That special autumn light

I am still processing images from my visit to Ballintoy on the Antrim north coast.  The rocks in this image caught the light beautifully bringing out the colour.  It was taken at 10.15 in weak morning sunlight and the figures on the beach add to the scene.

bradley-4266

 All being well I will return to this location soon.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

Photographic patience

For this blog I have returned to Ballintoy Harbour and the theme is to persevere.  When I left home to travel here it was raining and half way up the M2 it was raining stair rods and I considered returning home.  Thankfully I persisted and arrived at Ballintoy Harbour around 3.30 in glorious sunshine.  The hour before sunset provided some excellent light and I concentrated on a number of seascapes and I was looking forward to what the morning light would bring.

bradley-4139

 

bradley-4148

The following day produced a mixture of rain sun and storm, wonderful for photography.  Staying put in one place can provide a variety of opportunities and no mobile phone connection or email is a decided advantage!

bradley-4316

 

bradley-4428

 All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

 

Sunset at Ballintoy

Spurred on by the sunset featured in my last blog I decided to make the journey to Ballintoy on the north coast.  This location is rather spectacular, especially if the light is right.  I knew from previous visits that the sun sets over the sea and a projecting headland.
 
Arriving at about 5pm the sky was overcast, nevertheless I decided to wait until sunset.   Surprisingly the overcast sky began to break up revealing the setting sun.  There is no substitute for patience in landscape photography.
 
In trying to find the optimum position to shoot from I pulled a calf muscle while climbing over rocks, which reduced my mobility.  So these images was taken from a bench at the car park, as indeed where most of my images.  Photography is not a painless process in more ways than one! 
 
Shooting straight into the sun does present it’s challenges.  I used a 0.9 hard graduated filter to try to balance the extremes of light.  The biggest problem is lens flair and it was not always possible to avoid it, we just have to live with it I think!
 
bradley-2769 bradley-2770 bradley-2792
All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Whiterock: return visits!

Readers of my blog will have seen most of the images below, all taken at Whiterock, Co Down. However the point I want to make is that revisiting a particular place on numerous occasions to photograph the same view can produce different results each time. All the images here were taken in 2013 during the evening time.

Whiterock_0011.jpg

What I should do to broaden this exercise is to vary the time of the day and also to go in bad weather to complete the overall picture and to see how the mood changes. Getting up early in the mornings should not really be a problem as I live close to this spot, but…!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Wait until after sunset!

This is an image I could not resist posting!  Its nothing new in that I have photographed from this very position many times before.  The composition is not brilliant, so why blog it?

It was the pink sky that caught my eye and indeed the opportunities that are available to the photographer after sunset are fantastic.  What I like best about this picture is the quality of the light, taken about half a hour after sunset.

Whiterock, Strangford Lough, Co Down

Whiterock, Strangford Lough, Co Down

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Some comments on landscape photography

I don’t really regard myself as a landscape photographer but I do like to dabble now and again.  In seeking to get the best results I have found that changeable climatic conditions offer the best opportunities.  Those occasions when the weather is due to breakdown produce wonderful skies.  So I tend to pay attention to the weather forecast.

The time of day is also important and in the case of the featured image in this blog evening light produced a nice quality of defused light.  With composition I tend to comply with the standard conventions, foreground interest and the rule of thirds!  For this image a 14mm wide angle lens was fitted to my Fujifilm X Pro 1, which equates to 21mm on a full frame camera.  I think the lines in this image work well.

bradley-1799

St John’s Point, Co Down: Fujifilm X Pro 1. 14mm 1.4 lens @ f9, 400iso, 1/125 second.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ballintoy Coastline Images

This week end I visited Ballintoy on Northern Ireland’s north coast.  It is a spectacular area for photography, but when I arrived I was disappointed with the quality of the light. However it is a beautiful area and I was content to wait for the sun to sink in the sky before taking any images.

The problem I was faced with was shooting into the sun, which rendered part of the scene in silhouette.  The following image illustrates the point!

Ballintoy Coastal Shoot

I used a Lee .09 Hard ND filter to mange the highlights created by the sun, but this also added to the silhouette problem.  On balance I am content to run with the silhouette, particularly if its a moody shot your after.

Now comes the next question!  As the image is almost monochrome anyway would it be better to process it as a monochrome print?  Only one way to find out!

Ballintoy Coastal Shoot

 Which works best?  Perhaps you can give me your opinion!

 All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley.  Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Painting with light (continued)

Following on from my last blog in which I discussed recognising light quality and how special light can produce great images.  In this short blog I am looking at the light produced by sunsets.  Here is an example that I have not published before:

Sunset from Mahee Island, Strangford Lough

Three great effects are created by the setting sun, firstly the light of the sun picks up dust in the atmosphere giving it that great golden glow.  Secondly long shadows are produced giving a sense of depth and shape to the landscape and lastly, the clouds are lit from below giving an edge to the clouds.

The final touches in this image was to produce the starburst in the setting sun, this is simply achieved by selecting a small lens aperture, in this case f20.  Secondly there is as much interest in the sky from the horizon upwards as there is in the low portion of the image, so the horizon was purposely set less that one third from the bottom of the frame.  In taking this type of shot we are looking to create some drama in the image.  I hope you agree it has succeeded.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley.  Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

Painting with light

At this point I am working on collating my landscape photographs.  While not professing to be an accomplished landscape photographer I have been asking the question what makes a good landscape shot?

They say the quality of light makes the difference between a great shot and a pretty average shot and I fully agree with this.  It is also said that great shots are to be had in the hour before sunset and after sunrise.  But I have also taken very acceptable images at other times as well.

I think the more you take photographs the more you recognise good light.  You don’t want strong sunlight or clear blue skies.  Instead look for well defused light, interesting cloud formations and often sudden changes in weather produce interest atmospheric results. One such opportunity arose when visiting Stroove Beach, Co Donegal.

Stroove Beach

Stroove BeachStroove Beach

The incoming low pressure and rising winds produced very different images to what you would capture on a sunny day.  Photography is about painting with light and one objective amongst many is to bring out the texture of what you are taking.  Both the rock formations and the colour hue of the clouds are both vital elements in these photographs.   Strip these elements away and you would be left with very bland images. 

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley.  Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Post Production Technique

I have never written about post production techniques before in this blog so this is a first! Over the past couple of months I have been reviewing older photographs, some like this one have been forgotten about, so it is pleasing to rediscover older images.  This one was taken in April 2011.  The image was initially disregarded because the tide was out and I did not like the electricity poles in the distance.  However I have given the image a second chance!

Strangford Lough at Sunset

Strangford Lough at Sunset

Post production of this image was straightforward using Lightroom 4.  To improve the image all I did was to crop out grass along the bottom of the image.  Secondly to give the seaweed in the foreground an extra stop of exposure and a little clarity.  The final step was to bring up the sky.  The water line neatly divided the image in two and I brought the graduated filter down to the waterline in much the same way as you would use the ND graduated filter on the camera lens and to allow for the over exposure.  The result slightly darkened the sky and brought out the thin cloud.

This is all there is to it, the adjustments described above were all minor tweaks to the image.  Hope you like the image despite my initial observations!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley.  Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.