I just couldn’t escape the clouds during my time in Hong Kong, they were everywhere! And while it would have been nice to see some sunshine, they did at least provide a dramatic backdrop for some photography at the Chi Lin Nunnery.
I spent a good while in this spot waiting for the best moment to get a shot without many people in. Almost every time I was about to click the shutter another large group would enter through the front door! So I would just sigh and wait another few minutes for them to wander through.
Eventually it all came together, and I even managed to keep my camera straight whilst rushing for the shot! This was the most peaceful place I visited in the city of Hong Kong, the striking contrast to the cityscape behind impossible to ignore.
The Sliding Sands trail is perhaps the most perfectly named hiking route I’ve ever come across. As I descended into the Haleakala crater I could feel my body fighting the slippery terrain, fighting to keep me upright.
But it’s the way back up that will really get you. At around 3000m above sea level the air is thin, the sun is relentless and the terrain is as frustrating as it is beautiful. On the sliding sands it’s easy to feel like you’re making absolutely no progress at all!
I only spent 90 minutes on the trail, but if you time it right you can spend a full day hiking all the way through the crater. Once I made it back out alive I turned to take a shot of the trail, hoping to capture the barren landscape and the human struggle to defeat it.
After a while the burning incense in Hong Kong’s Man Mo Temple was quite suffocating, but the atmosphere it created was probably the most mesmerising of any temple I’ve visited. Despite the difficulty breathing after half an hour I was still reluctant to leave.
I spent a lot of time around these lanterns. There were plenty hanging inside, and I guess you can pay to have your prayer attached to one. I have absolutely no idea what the Chinese writing says. If anybody out there has a clue I’d love to know!
It’s in situations like this I wish I had a nice prime lens with a really low f stop and nice bokeh. Then I could get some really tight focus and that nice creamy effect in the out of focus areas. But for now my kit lens will have to do!
One early morning we took a beautiful walk along the Big Island coast near Waikoloa, admiring the palm trees as we went. Wandering south from the Fairmont Orchid hotel there were so many small bays, some sandy and some full of lava rocks. It was the perfect place for a relaxing stroll in the relative cool at the beginning of the day.
I’m not sure why, but these trees are just so pleasing in photographs! Perhaps it’s because they just look so clean, with the slim narrow trunk leading up to such well defined leaves at the top. I don’t know! It’s not often you find trees that look so great as the single focus point of a photo, but I think the palm tree really pulls it off.
I used my Lightroom preset ‘Summer Sky’ on this shot, which I’ve been using a lot recently in photos where the sun is shining and the sky is just a plain blue. It just looks really boring without any clouds! Playing with the colour a little seems to make a big difference.
I’m thinking of putting some of my presets into a bundle and selling them online for a small fee. Would you be interested in that? I think I’ll try to sort something out over the next few weeks but I have no idea where to start!
Before I visit somewhere new I always try to spend some time researching shooting locations, so I knew I wanted to get something a little different to the common shots I’d seen of Waipiʻo Valley on the Big Island. Since we’d decided not to hike down to the black sand beach I had to get creative with some foliage around the lookout point.
Fortunately I found these trees which provided a fantastic frame for the beautiful coastline. It might not be the grand vista you can see with no obstruction just out of shot, but I always think putting something in the foreground that’s almost close enough to touch helps draw you into an image.
Whilst I enjoy scouting a place before I’ve been there, I love to see other photographers’ work of somewhere I’ve visited myself even more! It’s so interesting to compare and contrast the composition, the light and the weather when you’ve been standing in the very spot that a photo was taken from.
Short of taking a full on tour with a professional, I actually think it’s one of the best ways to learn and improve your photography. I’ve been on the lookout for photos of Hawaii ever since we got back, so if you have any of your own or have some favourites bookmarked please get in touch!
There’s no question that Hawaii’s Big Island is an amazing location for a road trip, and one of its most famous drives is Chain of Craters Road. Winding through the black lava fields created by many volcanic eruptions over the years was a humbling experience.
As we descended 3700 feet from the smoking Kilauea Caldera to sea level I was on the lookout for good spots to capture this barren, surreal landscape. The road has been covered several times by lava flow, so for me this shot represents the enduring battle that is so present here between humanity and nature.
The roads throughout the Big Island were fantastic for the most part, as smooth as they were scenic and fairly clear of any traffic. At times the low speed limits were a little frustrating, but for the most part I was just happy to be forced to slow down and enjoy the view. After all that’s what Hawaii is all about!
While touring the Royal Palace in Amsterdam you pass behind the famous balcony on which royals greet the public in Dam Square. These chairs sit in the hallway behind the balcony, and presumably are where said royals wait before heading outside for the special occasion.
After I took this shot I wondered what that must feel like, what they might be thinking as they sit on these chairs. Do they look upon each engagement as a burden, a chore or a privilege? Is living a life prescribed to you from birth easy? I imagine not.
I loved the amazing blue here, which I have since noticed is very similar to the colour used by the Dutch national airline KLM. I suspect it’s not a coincidence, but I have no idea. Maybe someone out there knows the answer?!
To give the colour a bit more emphasis I decided to make the rest of the image black and white. Fortunately it was pretty easy in Lightroom. I just had to decrease the saturation for every colour other than blue to zero.