I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Family Friends, Clients and followers a Very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings you all something nice tomorrow and below is an image from last year of our local Church viewed from our local park.
A Christmas Eve walk with my partner and our dog Wallace.
Quite an odd collection of images thanks to the weather, some look like they were shot at Christmas with snow and everything while others look they may well have been shot in autumn, it Just goes to show the camera can lie but all the images were taken today the 24th December 2010 although I must confess that to the last two images were not actually taken while out on the walk, they are close up shots of our Christmas tree.
I could use this post go into how this is the earliest, coldest, most widespread, worst snow to hit Britain since 1985, 1993, in 20 years or more than 20 years, living memory, the exact details seem to depend upon where your source your news. I could also continue by listing, warning of areas not to drive, rail disruption, airport closures, school closures, accidents, at least 3 deaths, record low temperatures and how the odds have been slashed by bookies on a “White Christmas” but I wont. I will let these few photographs taken around the Ecclesfield and Chapeltown area of Sheffield, South Yorkshire over a period of 2 hours on the evening of 30th of November and a further 2 hours from around 10:00am on the 1st of December 2010 speak for themselves.
I don’t mean in their suitcase I mean photography. Well here are a few holiday snaps from our holiday in Whitby North Yorkshire this September (2010) with what I hope you will find are some useful captions to inspire those who feel their “holiday snaps” are a bit of a let down.
We arrived in the afternoon and after settling in decided to take a walk up the hill to St Mary Church. As we wondered through the grave stones I looked up to spot this. The abbey with the Grave stones of the church in the foreground. I have never really been happy with shots of Whitby abbey from outside the walls until this one. Its shot on a wide angle to give the grave stones more emphasis and stop the abbeys boundary wall dominating the photo.
From the Church we walked down the 199 steps, headed to the harbour. The late sun was catching the the white tops of the waves and spray off the sea as you look west up the coast towards Sandsend from the Harbours west pier. The people and gulls on the beach help give sense of scale to the scene, while exposing for the highlights adds atmosphere bringing out the cloud formations, catches the spray over the distant waves and turns the figures into silhouettes.
Day two we headed up to the whalebone arch and Captain Cooks statue. Getting two landmarks of Whitby in a single picture I used a telephoto zoom to get St Mary’s Church framed in the top of the Whalebone arch.
Walking along the top of the cliffs towards Sandsend and looking down on the beach you come to the multi coloured beach huts. Again shot on a telephoto zoom lens, this picture uses diagonal composition to add interest and, although you cant really see him on this small version, if you click through to the larger version you will see there is a lone figure stood close to the waves which gives the viewer an idea of the scale.
I got a little carried away on day three when we visited Whitby Abbey. The sun, an almost totally clear blue sky and the abbey almost empty of visitors was a little bit of a photographers dream come true.
Top left: Is taken on a wide angle lens, I hid the sun behind the abbeys walls exposed for the brightest parts of the pictures turning the walls and shadows black.
Top right: Its Always worth grabbing a shot of a sign when visiting somewhere if you later decide to put together a slide show or a screen saver you can use them like the titles in a film. Don’t just photograph them straight on try a few angles and see what you come up with.
Bottom right: Ever tried taking a picture of a tall building only to find it looks like it falling over backwards when you look at the photo? You either have to get further away or buy a really expensive camera, like specialist architectural photographers use, or try to fix the problem on the computer in a program like Photoshop or Googles Picassa. There is another alternative though, you can really go for the converging verticals and strange angles to create your own very striking images.
This is Whitby photographed photographed around 5:00pm, exposing to keep the detail in the sunlight white painted buildings darkens the shadows and brings out the reflection of the buildings on the water. This is another two photograph joiner or stitched together shot which has been cropped into a long thin panoramic images. Keep in mind that just because a camera produces a particular shaped photo doesn’t mean it has to stay that shape, you can crop them when when you get home.
So you have photographed to local tourist attractions and the scenery don’t forget the wild life. Whitby isn’t exactly know for big game or exotic animals but it does have its fair share of Seagulls in this case Herring Gulls. Keep your eyes open for the common everyday things and shoot more than one frame at worst you improve your chances of getting a good image at best you get more than one good one.
What about getting the family in the pictures? Well day four was trip out to Robin Hoods Bay.
Top left: Aileen and Wallace, if you decide to pose the family up with a sign showing where you have been don’t always go for the obvious sign above their head style shot, sometimes there are other options if you keep you eyes open. This sculpture had Robin Hoods Bay 2000 carved into it so posing them up on it tells us where it was taken even if the date is somewhat misleading.
Top Right: The best family shots aren’t always the posed ones sometimes action and sometimes candid is where the real photos are to be found. Wallace heard the first click of the shutter and decided that was enough of the posing this one is the second frame as he took off to play so always be ready and never shoot one frame where two will do a better job.
Day Five found us back in Whitby. We decided it would be a good idea to take the 25 minute trip around the bay on the replica of Captain Cooks Bark Endeavour. While waiting on the quayside we were passed by the Haven Seajack One, a jack up barge, being pushed out to sea by tug work boat VOE Service and guided by the pilot boat St Hilda. It was on its way to start work on Whitby Harbours East pier. Remember wherever in the world you go on holiday is where someone else lives and the day to day things in their everyday lives can give you a photo opportunity a chance of something a little different.
Bottom left: The Seajack one being Navigated through Whitbys open swing bridge, a prime camera angle had anything gone wrong while making her way through.
Bottom right: It would have been nice to get this shot from the other side, with Whitby in the background but that means we would have needed to already be on the Endeavour, so as you see professionals don’t get exactly what they want every single time.
Day six was a day trip to Scarborough where we wandered around the shops and amusements unusually I didn’t take a single picture and so on to day seven which answers the question what to photograph if the weather is bad on holiday? The answer is the weather!
High winds and high tide combine as a rough sea crashes against Whitbys outer harbour making for some quite spectacular waves at times
If you spotted this and wanted to know what I packed well camera kit was a Full frame Nikon Body, with 24mm wide angle lens, 50mm Standard lens and 70-200mm zoom lens. nothing that couldn’t really be covered by a good quality amateur compact.
If you want to see more images from the week check the slide show below.