Photo101: Landscape & Cropping

Hello Blogonaughts!

For today’s challenge/assignment for the Photo101 course I thought that I couldn’t be happier, but then I got thinking, again.

OK, the self-imposed rule is that I’m taking new photos for the course. That rules out a whole bunch of mountain views from around the world, just gotta get out on a bike and take some fresh pictures!

Now many of you people will have seen my photos from around the area where I live, Bodmin Moor in Cornwall UK. Living in such a lovely place I have to admit that I am more than a little spoilt for views to point my camera at and often I tend to return to favourite places. So today just as a treat to myself I went of to a small corner on the extreme Eastern edge of the Moor, somewhere I haven’t visited for a few years, even though it is only about four miles from Dookes H.Q. as the crow flies.

I hope you like what I managed to get. I couldn’t resist a bit of cropping on one shot and turning it monochrome. . . it just seemed to cry out for that treatment!

Kilmer Tor, imposing and forbidding.

Kilmar Tor, imposing and forbiding.

Hawks Tor, wild hard country.

Hawks Tor, wild hard country.

Hawks Tor monochrome.

Hawks Tor monochrome.

Kit Hill and the Lynher Vale.

Kit Hill and the Lynher Vale.

A Harley in the spring landscape.

A Harley in the spring landscape.

I had a lovely morning grabbing these shots, even better was riding my fine Harley friend along the way!

Catch you soon.


Landscape Eclipsed

Photography 101. Todays assignment: Landscape

I am very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world with delightful scenery all around me, so grabbing a landscape shot isn’t really difficult. I thought that today I would try a slightly different approach.

You see, today has been very special here in the UK as we lay in the line of a solar eclipse. Unfortunately not in the zone of totality, but 85% ain’t bad!

Anyway, we can’t complain as we had our “Total” in 1999.

Just to explain, an Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon passes across and obscures the face of the sun. It is a celestial fluke that the relative size of the Moon and Sun appear to be virtually the same, it’s a matter of scale and relative distances! So it is possible for the Moon to totally block the light of our local star for a couple of minutes every few years in different parts of the world.

If you want to see one, the next total Solar Eclipse will be on 9th March 2016 in the Pacific Region near Sumatra, or across the USA in August 2017. If you want to know more, visit the NASA eclipse website.

Now the thing about celestial observation of the sun is it’s dangerous! If you don’t know what you are doing it is easy to get your eyes permanently damaged, looking directly at the sun is a big no-no! Using optical devices such as telescopes, binoculars and cameras for observing the sun is definitely on the danger list…you have been warned!

So being very careful I set up my SLR at around 08:25GMT and set to work. View-finding was done using a screen that I was able to look at without putting my eyes in the firing line. The maximum eclipse was due at 09:23GMT and the whole event would take around two hours for the Moon to transit the Sun, which gave me time to play.

At first the sky was a tad cloudy and I got this shot, which is one of the best I think.

This is looking good!

This is looking good! ISO100 f7.1 1/800 -0.7EV

Then as darkness began to fall I grabbed this moody landscape shot. It really was very eerie.

Strange light.

Strange light. ISO160 f11 1/500 -1.3EV

The sky had now cleared and I managed this at nearly the maximum coverage.

The Moon passes across the sun.

The Moon passes across the sun. ISO160 f29 1/4000 -5EV

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my efforts. It’s the first time I’ve tried to capture a Solar Eclipse on camera and I think it worked out OK.

For the technical, I used a Nikon D80 with a 135mm lens mounted on a Velbon SE5 tripod, exposure details in each photo caption.

“And everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”
– Pink Floyd.

Catch you soon.