Last colors of a magic sunset after a short thunderstorm over the Mount Aiguille, a well known summit of Vercors Natural Park in french Alps. I remember the contrast between the color of the sky and the freshness of theses big plants in the foreground called "verâtres" in french
I just returned home after leading a weekend photo tour/seminar based out of Canaan Valley, West Virginia. We had a big group of 18 talented and enthusiastic photographers and we worked it hard over the weekend. This is a shot from sunrise on the Sunday from the summit of Bear Rocks Preserve, Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia. Enjoy and stay tuned for more images to come!
I have just released a brand new eBook, 10 Tips for Amazing Autumn Images, just in time for the fall color season! - [link]
Second day of Spring and the weather is absolutely stunning. Beautiful clear days, warm temperatures and lots of colour. There's something about the smell of the fresh air and warm sun that soothes the soul.
Anyway here's a shot of the last few minutes of light before the sun disperses beyond the horizon, Wellington Bay - Nambucca Valley, NSW Australia.
Almost certainly one of the most photographed pieces of landscape in the British Isles, it's almost blasphemy to go to Skye and NOT attempt to photograph the Old Man Of Storr in the north of the island.
It's a dawn location, the view here is taken looking south east across the south of the Isle of Skye (you can see the peaks of the Cuillins in the distance) with the mainland just visible to the left and the isle of Raasay between. This however, isn't a dawn shot. I took this in the middle of the afternoon, when I was familiarizing myself with the location and picking out a spot to shoot from for the following morning. Fortunately, I took my time and got a couple of decent shots, because as it turned out, when I climbed up there before dawn the following day, in the cold and the wind and the rain and the mist, I couldn't actually see the Storr because it was so cloudy. I waited two hours for the sun to rise, but it never broke through the cloud, and all I got for my trouble was the shot below
So, as it turned out, this shot, taken in crappy light in the middle of the afternoon, was the only shot I actually got of the place. Fortunately, it's one of the very few locations which still photographs pretty well even in the aforementioned crappy mid-afternoon light...
To give an idea of scale, there are probably 20 or 30 hikers in this shot walking around the base of the rocks, and my wife is actually sitting on a rock looking out over the small lake you can see on the bottom left of the picture. The green smudge is a pine plantation you have to walk up through to get to the location. It's not a particularly hard walk in the day, but alone in the dark and mist before dawn, it's pretty eerie.
I never did get to see it bathed in the glow of first light at sunrise, but even so, it's one of those places that really does take your breath away....even in crappy weather.
Taken at the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland Nikon D3 w/ Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead Hoya ND400 9 stop ND | Lee 0.6 2 stop hard grad | 6 secs | f13 | 17mm
Workflow in Nikon Capture NX2. Resize for web PS CS3
A shot from a couple of years ago of the iconic cipresso trees near San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany. This is the "classic" view of the trees, where they are sidelit from the right. I was initially reluctant to shoot from this angle because, as it was so early in the year the grass wasn't all that long and there are the various bald patches where the earth shows through. I countered this in my original submission (below) by shooting from a different angle and keeping the camera really low (something that can't be done from this side because of the nature of the terrain), but it's this view that really captures the undulating nature of the location. It looks peaceful, but anyone who's been here will recognize that to shoot from this angle you have to be standing pretty much underneath a concrete flyover for a major road.
I've got plenty of new stuff to submit, but most of them are waterscapes, and I like to keep my submissions varied if I can, so I'm mixing up more recent shots with older ones I never got around to submitting here.
My other shot from the same location
Taken near San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy Nikon D3 | Nikkor 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 D Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead Lee 0.6 (2 stop) soft edged neutral density filter 1/30 | f9.5 | 28mm
Another shot from an evening on the western coast of Algarve last month.
The sky and light were lovely, the tide and light were receding from the long, flat beach of Castelejo, and to capture shots like this I was waiting for waves to come up the beach, then as they receded, running after them and setting up the tripod and camera before the next wave came in. As the waves rolled back up the beach, I tripped the shutter, waited for the exposure to finish and quickly lifted the camera and tripod up and out of the water before the waves came over it.
I got very wet. It was a lot of fun
A shot from later the same evening:
Taken at Praia do Castelejo, Costa Vicentina, Algarve, Portugal Nikon D3 w/ Nikkor 17-35mm 2.8 Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead Lee 0.6 (2 stop) hard NDG 1/3 sec | f22 | | ISO200 | 17mm
This was taken in pitch blackness, 70 minutes after sunset. Exposure was 6 minutes, ISO400, f/7.1. I was shooting so late because me and my workshop client were waiting for the moon to rise. After 2 hours in an icy wind we gave up and went home. As we drove away a blood red full moon rose on the horizon, dissapearing and reappearing through the clouds. It took me a good week to get over the shot that I missed, but so we learn to be patient
The Bettys Bay wetlands under amazing autumn light. This sunset was last year in April, but with recent improvement in my processing skills I went through some of my favorite images from 2009 again and reprocessed some.
Bettys Bay, South Africa
5D II, 16-35mm II, 3 exposures
Curious about how I blend and process my images? Check out my blog - www.hougaardmalan.com/blog
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This was the first site that Marianne and I stopped at on a great last weekend in Iceland. We are every grateful to Orvar and Mai for showing us around (Orvar's site is at www.arcticphoto.is) the area. We had visited the area to the left of this scene but to walk on the glacier itself and find small pools of crystal clarity like this was a dream. If anyone has an inkling to visit this particular location, the access point is behind a fosshotel just past the actual sign to Svinafell glacier.
Black Cuillin From Elgol across Loch Scavaig Scotland
Elgol is a tiny town at the end of a peninsula that is famous for being a launch point for Loch Coruisk - a beautiful secluded loch that is otherwise only accessible by foot. It has great views of the southerly aspect of the Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye and at the time we were there, dawn provided more light than sunset did.
Our visits to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland have been met largely with inclement weather and even a blizzard once! This scene was shot from the wharf at Arnastapi on a gloomy but still day. If features in www.inspiredbyiceland.com 's video at about the 2:00 minute mark. There are many images of this white house from the area but most focus on the rock formations along the shore. I tried to come up with an image that was different to the norm and so, I walked out on to the rocks of the breakwater /harbour to see what was possible. This was the result.