Exploring Vietnam

In this blog post I would love to share with you my photographs I took in february (2014) whilst visiting Hoi An, Vietnam for one week.

On the first day I landed at Ho Chi Min airport in the afternoon then I had an interconnecting flight to Hoi An where I was staying. I remember being picked up by a taxi at the airport and driving past buildings that looked like they were about to fall apart and people doing their washing up on the road. This was my first glimpse at the living conditions of the vietnamese. It started to make me think how lucky we actually are and how much we take for granted.

On the second day I went on a Heaven & Earth Bicycle Tour which took me around the neighbouring islands of Hoi An. On the tour the two guides showed me traditional jobs like creating door mats, growing rice and fishing. The tour enabled me to learn more about the history of the islands.

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Interviewing The Founder Of Unsplash

mikael-cho unsplash Interviewing The Founder Of Unsplash mikael choIn this blog post I interview Mikael Cho. Mikael is the founder of pickcrew.com and Unsplash.com.
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For those who haven’t heard of Unsplash how would you best describe it?

Interviewing The Founder Of Unsplash unsplash Interviewing The Founder Of Unsplash unsplashscreenshot Unsplash is a website that features 10 free (do whatever you want), hi-res photos,
every 10 days. The “do whatever you want” means you can use the photos however you wish – in commercial projects, website designs, on blog posts, or posters.

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Top 5: Places To Photograph In The UK

In this blog post I will reveal my top 5 best places to photograph in the UK. I also ask some flickr photographers their opinion on some famous locations.

 

5. Beachy Head, East Sussex, England

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The Beachy Head cliff is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres above sea level. The peak allows views of the south east coast from Dungeness in the east, to Selsey Bill in the west. The contrast between the green grass and the white chalk cliffs gives photographs more of an impact.

I asked Alan MacKenzie a Flickr photographer What is the attraction of taking a photograph of the Beachy Head? Beachy Head marks the end of the South Downs and is the most striking and magnificent landmark in Sussex. I feel isolated from the civilised world and therefore able to forget all of my worldly responsibilities and create beautiful imagery. Whether I’m there in a snowstorm or looking at a blood red sunset, Beachy Head makes me feel privileged to live in such a beautiful world.

 

4. Ben Nevis (Lochaber, Highland, Scotland)

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Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. The 700 metre cliffs of the north face are among the highest in the United Kingdom, providing classic scrambles and rock climbs presenting difficulties for climbers and mountaineers. They are also the principal locations in the UK for ice climbing.

I asked TJ a Flickr photographer What is the attraction of taking a photograph of Ben Nevis? I think the main attraction is the beautifully rugged landscape. Its very different than anything you experience in the rest of the UK. Pair the scenery with all the wonderful walking opportunities and it makes for a great day out.

 

3. Cheddar Gorge (Mendip Hills, Somerset, England)

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Cheddar is a gorge lying on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. The max depth of the gorge is 137 metres, with a near vertical cliff face to the south, and steep grassy slopes to the north. The B3135 road runs along the bottom of the gorge. With the greyish rock face, greenery growing on top and a road winding through the scenery the Cheddar Gorge makes a perfect landscape photograph.

I asked peterchilds93 a Flickr photographer What is the attraction of taking a photograph of the Cheddar Gorge? The Gorge is the heart of Somerset, what makes it so photogenic; the different levels contained within the structure give better angles for some unique compositions. The journey through the gorge is very surreal which magnifies your imagination to achieve the bigger picture.

 

2. Smoo Cave In Durness, Sutherland, Scotland.

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Smoo Cave is a large cave which has combined sea water and fresh water. The cave is the largest of its kind in Britain. The cave can be either explored  by boat or foot path. It also has one of the largest cave entrances in Britain.

I asked Spencer Bowman a Flickr photographer What is the attraction of taking a photograph of Smoo Cave? The attraction of shooting Smoo cave for me,.. It is from my love of the west coast of Scotland, and I have wanted to visit the far northwest coast (Sutherland) for quite a few years.

The west coastline of Scotland is spectacular, every bit of the hundreds of miles has amazing scenery and geology. From the views of Jura from Argyll, one of the best views in the world at Elgol, Isle of Skye, to the Ancient geology and remote wilderness of Sutherland. The whole west coast is a landscape photographers dream. ( and I urge you at some point of your life, to visit this area of the country)

I had heard of this cave with a waterfall, and thought that the light play on waterfall in underground darkness would make an interesting subject. I originally intended to try some b&w compositions, I did not have a long time to shoot at Smoo cave, and the limitations of access made it hard to get alternate compositions, but I am happy with my efforts.

 

1. Stanage Edge, Peak District National Park

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Stanage Edge is in the Peak District, England and is a famous location for climbing. Stanage Edge is a great location to take photographs due to it’s tall gritstone cliffs that overlook Hathersage, Derbyshire.

I asked Jim Ennis a Flickr photographer What is the attraction of taking a photograph of Stanage Edge? It is certainly the biggest of the “Edges” in the Derbyshire Peak, though that is not it’s main attraction, imposing as it is sitting on the skyline and stretching out approximately 4 kms along it’s length. There are so many intersting features to capture. You have the Cowper Stone and trig point at the southern end, with their views over to Higgor and Over Owler Tor on Hathersage Moor. Numerous Grouse Drinking troughs/basins are carved into the rocks along it’s length and these are numbered and a quite unique feature. Runnels are carved into the stone to channel rainwater into the basins, they are really beautifully crafted and provide great foreground interest in wide angle shots. Walk along to the northern end and you have magnificent views over the Hope Valley and Derwent Moors. On the lower slopes there are many abandoned millstones, they were manufactured and carved on the edge, and were used to grind flour in the milling industry. Again these make fantastic and dramatic foreground subject matter in wide angle shots.

All of the above and more plus the ever changing light, clouds and weather with the differing seasons make this a landscape photographers dream location. Yes, I will be going back.


 

Information sources

BEACHY HEAD – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beachy_Head
BEN NEVIS – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Nevis
CHEDDAR GORGE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheddar_gorge
SMOO CAVE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoo_Cave and http://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/smoo-cave-p245631
STANAGE EDGE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanage_Edge and http://www.stanageedge.co.uk/about.html

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Interview: Robert Winter

In this Blog post I Interview Robert Winter. Robert Winter has taken some unique styled black and white photographs which show different types of cultures and people.

Did you study photography at school or in further education?

No, i learned it by taking photographs, I travel a lot, trying around with old cameras and did some Assistant Jobs for Commercial Photographers who i could ask my questions while working for them.

How long have you been interested in photography?

Hmmmm, i was doing graffiti when i was young, and after i found this small digital camera which somebody lost in a bar, i thought it could be fun to work with photos and some Graffiti lettering together, like the “Fillin” could be a photo, so i take some photos of structures and different stuff and try to work with them in Photoshop. After a while to take the photo was more interesting for me, then work with them and “destroying” the picture, I was 20 at the time,

What do you think the most challenging thing is about photography and why?

Catching the right time, the right moment. Because this is what a good photo is. Even if you do a big fashion production, you need the right moment to get a good look of the model, or some Landscape photos, you need the right time and weather. Its all about timing.

Do you prefer to use natural or artificial light?

Actually most of my photos I do with available Light, I like the natural lightning more then flashing people in their faces. Even in dark situations I use the given Lighting around me. I mean, in a city there is always everywhere some light. from the streetlamps, stores, advertises and so on… I like to use them and I never put a flash on my camera.

What is the most important piece of equipment you use to take your photographs (except for the camera) and why?

Usually when I go out normally i just take my camera. Like i said, i don’t use any flashlights. If i should say something, i guess it would be my ipod. Normally if i go out to take some photos in a other Cities, i listen to some music to separate me from the rest. If you don’t hear whats happen in the streets, you can see better, its like watching TV without any Sound, the whole movie looks different. Have you ever try? If you have you know what i mean.. its fun.

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Interview: Roberto Pavic

 

In this post I interview Roberto Pavic who takes amazing HDR black and white photographs and beautiful pictures of reflections. With his ongoing success on 500px he is quickly becoming more well known.

Are there any tips you will give to my readers on how to take a photograph with a reflection?

The best way to take photos with reflection is to go to some lake. Also it has to be a day without wind or rain so the surface will become a mirror.

Do you believe in heavily editing you photographs or do you just like to keep them as natural as possible?

I believe that ALL photos should be edited, at least contrast, saturation – the basic things. But to add drama to photos they should be more post editing then basics.

What made you become a professional photographer?

I’m not professional photographer. Photography is my hobby and way to relax.

How do you think photography will change in the future?

I have no idea about that, people discuss about 3D photos and similar things but I know that my photography will stay on this path of urbanscapes and landscapes with lots of drama.

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Spotlight: Tom Brune

In this post Tom Brune tells me a little bit about himself and his love for photography. Taking in account Tom is only 19 he has produced some great surfing photographs. It must be hard taking  a decent photograph because you have the current and spray of water to think about, not just taking the actual photograph.

I am Tom Brune, a 19 year old photographer from Perth, Western Australia. Growing up in the coastal city of Perth I never liked the ocean. It wasn’t until high school that my friend introduced me to bodyboarding which slowly started to consume me.After a few years of bodyboarding and snorkelling along the West Coast of Australia I noticed how much unique stuff you can see only whilst in the ocean. After leaving school I used all the money I’d saved to buy my first camera and water housing. I have now been shooting for about two and a half years. Whenever the forecast is looking good me and my friends will usually go on road trips up and down the coast in search of waves. I am currently shooting with a Canon 50d for my digital photographs; however, I am shooting a lot of 35mm film at the moment with my Fuji STX-2 and Nikonos-V.

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Spotlight: Matthieu Lhotellerie

In this blog post Matthieu Lhotellerie tells me a little bit about himself and his love for photography. Matthieu Lhotellerie has produced some great photos showing different types of cultures and people.

I always had a fascination for photography and travel, cultivating them with exhibits, books & documentaries, but never owned even a compact camera until recently. Strangely I started photography because of a comic book called “Le photographe” (an appropriated name), a fascinating story from a photojournalist covering a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan during the 80’s. The book mix drawings and his amazing B&W pictures, and after reading it, I saved money for a secondhand Nikon D80.

As I’m mostly taking pictures while travelling, I only use a Fujifilm X100. The perfect focal, the size & weight, the pictures quality and the discretion are fantastic. I still got my Nikon, and each time I grab it the speed/responsiveness is a joy, but I don’t feel like carrying a DSLR anymore.

I don’t really think about “accomplishing work”, but since I got the Fuji I try to get some consistency between my pictures, by using the same two presets in Lightroom and 35mm focal. Also now I only shoot landscape.

There is so many great photographers that I love and that inspire me. I won’t make a list, but above all, I often dive into Koudelka, Parr, Conomopoulos and McCurry books. Flickr is also a fantastic source of exchange and creativity.

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Interview: Andrew Lance

In this blog post I interview Andrew Lance. I love Andrew lance’s amazing black and white photographs and after seeing them I feel inspired to take more of mine.

What inspired you to become a photographer?

I was inspired to become a photographer to capture images of the world around us that are both engaging and interesting to the viewer. The ultimate goal is take a picture that tells a story and to which the view can empathise with.

As a photographer what attracts you to a photograph that is in black and white?

Black and white photography is appealing to me because of it’s challenges and rewards; I think black and white photos are quintessential and can capture a scene or idea simply without being cluttered in colours.

What equipment do you use to take your photographs and why?

I shoot all my photos using Leica M cameras. I prefer these cameras because of their discrete size and manual functionality, which puts a lot more emphasis on skill of photographer

What social networking site do you prefer to showcase your photographs on and why?

I predominantly use Flickr to showcase my pictures. Flickr has a large audience and also many other talented photographers to interact with and learn from.

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Spotlight: Jose Felipe

In this blog post Jose Felipe tells me a little bit about himself and his love for photography. I love his instagram styled photographs because of the different types of composition and his unique angles.

 

Hi, my name is Jose Felipe, I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I am trying to answer all of my questions about the city I live in. I’m very curious about the things around me and I love observing. I try to capture the tiny details and build huge concepts about them. My love for photography started when I got a Canon T3i in 2010 to make movies.

I love editing and filming all of my projects. At university my projects are accompanied with a movie to represent it. So, while I was filming, I was taking some shots too. With the launch of Instagram, my view of photography changed a lot. I started to post everyday and this routine with practice was the starting point to evolve to my point of view today. Now I’m with a Canon T5i and iPhone 4S to take my photos. I edit my photos using a app called VSCOCam. VSCO was the other reference I used to change even my personality. When I downloaded the app in 2012, I didn’t know who was behind it. So, when I discovered who was behind it, the beautiful photos and the aesthetics of this pure and original design, my point of view had drastically changed. Today, I try to capture minimalists subjects but tomorrow I don’t know what I will discover next. I am in constant transformation.

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Spotlight: Lauren Bath

In this blog post Lauren Bath tells me a little bit about herself and her love for photography. Lauren has produced some beautiful photos and has gained a huge following on Instagram with over 354,000 followers.

My name is Lauren Bath and I am a travel photographer working as a freelance destination marketer. I am able to do this job because of my large social media reach on Instagram, 354,000 followers. I shoot with a Nikon D800 which is a great camera for the many styles of photography I do. I love landscapes obviously and shoot with the full landscape setup of tripod, remote and filters. In addition I love portraiture and do lots of handheld work during the day. For action sports the camera is a little slow but for 9/10 of my photography the D800 is perfect.
When I am taking a photo I often look for colours first. Because I am posting my images on social media I like to ensure I have a good mix of colours, textures and subject matter to keep myself and my followers interested. I love leading lines and good light so sunrise and sunset is a must. For editing I exclusively use Photoshop on the cloud and I have a pretty good work flow in place than enables me to edit my shots in high resolution for google+ and my clients, lower resolution squares for Instagram and watermarked resized png files for Facebook. I back all my RAW files up manually to external hard drives and never format a card until my images are safety stored in two other places.

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