We are back!
Regular visitors to the Chris Beard Images web site will have been aware that the site had been down for some time, for this I apologise. What should have been a quick and simple transfer from one host to another turned into a disaster of epic proportions. This came hot on the heels of a recent house move from Wiltshire up to Lytham in Lancashire and all the chaos that entails. Anyway thanks to the sterling work of Ashley Barnard and Jacek Podkanski we are back!
What a winter it has been, here up in Lytham we seem to have been battered by one storm after another culminating in one where the wind speeds reached in excess of 100mph. I know areas of the UK were effected even worse than we were and the clean up still continues, yet here on the coast despite taking the full force of the storms we escaped reletively unscathed.
I have photographed in bad weather before, in fact you get some stunning light just as storms clear but nothing ha prepared me for this winter. I will be posting a 'belated' Blog about my adventures along with some spectacular images so keep checking back for that.
The image below is of me up at Blackpool during one of the storms, I'm 6' 2"" tall so the height of the wave gives you some idea just how bad things were - oh and YES I got soaked!
Winter is a time where my attention turns to architectural photography and a chance to escape the worst of the weather by photographing some of our great cathedrals. This year I visited Salisbury Cathedral (again), it really is one of my favourite cathedrals to photograph and I also had a trip to Liverpool's new Anglican cathedral with a client. What a day that turned out to be, a very tough introduction to Karen's first attempt at cathedral photography but she did very well indeed - I will write up a Blog post for this trip too over the next few weeks.
So what else have I been up to?
I had a trip up to Alta in Norway to photograph the Northern Lights, after the mildest winter in living memory the prospects for seeing the aurora were not good but I managed to come back with some images - yes, yet another Blog post is in the pipeline. Oh and a possibile workshop up there this coming winter, details will be in the Blog.
Oh I have also been working behind the scenes with Jacek and Ashley to get the web site back up and running, I also plan to bring some new features to the site but more on that in the coming months!
I have been out exploring my new surroundings, the Lancashire coastline and the Trough of Bowland, now spring is here I am looking forward to some great days out with my camera. Yes 'officially' spring is with us, sadly the first highlight of the new photographic year was a bit of a washout - the snowdrops. Almost continuous wind and rain restricted photographic opportunities and when the conditions were favourable the snowdrops were either damaged or covered in dirt and mud, oh well roll on next January.
So what do we have ahead of us to look forward to, the daffodils are out now and provide a wonderful splash of colour, very soon we can start to look for bluebells in our woodlands. Photographing bluebells is so much easier with digital cameras to get the colour right, with film they tended to come out pink. This was due to magenta light being reflected from the flowers, our eyes natural white balance removed the colour cast but it was retained by the film emulsion. Those days are behind us now and we can capture the true colour of the bluebells or at least get close to what our eyes see as being the true colour.
One tip I would like to pass on regarding bluebells is to photograph them in the early morning in the dappled light and use a telephoto lens, the dappled light will give more 'contrast' to your image and increase the sense of 'depth' in your image. Also using a long lens will compress the depth of field, making the swathes of bluebells seem more dense. I hope to discover some bluebell woods up here in Lancashire and get some nice images myself, I will let you know how I get on.
There will be a newsletter going out over the next few months but with the move, the web site and commercial work something had to 'give' I'm afraid.
In this months 'featured image' I am going to discuss how I made this image taken at Porth Nanven, Cornwall.
When 'out in the field' I always try and imagine how I want my finished image to look before I make my exposure, doing this helps me decide what camera settings will get me the closest RAW capture to enable me to achieve my goal.