slightly forced term of absence due to health issues but I’m getting there. I did get away in February to my favourite island in the sun, Fuerteventura and this is one of the pictures I took whilst I was there. A large torch, and a couple of exposures mixed using masks in Photoshop made the photograph possible. I hope you enjoy.
I will be visiting all your blogs in due course but will be using the reader from now on. My inbox was being inundated with emails every time someone posted and as I always like to comment, the workload overtook me. WordPress and the WordPress community has been so good to me I certainly didn’t want to abandon you guys completely. I’ll do my best to keep up with all your amazing work.
This is a picture was taken at an abandoned village I’ve visited before, La Florida, except this time, I was completely in the dark. Sort of..
Having photographed a ruined, traditionally built Fuerteventuran village at La Florida, I was delighted to find the Ecomuseo La Alcogida. We’d passed through this place many times not realising just how extensive this museum was. A whole village, just like La Florida had been, renovated using the traditional building materials available to the builders just as the village of La Florida would have been constructed. We had traversed the island many times and passed through this museum on numerous occasions. I’m so glad we decided to stop.
Limestone is plentiful on the island of Fuerteventura and was used to build the houses. A lime and sand mortar was used to build and fill the gaps while lime plaster lined the walls inside the homes. Bamboo laid across beams and the covered in mud and straw provided a nearly waterproof roof. Most houses had an oven, built in the same way, attached to the house for baking bread. These ovens and this method of making the daily bread as well perhaps, as making casseroles, still exist, attached to many properties and are still used to this day.
These are simple dwellings with dirt floors but with no need for heating given a very temperate climate all year round, I found the idea of moving into one of these simple houses very attractive. However, I didn’t come across any bathrooms. Certainly no showers in the older properties. I wonder how they managed these particular needs. A dip in the ocean perhaps..? I’m sure I could manage without electricity, not sure I could manage without a toilet and a shower.
Anyway, here are some photographs of what La Florida would once have looked like.
I Was interested to see the same stains down the walls in the refurbished homes as I’d seen in the ruins of La Florida. Clearly on the rare occasions when it rains, the rain finds a way in where the mud roofs meet the walls.
Sometimes it’s just fun to see where things can go with a photograph. This is one of my most sucessful images turned into a jigsaw then blown apart using the 3D tools available within Photoshop to reveal the gem of the photograph, within a globe, and with a photograph of the Milky Way I took behind. I had to photograph my own hand and then isolate it to create the illusion of the hand holding the globe. Why, well why not? For those curious, this is the engine house used in the opening titles to Poldark.
I’m still a landscape photographer at heart and the Fuerteventurian landscape has so much to offer. When clouds hang over the middle of the island and a few drops of rain are perhaps in the offing, not likely but maybe, of course I’m ready with my camera. After a wonderful day on the beach, much needed recharging of the batteries before facing the British Winter, this was the scene as we crossed the island from east to west.
The second picture, taken just a few minutes later as we approached the west coast, is of this wonderful lone palm tree with lava field and mountain beyond. I posted another version taken at dawn that wasn’t quite right. This version was taken from the car as I was whisked by, by my companion, impatient to get home for that late afternoon, holiday gin and tonic. I will definitely try, before I leave, to get the composition I want with the conditions I want but if I don’t, there’s always, hopefully, the next trip. :-)
I’ve written two posts now about the abandoned and ruined buildings to be found on the island of Fuerteventura. I’ve posted a very modern abandoned apartment complex, a much older and rather grand house and now Lal Florida, the oldest of the collection of ruins I’ve come across. Each I believe representing periods of economic hardship over generations.
La Florida is a complete abandoned and ruined village. Found on a very narrow road that links highways FV-30 and FV-511 there’s no way of knowing why the village was abandoned and left to slowly decay or even when that happened, I’ve not been able to find any information.
It was kind of eerie walking around these buildings that were once homes for families displaced. It would be so nice to know where they went, what happened to them. Perhaps it all came down to modern buildings that were much more attractive to move in to. Life in these buildings, even complete, must have been harsh
It’s been extremely difficult to whittle these photographs down to a manageable handful. This village of La Florida was a photographer’s dream.
I’m very grateful to Lynn over at BlueBrightly, who produces the most exquisite posts with beautiful photographs that always have an eye to detail. These last few posts have been a bit of a departure for me and it is Lynn’s work that had inspired me to take this step away from the grand vista that has hitherto, always been my focus and look a little more closely at things within the landscape rather than just the landscape itself.
All the images I’ve taken before have featured graffiti. There was no graffiti in the village of La Florida except in the final building I entered and it consisted of a perfect blue circle. I have absolutely no idea of it’s significance but with the shadows and the colour, it was every bit as much a piece of art as that that I’d encountered previously.
What a view these people had from their homes once upon a time though..
I hope you enjoy these images.. :-)
I mentioned a little while ago that I’d been shortlisted in the Weather Photographer of the year competition.
The organisers, the Royal Meteorological Society and the Royal Photographic Society received over 2000 entries from 60 countries for this year’s competition.
Quite bizarrely, whilst not taking the overall title, I came in first place. This is a link to the results – https://www.rmets.org/weather-photographer-year-2017-winners-announced
I wish I’d been able to attend the awards ceremony in London last night, that would have been my first. I’d have been worrying about just how happy I could look for the winners, certainly not expecting I’d have been one of them. However, I’m honestly very happy to be here in Fuerteventura, exploring a whole new angle to my photography. I’ve another post to follow about ruined and decaying buildings very soon.
I got a Google alert on the beach today (great to have 4G while lying in the sun) to say that I’d appeared on the BBC News website. Certainly not something I thought would ever happen.
Here’s the picture, once again, that got me first place..
I mentioned in my last post that there was clear evidence of periods of economic hardship on the island of Fuerteventura over generations. This building I think is evidence of the latest.
Sitting on a roundabout just outside Correlejo in the north of the island just a couple of hundred yards from the sea, I found this abandoned apartment complex. I imagine the project was abandoned post the 2008 financial crisis but I can’t be sure.
No doubt in the UK, and I expect in many other countries, such a building would be surrounded by security fencing with ‘Warning Keep Out’ signs and probably a picture of a German Shepherd dog or two about the place. But, luckily for me, the graffiti artists and the Ashram Yoga people, this building isn’t. Nor incidentally are the many others I have spotted around the island for future photography.
I mention the Ashram Yoga people as they appear to be squatting in the building. I’m glad to see that it’s being used at least on some level. The people there have built a little ‘garden’ and with the toys scattered around it, there are clearly children here. Whether they are just using the building during the day or living there, I couldn’t ascertain. I didn’t want to go prying and left that part of the building largely unexplored.
Perhaps if I go back, I’ll ask some questions. I’m sure I heard hens clucking away in one of the rooms in this part of the building, cut off to prying eyes with makeshift hessian sheets. Perhaps if I go back, I’ll make a documentary photographer yet.
One thing to note about taking these types of photographs, one needs a wide angle lens. I’ve been using my Sony A7R with a 24-70mm lens. Although at 24mm, this isn’t as wide as my Nikon 14-24mm can give, one still gets distortion that cannot be corrected with lens correction in Lightroom alone.
The answer is to take the photograph into photoshop, select it and then under the Edit tab, select ‘Distort’ You can then pull out the handles from the selection and correct the wonky pillars and the buildings appearing to head uphill where no hill exists. I did do a tutorial on this some time back. This is the link to a post entitled ‘Converging Verticals’. https://cornwallphotographic.com/2014/04/07/converging-verticals/
I hope you enjoy this particular set of images. These were tricky images to take, the interior ones at least. I didn’t have a tripod and even with the very light Sony, these days I need a shutter speed of 200 at least to get a sharp image and in low light, that’s not easy, but they came out OK.
Buildings photographed within this wonderful landscape (I am predominantly a landscape photographer after all) will follow. This particular building though just kept on giving. It’s difficult to take in the waste. Who lost money? Pension funds that invested? Pension funds funded by people like you and me? I can’t say but I can take a pretty good guess.. :-)
Austerity was introduced in the UK by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, following the 2008 financial crisis. It basically means that the least well off in society pay, and are still paying, for the greed of the richest that led to the crisis in the first place. Oops mustn’t get political again. :-/
Here in Fuerteventura, there is evidence of austerity through many decades from humble one room dwellings, part of an entire abandoned village, to once grand houses, reduced to rubble along with modern apartment complexes left skeletal and unfinished presumably post 2008. I’ll get to those. Clearly here, it’s not just the poor that have suffered from harsh economic times.
You can guess my next project. I’ve set about, in between enjoying the beach and the fine restaurants, to document this in a photo essay and articles to be produced when I get home.
Here’s just a taste of what I’ve found in a few days. I hope you enjoy the photographs.. :-)
it was a little bit political and that’s not what this blog is about so I removed the post. Thank you to those who commented. I hope you received my replies before I removed the post. My heart really does go out to all those affected by these terrible storms and I hope relief comes quickly to those that need it.
I’m in Fuerteventura enjoying very stable, very convivial weather. Thirty degrees with a nice breeze and the sun shining. Just what I need.
Having just finished one project, met the deadline and thinking I’m on holiday, I find myself on an island that immediately demands that I start a new project so it’s not going to be all play. I’m going to be working too but as I love what I do, that’s no hardship.
I’ve posted below a photograph I took at dawn this morning from the window of my car with my phone. I will be going back. I’ve also posted below the image I posted the other day. The lady with the child on a bicycle just happened along and added just what I needed to the photograph. I hope you enjoy the photos. I’ll endeavour to ignore the news and immerse myself in the Canary Island experience which I can recommend to anyone..
It has been the most unbelievably busy year. I have been working on a project that is about to come to fruition but will keep under my hat for now. I’ve also had two new book covers since I last posted and been shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibition as well as Weather Photographer of the Year, a competition organised by the Royal Meteorological Society in associating with the RPS. Both competitions feature photography from around the world.
I’ve been very lucky, anyone who follows this blog will know that I have been able to travel to Iceland a few times, a place where a lot of weather happens so you can guess where my shortlisted photograph was taken. This has all involved a lot of work organsing prints, profiles and narrative to accompany the photographs as well as work on my project.
Though a bit of a ghost in the blogosphere over the last year, I am still here, still dipping into blogs and though not as actively engaged, I have been enjoying all the posts that I’ve been following through my reader. At the end of the project, end of August, I will be away, recuperating for a few weeks and then will be back, I hope, to being a more active member of this amazing community. Thank you for your patience. I wouldn’t be so busy if it wasn’t for all those on WordPress who have been so supportive over the last four years.
For all those suffering the heat of the summer, I hope these pictures can cool you down a little. For my friends in the southern hemisphere, it could be colder.. ;-)
Below is my shortlisted picture for Weather Photographer of the Year, I’ve added a couple of others. Some of you may have seen this image before. Just one of those shots taken when you find yourself in the right place at the right time and you happen to have your camera with you.
You can see all the images shortlisted in this years competition by following this link. Amazing photography. Well worth clicking the link. Not sure what I’m doing there but I am looking forward to the awards ceremony where I’ll get to meet some of these amazing photographers. The winner will be announced at the ceremony.
But we live with evil amongst us. The news from Manchester over night has left us all so shocked. That those that seek to hijack our way of life and terrorise us should choose such a soft target, chilldren and young teenagers enjoying a concert, I’m beyond words.
The way people reacted to this atrocity: people forming lines to ensure disabled people in wheelchairs were able to exit the venue amidst the panic, people who were genuinely fearing for their lives and whose first instinct must have been to run did not; those that stopped to pick up people who fell, fighting the tide of panicked people rushing for the exits, making space and carrying them out; the taxi drivers, turning off their meters to ferry people away to re-unite them with their loved ones; the restaurants and hotels offering shelter, food and support to those affected and a million and one other kindnesses, make us realise that goodness prevails and will always prevail.
This evil was met instantly with love and solidarity. Ordinary people of all faiths and those with none, interrupting their lives, rushing to help in any way they could. This is what we must take from this. Good people, the vast majority of the people inhabiting this planet will stand together against this evil.
To all those affected by this terrible event, who have witnessed the darkness first hand, I hope that you can find your way back, though good knows how, to re-connect with the beauty of our planet and heal. All right minded people across the world, our thoughts are with you.
I’ve been revisiting Iceland recently. Not physically, sadly, but through the photographs I took in the years before the island became quite so swamped with tourists. I was a tourist myself of course but I enjoyed being in the minority, not the majority. Now tourists outnumber the Icelandic people themselves.
I was lucky to visit Iceland when I did. I made some good friends who have seen their home transformed since the financial crash and banking crisis of 2008. I can understand why the Icelandic government took the route they did but of course politicians rarely experience the outcome of their actions. They are far removed from the lives of the ordinary citizen.
Some in Iceland are of course making a lot of money out of tourism, taxes are boosting the economy, but for a lot of people, finding a home is becoming difficult because it’s more lucrative to rent to tourists than to the indigenous population and with thousands of people trekking and driving off road, not respecting the incredibly delicate ecosystem that exists on such a young island, well this makes me very sad. I look back at these photographs with pleasure that I was there in the wilderness alone, and sadness that I’m not likely to ever be able to experience the same again..
I must first apologise to all my blogging friends for being absent so long. As I’ve been reminded by fellow bloggers, life happens and sometimes we just need to take a break. I’ve just returned from an extended trip to Fuerteventura where to be honest, photography has taken a back seat and instead I’ve been simply taking care of myself. Primary Progressive MS can be a difficult condition to manage and some recent events have taken their toll. I’m lucky to be able to get away.
However, photography never takes an entirely back seat and whilst I was in Fuerteventura, I had this idea for a shot. A traditional Canary Island windmill, taken at night, with the Milky Way lighting up the background. Unfortunately, dark skies are really hard to find and mostly what I found, lighting up the sky, was the ubiquitous sodium lighting that the world seems to depend on so much.
Coming from one small island (the UK) where it’s impossible to find a dark sky to another even smaller island (Fuerteventura) where it is also impossible to find a dark sky, I’ve decided I really must travel to an area like the Arizona dessert or the wilds of Africa to truly appreciate the night sky. Until that happens, my attempts to photograph the Milky Way are always going to be dominated by this horrible orange cast on some level so I’ll shelve this idea until I can travel somewhere that will let me truly appreciate the stars and get back to the business of taking photographs in daylight.
I’ll be working hard in the coming weeks to get back on top of my blogging. In the meantime, here’s the best I could do with the image I had in my mind when I set out at 4 in the morning to a windmill that had sadly lost its sails in a storm. I was present when the last sail was broken and tossed aside by a gale that was blowing sand and dust every which way and buffeting the car in a rather alarming manner. It reminded me of Iceland albeit the wind was a good deal warmer.
Hello, It’s now 4 years since I started writing this blog. When I picked up the camera again after many years of absence I was encouraged by a friend, Marina Chetna, to start getting my photography out there and that is what I did. I created a WordPress account.
The response to the work I have posted over the last four years has been humbling, the encouragement from fellow bloggers incredible. I’ve come a long way. I don’t want to turn this into a boast post, that’s not what I’m about but I’ve just been invited to write for Outdoor Photography, a leading landscape photography magazine in the UK, I have a piece that will be published in the March edition. That has been rather special, along with the invitation to submit a book proposal, the Icelandic landscape in Winter. Like I say, I’ve come a long way from taking a few landscape photographs when I could get out, in and around Cornwall to traveling overseas to places I wouldn’t have dreamed of visiting. None of this would have been possible without the support of all of you.
I’m not a confident person. I never have been. The continued support and encouragement, the comments, the very real friendship and appreciation from those enjoying my photography has allowed me to peek my head above a parapet I might never have dared to even approach and the results have been incredible. Thank you so much for that.
I thought very hard about the picture I might post. There have quite a few over the last four years but for me, the photograph below came out on top. My love of Iceland is known to many of you. This country in winter is incredible. It’s hard, it’s difficult but if you persevere as a photographer, the rewards are amazing.
This photograph was taken after traveling several miles from Vik in the most horrendous driving conditions possible. The snow ploughs were working at full stretch. Turning off the main Route One, we followed a road that had snow drifts so deep we were not at all sure we’d get through. We did.
Setting up on the beach I thought this is absolutely crazy, the snow was falling so heavily, visibility was nil but then, just for an instant, the snow cleared and I could see exactly why I was there. Capturing this scene with that single bird putting in an appearance was an absolute gift. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. This was an occasion when it most certainly did.
Perhaps not the most seasonal of images for many but the reality of the weather at time in the UK now is for rather warm, often wet, conditions so I’ve avoided posting a snowy picture from Iceland and instead, decided to post this picture, taken at Priest’s Cove in Cornwall very close to Lands End, the most south-westerly point in the UK, a few days ago. It looks like Christmas Day is set to reach a record high, temperature wise this year so perhaps the Christmas Card industry, at least in the UK will have to start to re-thinking their snowy Christmas cards.
I’d like to wish all the followers of my blog a Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (as I understand the two celebrations coincide this year) and to season’s greetings, happy holidays to everyone else, however and whatever you celebrate.
It’s been a turbulent year on so many levels around the world so lets hope for better in 2017. That will certainly be my Christmas wish.
Catch up in the New Year. All the very best. Adrian :-)
On my recent visit to Fuerteventura, out of the 23 days we were there, we had two really quite stormy days and rather than spend my time, as so many visitors appeared to be doing, wandering around shopping malls looking thoroughly miserable, of course for me as a photographer, this was an opportunity. I grabbed my camera and headed off into the mountains but not before catching one last photo of the sunshine on the beach before the clouds finally took over completely.
If you look closely, down in the bottom left, you can just see a tiny red flag on the beach indicating it was no longer safe to swim on what is normally a very safe beach indeed. Stormy weather indeed!
Such a wonderful backdrop to this tiny village in the heartland of Fuerteventura. This extinct volcano, its caldera so clearly defined
What was wonderful to see after the rain, just a couple of days remember, was the scrub and even the sand come alive with green plants and fresh green shoots. It was as if spring had arrived in the island though of course it was autumn.
Fuerteventura is a wonderful place to visit and I can recommend it to anyone. For me, in the off season, this is the very best time to visit even though you can’t be guaranteed that every day will be clear blue skies, that’s perfect for me and my camera.
Whilst I’m busy sorting my photographs from Fuerteventura and the photographs I took this morning when I made a trip with my good friend and fellow blogger Poppy to capture the sunrise, I thought I’d write this quick article that I hope some of you will find useful.
With modern digital cameras, we tend to take focus as a given. We all have auto focus so why would we ever resort to manual focus? There are times however, particularly with landscape photography, when auto focus can let us down and to get optimum results, we do need to think about manual focus if this is an option with a particular lens.
When taking landscape photographs, we’re usually looking for maximum depth of field. We want our pictures to be sharp from front to back. Using auto focus, if we focus on our foreground interest, there’s a good chance that whatever our background might be is going to be soft. Similarly, if we auto focus on whatever is in the distance, our foreground interest is going to be soft.
To get over this, we might resort to focusing at the hyperfocal distance using an app on our phones to determine where that is but again, there’s a good chance this won’t actually give you the best result. Hyperfocal Distance Focusing is great for producing column inches in photography magazines but not much else in my experience. The hyperfocal distance will give you a theoretical optimal point but in all probability, your photograph will not be as sharp as it could be. The optical physics maybe spot on but I have never managed a good sharp result using this method and boy did I try.
As a rule of thumb, if we auto focus approximately one third into a scene, we’re going to get a sharp picture with good depth of field but where exactly is one third into a scene? This can be a little difficult to determine. This is where a bit of experimentation comes in as every lens has a sweet spot. A spot on the focus ring where you’re going to get optimum focus from the front of your picture to the very back. An hour or two spent in the garden determining the sweet spot on your particular lens can be time very well spent. Particularly when it comes to long exposures at night where there’s a good chance there’s not going to be an option to auto focus on anything anyway.
I’m lucky enough to own an AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 lens. It’s a beauty but when I first bought the lens and started using auto focus, I wasn’t particularly happy with the results I was getting. So, I got an app for my phone having read various articles on hyperfocal distance focusing but I was still not happy with the results I was getting. I knew this lens to be an exceptional one so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I solved the issue by going out into the garden with tripod and laptop nearby and started to experiment. After a little, well actually a lot, of trial and error, I found the sweet spot on the lens where everything, front to back was sharp. I never auto focus with this lens now. I don’t focus at the hyperfocal distance. I manually set the focus ring to my sweet spot and it works everytime. Here it is, conveniently right on the right edge of the infinity symbol so I didn’t have to mark my lens in any way..
Now, even if I go out in the dead of night to photograph the Milky Way for example, I don’t need to worry about trying to auto focus my lens maybe using a torch to illuminate a distant object to get a focus point. I just set my lens to the sweet spot and I know I’m going to get a good result. An hour or two spent experimenting with your particular lens, really getting to know it, can save an awful lot of hassle whenever you go out to take pictures.
To prove my point, here’s one of the pictures I took this morning, up on the Malvern Hills just before the sun rose. As you’ll see from the very tight crop below particularly, the bench and the buildings way below the hills and the trees in the distance are all in perfect focus. You can even read the dedication on the bench, ‘In memory of John Alfred Knight who with his wife Maureen and family, loved these hills’. The combination of the Nikon D800e and this amazing lens really do create images with the most incredible detail.
And here’s a picture taken just as the sun rose above the horizon bathing everything in golden light. It was about minus 3°C up on the hills this morning. A little different to Fuerteventura to say the very least. I had to get up at 4 to make it to this point in my wheelchair by first light but I think it was worth it.. :-)
And as you can imagine, missing Fuerteventura very much. I’ve attached a few pictures. This was my home for the last three and a half weeks, the squat white apartment bulding up in the dunes on the far left. There were 4 apartments in this building, all with terraces and fine views. Leaving Fuerteventura Airport with the temperatures hitting 27°C, arriving at Bristol Airport to temperatures of -3°, the shock to the system was considerable.
Staying on the Playa de Sotovento de Jandia at Risco el Passo, has been a real pleasure. This beach stretches for miles and miles and has to be one of the top beaches in the world. It is relatively sheltered here from the strong winds that tend to blow in the Canary Islands, however a very refreshing breeze is the norm keeping the temperatures for me off-season, quite bearable.
But, I’m back now and lots to get on with not least catching up with all of you which I’ll be doing in the coming days. Thank you for your patience. I didn’t think I could manage a day without the Internet let alone 3 weeks and more but it’s been a very refreshing change and one I can recommend every now and then. That said, coming home to nearly 1000 emails in my inbox means there’s a fair amount of catching up to do.
I didn’t do a whole lot of photography, I was needing a bit of a break for reasons I’m hopefully going to be sharing with you all very soon. However, when we had a couple of stormy days, I couldn’t resist getting up into the mountains with my camera! Those pictures will follow.. :-)
I’ve just arrived in Fuerteventura. I’ll be here for the next the weeks enjoying the sunshine and the wonderful sandy beaches. In staying in a villa just yards from Sotovento beach, a few miles south of Costa Calma. It’s heaven.
We’ve no WiFi here so I’m going to be out of touch for a little while. I’ll hope to catch up with you all on my return.
I’m Publishing this post from my smart phone, not something I’ve done before and it’s not going smoothly to say the least but fingers crossed.
See you all soon..
..you get that email that tells you one of your images has been chosen or shortlisted for one thing or another. It’s not what we set out to do as photographers. The images we take are all that matters but when those images are recognised and validated by judges of competitions, it feels good.
I heard this afternoon that one of my images, that shown below, has been shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society membership card competition. There are some great images in the shortlist but if you like my photograph, well, your vote would be much appreciated. You don’t have to be a member of the Royal Photographic Society to do this. Simply follow this link and leave your email address. You won’t be spammed I promise..
Here’s my image. Taken in Iceland last winter. The Wizard’s Hat has become one of those iconic Iceland images. I was very lucky with the weather and the light the day I was there to capture my own take on this iconic landmark.
I was informed today of another two book covers I can add to my name. One of the books is La Tour de Malvent by Gilbert Bordes. The cover can be seen below. This cover is taken from a photograph I took of Roche Rock (A print of which hangs in my hall) taken a mile from my then home in Cornwall. This hermitage and chapel dates back to the 12th century and was used as a location in the Hollywood Film, Omen III – The Final Conflict. It’s an interesting place to visit and has a lot of history and folklore surrounding it. Having been there before first light for a dawn shoot, I can testify it’s not somewhere you really want to visit, in the dark, on your own. The imagination really does start to do overtime. :-)
The other, Ildarnet by S. K. Tremayne is to be published in Denmark and I do not have a copy of that cover yet. However, it is the same image that was used for my first ever book cover. The photograph, one of my favourites of all time, I’ve included below. This picture has been incredibly good to me. Regular followers of my blog will have seen it quite a few times now. This was one of the first pictures I took when I picked up a digital camera for the first time, just under four years ago.
The picture happened. It was a cold, grey, miserable day in December and for those of you who know Cornwall, you’ll know just how miserable that can be. However, I’d ordered myself a Christmas present from Amazon. I had my shiny new Nikon D7000 and I was going to get out there and take pictures regardless of the weather..
As it turned out, I was in the right place at the right time. The conditions, that on the face of it were not particularly promising, proved to be perfect. As I was setting up my tripod on the sand, a shaft of sunlight broke through the heavy cloud, hit the engine house and I had my picture. I’ve been chasing such conditions ever since. This is why it’s so important to just get out there and take pictures. The more pictures you take the better. You just never know when you’re going to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special image.
If you’re considering joining an agency to make your pictures available for things like book covers, check the small print. Make sure that you know what you’re signing up for and what rights you might be signing away.