Leading Lines

Looking down the tracks left by a tractor after plowing. For this shot, I wanted a nice simple composition that would take the eye through the scene, off into the evening sky. When you want to create something simple, then it is the small details that count more than they would in a crowded picture, full of many varied objects. Having some kind of symmetry can help a lot with making such a picture feel ‘complete’, as do leading lines and ways of making the eye move naturally through the photo. That said, the two small trees in the top right of this photo break the symmetry, but feel to me as though they are perfectly correct. What do you think?

A recently plowed field, with tracks leading to the horizon.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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Museum Field

Walking through these gardens near to sunset, it was difficult not to notice the beautiful light spreading across the well-manicured lawns and trees. I decided to set up near this tree, so that it would provide a frame for the ground, with the branches also leading straight to the setting sun.

I made the slightly unusual decision for me to shoot five exposures to create this HDR, and I’m glad I did. I think the end result is much stronger than would have been achieved with just the standard three exposures covering four stops of light. The detail in the grass and tree trunk in particular seem to have come out very well. I have some similar shots taken on the same evening as this, but from different viewpoints, that I will be showing over the next few days, so keep watching!

A garden at sunset

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Towards Sunset

A tree sitting in a field near sunset. I got a few different shots of this tree, all taken from different angles and positions, but I think this is probably the best of the lot. I like how the tree is in a kind of dip in the land, with the field rising towards the left of the picture.

It took quite a lot of processing to get this into a finished state. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for most of it, and think the end result is probably over-saturated, but oh well. Although I seem to shoot a lot of HDRs around sunset, they always seem much harder to process than HDRs taken at any other time of day. I’m not really sure why this should be the case, but it must be something to do with the amount of yellow in sunset light.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

The Manor

A Georgian house shot towards sunset. The colours in the sky were helped along by a couple of textures, and the birds were added in to make it a bit more interesting. When you start playing around with textures, it soon becomes apparent why they are so popular. It is possible to transform an otherwise slightly boring shot into something much more interesting without too much effort! In this case, I also had to do some layer masking with the house to make sure it stood out from the scene.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Norfolk River II

A shot from nearly the same location as the ‘Norfolk River’. This was taken some time before sunrise, using a longer lens. I decided to just take the one exposure for this shot, rather than taking multiple exposures and making an HDR, as the silhouetted land seemed to work so well.

That short period of time just before sunrise and just after sunset always seems to produce the best light for photography. Unfortunately, it only seems to last minutes at most, so you really need to be on the ball and already know what picture you want to take before the light hits. Also, you need to get out of bed really early in the morning!

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Bait’s Bite Lock

I’ve tried something slightly different with the processing for this one. I actually did most of the processing in Lightroom, before making three separate exposures from the RAW file and passing these through Photomatix. The end result is actually not too different from running the picture through several Photoshop plugins after Photomatix.

This particular picture is of Bait’s Bite Lock in Milton. I suppose this is the ‘classic’ view, as there is a nice little platform you can stand on to take this picture or set up a chair and easel to make a painting. This is a cropped single shot, as shooting this¬† as a panorama would have resulted in problems where the clouds don’t match up.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

The Museum

Evening sunlight bathes the museum

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

This is a fairly simple shot which gives a good pictorial explanation of age old tenet of photography – always include foreground in a shot that is about the background. Here, the rocks lead the eye into the museum in the background. The movement in the clouds above similiarly does this. Theoretically, this should produce a good photo, although this is certainly not one of my best!

Morning Light

Sunrise over a field

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

This is taken just after sunrise, very early one morning.¬†Within a few minutes of the sun rising, it had gone behind the low cloud and became far less spectacular. This seems to frequently happen around the beggining and end of the day. That is, the sun always manages to find a gap in the clouds just above the horizon where it shines brightly for a handful of minutes. If you are ready, you can usually extract a decent picture from the scene, even if there isn’t much of interest on the ground, as in this case. Having a long enough shutter speed to just give a hint of movement in the clouds can also add some needed drama to scenes like this.

A Morning in the Field

A beautiful Sunrise

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

This picture was taken very early in the morning on one of the hottest days of the year.

I had previously seen this clump of poppies in the middle of a crop field, with the tree nearby and thought a decent picture might come from it. The ground mist you can see is actually quite common in the summer, particularly at the start of hot days. Few people see it though, since it burns off in the heat of the sun within about 30 minutes of sunrise.

When I got to this spot that I was going to take the picture from, I realised that it would be pretty difficult to shoot without putting the electricity pylon in. So, I composed the shot to try to show a juxtaposition between the tree and the pylon. One a natural tree, one a man-made tree.

Hover Poppies

A hoverfly visits a poppy

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

This was a particularly lucky photo, as you will know if you’ve ever tried following insects around in order to get a picture of them. In this case, I was just intending to shoot the two poppies, thinking they would make an excellent image on their own. As I had just composed and focussed on the front flower, this hover fly appeared and waited, right in the line of focus. All I had to do was press the shutter. I think the slight texture applied gives an almost painted feel to the image.

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