The Nikon D750 is put through its paces at Duxford. Turns out, it's a fantastic camera...Read More
Just to the west of Cambridge lies something you might not necessarily expect - an American WW2 cemetery. During the second world war, the University of Cambridge donated some land to the United States in order to establish a (then) temporary cemetery for their servicemen and women killed in action in the European and African theatres. Many of those buried there are from bomber squadrons, which often launched missions from bases in the UK. This is the only cemetery of its type in the whole country, and is a beautiful monument to those people who gave their lives for our freedom.
It sometimes feels like a bit of a moral dilemma, to shoot or not to shoot in a place where people lie just below your feet. However, if done tastefully (which I think is the key here) there is a lot of beauty to be found in a place like this. Architectural interests, leading lines, lovely symmetry, little details telling a story; these can all be found here.
The American Cemetery in Madingley has a Memorial building near the entrance, with some lovely reflecting pools.
Above all else, this is a lovely, peaceful place to have a walk around, with some pleasing symmetries and neat rows of headstones. From a photographer's point of view, if the weather is slightly moody, it only makes the stark white crosses stand out even more.
After a not-so-long look at the images I have captured this year (I haven't gotten out with my camera as much as I would have liked), I decided to choose my 10 favourite images from the year. Of course, these are my ten favourite images TODAY; next week I may well choose a different ten! In any case, it was pretty useful to see what I had shot over the year, to see if I had improved, and to help me think what I might like to get out and shoot in the new year. So here are my ten favourite images from the year, from January through to December.
#1 - Beyond the sea
#2 - Le Tour
#3 - Gendarmerie
#4 - Watery path (mono)
#5 - Black water
#6 - Bowfiddle
#7 - Fairy Glen
#8 - Light in the dark
#9 - Concorde rear
#10 - Purple Inverness
Not all of Scotland is blurry water, foggy lochs and more blurry water (although my previous two posts might dispute that)...there is some BIG scenery to be shot. We were lucky (as holiday makers) to get some amazing weather up by Inverness this summer; however, not so lucky as a photographer! The lack of rain, even interesting cloud cover, made finding good light for landscape photography pretty difficult.
I'm a big fan of going monochrome when the light is not so great, when the weather is a bit flat, but this view just seemed to scream black and white. I bumped up the blacks in Lightroom to get a more extreme contrast between the lit-up city and the dark hills surrounding it.
I was slightly surprised by this shot in terms of how popular it would prove to be (Explored on Flickr - not that being Explored really "means" anything!). An image of the Nevis range from the Commando memorial, I struggled to get much contrast in the mountains at all. The light was hazy and diffuse, but still bright, so it was creating a weird soft-box-type effect. Not so great for landscapes - if only I had a portrait to shoot...
Hello! It's been a long time since my last post (part laziness, part real-life keeping me away), but during this christmas break, I've had the time to look over my images from the past year. (It has also inspired me to do a sort-of self review - more to come later). In the mean time, I have been busy finishing the images taken during our trip to the Scottish Highlands. Some of them I have been posting on my Flickr page, but many I have not shared with anyone...
As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the main reasons for the trip was to try out my new Nikon 16-35 mm lens and Lee Little Stopper. Therefore, many of the images contain the sort of things you would expect - smooth(ish) water, blur, all that lovely stuff!
A different take on the rock formation from the previous post. The difficulty here was the level of the tide - we were pushed quite far back, so couldn't quite get the perspective I was after. I had seen this location before, in a video by a photographer called Craig McCormick (YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac4j9VjlX70). The other challenge was the amount of light; even with the Little Stopper I couldn't get the shutter speed low enough to get the proper blur in the water.
One thing the Little Stopper was (of course) good for - waterfalls. As you'd expect, lots of beautiful waterfalls in the Highlands, and this one was no exception. The tripod (3 legged thing) was in the middle of the pool, and I managed to get a nice blur in the water. Getting good movement like this is partially dependent on the recent weather - lots of rain a day or two before can really help make the image. This one in particular looked much more colourful and saturated in Lightroom, colours never seem to pop as much on websites...
The final image here illustrates some of the difficulties we have as amateurs travelling when we can and shooting when we have the time or happen to be at a location. The sun is actually above the bridge here, so obviously shooting contre-jour is not exactly ideal for contrast etc. However, much of the detail in the shadows (I exposed for highlights here with the LLS again) was rescued in Lightroom. So, we have to work with what we're given - but we're lucky enough to have amazingly powerful software at our disposal.