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.

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.

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 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.

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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!

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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.

 

 

Are you waiting for the right conditions?

A landscape photographer needs to have patience, something I don’t possess for most of the time.  However if you want to get that photograph that is above the average holiday snap then you need to do two things!  Watch the weather forecast and secondly wait for the right conditions.

This is what I did at Spelga Dam in the Mourne Mountains yesterday.  Thursday was the only decent day weather wise in the week and wet weather was to move in over night, which it did.  So the perfect opportunity to make my trip to Spelga and wait for the rain to move in. 

Arriving mid afternoon in what was a lovely sunny afternoon I waited until the sun was about to set when I was rewarded with mist descending, could not be better!  Mist and fog add atmosphere and this was what I was looking for.  The following images were taken between 5pm to 6pm.  The shutter speed of the final images were 0.5 of a second aided with the use of a tripod.

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Photographs taken in mid afternoon would just not have captured the atmosphere I was after. I did stay overnight in an attempt to get early light in the morning, but the mist completely closed in accompanied with heavy rain.  Was it worth the effort?  

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.

 

Photography in dim lighting

Strictly speaking photography in this church was not permitted, the use of flash would overtime damage the priceless icons in this place, so I naturally avoided the use of flash.  To ease my conscience I did leave a donation!  So how did I take the photo?  

The Byzantine Panagia Church in Lindos Rhodes Island

The Byzantine Panagia Church in Lindos, Rhodes Island

This is one occasion when the Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera proves to be very useful, its shutter mechanism is silent therefore you are not disturbing the peace and tranquility of the church.  It was quite dim is site so while seated I set the camera to full auto, the only occasion I have ever used full auto with this camera!  

The photograph was taken at 1/8 second, so being seated helped to steady the camera, the ISO was set to 1600 and I used a 14mm lens which was open to f2.8.  At full resolution noise is visible as it was quite dim inside and so long as you are not displaying the image at full resolution it works very well.

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.

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.

Environmental Portraits

Having concentrated on mainly documentary, editorial and event photography I welcome the opportunity to stray into other areas.  Recently while photographing the oat harvest at a farm near Tandragee Co Armagh I included shots of the farmer and his delightful children.

I have included four images in this blog, three of which were taken on an overcast morning with fine drizzle.  As it turned out the light produced in these conditions, augmented with 20% flash from a soft box, produced pleasing results.  In effect the weather conditions produced a beautiful soft light.

The final image was taken a few days later in early evening, again with an overcast sky. This time no soft box was used yet the light produced great skin tones and even a slight catch-light in the child’s eyes.

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During the fine drizzle shoot I nearly decided not to continue as the children were getting wet.  However persisting on this occasion taught me to be always ready to take advantage of quality light.  In photography above all else light is king!

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.

Improving the image!

This photograph was taken from Scrabo Hill while walking along a woodland path.  The quality of the light was quite good and I noticed through a gap in the bushes a house and small lake in the distance beside a cornfield which was isolated by surrounding green fields.  The cornfield immediately caught my eye and the centre of the view seemed brighter as a result.  So here is the image:

ISO 200, 14mm 2.8 lens at f10, 1/125 shutter speed

ISO 200, 14mm 2.8 lens at f10, 1/125 shutter speed

Post production was employed to give the photograph that punch that I remembered when I first noticed the shot.  In Lightroom the exposure, contrast, highlights, whites and blacks settings remain as in the original image.  I did selected the central area of the image and applied +38 on the shadows slider and I also gave the clarity a slight boost.  I also selected the sky area and decreased exposure slightly to balance the rolling fields.  This was the only manipulation of the image.  Finally I cropped the image to a square format, the effect works to draw your attention to the centre of the image and as a result I think it makes the image work!

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.

 

 

 

 

Photographing stained glass windows

I love taking photographs of churches and occasionally interior shots, especially stained glass windows.  However inside churches the light is usually poor and use of interior lighting can cause all sorts of colour balance problems.

Today I visited my own church and experimented using only natural light, outside it was overcast but bright thereby ensuring that the window would be well illuminated and seen from inside the way stained glass windows should be seen.

Instead of my Nikon gear I used the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera, which I find is becoming my camera of first choice when more demanding work is not involved.  I used the 35mm lens which is equivalent to a standard lens on a 35mm camera, ISO was set to 200 and the aperture f2, almost wide open and the shutter 1/50 second.  Below is the result:

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The colours are nicely saturated and there is very little blown out highlights.  The window is known as The Twaddell Memorial Window in memory of the late W J Twaddell MP who was murdered on 22 May 1922.  In the early part of the twentieth century he was heavily involved in the life of the parish. The window was dedicated on 22 May 1932 tens years after his death.

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.