We took a short break to Budapest, as it is a city I have wanted to visit for a very long time. Obviously, my camera came with me. I couldn’t possibly have left it behind…
My plans are to travel as much as earning money will allow me in the future, after graduating with my Masters degree, but for now I remain a poor student so any kind of holiday is so much appreciated. Equally, any travel is a great opportunity to learn more, and I try to take those opportunities and use them.
On this holiday, although it was short, I used the hotel location with a window overlooking the beautiful train station building and busy roads to try some long exposure shots of traffic light trails at night. This was my first attempt at light trails and I was relatively pleased that the technique worked and with the results.
At the end of September I started a Masters course in Biological Photography and Imaging. This has meant a huge shift in terms of comfort levels when using my camera. My obsession with AV mode on the Canon EOS 5D Mk III has been fixed!
We have a number of assignment deadlines coming up already, but I have managed to get out and about both on the incorporated field trips and in my spare (haha) time. Here are a few images from our various trips and my own trips out.
I spent a magical week in the Isle of Mull, Scotland, visiting Staffa island and Iona too. It was an opportunity to capture images of Scottish wildlife, and to practice photographic techniques. In that sense, it was a relative failure. My equipment wasn’t up to my requirements, and my abilities aren’t up to the standard I needed to make the most of photographic opportunities. However, it was a learning process, to some extent, and made me see how much I have still to learn.
Staffa island blew me away – I had not expected to get so close to puffins and was completely surprised by their proximity (and some people’s willingness to get far too close to puffins and their nests), which meant I was then unable to focus on getting the best images possible of the puffins. I would like to go back and re-try. I was fairly unlucky with sightings of eagles and other birds of prey, not getting close to any large birds. Even the herons were determined to make life impossible for me!
However, I loved it in Mull and plan to go back again, very soon. These images were the result of a couple of late night and early morning drives out with my dog to see what we could get close enough to and capture, and some are from Staffa island.
With the way the garden is changing so rapidly, with flowers blooming and fading within 24/48 hours, and the fact we’ve had some rain, I thought I’d capture the Bearded Iris while they’re in flower.
I love the way raindrops on black Iris look like fat, juicy droplets of blood…
I have quite seriously decided that Iceland will be my next place of residence. I have visited twice now, and felt as if I had come home. It is a stunningly beautiful country. The marine wildlife is a big attraction for me.
I am trying to improve my photography techniques a little, and tried a few different settings with the camera whilst traveling around. Many were unsuccessful! I got a few nicer shots. Regardless, Iceland is a constant inspiration to improve my skills and technique – it is the kind of country you want to capture perfectly, and possibly never will. Some have managed it and I’m envious of their skills.
In the meantime, visiting Iceland again before I finish my degree and possibly move there is motivation to improve.
In August I visited the beautiful Channel Islands for the very first time. We stayed in Guernsey, and took a ferry ride across to Herm Island for a day. It was a magical experience – I came away lighter, unburdened yet bewitched and determined to return and explore further. I spent hours and hours just standing next to the ocean, hypnotised. I listened to the waves crash, the sea roar, I watched sea birds fly and feed, I watched tides rise and fall, I studied rock pools and rock formations, scrambled and climbed and came close to getting cut off at one point! I spent much of my time there taking images of the ocean and surrounding landscape – 3,000 images to be precise.
I would like to visit the Channel Islands again in 2016, during the Puffin breeding season.
Here are a few of the images taken. I primarily focused on the thing that completely captured and held my attention – the ocean. I was trying to experiment a bit with fast and slow shutter speeds, but without the aid of an ND filter at that time (now rectified). I learnt quite a bit, made many mistakes, but still somehow felt utterly fulfilled and satisfied by the experience. These are all edited to some degree. I was not shooting in RAW at the time so there is some grain and reduction in quality here and there. I now shoot in RAW (which is an experience in itself). Hopefully, these images convey the magic I saw and felt of the ocean.