Landscape Photography Vlogs

Landscape Photography in Bad Weather / Good Weather

Braving bad weather can result in stunning landscape photography conditions. I travel to the Peak District and face a classic day photographing in typical changeable British Summer weather.

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In this landscape photography vlog I head over to the Peak District to climb Kinder Scout with a weather forecast of changeable conditions. When you look at a weather forecast and it shows rain, it is all too easy to stay on the couch. The thing is, changeable conditions in low pressure can result in some of the best photography conditions available. Moving from sunny to rain and back again produces clouds that can make a shot utterly unique, something that is getting harder and harder for a landscape photographer.

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Watching landscape photography tutorials such as this can make things look easy. If you are heading into the great outdoors, especially when climbing in to the hills and mountains it is very important to be prepared and stay safe, even in summer.

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The day was fantastic and ended when the weather cleared leaving me to capture some sunset photography making the most of the early flowering heather that the Peak District had to offer. I headed home happy with a can full of very different landscape images.

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Once in a Lifetime Seascape Photography

When I went to do some seascape photography I never ever thought I would witness something so spectacular. These unique moments come along so rarely in landscape photography so when they do, you have to seize the moment. This vlog documents one of my favourite photography moments, possibly ever.

Once in a lifetime photo opportunities come around so rarely. When they do it is important to be ready to capture them. The readiness comes from hard work and dedication; getting out with the camera, week after week, honing your skills and practicing your craft. We can go months without capturing a ‘keeper’ but so many photographers in the past have had their careers take off because of a single image. You never know when that might happen to you.

Finally a note on luck. Lucky is a word that is thrown around freely. Was I lucky to capture that last image? Maybe, but luck does not account for the years of hard work, the years of getting out day after day, the fact I switched to plan B because my original location at Saltwick Bay was completely in cloud. Luck didn’t drive me two hours to the location and luck didn’t set the correct camera settings and capture the composition and image.

I had planned to film a video which essentially would have been a seascape photography tutorial. When the amazing conditions presented themselves though I had to default to just capturing the images. Seascape photography can be very creative with the use of long exposure photography, using leading lines and interesting shapes, using the water in the foreground, capturing whatever colour is available and mixing these things into your composition. I will film the tutorial at some point but I still utilised all these techniques so there are plenty of seascape photography tips on offer in this landscape vlog. 

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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.

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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.

How to Improve You Industrial Landscape Photography

In this video I travel to the northern powerhouse of Teesside to explore some industrial landscapes using long exposure photography. 

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If you are anything like me then you will agree that variety it this spice of life. That is exactly how I feel about the subjects of my photography. Varying the type of subjects I shoot gives me an edge and keeps me motivated and creative. It is even true with the landscape photography genre too, so in the video I am going to show you how to photograph industrial landscapes and take them to the next level using long exposure.

The last video provides and in-depth introduction to long exposure photography. You can check that out here - https://youtu.be/vKAu0IluyR4

I hope the video inspires you to get out and shoot some industrial landscapes of your won.

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.

Raise your Landscape Photography Game Using Long Exposure

Discover new creative tools by using long exposure to take you images to the next level. We travel to Whitby in this landscape photography tutorial and vlog.

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In this landscape photography tutorial I travel to Whitby in North Yorkshire to capture and share how I create my long exposure images. 

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If you have never seen long exposure photography before you are in for a treat and capturing these images brings new challenges and creative possibilities. Essentially what is happening is by increasing the exposure time we introduce movement into our image that would normally be frozen and it gives the picture added interest and a look that would not be seen by your own eyes.

This video focuses on capturing long exposure landscapes during the day but the principles are the same no matter how or when you use it..

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You will already understand the exposure triangle so when increasing exposure time we need to balance things by reducing ISO or making our aperture smaller to prevent the image being over exposed. However, in daylight conditions, even with ISO at 100 and an aperture at f/16, your shot could still be over exposed before even one second has passed. To achieve the desired effect we want our exposure to be at least 30 seconds. The only way to do this is to use ND filters. These are filters added to the front of your lens that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens without severely affecting the colour. ND filters are rated by how many stops of light they reduce the exposure by. For example if you attach a 2 stop filter to your lens you will need to increase exposure in your camera by the same 2 stops to obtain a proper exposure.

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral Density filters like the Lee Big Stopper reduce the amount of light entering the lens. In the tutorial we are using a 6 stop filter, a 10 stop filter and a Formatt Hitech 82mm 16 stop ND filter which allows us to get some extremely long exposures of several minutes, even in bright daylight conditions.

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Why do Long Exposure Phototgraphy?

Exposures of this length have a number of uses. It will reduce the roughest waters to a smooth tranquil scene and add lots of movement to even the slowest moving clouds. In city scenes it can also be used to remove people from your images. At night it can be used for star trail shots and create interesting and varied light painting images. 

Shutter Release Cable

In addition to the ND filter you will also need a shutter release cable, unless you have a built in timer, allowing you to lock the shutter open when using the bulb mode. Keeping your camera very still is also essential so a good sturdy tripod is handy. If you don't have a tripod you could also place your camera down on a wall or some raised ground. A bean bag can be used to allow a small amount of adjustment or to keep things level on an uneven surface. When using a DSLR it is worth covering your viewfinder with some gaff tape or a viewfinder cap because light can creep in and ruin your image.

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Once you are armed with this knowledge and the few tools you need; get out and take some pictures. It is an amazing motivation to go and see the world and can really pull you out of the landscape photography dip.

Glencoe

Glencoe is a destination high up on the list of anyone doing landscape photography in the UK. In my latest Scotland video I head out in some truly amazing snowy conditions in one of my most epic vlogs yet.

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This is the second part of my annual landscape photography trip to Scotland for 2018. After struggling to bring the huge scenes of the Cairngorms down into a good composition we headed over to Glencoe. We had heard there had been heavy snow showers overnight but the weather forecast looked perfect for the day ahead. We started perfectly when we stopped of at the stunning Ruthven Barracks to capture a classic Scottish scene.

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People often say to me, when I capture a great shot, that I was lucky with the weather. I understand this but there is more to it. I believe you make your own luck and that is certainly what Lyle and I did on this day. The roads were horrendous getting to Glencoe and it was an extremely difficult drive that was long and stressful.

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On arrival hundreds of photographers were already at the location where we had planned to park. It was demoralising and there was no where to park the car. This was a blessing in disguise and forced us to rethink and find another spot. We found a tiny space in a lay-by and decided to trek up the side of the opposite mountain through incredibly deep snow. It was tough going through the two feet of snow but we were helped by the tracks already forged by the local deer. The effort all became worth it at the end of the day. We found ourselves in a spot that no other photographers had visited that day and it was a very special moment. Perfect for landscape photography. It was hard work at the time, but the memories I now own I will cherish forever.

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Landscape Photography in the Snow - Winter in North Yorkshire

Snow is the the theme of this landscape photography vlog. I travel to Roseberry Topping in North Yorkshire to make the most of some winter conditions and talk about how I capture landscapes in the snow.

Snow Challenges

Landscape photography in the snow can present some genuine challenges. Firstly the cold causes problems and in this shoot pretty much all my gear stopped functioning by the end of the day. It seems obvious to say, but snow is wet. It just doesn’t feel wet when it is falling out of the sky. The snow had been falling on me, my gear and my bag all day and, by the end, everything was wet to the core.

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Technical Challenges

Secondly there are the technical challenges to shooting in snow. This mainly comes in the form of exposure and white balance. When shooting in the snow the highlights created by the light reflecting off the snow can really confuse the camera’s meter. Putting your camera into manual mode is a must. Using the LCD and Histogram in Liveview will then help you get in right place with exposure. I always shoot in RAW which gives me a large amount of adjustment to exposure in post-production. With white balance, cameras often tend to capture snow with a very blue tint. You see this a lot on TV and it can be used purposefully to add to the cold feeling of the scene. However, have you ever seen blue snow? Again, shooting in RAW provides full control of white balance in post production and I always aim to bring my images to match the scene I visualised at the time ie with white snow. In the last shot of the day the snow had a slightly yellow, orange warm glow to it when it was bathed in the evening sun.

Location, Location, Location

In the video I also talk about shooting from the same location on numerous occasions. I am often asked how I find locations and do I run out of places to shoot. I am a big fan of returning to the same place and capturing an image of it over and over again. Capturing a scene in the different seasons, in different weather, in different light will produce very different photographs and the one you make on the 15th time of asking might be the one that really pops and gains attention.

Happy New Year

Finally I’d just like to wish you a very happy new year. I hope good things happen to you in 2018 and I look forward to running into you out in the landscape. Thank you so much for subscribing, watching, commenting and sharing. It means a lot.

Cityscape Photography in London with a Tilt-Shift Lens

I am in London shooting some cityscape photography and use the very special Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift lens to capture some images with nice straight lines.

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It has been a been a while since I have a had a decent opportunity to shoot in London. This week I carved out some time so decided to hire the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift lens for the occasion. Tilt shift lenses are perfect for using with landscape photography, especially cityscapes where the shift function corrects the perspective distortion normally suffered by wide angle lenses. This distortion causes buildings, particularly those at the edge of the frame, to angle in towards the centre of the frame.

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Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

The Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift can also be used to capture some excellent panoramas but that is the theme of next weeks video.

London Baby!!

I truly believe that London is one of the greatest cities in the world and provides some great opportunities for landscape photography. The cityscape of London is steeped in history and impressive buildings and skylines exist in every direction, especially down by the river Thames.

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The Plan

I started the day with a very clear vision of the images I wanted to achieve. I aimed to shoot North to South across the river making several iconic structures my subject, including the Shard and Tower Bridge. These have been photographed many times so I was aiming to elevate my images. Firstly by ensuring nice straight lines with the tilt shift lens and second by creating and interesting and ethereal feel using long exposure photography. I purchased a 16 stop ND filter for the occasion to achieve exposure times of around 6 minutes.

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An Emotional Day

I ended the day on the Greenwich peninsula to shoot across the river towards the bank buildings of Canary Wharf. Overall it was a superb day where I got back in touch with London, a city where I lived for ten years and know very well. The day was actually quite emotional for me as I walked around and remembered all the history I have tied up in the place. I was also very happy with the images I captured using the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II tilt shift and was a nice break from my usually landscape photography shoots in the mountains.