Justin Haynes Photography: Blog https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Justin Haynes 2021 (Justin Haynes Photography) Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:41:00 GMT Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:41:00 GMT https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u760367832-o839874798-50.jpg Justin Haynes Photography: Blog https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog 90 120 Seasonal - Winter 2020/21 https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2021/3/seasonal-winter2020/21 To get more use out of this website I’ve wanted to do a regular series of blog posts for some years now, but have never committed myself to give anything a go. At the start of 2020, I decided to start a series of posts that ran with the seasons. I felt I could put together at least a few good images in 3 months to talk about. For obvious reasons I decided to hold fire on this idea. I then proceeded to completely forget about it until I came across it again in my notebook a couple of days ago. Now I normally try to avoid writing at all costs. It has never been a strong point of mine. It therefore took some debating with myself as to wether I should give these blogs a go. But in the hope it will get me out to make more images and improve my writing ability I thought it was worth a try.

 

To get things started, an image I haven’t shared yet. 

Now don’t be fooled by this distinctively autumnal looking image. I can assure you it was taken in winter (at least meteorologically speaking) on 6th December. I took this as a quick passing shot on my way back to the car. Unsure if would work out I didn’t put a lot of time in to it. Although I’m mostly happy with the look of the image, there is definitely room for improvement. I’d like to show more at the top of the image and perhaps try a wider view to bring in more at the edges. I think a bit more fog would help the central tree stand out more from the background as well. I will be returning this autumn/winter to re-shoot this scene.

Onto January and some more wintery looking images. From January 5th we were plunged back into a full lockdown for the third time. As such I have only been travelling to make images as far as my feet will carry me. Fortunately, I have some beautiful countryside right on my doorstep. About a 30 minute walk from my house is a plantation of Poplars. It is a walk I’ve done quite often in the past few months, either alone or with my wife. One of my favourite images was made here back in spring. On this occasion there had been a sprinkling of snow overnight. In a turn of good fortune, it happened to be a Thursday night, and I was able to get out at around midday on Friday after finishing work at 11:30. The fog was a bonus and happily hung around all day. Over the course of two hours, I made these four images. The first one being my pick of the bunch.

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Two weeks later, with the weather unusually playing ball again, more snow was forecast for a Sunday morning. Up early to make the most of the day, I spent breakfast flicking though the various weather apps on my phone. I could see the snow would come, but the quantity was the big question. When I left the house, with the Poplar woodland yet again my destination, there was no snow on the ground. When the snow came, it came thick and fast and didn’t take long to completely cover the ground. Taking my usual route through the woodland, I came to this clearing that has proven fruitful in the past. Every time I come here, I spend time walking around this oak tree. I’ve always thought there was an image to be made here it was just a case of being there in the right conditions. The snow was perfect for it. Eliminating the distracting tangle of brambles on the ground and creating a much simpler scene. I’ve always struggled with panoramas in the past but, it seemed the only way to create the image I wanted here. I’d tried making some single frame images of the tree but nothing seemed to be working. I couldn’t get wide enough without bringing in too much sky or messy foreground. This is a 5 frame pano I shot with the intention of converting to black and white later on Lightroom.

Out of the OrdinaryOut of the Ordinary Shortly after this was taken, I had another image set up all ready for me to push the shutter button. As I did, however, my camera died without warning. It wouldn’t turn on, no displays showing and the shutter stuck open. Not good news! With the thought of an expensive camera repair or replacement going through my head I worriedly trudged back home. Thankfully once the camera and batteries had warmed up and been fully charged, it sparked back into life. Thank god!

And so with Februarys lacklustre weather this was the last image I made this winter. Now with Spring on its way and the days drawing out, things are starting (fingers crossed) to look up. With lockdown restrictions easing over the next few months I’m looking forward to getting back out to some my favourite places to shoot. Hopefully, I can put together a few more images to talk about at the start of summer and continue this series of blogs.

Please feel free to leave your comments or any feedback about the images and blog below. Many thanks and until next time folks, stay safe.

 

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(Justin Haynes Photography) 2020 2021 black and white landscape midlands nature outdoors photography seasonal trees uk warwickshire winter woodland https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2021/3/seasonal-winter2020/21 Tue, 02 Mar 2021 17:40:25 GMT
An Hour in the Dunes https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/5/an-hour-in-the-dunes In March 2020 I went on a family holiday to Fuerteventura. It was my first time to the island, and I was excited to explore the photographic opportunities on offer. The first few mornings were spent exploring the coastline next to where we were staying, but I came away empty handed from those visits, despite the beautiful sunrises.

After a few days relaxing around the villa and local town, we decided it would be nice to go and spend an afternoon on the beach. As someone who doesn't do that well in the heat or sat around doing nothing I decided to go for a walk while everyone else was sunbathing.
After we had found a spot on the beach, I headed off to the dunes and spent an enjoyable hour walking around looking for subjects. Midday wasn't the ideal time to visit such a location, with the heat beating down and the sun high in the sky. I therefore decided to shoot with a black and white theme in mind, to better work with the bright contrasty light, and try to create a series of images that would work well together.

 

(Click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

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(Justin Haynes Photography) black and white Corralejo Fuerteventura Justin Haynes landscape mono monochrome nature Nikon outdoors Photography sand dunes Spain https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/5/an-hour-in-the-dunes Wed, 06 May 2020 07:00:57 GMT
A new beginning and a roll of film https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/3/a-new-beginning Well, it's certainly been a while since I've done this. Three years in fact since I last posted on this blog, and it's been about a year since I last properly uploaded any photos at all to this site. The images I have been posting and sharing on social media have also been few and far between over the past year as well. There are a few reasons for this which I won't fully go into now as I've already written a blog about them. Actually, I've written about 3 or 4. I haven't posted them. I haven't even finished them. For now, I will just say that it comes down to a few things I think we all go through from time to time with photography. For me it mainly comes down to; lack of confidence in my work, worrying what other people might think, the feeling that every image I share should be better than the last, and finally, rushing my shots and not fully thinking them though. Whether I eventually finish that blog or not doesn't really matter now, I'm sure you've heard it all before anyway, in the meantime I'm addressing the issues and I'm just going to stop worrying about it all so much and start enjoying my photography again. After all, if I like an image I've taken then that's all that should matter. 

The point here is that I'm hoping you will now start seeing more images, and other bits and pieces from me, not only on this site but on the various social media platforms I am part of as well. I have a few ideas in the pipeline for this site and hope they will work out. I have also had a cleanup and uploaded lots my recent images on here so please go take a look at my portfolio section.

Anyway, on to some photos. And to kick this blog back off again here are some of the images from my latest roll of film through my Noon pinhole camera. Enjoy.

(Click image to enlarge)

 

It's not all twelve frames but there were a couple of real duff shots and a couple I'm still not sure about. But, as an added bonus, here are a couple of unshared images from a different roll shot in 6x12 format through the same camera. One reason I held off sharing them is that the lab that processed them said they think the film may have become damp at some point. I have no idea how this happened but it has caused a mottling issue and the film has become speckled with marks. Also, at first, I wasn't sure about the images themselves but as I've lived with them for a while they have grown on me and I've stopped caring about the speckling, so here they are.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to look and I'll see you soon.

 

 

 

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(Justin Haynes Photography) 120 analog film new beginning noon pinhole camera photography photos pinhole https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/3/a-new-beginning Wed, 20 Mar 2019 18:00:14 GMT
Water Water Everywhere - Cader Idris, Penygader https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/7/water-water-everywhere-cader-idris-penygader Boots, socks, trousers, underwear, t-shirts and waterproof coats all completely saturated. This pretty much sets the tone of our two days on Cader Idris.

My friend had mentioned to me a few months previous that he was planning "a trip to a mountain in Wales in June" as part of an artist residency. As vague as the plan was at the time and unsure if would actually ever happen I agreed, providing I had nothing on.
Anyway, a month or so and a wedding later, having completely forgotten about it I received an email with full details and timings of the trip, we were on. The point of the weekend? To do something we had never really done before, to inspire and to develop existing and/or create new works in each of our respective fields. A fantastic opportunity for photography, fun and meeting other artists awaited. I got straight on with researching the area, studying maps and browsing photos to get an idea of what I was in for.
(For info on the others on the trip see the bottom of this page).

Day 1.  We left early but with probably a few too many stops didn't arrive until around midday, we found our site 'Owen Tyddyn Farm Campsite' basically a field with some sheep in it, and set up camp. Having got our bearings we had a bit of lunch, packed our bags and set off along the Minffordd path from the north side of the mountain. At first the going was quite easy with cloudy but nice weather and in high spirits we set off with a good pace, occasionally stopping to do our various bits and pieces, mostly unaware of the very poor conditions that were to greet us soon. As the path got steeper towards the ridge line we started to take more frequent breaks, all realising we were not as fit as we thought, which was no bad thing as I had decided to take all my camera gear including my big heavy tripod which I soon regretted taking. We kept pushing on though, into the cloud, with people passing us on their way back down telling us that conditions were very bad along the top. They were not wrong. The ridge line was engulfed in thick cloud which covered the rest of the path to the peak of Penygader, the wind had picked up and almost knocked you off you feet at times, it was raining hard and visibility was at best ten meters so you could hardly see the next cairn on the route and we still had about a 45 minute walk to the peak. By now thoughts of doing our work had firmly vanished and it became purely a mission to reach the top, we hadn't come this far to not make it, luckily there were still quite a few people climbing and continuing carefully we knew we would be ok. And so apart from me making very quick stops to photograph a fence line when the rain eased slightly, whipping the camera out quickly composing and shooting and back in the bag before it got too wet we all got our heads down and eventually made the peak.

Something out of NothingSomething out of Nothing

Having taken the obligatory selfie and not wanting to hang around in those conditions all completely soaked and cold we turned around and headed back to camp.

The journey back down was as wet and treacherous as the way up, even below the cloud where the sun had gone and the wind and rain continued. Although we were treated to a fantastic show as the clouds blew away revealing the wonderful view, we couldn't help but to stop and watch it for a few minutes.
Back at camp all completely exhausted and utterly soaked through we changed into what dry clothes we had and went to the pub for some well earned food and drink.

Day 2. I had planned to wake early and get out to maximise shooting time. However exhaustion coupled with having had a surprisingly good nights sleep in a tent on the floor, I didn't get up until about 8 o'clock. With a quick bite to eat for breakfast and some moaning as we pulled on our wet boots and coats me and the two other guys headed out to continue the work we couldn't complete the day before.
Stopping to photograph occasionally I fell behind the other guys. Cader IdrisCader Idris

As far up as I got on the second day. This was the cloud cover at its thinnest.

They met up with me on their way back and I didn't get as far up as I would have liked to capture the views, but time was tight. We had planned to drive to the other side of the mountain and walk up to the lake 'Llyn Cau' that sits underneath Penygader. We got back to camp packed up all our gear and headed off.
The south side of the Minffordd path was even more beautiful than the north. Leading up adjacent to mountain stream with waterfalls, bits of woodland and wonderful views. With the low cloud and mist hanging around it presented some fantastic photographic opportunities, if it wasn't for the rain which was back with a vengeance. Again I couldn't help but stop occasionally to quickly get some shots although this time I left the tripod out. I soon regretted this as well with some amazing opportunities for some long exposure work missed. I don't think my shoulders could have taken the extra weight again though. Through the RainThrough the Rain

 

Reaching the lake made all the effort worth while, even with the cloud, cold and rain it was exceptionally beautiful.

​iPhone panorama of Llyn Cau

 

We didn't hand around too long, aware that everyone was wet, cold and by this point just wanting to go home, we had a quick bit of lunch and started the walk back the car.
It was a shame that it rained so much and that we didn't have more time, I could have spent ages exploring the area, and knowing how many opportunities I missed out on was a bit gutting. At the end of the day though that fades into the background and i'm left with the memory of a fantastic trip in beautiful surroundings with great people. I will return one day and photograph it more, although perhaps in slightly more favourable conditions.

The one that got away. I almost like this one. With some more time to compose and expose properly and a tripod so I could focus properly (its slightly out) it could have been better.

 

The team:

The trip was organised by and for: Office for Art, Design and Technology.
Based in Coventry but expands and operates nationally from there through a range of partnerships with cultural organisations, practitioners and local authorities. www.art-design-tech.org
 
Ryan Hughes is a Birmingham based artist/curator. Most recently he has been working on the borders of research, curatorial practice and collaborative practice with a particular focus on the spaces that exist between fields. He founded and runs Office for Art, Design and Technology.

Imogen Frost is an artists based in Warwickshire. She graduated from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 2015 and works predominantly with traditional photography techniques and sound.

Emily Roderick is an artist based in London. She is currently in her first year at Central Saint Martin’s and works predominantly with computer code, performance and sculpture.

Tony McClure is an artist based in Birmingham. He is currently in his second year at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and predominantly make’s moving image and light based work.

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(Justin Haynes Photography) Wales artists cader idris camping cloud emily roderick hike imogen frost justin haynes landscape llyn cau mountain nature office for art design and technology outdoors photography ryan hughes tony mcclure trip uk united kingdom walk water weekend https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/7/water-water-everywhere-cader-idris-penygader Tue, 12 Jul 2016 18:05:38 GMT
#WexMondays 'Get The Shot' - Buttercups and Cow Parsley https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/6/wexmondays-buttercups-and-cow-parsley As much as I can I enter a weekly photographic competition on twitter run by 'WEX Photographic' called #wexmondays. Every Monday they invite you to post your best image taken in the last week. The images are then judged and on Tuesday they announce 1st, 2nd and 3rd place with points awarded to each, then at the end of the year, whoever has the most points is named 'Wex photographer of the year' and gets a £1500 voucher. Second and Third places get £500 and £250 vouchers respectively. More details here.

At the start of this year I set myself some photography goals, one of which was to get one of my photos in the top three of the #wexmondays competition. I enter as often as I can, but don't always get the chance to go out with my camera. This week however I had been out about three times and had a good selection of images to choose from. The photo I selected to enter is one that worked out very well and that I am very pleased with. Although it did not place in the competition it did get a lot of interest on twitter, and the next day I was contacted by WEX Photographic asking if I wouldn't mind writing a behind the scenes 'get the shot' blog about the photo. Of course I was only too happy to do this for them.

Where, why and how I took this photo

Southam is a small town in Warwickshire, between Leamington Spa and Daventry, and is surrounded by lovely countryside, small villages and farmland. It is also where I live and where 90% of my photography takes place. I have walked most of the footpaths and surrounding countryside over the years and I know the area incredibly well. The field where I captured the "Buttercups and Cow Parsley" image however, has been one that I haven't paid much attention to. I think mainly because the footpath through it doesn't really lead anywhere, just to the main road and then back into town. Of course I have been trough it before but never really given it a second thought. It is also used by all of the competitors for the neighbouring polo ground for all of their vehicles and horses, meaning the ground is normally quite churned up.

I had the opportunity on a Tuesday evening to get out with my camera, the conditions were good with clear skies for some nice golden hour light. I decided to walk to some small lakes in the grounds of the 'Dallas Burton Polo Club' which sits just outside Southam, around a half hour walk from my house. I didn't have much luck here, as the sun had already dipped too low and the lakes were in shadow and there wasn't much in the way of wildlife there on this evening. Cutting my loses and not wanting to miss out on the gorgeous light I walked back around the perimeter of the polo club and towards a small copse next to the river. No luck here as well. Overgrown with stinging nettles and other foliage, it was impenetrable. Walking back down the footpath trying to think of another backup location I could get to quickly enough, I happened to look to my left at just the right time.

(click image for larger view)

I was very happy with the look of the photo in the back of the camera. Upon reviewing it when I got home however, I felt like it was lacking something. The sky felt a little bit empty and a bit too bold. And I wasn't completely happy with the composition. Wanting to return and redo this photo I checked the weather forecast for the rest of the week and made plans to return.

When I retuned two days later, on Thursday, conditions were just as I was hoping for.

"Dominate" (click image for larger view)

I got there early so I had enough time to get set up and find a good composition. While I was waiting, with the sun moving through the branches of the tree, it lit up a small patch of buttercups a few meters in front of me. Not wanting to miss this chance, and as a good opportunity to make the most of my brand new 10-24mm lens, I immediately acted. As the lens is so new I haven't yet had chance to buy new filters and holder that fit it without you being able to see them. This was a slight problem. Because the photo above was taken on a tripod I was able to hold the filter (2-stop graduated ND) in front of the lens myself with ease. I knew I wouldn't have time to reset my tripod and then move it back again to get the photo you see above, so it would have to be a handheld job. Kneeling down and hunched over amongst the cow parsley I fiddled with the settings, found a good composition and focused on the base of the tree. Holding my camera (in portrait) in one hand and a 2-stop graduated ND filter in the other I reeled off a few shots, thinking myself lucky if any of them came out sharp enough or balanced enough to use. Fortunately they turned out fine, and the resulting photo (below) is one of my favourites I have taken, and the was the obvious choice to enter into #wexmondays.

Buttercups and Cow ParsleyButtercups and Cow Parsley(click for larger view)

"Buttercups and Cow Parsley" (Nikon D7100, 10-24mm @ 10mm, ISO 250, f/11, 1/320 sec)

Post-Proccessing

All of the post-processing for this photo took place in Lightroom 5. For this image I first checked the 'Enable Profile Correction' box which I do for all of my images and then set the white balance to daylight to bring back some warmth. I then added a graduated filter for the sky and tree, bringing the highlights down and the shadows up. I then added a separate graduated filter for the foreground with a small increase in clarity. I then did some overall adjustments bumping up the exposure by half a stop, bringing up the whites a touch, small amount of saturation and luminance changes and the finally sharpening of the tree and foreground.

Difficulty

3/10.

Overall this shot was not that hard to take. Trying not to shake around too much while shooting with a handheld filter and a handheld camera was probably the trickiest part.

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(Justin Haynes Photography) #wexmondays behind the scenes buttercups buttercups and cow parsley competition cow parsley england get the shot landscapes nature photography southam sunset tree uk warwickshire wex wex photographic https://www.jhphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/6/wexmondays-buttercups-and-cow-parsley Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:45:38 GMT