Landscape Photography Vlogs

Handheld vs Tripod Panoramas

I wake up on the top of a mountain ready to capture the sunrise in this landscape photography vlog. We also compare two ways to capture your panoramic photographs, handheld or with a tripod.

Landscape Photography Workshops - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/workshops

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Wild camping and landscape photography are married and there is no better way to capture a sunrise than waking up on a mountain in the Lake District. The peace, harmony and wellbeing felt from an experience like that is second to none. Not to mention a brilliant opportunity to capture some stunning photographs.

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This includes some panoramic photography, or panorama photography. I have talked recently about doing handheld landscapes, particularly panoramas so I wanted to test out which was better; handheld or with a tripod. I took two series of images of the same scene and then combined them both into a panorama using Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom has a feature called boundary warp that pulls the edges of a panorama to fill in any blanks created whilst merging the individual images. It is very powerful and does a great job, especially with landscape images when there are not many straight lines.

In the video my handheld panorama is shot pretty irrationally, but with a combination of boundary warp and cropping, the final image looks virtually identical to the more ‘text book’ tripod shot.

Using a tripod is still the best way for overall quality. It is a faff though and more difficult to do, which includes have a very level tripod. Handheld panoramas are fast to shoot and the results are almost as good. The upside is that you will almost certainly create more images using the handheld method, where in the past you might not have bothered to get the tripod out.

Landscape Photography | Wild Camping in the Lake District

I meet up with Gary Gough to climb to the top of a mountain and do some wild camping in this landscape photography vlog.

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Having a day out shooting landscape photography is good for the soul and almost always improves  your wellbeing, especially in the Lake District. Going out alone is great. More recently though I have found I can get a new sense of perspective when taking photographs with a friend. That’s exactly what Gary Gough and I did today. 

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The Lake District is an incredible place to take photographs. Sunsets are not always easy though because as the sun sets, the mountains cast very large shadows over the landscape and unless you’re up high, it’s going to be a struggle. Being up high at sunset though means you’re in for a dark and lonely walk down. Unless you wild camp that is. Wild camping is not strictly allowed in the Lake District but it’s a fairly common practice and will not upset anyone if you are respectful. Eg don’t light a fire, take all rubbish away, set up late and leave early etc. Obvious things. 

Once you are set though we are rewarded with the ability to capture a sunset, and the following sunrise with relative ease. If the weather is good, it will be something special when waking up to a mountain vista with no one else around. Magical.

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In this video Gary and I hiked to the to the top of Great End where we spent the night. The conditions were amazing and the view is undoubtedly one of the finest in the UK. Despite this the Photography conditions were challenging because a mist in the air was catching all the light and removing all the detail from the shadow areas. However once the sun started to dip behind the cloud I managed to get a few images.

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My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Landscape Photography | Being creative with camera settings

Take your landscape photographs to another level by employing creative camera settings to match the vision of the stunning scene in front of you. I head to the Lake District in this landscape photography vlog. 

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One thing I often find when running workshops is people are looking to be more confident with their camera. This comes from from having total understanding of the exposure triangle and the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It’s an important step in any photographers journey but once mastered, the camera becomes an extension of your body and an intuitive tool to create your art.

Conquering the camera settings - https://youtu.be/0uhG0HvjXGw

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO can all be used creatively to make the image match the artistic vision in the mind.

In landscape photography standard settings are to have an aperture between f/8 and f/16. We generally look to maximise the sharpness of the lens and also have the whole scene in focus. ISO will almost always be 100 to keep noise as low as possible and then we adjust the shutter speed to get the exposure nicely balanced. However these settings can be adjusted away from this norm to unlock creativity.

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Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is when we extend the shutter speed to capture an illusion of movement in the image. Clouds become soft and streaky, water is smoothed out and light is captured at all points as it moves through the scene. The ethereal feel it can create is infectious and addictive. With the addition of ND filters the shutter speed can be extended to several minutes creating interesting and unique images.

Long Exposure tutorial - https://youtu.be/vKAu0IluyR4

ISO above 100

The reasons to increase ISO above 100 is the same with landscapes as it is with any other area of photography. It allow us to maintain or increase the shutter speed at a given aperture. We might want to do this for several reasons but one example is to allow us to shoot handheld landscapes. There is a lot to be said for taking handheld landscape even though a tripod is a staple of any landscape photographer. You catch more moments, photograph things you might not bother getting a tripod out for and it can create a really nice overall documentary of the day if the camera is always in hand.

Langdales.jpg

Another reason you might increase the ISO is reduce the amount of movement in the scene. IN the video I wanted movement in the water but not in the clouds. I knew a 2 second exposure was what I needed and an aperture of f16 was required for the depth of field. The addition of a 6 stop ND and ISO 500 achieved the exact shot I wanted. It can be used similarly to reduce the movement in grasses are shrubbery that is blowing around in the wind.

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Aperture

The main creative use of aperture is to control the depth of field. A nice shallow depth of field can take a portrait to the next level. It is not used very often in landscape photography although there is no reason why it should not be. With woodland photography it is often important to isolate a specific tree. Using a bigger aperture to blow out the background really helps to achieve this.

Aperture can also be used to help bump up the exposure time. If moving from f/8 to f/16 has little effect on the depth of field in your images it can be useful in reducing the light coming in meaning we can extend shutter speeds to increase exposure time. This is a good tactic when shooting the light trails from cars at night and means an ND filter is not required.

Overall it is about deciding first how you want the image to appear. This is often called visualisation and includes your feelings towards a scene as well as what is physically seen. It is then just a matter of using the camera settings to your benefit to make the image match your artistic vision.

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I took some really average pictures | Landscape Photography Vlog

We all have bad days with landscape photography. Compositions aren’t right, the light doesn’t play ball and we make mistakes. I travel all the way to Wast Water in the Lake District to have a day just like this.

Landscape Photography is like golf. It is a detailed past time full of intricacy, fun, exercise and constant frustration. You do something that feels right but then the ball slices off a million miles to the right. You work hard and you get better and better but it never feels like you have mastered it. Frustration and annoyance come almost as often as total satisfaction. The thing is, we keep coming back for more.

At the start of this day I was cosy in my office and did not want to leave. The weather was poor, I was warm and the motivation to get outdoors to take some photographs was pretty low. Thankfully I managed to get myself out and drove the 3.5 hours to Wast Water in the Lake District. However, when I got there I was tired from the drive and the stresses of living with children who do not sleep. The weather was also very grey. The cold grey weather is seriously getting me down, especially as we now near May.

The day consisted of me struggling with composition, feeling disconnected from the images and the landscape and generally not performing to my usual standards. I think you can see this in the video. I still climbed up a mountain and the views were great. I got the usual boost to my wellbeing but when I got home I was bitterly disappointed with the two images I captured. It still produced an interesting video, giving some insight into when it goes wrong for a photographer. Landscape photography is a wave of ups and downs. I need to get up again asap. A period of nice sunny weather, with beautiful sunsets, will seriously help me.

Panoramic Landscape Photography with the Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II lens

The Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II tilt shift lens can be used to capture some stunning panoramas free from distortion. I travel to the LakeDistrict again to put it to good use in this landscape photography vlog. 

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Last week I used the Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II lens in London to capture some cityscape images free from distortion. The tilt shift lens can also be used to capture some beautiful panoramas free from the normal distortion created when you rotate a lens around a fixed axis (ie on your tripod). This is achieved simply by using the shift function. By shifting the lens left to right you can capture five overlapping images that stitch together in Lightroom absolutely perfectly. We get used to looking at panoramas and we get used to the distortion, sometimes it even benefits the image. However when you see a panorama shot with a tilt shift lens they have an extra element of quality. Even a feeling that you are standing in the scene yourself.

Panorama Photography

I am a very big fan of panorama photography. They are big and impressive and the files generated in Lightroom are large and detailed. There is a problem though. They do not share well on screen; and therefore on social media. To get the whole width of the image in, the height has to be reduced and you end up with the image looking much smaller than a normal 3x2 or 16x9. Screens are not designed to display panoramas. The only way to truly appreciate them is to print them and see them in person. When printing landscape photography, I am a true believer in bigger is better.

Winter in the Lake District

For the shoot I managed to get up early again and head over to the Lake District for what turned out to be an absolutely stunning morning.I wanted a more accessible day with locations close to the car so picked out spots at Tewet Tarn, Castlerigg Stone Circle and Bassenthwaite Lake. I have been asked a few time now to provide a guide and GPS details for the locations and vlogs I have done. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in. It will take a lot of work, so I will not be able to offer it for free, but I was thinking somewhere in the region of £5 per guide. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

An Early Rise and Natural Highs

I travel to Blea Tarn to capture a magnificent sunrise and make the most of the stunning Lake District morning, with a short mountain hike, in this landscape photography vlog. 

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More than before

Over the past two years I have shot a lot of landscape photography, more than ever before in a short space of time. I recently printed out a 4x6 print of one image from each of the vlogs I have shot this year. It filled my wall and it is a body of work I am extremely proud of, especially with a film to accompany each one. I have learned a lot and it has been a thrilling experience.

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Landscape photography wellbeing

One of the biggest things that has struck me is the enormous sense of wellbeing that is generated when I go out shooting. This week was a particular example of that. I spent Thursday in the Lake District running a workshop and did not get back to my hotel until about 8pm. I was joined laterby my good friend and photographer Lyle McCalmont. We enjoyed a well earned couple of drinks before heading to bed. There was little rest though. We were up again for 5am to get over to Blea Tarn for some sunrise photography. When I arrived I was feeling a bit low. Tired, frustrated by the drive and not particularly ready for it. Even when the incredible pink sky appeared above Blea Tarn and the distant Langdale Pikes I felt underwhelmed even as other photographers who were present were whooping and cracking out high fives.

Blea Tarn, Lake District, UK

Blea Tarn, Lake District, UK

More than the art

For me it has become about so much more than the simple art of capturing an image. The morning progressed and we hiked up a small mountain as the rising sun began to lash the crags around us. We had fun getting a couple more images before nailing some footage for the video. We eventually made it to the top for the breathtaking 360 degree views. The feeling of elation and joy was palpable. The exercise, the effort, the hard work and the challenge are all part of what provide the sense of achievement and wellbeing. 

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Well earned memories

Part of the drive is to produce images that others don't have. The Blea Tarn shot, whilst a perfectly good shot, felt too easy. The spot was about 1 minute walk from the car and the other photographers present were all capturing very similar images. Hiking up immediately puts you in territory that most people are not willing to venture into. It creates a much better opportunity for finding unique and interesting compositions. I do not purposely try to make things more difficult but the lasting memories and feeling of success is much greater when I have had to work for it.

Isle of Mull

Isle of Mull

The next chapter

Looking at my wall of 4x6 images now, brings back rich and vivid memories of each experience. There is a story behind each one that makes me feel happy and proud every time I look at them. I can not wait to create the next one.

Rise Above it for a New Perspective - Landscape Photography Vlog

A Blencathra Adventure

This week I climb the mighty mountain of Blencathra in the Lake District. A tough but rewarding climb followed by an interesting sunset in this landscape photography vlog.

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Despite my numerous visits to the Lake District in the past I have never climbed Blencathra. It sits proudly on the North Eastern edge of the Lakes like a mighty gate-keeper. There are numerous ways to summit the mountain. I choose the hardest path aiming to capture the drama of this mountain.

Beautful Weather, Tricky for Photography

The weather was absolutely beautiful and hot, making the climb difficult and the photography conditions even harder. Capturing great landscape photography in conditions where there is nothing but blue skies is tough. Faced with harsh light and huge contrast, it’s important to get in the right spot and think creatively. This is where black and white photography can be very effective, especially when you work a composition that is full of interesting tones. 

Shooting in Company

Recently I have been fully enjoying creating the films in company with a friend. Today I headed out with my friend Paddy who is an experienced walker and explorer. He also has a van called Christopher and he has recently launched a new Instagram account to chronicle his adventures. See the link above.

The Sunset Moment 

At the end of the day we headed down the mountain for a sunset shot. We made it with minutes to spare just as the sun dipped behind the mountains. I had picked out a little spot by a small body of water called Tewet Tarn. The area was thick with midges and, whilst I would normally avoid this, today I had no choice. I wanted the shot. In the end I captured an image to finish off the story of my day and Blencathra. A fire had also been raging during out decent. The smoke filled the Derwent valley and created some interest in the sky that made for a decent time lapse at the end. All in all, a great day of landscape photography.

Two Landscape Photographers are Better than One

A landscape photography YouTube collaboration

I travel to the Lake District to take a special guest up a mountain in this landscape photography vlog collaboration. 

Watch Andrew’s video - https://youtu.be/MaUq0XKfonM

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Shooting landscape photography often attracts the kind of person who is not afraid to be alone. Solitude is embraced and a sense of wellbeing arises from the time to ponder, to reflect and to review your current situation in life. Positive as this is, loneliness can easily sneak up on you so it's important to share your passion and talk about what you love. There is no better way to so thisthan to head out on a photography trip with friends or like minded people. It is one of life's true pleasures. Heading out on a shoot with other people is very beneficial. You can learn from each other, see how others work and talk about landscape photography all day long. Your skills will definitely improve. 

Reaching out

With this in mind I had wanted to do a YouTube collaboration for a while. I had been reaching out to numerous different people to try and make things happen (some will still happen) but arranging a get together is easier said than done. So when Andrew Marr contacted me saying he was heading over to the UK I knew something had to happen. Andrew is a talented landscape photographer from Australia and has been creating photography vlogs for nearly a year. His calming presence and thoughtful compositions have earned him a loyal following from around the world. We quickly realised our schedules were going to match nicely so we took the opportunity to meet up and go on a shoot together.

The Aussie connection

The day was absolutely brilliant and we spent the entire time talking landscape photography, YouTube, a bit of cricket and getting to know each other. It was a truly rewarding experience and I hope to repeat it soon. Both with other YouTubers and landscape photographers but also to make the return journey to Australia at some point. I would love to capture some sunset photography on those amazing Australian beaches. 

Please let me know if you would like to see me do any further collaborations. Tell me who, but maybe more importantly, tell them as well.

Mountain Views and Getting Back to Basics - Landscape Photography Vlog

Back to Basics

Stunning sunset photography, mountain views, and a visit to the Lake District all feature in this landscape photography vlog that sees me get back to basics.

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In this Landscape photography vlog I recover from the recent challenges and get back to basics with a trip to the English Lake District. I climb a mountain, live in hope of the right weather and capture some stunning sunset photography. 

Special Landscape Photography Days

Days when you capture your best landscape photography are rare. It provides frustrations and anguish on a regular basis but when things go right, it is very very special. You have the composition, the light comes good and you shoot an image to be proud of. It is because this does not happen every day that it becomes so special. All the struggles and learning suddenly become worth it.

Long Spring Evenings

Making the most of the longer Spring days I headed across to the Lake District late in the day to climb Wall Crag overlooking Derwent Water. What a landscape photography tutorial often ignores is that climbing up mountains and hills is not easy for many people. I am included in this at the moment due to dreadful fitness. I stated a long time ago that I would address this problem. I haven't yet. I must.

Stunning Mountain View

When i made to the top I was welcomed with a stunning view. I played around with several compositions and settled on one that included some of the crag in foreground. One of my favourite landscape photography techniques is to use bracketing instead of ND grad filters. I prefer this for a number of reasons, and will be making a video about this soon, but it ensures I don't miss the big sunset moment.

It turned into an incredible day with a feeling of wellbeing that is difficult to match. I also captured an image I am proud of. Hit the link above to buy a limited edition print of the work.

First Man Photography Vlogs

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

Landscape Photography Vlog - The wind tried to blow me off the mountain

A landscape photography vlog in the Lake District

In this landscape photography video blog I face some brutal weather conditions where the wind literally tried to blow me off the mountain.

Landscape Photography requires dedication and often a little bit of resilience in the face of bad weather. Often, following a bout with the elements, the conditions will open up and reveal an amazing photo opportunity at the end of the day. Pushing through the bad conditions would put most people off but for those willing to persevere, the rewards can be great. They can also result in a wasted, or less than successful day.

Safety

Clearly capturing landscape photography like this must be done carefully, bearing in mind the dangers presented by mountainous regions. Having the right gear like walking boots, waterproof clothing and a first aid kit is a must. It is also best to hike with a friend to back each other up.

If you take care though you will find yourself in locations offering amazing opportunities for capturing landscape photographs.

Haweswater Reservoir

In this video I travel to the Lake District and visit Haweswater Reservoir. This amazing man made reservoir is set amongst the mountains and provides drinking water to the city of Manchester. My photography trip today saw me climb the mountain of High Street, a long path across the top of the peaks near Keswick. Although the day started with fine weather, in typical fashion, this worsened as soon as I got to the top.

Photo opportunities were very limited at the top due to the very high wind, rain, cloud and sheer unpleasantness. It can feel pretty lonely when you are up there alone in those conditions.

The day ended well though where I captured a moody long exposure landscape photograph. Challenging conditions but a great day of shooting landscape photos.

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Gear

My gear:

Landscape Photography Vlog - Ullswater and St Sunday Crag

A landscape photography vlog in the Lake District.

Vlog No. 7. In this landscape photography video blog I travel to the English Lake District again in search of the perfect sunset photograph.

When shooting landscape photography, planning is vital. I have spoken about this before but it is especially important with sunset photography. Finding the right spot with the sun in the right place is what can make the difference. Trekking out into the mountains ensures you will be achieving a unique shot that very few, if any, others have. You also need a little luck on your side that the weather will play along, especially in the Lake District.

I was also out to really put the Canon 5D mark IV through it’s paces for my upcoming review. The early indications are very impressive.

The First Man Vlog

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and give you a flavour of how I go about capturing my work. If you enjoy this photography blog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel. There's lot more content to come.

Watch this landscape photography themed vlog and you will see exactly what I mean.

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Music

MarioBeatz - Moving on

https://soundcloud.com/yourrapbeatstv/mariobeatz-moving-on-soulful-inspiring-outstanding-rap-beat-hip-hop-instrumental-2015

Light Thought var 4 by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Artist: http://incompetech.com/

Accommodation for this trip was Grisedale Lodge - http://www.grisedalelodge.co.uk

 

Overcome disappointment, face your fear and capture great photos

A landscape photography vlog in the Lake District. 

A landscape photography vlog in the Lake District.

In this photography video blog I travel to the English Lake District in search of some great landscape photography. My plan is to climb a mountain, film a tutorial, capture some landscapes and film some time lapses.

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and give you a flavour of how I go about capturing my work. If you enjoy this photography blog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel. There's lot more content to come.

Subscribe to the channel.

See the Canon 18-135mm STM Review - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/reviews/lenses/canon-18-135-stm-lens-review