Skilled people have more luck?

One big advantage with doing something regularly is that you in time get better because you know the techniques, because you are better prepared and because you know the surrounding landscape better. I have heard this expressed as that “skilled people have more luck” once.

This evening I was again out, it was a good day, a mix of rain and sun, which means clouds, possible good lights, possible more. This evening it turned out to be a light rain close to where the sun went down.

I wanted to capture cloud movements, colours, reflections, shadows, calmness. The quiet most never experience. I read an article written by a landscape photographer out of NYC, where he said that the beaches usually where empty of people in the early morning and evenings. It hits me where I live that it is like that, most people miss the most spectacular time by the sea.

I mounted my camera on the tripod, added the Lee Filter Little Stopper, and a 0.6 gradient ND filter (as the sky is more light then the ground/sea. Since I knew it was raining I brought an umbrella. Not for me, but to hold over the camera to avoid getting good shots ruined of the raindrops on the lens. I have also found out the Little Stopper is very nice because it enables me still to focus trough it, something which is impossible with Big Stopper.

umbrella tripod

I usually try to place the tripod out into the water to be able to have the photo start of right away with interesting foreground. Well the shot to the right tells I do not always do that.

I was quite happy with the outcome of today.

Horizon on fire
Horizon on fire – 16mm, 10s, f/11, ISO 50

 

horizon on fire II
16mm. 20s. f/11, ISO 50
16mm, 49s, f/11, ISO 50

 

Most days life is grey

Most days are exactly what you make them. There is nothing really remarkable happening. It is only you who have the opportunity to make them differentiate from other days. It is only you who can see the beauty in the day when most just see same old.
It was a grey day. It was flat light, it was no particular waves, it was no particular wind, the clouds where high.
My thought was to use the motion on the waves hitting the beach. It didn’t become spectacular, it became better than okay.
Maybe not as grey as grey.
motions

Panorama

Last evening I was down at the beach at a place I like to go to. A peninsula  called Bygdøy. On the south end you have some distanse to the horizon and can often view the sun going down. This day was rather dark. However as it is with clouded days there are always, or close to, cracks in the cloud layer where sun gets trough and with long exposure this spots or cracks get more visible.

All photos here are shot with Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM, and Lee Filters Little Stopper (6 Stop ND filter) and Lee Filters 0.9 ND grad filter. The Grad filter is adjusted different from photo to photo. The 6 Stop ND filter is used to give me long exposures where I am then able to blur water and clouds and let nature paint patterns and structure based on the movements present.

Often when I shoot the landscapes at sunset or right after as I like to do I think they get a bit to dark blue, so I often add a layer that is a bit coloured to adjust the effect to how I do enjoy it more.

First I was shooting exposures and made some nice ones.

At dusk
16mm / ƒ/11/ 30s / ISO 50
16mm / ƒ/11 / 55s / ISO 50
16mm / ƒ/11 / 55s / ISO 50

I decided as the sky was interesting and there wasn’t to much movement in it that it could be interesting to attempt a panorama. So I shut 4 frames at 34/35s exposure where I moved the camera sidewise with the tripod head so that all other settings where the same. As 35s requires bulb mode it requires some awareness. Then I used the create panorama feature in Adobe Lightroom and the four exposures where aligned next to each other. I then cut the photo so that all edges are straight.

I am very happy with the results of this.

16mm / ƒ/11 / 34s / ISO 50
16mm / ƒ/11 / 34s / ISO 50

 

Baybysteps II

Well I have inspired myself. I liked the video of simplicity I made last time. So I have made more, and they are much like the earlier once rather simple. This is on of the tide rising, and trough the film it rises just about an inch.

 

Inspired

Yesterday I found a book in the store that I for once felt resonated with me. There are many books about photography, but I do not experience that to many of them focus on the kind of photography I do. This book does, it also added some cool ideas I will work with in the future.

The book is called “Moodscapes” and is written by Rebekka Gudleifsdottir.

IMG_5264

 

The book gives a history of her photography, suggestions what she thinks is important, a view into her methodology and art. I found it to be a great read and read all trough it the same evening.

Another inspiration has been the photo I called “Sunset III” and published on 500px Monday got for me an all time high 96.9 with almost 1300 views

Sunset III by Leif Egil Hegdal

When I was sitting at my daytime job today and looked outside the window to see the clear blue sky and the sun shining I knew I had to take an early day off. I would love to live off photography, but until that day, I earn most money doing IT Consulting work. Well I left 1,5 hours earlier then original planned.

I decided to go to the Naturism beach at Bygdøy, because it offers a bit different micro terrain then the place I was at Sunday. When I was in the Army some 20 years ago, I learned that the micro terrain was the small hills, stone and bushes that was in front of you, and that they could offer good coverage if I knew how to use them. As a photographer I am trying to use this as a foreground on my photos.

When I came the sun stood still high on the sky so I did some other / different shots.

First one with the sun in my back

17mm / 13s / f/11 / ISO 50

And then one more or less directly to the sun

16mm / 1/13s / f/18 / ISO 50

After a while the sun went down behind the horizon and the real nice light illuminated the landscape.

16mm / 30s / f/13 / ISO 50
16mm / 33s / f/16 / ISO 50

 

I am pleased with the two last photos. However I experienced that I raised the bar today and required more perfectionism from myself. It was hard finding a position that I was really happy with. However the fact that it is difficult and challenging continues to inspire me. If all photos you took where sublime, then anyone could do it and no one could make this a living.

 

 

Wide angle shots at the beach

Today I was out to take some shots at the beach, was looking for stones that would obstruct the waves and create exciting movements. Today was the first day in about a week where there wasn’t a cloudy sky.

The water was much higher today then usual. Perhaps due to the close to full moon we have now ?

I used my main body, the 1D Mark IV, with the EF 16-35mm F4L IS lens. I used tripod of course, and I used the Lee Little Stopper and 0.9ND grad filter.

The most used setup today was wide apart legs to get a low angle, and at the same time a much more stable tripod. In my opinion a low angle for the camera towards the subject is very important. And since I often emphasise on the foreground in the shot, the angle towards it is important.

 

tripod_low
Lower tripod angle

To me it is also important to get close to what I am shooting. In other words if the foreground is supposed to be some rocks I need to move my camera close to them and the sea so I do not have unnecessary beach to cut away.

Camera on tripod with filters attached in front of lens.
Camera on tripod with filters attached in front of lens.

I try to capture the colors, the mood and atmosphere. I believe it is important to freeze the “chaos” that we see, where everything moves all the time and to move it into a setting where we experience the movements and how they as a greater collective of things move along. The best way I think to achieve this is to use long exposures.

 

16mm / ƒ/9 / 20s / ISO 125
16mm / ƒ/8 / 8s / ISO 100
16mm / ƒ/9 / 20s / ISO 125

I am very happy with the results I had this day. I have been able to increase my portfolio with some superb landscape shots – and that doesn’t happen everyday. And I have been better friends with my new lens.

 

Iceland – the Saga Island

Today I am going on a travel for an organisation I am the Chairman of to Iceland.  There is a official program where some guiding is part of it. I will of course not pass on this opportunity and will bring some of my camera equipment to be able to take some landscape photos there.

Both on the guiding. Hope the others won’t hate me when I set up my rig and used 15-20 minutes each place I want to get a good shot. I am also hoping that there will be a hill or open area close to Reykjavik where I will be able to get some night shots of Northern Lights. I saw some really nice Northern Lights when I was in the army 18 years ago, but then I didn’t have camera with me.

Thinking of bringing

Benro Tripod with Ball-head
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L
Big Stopper by Leefilters
Gradually ND filters by Leefilters

Considering also brining the lens I always pack but seldom use, Canon EF 70-200mm F4L.