Stephen Studd Photography

Travel Gardens Plants


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Photographing pre-sunrise & post sunset

It always amazes me when on travel and landscape photography shoots how people react to photographing a sunrise or sunset. At popular locations near these times the place can be really busy with excitable people. The main event happens and as soon as the last slither of the sun sets or first slither of the sun rising, the place becomes quiet and deserted as most people will have left rather quickly.

The after show is where the party is at for me. Once the sun has set, wait and watch the skies and the bounced around atmospheric light play on the landscape. A stillness seems to reappear that hasn`t been felt since dawn. This twilight can last for a while so patience is needed, a good tripod as exposures will be long and it is important to move your camera to manual focus.

Germany, Fussen, Alps reflected in Lake Forggensee, dawn

The shot above was taken about half an hour after sunset in Germany with the Alps in the background at pretty much my default  ISO of 100, when using my tripod.  Aperture in this case was f11 with exposure @4 seconds and lens 35mm. I also used a 0.3 ND grad filter to bring the sky and lake together exposure wise. (In this case a 0.3 as sky and foreground were pretty well matched as the sun had set half an hour earlier)

There is also a pre-show event the time between night and sunrise. This one usually has far less attendees and has its own light and colours in the sky and play on the landscape and is generally much stiller and quieter.

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

Myanmar (Burma): Bagan – sunrise  ISO 100  f20 @ 16sec  ND 0.6 (2 stop) graduated filter

Both need the same equipment and patience to photograph but they are equally a joy to photograph (though on cold mornings the pre-sunrise shoot can be tough to get up for!) The main pleasure at these times of day for me is in the sky lottery, what colours are going to be produced? how long will it last? is it going to completely cloud over? When the conditions all come together a joy fills the heart and you know instinctively that you have the shot and walk away with a spring in your step.

You will need a torch, to get you to your location pre sunrise or away post sunset, it also helps you with your camera dials in low level light conditions. A tripod and shutter release cable are needed and I always use mirror lock on my camera as exposures can be long and you don’t want camera shake. I use the cameras spirit level which helps me get those horizons straight. If you do use autofocus, move it to manual, as autofocus struggles to work in the darker conditions, I always shoot in RAW mode too.

Depending on where you are photographing on the planet determines the length of the after or pre show party. In the tropics you generally only get a maximum of half an hour pre sunrise or after sunset. The point from basically photographing in the dark as the shot below to sunrise daylight happens in about 15 minutes, so you have to be ready and quick to react to the fast changing light.

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

Cambodia: Angkor Wat sunrise. ISO 100 – f8 @ 30sec

I’m often asked whether I prefer sunrises or sunsets, I much prefer sunrises as the lazy photographers are not out of bed and it is always stiller, calmer, more peaceful and accompanied by the sound of birds waking up and filling the air with song. Which do you prefer?

Go out and enjoy these spectacular times of day, you will usually have them to yourself, they still the mind and fill the soul with joy.


I run travel and landscape photography holidays and tours in Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and the USA.

I also run landscape photography workshops and weekends in the Gower, Wales and Bluebell woods photography workshops in Gloucestershire, 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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Marrakech, Morocco Best Travel Destination 2015

Travellers Choice on Trip Advisor has voted Marrakech the top destination in the world to visit .

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd

Marrakech, Jemaa el Fna sunset

It is easy to see why, just 3 hours flight from the UK and you are transported to a city that for me, as a travel and garden photographer, has such a rich tapestry to photograph. No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to the main Jemaa el Fna square, a cocophony of noise from snake charmers to drummers with the smell of spices and food being cooked for locals and visitors from far and wide.

One of my favourite street food stalls in Jemaa el Fna is Chez Hassan, number 32. You can’t miss it, just look for the one creating the most steam and smoke as the best Merguez sausages in town sizzle on the griddle, be patient as it’s hard to get a seat as this is a firm favourite with the locals.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd

Chez Hassan, number 32

Of course there is much more to Marrakech than the main square. The nearby Koutoubia mosque dominates the skyline and is a favourite location of mine for photography.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Koutoubia mosque

Woman walking in front of the Koutoubia mosque

The souks and narrow winding alleyways of the old Medina always come up with travel photography gems. Getting to find your way around can be very tricky, fortunately after photographing here over the years I know my way around the maze like labyrinthian narrow streets.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd medina

Man with donkey cart, old Medina, Marrakech

There are so many great backdrops for photographs in the old Medina. I am always on the lookout for a good background for a photograph. One of the skills of travel photography is to observe the movement of people in a particular location and see when the best light hits the scene. Once you have found a location with good light and movement of people, a trick I employ is to frame my scene with the camera on a tripod with a remote shutter release. When a person comes through the scene I’ve framed they don’t have the same reaction as if I had the camera up to my eye. I tend to even look away when they appear as if I’m not even taking a photograph, it’s a trick that works for me, resulting in natural looking images with people.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd cyclist medina

Cyclist in the old quarter of Marrakech

In the old Medina I love the crumbling coloured walls, there always seems to be a good prop set against them.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd bicycle medina

Bicycle, Medina

The Medina is home to many artisans located in their own areas. The tannery district is only for those that can bear the stench, but a fascinating place to photograph.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd tannery district

Tannery district

Other favourite areas are the wool dyers district.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd wool dyers district

Wool dyers district

and the metal work district.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd metal workers district

Metal workers district

If you are in this area be sure to check out the Museum of Photography to see some amazing photography from Morocco spanning a number of decades. The place also has a great rooftop café with views over the sprawling city and Atlas mountains.

A great escape from the hustle and bustle of the old Medina is to go and visit the iconic Jardin Majorelle, a feast for the lens with its cobalt blue walls, colourful containers and collections of cacti and bamboos. The garden was restored by Yves Saint Laurent and there is a memorial to him in the garden.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle – Yves Saint Laurent garden

Spend some time here, there is plenty to photograph, you can also get one of the best Moroccan breakfasts in Marrakech in the courtyard garden.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle, ‘Kalanchoe Beharensis’

Be sure to look out for those hidden corners too.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle

If you want to escape the city altogether the Atlas mountains are only a short distance away with its Berber villages and slower pace of life.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Atlas mountains

Atlas mountains

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Atlas mountains

Atlas mountains

Back in Marrakech there are numerous souks to get lost in, my favourite is the spices souk.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd spices souk

Spices souk

It’s worth while weaving your way around the maze like souk to see what you stumble upon.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd souk

Marrakech Souk

I love exploring the quieter areas off the beaten track, you just never know what you are going to encounter around each corner.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd man with fez hat

Marrakech man in traditional djellaba and fez hat

Other places of interest for photography are the various Palaces and the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a favourite place with my guests on the travel photography city break I run there each year.

North Africa, Morocco, Marrakech, Marrakesh, Digital photography holidays and tours to Morocco, Marrakech Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa

An alluring appeal that keeps me coming back to Marrakech is the light and the African sunsets you get there. Perch yourself on one of the numerous cafes in the main square, get yourself a Moroccan mint tea and a tajine, watch the place come alive as the sun sets, and enjoy the feast for all the senses. Yes the billowing smoke you can see in the shot below is coming from Chez Hassan.

Jemaa el Fna and Koutoubia mosque, sunset

Jemaa el Fna and Koutoubia mosque, sunset

You can join me on a 5 day travel photography city break to Marrakech in September 2016, with an optional photography excursion up in to the Atlas mountains where we have a traditional Berber lunch on my Berber friend CoCo’s roof terrace.

Full details can be found on my travel photography holidays website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

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


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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/stephenstuddphotography/

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google +

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

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

 

 


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Travel photography holidays

This month my travel photography holidays have been featured in Practical Photography magazines Holidays & Courses Directory. It was great to see the portrait of the Hmong girl from Vietnam on the front cover.

Digital photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales 2015 and 2016 hosted by Stephen Studd

The travel photography holidays that I host to Burma, Vietnam, Angkor Wat Cambodia and Marrakech were in the directory.

Stephen Studd hosting Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales 2015 and 2016

Also my UK landscape and flower photography workshops.

Stephen Studd hosting Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops to Myanmar, (Burma), Cambodia Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Morocco Marrakech and the Gower, Wales in 2015 and 2016

I also run private 1:1 photography workshops throughout the year, both in the UK and abroad.

The first of my UK workshops starts in April and May 2016 with the Bluebell Woods in the Forest of Dean.

Bluebells flower photography workshop digital photography holidays tours workshops holidays vacations

This is one of my favourite times of year when the beech woods come alive with carpets of bluebells.

I hope everyone gets time to go out with their cameras and capture the beauty of our planet wherever you are.

NEW DATES FOR APRIL AND MAY 2016 are on the website:

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

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google +

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

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

 

 

 


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Photography tours & holidays to Burma, Cambodia, Marrakech.

I am running travel photography tours and holidays to some of my favourite places in the world for photography.

Book now to ensure your place, there is no single person supplement.

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia

U Bein bridge, Burma

Full itinerary for the Burma photography tour click here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/516995

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia  South East Asia

Angkor Wat, sunrise

Full itinerary for the Cambodia photography holiday click here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/388262

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia  South East Asia

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech

The Marrakech photography city break itinerary can be found here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/559913

We welcome non-photographer partners on all our holidays and city breaks, each location we go to there is a special package for them.

I look forward to welcoming you on one of my Digital Photography Holidays.

 

 


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Waterscapes

I was recently asked to guest co-host a chat on Twitter and to suggest a theme.. Each Monday at 3pm EST- 8pm UK time #travelpics is a hashtag used to chat and share travel photographs. It was founded by Kathryn a travel photo journalist with the Twitter name of @AntiTourist and also @travelpicsCHAT The community is building with a diverse range of people who all share the same passion for travel and photography.

I decided on the theme for my co-hosting to be “Waterscapes” as we live on a planet where 71% of the Earth`s surface is covered with salt water from the oceans and all the water on Earth is made up of 97.5% sea water with the remaining 2.5% being freshwater lakes, rivers and water locked up in ice as glaciers and the polar ice caps (almost 69% of the freshwater on Earth is ice).

Earth from space; image courtesy of NASA

Earth from space; image courtesy of NASA

I chose the theme waterscapes as water is one of my favourite subjects to photograph as it comes in so many different forms.

Champagne pool New Zealand

Champagne pool New Zealand

Hot water new zealand

Switzerland the Matterhorn covered in snow

Switzerland the Matterhorn covered in snow

Water makes for great reflection shots on still days.

Chateau de Chenonceau France

Chateau de Chenonceau France

Germany, Fussen, Alps reflected in Lake Forggensee, dawn

Germany, Fussen, Alps reflected in Lake Forggensee, dawn

Water photographed with slow exposures adds a magical feel.

Wales, Powys, Brecon Beacons, Waterfall

Wales, Powys, Brecon Beacons, Waterfall

I was once commissioned to take aerial photographs of an island in the Maldives, which entailed me hanging out of the open door sat on the rail attached by a rope. Well worth the adrenalin rush to see the islands from the air.

Maldives aerial shot

Maldives aerial shot

Maldives aerial shot

Earlier this year I spent a month photographing in Myanmar (Burma) where the iconic U Bein Bridge spans 1.2 km across Taungthaman Lake.

Myanmar (Burma) Mandalay sunrise U Bein Bridge

Myanmar (Burma) Mandalay sunrise U Bein Bridge

The lake itself had fantastic photo opportunities with this shot of the boat crossing the lake before sunrise being one of my favourites.

Burma Myanmar U Bein Bridge Lake water people on boat

Boat on Lake Taungthaman

Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar and has an estimated surface area of 45 square miles (116km squared). I fell in love with this place as it had a cooler climate than the other places I had photographed and was also a photographers dream as it was so unique with the leg rowing fisherman of the lake.

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma) fisherman with girl on boat

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma) fisherman with girl on boat

Burma Myanmar Lake Inle Fisherman Sunrise

Burma, (Myanmar) Lake Inle fisherman sunrise

This one of my favourite shots from the trip.

Burma (Myanmar) lake inle fisherman

Burma (Myanmar) Lake Inle fisherman

I am looking forward to taking my photographer guests on the lake in November when I host my Digital Photography Holidays

The subject of waterscapes proved a very popular Twitter topic as it had a record number of #travelpics tweets and trended for  a number of hours which is no surprise as we live on such a watery planet and over 50% of our body is made up of water.

The chat was great fun and there was some fantastic photography shared. Thanks to @AntiTourist for inviting me and to co-hosts  @wheretogoAM, @AVacationADay, @poonamparihar, and @Sihpromatum.

I can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos and my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I host travel photography holidays to some of my favourite locations, further details can be found here; http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

“May the light be with you”


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Easy steps to photograp into the sun

My camera is always set on manual mode, if your camera is on auto and you photograph into the sun you will most likely get underexposed images.

When shooting into the sun your meter will underexpose the scene (the histogram will be way too far to the left). Photographing into the sun is a great way for you to learn to take control of your camera.

If you are after a warm glow around the sun then photographing at sunrise or sunset are the best times to achieve this.

Digital photography holidays Myanmar, Bagan,  temple at dawn, silhouette

Myanmar, Bagan, silhouetted temples at sunrise

Set the aperture you are after and meter for the scene without the sun in the frame as a starting point. Keep this meter reading then shoot with the sun in the shot and see how this looks.

For the shot above of the temples of Bagan in Myanmar I wanted to leave some detail in the silhouetted temples whilst giving a very warm feel to the image. You can try different exposures using the exposure compensation dial to see how the different exposures will look. The camera was mounted on my tripod and I focussed the scene manually, then avoided looking directly through the eyepiece to save my eyes from any damage. Between shots I put the lens cap on too.  To avoid flare it is best to remove any lens protection filters you might have on your lens.

If you are after a bright burnt out sun with blue sky then shooting around mid day can ahieve this, though this one is much harder on the eyes, so be careful. The shot below of the Allium Purple Sensation against the sun I wanted to convey the feeling of nature bursting into life with the power of the sun in summer. For this the sun had to be overhead with me lying on the ground. This shot was harder to achieve as I was hand holding and having to focus on the allium and meter.

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun

Allium Purple Sensation against the sun
f11 1/400th sec @70mm 100 ISO

The backlit flower against the sun shows off its shape and form and the colour of the petals is accentuated. In this shot the sun is more burnt out and there is flare which adds to the feel of the power of the beating sun.

When taking these type of shots please be careful of your eyes, you don`t want to damage them.

I am leading travel photography holidays and tours in 2016 and 2017 to Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam and Cambodia. Details can be found on the Digital Photography Holidays website; http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


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Photo Tip Friday; keep an eye on frame counter & battery

After a Friday off last week back again with Photo Tip Friday.

If you are planning on photographing a sequence or you anticipate that light will be changing really fast, keep an eye on your camera frame count & battery monitor. If the memory card only has a few frames left, replace it. Same with the battery if it`s getting low change it.
It`s at these times when you will be working fast that you really don`t want to waste time changing memory cards or batteries and kicking yourself later for the shots that got away.