Life and Landscape Photography - What Happened in August?
Before we get started on the month review I just wanted to mention an omission for August, and a couple of changes in my website.
The omission was that I didn't do a monthly tip in August. Somehow it slipped my mind until it was almost the end of the month so I decided I would hold it over until September.
Then a couple of changes to do with my website.
First, the colour scheme for the Blog has changed. I've always had a dark background for the website and I think that suits most of my images in the portfolio but, as I know from my own experience with eyesight problems, light text on a dark background is not the easiest to read. So I've changed the Blog page and a couple of other pages to have dark text on a white background. I think it's better but please let me know what you think.
Second, has to do with my portfolio. For a long time I have limited my portfolio on this website to thirty images. I've used this as a mechanism to help me improve my landscape photography. Well.. I'm considering a change. I am either going to increase the total number of images to forty or, perhaps more likely, I'm going to split the portfolio into several categories and then have a limit to the number of images in each category.
That change hasn't happened yet but will probably go live in the next few weeks.
OK... now that's out of the way, what happened in August?
What's been going on?
As always August is a time when the temperatures are high and there are lots of people about. It's the month for Spanish holidays and El Campello is a popular tourist town for the Spanish. It's also a time when we get lots of sunshine (and that means lots of blue skies), so it's not the easiest time to go out doing landscape photography.
Events, Exploration and Non Landscape Photography
Not a lot to report here, there were no big Fiestas in August, although they did have an event to select the Captains for the Moors and Christians celebration that takes place in October, but we didn't see any of that only heard the fireworks at the end.
I've continued with my two per week schedule and continued to try to make some interesting videos. I actually started off the month with a Questions and Answers video where I spent a bit of time answering questions that people had sent in. If you haven't seen that video here it is
I also did a bit of an experiment where I went back to some recent images and re-processed them as black and white. The idea behind this was to see if I should consider doing more black and white photography, especially as it's not something that I often do.
Here's one of the images I converted
and to see the rest check out the video
I also did a more tutorial based video on how I focus stack images, but I'll include that in the landscape photography section of the blog
By the time we got into August I was already getting bored of blue skies. I wanted glorious clouds to pick up colour from the rising or setting sun, or, if I couldn't get the colours, at least create some drama.
So it was that, on one of my earliest trips out in August, on another day with clear blue skies, I was really feeling a lack of inspiration. There is a problem with expectations and not accepting (and photographing) what you have. I did manage a single image, that actually isn't bad. Here it is:
and here's the video story
By the next trip out I had decided to embrace the conditions and use them to experiment. Using the long (200mm) lens and the wide aperture I produced an image that made use of the unobstructed side lighting close to sunset and avoided any boring blue skies. I quite like this one as the wide (f/2.8) aperture let me blur the background and make the main subject stand out even more:
and here's the video
The next video I put out was actually shot before the one I've just talked about, I shot it immediately after I shot the Q&A video and it was a hot and sunny evening with more clear blue skies.
I found an interesting looking composition making use of the overgrown Vinalopo river valley and some nice light on the distant hills and nearby reeds. I decided to use this video as a kind of tutorial on how I do focus stacking.
Here's the image I shot
and here's the video
As we got past the middle of the month I was checking the weather forecasts and they all said cloud... I got a bit excited at that point. The cloud was supposed to be quite localised. It was also very hot and humid so I selected my location carefully and headed out into the mountains.
The clouds were not really what I was hoping for, they were in the wrong place, effectively blocking most of the light as the sun started to set. I still managed to get one nice image that I'm actually really pleased with:
Here's the full video story
The next trip out was a bit of a surprise. The weather forecast was for completely clear skies so I decided to head into the woodland on the mountain to see about getting some more woodland shots in. When I got up there I found some cloud about. I didn't think it would hang around until sunset and it soon started to break up so I decided to go ahead with my woodland plans but keep an eye on the sky.
I found one interesting woodland composition that looked quite nice:
Bust then, as I was moving from one section of woodland to another, I spotted a really amazing cloud formation and had to stop and take a shot of it:
I then went on to get some pretty nice shots around sunset as well
Here's the video
A couple of days later and I took a chance on an early morning shoot. In July and August it can be tricky to get good light on the local coastline due to the position of the sunrise. On this day I gambled, headed down to the end of the main beach in town and crossed over into the Playa Can (Dog beach) and hoped for the best.
The dog beach has some nice rocks just in the water and I also got lucky with some really nice clouds. I took several shots through the course of about 40 minutes and a couple of them were pretty good. I think this one is my favourite from the morning:
You can see the rest of the shots, and the whole story, by watching the video... and here it is
And so we come to my last trip of the month
Another evening with clear skies so I decided on another shoot where I would try out something new. This time I took out my 150-600 lens to try getting some interesting shots of some of the details on the mountain, scenes that I couldn't get with my normal lenses because it isn't possible to get close enough.
What happened was unexpected as, while I was filming the intro to the video, I spotted the moon rising beside one of the big cliffs and all other plans went out of the window. The moon isn't full (it's about 72%) but I actually prefer it this way rather than having it full.
Here's one of the images:
Check out the rest and see how I took them in the video
So.. that's it for August
This post will be coming out on Friday 31st August and my next video will be out on Saturday 1st September
Here's a sneaky look at the Thumbnail for the new video. If you haven't already done so, why not head over to my landscape photography video channel now and subscribe so you don't miss out on my future productions.