My D800 photographic exhibition

I have had my Nikon D800 for 1 year now.

This anniversary of getting my D800 falls quite nicely with my 1st photographic exhibition that features photos taken with the camera over the last year.  The exhibition will showcase images from the Peak District and surrounding area.  I have printed the photos on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Paper and some are enlarged to 65cm wide showing the true potential of the large megapixel sensor on the Nikon D800.  Most of the photos are taken with two lenses;

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Lens

and

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Lens

I would say that 70% of the images are using the 24-70mm lens (at the 24mm end).  For the wider shots the 16-35mm Nikkor is awesome.  I really struggled with the decision over that and the 14-24mm Nikkor but decided on the 16-35mm as I wanted to use my Lee filters.  I am really pleased with my decision on this and have never thought I need the extra 2mm or that any of the images are soft.

Winter Sunrise, Nr, RainowWinter Sunrise, Nr Rainow –  Nikon D800 and Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8 VR.  F/9 1/60s ISO 100 (48mm)

Landscape Photographic Exhibition in the Peak District

Details of the Nikon D800 exhibition of photos in the Peak District can be found here >>

Here are some of the stats from the last year.

    • 16,000 images taken
    • 400 GB of storage required (95% of the images were taken at full res in RAW)
    • Average of around 25Mb per image

Storm clouds over hutStorm clouds over hut, Goyt Valley
Nikon D800 and Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 VR.  F/8 1/400s ISO 400 (70mm)

A couple of the tools that I have found really useful with the Nikon D800.

MB-D12 for Nikon D800 – the official Nikon grip and battery holder is really expensive.  This replacement is a 1/3 of the price and does exactly the same job.

Battery Grip Holder Pack Replace MB-D12 for Nikon D800 D800E Camera EL15

Lightroom 4.3 – I have moved from Aperture to Lightroom 4.3 and found that I now on rarely use photoshop.  80% of the images that I edited and printed for my up coming exhibition were created in Lightroom.  I would encourage anybody to use Lightroom as it is a great way of categorising your photos.

Details of the Nikon D800 exhibition of photos in the Peak District can be found here >>

Amazing views from Bosley Cloud

The Cloud or Bosley Cloud is described by Wikipedia as a prominent hill which lies on the border between Cheshire and Staffordshire a couple of miles to the west of the Peak district national park boundary.  The hill was shaped in the ice age by the passage of ice.

In the past I have walked up it many times with my kids but never done much photography up there.  Getting to the top is really simple though and it can be accessed easily on the North East side from Red lane.  The images below are a couple of the shots I have taken over the last few weeks on a number of visits.

Bosley_cloud

Sunrise over “The Cloud” – Nikon D800 and Nikkor 24-70mm F22  1/60s ISO 160 (70mm)

Bosley Cloud itself is difficult to photograph and I have tried lots of different angles but not really found an image that works.  The above image was a grab online casino shot taken recently from the A34 on the way to work and shows the geographical contours of The Cloud.

After a casino online couple of visits at both sunrise and sunset I decided that the morning light created the best compositional opportunities.

Golden Light - Bosley Cloud

Golden light, Bosley Cloud – Nikon D800 and Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8  F/9 1/60s ISO 100 (48mm)

Morning rays - Bosley Cloud

Morning rays, Bosley Cloud –  Nikon D800 and Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 VR.  F/9 1/200s ISO 100 (130mm)

Another amazing morning mist in the peaks. The rays of light were stunning – it was a shame I couldn”t have spent more time up here.  Often landscape photographers forget about isolating areas of the image with a long lens.  In misty conditions like “morning rays” above this can be really effective.  In rays in this photo weren”t as obvious in the wider image and even by the naked eye but are accentuated in the tight crop 130mm focal length gives.

These and many other images of the peak district and surrounding areas can be seen at my exhibition next year at Bollington Arts Centre entitled Peak Discovery.

Kinder walk and a sunrise

I have been planning a sunrise / sunset trip to the Peaks for some while now.  I don’t get a lot of spare time so decided to have a Monday off work and set off early to Edale and take in Mam Tor on the way for Sunrise and then do a reasonable walk on Kinder – finishing with the sunset over the Cheshire plain and over Bosley Cloud.

Mam Tor is a fantastic place to shoot the sunrise or sunset as it is easily reached from the road into Edale.  It is a short 10 min walk to the top.

I arrived at the top in almost complete darkness and found a good vantage point for what was to prove the best photo I took all day.  I now find that I use the Tokina 11 – 16mm lens more than any other and if you are careful you can get some stunning results with it.

Sunrise from Mam Tor

Sunrise from Mam Tor

I then parked in Upper Booth and set off up Kinder via Crowden Clough.  This is a steep route up Kinder and more of a scramble up a river bed than a well marked path.  The clouds were very low though – so no luck with any great photos.  I did take a few videos on my iPhone which I thought I would share

Kinder route map

Walked from Upper Booth over Kinder Scout and back down Jacob”s ladder (8 miles)

At the top you really need to be careful and try and follow the river bed – if you go off track (as you can see I did from following my track above in the map) if is easy to be knee deep in peat!

At Kinder Low the views are impressive as are the rock formations – definitely one to come back to at sunrise!

 

Edale Valley at sunrise
Edale valley

 

Cornwall Coast

I have just returned from my family summer holiday to Cornwall.  This year I actually pushed myself to get out in the evening and explore the coast between Lands End and Cape Cornwall.  We were staying near Sennen Cove (a magnificent beach and great for Surfing).

I decided to try out my new Tokina 10-17mm f3.5-f4.5 AT-X lens.  I also have a Nikon 17-55 f2.8 lens which is great but when shooting landscapes I often wanted the extra wide angle the Tokina gives.  So I left the Nikon at home so I would be forced to use the Tokina.


Lands End RSPB lookout (Nr Sennen Cove, Cornwall)

The image above shows the advantage of using the 11mm lens.  However, you do need to be careful with verticals – such as the ones on this lookout.

Heather at Lands End, Cornwall

I had walked over the path between Sennen Cove and Lands End the day before with my family and seen the potential in the vibrantly coloured heather.  It wasn”t an easy shoot to get though as I needed the golden light on the heather, background interest, control the dynamic range left to right on the Lee filters. The 11mm lens allowed me to get great foreground detail.

Crabbing at Sennen Cove, Cornwall

In Sennen Cove I had noticed that the sunset created a great opportunity for some silhouette images.  I didn”t manage to get the shot I was after but the above is the best of the bunch.  If the guy that is crabbing was the other way around that would have been perfect.  This images was taken with a 70-200mm F2.8 Nikon VR lens mounted on a tripod.

I did find the 11mm end of the Tokina lens very very good.  Care needs to be taken with verticals and the horizon as it does create convergence, however it is sharp and produces some crisp images.  One problem I did find was the Lee Polarising filter I have can be seen at the widest end of the lens.  I got round this by using a direct lens mounted filter to polarise the light.

The area between Cape Cornwall and Lands End is amazing – I only wish I could have spend more time there!