Surfing in Lanzarote 2013

Who knows what possessed me to go and learn to surf this November, but the call of the sea was unquestionable, so off I went to find the nearest waves available. It turns out this would be Lanzarote or Portugal, and by the looks of the huge waves in Portugal recently, I think Lanzarote was the safe bet!

risco de famara reflection

I didnt expect to fall in love with Famara beach, but it really is a spectacular beach. Here are a couple of images to whet your appetite. Not only was it great for surfing, kite-surfing, running and exercise, its beautiful and romantic. I lose count of the amount of practically guaranteed sexy sunsets every evening.

silouhette of child on beach

The beach is so long and flat that when the waves coat the sand in water, it becomes really refelctive, giving rise to my favourite reflections!

Famara Beach Surfers Reflection

For the rest of the set, check out Flickr!

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Aurora Borealis

After a long debate about where to travel to next, I suddenly settled on Iceland. It wasn’t in my original plan since I wanted somewhere sunny and warm. But after checking out the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Greenwich Observatory, I realised that it might be time to see the Northern Lights since 2012/2013 are supposed to be the best years for solar flare activity in a long time!

I thoroughly researched what time of month would be best for viewing (taking into account the moon cycle) and booked my tickets. I then set about researching what kind of lens would be best and found the amazingly affordable Samyang 14mm f2.8 a wide angle with a wide aperture. After borrowing a tripod and testing the new lens on some fireworks the day before leaving, I felt sure I would get some good captures!

Iceland really is a fabulous place, and even without seeing the lights, I would highly recommend it. 9 days into my trip, I started to realise I might not see the lights after all and some friends had warned me not to get my hopes up since they had been many times and never seen them, but boy did I get lucky! I put out a plea on FB for everyone to pray that I would see them before leaving, and the very next day they showed up at a high intensity and lasted for hours. Below are some of the Aurora pics. The rest are on Flickr.

Aurora Borealis Northern Lights Hallgrimska Church Iceland Reykjavik

Aurora Borealis over Hallgrimska Church, Reykjavik

northern lights aurora borealis iceland truck

Aurora Borealis over Sleeping Truck, Iceland

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Fine Art

‘Over the Hill’ is a photographic journey involving a guy with Parkinsons Disease (Tim Andrews) who has been photographed by over 180 photographers.  Below is my contribution, created in Hampstead Heath this October, entitled by Tim ‘Softly, As You Leave Me’.  You can catch the rest of the journey here: OverTheHill

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Light Writing

Writing with light on a long exposure is a lot of fun, especially since the results are always a nice surprise and although it takes a little patience, with a bit of experimentation, its better than using the sometimes fake looking photoshop effects available.  Below are a couple of examples.

Creation:

Inspired by my recent trip to the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition, I used a torch spun round on a piece of string to create the bands of light which represent the path of an electron. I then overlaid my favourite image of the horsehead nebula which reminds us of the fact that we are created from elements made deep in the heart of burning stars. A nude female sits at the centre of the atom representing birth and creation.

The below image was created by running around the model with a torch. The model needs to stay extremely still, since this is one long exposure.

 

 

 

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Yoga & Shakti Dance

Dirish Shaktidas is a holistic therapist, specialising in yoga, shakti dance and laser light quantum healing.  His positively mysterious character is like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

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Woodgrain testing

Usually, I photograph people, I love expressions on faces and unusual face shapes… so I wasnt sure when I was asked to photograph some peices of wood. The word “wooden” is often used to describe a person if they are lacking in personality or expression, but as you can see from this sample of wood, its far from the truth. The raised grain on this peice of wood reminds me of so many things, a human fingerprint or ripples in the sand at the beach.  The below shots were taken in natural daylight, rather than using a studio flash.

I wanted to get some close up details of the grain, but didnt have a macro lens to hand. A friend told me about reversing a 50mm lens and shooting through that, although the focusing then needs to be done manually and you need a steady hand, the result below was interesting!

 

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Berlin 2012

[mantra-column width=”1/2″]I recently took a trip to Berlin. Whilst out sightseeing in the blazing summer heat (32 degrees!) and walking off my hangover from the previous night, I came across the Holocaust Memorial. What a beautiful place! An ever changing landscape of shadows. People were quietly wandering through the maze of pillars, playfully hiding from each other, stealing secret kisses and dangerously jumping from pillar to pillar. Here are a few images from my encounter… the rest of the set can be seen on Flickr: Holocaust Memorial

The image to the right was taken using a slightly longer shutter speed, I was just seeing how this would affect the depth of field, when a woman walked hastily past my camera. My finger automatically hits the shutter and she came out as a ghostly blur. I didnt have my camera set to RAW unfortunately, so I only have this as a small jpeg, but still glad I caught it:[mantra-column width=”1/2″][/mantra-column]

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I heard what sounded like the voices of 3 elderly Spanish men giggling and laughing, coming from above me. Since I can understand Spanish, I knew they were jumping from pillar to pillar, so I waited patiently for this shot. A few minutes later, whoosh. Just caught him, not so elderly looking though!

A short meander to the quieter end by the park and I come across a silver-haired couple lost in a kiss. They barely notice me walking past, and so I took a sneaky snap.

The below is a set of abstract images taken by gently turning the camera as I take a shot with a slower shutter speed. Then I added some subtle colours in the post production.

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