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long exposure of Rye Pier and the surronding water at sunrise with a LEE Big Stopper filter.

Effects in camera – time worthy?

Posted by | filters, landscapes, tilt-shift | No Comments

Camera effects – time worthy?

Taking the time to create in-camera effects, as you shoot, really slows down the process – but in a really good way.

There are so many plug-ins, filters and things that you can do in Photoshop that sometimes it seems that you should just run out, grab a shot and then fix it all later on the computer. Whilst this is an option, it can seem that a lot of the art of photography is going, whilst the new art of digital illustration jumps ahead in leaps and bounds.

I’ve been having a lot of fun recently with a new filter I got – The lee Big Stopper. It’s a filter that you put in front of the lens that cuts out 10 stops of light, allowing you to create movement in the image through long exposure times at any point of the day. Add this to my tilt-shift lens and suddenly there’s a whole new world of fun to play around with; a whole lot of fun. However, when people see me set all this up I invariably get asked the question – “Isn’t it easier to do this on a computer? Why bother buying the equipment for it?”. While this is a completely valid question, it is one I don’t really understand. Perhaps it’s because I learnt how to print photographs in a darkroom, and used to process my own films, perhaps it’s because I quite enjoy slowing down the process of capturing an image.

I spent the other night waiting for the moonrise and was treated to an electrical storm over a group of apartments. Waiting for the shot to come into play (it eventually didn’t due to cloud cover, but I did get other shots) was like fishing, but a little more suited to me. I had the chance to experiment with the above mentioned lens and filter, all without a care in the world. I recommend that you (and myself) slow down a little and think about that shot next time, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

Natural medicical herbs and flowers growing in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in Twisp, WA

Visiting a medicinal herb farm in Twisp, WA

Posted by | food, landscapes, travel | No Comments

medicinal herb farm photography

We had the good fortune of visiting a medicinal herb farm outside of Twisp, WA during a recent trip to the USA , accompanied by the lovely and super knowledgeable Rosalee de la Forȇt, a well-known clinical online herbalist.

Not only was this a wonderful chance to see so many of the herbs and plants I know by name, but I was also explained the uses of each plant; If only I had had a dictaphone. It was such a peaceful setting within the valley and the colour from the plants really made an impression on me. I really enjoy photographing plants (though the summer midday sun can be challenging) for a variety of reasons.

1. They are so beautiful, no matter what they are. Each plant has it’s own character.

2. The detail that you can choose to focus on.

3. You can create a landscape with them.

It was really such a beautiful setting – at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, and to see all of these wildflowers in one spot was an incredible experience. That said, Rosalee had shown us a lot of these growing naturally in the mountains, but I guess that knowing that people were growing them for medicinal use was really sort of special. If you get the chance I highly recommend visiting this beautiful area of the world, and if not you can still contact Rosalee if you are interested in finding a wonderful herbalist: I can personally guarantee her services. Have a look through and if you know any of the medicinal herbs please let me know as I’m too ashamed to tell Rosalee that I have forgotten them…all.


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