Head over to the gallery HERE to see the images.
Last weekend I took an extended Easter break so stay with relatives in the highlands of Scotland. The weather was fantastic and so was the scenery. Its been 4 years since I last visited the area so the 6 hour drive was worth it. Lets hope I can get up there again this year but if not, we have a house booked for a week next February in Gairloch. The year cant go fast enough!
Head over to the gallery HERE to see the images.
This evening my phone started bleeping away with notifications from the Aurora apps that I have installed, letting me know that there was a chance to see the Northern Lights right here in the north east of England. I was in two minds whether to head out as it was a little chilly and there was no guarantee that Lady Aurora, as she is known by some, would make an appearance. Still I forced myself out of the door and headed down to Souter Lighthouse just south of South Shields. I wasn't the only one that had the same idea! The place was very busy with other photographers who mainly seemed to huddle together on a small hill in front of the Lighthouse. After getting some shots with the hoards I fell back and captured them all snapping away. They were a friendly lot and I hope they all came away with at least 'keeper'.
Started the day off at a new location for me, Guyzance Weir in Northumberland. It was really tricky to take this image as the sun was very strong and I couldn't even see what I was photographing on the cameras LCD. Still, I'm fairly happy with what I managed to get but I feel a trip back here in the autumn months may be worth it.
It was lovely and sunny here at the coast today, so we headed inland and found flat grey overcast and damp conditions...yeah I know, always get it wrong on the 50/50 chance! Sill, this type of weather makes it good for waterfall photos so we ended up at Bowlees Beck and Sumerhill Force in Middleton-in-Teesdale. It was extremely muddy and slippy but still managed to get a few of shots to take home. And here they are. Hope you like them.
A couple of years ago I visited Peter Hollingworth to take some photos of his collection of petrol pumps and jukeboxes. I came away with some great images, as well as a will to return for more. As I have been 'dabbling' in video of late, I thought it would be a good exercise to make a short video documentary about Peter and his collection, a task I have wanted to try for some time.
Working in video rather than stills is a totally different ball game. So much more to think about and so much longer in the editing stage. However, now its done and on my YouTube channel for the world to see. If you have 9 minutes spare, please take the time to watch it and let me know your thoughts on it. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to develop this side of my photography in the near future.
I love photography and now getting to grips with video too. I also love bangers and mash so I thought I would combine the two and do a video. Since my wife is on the Slimmers World diet I am eating the lovely meals she makes for me and loosing the pounds too! These Porky Lights sausages are causing a storm in the UK due to their low fat content and great taste. There is even a shortage in some supermarkets! So here is a little video I made. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed eating the result!
If you like this, check out the other videos on my Youtube channel and remember to subscribe to it, as I hope to be doing more such things in the future. Also feel free to share and comment. All 'constructive' criticism welcome!
I just shot this image tonight for a photo challenge. I haven't done a photo like this for years! Its easy to do. Just set the camera up in a tripod in the back of the car wedging the legs so it doesn't fall over. frame it up on camera and use a shutter release cable to take the images. Also its best to pre-focus(which I forgot to do) and shoot in manual. Like I said, easy :)
As part of my project this year to to regulary shoot a scene from the same location, frequent visitors to my blog will no doubt have seen images of these trees a few times already but only taken in the daylight hours. This evening, I thought it would be interesting to visit them well after sunset and this is the result. It was a very quick visit, resulting in only two images taken but never the less, a worthy venture. Near by street lamps give the trees a slightly warm feeling compared to the cold blue of the clear sky. It was also a full moon and I had hoped it would have lit more of the landscape in a cold blue temperature but it wasnt to be on this ocassion. Maybe if there were more clouds in the sky to reflect the moon light back to earth it may have had better efect, however I can't really complain with the result but I can plan to better it on a later date.
Sunday morning and I find myself on the beach at Roker,Sunderland. Not that unusual but it was a totally unplanned adventure. I had woke at 7.15am for a call of nature and just happened to look out of my 'weather window' facing eastwards and saw that the sky was looking very promising. I pondered wheather to go back to bed or head out...time was short to get to the coast. Before I knew it, I was ready, gear was ready and we were both hurtling down the A1231 to Roker. As I drove along, I initionly planed to just stay at the top of the prominade looking down towards the pier but the sound of the surf was just too much to ignor and I headed down to the waters edge in my wellies. I wasnt alone. Three other photographers, also had the very same idea and we spent a good hour or so snapping away and having a real good chat. As I walked down to the location, I spotted this old diningroom chair that had been washed up over night. With one leg just about to fall off, I knew it would make for something a little different as a foreground anchor in the shot. Wasnt bad as a prop for a selfy either. I'm sure King canute would have been proud!
Senior moment forces 'plan B' into action
Have you ever went to the airport and forgot your tickets, or went to the supermarket only to realise your cash card is sitting on the kitchen table? Well, something like that happened to me today when I traveled to the bay at Old Hartley, Northumberland and realised I hadn't put the memory card back into my camera. Oh the shame! Still, I had two choices. Turn around and go home or take some photos on my Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone. The first option wasn't really in the runnings to be honest so the phone it was. I knew it was able to take some good quality images, as I had used it 99% of the time on holiday in Mexico last year, so it was defiantly capable of taking decent images in the North East of England.
It just so happened that my wife's selfy stick was in the car and the phone holder fitted perfectly on my tripod enabling a steady, long exposure or two. This could be helped along, by holding my neutral density filter in front of the phones lens to get even longer exposures. Putting the camera into pro mode opened up a load of manual control functions, as well as enabling me to shoot in RAW, so that I could get as much detail as possible out of the images when processing them back at home. Wow, the performance of the phone really impressed me. I managed to get a load of great images in the two hours I spent in the bay.
It was my first visit there but it will defiantly not be the last. The rock formations and colours are perfect for photography and couple that with a good tide, you can’t help but come home with the goods. Using a phone camera meant that I only had one focal length lens at my disposal today. Usually I use zooms but the fixed lens forced me to get the composition right by moving closer or further away rather than turning a ring on the lens. Quite refreshing really.
The sunrise was a bit disappointing colour wise but the light was perfect for the type of images I was after. One thing I wished I had the use of, was a shutter release cable so as not to disturb the camera through the long exposures but after looking through the settings I found something better, voice activated photo taking. All I had to do was say “shoot” and the camera would take the photo. Amazing.
Back at home once I had the images loaded into lightroom I was very impressed with the detail and exposure latitude of the phone. Seemingly burnt out areas of the sky yielded loads of tone when the exposure slider was moved to the left and the shadows retained just enough detail to balance the image out. I’m planning to make a few test prints and will post my results later.
It just goes to show that its not all about the gear you have but the image you capture. If people only realised the power of that little flat box they carry around with them every day they may be surprised just like I was. Although I may not be ready just yet to hang up my DSLR camera, this S6 is a real contender when wanting to travel to a location but not take all the heavy camera gear usually associated with such adventures.