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  • Better Photos Blog 4:41 pm on July 3, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Buttermere, , digital photography, ,   

    Buttermere in the Lake District 

    Photographing Buttermere

    Buttermere Reflections

    Photograph of Buttermere

    Buttermere is a beautiful Lake District mere surrounded by mountains. The village of Buttermere and the lake itself are very popular with tourists, so if you want to photograph the lake an early start is required to avoid the crowds.

    The pines at the south-east corner of the lake have been photographed by thousands of people. The view of Buttermere pines from the roadside has become a ‘classic image’ but many other parts of the lake shore offer interesting view points and features. It’s worth exploring with your camera. A level path enables you to make an easy circuit of the lake.

    The above photograph was taken from the shore looking across the water towards the pines and Lambing Knott. I liked the reflection of the sweeping drystone wall.

    Location info:

    There are car parks in Buttermere village and at Gatesgarth Farm. Grid reference of the location from which this photograph was taken: NY 185 152.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 6:57 am on June 21, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Coniston, , digital photography, Kelly Hall Tarn, , Torver   

    Kelly Hall Tarn, Coniston 

    Kelly Hall Tarn, Torver Common, Lake District

    Kelly Hall Tarn near Coniston

    I discovered this beautiful little tarn when I was researching my book Waterside Walks in Cumbria and the Lake District. One of the walks in the book passes beside it.

    A ‘tarn’ is a mountain lake or pool, formed in a hollow excavated by a glacier. The word is derived from the Old Norse word tjörn meaning pond. It is a commonly used term for lakes and pools in the mountainous areas of Cumbria.

    Kelly Hall Tarn is a particularly attractive example and is located on Torver Back Common near Coniston, in the Lake District. You can frame the tarn with a backdrop of spectacular mountains, which include ‘The Old Man of Coniston’.

    Location info: From Coniston, Cumbria follow the A593 to Torver. Turn left onto the A5084 and travel for 0.7 miles until you reach a garage at Beckstones. Park opposite the garage and walk up the track and onto the Common. The tarn is a short walk away. Grid Reference: SD 288 932.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 5:51 am on June 6, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , digital photography, Liz Rhodes, people photographs, portraits   

    Photographing People 

    Tips to get Better Photos of People

    Kizzy at Thirlmere

    Kizzy at Thirlmere, Cumbria

    Hi Everyone,

    I was interviewed by Liz Rhodes on BBC Radio Cumbria a couple of day’s ago. I discussed how to get better photographs of people. The interview is about 10 minutes long and you can listen to it again by following this link to the BBC Cumbria website.

    Click START and then MOVE the slider to 9 minutes 30 seconds into the show.

    http://tinyurl.com/38gdnu7

    I hope that you find it useful.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 5:17 pm on May 14, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: digital photography, landscape photography, photographing sunrise sunset, photography dawn dusk   

    Photography at Sunrise and Sunset 

    Taking photographs at Dawn and Dusk

    Cumbrian Sunrise by Mark Elliott Photography

    Landscape photography is almost always best done during the ‘golden hours’ of dawn and dusk. On the right day, the light has a warm colour cast, which bathes the landscape. Skies also contain warm, colourful tones. Taking photographs at sunrise and sunset greatly improve your photographs.

    Here is a link to a useful website, which I use to ascertain sunrise and sunset times. The site also tells you the direction of the rising and setting sun. I mark this information on a map of the area that I intend to photograph. I take a compass with me and get to to the location in good time to get set up and ready to shoot.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 1:44 pm on April 16, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Allonby, Coast, , digital photography, Solway   

    Photography along the Cumbrian Coastline. 

    Allonby in Cumbria.

    This is a short video clip (using my phone) from the beach at Allonby in Cumbria. Allonby is a small village, located on the Cumbrian coast, north of Maryport. It’s a good location for photography and a place to capture some great sunset shots.

    Allonby is busy over the summer months but the surrounding areas get few visitors. There are miles of sandy beaches where you can find solitude and enjoy taking photographs.

    Location info:

    Allonby is located north of Maryport in Cumbria. From Maryport, follow the B5300 along the coast until you reach the village. There are free parking areas dotted along the coastline from south of the village up to Silloth.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 2:02 pm on April 11, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , digital photography, photographing waterfalls, , polarising filters   

    Photographing Waterfalls 

    How to Photograph Waterfalls

    Photographing Waterfalls by Better Photos

    Waterfall and Oak Leaf

    Here are some tips to get you taking better photographs of waterfalls:

    1) Use a tripod.

    2) Use a slow shutter speed (of between 2 and 25 seconds) to get the water looking silky-smooth.

    3) Photograph waterfalls in the low-light of early morning or evening to ensure you can set a sufficiently slow shutter speed.

    4) Use a polarising filter. It will slow down your shutter speed, remove glare and saturate colours.

    5) Check your camera’s LCD after taking each photograph to ensure that the water’s highlights are not ‘blown out’. (Set your highlight alert warning in your camera menu – and blown out highlights will appear as a blinking warning on your LCD). Reduce your EV (see earlier post) until the ‘blinkies’ stop.

    Waterfall and Oak Leaf

    Photo Info: Aperture F20, Shutter speed 20 seconds, ISO 100, Lens focal length 28mm, polarising filter.

    Want to learn how to photograph waterfalls?

    Better Photos runs Waterfalls for Beginners courses in the Lake District (UK).

     
  • Better Photos Blog 7:52 am on March 31, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , digital photography   

    Caldbeck, Cumbria – a great place to take photographs 

    River at Caldbeck, Cumbria

    Looking for a fabulous place to explore with your camera, that’s away from the hustle and bustle? Then head for Calbeck, Cumbria.

    Caldbeck is a traditional Cumbrian village located just outside the northern edge of the Lake District National Park. There’s a wide variety of interesting subjects to photograph. Caldbeck Common offers wild, sweeping views; there’s a village green with a pond; the cottages are ‘chocolate box pretty’ and the river has attractive rapids and waterfalls.

    Location fact file: There is a public car park in the centre of the village, next to the river. Grid ref: 322 398. You can explore the village and surrounding area from here.

     
  • Better Photos Blog 9:01 am on February 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: aperture priority, , , , , digital photography,   

    BBC Radio Cumbria interview on Friday, 26th February, 2010 

    I was interviewed again on Friday, 26th February at the BBC Radio Cumbria studios. This time, I talk about aperture settings, shooting in burst mode and discuss a favourite photography location in the Lake District, Cumbria.

    The interview can be listened to again using the BBC iPlayer. Press start and move the slider to 1 hour into the show. (It will be available for a few more weeks.)

    You can hear my interview on BBC Radio Cumbria by following this link:

    http://tinyurl.com/y8b9smu


     
  • Better Photos Blog 9:08 am on February 15, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: A mode, aperture prioity, AV mode, camera settings, , digital photography,   

    Camera Settings: Aperture Priority Mode (AV or A) 

    Using AV or A mode to set aperture

    When you turn your camera dial to AV or A you can choose your required aperture setting. You set the aperture and the camera reads the light in the scene and calculates a shutter speed that will correctly expose the image. Whichever aperture you choose, the camera makes adjustments in shutter speed based on the prevailing light levels. This means that if you took a series of shots, one after the other, at different apertures and under the same light conditions, the images are exposed in the same way (i.e. have the same level of brightness).

    Why use Aperture Priority mode?

    Turning your camera dial to AV or A enables you to set different apertures, which changes the depth of field of your photographs. For example, you might be taking portrait photos and want the background to appear blurred (a shallow depth of field – low ‘F’ aperture number ), or taking photographs of landscapes, where you want the foreground, middle-ground and background to appear sharp (a large depth of field – high ‘F’ aperture number).

    How to use AV mode

    1) Turn your camera dial to AV or A mode.

    2) Adjust the aperture – F number (check your camera manual to find out how to change aperture, which varies slightly from model to model).

    3) Press the shutter half way to focus/meter the light.

    4) Take the shot.

     
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