The night before I had one of the best wild camps yet high up beneath a mountain in what was essentially an alpine meadow.
I started at 3 am to find a shot for sunrise but clouds on the horizon meant I had to wait a bit and I decided fairly late on to move to a view looking over Kirkjufell.
Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain and I had intentionally avoided the shots that most landscape photographers tend to go for, it was nice to shoot it from a slightly different angle although I am sure this shot has been done before!
his shot of Stac Pollaidh shows just what unusual (or usual?) conditions can do for a scene. Although Stac Pollaidh lies in Scotland, I can't help the association with the more famous Caonyonlands, of America. This shot also illustrates the benefits of just going for it. I sat out two spells of snow and strong winds on Stac Pollaidh on this afternoon, all part of an Atlantic low pressure system. I still hung on to the hope of some light though and I was (eventually) rewarded. Stac Pollaidh, like much of the surrounding area is made of 1 billion year old Torridoian sandstone.
We spent the second half of our Iceland holiday on the Snaefellsness peninsula of western Iceland. The weather throughout was unbelievable, almost unbroken sunshine and nice cool breezes ideal for hiking, a welcome respite from the rain we had on the first half of the holiday. Of course the clear skies made photography hard and really I was enjoying myself so much that photography wasn't at the forefront of my mind.
This is the first glimpse of the peak once the clouds lifted.
Using a polariser can help to bring contrast in skies like this but when shooting wideangle you have to be careful that the effect doesn't become uneven. In this case I darkened the polarised part of the sky and brightened the polarised part in order to reduce the effect.
This was shot handheld at ISO400 because I knew for this shot image quality wasn't an issue and I had to get a shot before the sun entered a hazier part of the sky!
These clouds preceded a front coming in from the west. It is often the case that just before and just after weather fronts you get high altitude clouds and if the timing is right you get amazing sunset skies.
FYI because I know this question will crop up...The moon isnt 'big' in fact it's at apogee, I have effectively 'zoomed in' on it with a 560mm lens (400mm + 1.4x).
Staple Tor cuts one of the most striking silhouettes on Dartmoor. There are many viewpoints of Staple Tor but my favourite is also the most accessible! From the south-west one of Staple Tors stacks of granite is exposed to reveal what seems an almost impossible structure of massive plates of granite somehow balancing on one another. It has been an ambition of mine to photograph this particular stack and long ago realised the potential of Staple Tor as a silhouette against a full moon. The best chance would be a moonrise, shot from my favourite southwest viewpoint. 18 months ago I bought a 400mm lens and tele-extender purely to photography the moonrise or moonset against Staple Tor. A £1000 investment on a lens setup that you only really want for one image is not an easy decision to make. So began 18 months of waiting. This is actually a relatively rare occurrence. In order to maintain colour in the sky the image must be taken shortly after sunset. The moon must also be high enough at this point that it rises above the tor itself. This basically gives you one evening every 3rd full moon that is suitable for the shot. I had been looking forward to Friday the 9th of December for almost 6 months! Of course of these relatively few opportunities cloud is likely to ruin some of them. Furthermore tripod vibrations due to wind will inevitably make some evenings hopeless. When the evening finally came I was well prepared. I had worked out exactly where I needed to be. I had my camera set on a custom mode of exposure settings that I had calculated. I hung 10kg of dumbbells off the tripod to stabilise it in the breeze and an umbrella was used as a windbreak. I was so well drilled by the point the moon peak its head over the hill that I knew that finally, after 18 months I was going to get my shot. This image might look simple, but it\'s anything but!