Finding those golden rays

Over the past few days I have been making repeat visits to Island Hill in Co Down, sometimes two or three times in the one day.  I often rephotograph locations that I have been to before and find that it always pays off by helping me to find the “right light”. 

As on my previous visits I left the camera bag behind and just carried the camera fitted with a 35mm prime lens.  On this visit I selected f11 as my chosen aperture and set the infinity symbol inline with f11 on the lens scale, remembering the quotation “f11 and hold her steady”!  The main benefit being that I didn’t have to worry about focusing thereby enabling me to concentrate on composition.

The other thing I have been doing is limiting my exposures to 36, just as if it was a film camera, a discipline I have been observing lately.  From my visit this afternoon I have chosen two images:

Following where the light falls!

Following where the light falls!

Chasing the sunbeams!

Chasing the sunbeams!

Fujifilm X Pro 1 and the Leica rangefinder cameras are just made for this style of photography.

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. 

What is it about sunsets?

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The faintest hint of a sunset brings all sorts of people out with their camera’s to record the spectacular colours and hues of late evening sunlight.  They then wait with baited breath to see how the image has been captured.

However few people properly process the images taken, either they take no action to correct or adjust brightness or contrast or worse still they over do the adjustments to create an image that bears little resemblance to what the scene actually looked like.

The two images featured here in Foca, Turkey were taken a couple of weeks ago during an evening walk after our evening meal and here I merely want to tell you how I processed them!

Both images were processed in Adobe Lightroom 5, which I find to be a just superb, no need to use Photoshop.  Upon importing the images the first thing I do after key wording the images and completing the metadata information is to apply my camera preset to the images.  The preprepared camera presets more accurately display the image colours, provided the camera presets was properly created in the first instance.

My next step is to apply the lens correction profile, we may as well see the image as the camera saw it!  Only then do I go to the basic settings to adjust exposure, contrast highlights and shadows.

In the case of these two images I left the exposure setting along, I could have lightened the dark areas of the image, but its a sunset so its meant to be dark.  I had no over exposed areas so no adjustment to highlights was necessary.  My only significant adjustments were to the clarity adjustment which brings out the texture of the image and to the vibrance setting, but only very slightly as this tool can make the image unrealistic.  The last control was saturation and this was left untouched – believe it or not!

My intention is to create an image and to render it as I remembered the scene.  Both images taken with a Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera, 14mm lens, 200ISO, 1/60 second and a wide aperture.

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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

Staying in the one place!

Recently I seem to be spending a lot of time in Ballintoy on the north Antrim coast, but then it is a wonderful location for photography.  This time I stayed for nearly three days and one thing which interested me was watching how light changed, even how clouds changed in look and how morning light differed from evening light.  Even during mid morning or mid afternoon  some pleasing lighting conditions were produced.

I came equipped with my Nikon DSLR gear and the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and must confess that all my images were taken with the X Pro 1.  The Nikon gear never left the bag, there is a lesson in there somewhere!  One of the joys of photography is learning light and how it effects the image, seeking out colour in the landscape and looking for the right angle.

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The above images were taken between Thursday and Saturday, week ending 9 November.

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!
 
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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.

The gift of photography

Many will know that one of my photographic influencers is the Vancouver based photographer David duChemin. His recent blog speaks of the gift of photography.

Last night I received one of those gifts while driving home at sunset when I came across this isolated tree in front of a sunset. Making this image rewarded me as the image maker and I hope that it equally rewards you as the viewer.

In making the image I walked into a field from the roadside to isolate the tree as the main subject allowing the sunset to be the other element in the image. It is the photographer who decides what is in and what is out of the frame, how close to get and how far to step back and what exposure values to key in.

Pictures should tell stories or at least create moods. To a greater or lessor extent we all live in societies where politicians mess up, we need images like this to calm us down!

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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.

Creating that mood!

I am returning to Nendrum again, a place near to my home where I visit on a regular basis in an attempt to capture something different.  Sometimes the light obliges and on other occasions it frustrates me. My visits usually coincide with early evening when the sun is setting and its position in the sky is behind the site ruins.  Here is an older image which produced pleasing results.

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In this case I am content for the ruins to be almost silhouetted, allowing just a hint of the stone detail to show, as it is really the sky that I am interested in.  No filters were used, but In Lightroom I applied a Fuji Velvia 50 preset which converts the image to resemble a print produced by Fuji Velvia transparency film, beloved by landscape photographers.

Given the historical significance of this site to Ulster’s early christianity I think I have created an appropriate mood with this image.

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.

 

Out and about with the camera

Early this morning I travelled to the north of the Province to County Londonderry.  I was asked to take some selected images for a future publication and I found myself on the top of Binevenagh Mountain, which was accessible via a forestry lane way.  The air was clear resulting in excellent visibility.  Why do we bother going on foreign holidays when we have this?  The body of water is Lough Foyle and in the distance the city of Londonderry.

Taken from the top of Binevenagh Mountain

Following the lane the two peaks on the Scottish island of Jura can be clearly seen illustrating just how close we are to the mainland.  The September sunlight filtering through the trees produced a rather nice light.

The Island of Jura can be clearly seen in the distance.

It was a long day and I returned home with over 200 images to process and edit down, the above two are just a preview!  This is a location which deserves a return visit.

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.

Canada’s Belfast!

My blogs usually covers imagery from Northern Ireland but as I am in Toronto its different this time.  Toronto used to be known as the Belfast of Canada due to the high percentage of immigrants from Belfast.  Travelling through rural Ontario you will notice small towns with Ulster town names, like Tyrone and Enniskillen which are located just a few miles apart.  Both towns also have Orange Halls and in Tyrone the Orange Lodge is still operating.  So there are strong links with Northern Ireland.

I visited the annual National Exhibition in downtown Toronto which provided opportunity to take some photographs.  Instead of using my DSLR I used the iPhone.  On a very hot day this was an attractive choice of camera!  Its always good to include some feature in the photograph which gives a clue to its location.  The CN Tower in the distance does the trick here.

The annual National Exhibition in Toronto

Or to ensure there is no mistake the National flag is included:

The Canadian Flag and the CN Tower

I used the Camera+ app in the iPhone and processed all the images within the iPhone, perhaps I over did the clarity option a bit, what do you think?  The iPhone camera needs good light to produce the best images.  The bright sunshine did bring out the colours, but how will it perform inside?

Balancing Rocks!

 

Sand Sculpture

Inside the exhibition centre I used the fluorescent and clarity tools.  Is this the begining of the end for DSLR?  Well perhaps not, I wouldn’t use the iPhone for important photo shoots, but for sheer ease of use and fun it was a great camera choice.

A great day out!

One small tip, don’t use the zoom option on the Camera+ app as it only degrades the image quality.  Instead make a crop of the image afterwards and keep the image quality.

This is the first blog on my newly reorganised site and domain name, let me know what you think!

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.

The point of focus!

I have visited this cottage many times and always find something new to photograph.  The cottage is said to be the place where the decision to form Orange Order was taken by Dan Winter following the battle of the Diamond in 1795 and the cottage is still owned by the same family.

In this image the point of focus is the poppy flowers, the photo in the blog does not do justice to the photograph, when seen at full resolution the hairs on the poppy stems are in sharp focus and the petals are nicely illuminated.  Digital cameras always render the colours red, green and blue nicely due to the way the technology works.  The cart and the cottage in the background provide the context of the image.  The even lighting also helped the image, no direct sunlight causing harsh shadow.

Dan Winter’s Cottage, The Diamond, Loughgall, Co Armagh

A high resolution view!

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.