Follow Dale as he takes a journey round Devon’s beautiful Croyde Bay & Lundy Island.
As you may or may not know the XF35mm is my ‘everyday’ lens but when it comes to landscape photography the XF10-24mm is my next ‘must-have’ lens. I used to use the XF14mm lens – which by the way is superb, but I’ve realised that I just cannot get enough of that ultra-wide 10mm setting.
I have only been delving into the landscape photography world of late and am still very much finding my feet. When looking back through my landscapes I have noticed that I clearly love the slightly stranger viewpoints, mainly from a wide-angle, ground-up perspective. It may be that the world is just more interesting down there!?
I like trying to ‘add a little epic’ to my landscapes. The way I have found myself doing this is to locate a small object, whether it be a footprint, a rock etc and get it right up close to the lens. This distorts its perspective and makes it a real important part to the composition. It’s very easy to miss the small details in a beautiful view, so doing this can really shake-up the images and give a new feel to your photography.
We’ve always been told practice makes perfect right? Well, I don’t know if it makes ‘perfect’ but it certainly helps with repetition. I find that the more I shoot, the more I know how a shot is going to turn out before I’ve even turned the camera on. It can give great insight as to whether I should get set up for a shot or move on to a new area / viewpoint.
In an effort to create better landscape images I have been using the Rule of Thirds more and more consciously. Across the board this has rewarded me with more “That’s a keeper!” shots.
In addition to this, I’ve been thinking more carefully about where to ‘put’ the horizon line. I usually just ponder which is more interesting – the sky or the foreground? If the sky is more interesting it takes up two thirds of the image and vice versa. I thought the scene below had a more interesting foreground to shoot, so the foreground takes prominence.
On the opposite side of things, I found this sky (below) to be more dramatic and I loved how the church had an on-the-edge-of-the-world feel to it. So, I gave the sky two thirds of the frame and the church the lesser attention to increase this on-the-edge-of-the-world theme. I post-processed this one to give it a more matte-like / painted finish.
The XF10-24mm isn’t just for landscape either, it worked perfectly inside the Lundy Island lighthouse to capture the whole winding staircase – which on a different note, was very steep!
The next few images are some of the best I could get while shooting in the ‘golden hour‘. It’s not an area I have had great amounts of experience with, but, I wanted to share a few tips that could save you some stress as I found out the hard way.
Firstly, give yourself lots of time to get to the location you are going to shoot. Set up and relax way before the sun has started setting. Otherwise, you may find yourself fumbling with ND grad filters and tripods like I was.
I always thought a sunset was a peaceful, enjoyable thing, but when you are trying to shoot it the sun seems to set faster than you can say Usain Bolt!
The second piece of advice is to know where the sun is going to set. One night I literally found myself running across a beach. I had the camera attached to a tripod while dangerously navigating slippery rocks pools and small sand holes that the kids had dug during the day! I must say though it was some of the most exciting photography I have done in a long time.
On the bright side, the running down the beach to capture the sunset actually made a picture in itself. Again, emphasising the foreground subject by getting on my hands and knees to put the lens right up close.
I hope you have enjoyed taking my very short tour of some truly photogenic places. Here are some other shots I captured from the trip away that you may like. Any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.