Always look both ways when taking photos

I was taking photos of the Forth road bridge and didn’t take make notice of the Forth rail bridge. It’s been taken to death BUT when I turned around I got this image.

Untitled_HDR2-fbI loaded it up on Viewbug and got into that month’s featured photos.
My best results so far on a single image. 50 peer awards and 120 likes as well as having 6 Photo Trifecta awards.

The actual image I was there for that night was this one.
Untitled_HDR7-fbIMG_8183-fbI took a walk on top of the road brigde to see the sunset and new bridge.Untitled_HDR6-fb

Thanks for the visit.
Jacques le Roux

Advertisements

From planning to execution and then …

You see a great photo and you think to yourself: I would like to visit this spot and get my own photo of the view.

St.Monans in Scotland is one of these places. It has a beautiful harbour wall jutting out towards open water. Best time to visit is during bad weather when water will splash over the wall and create a great effect. I have been planning a visit for a long time and used the Blood Moon at the end of September as my recce.

You can plan every detail of your visit months in advance. Using satellite photos and Google street view you can look at the place from every angles and decide on places to get good photos from. You can use The Photographer’s Ephemeris to see where the sun with set and where the moon will come up. You can use Time and Date to see the moon direction and height it should reach. With the Leith tide times you can plan to get the date to align with either low or high tide. You can use the MetOffice and multiple other weather website to try and keep a eye on the weather to not waste your time closer to the date as you normal have a 3 days window with moon cycles.

BUT you can do nothing when a curve ball hits you. The Forth road bridge being closed came at the worse possible time. I ended up taking a detour which took a 1h45min drive to 3 hours and we ended up arriving late thanks to the SatNav and the detour. Sunset was at 1530, we arrived at 1600. We walked to the spot and it was pouring with rain, not light misty rain but torrential rain and wind. The heavens opened up and soaked us through all our layers in minutes. After every photo we have to wipe the lenses (I used 2 cameras) before taking another one. My one cameras on a light tripod got blown over by the wind and after 5 minutes we called it. Went and stood under a roof and eventually gave up and walked to the car. Of course our bad luck wasn’t done just yet as the car wouldn’t unlock, water must have gotten into the key. A bit of blowing and rubbing the the key dry we got in. Soaked photographer, soaked bags and soaked equipment. We sat and decided what to do next and decided on Fish and Chips supper. As we drove away it stopped raining and as the sunset and the blue hour was gone so we kept driving.The stars came out and it stayed out for the 3 hours drive home and we cursed our luck all the way home.

Why do we do this hobby called photography you have to ask yourself? My answer is: If there is a slight possibility to get that 1 photo that’s a keeper then driving for 7 hours, getting soaked to the skin and have a long planned trip fail; it’s always worth it!

Below are the only 2 photos that was usable, they all had water drops on them but with some Photoshop work 2 photos became one and 3 photos became 1.

IMG_6666-8-fb
Untitled_HDR4-fb-

Jacques le Roux …

Taking a walk under the blue moon

Beginning of August there was a blue moon and I thought I might as well try and capture it. I planned a walk down the Forth to take a few photos at sunset of the Forth bridges.

I walked a good distance and came to a point I could see Crammond island and it’s WW2 submarine defenses in the near distance. While I was taking the photos of the ship moored I looked around to see a huge moon rising. Almost totally missed as I expected it to rise 2 hours later. The size of the moon as it rises is by far the best due to the atmosphere and the way light plays tricks on our eyes.

To be honest the moon photos are nothing to write home about but it did give me a glimpse into the possibility of better photos in the future. As long as I plan it better of course.

I found 2 indispensable website for sunrise/moonrise photos.
http://suncalc.net = sunrises and sunsets
http://www.timeanddate.com = moon rise and moon phases

Here’s some of the photos I took as I was walking up and down the Forth.

IMG_9002 IMG_9005 IMG_9013 IMG_9024 IMG_9033 IMG_9038I visited North Queensferry for a last attempt to get a nice moon lit photo. I think this one made it worth while.IMG_9072-c1

Photographs by Jacques …

Live and learn – fireworks

I went to take photos at the Forth train bridge of fireworks going off next to the bridge while the passenger on a steam train look on. Here’s a post with things I learnt from this night.

DO NOT stand down wind from the fireworks
DO NOT shoot camera in hand
DO NOT stand behind a structure if the fireworks are being shot in front of it (it doesn’t always get the height to get over the structure)
DO NOT come late and unprepared
DO NOT stand with other photographers if you can help it, find a unique position (unless they know the place and know what results they will get)

DO talk to other photographers and gather as much info as possible
DO a recce before the fireworks starts
DO find out where the fireworks are being shot from
DO check the wind direction if possible
DO use a tripod for long exposure
DO bring multiple cameras if possible
DO remember your remote trigger
DO always have a thick coat and beanie available

Photos were taken with my Canon 1D MK III and Canon 7D MK I with wide angle lens. As you can see at the end of each series the smoke has effected the results and are very much in the way. If I stood on the other side I would have had better photos and no smoke in the way.

LIVE and LEARN I say. So here’s the results.
While waiting a train went through the centre of the bridges.

IMG_4994_1 IMG_4995_1
Puff of smoke from the steam train. It parked in the middle of the right hand side structure.IMG_5012_1 IMG_5013_1 IMG_5014_1 IMG_5015_1 IMG_5016_1 IMG_5017_1 IMG_5018_1 IMG_5020_1 IMG_5028_1 IMG_5029_1 IMG_5037_1These are from the Canon 1D MK IIIIMG_0614_1 IMG_0615_1 IMG_0616_1 IMG_0617_1 IMG_0618_1 IMG_0631_1After it was all done we went to the other side to see what shots we could have had. Live and learn.IMG_5046_1 IMG_5055_1

Thank you for the visit
Jacques le Roux