Stephen Studd Photography

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Photographing sunrises, be in place early.

There is a time between night and actual sunrise that is really magical in photography. This time of day is my favourite, it has a unique light and colour and is generally still and quiet. You also get to witness the sky lottery; what colours are going to be produced, how long will it last, is it going to completely cloud over, which quite often happens. When the conditions all come together a joy fills the heart and you know instinctively that you have the photograph you came for.

digital travel photography holidays tours to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Marrakech and Gower Wales hosted by Stephen Studd photographer myanmar hosted by Stephen Studd

Angkor Wat, before sunrise. Manfrotto tripod and head: Canon 6D, Canon 24-70mm lens: ISO 400 – 30 sec @f8 – 0.3ND soft grad filter

You will need a torch to get you to your location pre sunrise, it also helps you with setting your camera dials in low level light conditions. For the photograph above, the scene was really dark to the eye. I set my camera up on my tripod and used a remote release for mirror lock as exposures can be long and you don`t want camera shake. I took a test shot at an extremely high ISO to see whether I had focussed correctly with manual focus. If you use autofocus it is best to move it to manual focus as cameras find it hard to focus in very low light conditions. Once I knew the camera was focused I locked the focus and set my ISO to 400, which still gave a 30 second exposure at f8. I always photograph on manual mode and as the light changes quickly from near dark to sunrise don’t forget to keep adjusting your camera settings. I always have my camera set to RAW for high quality images. I used a 0.3ND soft grad filter to balance the sky with the foreground. I could of used a 0.6ND but wanted the water to be slightly darker than the sky.

Depending on where you are photographing on the planet determines the length of time before first light and sunrise, in the tropics you generally only have about half an hour pre-sunrise.

When it starts to get much lighter, be ready for the actual sunrise, which will give you a whole new feel to your scene. As you can see between the two photo’s the cloud had completely disappeared in the photograph below, which was taken 45 minutes after the photograph above. I had waited for the sun to rise to give me another saleable image from the same morning. Both images have been published in several travel magazines and books.

For the shot below, in my last blog post ‘How to Shoot into the Sun’, it explains how to achieve this effect in your photographs

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, photo tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, sunrise: Manfrotto tripod and head; Canon 6D, Canon 24-70mm lens:              ISO 100, f16 @ 1/500

Get out and enjoy this spectacular time of day, it stills the mind and fills the soul with joy!


I run photography holidays and tours to Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and in the Gower, Wales, please visit the website for full itineraries and information: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Newsletter subscribers receive special offers throughout the year on my travel photography holidays and landscape photography workshops, you can subscribe here

‘May the light be with you’



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How to shoot into the sun

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Angkor Wat sunrise

This can be tough to get right, but I’ve found that the latest camera sensors seem to be dealing with this difficult lighting situation really well. Experiment with your camera to see how it copes and create beautiful dreamy images.

I am using this technique in both my travel and garden photography and clients do love the feel.

Here are a few tips for shooting into the sun.

Keep your lens clean.

Dust, grease and scratches increase the risk of getting distracting flare. If you have a lens protecting filter on, take it off as sunlight can bounce in between the filter and the lens.

Use manual mode.

Choose the ISO you want, shoot in RAW and manual focus. Choosing your own aperture and shutter speed gives you the desired control over the effect you are after. Underexposing the image will give you dark silhouettes,

Intha leg rowing fisherman sunrise, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe, Nyaungshwe, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma), Asia

Intha leg rowing fisherman sunrise, Myanmar

while overexposing gives detail in the subject and a more dreamy feel.

Intha leg rowing fisherman sunrise, Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe, Nyaungshwe, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma), Asia

Intha leg rowing fisherman sunrise, Inle Lake, Myanmar

Tripods make life easier.

When shooting backlight with the camera on a tripod, it’s easier to move the camera angle to control any distracting flare.

digital travel photography holidays tours to Burma myanmar hosted by Stephen Studd, Bagan temples sunrise

Bagan sunrise, Myanmar

ND graduated filters.

These will help balance the exposure in your photograph. Remember to keep your filters clean.

Hide the sun behind an object.

Placing the sun behind an object gives you less chance of flare and can create a beautiful feel to your photograph.

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Thom Ta Prohm temple tree gro

Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm temple, Cambodia

Experiment.

One thing to take into consideration is that different camera models do act differently using this technique. Get to really know your camera model and what the sensor can deal with. Have fun and try out different apertures and lenses to see what effects they give. Once you’ve mastered the technique with a tripod you can use it in other styles of photography where a tripod can’t be used.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays vacations tours workshops to  Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Myanmar, Burma, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech Marrakesh hosted by Stephen Studd

Kep crab market, Cambodia

Finally be careful, don’t look into the sun for too long as it can damage your eyes.


My holidays & courses to Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Marrakech and the Gower, Wales can be found on my website http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Newsletter subscribers receive special offers throughout the year on my travel photography holiday and landscape photography workshops, you can subscribe here

‘May the light be with you’



Social Media:

Facebook:

DigitalPhotographyHolidays

stephenstuddphotography

Instagram: @stephenstuddphotography/

Twitter

@PhotographyHols

@StephensPhotos

Google +

+Digitalphotographyholidays

+Stephenstuddphotography

 


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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and Siem Reap, Best Travel Destinations 2015

Trip Advisor has just announced that Angkor Wat is the top Landmark in the world to visit, with Siem Reap voted 2nd best Destination in the world.

UPDATE: Lonely Planet has just voted Angkor Wat as the Best Travel Destination to go and see 2015.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Monks in front of Angkor Wat.

I have been photographing here since 1999 and it is truly a magical place, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The whole Angkor complex stretches some 400 km2, so there are always new places to discover.

Of all the different temples that make up the Angkor complex, Angkor Wat is the jewel in the lotus and also the most well preserved of them all.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Angkor Wat, sunrise

The stone carving here is some of the most exquisite of all the temples.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Apsara detail, Angkor Wat

Even though the place sees a large number of tourists each year, local life still goes on in and around Angkor Wat.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site young boy fishing in the moat of Angkor Wat sunset

Boy fishing at Angkor Wat

Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples and a town that has expanded over the years but never lost its charm.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Shrine on the banks of the river, Siem Reap

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site portrait of Cambodian Khmer old woman with traditional headscarf

There are now great places to eat and drink to suit all budgets in Siem Reap. I’m looking forward to heading back again this November. There are places available on the photography holiday if you want to improve your photography skills. Because of my extensive knowledge of the area I get you to the best places for the best light.

My photography holidays here also support some NGO’s helping street kids, the rural poor, people with disabilities and also a nature conservation project.


Details of the travel photography holiday I run to Angkor Wat can be found on my website: http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


You can follow my journey over the years of photographing at the Angkor Wat temples on the Manfrotto website: http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com


Keep in touch:

Websites:

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com


Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/stephenstuddphotography

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www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

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https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


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Behind the photo: Portrait of Khmer woman, Cambodia

South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site portrait of Cambodian Khmer old woman with traditional headscarf digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd

Cambodia is one of my favourite places for travel photography. On a recent trip there I wanted to photograph the sugar palm village which is on the way to Banteay Srei temple, part of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

The sugar palm tree (Borassus flabellifer) is the national tree of Cambodia and has over 800 uses. The root of the tree is used in traditional herbal medicine, the hard heavy wood is used for house building and for furniture making, the palm fronds are used for thatching roofs, making mats, baskets, hats and fans and also weaved to make the walls in traditional Cambodian homes and the fruit is used to make, palm water, syrup and sugar., which has a very low glycemic index.

The sugar palm village is always a hive of activity with bubbling vats of palm sugar steaming away. I was wandering around the village greeting people in the Khmer language, when I came across this lady. She spoke back to me in Khmer and I replied back, much to her amusement. She called out all her family and got me to speak to them. They all found it funny that I even bothered to speak their language, they spoke no English. I was invited to their house to drink the sugar palm water with them, which is highly prized. It had a lovely sweet and very earthy taste.

I was just about to ask if I could take some photos, when the lady had already pointed at my camera and stood up, I always find it amazing that thought always seems to have no language barriers. I took some photos of her and when she looked at them on the back of the camera gave me the seal of approval.

It is these chance encounters that really make me buzz when I am on a travel photography assignment as I love meeting the people of the country. Over many years of travelling to Cambodia I have learned some words and phrases and they always break the ice when meeting people, this is the same when travelling to any country.

I was pleased with the portrait and decided to convert the photograph to black & white in Lightroom and then split toned the image, which is a favoured technique of mine for black & white photography. I used my favourite Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens, at 70mm – aperture f6.8 – shutter speed 1/80th sec at ISO 500 as the light level was quite low.


I host small group travel photography holidays and tours to Cambodia, Burma, Marrakech and Venice, further details can be found on my website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


 


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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, A Journey, part 2, The Power of Nature

267-2-2-2

Part 2 of my travel photography blog has just been published on the Manfrotto Imagine More website. This week is all about the power of nature.
Angkor Wat Cambodia Ta Prohm Temple

You can follow the journey each Friday in March: http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com/2014/03/14/angkor-wat-cambodia-journey/

Thanks for popping by.


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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, A Journey, travel photography blog

My travel photography blog has just been published on the Manfrotto Imagine More website. It is a 4 part series, following my journey to the temples of Angkor Wat. I first visited them in 1999 when some of the temples were still heavily land mined. This weeks blog looks at these early years pre- digital photography and when I was photographing for an exhibition, giving some of the proceeds of sales of prints and cards to land mine clearance.

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd 2014 2015

You can follow the journey here on the Manfrotto website each Friday in March:

http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com/2014/03/07/angkor-wat-cambodia-journey/

Part 2 next week is the “Power of Nature”, thanks for visiting.


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Memories: pop up photography exhibition

Sorry, the pop up photography exhibition is now closed. A big thanks to the thousands who visited.