Tag: landscape photography

Looking for an angle

by on May.23, 2013, under Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumberland, Photography

Landscape photography is a bit of an oddity; unlike wildlife, landscapes tend to not move while you’re trying to photograph them (and if the landscape did start to move, I don’t think having to use a faster shutter speed would the greatest of your worries…).  Composition and light are the two factors that I always emphasise to clients on our landscape photography workshops and bespoke tuition sessions, and Tuesday afternoon gave me the opportunity to do that in one of Northumberland’s most iconic settings – the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

I met up with Pat mid-afternoon and we headed towards the harbour.  Perhaps a cliched location but with so many boats, so many viewpoints and the ever-changing sky and lighting conditions, there was plenty of scope for playing with exposure, composition and shooting angle.  As Pat took a series of images using her own lens and a couple of mine too (12-24mm f4 and 105mm f2.8) I scouted out different compositions and shooting angles for her to experiment with.

Northumberland has so many iconic locations for landscape photography that you could visit a different location every day and never get bored or take the same image twice.  If you’re a relative beginner and want to learn how to use your camera equipment to the best of it’s ability, or a more experienced photographer and would like to explore Northumberland’s rich opportunities with a local guide, give us a call on 01670 827465 to see what we can do for you 🙂

Lindisfarne Castle,Holy Island,Northumberland,landscape photography courses,landscape photography holidays,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Lindisfarne Castle,Holy Island,Northumberland,landscape photography courses,landscape photography holidays,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Lindisfarne Castle,Holy Island,Northumberland,landscape photography courses,landscape photography holidays,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

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Waiting for the light

by on May.23, 2013, under Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Photography, Southeast Northumberland

In an ideal world, a bespoke photography day with a client involves arriving at our chosen location, discussing techniques that will be required to achieve the desired image and then waiting for the perfect light to fall on the subject…

I arrived at Church Point on Sunday afternoon to collect Gareth for his bespoke photography trip.  My task was to deliver locations that would provide the opportunities for landscape or wildlife photography, and give advice on technique when needed.  In advance I’d planned a route through Druridge Bay, southeast Northumberland and the Northumberland coast that would provide a series of landscape opportunities.  So, discovering that visibility on the coast was poor was a bit of a spanner in the works 🙂  My backup plan was some nice close, obliging wildlife…swifts, swallows and martins were the ideal subject for the afternoon.  Difficult enough to test the abilities of most photographers, but usually obligingly consistent in their feeding, bathing and drinking behaviour.

As Gareth honed his ‘birds in flight’ skills we had an unexpected bonus in the shape of four Otters!  A writhing sinuous mass of muscle and menace, they twisted and turned in the water before climbing onto the bank and one of them munched contentedly on the fruits of it’s labour – a large Eel.

Displaying Redshank, typically unobliging Little Grebes and a ghostly Barn Owl drifting across a reedbed as dusk approached all added to the wildlife experience as Gareth shot lots of images of Swallows as they twisted, turned and stalled just a few feet away from us.  I managed a few shots myself, as we compared the effect of different camera settings, focal lengths etc.

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Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

Barn Swallow,Hirundo rustica,bird photography,Northumberland,bird photography courses,bird photography tuition,www.northernexperienceimages.co.uk

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Focusing on the coast

by on Oct.19, 2012, under Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast, Photography

Having lived on, or near, the Northumberland coast for 15 years (apart from my 6 month sojourn to Texas and Arizona) it’s a location I return to time and again with my camera/binoculars/telescope/camcorder/sound recording gear (delete as applicable depending on my mood and/or aim for the day).  The coast is my favorite location for one-to-one photography tuition with clients too (although the North Pennines AONB runs it pretty close!).

I drove down to Wallsend to collect Mac for his day of photography tuition, and we set off along the coast of southeast Northumberland and Druridge Bay.  I’ve always seen dilapidated farm buildings as ideal locations for Little Owl and Barn Owl, but one group of buildings made an ideal location to explore the reciprocal relationship between shutter speed and aperture, before we headed north and Mac added immeasurably to my knowledge of the opencast mining operations of the area.  Next stop was on the top of the dunes overlooking the north of Druridge Bay and, as well as the impressive scene looking across the rolling surf out to sea, a high-tide wader roost was building up on the rocks below us.  Redshank, Turnstone, Oystercatcher and Curlew were all arriving as the surf lapped at their feet.  Then they all scattered.  Sadly this didn’t herald the arrival of a Peregrine or other predator…but, instead, a jogger.  As luck would have it, I was due at a meeting with a Lead Adviser from Natural England a few days later, to discuss coastal activities and wildlife disturbance.  The conclusion of  a brief discussion at that meeting was that jogging through a high-tide wader roost in a SSSI is mindless stupidity, sheer ignorance and possibly an offence.  People really should know better.

Boats at Boulmer and Holy Island came under the focus of Mac’s camera before we arrived at our final location for the day.  Breaking surf, rock pools and the Northumberland coast’s stunning edifice of Bamburgh Castle provided our last shoot before the sun dipped behind the dunes and out of sight, and we headed back south.  The light wasn’t the best, although it was a good day to experiment with exposure settings, so here’s a shot of Bamburgh Castle in the sort of conditions that I really enjoy.

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Findings

by on Mar.04, 2011, under Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast, Photography

On our photography tours I carry my camera with me, particularly when delivering photography tuition, but on our other trips I don’t; our clients deserve, and receive, my full attention.  When I’m out on my own I don’t always carry a camera either – sometimes it would just be inconvenient (scrambling up trees, crags and dunes isn’t always compatible with having a heavy camera bag on your back).  Occasionally, though, there are times when a camera would come in quite handy.  These are nearly always stunning sunsets, and a quick shot with my Blackberry records the scene…and is then forgotten about 😉  I was downloading the images from the Outdoor Leisure Show yesterday when I realised that there were a few sunset shots sitting on the memory card;

First at the end of a stunning day birdwatching on the Northumberland coast in February ’10

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And then a couple of images from May last year, after our clients had been safely returned to their b&b, showing how light (or the camera’s perception of it) changes so quickly; these two images were taken only a minute apart.

landscape photography, photography tuition, photography courses, Northumberland

landscape photography, photography tuition, photography courses

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A cold walk and a varied week

by on Feb.05, 2010, under Photography, Tourism

I’ve had another week of meetings (and late-cancellations of meetings as well) with a wide enough range of topics to keep me on my toes.  I’ve enrolled on the Natural History Society of Northumbria ‘Lichens and Bryophytes’ course and the first session was on Monday; my use of dichotomous keys as an aid to identification has been sporadic previously, but now I’ve got to learn.  A one-to-one clinic on Wednesday, discussing the new Northumberland brand and ways to enhance our own marketing, gave me lots of new ideas.  Most valuable of all though was a meeting later that afternoon with one of Northumberland’s major land owners, discussing species conservation, land management, nature tourism and access to the prime natural history areas of his estate.  New NEWT products are on the way…

As I sat in the office yesterday afternoon, staring at the cold gloom outside, I had a call from my good friend, and bird race team-mate, Iain.  He was complaining about being stuck in his office on such a lovely sunny afternoon.  His office is only 20 miles up the road from ours, but was blessed with much better weather.

One thing that unpromising weather does give me time for is processing a few images from the last month.  With the launch of our new website Northern Experience Images I needed to do a reasonable amount of uploading.  Here a just a few from last Saturday, when the temperature was somewhat lower than it is now and myself, Sarah and Andy had a walk along the coast from Embleton towards Dunstanburgh Castle.

Dunstanburgh Castle from Embleton

Dunstanburgh Castle from Embleton

Dunstanburgh Castle from Embleton

Dunstanburgh Castle from Embleton

Dunstanburgh Castle and boulder beach

Dunstanburgh Castle and boulder beach

Boulders at dusk

Boulders at dusk

It was cold, really cold.  As we walked back through the dunes in the dark, there was a bitter northerly wind and it felt like a real wilderness.  Winter, my favourite time of the year (until the green shoots of spring begin to appear anyway…).

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