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When I’m not being paid to take photographs I still enjoy taking landscapes and thought I’d share a few recent ones I’ve taken in Norfolk and on our recent trip to Northumberland & Durham.
I’ll be producing a 2017 North Norfolk Landscapes calendar again (missed 2016 as I was too busy tending an allotment which seemed to revert to a weed garden the second we turned our backs, sadly we decided to give it up as it was taking up way too much time). Some of the shots here will appear in the calendar but I have plenty more to get and a few others which I’m holding back. I hope to have the calendar finished & ready to sell in a few more months time, watch this space!
This first shot is of the iconic Cromer pier at dawn, I love how the image has a very quiet feel to it almost.
Next is this shot of snowdrops at the National Trust’s Sheringham Park – this was actually the same morning as the above shot, once the sun had risen more. I positioned myself to backlight the snowdrops with the sun so that the light shines through the petals & stems a little.
Cromer pier again, this time at sunset (although it does look like the sun is behind the pier to the East it’s actually behind the camera and the light is the sunset’s sunlight bouncing back off the clouds).
The below shot was just something I spotted while walking along Sheringham prom, the gates in the groynes are there to allow the coastal protection team to open them to allow the flow of stones at certain times of the year but here someone has very artistically stacked the stones up. I like the different textures and colours of the flints and the old weathered groyne.
We are lucky enough to have fulmars nest on the cliffs here at Sheringham. They are very curious birds and will fly quite close to check you out so I took advantage and took a few shots of them swooping about in the wind…
A couple of weeks we had some stormy weather and some quite dramatic squalls passed through, moving along the coast, I was out on the saltmarsh at Morston (part of the stunning NT Blakeney Point reserve) when this one came through. Luckily just as I got back to the car the heavens opened, there’s not much cover out on the marshes so I was pleased with the timing!
I can never resist a shot of Cley Mill if I’m passing when the light & skies are looking good. Not much more to say about this one!
Just to mix things up a bit (and keep my flying skills fresh) I take the quadcopter out with me and try to get some aerial landscapes too. This was a beautiful morning to be photographing Cromer Pier (again!) from the air…
Last one of Cromer pier I promise! Sunset again with a long exposure to capture the motion of the tide coming in.
Last week we took a trip up north to Durham and Northumberland, myself & Leanne had both always wanted to see the Angel of the North so it was a lovely surprise when we discovered it was only 5 miles from our hotel (and even better that we had the statue to ourselves!)…
While up north we took a day trip out to the Farne Islands, sadly it was a really foggy day so we didn’t get to see the islands in all their glory but enjoyed getting so close to the amazing (and very smelly!) wildlife. Below is a Shag on her nest…
This female Eider duck had her nest right next to the path, didn’t seem fussed at all by the constant influx of human visitors…
…and back to North Norfolk – these last shots are very fresh – this morning I was up at 4am to head to Wells beach for dawn, the forecast had been good and it didn’t disappoint…
I’d never been to the famous Foxley woods to see the bluebells before so when Louella & Adam requested their pre-wedding shoot in the woods in the height of the bluebell bloom season I jumped at the chance.
It really is an amazing and beautiful spectacle with the carpets of bluebells extending as far as the eye can see, well worth a visit of you’ve never been.
We had a lovely hour or so wandering through the bluebells & getting a nice collection of shots for Lou & Adam….
Venturing into deepest Suffolk for Fiona and Daniel’s wedding, I was once again pleased to see we had lovely weather for what turned out to be a cracking wedding!
The day’s coverage started at a little church just outside Woodbridge, Daniel and his family had arrived in good time which made for a nice chilled start to the day – much better than turning up with minutes to spare & rushing about!
As always I had a quick chat with the boss – in this case the lovely Father John to ensure I worked within his rules (there weren’t any, woohoo! Although it didn’t change what I do, I never use flash during a service, cameras are always on silent mode in church and I am very careful to keep a low profile, be respectful and not disturb proceedings at all. If only all photographers would try this, it would certainly help our profession’s reputation with the men & ladies of the cloth!)
Before we knew it Fiona arrived with her father Stuart and the serious bit got underway…
After a lovely service we all hopped in cars to the wedding reception at Suffolk’s beautiful Seckford Hall, a stunning luxurious hotel with lovely grounds for photography…
I took 5 minutes to ‘bung the drone up’ for some aerial shots of the hall & grounds, I hadn’t even realised there was a golf course just behind it until this point!
So, drinks and group shots done it was time to head inside for the meal and speeches (an hour earlier than originally scheduled, I work fast when I need to!) …
After the food and some great speeches, we made the most of a spare ten minutes to nip out to the front of the hall for a few more shots with Fiona and Daniel and Daniel’s usher Matt who was an excellent human flash stand. (Thanks again for your help Matt, much appreciated!)
And on to the final part of the day – PARTY TIME! Commencing with the first dance which Fiona & Daniel had clearly practised, they did a great job.
I wish I could remember the name of the band they sounded awesome (maybe Fiona or Daniel could let me know, I’d love to give them a shout out here).
Thank you to Fiona and Daniel and all of their family and friends for making the day so fun to photograph and for making me feel so welcome, a truly lovely bunch of people!
For the full gallery of this gorgeous Suffolk wedding please click here.
Suffolk wedding photographer • Wedding photographers Seckford Hall • Seckford Hall wedding photography • Wedding photographers Suffolk
We’ve had some interesting skies recently here in North Norfolk and earlier this week I saw a squall pass through and had a feeling that the light behind it was going to make an interesting shot. I grabbed some gear and headed over to Cromer for a shot of the pier. Since posting some of the shots I’ve been asked by a few people about how the shot was made, what equipment I used, etc. so I thought I’d do what will hopefully be the first of a regular series of blog posts detailing how the photograph was created.
I’ll aim to keep the format of these ‘Infoposts’ the same throughout and am always happy to answer any questions which I may not have answered in the post. Feel free to drop me a line to email@example.com
Camera: Canon 5d MKIII
Lens: Canon 16-35mm f2.8L MKII (zoomed to 23mm)
Tripod: (my tripod of choice is the Manfrotto 055 with Manfrotto grip ball head – best tripod I’ve owned – really well built, sturdy and packed full of useful features)
Lee Filter system: the 100mm Lee Foundation Kit with Heliopan Circular polariser & 0.6 ND grad filter (soft grad) – all purchased from the lovely people at Teamwork Digital
Shooting mode: Manual
White balance: Cloudy
File type: RAW
Tips & Tricks
• To feature the water & rocks in the foreground I had the tripod legs at their lowest.
• Use the in-camera level (if your camera has one) to ensure the horizon is as level as possible, although this can be straightened in post-processing if necessary
• The milky look of the water flowing between the rocks is achieved by the slow shutter speed allowing the movement of the water to blur. In my experience the water generally looks better as a wave is receding – usually it has more bubbles and can create nice streaks of movement.
• To prevent moving the camera when pressing the shutter button you can use a remote shutter release (either cabled or remote controlled) but I prefer just to set the camera to the 2 second delay timer so I press the shutter button two seconds later the camera releases the shutter with no movement from me.
• Beware of the water coming in and moving the camera as it moves around the tripod legs – also it can cause the legs to sink into the sand which will create some blurring.
• I set the White Balance in camera to Cloudy which will bring back the warmth to the image since the camera auto white balance will try to take out any colour casts (ie. make a sunset look less warm) and is often the cause for people being disappointed in the look of their sunset images. Since I am shooting RAW files this isn’t really important for the final image as I can change the white balance in Adobe Lightroom to bring back the warmth but it’s nice to be able to see how good the images can look in the back of the camera.
The first stage of the post-processing is to select the best images to process (no point loading all of them into Lightroom if I’m not going to use them). Once I have my folder of keepers I load them into Adobe Lightroom CC to bring out the best in the image.
The first thing I do in any image processing is to ensure the image is level, if the horizon is visible then ensuring that is level is the best bet. Then I will crop the image if needed. The rule of thirds is a good composition rule to work with in landscapes but by no means a hard & fast rule. In the two shots in this post I’ve placed the horizon dead in the middle of the frames as I think the sky and beach have equal importance in the shots.
The next steps are just to work through the various sliders in lightroom to ensure the brightness, contrast & colours of the image are how I want them to look. I will often tinker with the white balance to bring back more warmth in a sunset if needed. Make sure the white & black points are at either end of the levels graph.
Since I’ve shot this image at f22 there is a good chance that any dust on the sensor will show up as little spots in the sky so I remove them now using the Spot Removal Tool.
Finally I sharpen the image using the sharpen settings and export it as a jpeg.
I don’t want to go into too much detail here on the Lightroom settings as the aim of these posts is mostly about getting it right in camera as much as possible but I do offer one-to-one workshops covering every aspect of photography from the basics of exposure through to post-processing. These can be tailored for the experience level of the student from absolute beginner through to aspiring professional. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss the options & pricing.
The below is another shot taken the same evening, a little earlier on when the sun was lighting the back end of the squall more intensely…
For more information on my Norfolk photography training workshops click here.
FOOTNOTE: A few people have asked how this shot can be sunset when the sunlight appears to be coming from the East (behind the pier) – the clouds in the shot are being lit from the sun behind me (setting in the west) which is where the confusion comes from. I promise this was sunset not sunrise!
My second Chaucer Barn wedding of 2016 (I’m so lucky to have this amazing wedding venue on my doorstep) and my luck of the weather continues with another perfect afternoon for Jody & Richard’s fantastic day.
With both the bride & groom, most of their families and myself all suffering from the flu bug that’s doing the rounds at the moment it took a few moments to get into the swing of things but once we’d dosed up on various painkillers (and Red Bull) and the sun came out it was all smiles. I think the adrenaline & excitement of the day took us all over! I started the day’s photography with some preparation shots of Jody and the girls getting ready…
So, preparations completed, registrars met with, guests arrived & seated….. it’s showtime!
Time for a quick aerial shot with the quadcopter…
After some shots around the grounds with Jody & Richard we headed into the dining room for the wedding breakfast – a couple of speeches followed by a delicious barbeque provided by H.V. Graves and then it was time for me to head off (amazing how quickly five hours flies by when you’re having fun!). I left them to enjoy the rest of their evening although I wouldn’t have minded sticking around to sample some of the incredible cakes on offer! Also they were going to be entertained by the one & only Naked Lights – a fantastic local band fronted by my good friend Benjie, the makings of a superb evening to finish their wonderful wedding day!
For the full gallery of Jody & Richard’s Chaucer Barn wedding in North Norfolk click here.
So last week my 2016 wedding season started in earnest with a cracking wedding ceremony at Cley Mill here in North Norfolk. I’d met with Heather & Walter a couple of times prior to their Cley Mill wedding and we got on like a house on fire, I knew their wedding was going to be great fun! (more…)
Next up in this series featuring Norfolk’s best wedding venues is the wonderful Cley Mill, in order to add some value to these venue features I thought it would be good to include some information about the venue to accompany the photos so I spoke with one of the mill managers Sarah Pegden this morning. Along with Simon Whatling, Sarah runs this magical Norfolk wedding venue, below are some key facts which may help you decide if the mill is the location for your special day… (more…)
I hadn’t seen Alex for about 20 years until a wedding at Chaucer Barn last year where I was photographing and Alex was cooking. He has built an incredible reputation for his culinary skills, catering for weddings, events and parties. His latest venture, alongside the outside catering, is the Garden Kitchen Café in the grounds of Hoveton Hall. It’s a charming little spot with inside and al fresco eating areas and Alex has some great plans for the place. (more…)
With so many lovely wedding venues in Norfolk I thought I’d do a series of blog posts featuring some of my favourites, the first in this series features beautiful Norwich Cathedral.
The architecture at the cathedral and the cloisters makes for some amazing photo opportunities and the refectory is a really lovely venue for the wedding breakfast.
The light in the cloisters is a photographer’s dream and the repeating patterns of the ceiling makes for a great shot! (more…)
I was lucky enough yesterday to be photographing the stunning, brand new bedrooms at The Assembly House, Norwich.
The 11 new bedrooms were created in the East wing of this iconic old building, dating back to 1248, after an investment of £1.25 million.
The attention to detail in the rooms is impressive, with the beautiful and colourful fabrics, furnishings, artwork and designs. The soft furnishings and interior design are by the insanely talented dream team of Lisa Dawson and Annabel Grey – between them making Norfolk more beautiful and interesting, including the gorgeous bedrooms at The Dialhouse, Reepham. (more…)