Landscape Photography Vlogs

Landscape and Wildlife Photography in the Cairngorms

We travel to the Cairngorms in Scotland for an adventure in some stunning wintery snow conditions to capture some wildlife and landscape photography.

See how a real wildlife photographer does things - https://www.instagram.com/lyle_mccalmont/

Last week I missed uploading a video for the first time in two and half years and it’s good to be back. I head up to Scotland to visit the Cairngorms with my very good friend Lyle McCalmont, to shoot some landscape photography and wildlife photography. Lyle is an expert wildlife photographer and is my sole inspiration to go out and capture our animal friends. In this video he takes me deep into the Cairngorm woods to shoot the Crested Tit, known locally as the ‘Crestie’. A small and interesting bird that moves incredibly quickly and is pretty shy compared to the other locals.

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Best laid plans

The day did not go exactly according to plan. Every time I travel to Scotland I am overwhelmed by the scale of the place. I am often associated with the Lake District, it is truly an incredible place and dear to my heart but Scotland takes things to a whole other level. The mountains are taller and the lochs are bigger than the lakes, but the highlands are so very huge and isolated in a way that will humble any person. The scale of the place is so very impressive but it makes it difficult to capture your best landscape photography. When you do not know a place, photographing it is a real challenge. Travelling to a new location and trying to find a good composition can be frustrating when you know something amazing could be round the next corner but you just can’t see it. I did my best to overcome this and find some nice shots. I succeeded in one sense but failed in another when I could not make a picture out of the incredible trees that were on offer. It was very good fun capturing some wildlife photography though. I am not always a big fan but I do enjoy the challenge of a bit of bird capture. The crested tit turned out to be very shy but I still managed to grab a couple of decent snaps of the bird that only shows itself in the Cairngorms.

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Winter Landscapes

The snowy and wintery landscape provided some superb opportunities for some top draw drone footage that was immensely enjoyable. The frozen water of Loch Morlich was also an incredible sight to witness. I feel incredibly privileged to have seen it and it will be something I never forget. 

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Caught in a Lightning Storm - Landscape and Wildlife Photography Vlog

Another photographic adventure that ends in some extreme photographic conditions. I start the day in Bempton Cliffs capturing some birds in flight and finish the day in Flamborough in a lightning storm. A Wildlife photography and landscape photography vlog.

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Landscape and Wildlife Photography

After many people enjoyed my vlog the other week that incorporated both landscape photography and wildlife photography I decided I would do it again. This time the day was to start RSPB Bempton Cliffs where there was a perfect opportunity to photograph some amazing Gannets on the Yorkshire coast cliffs. 

Shooting the Gannets

I started with a rough plan to capture one bird in flight and also a portrait style shot of the bird sitting in, or near to, the nest. Gannets are relatively rare but in this location, at this time of year there are splendid, and numerous, opportunities to capture some good images. I managed to position myself for a few good compositions and came away with everything I needed.

Flamborough Head

Once we left Bempton, Lyle and I travelled a few miles South down the coast to the spectacular Flamborough Head. After a quick refuelling on some fish and chips we headed back out to capture some Landscape Photography. We had just enough time to get the DJI Mavic Pro drone up before the weather moved in. The British weather can never be relied upon, even in July and today was no different. The down pour started moments after the drone had landed and got progressively worse. At this point it was still forecast to clear up so we held out, hoping for clearer skies at sunset time. It never came. What did come was a pretty large lightning storm.

The big finish

In the vlogs it is important to finish with a good image. Whilst this is often not the reality of a landscape photography shoot, it produces a much more satisfying climax to the film for me, and i think, for the audience. With this in mind, I was determined to get a great shot to finish with. I knew it was not going to be easy. With the total lack of interesting light and the fast approaching lightning, I had to work very fast and hard to find an interesting shot. Using the lighthouse as the focal point of my composition, I finished the day on a high, albeit a very wet one.

Saftey in a Lightning Storm

SAFTEY NOTICE - Lightning storms can be dangerous, especially in exposed landscapes. I, in no way recommend that you go out shooting in such conditions.  Please be safe when shooting landscape photography.

Landscape Photography Vlogs

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Landscape Photography and Wildlife Adventure in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders

An epic adventure exploring Northumberland and the Scottish Borders in search of some stunning landscape photography. I also head over to the Farne Islands to see the puffins and capture some wildlife photography.

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Biggest landscape photography vlog yet

In one of my biggest landscape photography blogs yet I head up to Northumberland to visit the Farne Islands and capture some puffins in their seasonal visit to the area. 

The Farne Islands

The day started out in the small seaside town of Seahouses where we picked up one the boat tours run by Serenity Boats. They are friendly and helpful and especially accommodating to photographers. I was with Lyle McCalmont again today, my good friend from Wildscape Photography. We headed over to Inner Farne where Serenity left us on the island to capture our wildlife photography. I had three shots that I wanted to capture, a mixture of portraits and birds in flight. If you are interested in capturing birds in flight I have done a photography tutorial previously on how to do it.

A DJI Mavic Pro Drone???

The boat then returned to Seahouses where the day then became about landscape photography. We had two locations in the plan for the afternoon. The first was a secluded cove where the would be an opportunity to capture a beautiful waterfall and some nice woodland photography. Lyle also brought his DJI Mavic pro along for the journey to add some aerial footage to this video. It was fun to see how to properly fly a drone. 

St Abbs

The next stop was one of the finest spots I have ever been to to capture some landscape photography. We crossed into Scotland to visit the cliffs near the small town of St Abbs. They are staggeringly large and beautiful and I was almost lost for words. They provide a perfect opportunity to capture some stunning landscape photography compositions and I hope that I achieved that. I took three photographs that you can see in the video. The weather was also very kind and held out for a remarkable sunset moment. Most definitely a landscape photography blog to remember.

Landscapes and Wildlife Photography on the Isle of Mull

A First Man landscape and wildlife photography vlog.

We travel to the Isle of Mull to capture some stunning landscape and wildlife photography and go in search of wild Otters.

This is the first episode of my landscape photography vlogs coming from the Isle of Mull on the West coast of Scotland.

The day started extremely early. I had booked us onto a 2pm ferry so we could arrive whilst it's was still light and potentially capture a sunset photograph on the first day.

The Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull is high up in the Northern hemisphere. The days are very short in January with only about 8 hours of daylight. This meant maximising the daylight, shooting all day and then enjoying the long evenings. On this occasion I was travelling with my good friend Lyle McCalmont. Evenings spent post processing the day's bounties with the odd glass of wine are something to relish. Especially whilst reliving old times with the spark from some great music.

After a smooth journey and a particularly smooth ferry crossing we arrived on the Isle of Mull. Our accommodation was called Suide Farm Cottages and was about a 45 minute drive from the ferry port. On arrival there we drove straight past and headed for the village of Fionnphort, the most westerly tip of Mull. The sunset Sky never arrived but I ended the day capturing a worthy time lapse.

Day 2 - Hunting Otters

Day 2 began with some unexpected but welcome black and white landscape photography shot from out the back of the house. The addition of a very long lens and some contrast really cut through the haze.

We then got back in the car and went in search of some wildlife photography featuring the Wild Otters, buzzards and Highland Cows (not strictly wildlife). We stopped on a number of occasions to absorb the sheer enormity of the island. It is both brutal and unforgiving and the picture of the lone tree seemed to sum that up.

It took time to get into position to capture the Otters. Thankfully Lyles experience with wildlife photography and the animals meant it was not too long before I started understand how to spot them and understand some of their behaviour. Wildlife photography requires patience, commitment and slight obsession. Lyle has this and drives him to get the shot. This includes crawling through the sea to get low enough to capture a killer image.

We decided to work together so he got the still shot and I filmed the video. Using the 400mm lens with the Canon 5D Mark IV, the 4K features meant I did not have to get a close because I knew I could crop in to 1080p. Sucess followed shortly after and included one of best Otter shots I have ever seen coming from Lyle. I was also chuffed with my footage.

Sunset Phototgraphy

The day ended around the other side of the Loch with the planned landscape photograph of the day. The beaches around Mull are rocky and full of seaweed and make finding good foreground interest challenging. I explored around and found the composition I was looking for as the sun started to light the mountains and create some beautiful colours in the sky. This was changing fast though. I shot a 4 minute long exposure to capture as much of it as possible and introduce some interesting movement to the scene.

The day was fantastic but challenging. The island provided so many photo opportunities that narrowing down and focusing on a few shots became difficult. Especially considering the limited hours of daylight.

Episode 2 and 3 of the Mull trip will follow this video. Please subscribe to the Youtube channel.

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