ROJO to feature at Blenheim Palace
Delighted to get news that ROJO is one of only 12 images chosen by the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year to feature in a special exhibition at Blenheim Palace, England, showcasing a selection of images from the competition since it began. The LPOTY exhibition is part of the Countryfile Summer Fair running from August 4-7 2016.
AFCC Silver Medal - Finland International Circuit
'commended' in UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2012.
Rojo featured in the Sunday Times choice of finalists from the 2012 UK Landscape Photographer of the Year. The image will appear in the Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 6 Awards book and on a series of post cards celebrating the Awards as well as featuring in the Take A View Exhibition at the National Theatre in London.
Shortlisted for UK Landscape Photographer of the Year 2012
EXPLORE - front page
The Original Dramatic Flowerscapes....
I was recently interviewed by Digital Photo magazine who wanted to know more about the technique behind the Dramatic Flowerscapes. I thought it might be interesting to share the interview with you....
How long have you been keen on photography?
I've been shooting for over 15 years now, though I'd say I've really stepped things up in the past five or six.
Tell us about what made you want to shoot this particular picture?
I've been working on my series of 'dramatic flowerscapes' (link below) for the past three of four years - in fact, four of the images were shortlisted for the Landscape Photographer of the Year 6 competition, one making the exhibition and the book as well as the Sunday Times coverage of the Awards, chosen by their picture editor.
What were you trying to achieve with this picture?
I'm trying to achieve on a small-scale what the dramatic land & sea-scaper usually sees on a large-scale. With 'Reach', I wanted capture the energy and competition among these small plants jostling to get closest to the sun.
What camera and lens did you use?
Nikon D700 and Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 (friends have suggested it's 'welded' to the front of my camera!)
Tell us about how you shot the image?
The idea was to bring the same techniques - narrow aperture, grad filtering - that I use in landscapes to the tiny world of flowers. Add in a blast of flash from an SB900 and you have a range of 'dramatic flowerscapes' which have probably been the biggest source of attention on my portfolio over the past couple of year.
Does this image fit in with your usual approach to photography, or did you try anything different to shoot this?
It fits with my usual approach to shooting landscapes - apart from the flash element - but I really fought my instincts around how to shoot flowers. I have a bunch of macro-shots from the same field which I've never published because, while technically fine, they don't offer anything like the drama and scale achieved by the wide-angle.
What problems or challenges did you encounter when shooting this picture?
One of the hardest thing is keeping the shape and scale with tiny objects that are moving all the time - especially if there is wind, even a gentle one. The other, inevitably, is the light. As with a large scale dawn or dusk shoot, there's a very small window when the light is right and the shape in the sky and the subject align. I'm lucky this field is pretty close to my home, so I was able to keep an eye on the conditions and anticipate the right time to get out there.
Tell us briefly about any imaging or Photoshop work you did?
I use Lightroom 4 and work mostly on shadows, contrast and clarity.
Did you find anything tricky in the Photoshop work you did?
The trickiest part was keeping the colours in balance.... You really need the tones in the sky and the daisies to be working with each other.
Do you have a favourite kind of photography, and does this image fit into it? (Eg landscapes, portraits, buildings, still life, macro, wildlfe)
I'm up for anything that offers a dramatic edge, so hopefully this image fits into that.... I'm mostly drawn to seascapes, cityscapes and landscapes – winter preferred – and occasionally venture into sports and portraiture. More recently, I've developed a fascination with knackered looking objects and buildings!
What are the top five tips you'd share with other readers when it comes to shooting images like this?
Shoot at dusk or dawn
Think shape, not flowers
Get down low to shoot up (the sky is key)
Open the camera wide (Reach was 16mm (on full frame))
And make sure you've always got spare batteries for your flash - they're very hungry in low light!
What's the best piece of advice you've received on photography?
Compete - it's the best way to improve - and 'get it right in field', especially your composition. There's not much even the best PS technique can do with a poorly shaped image.