Life and Landscape Photography, what happened in January

February 04, 2018  •  1 Comment

Life and Landscape Photography, what happened in January 

The last blog post was a bit different, because it was the end of the year and I wanted to do a review of 2017. For this post I’m going back to the normal format and reviewing January 2018.

What’s been going on?

Let's start by saying that this post also covers some of the end of December. I hinted at that in the last post where I posted a teaser trailer for a video that was actually shot over the Christmas period.

We actually spend Christmas in Andalusia. We headed off a few days before Christmas, leaving fairly early in the morning, and made the five and a half hour journey to Cordoba. 

We stayed there for one night with family and then, the next day, headed off to the old town of Ronda. 

Ronda is a beautiful old town, perched up in the mountains and split by a 120 metre (390 feet) deep gorge. There are a few bridges across the gorge but the most impressive is the “New Bridge” or “Puente Nuevo”.

After a night in Ronda we then travelled to the village of Villanueva de Concepcion which sits very close to the natural park of Torcal de Antequera.

This is an amazing place filled with stunning rock formations and we spent a couple of days in the area before heading back to Cordoba on Christmas Eve, with a brief stop at a nature park on the way.

With Christmas out of the way we watched 2017 make way for 2018 and the year started off with some minor domestic issues. Problems with appliances, issues with out internet connection and even a water leak through the ceiling. 

All of these, although minor, ate into the flexibility and time to go out and explore new places and take landscape photos. 

Nevertheless it has been quite a productive month and I’ll cover that more in the Landscape Photography and Blogging project sections.

Events, exploration and non-landscape photography

Not so much to report here. Our trip to Andalucia is already mentioned above and will be covered again in the Landscape Photography section. We did visit a couple of new places, one of them is the Barranc de la Encantarda (Enchanted Gorge) and one was a location I’ve been meaning to visit for a while, a natural limestone formation called Els Arcs. Bothe of these are covered in the Landscape Photography section as well.

The Vlogging project

I’m going to drop the term project, because that implies that I’m only doing it for a while and I have decided this is something I am going to continue with indefinitely. 

I think the last month has seen the production of some interesting vlogs and I think I am finding my feet as a vlogger. I decided partway through January to move from one video a week to two, mostly because my videos were tending to run a bit long and I think that two shorter videos might be the way to go.

For upcoming videos I am going to start working more on a theme for each one. A particular type of photography, a tip, an insight into the process.  I may also consider doing some post production videos.

So let’s move on to the Landscape Photography section.

Landscape Photography

Because so much of what I do now is covered in the videos I think it’s best to let them tell the story, at least for the most part.

What I will do in the blog is just give a bit of background to the video and the photography, and maybe some insights that have come later as a result of watching the videos and reviewing the images.

So… starting off around Christmas with our Andalucian trip.

I had planned a number of shoots on the trip, not all of them actually worked out. 

In Ronda I had planned an evening shoot from halfway down the gorge looking back up at the town and the Puente Nuevo (or new bridge). This was a shot that did work but, at that time of year, the scene was pretty much front lit towards sunset and I would have preferred side lighting but, we work with what we have…

I think this was the best shot from the shoot, a panorama that includes quite a lot of the nearby cliff faces.

I spent a fair bit of time before the evening shoot trying to find a good location to shoot the sunrise. Almost every location I found that would have given a good view, and the right light direction, was inaccessible that early as many of these vantage points are locked up until with 9 or 10 AM. 

My final solution was a bit tricky but had the advantage of being on the hotel room balcony. I think it came out pretty well.

After leaving Ronda we headed off to spend a couple of nights staying in a small village close to the Torcal de Anqtequara natural park. 

This is a beautiful place filled with wonderful rock formations. Unfortunately it was also a really difficult place to find compositions, just because there is so many of these formations all together.

In the end I did manage a few images there, some shot in the evening, shortly before sunset, and some the following morning at sunrise.

I think this one is my favourite

When we returned to Cordoba I really wanted to get another go at shooting the Roman Bridge at sunset. I did it earlier in 2017 but didn’t really get a great sunset and I was hoping for better this time. To be honest the conditions were still not what I was hoping before but I did manage to get an image that I was pleased with.

If you want to see the rest of the images, and the full story behind them, check out the video:

The next trip was to a place called Barranc de la Encatada (which is Valencian for Enchanted Gorge).

It’s a really pretty place with pools of water and a small stream running through it. The water flow was pretty low when we visited but it may be worth visiting again as soon as we’ve had a bit more rain. 

I really only took some images at the main pool and I think this one is the best:

You can see more of this in the video which also includes a trip to a village close to home called Busot and shoot of the nearby mountains at sunset.

In December I found a new beach, or at leat new to me, and took a few shots there in the afternoon, shortly before sunset. I said at the time that I thought it would be a good location for a dawn shoot, and, in January, I returned to do just that.

To be honest the conditions were not quite what I had planned for, a lot more cloud and no sunrise to speak of. Despite that I think I actually got some nice images there. This one is probably my favourite from the shoot:

If you want to see the whole shoot, and the rest of the images, check out the video :

A bit later in the month saw me heading off to the reservoir at Tibi. I have been here before but, the last time I came, I went to the dam. This is an interesting place as the dam is (supposed to be) the oldest functioning dam in Europe.

This time I headed away from the dam, following trail that would take me down to the waters edge and, when nothing came up this low down, back up onto the sides of the surrounding hills. 

There was some truly gorgeous conditions about an hour before sunset with a great combination of clouds and blue skies, light and calm water. By the time sunset came around that had all changed but, I didn’t care. Why? Because I had already got my shots when the conditions were good.

I actually took three images on this shoot but my first attempt was a bit of a compromise because I couldn’t quite achieve the composition I wanted (unless I learned to levitate 10 metres over water). For that reason the first image, while still nice, is not quite as good as the other two.

Here they are

See the full story in the video

The next trip was to a location that I have been meaning to visit for a while. A natural limestone formation called Els Arcs.

Prior to the trip I had tried to work out the landscape to see if it would be any good at sunset, unfortunately I couldn’t get a good feel for it and, it turned out, that the main features was in shadow in the afternoon. 

Nevertheless, there was some nice light on the distant landscape and I was able to keep some detail in the foreground by bracketing exposures. In order to show the scale of the feature I decided to pose in the shot.

I think this is the best one

To see the rest of the shots and more of the story, see the video

and there’s more…

I went and checked out a new location, on the outskirts of a village called Sella. There is a river running through a gorge and even some small waterfalls. I wasn’t sure it was going to work out as a location because I suspected the waterfalls and river were going to be really small due to the relatively dry winter we’ve been having. I had a back up location in mind though.

This is my favourite image from that days shoot 

See more images (and some ducks in a waterfall) in the video


So… That’s about it 

Well, not quite

I actually posted a new video yesterday which was the final one from January, but I haven't posted all of the images yet. I'll talk about those shoots more in the next months review but, in the meantime, here's the video

I’ll be back with my monthly tip post around the middle of the month and, of course, a review of February post at the start of March

Until then, thanks for reading and watching and have a great month 


Kathryn Jones(non-registered)
Brilliant, Ralph - as always!
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