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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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’



Keep connected: Social media:

Facebook:

DigitalPhotographyHolidays

stephenstuddphotography

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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:

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stephenstuddphotography

Instagram: @stephenstuddphotography/

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Travel and landscape photography holidays & workshops

The travel and landscape photography holidays that I run have just been featured in the Practical Photography Holiday & Courses guide for 2016.

Digital travel and landscape photography holidays holidayvacation vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Vietnam Morocco Marrakech Gower Wales UK hosted by Stephen Studd

Pleased to see my photo of the Gower, Wales on the front cover, last years weekend workshop was a real success with guests capturing some amazing landscape photos.

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

Thanks for taking a look.

‘May the light be with you’



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Flower photography workshops

Great to see my flower photography workshops were featured in the Sunday Times.

Bluebell woods flower photography workshopsin Gloucestershire UK England garlic woods Stroud hosted by Stephen Studd photography

 

This spring I have some bluebell woods

Bluebells flower photography workshop and courses in the UK England, Forest of Dean Gloucestershire digital photography holidays tours workshops holidays vacations

 

and wild garlic woods

flower photography workshops Wild Garlic (Ramsons) in wood Stroud Gloucestershire Digital photography holidays courses tours workshops

photography workshops in the Forest  of Dean  and Stroud, Gloucestershire. Full details can be found on my website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Sunday Times article by Wellywoman blog


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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 +

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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

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www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

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