Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition

Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: 10 YEAR SPECIAL EDITION

The Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition book is out today (28th April 2017) and includes my commended image of Sturminster Newton Watermill (on page 98) from the 2013 competition.

Featuring more than 250 beautiful images from a hugely popular series that has sold more than 100,000 copies, this celebratory special edition will grace any coffee table. Supported by VisitBritain and Network Rail, the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition was launched Charlie Waite, one of today’s best-known landscape photographers, in 2006. The Special Edition looks back at the panels of respected judges, all big names in the photography field, that have helped him to choose winners of the sought after accolade ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year’ over the last decade.

Printed on sumptuous art paper, this special edition features everything the British landscape is renowned for – classic shots of rural countryside, rugged lochs, mountains and moorland and stark industrial scenes capturing the beauty and diversity of Britain in the 21st century.

Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition is a glorious celebration of a much-loved competition and an object of desire for everyone with an interest in photography as well as those who love the British countryside.

Mark Bauer’s excellent image ‘Evening light at Cherhill’ is featured on the front cover.

click here to order your copy of the book

LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: 10 YEAR SPECIAL EDITION
Towards Harris

Towards Harris

Looking down Loch Snizort on the Isle of Skye over the Ascrib Islands towards the snowy mountains on the Isle of Harris.

(FujiFilm X-T2, Fujinon 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR)

Trees in the Sand

Trees in the Sand

Treelike sand patterns at Glenbrittle Beach, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

(FujiFilm X-T2, Fujinon XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Best-Ever Wildlife Shots

Best-Ever Wildlife Shots

The Digital Camera World January 2019 magazine features ’10 Steps to Animal Magic’ as its front page main feature.

It seems like a good enough article promising ‘techniques, tips and strategies for making magical animal captures’.

The 10 steps begin with 1. ‘Plan your shoot’, 2. ‘Choose the right equipment’, 3. ‘Pack the right supplies’, 4. ‘Set up your camera’, the advice is sound enough as are the supporting images.

The we get to section 5. Shooting settings to be confronted by this image…..’Giving you the eye!’, ‘You winking at me?!’, ‘Does my bum look big (in this photo)’? etc. etc.

Quite possibly one of the least flattering wildlife images I have ever seen and apparently shot with the monster Canon EF 28-700mm f/4L lens!

We then move on to Section 6. ‘Long-lens skills’ which features this image of 4 pink-footed geese behind some barbed wire….

The rest of the feature includes sections on using a hide, getting creative at home (with flash) and zoo photography, concluding with ‘Pro insight from Andy Rouse’, basically an advert for Andy’s latest excellent Tiger book ‘Noor: Queen of Ranthambhore’.

Digital Camera World Editor Niall Hampton wrote the feature and took some of the images while testing the new Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sport lens, dare I suggest he needs new glasses if the photographs above are considered suitable for a front cover feature that uses words like ‘best-ever’ and ‘magical’?

Trotternish Peninsular

Trotternish Peninsular

A view over the Sound of Raasay towards the Trotternish Peninsular, Isle of Skye, Scotland

(FujiFilm X-Pro 1, Fujinon XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS)

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

A superb display of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) over the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

(FujiFilm X-Pro 1, Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS)

Stolen Leica Gear

Stolen Leica Gear

Ffordes photographicFfordes Photographic of Beauly, near Inverness, Scotland was broken into in the early hours of 26th September and a substantial amount of Leica equipment, digital and film cameras, lenses and accessories, was stolen.

The Police Incident Number is NN10337/18 and the contact at Inverness Police is Mr C Still on (+44) 01463 228452.

Here is the list of stolen equipment;

Leica Equipment Stolen from Ffordes Photographic 
Leica D Series Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
Digilux 3 + 14-50mm F2.8-3.53184940/4015515
Digilux 22991330
Leica X Series
DescriptionSerial Number
X2 - Silver + Case + Finder4317553
Leica S/S2 Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
S Body Only (Typ 006) 4417070
S Body Only (Typ 006) 4686760
S Body Only (Typ 006) 4417295
S-E Body Only (Typ 006)4810278
Leica S/S2 Lenses
DescriptionSerial Number
30mm F2.8 Asph Elmarit S4151485
120mm F2.5 Apo Macro Summarit S4156132
120mm F2.5 Apo Macro Summarit S4111860
120mm F2.5 Apo Macro Summarit S4111659
Leica R Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
R8 Chrome Body Only2285482
R8 Chrome Body Only2291710
R8 Black Body Only2775654
R7 Chrome Body Only19999116
R6 Chrome Body Only1776195
R4 Black Body Only1608706
Leica R Lenses
DescriptionSerial Number
75-200mm F4.5 R 3cam2896362
2x Extender R3326677
2x Extender R3143272
Leica Q Series
DescriptionSerial Number
Q (Typ 116) - Black4932761
Leica SL Series
DescriptionSerial Number
SL Typ 601 Body Only4967157
SL Typ 601 Body Only4993497
Leica V-Lux Series
DescriptionSerial Number
Vlux 13138988
Vlux - (Typ 114)4860734
Leica T Series
DescriptionSerial Number
TL2 Silver Body 5226072
TL Silver Body Only 5161802 / PA013849
T Black Body Only + PXC T to M Adapter 4815918 / 4266109
T Black Body Only 4821452
T Silver Body Only4818007
T Black Body Only 4817778
T Silver Body Only4812671
T Silver + 18-56mm Asph + Visoflex4817415 / 4350298 / PA013854 / 18811
T Silver Body Only (Typ701)4821089
55-135mm F3.5-5.6 APO-VArio-Elmar-T 4469344
60mm F2.8 Asph(Silver) Apo Macro TL + Hood 4629185
Leica Screw Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
IIIG Olive Green Body Only956062
IIF R/Dial Chrome Body809119
IIIF R/Dial D/A + 50mm F3.5 Red Scale667839 / 1243798
IF Red Scale + 50mm F3.5 Red Scale576302 / 1003317
IF Black Dial + 50mm F3.5807822 / 709025
IIIB Chrome + 50mm F2323656 /214313
IIIC Chrome Body504790
III Chrome + 50mm F3.5216962 / 305349
Standard + 50mm F3.565721
Model 1 C + 50mm F3.542808
Leica Screw Lenses
DescriptionSerial Number
28mm F5.6 Summaron1557352
35mm F2.8 Summaron19306022
50mm F2 Collapsible1303973
50mm F2.8 Elmar1494986
50mm F2.8 Elmar1551423
85mm F2 6401994
135mm F4.5 Hektor1737254
Leica M Digital Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
M-P Chrome Body Only4906950
M (240) Black Body Only4808492
M (240) Black Body Only4889524
M (240) Black Body Only4800917
M (240) Black Body Only4801374
M (240) Black Body Only4699675
M (240) Black Body Only4444688
M (240) Black Body Only4823957
M (240) Black Body Only4786077
M (240) Black Body Only4852022
M (240) Chrome Body Only4699650
M (240) Chrome Body Only4788004
M (240) Chrome Body Only4787257
M9 Black Body Only3973678
Leica M Film Cameras
DescriptionSerial Number
M7 0.72x Chrome Body Only2777880
M7 0.72x Chrome Body Only3999551
M4 M Black Body Only1206858
M4 Chrome Body Only1188908
M4 Black Chrome Body Only1381876
M3 Chrome Body Only752537
M2 Black Paint Body Only976331
MDA Chrome Body Only1361020
CL Body Only1301127
CL + 40mm F21023781 / 2123896
Leica M Digital Lenses
DescriptionSerial Number
21mm F2.8 M Black + Finder3194834
21mm F2.8 M Black3425313
21mm F3.4 Chrome2055088
21mm F4 Chrome1672817
24mm F1.4 Asph M - Black4158882
24mm F2.8 Asph M Black3770009
24mm F2.8 Asph M Black3809641
24mm F3.8 Asph M Black4087819
24mm F3.8 Asph M Black4082166
28mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit4068297
28mm F2.8 M Black3038060
28mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit3900204
28mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit4007609
28mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit4191555
28mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit4068297
Tri Elmar 28/35/50mm Cutaway N/A
35mm F1.4 Black2392558
35mm F1.4 M Titianumn3601491
35mm F2 Asph M Black3888556
35mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit3865574
35mm F2 Asph M Black 6bit4210986
35mm F3.5 Chrome (M3)N/A
50mm F0.95 Asph M - Black4240749
50mm F1.1 Artisans 7651548
50mm F1.4 Asph M Black 6bit4132394
50mm F2.8 M Black3876484
50mm F2.8 Elmar1728954
50mm F2 Rigid Chrome1951149
50mm F2.5 M Black 6bit4051037
50mm F2.8 Elmar1591335
65mm F3.5 Elmar2068148
75mm F2.5 M Black 6bit + Hood4049065
75mm F2.4 M Black 6bit + Hood4309490
75mm F2.5 M Black 6bit + Hood4058073
90mm F2 Chrome1818755
90mm F2 Chrome1983754
90mm F2 Apo M Black 3923702
90mm F2.5 M Black 6bit4195275
90mm F2.8 Black2659101
90mm F2.8 M Black3711244
90mm F2.8 M Black3648550
90mm F2.8 M Black3803578
90mm F2.8 M Black3678222
90mm F2.8 Asph M Black 6bit3992920
90mm F2.8 Chrome1918017
90mm F2.8 Hexanon M Konica3121555
90mm F4 Elmar1712465
90mm F4 Chrome + OUAGO 1827197
90mm F4 C Elmar2574963
90mm F4 C Elmar2603256
90mm F4 C Elmar2641782
135mm F2.8 Black2325962
135mm F2.8 Black2289332
135mm F2.8 Black2621326
135mm F4.5 Chrome1414042
135mm F4 Black2106783
135mm F4 Black2046698
135mm F4 Black2083901
135mm F4 Black2653434
200mm F4.5 Telyt1503339
What’s In The Bag

What’s In The Bag

September 2018 – A return to FujiFilm, but with what…..???????!!!!!!!

Back to basics with the FujiFilm X-Pro 1.

From January 2018 I was using the following camera and lenses;

  • Sony A7R II
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 28mm f/2.8 MMJ
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f2.8 MMJ
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f1.4 MMJ
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f1.7 MMJ
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 85mm f2.8 MMJ
  • Contax Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm f2.8 MMJ

In effect I am using the full frame 42mp mirrorless Sony A7R II purely as a digital back with these superb old manual focus lenses from the 1970s, 80s & 90s via various lens adaptors.

Prior to the Sony A7R II I used the FujiFilm X-series system.

I have no regrets at all since changing my D(inosaur) SLR system for the FujiFilm X-series mirrorless cameras and lenses. The image quality is superb, the smaller and lighter equipment is much easier to carry and there are other huge advantages for the landscape photographer such as the electronic viewfinder (EVF), focus peaking and depth of field scale in the EVF. Compared to the X-E1, the newer X-T1 has a much better viewfinder, and now improved autofocus system, but the old ‘XE’ is still an excellent walkabout camera and importantly has the same sensor resolution for consistent image file sizes. The original X-Trans sensor in the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 does however produce a much nicer more ‘organic’ looking JPEG than the over-sharpened files from the X-T1 and X-E2.

The Samyang 12mm lens is optically very good, very cheap and also the fast maximum aperture makes it ideal for night sky and astro photography as does the lack of coma.  Sadly the Fujinon 10-24 is too slow for this with a maximum aperture of f4 but it does render delicious sunstars from the 7 bladed aperture with minimal flare, it is however my least favourite lens as it is too big and very heavily weighted to the front making it unwieldy on FujiFilm X series cameras without the battery grip, the 72mm filter ring is also a real pain in the ‘derriere’, it is VERY easy to cross-thread! There is also a major design fault with this lens, at certain zoom lengths there is a gap between the front element and the surround meaning that sand and dust can just blow straight inside! It also proved to be very weak when my tripod blew over on a cliff top in West Cornwall onto soft grass and the lens literally broke in half! I never replaced it, although this lens made great images I was never happy with the handling. The Fuji 18-55 is way more than a cheap kit lens and gives superb quality images throughout the zoom range, albeit rather soft in the corners at the 55mm end. The similarly inexpensive (compared to SLR lenses) 55-200 is no superfast action lens but is a more than capable optic for intimate landscapes and a very versatile lens to have in the bag, read all about it here.

I considered a travel tripod when I ‘downsized’ to the Fuji X-series system but I have yet to see one that is either tall or sturdy enough for regular coastal work, the Manfrotto MT294C3 is a good compromise between weight and rigidity, I also use an old Vanguard aluminium tripod in windy conditions.

My Heliopan 77mm circular polariser has seen a lot of action and has a lovely brassy patina now that a lot of the black paint has worn off, it is about the only item that I have carried over from my old SLR kit.

You will notice there are no neutral density graduated filters. I did use them initially with the FujiFilm X-series cameras but found that the 100mm hard grad filters were too soft for the APS-C size sensor on the X-T1 and X-E1 and also the Lee Seven5 filters do not cover the whole lens on the 10-24. The simple fact is that the Fuji X-series cameras do not blow the highlights out like a DSLR does and as long as the RAW file is correctly exposed (slightly to the right) there is easily enough information captured without the need for a graduated filter. On the very odd occasions when there is too much contrast to capture in a single file, sunrise or sunset usually when the sun is in the frame, I make 2 or 3 bracketed images 1 or 2 stops apart and blend these together using either Adobe Lightroom’s Photo Merge or manually in Photoshop.

In addition to the polariser I now carry just 3 screw in solid ND filters. Having broken 2 Lee Big Stoppers and a ProGlass ND filter (as well as the bank!) in the past I have abandoned slot in filters and the cumbersome holders that go with them, there is no worry about light leaks using screw in filters for long exposures and as with the rest of my system there is now less to carry and it is lighter too. I was initially sceptical about the Haida filters but after reading a number of reviews online I took the plunge and purchased the set of 3 PROII Slim 77mm screw in 3 stop, 6 stop and 10 stop filters for less than a single Big or Little Stopper. They are made using Schott glass and have very slim aluminium frames meaning that I can stack 2 filters even at 10mm on the 10-24 without vignetting, so in effect I have the option of 3 stop, 6 stop, 9 stop, 10 stop, 13 stop and 16 stop filters from just 3! There is also virtually no colour cast, even when stacked, so I thoroughly recommend these Haida ND filters.

The set of step up rings, 58-77mm, 62-77mm, 67-77mm and 72-77mm means I only have to carry one set of filters and also the large 77mm diameter minimises the chances of any vignetting, often I stack the polariser as well as 2 solid NDs.

My iPhone SE does a great job as a sun position calculator, a tide table, a light meter, a weather station, a map, a navigation device, a torch, a night sky viewer, a camera, an image processor (Snapseed and Hipstamatic)….oh and a telephone as well…

 

 

Luskentyre

Luskentyre

Luskentyre beach on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides.

(Sony A7RII, Carl Zeiss T* 50mm f/1.7 Planar)

Isle of Skye Half Marathon

Isle of Skye Half Marathon

For the first time in its 35 year history the Isle of Skye Half Marathon benefitted from full road closures, so the runners were not having to battle against traffic as well as the clock.

Cameron Milne was the winner with a record time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 10 seconds while the First Lady home was Ellie Buchan crossing the finish line in 1 hour 27 minutes and 30 seconds.

Here is a small selection of images, all made with a Sony A7R II camera and a Contax Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 Planar lens.

When in Rome…..

When in Rome…..

No visit to Elgol is complete without a walk round to the JCB (Joe Cornish Boulder) made famous as the front cover image of 'First Light', Joe's 2002 landscape photography 'bible'. (Sony A7R II, Canon nFD 24mm f/2.8)

No visit to Elgol is complete without a walk round to the JCB (Joe Cornish Boulder) made famous as the front cover image of ‘First Light’, Joe’s 2002 landscape photography ‘bible’.

(Sony A7R II, Canon nFD 24mm f/2.8)