landscape

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In my last post I talked about using film again and showed a few shots taken in black and white. Now b&w can cover up many sins and mistakes but colour can be a little less forgiving, so the next challenge I set myself was to see what the ‘new’ F90x could actually do with colour film. Having looked at what’s available I decided that Kodak Portra 160 had just the feel I wanted. I will be trying out many other film, I think, but Portra seems to have that desaturated look I was going for. Velvia was very different, and the Ektar 100 I have sitting at home is different again. But the question was, could I achieve that look, the look that says, yes, this is a film shot, it’s not some digital instagrammed simulation, it’s the real thing.

A trip to Mountsberg Conservation area over Easter gave me the opportunity to shoot in the countryside but with enough buildings and objects around to break up what could otherwise be a fairly monotonous environment.

Here are some of the results. To my mind, I got exactly what I wanted.
Nikon F90x, Portra 160, scanned on Epson V550.

Mountsberg100Paddock

Mountsberg102Tractor

Mountsberg104Horse – at lunch

Mountsberg108CN train

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What else could it be? Nature photography. I would hazard a guess that more people consider themselves nature photographers than would classify themselves as any other type of shooter. There’s an unending wealth of opportunities out there for those of us who love to take our cameras into nature in any of its many forms, flora, fauna, landscape vistas, skies, trees, ranges, etc etc. And it’s a constant learning opportunity for the photographer who needs to deal with ever-changing light sources as well as trying to capture that shot that will make people sit up and take notice. It’s extraordinarily difficult to produce something out of the camera that truly reflects the glory of what we’ve seen while out walking, or sailing or climbing, or even from inside our cars as we take yet another magnificent drive through whichever country we happen to be in.

I have to remember that this is a blog post and not an essay; I could ramble on for pages on where I’ve been , where I would love to have gone, where I still plan to go. I’ll keep it short and just add that yesterday I took a walk on the Hockley Valley Trail just north of Toronto. I hadn’t walked here previously, but set off at a reasonably early hour in order to try to get the best light I could. It’s a sacrifice that I was willing to make! At one point on the trail I came across a potential shot that I’ve had on my bucket list for ever – the sunbeam through the trees. As I shot and then moved around the light, more beams and angles came into play. I took a number of shots before I thought I had enough, and then took a few more just in case. When I walked back along the same part of the trail a couple of hours later the beams had completely disappeared. And that is why we go out in the early morning. And yes, I know, the sun is blown out. I said it was a bucket-list shot, not a perfect shot.

Hockley Sunbeam photography

Sunbeams photography

This shot is a more painterly photograph of the fall colours that are now beginning to appear in Southern Ontario. While Algonquin was at its peak this weekend, our neck of the woods is a little more sedate in its rate of change. I expect to head out over the next couple of weekends, weather permitting, but this one was taken at a pond on the Hockley Valley trail. The painterly style isn’t produced by camera movement or any Photoshop filter. It’s the photograph of the reflection of the trees in the water, flipped 180 and then cropped. Easy and real.

Reflections photography

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