Apertures, ISO settings and white balance all affect the final image but one of the most creative tools we have at our disposal is the shutter speed. It gives you the ability to slow the world down or speed it up by capturing split second moments or extending time in two dimensional images.
It’s very tempting whilst travelling just to shoot the wide views and landmarks but sometimes it’s good to look for smaller details too. These can be natural details such as flowers and insects or architectural details.
One of the most important aspects of photography is using the right light for your pictures. Dawn and dusk are undeniably the best times for outdoor photography, the ‘golden hours’ before sunset and during the first light of the day will lift your images to the next level giving even the most ordinary view the extra edge.
Once the sun has set don’t be tempted to pack up and go home, the best conditions sometimes occur in the period between sunset and dusk when the last light of the day underlights cloud cover turning pink through orange and red.
Most landscape photographers get very annoyed when people appear in their scenic shots, usually just after the sun has popped out from behind a cloud after waiting for an hour !, but sometimes having a human element in the landscape can add to scene giving a sense of scale or a splash of colour.
The week after Christmas found me in the Lake District enjoying some uncharacteristically superb winter weather; blue skies, frosty ground and deep, orange bracken. A shot I had taken some years ago, which needed updating, was of the view up the Great Langdale Valley from the road connecting Elterwater with Grasmere, so off I went.
Photographers often extol the virtues of polarising filters to get those blue skies bluer and the white clouds whiter. Because of the polariser's ability to reduce or remove reflected light this is absolutely true, provided, of course, that the camera is more or less pointing at 90 degrees from the sun, i.e. the sun is to your left or your right.
I was photographing in Shropshire recently and decided to pay a visit to the wonderfully named Moreton Corbet Castle near Wem. I found the castle and remains of the Old Hall and set up the camera, concentrating on the Hall. The light was less than inspiring but I had a reasonable viewpoint and fired off a few frames.