How I made this image.
Whitby’s old whalebones are on display near the captain Cook monument on the west cliff of Whitby. The original bones were acquired in 1963 by Whitby rural district council which were a gift from a Norwegian shipping company to show the towns whaling past. They were replaced in the 1990s because they were becoming too weathered.
Well that’s the History of the whalebones, now how I made the image and why I liked this composition.
It was the Gothic weekend of October 2015. I wanted some night photos of Whitby, so one night I headed for Whitby choosing what I was hoping was the clearest night. I didn’t quite have this shot in mind, the one I was thinking of was a panoramic of the old town but I did notice the laser display from the abbey as I approached the whalebones. A simple natural framing technique used in composition.
This is quite a technical shot to pull off and one which required 2 photographs.
The problem here was I needed a long exposure to record the dark tones in the photo but also been careful not to overexpose the lighting on the jawbones themselves, So there lies the problem. I wanted the laser beams sharp and motionless; the problem is they are on a cycle which sees them moving about the sky, no good for a long exposure; this would record them as a blur. The only way is to play about with setting to get the lasers frozen in time. The trick is to balance ISO, Aperture and shutter speed until a usable image is captured. I found ISO 3200 reasonable but the problem then is increased noise. Fortunately noise lies in the shadows and I only needed the lights of the lasers in this shot so I wasn’t too overly concerned.
The next step was to blend the two images together in Photoshop. It’s fairly straight forward but to long to explain here. I would show this method during an on line tutorial which I do as part of my Landscape photography classes.
So that is how I made the shot and one I guess many tourist like to capture but it does look a little more nice lit up at night rather than the day, it just takes a little more effort to make the shot.
Posted in exposure, landscape, photography
Tagged exposure, gothic, jawbones, landscape photography, long exposure, north York Moors, photography, tutorials, whalebones, whitby, yorkshire.
How I shot the photo and my reason for the composition
An early morning to photograph the pier and lighthouse.
I was here all night in Whitby and my focus on the night was to do some night photography, The Aurora Borealis had not plaid ball that evening, rather more rain and an incredibly strong wind. Undeterred by the inclement weather I decided to stay the night at Saltwick bay and get up at 4am for the early morning shoot around the harbor.
Well before sunrise and in what is known as the “Blue Hour”(the time before sunrise where the sun is still bellow the horizon and light takes on a blue hue) I was on the pier in what could only be described as, well cold and blooming windy. In fact there were a couple of anglers (how brave) huddled under an umbrella braving the bracing wind, If you look closely you can see a light trail which is on of the anglers moving around casting a line , his head torch was recorded as light trails in the long exposure of the shot.
This is not just a straight forward shot to do. The equipment needed to do something like this is not really that much. A camera, tripod and a fairly powerful torch, That’s it, no fancy filters or anything like that. I had to use a 30 second exposure and a fairly small aperture, 1 to capture enough light (the exposure) 2 to get enough depth of field/sharpness front to back (aperture)
I set up the shot for a symmetrical composition where the railings lead straight to the subject, the lighthouse, horizon runs straight through the middle of the photo and not on a 3rd line, that just would not work in my eye anyway. Everything in this image works with the lines, notice the boards,railings,diagonals of the legs on the lighthouse,ladder; all these components work to make the composition work.
Once the shot was set up and camera settings set the shutter was released and the torch was quickly shone around to light up the main elements of the image, boards,railings and lighthouse. I was careful not to light part of the scene for too long though, it doesn’t take much and the light needs to be kept moving otherwise areas of the picture could be overexposed. Once the exposure has finished I checked the result.
So this is how I created the image you see, fairly simple technique, the hard part is getting up.
Posted in exposure, landscape, photography
Tagged blue hour, landscape, landscape photography, light painting, long exposure, north York Moors, photography, whitby lighthouse, yorkshire.
I wanted to just give a quick tip on shooting directly in to the sun. To get this image I used three exposures bracketed 2 stops appart, this was going to be an HDR image due to the problems associated with the high dynamic range of the composition.
Now I have used many of the top end programs to produce HDR images but having just upgraded to Lightroom CC I gave the HDR setting a blast. I have to report that the results are pretty dam good. I say good because the image is still natural straight out of the bag. Not only this but it’s still possible to do further edditing if you wish. The file produced still remains a RAW file and not a Tiff, therefore we still retain the ability to use the white balance preasets and picture style settings. If you haven’t tried Lightroom CC or Photoshop CC they come as a package together and at only around £9 a month this is an absolute bargain. I can’t recommend it enough.
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I wanted to talk about cropping for effect in this short article.
As I was going through my Lightroom catalogue yesterday I cam across an image from sometime back. I thought what a nice photo if only it had been composed in a more dynamic way. Cropping for effect is a great way to alter an image to give more emphasis on what you want to say in a photograph. The original image shows the flower in the middle of the photo and your eye is not lead direct to the main part of the image. Using the crop tool you are able to more precisely smooth out unwanted clutter in the image and place elements exactly where you want them, namely the flower on the top right third of the photo, removing the unwanted rock on the right and foreground. Adding a dab of light in the top right of the image added a little more interest and indicated where the light on the rock maybe coming from. So next time you have an image that looks a little drab use the crop tool and play around with it and crop for effect.
For a long time now I have been wanting to photograph Ferrybridge power station and yesterday I made that time. I recently watched a program on BBC aptly named “keeping the lights on”. But early in 2016 the Ferrybridge site will be turned off. It’s a sad end to such an iconic site that has stood here since the mid 1920s. It has dominated our skyline for decades and a landmark I recognize as not been far from home when returning from a holiday.
SSE who own the site are having to close it as it’s no longer viable due to cheaper imports of coal plus Britain’s need to cut emissions to which Ferrybridge can not meet. I will be sad to see another one of our British power stations close and probably some more in the near future. I agree we need more environmentally friendly energy and a huge investment of funds needs to be injected to alternative technology such as wind farms and I just hope these futuristic improvments can eventually meet the same output levels of our bygone era of Steam electric power generators.