ADP Photography: Blog http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) ADP Photography tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:57:00 GMT Sat, 10 Feb 2018 09:57:00 GMT http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v39/u566635365-o550842591-50.jpg ADP Photography: Blog http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Muppet Moment 06 – Castled? http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/muppet-moment-06-castled Actually this is the Muppet Moment that wasn’t, but almost was!

I’ve written before about missed opportunities, and this was nearly a big MUPPET MOMENT!

Have you ever heard of Raglan Castle?  Full details here at their site.   

Unless you are from Wales, probably not.  I had, but only in passing.  Never in the same breath as the most famous Welsh castles such as Chepstow, Caernarfon or Caerphilly for example.

Ragland Castle (f/8, 30secs, 15mm, ISO320)

We were travelling into Wales for our week long break touring around some different spots.  The Elidir Trail, as serialised in this blog, was to be a major stop.  But before we made it over the border between England and Wales we had stopped near Ross-on-Wye, the next day we were to travel through to a hotel near the Brecon Beacons at Abergavenny.  How could we spend the day?  It wasn’t far from Ross to Abergavenny, only 30 miles on the most direct route.  Sure we’d pass through the Beacons but, as was the case this summer, the weather forecast wasn’t great, so no chance of much hiking around without getting soaked.  Low clouds and rain being expected after lunch (and they came).

We choose Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire to stop at and have a look, to lengthen the journey and see a bit of the local landscape.

We arrived about 11, parked up in the car park and I got out and had a look over the gate.  Paid entry.  Normal.  No big deal and expected for the upkeep of such places.

My family would have to stay in the car while my wife and I walked around it, not the mountain goats that they used to be with regard to agility and balance! 

At least an hour to go around.  It looked big!  Windy, scudding clouds, I’d do some long exposures, maybe 90 minutes.  No!  I wouldn’t keep them waiting; they’ll have a long, long wait tomorrow when I hike the waterfall trail.

We drove out towards the gate of the car park, after much debate about wandering around it, or not. 

“No, stop!  I will go around it.”

Fortunately my folks are understanding souls!!!

Crisis averted. 

I did visit and photograph Raglan Castle. 

Unfortunately it is one of those places that you cannot sell photographs of without paying a fee to the owners (CADW).  I cannot afford such a fee, I’d only ever sell 1 or 2 at the very most.  But, as a tourist, and a photographer, I can fully recommend visiting Raglan Castle and having a good look around.  It’s a beautiful place and a substantial ruin.  Lots of interesting compositions to be had!  

 

In the courtyard (f/8, 1/60, 15mm, ISO100)

False Promises (the weather didn't stay blue for long) (f/4, 1/400, 15mm, ISO100)

Sure enough, as we entered the Beacons the cloud descended further, and the rain came...but at least I’d got some shots that morning.

 

So, DON’T BE A MUPPET.  If you get the opportunity to visit something - take it!  You’ll only regret it later!

 

Ever missed an opportunity?

Write a comment and share your experience!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) architecture buildings castle history learning mistakes monmouthshire nature photography photography enthusiast photography tips ragland castle ruins travel photography wales welsh http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/muppet-moment-06-castled Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:00:00 GMT
Original London Light Trails? Admiralty Arch http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/original-london-light-trails I visit London two or three times whenever I go back to England.  My home town being very close and the city is famously rich in photographic opportunities.  There are so many historic old buildings, modern structures, ornate churches and also the wonderful Royal Parks.  The views along and across the Thames, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, Parliament, The Shard, The Eye...the list is endless.  But there are many lesser known landmarks that are equally interesting and, after so many visits, it’s now these unique places and lesser taken views, that I try to seek out.

That brings us to Admiralty Arch, at the end of the Mall leading into Trafalgar Square.  It’s a gorgeous old monument any time of day, read here for more details about the structure.

London Light trails are very common.  Whether along Tower Bridge, in front of St Paul's or beneath the Elizabeth Tower, (that’s the one with the bell of Big Ben inside it).  Many people incorrectly call the Elizabeth Tower ‘Big Ben’, remember that ‘Big Ben’ is the name of the bell that goes BONG, not the tower in which the BONGs bong!

Anyway, mini rant over.  When thinking about other possible locations for light trails, Admiralty Arch came to mind.  I am sure shots exist, they must do, but I have not happened to come across them.  Though remember, when doing any light trails with traffic, always, always be careful!  You can misjudge things when focusing on your camera!  DON'T TAKE PHOTOS IN THE ROAD - STAY WELL CLEAR OF TRAFFIC!  Traffic can hurt!

After trying a couple of compositions, I choose this angled shot as it emphasises the full arch shape of the monument, not only it's arches, as well capturing the light trails moving under it.  

No filters were needed, by using a narrow aperture and a low ISO I was able to get the shutter speed slow enough to capture the light trails.  Several shots were taken to get a variety of traffic, both large and small, cars and buses for lights at different heights.  The final images were then merged, using auto align and then a lighten blend mode to allow only the lighter parts of each imageş (i.e. the light trails), to show through to the top layer.  The final flattened image was boosted for colours and contrast in Lightroom to polish off the result. 

If you have shots of lesser known landmarks, light trails or not, please share a link in the comments!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) architecture city photography light trails london night time photography photography enthusiast photography tips road traffic travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/original-london-light-trails Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:15:00 GMT
Journey to Yorkshire 2017 – Part 3: Ribblesdale and the viaduct http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-3-ribblesdale-and-the-viaduct Journey to Yorkshire 2017 – Part 3: Ribblesdale

Would I be able to see the viaduct?

Yes!

Would I be able to photograph that majestic viaduct without getting soaking wet? 

No!

But that’s jumping forward.  Some background:

The Ribblesdale viaduct is just on the border between North Yorkshire and Cumbria.  It’s a stunning feat Victorian engineering from the golden age of steam.  It’s on the branch line between Settle and Carlisle, which for many years was closed.  Now reopened it carries passenger and freight, but if you ever visit, notice how slow the trains move over those arches.  Which is a good thing as I guess the views from the top must be impressive.  Not today though!

The viaduct opened in 1875.  This information from the Visit Cumbria website:

“Hundreds of railway builders (“navvies”) lost their lives building the line, from a combination of accidents, fights, and smallpox outbreaks. In particular, building the Ribblehead (then Batty Moss) viaduct, with its 24 massive stone arches 104 feet (32 metres) above the moor, caused such loss of life that the railway paid for an expansion of the local graveyard.”

Grim stuff!

Under the viaduct I believe there used to be some kind of old railway depot.  Now it’s given over to the moorland.  I knew where I needed to be to start my hike.  A very useful photograph online shows the road junction  sign with the majestic structure in the background.  The junction of the B6255 and B6479, near Ribblesdale railway station.

On the approach the weather was getting worse.  The grey getting thicker as drizzle hit the windows.  Here perhaps only once, and maybe never again, I had to get something.  The scenery of the high hills of the Pennines on the road up, and of Ribblesdale itself, would have been splendid, had the weather played ball. 

The B6255, the road running through the dale, was closed a few miles on.  After we turned off the B6479 ‘No Through Road – Access Only’ raised its very ugly head.  It didn’t say why, but I can guess.  There was a BT wagon in the lay-by at the edge of the dale.  BT...you +%&/()=.  Yes, they were at it here too…there were also a couple of trucks parked under the viaduct!  In August, closing roads where tourist and holiday makers want to go.  Opppf!

We couldn’t cross the dale, as was our plan, we’d have to find another way back.  But for the moment we pulled up in the in the lay-by near the dreaded white vans.  I got out, donned my waterproofs and began to take some distant shots, before my hike across to the viaduct itself.  Depending on the weather, I would cross the dale to shoot from the other side, and straight on from distance if I could.

FC111010111:zzzzzz0 a b6937804388584b241024814c0 bac2fd159 410 4f0147 761 8f5135 46e 547123 3a8 433111 30e 37a14d 2cf 305153 4fb 5cd159 64a 70f15d 6f4 79915d 713 772

Taken on LG G4

While I was there several train rolled across, sadly no steam!  What a grand sight that must make!  A couple of passenger units, and a freight train that seemed to tip-toe over those majestic stone arches was all that went passed.  It was drizzling again.  Mist was rolling across the hills of Whernside opposite.  Whernside was becoming hidden by the low cloud.  Off I went.  Over the years as a child, we’d often had picnics in the car as the weather was spoiler the day.  Make the most of it, the English holiday approach.  Today would be no different.  Would we see anything more of the Whernside hills that we're being swallowed by that all encompassing cloud before leaving?

The more I walked, the more it seemed to rain.  Across the grassy moorland for the distance square on shot was out of the question, it was boggy and the weather was getting worse by the minute.  I had to play percentages and try to get shots that I knew would work.  Onward.  A couple of shots fired from this new angle.  These had to be taken handheld.  My makeshift rain cover (plastic bag with a hole cut at one end - very effective) was keeping the rain out of my lens and camera body, but keeping the glass drip free was tough.  No, not tough, impossible!

Strangest thing of all.  I wasn’t the only lunatic doing this hike in the rain. The dogs really didn't mind, is he wearing shorts???  Must be a local!

I reached the centre point and darted off the path and fired off a number of shots to make a pano.  Again, handheld as the rain was too heavy to set up the tripod and keep everything dry.  I had no hope for this pano, the scene wasn’t what it should be as there was no detail in the landscape at all.  I am glad I hadn’t tried for the square on distance shot.  It would pick out nothing but the dim outline of the arches against an ever shifting mass of formless grey.  There was no landscape, just cloud and rain! which was now very heavy, with a strong squally wind whipping around.

I approached the arches, perhaps up close was my best (only) hope of a usable image.  A contrasty shot of the arches at a dynamic angle was my best composition.  The image below had to be cleaned of water drops.  What else could I do?  I had to photograph it today, when would I be back?  Rain was still falling, from the sky, and from me - the problem with waterproofs is that they drip! 

If anything, I think I did well to get some shots and return with a usable camera! 

Under the archesUnder the archesThe Ribblesdale Viaduct, Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire. Also know as the Batty Moss Viaduct, on the Settle-Carlisle line.

f/11 - 1/1600 - 15mm - ISO 800

I am certain that the grim weather actually made this shot more impressive than it would've been on a dry clear day.  Some good can come out of bad weather!  Persist!

With the weather conditions the rest of the day was abandoned as far as photography was concerned.  After finding another route back to the hotel, with telecoms company causing us to redirect several times, we adjourned to our rooms to meet later for dinner. 

After dinner, back to that ominous churchyard.  Not as atmospheric as the night before.  It was earlier than last night and the cloud was breaking to show the sun setting, albeit out of view.  The forecast had said a cloudy, dry evening.  It lied! 

The forecast for the next day was the same.  Disappointing, it didn't look good.  The plan had been to walk from Malham village to Janet’s Foss waterfall, then to Gordale Scar, an imposing cut in the hillside with a waterfall running through it.  I had planned then to hike from the Scar through the valley to the imposing limestone cliffs of Malham Cove, and then over the top of the cove and down to Malham Tarn for some waterside shots. 

Find out how successful this plan was (or wasn’t) next week!

Got any similar stories or comments about weather spoiling, or enhancing, your shots?

Please share!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) architecture bad weather black and white cloud landscape photography monochrome nature photography photography enthusiast rain ribblesdale ribblesdale viaduct travel photography viaduct weather http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-3-ribblesdale-and-the-viaduct Thu, 15 Feb 2018 08:45:00 GMT
Tips – Get out more 03: Rain Covers http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/tips-get-out-more-03-rain-covers If you don’t have solid weather sealed camera and lenses, (as I don’t), you need a decent rain cover to be confident shooting in wet weather, which in the UK we have quite a lot of.  Even outside of summer, here in Turkey, the weather can often be wet.  Ask more photogs and they will tell you that bad weather often makes a much better picture, clear blue sky isn't very interesting...that's for holiday snaps, so if you're out in dodgy weather, you need protection!

Checking on Amazon.co.uk, you can buy rain covers from as little as £8, without spending over £100 for Canon’s own!   Really Canon? £100?  That’s what Amazon sells the Canon ERC E4L Large EOS DSLR Cover for.  What does it do?  Automatically dry your hands at the same time? 

Anyway, back to my own solution.  I don't claim to have invented this, and I am sure many others do the same.

The solution below may not be 100% waterproof, I am not sure even the expensive Canon option guarantees that.  The idea below is what I do; I am not recommending it, just saying it’s what I do!  Hope that’s clear!

All I use is:  1 medium sized clear plastic bag; 1 pair of scissors; 2 elastic bands

Yes, it is that simple!

I used this approach several times in the UK last year.  On the Elidir Trail in Wales, and especially up in Yorkshire in rained a lot!  I had to keep my gear dry.  My 70D doesn’t have rain seals, nor do my lenses.  I wish I could afford kit that did.  Even if it did, I am not sure I’d be happy with so much water falling on expensive gear as it would've done up in Yorkshire...

The solution of cutting the bottom out of a plastic bag, placing it over your lens and pulling it over your camera works perfectly. The only problem I had was rain drops falling on the filter glass from me while drying the filter glass, a slight adjustment in bag position was needed, 

  • Use a bag big enough to get your hands under. 
  • Use a clear bag so you can see the buttons. 
  • Put one elastic band over the front end of your lens, you shouldn’t need the second (but it’s good to have a spare)! 
  • Leave enough bag in front of the elastic band so that you can fold a peak over the lens and cover filters.
  • Leave enough room at the back that you can lift it and see your rear screen. 
  • Eh viola – rain cover! (Less than 50p)

Sorry I didn't include a photo...but do you really want a photograph of a camera in a plastic bag? Well, let me know if you do! :)

My clear plastic bag, that now goes with me everywhere, came from Simmonds Bakery, where they make extremely fine bread and cakes!  No sponsorship, just if you’re passing and fancy a sausage roll ;)

Got any other photo hacks like this?  Please leave comments to share your solutions!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) bad weather camera hacks cheap tips keeping gear dry photography photography enthusiast photography tips protection rain cover travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/tips-get-out-more-03-rain-covers Sun, 11 Feb 2018 11:00:00 GMT
In-Camera Filters??? http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/in-camera-filters In-Camera Filters???  Let's call them ICFs (As there are so many acronyms in photography already, another won't hurt!)

Mr Frustrated Photog., what are you talking about?

Well, let me explain.  Over a year ago I sent this thought to Canon via there 'contact us' web link. I have had a stock reply thanking me for contacting them...Nothing else, maybe not surprising as this is perhaps the insane musings of a frustrated photog's brain.  Anyway...

Filters, they're something extra to carry.  On a photo mission maybe you have your standard zoom, a wide angle, perhaps even another zoom, (like a 70-200), to help you pick out details and composition in a landscape.  So carrying filters as well, that's extra weight and something else to hang round your neck or pack in the bag.  Not to mention more glass to try and keep spot and blemish free.

We know that most effects that filters give us can be applied in post-processing, though purists like to capture the scene in camera, by using filters:  

  • ND filters to reduce the shutter speed and block out light by a few stops
  • Graduated (hard or soft) with 1, 2 or 3 stops of graduated density  
  • There's even a reverse grad, placing the darkest point on the horizon and becoming light towards the top, for sunrise and sunset images when the sun is on or very near the horizon.

So, carrying all of these? 

  • Polarizers, we'll talk about those in a minute

The grads are less than perfect unless you have a completely flat horizon.  Even with a soft filter there'll be some degree of overlap on hills, tree lines or what-have-you, maybe only visible to the pixel-peepers out there.  The ND filters apply the same effect across the scene.  E.g. to the river as well as trees.

The shots below of Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf in Wales were merged to allow me to use the silky water, but stationary tree detail.  In the first you can clearly see movement in the trees, movement I didn't want.  Of course, I blended these two images to make a composite.

How cool would it be if we could just affect the water in a single image?

Most enthusiast level cameras already have some 'effects'.  They also already take and blend multiple shots in their HDR function. All cameras change an image with white balance or some form of picture styling (neutral, mono, landscape etc). Are ICFs just a step on? Most digital cameras now have a rear screen and many are touchscreens. 

How about using all of this to apply a filter when looking at the live image of the scene in front of you?  

For example:

  1. Display the live image on screen
  2. Draw a line from any point on the LCD with a fingertip to select the area that the effect should be applied to
  3. We then adjust a tonal range and/or colour tolerance parameter that tells the camera to only apply the effect to certain tones/colours within the selected area and whether it should be continguous or not
  4. We choose how many stops we want to apply to the effect
  5. We choose how much we want to feather the result, i.e. how soft the transition should be
  6. The LCD would display, in real time, what the finished image will look like (updating as we change the parameters) 
  7. The camera would fire the shutter two or three times, similar to HDR functions, one for the normal shutter speed at the standard exposure, and one or two for the filtered area. 
  8. The images are then merged together by the camera and displayed as a single image.

Why stop there, why not apply multiple filters to different parts of the image, maybe even spot lighting via radial filters with feather control?

Maybe some bright spark in the R&D dept at Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Sony or whichever are already tinkering with the idea.  With faster, better processors, could this happen?  Holding back the ND grad from the leaves covering a waterfall could take a bit of clever thinking, but our digital camera are already pretty blumming amazing machines when you think about it.  Why not?

The polarizer is perhaps the only filter that has to be a physical object, I guess that lens technology to ignore light coming in at a different angle would make lenses even more expensive and heavier.  Grad filters; Ok, perhaps not as good in post-processing as when applied to the front of the camera, but is it so different? 

ND filters, like the big stopper, can be imitated by applying blur to selections, though I find using the physical ND filter much better and smoother than the post-processing route.

Could in-camera filters mean we only need to buy and carry a polarizer in the future?

What do you think?  10 years?  20 years?  Never?

Let me know, write a comment!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) camera advances camera innovation development filters in-camera filter landscape photography photography photography enthusiast travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/in-camera-filters Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Journey to Yorkshire 2017 – Part 2: Scalebar and Stainforth Force http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-2-scalebar-and-stainforth-force Day 1 set the pattern for each of the two full days that we would be here.  English summers can be beautiful, and I truly believe that on a sunny day England can be as beautiful as anywhere in the world, but the weather in England is like a spiteful child and cannot be trusted. 

Mornings started promising and bright, but rain was forecast, late evenings it would clear.  Not exactly waterfall photography friendly weather.  Showers are one thing, but these were going to be HEAVY showers.

On the plus side, plenty of rain filled the rivers, (almost to overflowing), so that avoided the low levels that I found on the Elidir Trail (see blog entries).  On the down side: it was wet, very wet, and with a lot of low cloud.  My poor 70D is not sealed well enough to cope with such constant rain.  Add to this that many of the landscape views would be shrouded in a blanket of grey and totally hidden.   Very sad.  The landscape we had come to see is stunning.  I promise!

England, I love you…but aggghhhh! 

Anyway, being English, we’re used to this kind of problem.  We know we cannot let it stop us enjoying a holiday!  So it didn’t.  It just meant for some creative shots out of car windows in the persistent heavy drizzle cloaked in low cloud, (see part 3 to be posted shortly).

So Day 1 then. 

Up to Settle. Scalebar Force.  I had seen many shots of this beautiful place so I had to include it on my list.  It’s one of the most stunning falls in the country.  The Ingleton Waterfall trail is nearby, but it’s a four-mile circuit.  Four miles and lots of waterfalls and features, it would take me maybe six hours to get around.  No, not this year.  Another time perhaps.

You’ll see that I have only included a link to Google Images for Scalebar, because I didn’t make it. 

Thank you BT!  Yes, British Telecom.  For some unknowable reason, except to their infinite wisdom, the main national provider of communication cables had their Broadband vehicles working on roads all over the county, and many country roads were closed.  Why, why, why???  In summer???  When people visit!  Oppfff, BT ya! 

The road leading out from Settle to Malham passing Scalebar was closed, from both ends.  I assume at the same time.  We tried both.  No access.  Scalebar would be a five or six mile hike, in wind and rain. 

Catrigg Force is also near Settle, but again not on my list due to hiking distance and the weather conditions.  Stainforth Force was closer to the road…and no BT wagon closing it.  Success!

Stainforth Force 2Stainforth Force 2The three sections of Stainforth Force, the River Ribble, North Yorkshire

Stainforth Force on the River Ribble: f/8 - 5sec - 15mm - ISO100

The River Ribble, (what a lovely name), was raging.  The deluge of the previous days and the heavy intermittent showers of the morning had it full to the brim.  Some online official images show it as a fairly low flow, but today it was roaring.  The falls are in three close stages, the bottom dropping some two or three feet into an almost black, narrow gorge.

It’s impossible to get a head on shot of this waterfall without drone or drowning.  I don’t have the former, and certainly didn’t fancy the later.  I got as close to the edge as I would dare, (NB for my wife: don’t worry, not that close). 

The rain had stopped.  Barely even spitting now. The sky was cloudy so no sunlight burning out the highlights in a silky long exposure.  As always, I framed up a composition without filters first at normal shutter speed, to check framing.  Then took several shots at different shutter speeds to see the effect on the water.  It was hard to capture the scale of the fall from this angle.  Further back, trees and the craggy rocks would block the view.   I settled on a panorama of three images to get as much of a view as I could, see above, using manual settings to ensure the exposure didn’t change.

The bottom section was the most aggressive plunge down into the river, the middle section has some interesting abstract patterns in the flow, but the top section has more details in its side channels and almost horseshoe shape.  I moved up closer to focus on this part.

Middle section: f/11 - 3.2sec - 50mm - ISO 100 

Top section: f/16 - 6sec - 38mm - ISO 100

You know, I think I am obsessed with water!  My star sign? Nope, I’m not a water sign, not that I believe in that anyway…and no, I wasn’t dropped in a river as a kid, (at least, my parents never mentioned that I was…).  I find waterfalls mesmerizing, indeed water generally.  Check my Flickr feed, and it seems like 70% of my shots feature water in some way, even my shots of flowers often have rain on them.  Thanks to the UK weather again! 

I framed up a few more shots to get details of this upper section.  I could photograph it for hours.  Wow it was a loud river that day! 

Ok, just about done.  A couple more shots needed.  Looking upriver from the force you can see the old stone bridge of the single track lane leading from the main road to the village of Lower Stainforth.  The lane has a great name: ‘Dog Hill Brow’!

Could I get a shot of the falls, the Ribble and the Bridge?  It would have to be HDR, or at least blending images.  The grey clouds were very bright compared to darkness of the forest on the bank.  Framed up, Little Stopper on plus a polarizer to take the glare off the wet stone in the foreground, I bracketed for 3 shots covering almost 4 stops; it should be enough.  Indeed, it was, just enough to keep some detail in the cloud and water, yet allow for the shadows in the trees.

Stainforth Force 1Stainforth Force 1Stainforth Force, top section, on the River Ribble, looking towards the bridge on Dog Hill Brow, North Yorkshire

Stainforth Force (top section), The River Ribble, and the bridge on Dog Hill Brow:

3 shots Lightroom HDR f/8 - 1-3.2-10sec - 24mm - ISO 100

Thank you weather (and BT), you behaved enough for me to get this waterfall, all done I packed up my gear and headed back to the car. 

The drive up to the Ribblesdale Viaduct would have been gorgeous, if the hills of Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough were not shrouded in low cloud.  It rained hard, frequently!  There was no point stopping the car for views.  If the low cloud would clear a bit, there would be some beautiful atmospheric monos.  Not a chance.  The weather was set in!

Would I be able to photograph the majestic Ribblesdale viaduct)  Would I be able to SEE the viaduct?  Part 3, next week!

Has the weather (or telecoms engineers) ever done something similar to you?

Share your experience with a comment or two!

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) force landscape photography nature photography photography enthusiast river river ribble stainforth force travel photography water waterfalls woodland yorkshire yorkshire dales http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-2-scalebar-and-stainforth-force Sat, 03 Feb 2018 10:15:00 GMT
Muppet Moment 05: Stabilisers OFF! http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moment-05-stabilisers-off Image stabilisation is a wonderful thing.  That little button on the side of the lens that gives you a few more levels of comfort when trying to get a sharp image.  The normal rule being that your shutter speed should be at least the same as your focal length, if not a faster (higher) number.  Image stabilisation, vibration compensation, (whatever brands call it), manufactures claim that you have a few extra stops of control.  Most lenses these days seem to advertise four stops.

It all sounds great doesn't it, and it is.  So where's my MUPPET MOMENT?

Well, tripods and stabilisation DON'T MIX!  TURN IT OFF when you put the camera on a tripod.  Basically those whizzy bits of tech that stabilise your image are looking for movement that on a tripod doesn't exist.  The very thing that makes your image sharper, now adds movement.  This is true when the camera is on a tripod, or set down on a solid surface...anytime when the camera isn't likely to move.

How many times have I looked at an image on the rear screen wondering why it was soft...only then to remember that I haven't turned stabilisation off? 

I seem to have got over this problem, now.  Believe me it took some time.  I usually realise the problem while taking the images, not when I am home and it is too late.

But there's another problem: turning the blasted thing back on again when I take the camera OFF the tripod.  What a MUPPET!

As an enthusiast, I don't go to one place with the intention of taking just one scene.  I don't travel for photography very often, so when I do I like to walk around and see what shots I can get.  My subject matter also changes.  I love to take landscapes, (that's my real passion), but macro, wildlife, strange looking run-down vehicles...anything that looks a bit different and interesting.  It's not uncommon for my camera to be yo-yo-ing on and off the tripod over the visit.

You see the problem?

The two shots below.  Very typical.  One moment taking a long exposure on a tripod of the waves against the rocks, a few moments later, a short way behind the first spot, and the camera is off the tripod hand-held to capture birds.  Countless times I have forgotten to switch stabilisation back on.

The tip then, and well, this one is basic.  REMEMBER THE BUTTON!  If my problem continues I am going to have to put sticker on my tripod that I see when folder the legs.

Attention all camera manufacturers:

It would be really good if you could create a system where the camera KNOWS its not being handheld, maybe a sensor in the handgrip.  Fingers not present = stabilisation off; fingers present = stabilisation on. 

Hmmm, can't see that innovation being reliable.  What do you think?

Until then, don't be a MUPPET.  REMEMBER THE BUTTON!

What do you think about auto stabilisation on/off? Is it as crazy as it sounds?  On my 70D I get a warning in the viewfinder if I see the image to monochrome, why not about this problem?

On the subject of innovation, I will soon talk about my ideas for electronic filters...something I mailed to Canon over a year ago. No reply!  :/

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

 

 

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) camera ideas camera innovation image stabilisation learning long exposure mistakes photography photography enthusiast photography tips travel photography tripod http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moment-05-stabilisers-off Mon, 29 Jan 2018 07:30:00 GMT
Florence: How to photograph a city of icons? http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/florence-how-to-photograph-a-city-of-icons Florence, what a beautiful city!  Small and easy to walk around, and full of interesting history in every street and on every street corner.  A living museum!  Maybe not the awesome grandeur of Rome, but Florence is remarkable.  Birthplace of the Renaissance!

With only a few days in a city, during a summer holiday, how do you photograph a city that has been photographed about a centillion times (I think that's 303 0s!) and find a unique shot?

Giotto's Bell Tower by sunset with some careful positioning, and lucky timing, and the back streets near the Uffizi Gallery

Well, as all good photo tips mags and sites say, preparation is a good start.  Using apps like Photopills, The Photographer's Ephemeris, Google Earth and of course weather apps.  Understanding the times and positions of the sun in relation to the sights in the city is important, as is the likely weather.  However, there is a big elephant sized BUT that seems to always be missed!  When you arrive...what if the conditions, or the skyline, or the restoration projects, don't behave?

I had the restoration issue in Rome in 2015, first stop The Trevi Fountain, close to my hotel.  Completely under renovation, no tourists, no water, almost no fountain!  The same at the Spanish Steps.  Two important landmarks crossed off my photography list without a single shot being fired!

Anyway, back to Florence!

The same story.  The skyline was littered with cranes due to the the many renovation projects that seemed to be necessary.  Well, it is an old city.  This instantly put pay to the quality of possible skyline shots from the high vantage point of the Piazzale Michelangelo. There's always cloning, true, but the cranes were everywhere, cutting across domes and towers...what to do?  Prep all you wish, but you still have to think on your feet when you arrive, at least planning makes you aware of other options.

I, like most of us, combine holidays with photo ops.  No special missions to wonderful cities just to take photos.  We have to deal with the conditions we find, as we find them.  Sure there may be websites that tell you all the planned civic works, really?  Good luck with that!  

So, what do I do?

First day! Walk! I am lucky that my wife believes as I do; the best way to experience a city is on foot.  Sure, subways and buses can be used later, but to get the feeling of the place, and to SEE it.  Walk!  On your last days in the city, when you have to get to one or two last important places quickly, use transport, but in the beginning, put in the leg work!

A tip to include in your preparation; join the dots...  

Sights that are close together, routes you can complete easily in day or so.  Remember that it's not a race, so add lots of contingency for sitting, eating, and taking it easy to enjoy the place!  Enjoying the trip is perhaps MORE important than the photograph.  A great photo is great, but if you leave and can't really say what the city was really like, then you haven't made the best use of the trip.  Purists would also say that you need to get the feel of a city to really capture it, right? 

When you have these routes in your pocket, when you arrive and understand the local weather, you can set off.  But as you walk, SEE!  Remember what areas are near to each and roughly how long it takes.  Look for opportunities to come back to, where the light will be later.  This will serve you well as the days pass and other opportunities spring up.

There's no point running for a grand view when the light will be gone by the time you get there.  Get what you can!  Be wise with your choices!

I am blessed with a fairly decent sense of direction.  Usually, I can find my way in most places, even if I have never been there before.  Cities with rivers are the easiest.  How many times did you cross it? Is it on your left, right, behind or infront of you?  Easy really.  it also helps that I've normally been gazing at maps for a week or so before the visit.

I also recommend making sure your hotel is central; as close to the good stuff as possible.  Don't waste time travelling just to save a few €uros!  We stayed at the wonderful Residenza Vespucci, on the banks of the Arno.  Perfect location, wonderful decoration, and very nice hosts (and polite dog) too!

It was the height of summer, in a bit of a heat wave, 38º in the shade.  Usually, too tired to get up for sunsets, (and they were behind the hills until mid morning anyway), sunsets: time and position - noted!  By walking around the city for the first two days, drifting in and out of some sights, I had worked out directions.  Il Duomo by sunset, many visitors will have that shot I guess, but also we were close by after a thunderstorm for a more radiant sunset.  

Two shots of the Cathdral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Il Duomo, and Giotto's Bell Tower, glowing with a post-thunderstorm sunset.

We had sat in the square by Il Duomo eating a marvellous pizza as the brief, but violent, thunderstorm raged and scattered tourists back to their hotels.  We emerged and wandered around after the storm to witness some gorgeous light.  Framing Il Duomo in the cobblestone puddles, taking my time, checking the images, trying another.  I turned.  There were a dozen female far eastern tourists doing exactly what I was doing.  I never realised I was a trendsetter!  

But light and weather and locations are not the only things we need to do to get a worthwhile image, more than just a snapshot momento.  We have to try and see something different, a unique composition or perspective.  Well, if not unique, (a centillion images means there's probably very few unique shots left), at least interesting.  Think also about possible mono, you may see something in the wrong light, but you can still use it, see the shot of Il Duomo and part of the Palazzo Pitti below. 

Il Duomo against a deep blue sky, turned mono and detail of the Palazzo Pitti.  Different treatments giving very different effects 

By night? Add some light stars to make a more interesting shot!

San Frediano in Cestello, on the banks of the Arno by night, complete with a low moon and light stars

Think about unique angles and ways of framing the normal sights in unusual ways.

Il Duomo seen from a window of the Palazzo Vecchio

I may not have captured the most unique compositions, and there were no gorgeous cloud formations lit by the setting sun (with or without a skyline full of cranes), but I think I came away with some shots that show the city in ways that are not seen too often!

Do you have any city visit tips?  Please add your comment!  

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

 

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) composition florence ideas italy photography photography enthusiast photography tips planning preparation travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/florence-how-to-photograph-a-city-of-icons Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT
Journey to Yorkshire 2017 – Part 1: Haworth http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-1-haworth Yorkshire is a very large area north of the midlands of England, and split 4 districts.  The East Riding, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.  Why isn’t the other East Yorkshire?  No idea!  But I know West and North also used to be called the West and North Ridings!   

The whole of Yorkshire covers a large area, some 12,000 km3.  It’s a wonderful region.  Many wonderful cities and towns, hundreds of villages, (some among the most picturesque in the UK), and the whole area has a rich tapestry of history; castles and battlefields of the medieval wars, ruins of so many monasteries and abbeys torn down at the behest of Henry VIIIth.   The history goes back even further to Roman ruins, Iron Age forts, Bronze Age stone circles and…well, it goes on. 

The landscape of Yorkshire is also fascinating.  The Pennines are the most dominant hills running through, together with many rivers and waterfalls and a picturesque craggy eastern sea coast.  Woods and forest abound and, as in most of England, every land feature, (literally every hill, copse, crag, brook, rock etc) has a local name showing the landscape’s rich connection with rural life over the millennia. 

The Yorkshire Dales roll up and down with the moors and the villages nestle in between.  Each village has its own church spire standing proud.  On the moors and on the hillsides the stonewalling tradition is prevalent, and dotted up and down are the old and now rarely used crofters huts for the shepherds of old.  As with many other counties; once in the countryside, Yorkshire feels like the real England of old.  Blake’s green and pleasant land.  Well, when the sun shines that is...

This particular visit to Yorkshire was in August 2017.  August.  That’s UK summertime, right?  Well, sadly it can never be guaranteed and the time of my visit, it was wet.  Very wet! 

The focus of this visit, as well as spending time with family, wasn’t the picturesque abbeys of Whitby, Fountains, Rievaulx etc, but the waterfalls around the Settle area and the landscape around the village of Malham.  We had booked a hotel in Settle itself, close to perhaps the most majestic of Yorkshire falls, but two weeks before the trip…email:  “The premises has now closed.  Please re-book.”  Short.  To the point.  Deposit???  But more importantly, it was summertime and only 2 weeks to find an alternative…

We did, but much further away than intended. 

Haworth and the Old White Lion hotel.  Well worth a stay with gorgeous food, not to mention wonderful draught beer!  It’s located in an old part of the small town on top of the hill with gorgeous views.  It’s a beautiful old building with a typical period bar area, but with modern, comfortable rooms.

As we travelled further north towards Haworth, the weather had become increasingly showery, the scene of a gorgeous double rainbow in front of the Pennines presented itself from our hotel rooms.  What do you do with this kind of light? Take it from the hotel window? Or run and try and find a location hoping it doesn't fade?

Evening Light from the hotel window in Haworth (taken through glass)

Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre were written around Haworth and on this hill is the Brontë Parsonage. It’s also one of the most eerie churchyards I have ever been in, the church of Saint Michael and All Angels. 

I visited the church the evening we arrived, it was 9pm, still not dark in that part of the world, only dusk.  It was also dry, and not forecast to stay that way for long.  The crows in the trees that enclosed the churchyard were cawing madly at one another and periodically all shifting their perch en masse.  The headstones and graves are huddled so closely together, it is definitely the most tightly packed graveyard I have seen. 

Heavy drops of water were falling through the leaves of the trees from the fresh afternoon rain.  This place was spooky.  It had to be walked through and photographed, as it had such a unique presence.  Indeed I went back every night!  Sadly it was very hard to capture everything about this churchyard in one photograph, you needed all six (yes six) senses to experience it.  The normal five were not enough as there was definitely an atmosphere that was beyond the corporeal.  Definitely haunted!

The churchyard of St Michael and All Angels, Haworth

Looking across at the western edge of the Pennines from the hotel room, the disused mills in every crease of the hills, it’s easy to imagine the landscape of Heathcliffe and Catherine...and Jane (of course).  A gorgeous sky now lit up after the sun had disappeared, the colours lingered long into the evening.  The forecast tomorrow didn’t promise this kind of light!

If only these clouds remained for tomorrow??? (taken on LG G4)

So endeth the first evening of the trip.  Day 1 begins in the next part which should be on here in the next few days!

Please post comments, ideas, suggestions and I promise to reply asap.

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) churchyard england haunted photography photography enthusiast photography tips rainbow sunset travel photography yorkshire http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/journey-to-yorkshire-2017-part-1-haworth Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:45:00 GMT
Muppet Moment 04: Filters bouncing light http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moment-04-filters-bouncing-light To filter light...that would mean to stop some coming through or to change it somehow.  But what about when filters make MORE light than you want? Particularly when they reflect something else into the sensor that shouldn't be there...

I use the LEE filter system now.  I used to use screw in ND filters, and variable ND filters, but I often got colour casts and strange X-patterns across the image, especially at wide angles.  LEE are used by a lot of top photogs and I can see why.  My own experience is that they are reliable, and any colour cast, if I get any at all, is one that is very slight and easy to fix.  They are very pricey, but I am happy with the purchase nonetheless, (I just wish they were A LOT more afforable!)  LEE are not sponsoring me, by the way.  This is my own unbiased opinion, LEE: if you want to sponsor me...I would particularly like to try out your reverse grad filter ;^)

So on to the MUPPET MOMENT then...

You see, the problem with filters, especially the slot in kind, is that light can get between the filter and the lens.  This is even more likely when you stack filters, say, using something like a Big Stopper and an ND grad.  Light can get in between them and bounce around all over the place.

Have a look at the two shots below.  The first, a composition before using filters.  The second, the problem.  You can just about make out the white writing from the front of the lens to the left of the image.  I have also had examples of this problem where the numbers were readable, (but I deleted those shots long ago!)

My muppet moment, and this has been repeated muppetry, is that this problem occurred during the shoot, but even though I checked the images, I didn't notice the leaking light and extra reflections until I got home.  

I recommend increasing the brightness on your rear screen and double check with your glasses ON if you normally wear them!

Other tips?

Yes, flag the light!  Use a remote, the timer or a cable release, (we should be doing this anyway, especially with long exposures), and stand between the light source and the camera then hold your jacket or some other object to block the light.  While doing this, make sure you are out of shot...vari-angle rear screens are useful as you can twist the screen and make sure you are out of shot as you position yourself.

Even holding a book next to the lens can do the same job!

Photography is all about light!  So, don't be a MUPPET, get only the light you want!

Please share any comments you have about such problems of leaking light, either from filters, the eyepiece, (or anywhere else for that matter).

Also what filters do you use? Would you recommend them?

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) filters learning lee filters light leaks mistakes photography photography enthusiast photography tips reflections travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moment-04-filters-bouncing-light Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:00:00 GMT
The Elidir Trail, part 4: Sgwd Gwladys to the end! http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/the-elidir-trail-part-4-sgwd-gwladys-to-the-end Where did we get to...ah yes:

Another twist in the river gorge and down and steep bank crowded by old trees.  There we saw the tributary Afon Pyrddin merging into the River Neath.  Sure enough, this was where we would find a path leading west(ish) up towards Sgwd Gwladys, The Lady Falls.  As feared, Afon Pyrddin was low, very low! 

Nevertheless, all looked beautiful as it bubbled and ran around boulders and rocks and it was still sheltered by this never ending canopy of trees.  The sun was also more courageous now, staying out longer between clouds.  People too, and dogs, were more plentiful.  It was getting on for 1pm, they were all coming up the ‘easy’ southern section of the trail from Pontneddfechan.

We crossed over the Afon by a small bridge and followed the path towards the falls.  It shouldn’t be far.  It wasn’t.  There is an interesting viewpoint constructed to view the Lady Falls.  Interesting because of its peculiar property of not actually having a clear view of the waterfall!  Very odd!  Oh well...

Oh my, this tributary of the Neath was low.  The Lady Falls comes over a natural amphitheatre carved out of the rock, the overhang dropping into a bowl shaped plunge pool.  There are photos with the river leading away completely awash with the motion blur of fast running water.  Not today! 

As you see from my image below, pebbles, lots of them making beach in the middle of the stream.  The fall itself was just a quarter of its average size.   The natural bowl shape allowed for more sky and light to penetrate the fall and sunlight intermittently caught the white water playing havoc with exposures. 

I framed up, again down low to maximise the foreground, after all, might as well make use of the details as the fall itself wasn’t so grand.  It still looked beautiful though, the thin cascade resembles a maiden’s hair more than the normal wider flow would.  There are local legends about this place, and how it earned its name. 

F/16 – 13sec – 24mm – ISO 100

This entry I found on World of Waterfalls.

The fall is named after Gwladus one of the 25 daughters of the 5th century prince Brychan. She fell in love with Einon whom her father would not allow her to marry and her sad spirit is said to flow in this elegant 20ft fall.

25 daughters???  Legendary already!

By the way, the website where I found that history, like many others, speaks of a waterfall centre at Pontneddfechan.  I looked for it before I started my hike, (to use the loos).  After my hike I learnt that it doesn’t exist anymore, (summer 2017), only the outdoor loos can be found at the bottom of the trail, which I haddn’t seen as we drove past.  Forget those outside loos, go to The Angel pub!  Great coffee...and probably better toilets!

The river was perhaps just 2 inches deep as it flowed away over rounded pebbles from the plunge pool.  Was the middle of the water flow the best place to get a reflection shot of the waterfall falling into the pool? It was!  Time to find out if the marketing around waterproof shoes was true! 

I stepped hesitantly three feet out mid-stream, planted my tripod having already gauged exposure on the dry pebbles.  The sun was playing games now!  In, then out, then in again!  Chasing exposure times as the shade of the clouds diffused the sun, only for bright sunlight to burn out the white water.  I was faffing around as water, cold water, lapped around my waterproof shoes.  Although no water came in, I could feel the cold around my toes.

F/16 – 5sec – 31mm – ISO 400

A couple set up a picnic on a large riverside boulder, no doubt enjoying the added spectacle of some idiot hopping around midstream.  Another composition; “Morning!”, I offered to the picnickers.  A sandwich was lifted by way of acknowledgment mid-mouthful.  That natural amphitheatre surrounded by ancient forest is a truly a beautiful picnic spot, regardless of how high the river level is.

But onwards.  We had to leave again.  30 minutes or so to our planned meeting time.  It was only an estimate as we had no idea how long the whole trail would really take, but I don’t like to keep people waiting, especially when they are prone to a bit of worry, and they have reason to worry as I am known for being a little reckless when a photo presents itself, (re: that idea I had about charging headlong down a steep bank to get a photograph at the first main fall).

We followed Afon Pyrddin back and rejoined the main river.  True to advertising this part of the trail was easy.  Flat!  Almost devoid of anything to step over or round.  A couple of ruined buildings, once constructed of now blackened brick, huddled in the trees, a small farm holding, complete with sheep, and a very dank, dark black tunnel that lead underground, covered with a locked grate.  Was this the fabled entrance to the faerie kingdom?

Down on this flatter, lower part, there were a few small cascades, ones that would have been beautiful to photograph but they were heavily obstructed by tree branches and there were no obvious means of approach.  Despite the improved nature of the path, the river at times still cut deep down into rock that meant any scaling down the bank was dangerous, if not almost impossible.  There was no more time.  Sadly.

Lots more people, and lots more dogs.  We were definitely closer to the end of the trail.  So wide and flat that my wife even had room to dodge out of the way, thanks to her fear of cuddly canines, without the threat of winding up down a bank and in the Neath!  That wasn’t the case back up on high ledges where once she had to choose between fur and fall.  She had huddled behind me as I chaperoned the dog around my legs.  Just a lab being nosey, then off chasing its owner.

One couple walked by, a couple of small dogs scampering around on their leashes, husband and wife...not speaking!  She looked very angry!  I found out later that the husband had almost flattened one of the dogs while parking his expensive motor!

We emerged to find my folks waiting by the wall by the bridge over the Neath at Pontneddfechan, across the road from the pub almost exactly three hours after they dropped us off at the top.  Perfect!  Tired, aching, but fully satisfied with the mornings exercise and photographic results.  Well, not quite satisfied.  Somethings to attend to.

Let’s go to the pub for a coffee, well, more importantly, I first had to make some room before any more liquid went in!

Refreshed, in bladder and in caffeine, we sat a few moments chatting about the experience.  My wife and I agreeing that it was surprisingly easy, even on the ‘moderately easy’ northern part.

An amazing trail to walk along.  I strongly recommend it.  But please, work to preserve it and look after it.  No rubbish and please don’t etch your name in a tree.  I am pretty sure humans would not like it if trees etched their name in us!

My only regrets of the Elidir Trail are that I may never see it again and that I should have told my folks to meet us after four, or even five, hours later.  If I could do it again I would definitely spend more time to make sure I have captured everything and really encapsulated the beauty of the area.

The Elidir Trail, entrance to the Faerie Kingdom?  Very probably!

Next serialisation of my summer exploits will be the hike to Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar, in cold wind and driving rain (in August!)  A couple of Muppet Moments from that one too!

 

Please post any comments, questions and suggestions and links to your photos to share.

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) brecon beacons canon elidir trail forest landscape photography nature neath photography photography enthusiast river river neath wales waterfall country waterfalls woodland http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/the-elidir-trail-part-4-sgwd-gwladys-to-the-end Sat, 13 Jan 2018 08:30:00 GMT
Get more lens time 02: Plan for the unexpected http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/get-more-lens-time-02-plan-for-the-unexpected Many 'tips' sites and articles preach preparedness: using sun tracker apps to check the light, researching suitable photographic locations and angles, checking the weather etc...It makes a lot of difference!

All well and good.  I use weather apps; the Photographers Ephemeris and Photopills, Google Earth to check how the land lies, and the internet for ideas.  All very useful.

But...

You know by now that I can't have my own transport, (them blumming knees of mine), so I have to rely on others.  This includes piggy-backing family outings with photo opportunities.  All well and good, but often the plan for the trip is a floating target!  That's a feature of the culture of my Turkish relatives being a little less planned than my own anglo-saxon heritage.  There's nothing wrong with it, no one cultures is more right (or wrong than another), it's just different!  Sure I grumble every now and a again (time keeping, unplanned extra stops etc), things are more laid back, I wish I could be.  I am English and therefore happier when following a plan, (without deviation). Difference keeps us all interested!

"Where are we going today, love?"

"Just Ocaklar for lunch."

Ocaklar, by the coast hmmm this weather, that location, no, no need for the tripod and filters.

...

"We're just going on to..."

"Aaaarrrgggghhhhh, rocks, sea, misty long exposure chance but no tripod...or filters."

A typical conversation that happens at least three or four times a summer.  Very different locations and opportunities...add in different weather and light...

Two shots below: almost the same location, one with interesting light and filters to make a long exposure, the other, without...kit can make a difference to the images you get.

It's impractical to take all kit everywhere, all the time.  So the tips then are these:

1:  At least take your camera with you whenever you can.  A comfy camera strap is a worthwhile investment.  I use the Black Rapid RS7 which sadly I think they have stopped selling...so they must have something better now (I guess)

2: Have a good all-rounder lens attached that can do most things to an acceptable level

3: Always keep an eye on local weather and sun times.  In this age of phone apps, it only takes a minute to know the general local conditions

4: Without being a bull about it, try to scope out what possibilities of other plans may occur.  Remember your photography is secondary to the day's plan.  Any opportunity is a gift after all.  Don't push it!

5: At least have your polarizer on when you leave.  I find I can take it and the lens cap off together and keep it in my pocket wrapped in a lens cloth if it isn't needed.  Remember the polarizer doesn't just work on blue skies, but also any reflected light on water, bring out the colour of leaves etc.  The polarizer is one of the only things that cannot, or is very difficult, to replicate in post processing

6: Think laterally.  Ok, so no tripod, but is there a stable vantage point that you can rest your camera on? Make sure it is stable and safe though!

7: And very important.  Make notes!  If you're in a good location without the right gear.  Write it in your photography ideas list.  Then, when you are nearby again, try to visit with the kit

Ever missed a shot because you didn't have the gear?  Write a comment and share your experience! 

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) apps filters gear google earth kit landscape photography learning lens photo apps photo pills photography photography enthusiast photography tips planning strap the tips travel photography http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/get-more-lens-time-02-plan-for-the-unexpected Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:30:00 GMT
Cardiff; Shot of the Millennium? http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/cardiff-shot-of-the-millennium A professional photographer can visit the right place at the right light, meaning the golden hours on a day when the weather and skies are favourable. I, like most of us, can't. 

Without my own transport often I have just one hit during a family holiday to get what I can...

My visit to Wales and The Elidir Trail, (see the Elidir Trail blog posts), last summer included an overnight stop in Cardiff; an afternoon around the town centre and the following morning around the regenerated docks.

I remember the Cardiff of 30 years ago.  I had family in the Splott area and one such relative worked on the trains from days of steam to the modern High Speeds out of the nearby Cardiff Canton depot.  A hard life.  So much of the docks has changed over the 30 years.  Now it's modern bistros, swanky wine bars, cuisine from places a whole other world away.  What would an old steam train driver make of it?

I can guess.  But I can't print it! 

He was a man who never changed political allegiance...but changed membership because the other 'side' had a larger club with better beer. Priorities sorted...it didn't change the vote.  I don't think he'd be impressed with anything other than a pint of Brains and a full roast dinner.

I digress...

The docks were once thriving with industry, it was among the busiest in Europe.  Then the coal stopped flowing out and the area began a swift decline.  Twenty odd years later and enter rejuvenation of the whole docklands area and the creation of the now iconic Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) that sits next to some restored period buildings that stand as reminders of the industrial past.  I didn't capture the old buildings as the light on the day did nothing for them.

The WMC opened at the turn of the millenium? Well, no, 2004, and it has been much photographed since it's opening and it is a truly spectacular sight, both inside and out. 

I am no photographer, just an enthusiastic enthusiast, but I still wanted to get more than just a memento snap of the place.  I always try, often  fail, to do something creative when I point my lens at something. 

How though, when the light it as flat as it was that morning?  There had been no real sunrise: cloud!  The light when I reached the centre was bright, grey, almost white in fact: high cloud, with little or no definition.

The whole 7 day trip through Wales was either cloudy or rainy, or both. This was late July 2017. Clouds gave some good definition in Tenby.  There was scattered cloud on the Elidir Trail, which was a diffuse blessing, but the stunning Gower Peninsula had been a total wash out.  Cardiff was grey on both days which was a shame as it is an attractive city.  Posts from Tenby will follow in the not too distant future.

The sky on my visit to Cardiff meant one thing: black and white.  I was thinking something bold.  A contrasty conversion to show off the shape of the WMC.  It's a bold, strong building with chiseled features, (which sounds like John Wayne, or Tom Jones in this part of the world).  The strength of the structure is what I had to capture.

Front on my view was obstructed by works.  Side on from front left: traffic: I fancied the buses wouldn't wait for me to do my thing.  Side right was my chosen shot to emphasise the form.  Shot of the Millennium?  Well, in one meaning yes...in the other, no.


f/11 - 1/80 - 42mm - ISO 100

I find with architecture shots it's necessary to find pieces that demonstrate why the structure is special, especially when light doesn't help. An image of the whole building from afar will only be interesting with a unique, or at least, attractive light. The day of my visit was definitely a day for finding an aspect of the structure that spoke of its essence and shape.  I hope I achieved that!

Do you prefer to photograph the whole or part of a building? Why did you choose the compositions that you have taken?  Share your thoughts here!

I believe you need a license to use images of the Millennium Centre for commercial use (both internal and external). Something for you to research if you get a shot of portfolio quality.  

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.
 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) architecture black and white buildings canon city city break docks learning mono monochrome photography photography enthusiast photography tips structure travel photography wales http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/cardiff-shot-of-the-millennium Fri, 05 Jan 2018 08:45:00 GMT
The Elidir Trail, part 3: Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf to Sgwd Ddwli Isaf and Sgwd y Bedol http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/the-elidir-trail-part-3-sgwd-ddwli-uchaf-to-sgwd-ddwli-isaf-and-sgwd-y-bedol People! Hmmm, I am not misanthropic by nature, but the traffic on the trail, of hikers and those wearing camera gear started to worry me.  I don’t work well with an audience. I am also nervous of my own technique and my ability to get good shots that I can clean up after.

We walked on, not far to the next named fall.  Sgwd Ddwli Isaf, The Lower Gushing Falls, probably the logical successor to the Upper Gushing Falls.  Again, the bank sloped down steeply to the riverside.  I fired off a couple of shots using the tripod from up on the trail, near where a small trickle of a tributary ran down the side of the forested gorge.  The low river below again exposed the flat rocks of its bed.  They were completely dry on my side of the river, but how to reach them and get closer to this fall?

What I couldn’t see from up on the trail, and what I hadn’t seen in images of this lovely fall, was that the Lower Gushing Falls is actually in two parts.  An upper higher drop, a plunge pool and then a smaller step.  This only became clear after we had found another trail that doubled back towards the Lower Gushing Falls from Sgwd y Bedol.  These two main falls on the Elidir Trail are only about 100 metres apart.  We backtracked finding our way along the dry river rocks and the soggy riverbank.  We could see it, the two sections of the Lower Gushing Falls, and gushing it was, especially the top section.

Here I was spoilt for choice.  But now, in hindsight, I know I made one of my tragic Muppet Moments.  I will explain.  I framed upstream, catching the lower section and the top drop through the narrow gorge that lead to the wider plunge pool before the step.  The two together was a wonderful scene, fast shutter and slow used once again so I could blend images to counteract movement in the trees, and also extra exposures were made to ensure both falls were suitable sharp. 

Sgwd Ddwli Isaf 1Sgwd Ddwli Isaf 1Sgwd Ddwli Isaf, The Lower Gushing Falls, on the Elidir Trail and the River Neath, Wales

f/16 – 0.8sec – 15mm – ISO100 (polarizer)

I moved up close to the step, my 15-85mm on its widest setting, could I get that drift wood in the shot too?  How many classic waterfall shots include driftwood in the scene?  Many!  It’s a shot that adds foreground character.  But not this time! That drift wood looked gorgeous and full of character, but it was in the wrong place.  To get that in shot would mean missing out the fall…or dragging the timber across the river.  Placing the odd dead leaf here and there may be one ‘naughty’ that could be acceptable, but dragging 10 foot of dead tree? NO! Leave nature alone!

Was this the cause of my Muppet Moment?  I will describe it in full in its own blog entry as there is a very solid lesson to be learnt from it, and every other, moment of muppetry!

Look closely at the full scene in the image above; see how the step is only 3 or 4 feet high, if that?  Why, Why didn’t I climb up to get shots of just the uppersection?  A question I asked myself only after I got back home and check the images on Lightroom.  WHY?  I always check my shots on the back of the camera, I always look around.  How did I miss it or not think of it?  Time pressure? Maybe...

Oppppf ya (as they say here in Turkey, which roughly translates, when used with a tone of disappointment as: ‘bugger!’)

Although I had taken many reasonable compositions of both sections of this fall, together with close ups of the bottom where the water was playing over the small ledges and outcrops and then twisting in pools in the riverbed, there was a good opportunity lost.  That’s frustrating but entirely my fault, LEARN from it, DO NOT do it again!

GARLIC

I hadn’t noticed it since way up on the trail and my wife pointed it out to me.  The scent of the wild garlic was now incredibly strong.  “Can you smell that?”  My god, yes, so strong, and intense, almost overpowering.  They say the sense of smell is the sense most strongly linked to memory.  Now, when I smell wild garlic, I am transported back to the peaceful idyllic scene on the Elidir Trail.  Garlic, sorry but I hate it in food, and I am not particularly a fan of the smell of wild garlic either, but the images associated with it are wonderful memories.

Another 20 minutes or so had been spent in front of the Lower Gushing Falls, we had to get back to where we left the main trail, near the top of Sgwd y Bedol, Horseshoe Falls.  People were around now…and bright yellow plastic!

Rocks gathered around the plunge pool of Horseshoe Falls, with a small tributary running in.  The rocks form, you guessed it, a horseshoe shape. 

Could I set up the tripod across these rocks of the tributary to get the view of the falls side on?  I looking at the scene of the flat riverbed running up to the ledge, 50% was devoid of water.  Again I imagined how the scene looks in full flow.  For me it looked incredibly, but at high water the sound would be deafening as the natural horseshoe shape is pounded by the relentless flow.  If only I had my 10-20mm with me I could have caught more of the foam patterns running beneath my precariously set up tripod. 

Sgwd y Bedol 1Sgwd y Bedol 1Sgwd y Bedol, Horseshoe Falls, on the Elidir Trail and River Neath, Wales

f/16 – 25secs – 15mm – ISO100 (polarizer and Little Stopper)

Onward, could I get a front view of the horseshoe shape and the on rushing water flow?  Yes.  Hmmm guy with a big camera and a tripod down below.  He looks like he must know his stuff – he doesn’t look cheerful either!  That camera is expensive.   I concentrated on my stuff.  The path crossed a small bridge over that tributary and then up a small hill, there was my shot. 

“Is that the Big Stopper?”

“Little.”  I replied.

“Huh.”

“It’s pretty good.  No colour casts really, nice and fine.”  I offered.  He checked the back of my screen.  Typically the shot I had just fired was just experiment of shutter speed and composition, blurred branches crowded around.  Not a good shot to demonstrate.

“Huh.” Off he went.  Not impressed.  I shrugged my shoulders.

“An expert.” I suggested to my wife. His bored daughter, (I guess), trudged after him.  There was traffic now, and a lot of it.  At least I had caught the Upper and Lower Gushing Falls free of heads and tripod legs.

I had got most of my shots.  I looked again at the rear screen, zooming in to check details.  Way up stream you could see the two sections of the Lower Gushing Falls shining white amongst the green overhanging limbs.  Again, think of that wide river bed being full, not quarter full.  I would love to go back in spring.

We were well on our way down the path but time was ticking.  Oh yes, and the loo!  My word!  Two hours ago it was needed, and all this water!  I know what many would do, and yes, perhaps the River Neath did need a hand that day.  But no!

The trail was reported to soon to change from moderately easy (?) to easy, after the branch trail that would take us up to Sgwd Gwladys, The Lady Falls.  From shots I had seen, together with Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, Sgwd Gwladys was one of the falls I most wanted to photograph. 

That was until I had seen how low the river flow was.  I knew the Lady Falls wouldn’t have anywhere near the grandeur that I had seen in photos.  But, nevertheless, it had to be seen.  As I said before, this would perhaps be the only time I would be able to come here…

Part 4 From Sgwd Gwladys to the end of the trail, will be online in a couple of days! 

Please post comments, questions, suggestions and links to your images!

 

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

The Frustrated Photog

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) brecon beacons britain elidir trail forest landscape photography nature photography photography enthusiast photography tips river river neath scenery sgwd ddwli isaf sgwd y bedol wales waterfall country waterfalls woodland http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/the-elidir-trail-part-3-sgwd-ddwli-uchaf-to-sgwd-ddwli-isaf-and-sgwd-y-bedol Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:15:00 GMT
Muppet Moment 03: Get your kit on! http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moments-03-Get-your-kit-on Every year I spend at least two weeks of late summer in the seaside town of Erdek, Turkey.  It's in the west of Turkey on the sea of Marmara, on a promontory, (sticky out bit of land), known as Kapı Dağ (Door Mountain).  The big mountain on the promontory is called...yes, Door Mountain.  Erdek has some scenic views over the sea and sunsets often look gorgeous, in past years I had taken a number of good shots...but this summer (2017) was being a bit annoying.  

Every evening...no cloud.  Nothing to reflect the sunlight into those wonderful illuminated scenes of vibrant colour and pattern.  Nothing.  Yes, the colours of the sky were nice, but...meh!  A sunset needs cloud to really make the image stand out.  For me, at least, it is the cloud patterns that make a sunset, whether just whisps passing in front of the low sun, or large cloudscapes bouncing sun rays.  This summer was frustrating.  So many evenings out with full gear, hoping.  A weather app unhelpfully predicting cloud, when there was none.

Until this happened.  My MUPPET MOMENT

"No, I won't take the camera gear tonight, love.  Let's just have a walk." 

Countless evenings frustration combined with the aching of knees led to this ill-thought proclamation.  As we left the flat, a strange orange glow reflected on the white paint of the hotels and holiday flats. I should've guessed that something was going on! 

Why didn't I go back and get the gear?

The image below was taken on my phone.  An ok camera for quick clicks and it has some HDR and RAW capture capability, it's an LG G4.  Truth is, I find it hard to work the controls without my glasses...and then I cannot see the scene I want to capture.  Not helpful!  This image is alright as a momento, but I could've done so much more with that sky with the 70D.  I know other people can take great shots with a phone camera, I can't! (See the reason just mentioned!)

They say your best camera (and best lens) are the ones with you.  How true!  The one not with you is useless at that moment.  

My MUPPET MOMENT LESSON IS THIS:

If you're in a scenic location, no matter how many times you have seen it, at least carry the camera.  If not the tripod and the filters, at least, the camera.  DO IT!  

Every day light is different...sometimes, like the shot above, amazing!

I have the comfortable Black Rapid RS7 strap.  A wonderful design that makes the camera so easy to carry.  There's no excuse!

Don't be a muppet...take it with you!

 

Check out my Sunrise and Sunset folder in my gallery for some shots from Erdek and elsewhere.

 

Every missed a great shot?

Write a comment and share!

Best wishes and Happy New Year

The Frustrated Photog.

 

 

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) capture chance error forgotten kit learning mistake mistakes muppet moments nature opportunity photography photography enthusiast photography tips sky stunning sunset http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/muppet-moments-03-Get-your-kit-on Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT
Get More Lens Time 01:Clubs http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/get-more-lens-time-clubs  

If, like me, you don't have the transport to get out to more locations, why not join your local camera club?

Camera clubs are full of like-minded individuals, sharing your passion for photography.  Usually someone will be happy for company on photo trips.  Offer to pay all or half the petrol money.  Buy or take lunch for them both.  This could open the door for your photo opportunities, but also more friendship and that also gives the chance to share experience and advice to learn from each other!

Just search <my city name> camera club.  It's that easy.  Most large towns will have one.  Can't find one? Start one!

If it wasn't for this kind of interaction I wouldn't have caught some of the shots I have...other people have great ideas.  Feed each other!

Good luck!

Please share links to your photo clubs, lets share the experience!  I know the wonderful folk at EFOT in Eskisehir!  Check out their Facebook page, full of great images.

All the best for 2018!  Happy New Year with lots of great photos...

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) adventures camera club inspiration learning mistakes photography photography enthusiast photography ideas photography tips http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/get-more-lens-time-clubs Sat, 30 Dec 2017 10:00:00 GMT
The Elidir Trail, part 2 http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/the-elidir-trail-part-2  

With about at least 2 miles to walk on, half on this northern part labelled ‘moderately’ easy.  To this day, I am not sure how ‘moderately’ modifies ‘easy’. Does it mean it is pretty easy, a bit harder than easy or only part way from mind-numbingly simple?  Though having walked the trail, the top half was not easy, but not too hard even for someone in my physical condition, (dodgy knees), but there were plenty of obstacles, many slippery roots and puddles, and often a drop that now grew to perhaps 40 feet on one side.  ‘Moderately difficult’ may be a better phrase!  Whichever, the loo was now far from my mind, we were deep in waterfall country

We left the unnamed cascade and walked on, the path at times becoming flat so we put in extra speed on these parts to make the best use of time.  So much to photograph, but we couldn’t stop.  Time, and the loo, not on our side.

Funny, think of all those videos of pro landscape photographers spending hours waiting for the right light, ever wondered what toilet facilities they use?

The River Neath, as I mentioned, was low.  But still audible, speaking encouraging words to my bladder.  Ignore that.  Frame, focus!  Some quick snaps of the path as the gorge flattened a little with lush grass on the opposite bank, resplendent in the sunshine that peered between clouds.  No great composition, just a momento.  “Morning.” Passers by, hikers, traffic.  Made me nervous.  What’s Photoshop for if not to clone out garish yellow plastic?

Another 10 minutes or so and through the trees we caught a glimpse of the first major fall, Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, The Upper Gushing Fall.  There is was down there, below.  How could I photograph that?  The thick tree cover meant you could hardly catch a view of the beautiful wall of water. I had seen shots taken at river level, but here I was, at least 20 feet up.  How to get down?  Thankfully my sensible wife stopped me from racing headlong, fully geared up, down a step bank littered with trees and other obstacles.  She pointed to a lower path and the bend in ours that looked promising.  It was.  I bounded off impatiently; I had to get down there.  No one around.  We had the falls to ourselves.

Down at river level it was clear how low the River Neath actually was.  Half the rocks of the river bed were visible and made walking up to the fall easy.  The fall looked stunning, again, I thought of the images online in full flow, shame, but still, this was gorgeous!

I framed up carefully with the tripod.  Before I start playing with filters, I always take a basic shot, to check composition.  Polarizer on:  f/8 ISO800 1/40 sec.  The sun was behaving, keeping mostly behind clouds so as not to give the exposure problem of bright sunlight on white water.  At river level, surrounded by the tree covered hills, it was quite dark. 

Slowing the shutter by lowering the ISO to 100; 1 second.  Beautiful, and a hint of the silky water blur reflected in the river that trailed out of shot to the right.  Now add the Little Stopper a 10 second exposure, the sunlight ebbing and flowing with cloud density meant for natural variations of shutter speed without camera adjustments. 

I tried a number of different zoom lengths and angles, mostly framed low down to the rocks to emphasise the foreground.  I was there in front of Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf for about 20 minutes, switching from these views upstream to view the fall side on looking across the plunge pool with the silky strands plummeting off the overhand.

Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf 1Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf 1Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, Upper Gushing Falls on the River Neath and the Elidir Trail, Brecon Beacons, South Wales.

Polarizer, Big Stopper, f/11, ISO200, 25 seconds.  The image gleamed on the back of the screen.  If only the wind would play fair too. 

The trouble with blurring water is that, unless the air is perfectly still, leaves blur too.  Here, with the low branches hanging around the fall, leaf blur was all too obvious.  A stiff breeze seemed to be following the flow of the river.  Another exposure; faster shutter speed.  The two could be blended later to get motion blur where I wanted it and not in the trees. 

I had captured the scene upstream and to the only side possible (both on the flat and up the bank through a natural arch made by fallen trees.  I began to walk away but I couldn’t turn my back.  Too beautiful!  It had to be photographed again! 

Viewing upstream again, hadn’t I just taken something similar?  Yes, but this time closer to the low flow on the right hand side, from the plunge pool and beautiful natural curve was formed.  I got down low again and framed up the wonderful scene to feature the random dark river boulders covered in moss and lichen.  Wonderful!  More exposures with and without the Big Stopper moving between 0.6 and 20 seconds and variables in between judging for the right amount of water blur, and of course a fast shot in case I had to blend in more compliant branches.

There were three more falls to go.  We had to get going.  Still no one else hanging around, but could we be so lucky at the next falls?  I went through some rear screen checks, and looked around.  To this day, I wish I had stayed another 20 minutes at least. 

A tip to help all frustrated photogs is to make sure you maximise times like this. 

When opportunities as stunning as The Elidir Trail present themselves, arrange your rendezvous with your driver, but add a couple of hours!  There was no phone signal in the gorge, and you can’t have people being worried about you if you are late, so give yourself plenty of time! 

That was it.  Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, goodbye!

Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf 2Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf 2Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, on the Elidir Trail and River Neath in the Brecon Beacons, Wales

Part 3 From Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf to Sgwd Ddwli Isaf and Sgwd y Bedol next week. 

Please post comments, questions, suggestions and links to your images!

 

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) cascades landscape photography learning mistakes natural nature photography photography enthusiast photography tips trail trips wales waterfall country waterfalls woodland http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/the-elidir-trail-part-2 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 11:00:00 GMT
The Trip that wasn't: Eymir Lake http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/the-trip-that-wasnt-eymir-lake  

Eymir Lake is a beautiful place, just south-west(ish) of Ankara, near ODTU forest.  Snow had fallen the day before, but the day of the trip we had clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds; a perfect sky for landscapes views over the lake surrounded by snow covered trees. 

It wasn't to be.  We never made it to the lake.  Electric failure in the middle of, well, for all intents and purposes, nowhere!

I was travelling with members of EFOT, the main photography club in the city where I live, two great people with wonderful galleries, their macro work is outstanding.  Anyway, I digress.  Just outside the town Emirdağ the electrics died (not the car in the photo).  90 minutes for the recovery.  A freezing cold hillside, no cafe or tea house nearby.  No tea house?  This is Turkey!!! There are more tea houses in Turkey than..well, there's a lot of tea houses!  But none here.

The scenery had been excellent, looking across to snow covered hills and rugged rocks near Sivrihisar.  Patches of sun and cloud formed intriguing patterns on the slopes, with a village and minaret in the middle distance.  If I'd had a long zoom with me to capture it well enough, I would have begged for a stop.  A number of horse stables just off the road were particularly attractive scenes, the warm breathe of the animals catching the sunlight on the crisp morning. 

Here though, at our unintended stop, the bright day of blue sky and clouds was replaced by just grey.  We were further east, what would the weather have been like at the lake?  Maybe more broken away from this high ground.  We'd never know, it was irrelevant!

We walked from the car down to the edge of the town, the district I think is called Çilli (pronounced chilly), remarkably appropriate as that wind was whipping across the hill.  A toilet was needed, as was a cuppa.  I had a flask of English Tea, made with real Yorkshire Tea and fresh milk, but my friends needed tavşan kanı - the traditional strong, Turkish black tea, the colour of rabbits blood, hence the name: tavşan kanı!  It tastes better than it sounds, honest, but not as good as tea with milk!  The place was almost deserted.  There were as many dogs, chickens and geese on the streets as people, if not more! 

It's a disorganized district, lots of land with what seems to be privately built larger cottages, next to older, smaller houses with patches of wasteland between.  A large power substation dwarfing many with it's towering mental soldiers that filed off, disappearing in every direction away from their barracks.  Minarets rose above the rooftops too, a cami, or mosque, also suggests toilets nearby and perhaps shops and tea houses.  Nope. 

The three of us clicked at the street scenes; icicles, animals, a few folk that threw snowballs; anything that looked a bit interesting given that we had accepted that the landscapes and macros around the lake were not going to happen.  My friends asked several times about tea houses, nothing.  Around that old car, and the interesting pipes where we practiced some zoom bursts for abstracts, they asked again. 

The middle aged gentleman eventually invited us in for coffee!  How kind!  I cannot photograph people in the street, I am too shy!  Landscape and nature are more my thing, but he was one of those typical village guys with a very expressive face, and wonderful expressions when he spoke. He would have made a great subject for portraits.

The cottage, entered by steps up to the first floor, was very warm, heated by an old burner in the lounge.  The coffee was hot and tasty.  Turkish hospitality!  Two kids sat in silence as the occupant talked with my two friends.  My Turkish being nowhere near enough except to offer thanks, a pleasure of meeting, and more thanks! 

"What was this weird foreign person doing in their house?"  They must have thought that.  Had they ever seen a foreigner in their town before?  Weirdest of all was the old Turkish movie on TV.  A common drama topic: love affairs with poorly staged fight scenes and 70s moustaches.  Then a blonde lady standing in a black bra and panties.  Eh?  An old Turkish film, a bit racy, isn't it?  The oldest of the two kids, a teenage, noticed it.  The younger one had his face buried in something like the old Donkey Kong game...I choose to say nothing!

Out we went, more thanks given, and we carried on walking when the call came that the vehicle had been picked up.  The recovery driver was ready to take us back home.  I sat in the front cab with Osman Bey, sharing Turkish boiled sweets and sipping from my flask as we travelled back home.  Another driver had skidded down a bank and we stopped to help and after the truck turned around to pull the stranded vehicle free, I snapped a few images out of the window.  Nothing much to see, but momentos of the trip that wasn't.  We didn't see Eymir Lake, but we had an adventure that was just as valuable.  Eymir lake is still there and I am sure we'll try again!

We got some interesting shots, nothing for the portfolio perhaps, but this kind of incident helps you get creative with what you have in front of you!  A memorable day out.  Thank you to my two friends at EFOT, and of course Osman Bey and the kind folk with the coffee in the cottage!

Ever had a similar experience of a failed trip?  Please share comments and photo links!

Best wishes 

The Frustrated Photog.

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) abstract dog emirdag erosion photography photography enthusiast seasonal snow street photography town travel photography turkey village winter http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/the-trip-that-wasnt-eymir-lake Tue, 26 Dec 2017 09:32:39 GMT
Merry Christmas from the Frustrated Photog http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-from-the-frustrated-photog  

 

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) canon celebration christmas card merry christmas photography photography enthusiast photography tips season http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/merry-christmas-from-the-frustrated-photog Mon, 25 Dec 2017 08:00:00 GMT
Maximise Lens Time 01-Setting Expectations http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/maximise-lens-time-01-setting-expectations  

This shot was caught right at the end of the storm.  It was hurried, I got lucky with timing.  I had missed the best part of the storm...

The Electric CrownFork lightning over Erdek Bay, Turkey

f/8 - 8secs - 15mm - ISO1600

Photographing lightning has, and still is, on my photography bucket list.  I got this OK image but I am not happy with it!  I need to try again.  I used the technique of a long exposure and a black cloth.  Press the shutter release and if a flash happens during the exposure, cover the lens to block all other light.  I understand that this makes the lightning stand out more.  This flash was almost the last of the storm.  Flashes had become intermittent and the duration between flashes was becoming longer and longer.  I had actually given up hope.  It had been a great storm over the sea, so, together with the headland and islands, it made for quite a nice composition.  If I had caught it.

The image was taken much earlier.  It's a composite of 6 or 7 images made while the storm was approaching. 

All at seaA composite image of distance flashes over Erdek Bay, Turkey

All images were at f/16 - 2 secs - 24mm - ISO800.

As you see, the storm was well out at sea.  Between the images that make up this composite, and the main image above, I had to leave.

I could have remained down on the rocks of the harbour wall watching the storm come closer and being more and more active...but I had to leave.  Dinner!  Yes, dinner!  Not a celebration, but just an evening meal.  I could have cancelled...but plans had been made.  From the restaurant I could see the lightning becoming more and more dramatic.  I sat chewing slowly, thinking about what could have been...

Here then is the tip to help enthusiasts maximise their limited time behind the lens...

Have a plan B in case the fantastic happens!

Sounds simple and logical, but I didn't have one.  The family were expecting to eat at a set time, so I couldn't keep them waiting.  The opportunity was missed.  I had checked the weather, I knew a storm was possible.  My folks (and in-folks) are all great people that understand my desire for my hobby...I could have warned the family that I may not be able to join them until later, or to at least, start without me.  Or a Plan C to use a restaurant that had a clear view of the storm, two birds one stone.

By not preparing for the possible, the opportunity was missed.  

Ah well...I am sure there will be another storm.  I'll be ready next time!!!

Do you have any tips about how to balance normal life and the camera?  Have you had a similar experience?

Please share your comments!

 

Best wishes, a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2018!

The Frustrated Photog.

 

]]>
tony.eski.26@gmail.com (ADP Photography) canon hobby landscape photography learning lightning making time photography photography enthusiast photography tips planning preparation sea seascape storm weather http://adpphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/maximise-lens-time-01-setting-expectations Sun, 24 Dec 2017 11:00:00 GMT