Truly enjoy capturing these single-shot images of the Milky Way, focusing in the dark isn’t easy and getting that competition right when you can’t even truly see the subject, and getting to know your way around those camera settings without the use of a torch takes some getting use too. Oh and then these the post-processing and all the different takes on a Milky Way edit
Just Got to Love Photography, always something new to earn with every click of the shutter, all of these images were captured whilst hosting our of are Photography Walkabouts
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been teaching other photographers how to focus on capturing those single-shot photos of the Milky Way, teaching them the techniques and planning required when it comes to setting up their camera gear and researching locations based around light pollution and the best time of year to capture the Milky Way along the South Coast of England.
So with my Nikon D850 all set up and ready, and clear skies forecast I planned a Milky Way Photography Workshop and Walkabout trip down to Lulworth Cove in Dorset, along with six other photographers who had booked onto this trip, we arrived on location for around 2:30am planning in plenty of time to set up our gear and dial in those required camera settings, remembering these are all single-shot photos captured without the use of a tracker or stacking multiple images within Adobe LrC and Ps when I come to the post-processing part
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been teaching myself and other photographers more and more about Night Photography when it comes to capturing a single shot image of the Milky Way, but until now I had never gotten around to capturing a Star Trail photo.
Ok so it was about time I had a go, I already had a good understanding of the settings needed it was just all about waiting for those clear skies and putting the things I knew into practice, so with my camera gear all packed and ready I headed off out over three nights trying out different locations in and around Hampshire and West Sussex, arriving on location in plenty of time to allow for focusing and composition to setup whilst it was still semi-light, along with setting up my Nikon D850 camera to capture around 200+ images, these images would then all need blending together later using Adobe LrC and Ps to create the final photos.
Capturing those Cityscapes around London got us thinking and wanting to try our hands at Street Photography after seeing photos being shared on social media from our Photography Walkabout Event hosted around London, but hang on Street Photography? this is a photography style way outside of our normal comfort zones.
A style of photography that when done well can truly look amazing, but this was going to be our first attempt so anything could happen? what gear do we use? what do we take and what will happen when we point our cameras toward’s a total stranger out in street?
It was time to find out, with my Nikon D850, fitted with an f/1.8, 50mm Lens and Marie’s Nikon D750 fitted with an f/1.8, 85mm Lens, we headed off out around Old Winchester, Hampshire with other members of our photography group trying our best to capture those street photography photos, was it easy NO, was it fun YES, do we all still have more learn about this style of photography Yes, but the unless we push ourselves outside of our photography comfort zones we will never know.
With our camera gear all packed and with our group save train tickets in hand, we all boarded the 09:05 South Western Railway train from Petersfield to London Waterloo Station we started our Photography Walkabout Event hoping to capture those amazing cityscapes
On arriving in London we headed off to our first photography location, graffiti tunnel, on arriving all we could do was say WoW, the street art in this tunnel is truly outstanding and well worth a visit with the art changing on a daily \ weekly basis.
What a great start to our cityscape photography walkabout around London, but it was soon time to head off around the rest of London and to start our photography journey along the River Thames, capturing photos of Big Ben, The London Eye, Southbank skate space, Millennium Bridge, St Pauls, London Bridge, Girl with Dolphin, Tower Bridge, The Shard, HMS Belfast and more.
This photography walkabout along The River Thames and back to London Waterloo station covered around 8miles of walking, from arriving in London at around 10:40 and capturing the 19:05 train back to Petersfield.
So with a week off work already booked, we found ourselves wondering what to do during our week off? Then after a beer and a glass of wine or two we said, I know how about a short trip away to Scotland?
Ok, so we live in the south of England which is approximately 475 miles and an 8.5hr drive to where we thought about staying, after purchasing a book called (The Photographer’s Guide to Scotland) which by the way is a great book and well worth buying.
With the photography guidebook in hand, we started to search the web for accommodation that would allow us to visit 10 photography locations listed in the book whilst on our short trip away, and after a quick search, our holiday location and accommodation on Lock Lomond was booked and our photography holiday \ trip was all planned.
Scotland here we come, camera gear all packed, wet weather and warm clothing all packed we planned our route from Petersfield to Loch Lomond Scotland, with a stop along the way to visit friends who had moved to Scotland back in 2021.
After spending an evening with friends and a well-earned break from driving, we continued our journey up into Scotland and headed towards what would be dictation Number 1 (Duck Bay)
On Arriving at Duck Bay, we had blue skies, followed by rain, followed by blue skies so when it comes to photography, not a bad combination 😉
So after weeks of trying and with our gear all packed and alarm clocks all set for 4am, it was finally time to head off back down to those coastguard cottages at Seaford.
The weather forecast was finally on our side, apart from it being -2c and having to de-ice the car it was time to start our 1.5hr drive down to Seaford hoping to capture that sunrise that had been hiding behind 100% thick cloud over the weekend since the start of the new year,
This trip was a scheduled photography walkabout so we were both truly hoping for a lovely morning, as some of those attending had also been hoping to capture a sunrise since the start of the year. On arriving at the location we found the ground to be covered in frost and clear skies above, was this finally going to be the day?
So with our plans in place and gear all ready to go, we awoke to find that a storm and bad weather had rolled in overnight, meaning that our plans to head off down to the river stour in Bournemouth to capture those Kingfisher wasn’t going to work on this occasion, but that’s photography for you.
Now the question to roll back over and stay in bed? or get up and head off out?
The answer is to never let the weather stop you from getting out with your camera, just learn to re-adjust your plans at a last-minute dot com
Kingsfisher as planned? = No
Instead a cracking morning out at Farlington Marshes with our cameras and Friends
So after our trip to Corfe Castle this morning, we decided to head off to the RSPB site in Arne, we arrived on location at around 09:30 after leaving Corfe, the car parks at this location had opened at 09:00 and were still very empty when we arrived (this is a very popular location depending on the time of year) on arriving we showed our RSPB card to a member of staff so the £9 car packing fee was covered.
With our longer lenses now attached, we headed off around this RSPB site following the Red Route hoping to capture those birds in flight and more
Just like our trip to Corfe Castle earlier in the day, things just were not going our way, very little sign of wildlife and the overcast skies and heavy low cloud seemed to be taking their toll when it came to capturing those birds in flight and this amazing location at its best.
Revisit all ready being planned, As There Is Always a Next Time when it comes to capturing those Just Great shots.
So after monitoring the weather throughout the week we decided to cancel our original plans to host a photography walkabout, to capture a Sunrise over the coastguard cottage at Seaford and head off out towards Corfe Castle instead as the weather forecast looked promising for those misty morning shots.
So with our plans now changed and our alarm clocks all set for 04:30 on a Sunday morning, we woke up to recheck the weather, and guess what everything had changed once again, No Mist or Fog now forecasted but instead 100% Low cloud.
It was too late, our photography walkabout had been arranged and others were looking forward to joining us down at Corfe Castle, so off we set on our 1.5hr drive to Corfe keeping those fingers crossed that the weather forecaster might be wrong?
Sadly Nope, after driving for over 1.5hrs we arrived on location to find 100% heavy low cloud and no sign of any mist and zero chance of capturing a Sunrise.
As we arrived and got out of the car we laughed and said we must all be mad, but with smiles on our faces we started to walk up the west hill which overlooks Corfe Castle (No easy walk as this hill is a killer on those tired legs) but we all slowly started our walk up the front of the hill, stopping along the way laughing and smiling.
Upon reaching the top we came face to face with other keen photographers smiling and laughing, saying we’re glad it’s not just us.
Did we capture a Sunrise? = No, Did we capture that iconic misty morning over Corfe Castle? = No, Did we still have a great morning out with our camera’s and friends? = Yes
There is Always a Next Time when it comes to capturing those just great shots and those amazing sunrise, but unless we get out of bed and stick to our plans you will never know.