It's almost the end of the year and 2018 has been another amazing year on my photographic journey. I have visited some places in the UK which I've never been too and some of these places have been on my bucket list for the past few years!
My photography is based mainly on my love of the outdoors and nature. The feeling when you get to a location is one of excitement and enjoyment and as always my first thoughts are to really take in the moment before I start looking for a composition. I know one can get bogged down by all the aspects of capturing an image, like lighting, camera settings, the ever-changing weather, setting up filters etc. However, the one thing I always do once I've found a composition is to pre-visualise the final image by considering all the above aspects.
Every image that I take has a term of endearment and as a storyteller, trying to convey that in the final image to the viewer is challenging, as I was the one there to witness that fleeting moment. The chosen images are not athestically perfect but has a lot of meaning to me personally, so here are my 5 favourite images of the year and the stories behind the capture.
NUMBER 5: Belle Tout Lighthouse, Eastbourne, England.
Canon 6D with 70-200mm mk2 lens, captured at 70mm, F14, 8 second exposure, ISO 200, with Lee polariser and 3 stop medium ND Grad
We don't get much of a summer in the UK so we try to make the most of it when we do and we do appricate when the lighting is this good. This image was captured in July just as the sun was setting, I had originally been concentrating on capturing the lighthouse at Beachy Head and thought that would be the better of the two locations. Unfortunately, as with all the best laid plans, the light was very flat and uninspiring, however, when I looked up I saw this image of Belle Tout Lighthouse with the glorious light and amazing colours in the sky, I had to capture the scene. The scene had an other worldly feel to the landscape and reminded me of the scenes in Star Wars when a young Luke Sky Walker stands with the sun setting in the background! Anyway, I put on my long lens to compress the scene as I wanted the sun to be as large as possible in the scene. However, I was still too far so it was a dash along the cliff front to get into a better position before the sun disappeared! Truly worth the effort for a scene that I had not expected.
NUMBER 4: Bisnakandi, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Canon 6D with 16-25mm F4 IS, captured at 16mm, F6.3, 8 seconds, ISO 200 with Lee polariser, 10 stop ND ad 3 Stop ND Grad Filters
I hadn't traveled to the land of my birth, Bangladesh for almost 10 years, so I did a bit of research before I traveled and this location kept coming up time and time again. Bisnakandi is situated in the Sylhet district of Bangladesh, near the border with India. The journey to the area was amazing, I started from Sylhet Town and it took about 2 hours as it also included a 30-minute boat ride. The temperature was in the mid-thirties with 70 percent humidity which was a challenge in itself. It was 2 pm by the time I arrived at the location and the main issue was that it was very popular with tourists and there were already a few hundred people enjoying the river.
Composition wise I chose the classic view looking down the river onto the converging mountains, however with all the tourists there I had to find a way to omit them from the scene. I decided to head towards the deeper end of the river as most people were at the shallows and with the flow of the river, this made it even more difficult than I expected, as I had to balance on the slippery boulders to get to a suitable spot to set up the shot. I placed the tripod in the river and perched on one of the boulders to capture the image! Another lasting memory was that half the people had stopped to see what I was doing and I was the subject of much conversation and also the main subject being photographed but I think that was to do with me looking like a complete idiot perched on the boulder!
NUMBER 3: The Jetty, Derwent Water, The Lake District, England.
Canon 5D Mk3, 16-35mm lens at 35mm, F11, 40 seconds exposure, Lee polariser, 6 stop ND, 3 stop ND Grad
This image was taken in November just as Autum was finishing and moving into the winter months. The Lake District was another one of those places that I wanted to shoot for a long time, although not on the top of my list of locations but certainly near the top. I actually arrived the day before and this image was supposed to be captured already but upon arrival the weather was horrendous, strong winds and rain damped the morning and it was impossible to capture the image so I decide to try again the following day. With my usual determination I woke up the following morning with the distrsssing sound of rain! I headed out with optomism, checking the various weather apps on my phone which showed that things would get better! I arrived about 45 minutes before sunrise and to my surprise there were already 4 other photogeraphers already present, that just shows the conviction that most of us photographers have to capture those golden hour moments. Sunrise was almost upon us and I set up composition with the Jetty on the left of the scene, using the single rock in the water as foreground interest.
The tranquility of the scene was just amazing, to be up at first light and experience nature in this way can only be good for the soul. The combination of the light, the dark moody clouds, along with the reflection of the jetty in the lake made this morning a magical one.
NUMER 2: Tryfan, Ogwen Vally, Snowdonia, Wales
Canon 5D Mk3 with 16-35mm lens at 16mm, F7.1, 1 second exposure, ISO 10, Lee polariser, 10 stop ND Filter, 3 stop ND Grad
When I first started my landscape photography a few years ago, I started to scout for locations that I could visit and I remeber seeing images of Snowdonia and thought to myself wow, this is simply stunning! I never had the opportunity to visit till this year and I liked it so much that I visited twice, although my first visit was a total disaster due to awful weather, which I might add seems to be a common theme of the year! This image was taken in August a week before I went on my trip to Bangladesh, an opportunity came along when a few of my friends decide they wanted to visit and invited me to come along and I simply couldnt refuse.
I wanted to capture Tryfan because I loved the almost triangler shape of the mountain and the imposing dominance it has on the surrounding landscape. It was a short hike to the position I wanted to get to up Ffynno Lloer as I also wanted to capture Llyn Ogwen (lake) so the elevation had to be high enough to capture both in the scene. There are a small set of streams that flow from the top and I wanted to capture some of the water coming down the mountain as well. I stopped at a small ridge where the brown stones where. The water had worn away the stones revealing the grooves and the view was spectacular and one of the best I have seen in the UK and it came close to my favourite location of Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. This is a view I will not be forgetting in a long time and I just couldn't stop admiring the view even after I had captured the image!
NUMBER 1: Twr Mawr Lighthouse, Angelsey, North Wales.
Canon 5D Mk3, 16-35mm lens at 16mm, F10, 0.5 seconds, ISO 400, Lee polariser, 6 stop ND Filter, 3 Stop ND Grad.
Finally, this is my favourite image of 2018! I first saw images of Twr Mawr Lighthouse some 6 years ago and was blown away by the beauty of this location. The combination of the positioning of the lighthouse on its perch, the stairs leading upto the lighthouse, the sea and the mountains behind in the distance, it was like a painting and almost picture perfect. This is a classic location and there are hundreds of images of this famous lighthouse but I wanted to see the location for myself and see if I could capture an image that would do justice to this 173 year old lighthouse.
The image was again captured on the same trip as image number two on my list and it is about an hours drive from Snowdonia. The walk from the car park is about 50 minutes to get to the lighthouse, to which I thought, that must be wrong and it couldn't be that far, however I was mistaken! So if you ever visit, give yourslef plenty of time to get to the location and back. The lighthouse is situated on a rocky penensula and is locally know as Landdwyn Island so do keep the tidal times in mind as you could get cut off and it is roughly another six hours before the tide goes out!
When I eventually got to the light house at sunset it was exactly how I pictured it and it was simply stunning! The conditions were almost perfect although I would have preferred some clouds in the sky but I couldn't have wished for more. Now as I mentioned before this is a well photographed location and there were already around 5 photographers who had already taken position for this classic composition. Luckily as with most photographers they were all very nice and made room for me to set up for the shot, I did shoot some other compositions but chose this one as it was the image I had seen all those years ago. The sun was setting to the left of the image and the golden light hit the rocks in the foreground as well as the lighhouse and cast a beautiful orange glow over the mountains in the distance. I dont think I have ever been so happy in capturing an image as this one and that is why this image is my favorite image of 2018.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I wish you all a happy new year and keep following me to view more of my work and if you like any of the above images they are available to purchase in my shop via my portfolio.