Monday, May 31, 2010

Welch Storms

Saturday in Herefordshire started off rainy and breezy. I spent the morning doing the errands that needed to be done (laundry, shopping). The clouds were more broken in the afternoon, so I headed out for another afternoon of photography.

I drove down to the border of Herefordshire and Wales. I'm further south of where I was last weekend at Hay-on-Wye. I was visiting a number of different historical sites, and they were connected by narrow winding roads.

The roads throughout the region are lined on both sides by hedges. Here in Wales these side roads were barely more than a single lane wide, with very few places to pull out. Most of the time you see an attractive scene you just go on because of the difficulty in turning around or pulling off.

When I saw this view with the valley in the foreground and the high hill on the horizon I knew it was special. I found a place to turn around and go back to a pull-out that faced the view.

Images captured with Nikon D90. Processed in ACR and CS4.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

From Herefordshire Beacon

On Friday afternoon I drove east to the ridgeline known as the Malvern Hills. The southern anchor of the ridge is a point known as the Herefordshire Beacon. The hill tops out at a little over 1100 feet, and is probably 500 or more feet above the valley flour. The hilltop is crowned with a large Iron Age earthwork fortress. The area is included in a area of preservation called an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And it is easy to see why.

I arrived in time for the sunset hour. These two images are a sampling of the interesting light that was available on this evening.

The Golden Light

Sunset on Distant Hills

The first image is taken looking northwest,  the second a few degrees south of west.  Both take advantage of a three-stop ND grad filter to bring up the exposure of the foreground

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Town Criers

One of the images of I have of England is the love of history and for pomp and ceremony that the English people have. Just this week there was the opening of a new Parliment, with the Queen's Speech. It was a full dose with the royal jewels, the Household Calvary in full regalia and the like.

Last weekend I heard on the radio that there was going to be a meeting of Town Criers to be held at Bromyard in Herefordshire. I thought "here's an opportunity for some clasic English regalia" and I wasn't disappointed.

The Town Crier is mainly a ceremonial position today. In the 18th century the town crier made legal and public announcements in the town square. They carry a bell, which is rung to gather attention before the announcements are made.

These gentlemen (and one lady) were competing to see who could do the best job that day. As you can tell it was bright and sunny. Enjoy these images!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hay on Wye - Colors and Angles

For the first part of my visit I had been roaming the Herefordshire countryside. One of the local business people I'm working with during the day suggested that I visit Hay on Wye out on the Hereford - Wales borders.

My previous post had to do with the flowers in the fields. This post is for the wonderful angles, colors and light that I discovered in the town itself. The old town sets on a hilltop crowned with the ruins of a Norman castle and a Jacobean manor house. The streets are narrow and don't run in straight lines.

These three images are just a few from the set that I took during my day there. I hope you enjoy!

Whitewashed Alley

The Orange Wall

Heol y Dwr

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wildflowers in the Lane

I made a nice visit to the town of Hay on Wye, a small town on the River Wye at the Herefordshire - Wales border.

I followed one of the local circular walks, which included a footpath along a small brook. The wildflowers were a bright and attractive feature of my hike. I hope that you enjoy them as well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Hereford Rivers

It has been a busy first week here in England. Work has gone well, both here and back in the states. After traveling on Monday I worked a 4-10 week (plus a couple). I also managed to get out and scout a little. Today I got out to several locations. I took over 600 frames just today.

I'm sharing two images. Hereford is rolling hills with green fields and pastures in between. It is well drained with a number of rivers

The River Lugg

The River Wye

The photo of the River Lugg was taken near Mordiford on Thursday evening. It is processed as a one-frame HDR using Photomatix Pro and CS4. The photo of the River Wye is at Ross on Wye this evening. It is processed through CS4. Much more to come!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We're Here !

And the photo opportunities look great! We had to wait at the gate on Sunday night to see if the ash cloud would move enought to allow us to land in Manchester. After a two-hour delay we were told we were good to go! Landed here about mid-day on Monday.

Drove down to Hereford. I'm staying at a hotel out in the country. It is great being able to see the countryside. I don't know which is worse: driving on the left-hand side of the road, or doing it in a car with a manual transmission!

I am very comfortable with a manual transmission. My pickup has a manual. But since the steering wheel is on the "wrong" side of the car the shifter is under my left hand, not my right. I've missed a shift a time or two while waving my right hand around in the air looking for the knob. In town I've been driving with my left on the shifter as a reminder. That seems to help.

Work has been good. There were several topics that have been open from before I went on vacation. We've gotten good information by being here on site, and are making great progress on them. Next week we are changing the work schedule to be better able to support the teams back in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. That means I don't come into the office until late morning. It may give me the opportunity for some early morning sunrise photo shoots before I head into the office.

Last night I took a drive out through the country to check out some hiking sites for this weekend. I found a little village with an old church that should provide some great sundown shooting if today's partially sunny weather holds. The weather forecast for the weekend is great. Partially cloudy and temps upto 24C (80'ish !)

We're working hard and enjoying experiencing the new culture. More reports to come!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leaving for England

No sooner that we get home, I'm gearing up for a three-week trip to Jolly Old England. Work is taking me to Herefordshire to work with one of the business units of my current client. We are in the midst of the user acceptance test for the summer go-live, and I will be also working on some local implementation issues for them.

I will have two weekends, including a three-day, so much of the camera gear is going. Herefordshire appears to be a very photogenic region. Just need to pray for sunshine!

Hopefully my connectivity will not be limited, but if you don't hear from me Keep On Shooting !!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Photo Adventure - Flash Magic

A part of the class I took includes demonstrations and instruction on using off-camera flash. We have one of the best in the world as our instructor, Joe McNally. It is amazing to watch him work with a subject and push the light around to make an image.

Our final morning shoot was at Deadhorse Point. As you will be able to tell from the background behind the cedar it was a gray day. But with a couple of small flashes this colorful image is created. All of us with Nikon camera bodies were able to use our cameras in commander mode to trigger the flashes that Joe had set up for us.

The "sunrise" on the tree is from the flash. CTO gels to provide the warmth in the light. Two SB900 units, one to the right as the primary and one to the left as the secondary. Nikon D90 with the pop-up flash as the commander.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Photo Adventure - Layers

We are photographing in many of the iconic locations in the Moab region during our class this week. One is the Washer Woman formation in Canyonlands National Park. It is often photographed through the frame of Mesa Arch.

We visited the Mesa Arch overlook on our second morning. As can happen with very famous park locations it became very crowded with visitors, even at 5:30 AM !

The weather has been cool and hazy in this part of the desert. It is snowing today up towards Sale Lake City. All of our mornings have had clouds which have made for challenging and exciting lighting.

I shot this image especially to emphasize the 'layers' of the ridges, buttes, towers, etc. out from the edge of the mesa.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo Adventure - Tire'd

The main event for our trip to Moab is a photo school. It is a landscape photography oriented class. So what did we do for one of our first shoots? We went to visit a ghost town and worked on an assignment to shoot small details.

This old truck wheel has been setting in the grass for a long time. There was more interesting junk on the ground and around the abandoned buildings.

The class is also focused on Photoshop for post processing. All steps in CS4

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Photo Adventure - Nine Mile Canyon

Debbie and I are out in Utah for some time off. Of course that means photography.

We will be in Moab for most of the week, but today we drove up Nine Mile Canyon near Price, UT. Nine Mile contains what may be the largest collection of ancient native american rock art. This petroglyph panel is one of the most impressive in the canyon. The amount of content is amazing.

Sadly, much of the art has been vandalized. This panel shows a little. Other locations have had images drawn on, shot at, or initials or names put next to or on top of the original images.