Monthly Archives: May 2014

Name That Lake

Reflections, Massif des Bauges, France

I went the wrong way a couple of times trying to find this hidden gem of a lake, and I still have no idea what it’s called. Maybe we can come up with a name here! At the end of an afternoon hiking in the nearby mountains I was almost ready to give up and go home.

It makes me wonder how many times I’ve been so close to something so beautiful and had no idea. If you’re interested it’s one of the three lakes just south east of Lescheraines in the Massif des Bauges. I’m looking forward to exploring the other two on another trip.

Reflections like this are always nice to look at, but there is also a subtle natural progression from dark to light across the image from right to left which I really like. Hopefully it leads the eye through the image. Although apparently we look naturally from left to right, so maybe that won’t work quite so well. Let me know!

Post-Processing in Lightroom: Circle of Light

I’ve finally got around to recording a belated second post-processing video! I published this shot of Amsterdam’s Royal Palace back in April, and a couple of people asked to see a before and after of my processing. Hopefully this will satisfy your curiosity!

Whether you’re a fan of the final shot or not, I think this is a great example of what you can achieve in Lightroom with only a few clicks.

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If you have any requests for shots that you’re interested in seeing just let me know and I’ll endeavour to put together a similar video over the coming weeks and months. I’m planning to publish one of these every two weeks, depending on how popular they are!

What tools do you use for processing your photos? Maybe you’d like to see a video for a specific shot of mine?! I’d love to hear from you!

Exploring Le Pointe De Miribel

Pointe de Miribel, France

There was so much great foreground interest at le Pointe de Miribel I wasn’t really sure where to start! With five crosses at the summit alongside this Madonna statue, I had a fun afternoon exploring all of the angles.

I was really lucky to get some images up here without any other hikers present. Just after I finished shooting this scene a couple sat to eat their lunch by the statue. From then on there was a steady stream of people arriving to admire the view.

I’m not so keen on these empty blue skies. A few more clouds would have been welcome! But in this case it does at least provide a nice clean backdrop for the Madonna statue, avoiding any unnecessary distraction.

I’ve seen some great shots of this location in winter, so I’m really looking forward to getting back out here come the snowy season!

Why I’m Using 500px For My Portfolio

500px Portfolio

I’ve recently started uploading my shots to a portfolio on 500px, which you can find using the newly created Portfolio link in the website menu at the top of my blog (between Photography and About Me) or by visiting directly here. I seem to get a lot more views on 500px compared to any other platform, so I’d really recommend it if you’re trying to get your images in front of as many eyes as possible.

Not only is it a great format for viewing photos, they also provide print and download services for free. Unfortunately they don’t provide any flexibility on pricing, so you just have to make do with the model they’ve decided upon. But it means I have a place where people can buy my photos without any upfront costs for me, which at the moment is a no brainer.

I’ll be continuing to add my best shots on 500px, as well as selecting some of my favourites from the past few years to upload. It’s a great place to see all of my photography in one place, without the ramblings of the blog. And if you’re anything like me you’ll be able to waste a good few hours just looking through other photographer’s images on the front page!

Do you use 500px? Or have another platform you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear from you!

Into A Dream

Woodland, French Alps

On Sunday I was invited on a hike in le Massif des Bauges by one of my esteemed work colleagues. He grew up in this range of mountains located just south of Annecy, and was keen to show me how great they are. Apparently his mother literally wrote the book on hikes in the area! So I wasn’t surprised that it ended up being a fantastic day.

I turned to take a shot after crossing this small bridge and the lighting was just perfect. That moment felt almost dreamlike, as if the bridge could be a portal into another dimension. I did my best to recreate that feeling with my processing in Lightroom.

If you want to create a similar effect, try boosting the Temperature slider into the yellow end until you reach a level you’re happy with. Then add a post-crop vignette to draw the viewer into the shot. I know lots of people don’t like vignettes, but I think they work really well in images like this!

A Natural Beauty

Lac de Vallon, France

I did a lot of exploring over the weekend and found some fantastic new spots in the Alps close to Geneva. When I came across the stunning Lac de Vallon I was pretty excited! I’m already looking forward to getting back out here and shooting in different conditions, especially over the autumn and winter months.

It was quite windy so I didn’t get any perfect reflection shots, but the colour of the water was amazing nonetheless. I spent an hour wandering around the completely natural lake, which was formed in 1943 when a landslide blocked the course of the Brévon river.

As soon as I spotted these rocks in the shallow water I knew they’d make good foreground material, and I think the portrait orientation worked out best. It better translates the depth of the scene and keeps unnecessary distractions out of shot.

The Sun Shines Through It

The Sun Shines Through It

Shots like this one always put a smile on my face. There’s something about that sunburst effect which is inherently joyful. I can’t say that I go out specifically seeking the sun, but every now and then it pops up in the right place at the right time.

Fortunately this was one such occasion, taken while I was hiking up Le Môle in the French Alps. As I stopped for a breather (one of many) I caught this scene in the corner of my eye. It’s always great to see nature align perfectly right in front of you.

If you want to get this sunburst effect you should use a really small aperture. Somewhere around F22 should do the trick. But don’t look at the sun! Unless you’re using an electronic viewfinder, I think it should be ok then. At least I hope so as I’ve been doing that for a while now.