Tuesday, 31 January 2012

First post - Landscapes

Here we start with a post about what type of photos I like to take. I am very much in to nature and how landscapes form and change. The photos in this blog will be taken at different times. At the moment I have a backlog of photos ready to upload to this blog from 2008 up until now. I am going to concentrate on uploading ones that can be grouped together such as: landscapes, macro, animals etc. When the 'backlog' is cleared I will then upload photos organised by date rather than subject.

Some of these photos may overlap topics so I'll tag them appropriately to be able to find them easily in the tags section in the sidebar of this blog.

When talking about my photos, you will find I talk pretty much about the art aspect of the photos rather than the technical camera settings. I am developing my skills and learning more about the workings of my semi-professional DSLR however I still prefer the arty side of things!

All photos in this post were taken with my Panasonic DMC FX550.
Pentillie Castle Gardens.
This photo was taken at Pentillie Castle. The building itself had been neglected for years after it was inherited and the owners did so much work on it. It was featured on Country House Rescue (link may or may not work depending on amount of time after link was posted - http://www.channel4.com/4homes/on-tv/country-house-rescue/pentillie-castle-episode-info-09-01-13) This photo was taken along one of the bottom paths by the river.
The river you see is the Tamar, separating Cornwall (foreground) and Devon (background) - two counties in one photo!

Rame Head 09/01/2011
Early January, I went for a walk around Rame Head in Cornwall, not far from where I live. The sunset was beautiful. A few more pictures were taken and will be uploaded in the near future.

Lone Tree, Wistmans Wood, Dartmoor. June 2011

A walk to Wistman's Wood on Dartmoor in June 2011. I love how the river meanders in an 'S' shape with a tree positioned perfectly. The photo was taken walking along the Devonport Leat where I managed to get a fantastic photo of a damselfly. Wistman's Wood can be seen on the hillside behind the lone tree. The wood has stories of hauntings which I find intriguing. I recommend this walk - through the ancient oak wood; one of the oldest remaining ancient oak woodland in the country.

Lone Tree, Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, Scotland. August 2011
Here is a stream and waterfall situated in the Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, Scotland. August 2011. I think I have a 'thing' for lone trees! I find they add something to the barest of landscapes. As seen below on another lone tree situated downstream of the Fairy Pools (not the same place as the Fairy Glen) on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. This was a rainy day, not really a surprise in Scotland! The Fairy Pools were so beautiful. A must see for walkers, nature lovers and artists visiting Skye.

Lone Tree, Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland. August 2011.

First Great Western Train crossing Forder Viaduct en route to Plymouth. Sept 2011.
A perfect fit for 'Landscapes'. This was during a free lesson I had at school. I decided to get some inspiration for my art coursework. I usually go down to Churchtown Farm Nature Reserve during my free lessons (when it's sunny of course!) so knew roughly when the trains passed through. In the background we see Trematon Castle. The motte and bailey in Saltash. My hometown! I love the composition of this photo and there's a lot going on to make it interesting but not too much to spoil it. I think I timed the train crossing just right.

Below is another photo from Churchtown Farm taken on the same day as the above. This is the last field, Point Field which is a bit like a peninsula, surrounded by the River Lyhner which flows into the River Tamar to the south and east and the river from Anthony Passage to the west. It is a great lookout point for nature lovers and across the Lyhner is Anthony Estate.
Churchtown Farm, Saltash, Cornwall. Sept 2009.

The below photo was taken at the 5 Fingers in Austria. 5 Fingers being the name of a platform with 5 fingers extending over the edge of the mountain cliff edge. I think I took this photo just in time!

Air Glider, 5Fingers, Dachstein/Krippenstein, Austria. July 2008.

Save the best until last. This (below) is one of my favourites. On holiday on the Isle of Skye in August 2009. Not far from where we were staying, Waterstein Head protrudes into the sea; a huge cliff where on the top, if a lot of patience is spent, a sea eagle can be seen taking advantage of the coastal winds. It is truly an awesome sight. This photo, taken from near the top of Waterstein Head, shows Neist Point, the most westerly point in the UK you can reach by car without hopping on to a boat. We were staying only a few hundred metres east! The lighthouse provides a great sight on this peninsula. The sheep add an excellent foreground.

Sheep on Waterstein Head, Isle of Skye, Scotland. August 2009.

What did you think of my first photo post. Are there any subjects you'd like me to do next? Is there anything I can add or improve on? Let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed the photos. Remember, these are only a minor taste of what is to come! I hope you'll keep coming back to see more. Thank you.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Welcome note.

Welcome to my brand new blog!
I suppose I should explain what this is all about. First of all, I am not much of a writer so the photos I upload may have a short description! I also feel that when uploading photos with lots of writing, more attention is on the writing than the photo!

This blog is my journey in to photography and my passion for nature. I still consider myself an amateur even though I have been in to photography since my very first camera on my 10th birthday 8 years ago. I suppose I have been concentrating on composition which is one reason why I'm not very knowledgeable about other features a camera has. It is only recently I have started to get more serious with my hobby....
And so the journey begins.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FX550.
The photographs I have taken over the years are mainly with a Panasonic DMC FX550 camera. I know, not very advanced! But in fact it is a good little camera to carry around with you. I got it new for £113 from eBay. At the time, the RRP was something like £200 so I guess that was a good purchase!
It is 12MP and printed out, the images are stunning. This camera had lasted me well. I still use it if I have a free lesson at school and go to the nature reserve just across the road from the school and take pictures of the landscape and animals that I can find. I don't want to carry around my new camera (more on that later!) which is more bulky and the main point, more expensive!

So the time comes where I decide I want to develop my skills further; probably about August 2011. My wishlist for Christmas and Birthday (My birthday is 23rd December and a DSLR would be too expensive for just one present!) was the Panasonic G3. New, cheap (within reason), good reviews. Went to the London Camera Exchange in Plymouth. Panasonic G3 wasn't exactly right. I don't actually know why I didn't go with it in the end. It looked perfect. I suppose I wanted a small, portable camera that didn't look like I was a tourist everywhere I went! But after maturing on the subject, I looked more in to 'proper' cameras, I spoke to people I knew who were also in to photography; a family friend is a photographer. Apparently the Panasonic G3 just wasn't what I needed. I also realised after looking at loads of websites that the major brands are Canon and Nikon. I visited many shopping websites and reviewers and on some of them, I couldn't find ANY Panasonic cameras. I ended up having 2 cameras on my wishlist after the very helpful London Camera Exchange. Needless to say, I didn't go with the Panasonic. I opened my present to find an awesome Sony HX100v. I used it the whole day, going around my garden, testing out the features!

My new Sony HX100v with some of my favourite photos.
This is a great camera. I've been on walks on Dartmoor taking photos of everything I see! I highly recommend it. Of course I haven't used all the features yet, which is partly what this blog is about. I want to see how my photo styles change as I discover new techniques - I consider myself beginner/intermediate borderline. I want to share my photos so people can feel the same way I do when I view them. I don't want these gathering virtual dust on my laptop for nobody to appreciate. I also want people to share my journey and hopefully, this blog may help other beginners to feel the same I now do about photography.

I aim to share my favourite photos and some of my not so good ones so I can learn from my mistakes.

This is my journey...