Gated Sunrise

The sun had been visible for less than 20 minutes by the time I took this photo. The light was almost at that point where it starts to become less interesting. This usually seems to happen around 30 minutes or so after sunrise, but can be much longer, stretching several hours in the winter.

To make the gate visible leading into the field, required extending the tripod to its maximum height so that the camera could shoot over all the grass in the foreground. The problem with this, is that because the viewfinder is well over six feet off the ground when I do this, I couldn’d actually see to compose the picture. By pre-composing at a lower height, then moving the camera up, I was fortunately able to get the shot I wanted pretty quickly.

Sunrise seen through trees over a series of fields.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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Wollaton

Just a quick grab shot of a group moving towards Wollaton Hall, which is emerging out of the trees. This is actually a very impressive building, although from this side it is quite well hidden by trees. Usually, I tend to shoot HDRs and similar shots, but occasionally I will just raise the camera and get a shot. Generally, the success rate is better with the tripod-based pictures, but it’s certainly possible with some regularity to get decent ‘grab’ photos.

A group of tourists walking towards Wollaton Hall

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Sunset in the Snow

The tracks you can see in the snow are from a mixture of rabbits and muntjac deer as far as I could tell. There was nowhere that they didn’t go in this field. As I wanted to keep the frame fairly simple for this shot, the tracks were perfect as a bit of foreground interest, but are not so over the top that they distract from the rest of the scene.

It took a little bit of Photoshop work to bring the snow back to its white colour. As is usually the case with snow, it was distinctly blue thanks to reflecting the colour of the sky. I didn’t totally take all the blue out of it, as otherwise it might feel a bit blank, but left enough in so that there was still a feeling of depth.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

York Minster Details

On acquiring my 100 mm macro lens, one of the first uses I put it to was taking details of various buildings. In this case, there are several of York Minster, taken just as the sun is setting. This provided a very delicate light that isn’t present at any other time of the day, but also tested my ability to hand hold the lens in relatively dark conditions without gathering any camera shake. Turning the ISO up helped, and I was able to grab a number of shots with relative ease. It’s surprising that, until you begin to look at these details through a camera, you just don’t know that they even exist.

A detail of York Minster

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

 

A detail of York Minster

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

 

A detail of York Minster

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Merging

Two different weather fronts meeting high up in the sky. I think they actually only appear to be meeting because of the perspective that this was taken from, looking up from the ground. Actually, they are probably several thousand feet apart. If you look very closely, towards the bottom of the photo you can just make out some birds flying past, way off in the distance. I didn’t notice these when I took the shot, and thought they were dust on the sensor until I viewed it at 100%! It adds a nice sense of scale though, to make the clouds seem even larger.

Storm clouds meet overhead

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Streetlighting

Streetlights outside the a place I used to live in in York. These streetlights always seemed perfectly positioned. All I had to do was wait for the right weather conditions. In this case it was a cloudy sunset, but I actually have pictures from a number of different days and times of year. Although it may not be one of my best photos, it does show that you can get a decent picture anywhere. Just because you are stuck indoors does not mean that you can put the camera away and make excuses.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Hill

Sunset on a very cloudy evening. This was taken looking up a small rise in the landscape. The advantage of taking shots like this is that you tend to lose most trees/hedges and the like, since they are hidden from view by the hill itself. Of ourse this only works if the hill doesn’t have anything growing on it! If you can get lucky though, the simple, uncluttered scene you are left with can produce a landscape that is just as good, if not better, than those that are crammed with detail and objects.

For this shot, I tried out the open source LuminanceHDR program. This is supposedly a replacement for Photomatix Pro, with the great advantage of being totally free! A comparison of both programs with work in progress shots can be found here.

Sunset over a recently plowed, rural field, under a stormy sky.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Foggy Sunrise

Sunrise in a foggy sky. The low lying mist that covered the surrounding landscape prevented any kind of decent picture that took in the wider view, as everything was hidden in the fog. Fortunately, it was just thin enough that some blue sky could get through, but thick enough that it diffused the light from the rising sun to a very large extent.

This shot required very little in the way of post-processing. Although it is an HDR, it is one of those rare HDRs that required minimal extra work in Photoshop. Some removal of the ever present dust, and the picture was complete.

Bright sunrise in the wide-open skies of the Norfolk Fens.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Summer Sunrise

Sunrise over a wheat field in rural Cambridgeshire, UK. I had to wait much longer than I expected to get a photo of this scene, as the rising sun would not come out from behind a wall of clouds. When it finally did, I was left with this delicate, wispy cloud floating above the field. I originally composed so that the tractor tracks leading to the trees were the dominant part of the scene, but the appearance of this cloud made me change my mind.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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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