Monday, 27 July 2015

Yorkshire 5 Peaks

The three peaks just wasn't long enough for me - so I added on Little Ingleborough and Plover Hill to the usual route - along with a detour down to Ingleton Waterfalls and Twistleton Scar. Okay, so Little Ingleborough and Plover Hill are just alternative routes and sub-peaks of two of the main three peaks - but the Little Ingleborough route in particular adds a good amount of extra descent and ascent as you pass near Trow Gill... and dropping down almost to Ingleton adds loads more climbing to the summit of Whernside! So realistically, this is much more comparable to 4 Peaks in terms of both ascent and distance (31.5 miles rather than the usual 24 mile route)... and I rather miraculously -beyond any kind of expectations - completed it in 10hrs exactly. Before I go on, you can see the route below (backwards)...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Realisations upon losing.

Each year I submit my photographs to Landscape Photographer Of The Year and each year, two cruelly short weeks later I get the reply informing me that my photos are just not up to scratch. My initial  reaction is usually anger with a good dollop of confusion - but then it moves on to wondering just why my photos might have missed out.

Friday, 24 July 2015

That time I went to Barcelona

A couple of weeks ago I went on holiday... abroad... a rarity for me. Growing up in a less than wealthy family (too many bloody siblings) and then dragging on this student lifestyle for as many years as possible, I've never been flush with cash. So this holiday would be my first ever aeroplane flight (turns out it's boring) - so we headed off to Barcelona and these are the tourist snaps. It's difficult to have any sort of order with so many photos, so I've just done it chronologically, with descriptions to go along with each day. 

In summary though, Barcelona is an amazing place.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Women In Photography

Over the years I've witnessed numerous conversations, blog posts and articles on the subject of women in photography - but every time those involved seemed (to me, at least) to miss a key point. 

It's good to own a woman for many reasons, but an important one is the blocking of lens flare in telephoto situations... when your long, manly arms just don't have the reach required to do the job adequately. This has been a problem for me, despite being roughly 6' 5", more times than I can count on both hands (one more reason to bring your woman, and her fingers along) - but was never more evident than on my recent wander along the south side of the Swale...

Saturday, 13 June 2015

New Images!

I've just spent an afternoon uploading a 6 month backlog of photos to my site - so thought I might add a wee blog post to summarise what has been changed/added. All of the photos below can now be found at - so please do take a look. There's also a buy button underneath each image taking you directly to the page relevant page. 

There's a selection from the Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Lake District, Yorkshire Coast, York, Richmond and some general North Yorkshire ones - so quite a nice range! 

Ribblehead Viaduct, Yorkshire Dales - buy here.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Rachel: Part 3

I know, I skipped parts one and two, but you can see the photos from those on my Facebook Page... so here's part three. There are few people I'd want to photograph this many times in such a short space of time - having only ever even seen her for the first time busking in town about this time last year... but it's hard to get enough of this face. Quite a nice person to go with it too!

So, to summarise, she was originally one of my 100 strangers, I subsequently asked if she'd fancy some photos taking, and she has turned into a bit of a regular. She's also a somewhat (ha!) talented musician... for evidence you can watch this... (keep in mind that this is live, and filmed by some random tourist!)... 

You can find her, and a few more of my photos on her Facebook page

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Finger

A few times in the last few weeks the conversation about avoiding lens flare has come up - so I thought I'd just put up a quick post about this well known, but underused technique...

I'm not going to go into the details of merging photos and whatnot, there's plenty of information out there for anyone wanting to learn more about that, but I am going to show you how important this is even when the sun itself is not in the frame. When the sun is in the frame, there are often obvious flaring problems visible in the image - made worse when adding further pieces of glass to the front of the lens when using filters... which is just one of the many reasons I prefer to blend exposures instead. For example:

Excuse the blown out sky!
Along with the two sections highlighted, you might also notice the large red blotch right in the bottom right corner - it coincides with the heather so is well hidden, but still there. Still, these obvious signs usually hint at something wrong - so we try to correct it. This can be done in the simplest of ways... by shoving your finger in front of the sun...

Problem solved.
When the sun is not in the frame, however, the signs are less obvious - but I hope to show you that this problem is still worthy of consideration. So let's take a look at another photo, with no visible sun...

Just to make sure I'm not exaggerating - here's the shot of the sky for the next set of images, with the sun nowhere near the confines of the image itself...
Sun comfortably out of frame.
This is where we come to highlight the secondary type of lens flare, less visible in the top example but present both in that and here - general light leakage. The sun may not be in the frame, but it's still hitting the front lens element (as no lens hood is perfect!), and subsequently being reflected around the inner lens workings before adding a general haze to the final image. Just see the before and after, in terms of the finger technique...

Before and after - without the sun in the frame.
There may have been some loss in tonality due to using a GIF to demonstrate that last example - but the effect is as obvious as it is horrible. Without the finger that stray light warms up the entire shot and reduced the contrast in all of the shadows - this loss of information is what all landscape photographers battle against, so although the blacks can easily be deepened and the colour balance easily restored, the resulting file couldn't possibly retain as much true to life information as could be achieved using a simple finger.

It's all about the finger.

For completeness... here are the final versions of both shots...