September 9, 2017 Comments (0) Stories

Photo Journey : David Albutt

Hi let me start by telling you a little about myself. My name is David, I was Born in Birmingham England but for the last 20 years I have lived in a town called Enniskillen which is in County Fermanagh Northern Ireland. About 3 years ago I decided that I wanted to try something different, I had always enjoyed taking snap shots of family outings and the places I visited and I wanted to try and do this as a second profession and see where it led.

The first I needed to learn how to use a DSLR manually. So I took a few courses with the Shaw academy online learning Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom. After doing that it fuelled my interest and ambition further, and although I now had the no how I didn’t have the experience which led to a lot of missed shots and frustration, but I’ve stuck with it. And it feels like I’m getting there, and sometimes its all I think about.

That leads me to how the Photographs I want to show you came to be. I work a night shift for a timber merchant as a full time job and this gives me the opportunity to see the first light of the morning. Mid last August around 3am I saw that a mist was developing and the first thought that came in to my head was” photographs “I still had a couple of hours left to work, so I started to think of places that were close enough to get too before the sun came up but also high enough that I wouldn’t be surrounded by the mist. And that’s when I decided Topped Mountain was where I would head for.

At 5:30am I clocked out and drove for the hills to beat the sunrise. I got to the carpark at the bottom of Topped Mountain 20 minutes later, grabbed my camera bag with my Canon 700d and my lenses, an 18-55mm and a 75-300mm in it and tripod out of the boot and set off up the mountain. Now this isn’t the biggest mountain on the planet its more like a really big hill, but I’m not the fittest guy either. So I set of up the trail resisting the urge to stop and take shots along the way because I wanted to make it to the to the summit before sunrise and get set up.

I made it to the top in quick time legs burning and lungs screaming but I’d made it and started to get set up. After I got set up I took a few test shots but couldn’t get a clear image, so I checked the focus on my view finder, no that was ok, then I checked the lens connections, but they seemed fine too, and that’s when I saw the build up of condensation on the front of the lens. After wiping the lens with lens tissue that was it sorted, so if your in the same situation take plenty of lens tissue and check that first before you start thinking the world hates you and your camera is broke like I did, but hey lesson learned.

The other problem I found was that when the sun had come up and was hitting the mist it was reflecting of it and blowing out the shot making in hard to get the correct exposure, I fitted a variable ND filter and that solved that issue. One other thing I hadn’t prepared for was getting soaking wet, which looking back now is pretty obvious as I was standing effectively above rising cloud, but it was something that I hadn’t considered, I would of been able to stay longer if I had the appropriate wet weather clothing with me. But that’s another lesson for next time.

Whilst I was up there I took maybe close to 100 pictures playing with different positions, focal lengths and exposures. And on the way down I stopped to take shots also, The image of the sunlight cresting over the hill from behind the trees is on of those shots took on way down and is probably one of my favourites. Its strange that sometimes the shot you like the most isn’t the one you went for, or maybe that’s just me.

When I got home I did a little editing in Adobe Lightroom reducing some of the glare from the sun, reducing some of the shadow and bringing up the colour a little but they didn’t really need that much adjustment and overall I am happy with the results, I wasn’t looking for the perfect Photograph I no my skill levels aren’t there yet, all I wanted was to convey the feel and atmosphere of a very peaceful morning, and I feel I did that. I hope you enjoy my work.


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