Tag Archives: landscape

Red sky at night

This is a quick post, I found some shots from a couple of years ago when I really didn’t know what I was doing ( or less than I do now!).

I’d seen this fantastic red sky around 4pm out the window around Christmas time, when we were staying with relatives in Yorkshire, and knew I had to try and capture it. I leapt in the car and drove to the edge of the village where this glowing salmon-pink sky was looming over the fields.

Unfortunately the image is very low-res as over the past two years I’ve got rid of the RAW file ( I said I was really green back then!). I’ve also had a go at removing the phone lines out of the picture with Content Aware fill from Elements.



Brownsea Island part 3

As my final part from Brownsea, we’d taken a walk along the beach, thankfully low tide, and through the forest. The area used to be known for pottery many years ago, and there were the remains of these 100 year old brick kilns that were being eroded along the high water mark. However for some reason my SD card went screwy and I can’t access those shots- at least it didn’t corrupt the whole batch!

From the beach you can see Sandbanks, which is a millionaire’s paradise- £5million houses to retire to! Apparently it’s some of the most expensive real estate in the world.

Then we went inland, where I’ve taken a few different shots.Hope you enjoy them!


Sandbanks in the background






Random tree graffiti!





327 years old before it came down in a storm…


Brownsea Island part 2

Well I’ve picked through the hundreds of shots I took in a 3 hour period (!!) and have chosen the ones I like the best.

I think I mentioned before that the island is reached by a ferry, it’s just off the English south coast near the seaside town of Bournemouth, a well known retirement town. It’s a nature reserve so there’s animals there that are very rare in the the rest of the UK- no sooner had we got off the boat and walked through the entrance than we saw a red squirrel! These guys are pretty rare here as the grey squirrel has taken over in the UK mainland, you’ll see them on some islands and Scotland but nowhere else. This one pretty much wanted his picture taken! Unfortunately I’d left my 70-300 behind so this is the closest I could get, but to find one just by the path, I was amazed.

I’ve also shown some from the ferry itself, basically a 50 seater boat. We were blessed with March sunshine so it looks warmer than it was!

Will share more soon.








He’s not very big but he’s definitely there!



Brownsea Island part 1

Back from the New Forest ( on England’s South Coast) where armed with my EFS 17-55 2.8 ( which I’ve said is generally my walkabout lens),my 50mm prime and an EF 70-200 3.5-5.6(which never made it out the bag as it’s huge) I used everything I’ve learned over the past few months and I can see an improvement since my last trip.

I’ll post the best few of the trip over a few posts, but this post is also about where I’ve been experimenting with B&W vs colour as well.

This shot is from Brownsea Island which is off the coast near Bournemouth and Poole, again on the south coast. It can only be reached by a small ferry, and is a nature reserve. It’s a real mix of landscapes even though it’s only a mile across- marshes, woodland and beaches. I looked specifically for interesting shapes and textures while there to convert to monochrome and the shot below works best I think. I’m no software whizz so all I did was desaturate in Elements to convert to B&W.




Here’s the original for comparison.


Will share more in the next few days.

Spring at last…part 2

Well, as it’s taken long enough, I’ve been out taking shots of the fantastic displays of daffodils and crocuses that have sprung up locally (see what I did there?).

I took my EFS 17-55 2.8 lens with me, it tends to be my go-to lens when I’m walking about looking for inspiration. I didn’t have my polarising filter on me,and the sun was still quite low as it was only about 8am. The final shot is into the sun , I prefer the second shot but thought I’d include it anyway.

I’m also thinking about getting a copy of Lightroom. I often look at my images and think they could do with a bit more “zing”- hoping I’ll find the time to learn my way round it once I have it!

I have a few more from the same walk which I’ll add onto Instagram.









Landscapes through the mist…

or drizzle of an English summer, I should have called it!

Yet again it’s been ages since I posted. To be honest I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew, what with trying to regularly update a blog, still finish the photo course I signed up to a year ago and overseeing a house build as well! Stll, I said I’d do it so here I am!

Anyway we took a few days out last week from being cooped up in the rental that we’re in at the moment ( while the house is built) to go to North Yorkshire for a few days. Yorkshire is known for its dramatic landscapes, stormy skies and inclement weather!

We visited Castle Howard while we were there, where the film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited was filmed a few years ago. (It’s also well known in the UK for the TV adaptation of the same book, filmed there also,   in the 1980’s.) I took a few snaps when it wasn’t raining and thought I’d share them.

Hope you enjoy them.







Shooting modes on Canon SLR

I’m back- that was a much longer gap since my last post than I anticipated! I wanted my next post to be about the shots I’ve been taking for my photo course though, and had to wait 1) to have some free time and 2) for it to stop raining ( in the UK that’s not an easy job).

Anyway- the course I’m doing wanted me to use the different shooting modes on my camera. I have a Canon 550D ( which I think is known as a Rebel T2i in the US?) and although I moved out of just using Auto setting a while back, it’s good to take things back to basics sometimes as it makes you think through the process step-by-step.

I went to a local park using my EFS 17-55 lens to get a few shots, on a very changeable day (basically it wasn’t raining so I got out there) and played around for a while with the shooting modes.

The first one I experimented with was Close-up mode. This is a macro mode which will focus on your subject and produce background blur to separate the subject from its background. In other terms it produces a shallow depth-of-field ( otherwise known as DoF).


You can see that the flowers are in focus but the background is blurred- in this mode, the camera has adjusted the f-stop automatically to make it smaller, which widens the aperture and creates this effect.

I took another close-up shot which shows the effect well-


Here’s a shot using the Landscape mode-


Here everything is in focus, even the car sneaking past under the trees! In landscape mode the camera has increased the f-stop which narrows the aperture and brings near and far objects into focus. If you’re shooting a landscape then generally speaking everything is of interest so you’d want to capture it all.

Finally the course required me to use the Sports shooting mode. The camera then picks a fast shutter speed automatically to capture any fast moving object, and might increase the ISO in low light as the pop-up flash won’t be much help in this instance.

But what to shoot? I found a flock of starlings that were quite jumpy every time I moved in their direction, but they have a pretty unpredictable flight and I knew I’d never catch them. However there was a jackdaw that seemed less bothered by my being there. I walked up slowly towards him, as he continued his pecking around in the grass. He eventually stopped and looked me in the eye. I stopped and looked back. There was a pause and then, almost as if he felt sorry for me, he took off-I managed to catch this as he left-


Again the camera has done a good job of automatically selecting a fast shutter speed, you can see the blur on the bird’s wingtips meaning it wasn’t quite fast enough, but I like the effect, as it shows that he is actually moving and not just spread-eagled on the ground.

Hope you’ve found some of the points I’ve mentioned interesting. Maybe I should do another post on how shutter speed, f-stop and ISO come together?