Aug 262012

Waking up early, we made our way to Alice Bel Colle to take advantage of the specially made mound in the middle of the town. Our guidebook stated that it offered a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscapes. It didn’t disappoint, climbing atop the mound, once we found it, we were met with an excellent view. The sunrise, on the other hand, wasn’t ideal. It was overcast and hazy. The haze added an eeriness to the landscape, so I set about making the best of it by taking photos focused tightly on a subject, while allowing the haze to emphasise the distance to the background.

We had planned on going back for a sunset, and there were some great ones, but as you know I was relieved of my camera equipment at a service station just outside Genoa… I’m still a little bitter.

Church on hill with bell tower overlooking the countryside on a hazy morning in Alice Bel Colle, Piedmont, Italy.

Aug 142012

Failed trip into the Alps!

It seems like wherever I go, my first attempt to really strike out and take some photos failed. In Iceland it was trying to get to the most westerly point in Iceland, to photograph puffins, in one night. Today, it was an attempt to drive up a valley in the alps to see some snow-capped mountains. We set out too late, despite our careful sunset calculations and barely made it into the mountains as the sun began to drop. A great opportunity presented itself, a castle atop a hill lit beautifully by golden light but we couldn’t get off the highway to get down to it. By the time we came to an exit we decided we were too far along. By the next exit we decided to hop off and drive on the smaller roads so if any opportunities presented themselves we could actually stop. This meant guessing which roads to take. I guessed wrong and we began winding our way up a mountain with no easy way to turn around. Eventually, we got turned around and back down into the valley. By now the sun was on the verge of disappointing and panic had set in. We dashed back to the original castle. Trying to find a vantage point we parked in a town. Just as we were headed to a good view it was like a light switch had been flicked and the castle was blanketed by the shadows of the mountain. It was still a great drive, it’s just a bit disappointing coming back without a single photo!

Today’s Photo: Alice Bel Colle

My morning was much more successful. The hotel has a handy guide with a brief summary of all the surrounding towns. Alice Bel Colle caught my eye for its purpose built mound with a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape. We rose early and made our way there. Once atop the mound we weren’t disappointed by the view, though the heavy cloud cover wasn’t ideal.

I spotted a rift in the clouds with a bit of pink light coming through and realized I could frame it up just behind this church. I shot 3 exposures at -2, 0 and +2 which was plenty to cover the range in the scene as the clouds dampened the light considerably.

View of landscape from Alice Bel Colle, Piedmont, Italy from church with bell tower and tile roof showing rolling hills and vineyards with pink sky peeking through clouds at sunrise.

Aug 122012

Escaping Genoa

Well, I’ve arrived in Italy. We’re staying in a really nice hotel in the Piemonte region. The flight arrived into Genoa airport after what must be one of the most spectacular landing approaches in the world. The plane flies along the coast, taking in little villages tucked into bays and then Genoa itself before landing on an a runway that seems to be surrounded on all sides by water.

Leaving Genoa to head North to our hotel, on the other hand, was not an easy task. We easily added a half hour onto our drive after missing a right hand turn and getting stuck going in the wrong direction on a toll road!

Today’s Photo: Southland’s Sunrise, Bermuda

Here is another photo from my morning down on the beach in Southlands. Should be posting a photo from Italy tomorrow night!

Waves from turquoise ocean whirling around rocky shore with sun rising over horizon from Southlands, Bermuda

Aug 062012

Another photo from my recent morning down on Southlands beach. I’m not sure what the name of the beach is, but it’s on the Southlands property. I hate getting up for sunrise, but I love being up for them. Especially, when you get a clear view of the sun peaking up over the horizon as I did in this case.

Orange and purple sunrise just peaking over the ocean on the horizon with waves breaking over the rocks on Southlands beach Bermuda

Aug 012012

I was dragged out early this morning to visit a beach and take some sunrise photos. I’d been up late the night before and didn’t think I’d enjoy it. I’ve now remembered that I don’t need a lot of sleep. The morning actually yielded about 5 usable pictures. Pretty good really.

Yellow and pink sunrise, pink sand, turquoise ocean breaking over limestone rocks on beach in Bermuda.



Jul 272012

“Screw it, no more pictures let’s get our asses back to bed.”

I think I said that every single night in Iceland. I say night, it was typically more like very early morning. Inevitably though, as soon as I uttered those words we’d round the corner and this would happen. Iceland just will not let you go to sleep. In fact, I’d taken photos here and was making my way back to the car. I was finished. Once again, sleep was the only thing on my mind. Just as I got back to the car I foolishly looked over my shoulder and the sun had just begun to peak up over the mountain. Naturally, I had to walk back down the hill, set up again and take the exact same photo including the newly appeared sunburst.

What do you think of the electricity pylons? Do they ruin the photo or make it? I think they add some interest to the scene, but do you think it would be better if they weren’t there at all?

A starburst sunrise over mountains in Iceland's Westfjords with electric pylons in the foregroundView the autosave

Jul 152012

This is the first photo I took in Iceland. My flight was scheduled to get in at midnight and was delayed by half an hour. It was torture as we approached because I could see the sun was setting. I knew it would be light all night, but the sunset was incredible. It felt like it took forever to get through immigration, get my bag and make my way to the guesthouse. I didn’t spend long in the room as I quickly broke out my gear and took off… successfully leaving my tripod in the room. Fortunately my travel buddy offered to run back and get it while I looked for a shot. I think it was technically sunrise when I took this shot and the color had died down a bit. As you can see it was really windy. Rather than trying to freeze the flowers (which may have been impossible) I decided to increase my f-stop and let them get as blurry as possible.   Field of white flowers blowing in the wind with a lighthouse, boat and buildings in a row with clouds and sunset in Iceland.

Jul 012012

Sitting here, after taking this photo, I came to the conclusion that we were not going to make it to the bird cliffs at Latrabjarg. They are the furthest point of land in the direction this photo is looking in. As you can see, we still had a long way to go. It was still a great night with some pretty dramatic scenery. All of the photos I’ve released from Iceland thus far are from this night. It offered up the best sunset we had the entire time we were in Iceland.

White wildflowers on the rocky shore with a beautiful sunrise over the ocean and fjords with the bird cliffs at Latrabjarg in the distance in Iceland.

Jun 292012

After failing to reach the giant bird-cliff at Latrabjarg we were making our way back to the hostel. I stumbled upon this scene. Three identical looking horses hanging about a ruin in front of a shack. It was definitely time to make a stop. My travel buddy was a large animal vet who had been trying to catch some sleep on the drive back. She didn’t mind getting woken up for these guys though.

Icelandic horses are pretty incredible. They’re little stout things but incredibly photogenic with rugged coats and flowing manes. You could probably spend all of your time in Iceland photographing just the horses. There were a number of fields full of horses I could see myself spending hours at if I had more time. I’m hoping to spend all of June in Iceland next year. If I do get to do that I’ll definitely spend a lot of time hopping fences for closeups of Icelandic horses.

Three Icelandic horses hanging about a ruin in front of a shack with water and a rocky grass covered hill.

Jun 112012

Today’s Photo: Horseshoe Bay (Again)

I took a lot of pictures on that morning down at Horseshoe Bay. I won’t be publishing all of them but think this is pretty cool. It’s taken with my 14mm prime lens. One of the things I really like about this lens is the fact that it allows you to look off into the distance and almost straight down at the same time. It’s particularly effective when stood at the top of a cliff such as this one.

Next Saturday I’ll be visiting the most Westerly point in Europe, in Iceland. There’s a huge cliff there that’s home to multiple species of birds, including puffins. You can bet I’ll be using this lens to give a view straight down the cliff. With any luck I’ll get close enough to a puffin to include it in the foreground. I’ve heard they let you get really close, especially if you crawl up on your belly.

Sunrise over Horseshoe Bay beach Bermuda.

Something Interesting: Night and Day in One Photo!!

If you’re into photography that breaks from the norm, you should check this out. This photographer takes multiple shots through the days and combines them into amazing night and day photographs. I feel a need to figure out how to do this: