Mountains from Molehills

Mountains from Molehills 07

My local Nottinghamshire landscape isn’t the most exciting for a photographer, especially when you’re seeing epic vistas posted on social media every week from people who can travel a lot, or live with the Highlands on their doorstep. It’s easy to get jealous and blame your surroundings for lack of inspiration. We have plenty of good forests and woodland which I love to shoot, but I wanted to create something different.

Having tried some more abstract techniques including multiple exposures and intentional camera movement over the past year or so I had been playing with the idea of trying to make an alternate landscape from my local area. I’ve done a couple of small projects recently and put some focus into the idea of creating something from nothing, but I wanted to do something bigger this time, I wanted to transport the viewer to one of those epic mountain vistas.

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Keswick

The Jetty

I recently had a well earned break in Keswick in the Lake District, it was a family occasion to celebrate me turning 30 and our 8 month old daughter’s first holiday so photography wasn’t top of the agenda, but I knew I could squeeze in a couple of outings with the camera and was hoping to make the most of this to bank a few shots with the amazing scenery that we don’t have here in Nottingham.

We stopped with my parents in Yorkshire on the way there and back and on the first of these I suggested a drive to West Burton as I wanted to check out the well known waterfall there. The weather wasn’t brilliant but there was still good potential and I spent a while trying some different angles, it was also my first use of the new Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod in the field which did a great job. I’ve seen some beautiful autumnal shots of these falls so tried something different with a dark black and white take on the scene.

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Snow Photos

Winter Forest Abstract

Most people get excited at the prospect of snow round here, especially photographers as it transforms the landscape and opens up lots of different shots which wouldn’t normally work. We only seem to get one day with a decent covering each year recently so you have to make the most of the opportunity!

It wasn’t exactly a blizzard but we woke up this morning to a light dusting, enough that out in the countryside it had settled well, so I set off at 7:30 to catch first light and spend a couple of hours walking round a local spot near Calverton, Nottingham where there’s an area of woodland and the old colliery spoil heap to get some views from.

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Review of 2015

Stormy Skies Reflected In Scottish Seas

Some of you may know that this year has been my first actually trying to get my photography out there, it’s been a hobby for a good few years now but past sharing on a few sites like Flickr and 500px I hadn’t taken it any further.

A lot has changed in the last year so I thought it was worthy of a quick round up!

Towards the end of 2014 a few people made comments on my photos which gave me the confidence that they might be popular outside family & friends, so I made a New Year’s resolution to try and sell a print to someone I didn’t know.

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Forest Abstracts

In a couple of weeks I’ll be making some photography resolutions for the New Year, one that will definitely be on there is to take my camera out more, take more photos and experiment. More on that in a later post, but for now I’ve started early during a short family walk in a local patch of woodland this morning.

Often I wouldn’t even take my camera on a trip like that or I’d come away without taking any photos I was happy with, so today I made a conscious effort to try something new, to take photos and come away with something that was worth sharing. This led to some fun with longer exposures, panning the camera up through the trees as the shutter was open. I’ve seen these techniques referred to recently as ICM or Intentional Camera Movement but it’s a great way of trying something more abstract.

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Shooting Landscapes in Portrait

Composition is a very subjective thing, there are lots of guidelines like the rule of thirds but as clichéd as it sounds these are all there to be broken. One thing I have found as I’ve been learning photography is that I often prefer landscapes shot in portrait orientation which might not be the most obvious or conventional approach.

I think it’s always worth trying when you’re shooting your next landscape, take a portrait version of the same scene and see the difference it makes to the photograph.

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Newborn Photography

So for those who haven’t seen from my social media accounts, I very recently became a dad. With this and a full time job my photography may take a little bit of a back seat for a while, although I will continue to post photos and get out and about with the camera when I can.

Obviously the camera is getting pointed at my beautiful daughter a lot already, I’m so grateful that I am able to capture all these moments and have really enjoyed trying my hand at a different area of photography. Normally I specialise in landscapes, so have never really studied or practised photographing people and all the aspects like posing, finding good backgrounds, lighting…it’s a whole new world that’s unknown to me!

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Fine Art America Prints

You can get many more of my photos as prints over at Fine Art America, click the link below to view my page there.

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/chris-dale.html

Don’t be put off by the name, they print in both the US and the UK and can ship worldwide, with prices in your local currency.

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DIY Macro Lens on a Budget – Canon 35-80mm Modification

35-80mm Disassembled

Macro photography is always seen as a bit of specialist subject, there’s lots of different techniques to get the level of magnification needed, from expensive dedicated lenses like the Canon MP-E 65mm, to reverse lens adapters, extension tubes, bellows… it’s a confusing market and can seem daunting to get started.

There’s also a lot of challenges, finding your subject and getting close enough, shallow depth of field, getting enough light in. No matter what equipment you use you will come across these problems.

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