Stephen Studd Photography

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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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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:

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


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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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Travel photography tours and holidays to Burma, Cambodia, Marrakech & Venice.

Join me on a photography holiday to awe inspiring locations that I have a great working knowledge of, getting you to the best locations at the best time of day for stunning photographs.

The photographs on this blog are from last years photography holiday guests.

Burma I call photographers gold at the moment, a country that is starting to open up to the outside world after years of isolation. My photography tour to the Golden Land is unique as I have secured permits to travel overland between Mandalay and Lake Inle in the Shan State, a truly memorable experience as we travel through different landscapes on the way and getting to places tourism hasn’t hit.

Myanmar Burma Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops

We also travel by train from Bagan to Myingyan on a classic rail journey full of photo opportunities.

Stephen G Young Digital Myanmar Burma travel photography tours holidays vacations workshops 2014 2015

From Myingyan we take the ‘road to Mandalay’, made famous by Kipling.

Between Yangon and Bagan we fly as we also do between Lake Inle and Yangon. There is a full itinerary for the Burma photography tour on the website: http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

 

Cambodia is one of my favourite places for photography, a place I have been returning to since 1999, since then I have forged very strong friendships with local people and also NGO’s. This photography holiday is not just about photographing the magical temples it is also very much about the people too.

This photography holiday supports organisations that help street kids, disabled people and the rural poor, enabling them to receive education, training and skilled work.

Brian K Smethurst cambodia Phare circus siem reap Angkor Wat Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

On the photography holiday we spend a day with the floating village community on Tonle Sap lake, which helps to support their community handicrafts project and also the local nature reserve.

D Elder Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

At the time of year we visit the water level is 10 – 12 metres above ground level, exposing only the tree canopy above water.

Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

Last years guests in the tree canopy above the swollen Tonle Sap lake. Photo: P Lawson photography.

Release your Indiana Jones as we explore and photograph the magical temples at the best times of day for the best light, beating the crowds, literally having the temples to ourselves for an hour or more every morning.

Angkor Wat Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

Further details and full itinerary can be found on the website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Marrakech & Venice photography city break.

I have had the pleasure of photographing in both Marrakech and Venice many times over the last twenty years, this year for the first time I will be leading photography tours to these destinations. Join me as we explore these great short haul destinations for photography.

Moroccan man Souk Soukh Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco Digital travel photography holidays vacations workshops tours to Marrakech Morocco 2014 2015

Full details can be found at www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I look forward to welcoming you on one of my Digital Photography Holidays, “may the light be with you”.


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IGPOTY awards 2014 “behind the photos”

The International Garden Photographer of the Year awards have just been announced.

‘Sarracenia Flava’: Finalist, Macro Art

Sarracenia Flava all green form pitcher plant IGPOTY monochrome photography by Stephen Studd

For the shot I wanted to give the plant an air of mystery and a fine art feel. I decided to minimise the depth of field and only focus on the nearest part of the plant to the lens. By doing this it would knock all the rest of the plant out of focus. The lighting was chosen to only have the highlight at the nearest point to the lens leaving the rest of the photo to fade into shadow, which gives the air of mystery.

Finally I converted the image to black and white and then split toned the colour in Lightroom.

The photograph was shot with a 180mm Canon macro lens, at f8 with 0.5sec shutter speed at 100 ISO.

‘Watering my allotment’: Commended, Plants & Water, photographed on my allotment Old Bisley Road, Stroud.

“Watering My Allotment” commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition photograph by Stephen Studd IGPOTY

The photograph  was first taken to illustrate a review I did for the Manfrotto Pixi tripod

I had pre-visualised the shot using the mini tripod as I thought it would be able to get to places I couldn`t, in amongst my bean, pumpkin and sweetcorn bed on the allotment. The summer of 2013 in the UK had been a particularly long and dry one and watering became a routine part of visits to the allotment in order to keep my plants alive.

I was after a shot that would convey the feeling of warmth, heat and watering. I chose an evening when the sun was low in the sky, placed the tripod amongst the veg and shot the photo into the sun for a more contemporary feel to the image.

With a cable release I tried a couple of test shots to get the exposure spot on (this can be tricky when shooting straight into the sun.) Then I watered the veg with my watering can, the result I was really pleased with, not only had the Pixi tripod held my very weighty Canon 1Ds Mark II but the streaks of bright backlit water added a beautiful pattern to the resulting image. The only problem I encountered was keeping the water off the camera, which was ironic after such a long hot dry summer.

Woman at the Market, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma): Highly Commended, Bountiful Earth

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

This image is one of my crossover images, in that I am a travel & garden photographer. I was away on a travel shoot in Burma, whilst also looking for great locations for the photography holidays I run there. Markets are always a great place to visit in any country, especially for travel photography. I had in my mind some of the different categories for IGPOTY and Bountiful Earth was an obvious one at this market in Mandalay. The woman with the bamboo hat, the colours of the scene and the big bags of shallots drew my attention. The market in Mandalay was full of fresh produce and a photographers dream, a place I visited over several days.

Canon EOS 1DS Mark II 70mm f6.3 1/160th sec, 100 ISO

I am a professional garden & travel photographer, my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run photography holidays & workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Twitter; https://twitter.com/StephensPhotos

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International Photography Awards 2013, Burma, Angkor Wat & Iris

The International Photography Awards 2013 have just been announced and I received an Honourable mention in 8 categories, which I am really pleased with as there were over 15,000 entries from around the world.

Some of you might have seen my Myanmar (Burma) photographs when they first appeared on the Manfrotto website.

Travel and Tourism category and Fine Art; Landscapes category “Temples of Bagan”

Having first visited Bagan eight years ago, on my return visit in April of this year I had already pre-visualised a series of black and white images of the temples. There are over 4,000 temples on the plains of Bagan and the whole area has an ethereal, timeless feeling and is one of my favourite places on the planet. For the series I converted my images to black & white, then split toned them in Lightroom. It was important to have the same tone in the series as I wanted them to work together. These 3 photographs were the ones I entered.

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black and white

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan”

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black & white

Myanmar (Burma) Temples of Bagan

Myanmar Burma Bagan temples sunrise black and white

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan”

Panoramic category “Temples of Bagan”

For this image I wanted to show a panoramic view from one of my favourite temples, from which you get an idea of what the stupa studded landscape looks like.

Myanmar (Burma) Bagan temples panoramic view

Myanmar (Burma) “Temples of Bagan” Panoramic

Culture Category “Stonemasons Burma”

In Mandalay there is an area of the city where images of Buddha are carved from rock. I spent a morning in this area photographing the many processes that are undergone to make the statues. The air was filled with rock dust and it was quite oppressive in the searing heat of April in Mandalay. The boy to the left has to stand there applying water to where the man is drilling. This photograph was just one from a whole series shot that morning.

Mandalay stonemasons quarter boy and young man carving Buddha statue Burma Myanmar

Stonemasons Burma

Fisherman Inle Lake

Lake Inle in the Shan State of Myanmar covers an area of 45 square miles (116 km2) and is at an altitude of 2900 feet, it is home to the leg rowing fisherman. It was my first visit to the lake and it came as a welcome relief to the heat of Mandalay in April as the air was much cooler. I was really taken by the beauty of the place and chartered a boat to take me out for a few days. On my first dawn outing the boat captain drove past this fisherman who was completely oblivious to us. The sun had just appeared over the hills which made for a great silhouette and some warmth after a chilly start. I often see photographs of the Inle Lake fisherman which are over posed, I liked the natural feeling to this shot.

Myanmar Burma Lake Inle sunrise leg rower rowing fisherman

“Lake Inle fisherman”

Travel & Tourism Category; People of Burma

Myanmar Mandalay U Bein bridge woman watching sunrise

Mandalay U Bein Bridge

Mandalay stonemasons quarter boy and young man carving Buddha statue Burma Myanmar

Mandalay Stonemasons

Burma (Mandalay) Schwezigon Paya pagoda monks

Young Monks Nyaung Shwe

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

Inle lake, Myanmar (Burma)

Portrait of an old Shan man in Myanmar (Burma) Lake Inle

Trees Category; “Tree Roots; Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia”

This shot is one from an ongoing project photographing nature`s strength over humankind at the temples of Angkor Wat. The trees roots of this tree are slowly pulling the temple apart returning the stone back to the Earth and creating a new form of beauty.

Asia, Cambodia, Siem Reap, Angkor wat, Ta Prohm temple.

Tree Roots; Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

Flowers category; Iris

This image of the Iris was taken with my 180mm macro lens which is my favourite lens for close up photography. The Iris was slightly back lit from the sun which showed off its translucent petals.

Iris

Iris

I am looking forward to returning to Cambodia and Burma this winter as I host travel photography holidays to my favourite locations www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

You can sign up for my free newsletter on the website and be the first to hear of new locations and dates: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com/newsletter

My Travel, Gardens, Plants, Photography Website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays and I can be found tweeting from www.twitter.com/StephenPhotos

Thanks for popping by my blog and “may the light be with you”


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Behind the Photo; Bagan Temples Sunrise; Burma (Myanmar)

My travel photography holidays feature in the latest edition of Outdoor Photography magazine. I was asked to supply 2 photographs to be included.Outdoor Photography magazine; Digital travel photography Holidays vacations tours to Myanmar Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangkok Asia

I would like to write about the Black and White image as a number of people have commented and asked about it, as it also appeared on the Manfrotto Imagine More article I wrote about Bagan; http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com/2013/05/14/amazing-myanmar-temples-of-bagan/

Myanmar (Burma) Bagan temples black and white image for Outdoor Photography magazine

Having first visited the temples of Bagan eight years ago, on my recent photo shoot I had envisioned a series of toned black and white images. Bagan has over 4,000 temples of all shapes and sizes dotting the landscape and at dawn there is usually a mist rising around them. The day prior to this shot I had scouted out the vantage point and with my compass, that has travelled the world with me, I knew it would be a good location for sunrise. The next day I arrived in the darkness and set up my camera on its tripod and waited for the scene to appear through the misty dawn light. Bagan has a very ethereal feeling to the place and I wanted to convey this in a series of black and white images. For the series I converted the colour images to B & W in Lightroom and also split toned the image.

Non-photographers can switch off here!

This image was shot at 100 ISO with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (at 250mm); f16 at 1.5sec with a Lee Filters ND .6 soft grad and my trusty Manfrotto tripod.

My photography holidays and tours to Burma can be found at: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com