Life and Landscape Photography - What Happened in May 2018?
Life and Landscape Photography - What Happened in May 2018?
Sorry, I’m a bit late with this months blog post but I’ll try to catch up for next month.
What’s been going on?
Well, as we’ve moved through May and in to early June, we’ve certainly seen the weather getting warmer. Not quite summer heat and humidity yet but certainly starting to show signs of moving in that direction.
Having said that we’ve also had our share of cooler days and rain so it’s been a bit unsettled.
Events Exploration and Non Landscape Photography
The major event in May was a trip we made to the city of Valencia. We actually went for a few days and I did do some landscape photography while we were there (more on that later) but the main reason we went was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We also did some walking around the old city with its historic buildings and also around a natural park just outside the city called Albufera.
On these trips I still took the camera but was just shooting handheld simple shots but I was quite pleased with the way some of them came out. Like this one in the city:
or this one in Albufera:
You can see all the shots from Valencia, including those I will be talking about later, if you follow this link:
I also shot some video on these trips, a bit different to my usual videos but a bit of fun. You can watch it below:
In my last post I mentioned that I had started using my old DSLR for some of the video work, combining this with the action camera. After several experiments I’ve decided that, for the most part, the action camera does most of what I need and I can avoid carrying the extra weight. There may be a few occasions when the DSLR will come out as well but, for most cases, I will use the action camera and occasionally the main DSLR for video only.
I have been working on increasing the production value of my videos, including better B roll and more ‘set up’ footage for when I’m taking images. I’d love to know what you think of the changes.
For my first trip I headed into the woods on the side of the local mountain. I love woodland images but always find them difficult to do. Part of that is the type of woodland we have here and part of it is my ability to see woodland compositions.
In the end I came back with a couple of images. One of them wasn’t really a woodland image but the second one was and I was pretty pleased with the way it came out:
Here’s the woodland image:
and here’s the video where I talk a bit more about the challenges and why I wanted to deal with them
For my next trip I went to the Vinalopó river, just down from the reservoir and dam at Elche, to do a video that was partly a tutorial (or at least as close as I want to get to one).
My objective was to try to get an image of the river running through a rocky gulley. I wanted a long exposure blur on the water but I didn’t want the nearby reeds and foliage to be blurry which was going to happen because there was a breeze.
Here’s the image I produced:
and here’s the video that talks though how I found, composed, shot and processed the image to avoid the unwanted blurring:
I followed this up with a dawn shoot on the local beach. A couple of nice images from this shoot that involved slight changes in composition to account for the weather conditions and the exact position of sunrise. I also had to focus stack the images to get everything sharp due to being so close to the foreground rocks for the focal length I was using.
Here's one of them:
I also got an unexpected bonus image as I was packing up:
Here’s the video:
My next trip was one with a specific objective. Sometimes a particular feature works best at the 'wrong' time of day. during May the water in Amadorio reservoir was a gorgeous colour but, and here's the challenge, that colour was at its best when the sun was high and shining directly on it. So that meant shooting towards the middle of the day.
I ended up trying 2 very different approaches to showcase this colour. The first was a close up of some detail:
and the second was a big panorama
Watch the full video
I’ve already mentioned our trip to Valencia and the shots and video that I took in the city and the natural park.
One of the big reasons I wanted to go to Valencia was to see, and photograph, the City of Arts and Science.
This is a series of remarkable futuristic buildings surrounded by water. I've wanted to shoot this location for a while now and I wasn't disappointed. managing to capture several images I was really pleased with.
Like this one at Sunset:
and this one as the blue hour turned to Night
Watch the video (below) where you can come with me as I scout the location and then return before sunset and continue to photograph the scene through until the end of the Blue Hour and into the night.
All of the Valencia images can be viewed (and purchased should you wish to do so) by clicking the following link:
Back home, and on familiar ground again, I turned my attention to more natural scenes and headed out into the mountains, without any real plan but just trying to see what I could find.
I ended up with a few nice images from this trip but it also highlighted to me that I really need to scout some of this mountain more thoroughly.
You can watch the video below:
Normally when I go out to do landscape photography I’m on my own. It’s very rare for me to go out with anyone else, or even to see other people sometimes.
For my next trip out I was actually planning on meeting someone. A fellow Youtuber that lives a but further south in Spain and has a channel that is (mostly) focused on drones.
He was planning on a trip to Elche reservoir and so we decided to meet up and do a collaboration. As I had been there a few times recently I decided to focus on detail shots of the waterfalls at the base of the dam and I managed a few images that I was quite pleased with. Like this one:
You can watch the video I shot of the meet up below (Shaun’s video should be out soon so I’ll put a link to that in the next post)
I also managed a trip out to a completely new location. This is an area designated as a natural park which straddles the Vinalopó river valley and it’s called Los Algezares.
I hadn’t been able to get any detailed maps of the area before I went but I knew there should be some points of interest to explore so I headed out for a long walk to see what I could find.
One of the points of interest I knew about turned out to be very photogenic in the conditions:
and, on the way back I was attracted by the sound of water and found an unexpected bonus in the shape of these small waterfalls:
Watch the full video with a lot more of the area to see
As we got towards the end of the month we had a long period of clear blue skies, perhaps even more frustratingly for me, we would get some really nice cloud formations in the middle of the day but these were completely absent at sunrise and sunset.
Battling against a lack of motivation brought about by these clear skies I pushed myself into going out in the evening to a lake with lots of reeds and other things in the water to see what I could get.
How successful was I? I’ll let you decide, watch the video below.
So… that’s it for May. Plenty more to follow for June and I’ll try to be more on time next month :-)
I’ll still do my monthly tip in a week or so.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and, if you enjoy my videos please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel
All the best
Category: photography blog
This is the first time I viewed your monthly blog. Loved it! It's wonderful to go back and review all that you did and the exceptional photography that resulted from those efforts. Can't tell you how much they mean to me, as I'm getting along in years and unable to get out much anymore. Thank you, Ralph.
Your strong supporter and friend, Nancy Richard, Rhode Island, USA
Thank you Wolf, really appreciate the comment. I know what you mean about the movement on the opening sequence to the walk about in Valencia. That was shot on the DSLR with the camera held to my chest and the lens VR turned on but, I think, I was walking too fast and that's why it was so 'wobbly'. It's something I'm going to try to be more careful about in the future
All the best
Wonderful work (as always).
Re: new video style
Works well, the only negative (and I know you did carry one on that trip) is the intro footage show a bit of motion by being hand held with a selfie stick. Just a very minor point. I did enjoy the walk about with the interspersed stills.
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