Somerset - June 2019 by Mark Greenfield

So back in June of this year I managed to get a short break away to Somerset for a few nights to take in Longleat, Wells and Burnham on Sea and the lighthouse situated there and I’ve now finally got around to editing and publishing the photos from that trip with the last one finalised yesterday :)

So to start off I thought we’d go with Wells Cathedral with its magnificent architecture, friendly and helpful staff and the added bonus they really are not bothered about photographers in there and theres some good opportunities to get the fish-eye lens out :)

Canon EF 8-15 Fisheye Lens, 15mm, 1/10 sec, F/8, Iso 3200

Canon EF 8-15 Fisheye Lens, 15mm, 1/10 sec, F/8, Iso 3200

Canon 8-15mm lens, 15mm, 1/10 sec, F/8, Iso 1600

Canon 8-15mm lens, 15mm, 1/10 sec, F/8, Iso 1600

Canon 16-35, 16mm, 1/30 sec, F6.3, Iso 1600

Canon 16-35, 16mm, 1/30 sec, F6.3, Iso 1600

Canon 16-35 F/4 Lens, 16mm, 0.3 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Canon 16-35 F/4 Lens, 16mm, 0.3 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Canon TS-E 24mm, 24mm, 2 seconds, F/8, Iso 100

Canon TS-E 24mm, 24mm, 2 seconds, F/8, Iso 100

Burnham on Sea Lighthouse

Ideally I would have loved to have taken this with a really high tide and a colourful sun set in the background but the time I was there neither were going to happen… but I do like this moody mono shot so got to be thankful for the cloudy day :)

Canon 16-35mm, 1/100 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Canon 16-35mm, 1/100 sec, F/11, Iso 100

And for a bit of change there a few shots of some animals below………..well had to do something whilst going around Longleat. I did use the bus to go round on as I didn’t fancy the monkey enclosure in my car…. hope you enjoy the shots below as its not my normal subject matter when it comes to photography and if you make it to the end you’ve done as well as the last furry creature :)

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Berlin - Feb 2019 by Mark Greenfield

It’s been rather a long time since I posted a blog, so I can only hope the wait has been worth it. I thought I’d post a few images and a few words from a short trip to Berlin back in February. Only stayed for 4 nights but there where so many photo opportunities to fit in :) from libraries to undergrounds there is so much to photograph in Berlin if you like architectural photography. so many places to visit and so little time :)

In reality this trip has kept me editing for the last 6 months which you could say is a good thing :)

So below are a few of the shots I took on the trip which I hope you enjoy viewing as much as I did photographing and editing :)

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin  Canon 5DS, TS-17mm, 17mm, 3 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin

Canon 5DS, TS-17mm, 17mm, 3 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin  Canon 5DS, TS-E17mm, 17mm, 0.5 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin

Canon 5DS, TS-E17mm, 17mm, 0.5 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin  Canon 5DS, TS-E17mm, 17mm, 0.5 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Philological Library at Freie University at Berlin

Canon 5DS, TS-E17mm, 17mm, 0.5 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Berlin  Canon M5, EFM11-22, 12mm, 1/15 sec, F/8, Iso 1600

Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum, Berlin

Canon M5, EFM11-22, 12mm, 1/15 sec, F/8, Iso 1600

Paul Lobe Haus  Canon 5DS, EF24-70, 42mm, 2 seconds, F/8, Iso 100

Paul Lobe Haus

Canon 5DS, EF24-70, 42mm, 2 seconds, F/8, Iso 100

Brandenburg Tor  Canon 5d MkIII, EF16-35, 35mm, 1/80 second, F/8, Iso 3200

Brandenburg Tor

Canon 5d MkIII, EF16-35, 35mm, 1/80 second, F/8, Iso 3200

Kempinski Hotel  Canon 5D Mk III, EF16-35, 26mm, 1/40 second, F/8, Iso 1600

Kempinski Hotel

Canon 5D Mk III, EF16-35, 26mm, 1/40 second, F/8, Iso 1600

Marie-Elisabeth Luder Haus  Canon 5d Mk III, EF24-70, 70mm, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Marie-Elisabeth Luder Haus

Canon 5d Mk III, EF24-70, 70mm, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

All Yellow  Canon 5d Mk III, EF16-35, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

All Yellow

Canon 5d Mk III, EF16-35, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Red Octagon  Canon 5DS, EF8-15, 15mm, 1/125 seconds, f/8, Iso 100

Red Octagon

Canon 5DS, EF8-15, 15mm, 1/125 seconds, f/8, Iso 100

Tempodrom  Canon M5, EF-M11-22, 11mm, 1/30 second, F/8, Iso 200

Tempodrom

Canon M5, EF-M11-22, 11mm, 1/30 second, F/8, Iso 200

Messedamm  Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 35mm, 4 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Messedamm

Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 35mm, 4 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Paul Lobe Haus  Canon 5d Mk III, EF16-35, 16mm, 1/15 sec, F/8, Iso 3200

Paul Lobe Haus

Canon 5d Mk III, EF16-35, 16mm, 1/15 sec, F/8, Iso 3200

On The Edge  Canon 5d Mk III, Ef24-70, 55mm, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

On The Edge

Canon 5d Mk III, Ef24-70, 55mm, 1/50 sec, F/11, Iso 100

Tempodrom  Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 16mm, 1/13 second, F/11, Iso 100

Tempodrom

Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 16mm, 1/13 second, F/11, Iso 100

Berliner Dom  Canon 5D Mk III, EF24-70, 45mm, 120 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Berliner Dom

Canon 5D Mk III, EF24-70, 45mm, 120 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

The House of the World’s Cultures  Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 16mm, 28 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

The House of the World’s Cultures

Canon 5DS, EF16-35, 16mm, 28 seconds, F/11, Iso 100

Welcome by Mark Greenfield

Welcome to my new website. I’d finally had enough of the old one and moved onto one which I thought is more modern with a cleaner look and which I hope you find easier to navigate. I’ve updated the new website with some new photos as well as retaining some of the old photos and I’ll update the portfolios with my favourite shots as I go along.

I’ve also kept the blogs as well I’m not the most prolific of bloggers and it’s taken me long enough to write about these trips so thought it wise it carry them forward.

Any comments or questions are welcome and I look forward to hearing from you :)

Openhouse London 2018 Part II by Mark Greenfield

So part 2 of my Openhouse London 2018 blog and conveniently it's day 2 of the event, Sunday. Two booked trips and a trip to another building I've photographed before...


So the day begins and the weather  is awful. Proper raining cats and dogs but being the brave soul I am I headed out, walking through the puddles, getting soaked by the taxi's and buses as they drove along the road to reach my first destination One Bishops Square. I'd been here before 2 years ago and I had a good idea of what and how I was going to shoot the part of the building I wanted to photograph but the photography gods were not playing ball. The first warning was I was the 16th person to visit. I wasn't desperately rushing to get there as I'd stopped for breakfast in Pret for half an hour. The second warning was the photographers that were in there were shooting the art work that came down from the ceiling.

And a few more steps later I discovered why......the gantry /bridge section of the building was closed :( it was raining that hard the roof had leaked the water was coming in right where I wanted to shoot, absolutely gutted. So the only way to shoot was from a 'safe' distance hence you could only get this type of shot below and not the shot looking directly up into the balls of light

Canon 16-35 F/4; 31mm, 1/50 sec, F/7.1, Iso 3200


I deliberately left the towel in the shot on the left hand side and kept the wet floor in as I could not believe the roof was leaking...on to Tower 42 and hopefully this will be an improvement on the unfortunate events at One Bishops Square.


Now Tower 42 was a booked tour but with the streets being deserted and the rain continuing to come down it seemed not many people were willing to venture out and to be honest after visiting I can understand why. Now I'm glad I've visited and seen Tower 42 but it's not somewhere I would rush back to. The bar they took you to was tired, stuck in the 80's and in need of a refurb. At one point you would have got some fantastic views over London from here but now places like the Sky Garden to me offer better views without the restriction of glass in front of you. I did take a number of shots here but they were all of the view of London and there was nothing inside architecturally speaking of to shoot and unfortunately it was raining too hard for me to get a shot of the outside looking up......ah well time for lunch then :) 


So after lunch it was onto the Barbican. I have to admit this wasn't my first choice. Or even my second or third choice to photograph but as many other places were further away from the hotel and this was reasonably close to the other locations I was photographing I decided to give it a go PLUS I had the laundrette to photograph after the tour had finished.

Now maybe it was my lack of initial enthusiasm but this place really did surprise me. The tour was excellent, and despite you only being able to shoot hand held the ability to shoot the stages and theatres and go behind the scenes was definitely a fantastic experience so here is a few shots from inside the Barbican...

Canon 16-35 F/4, 1/30 sec, 16mm, F/6.3, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/25 sec, F/4, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/20 sec, F/6.3, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/25sec, F/4, Iso 6400


After the tour had finished it was time to find the laundrette :) Now when you enter the laundrette it's like stepping back in time, no wonder it is a popular location to shoot (especially for fashion shoots) and explains the sign thats says "No Photographing" as I guess they must get quite a few photographers in there. So a quick look inside and there's only one person in using the place and they are busy on their phone so it's a quick dart in, get the shot and walk on and it was definitely worth it :)

Canon 16-35 F/4, 27mm, 1/40 sec, F/8, Iso 800

And then there was one location left..........The car park not far from the laundrette which the Pontefract Camera Club had told me about the day before when I met them at Alphabeta so here is it that final location, have to say thank you to the club for the tip. It was well worth visiting...

Canon TS-E 17mm, 17mm, 1.3 sec, F/11, Iso 100


And that was it the end of a long weekend of photography. I'd ticked a few locations that I'd had on my list to visit, I was really glad to have got to Bevan Court and the Barbican really was a pleasant surprise. It being a Sunday evening also meant it was time for a Sunday Roast and what has become a custom for me when visiting London over a weekend was a trip to the Leman Street Tavern for some Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud (why oh why can't they make a Lancashire Pud that's similar but just that little bit better???). And on that note I'll leave it :)


Thanks for reading and if you've any questions, ask away. And if you've any comments to make, feel free :)  

















  

Openhouse London 2018 Part I by Mark Greenfield

If you like architectural photography the chances are you've heard of London Openhouse which takes place every year, normally on the third weekend in September. It's the best opportunity to get into buildings which wouldn't normally let you photograph inside such as City Hall, Bloomberg and Angel Court for example. Some of the buildings you need to pre-book but most are free and you can just turn up on the day. What follows is a record of my trip to London for the 2018 Openhouse Event.

FRIDAY

Friday is travel day. Just over 2 hours from Manchester Piccadilly to London via Virgin Trains with the aim to get into London just after lunch time, hop on the tube and drop off the suitcase at the hotel in Aldgate then head out with the camera to a couple of locations, one of which was part of the Openhouse event but I didn't manage to get on the tour so thought I'd try and get in the day before. First port of call then was Bevan Court...

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Bevan Court, Canon 8-15 Fisheye, 15mm, 1/30 sec, F7.1, Iso 800

I've wanted to shoot this staircase in Bevan Court for a while now and this was the perfect excuse. It's been photographed often and no wonder, it did meet all my expectations. After spending 20 to 30 minutes in Bevan Court it was time to head back towards the hotel with just a slight detour to photograph another staircase. Now this one was not on the list of buildings as part of London Openhouse but it is easily accessible and to be honest you don't expect what you see when you look at the building from the outside but what a staircase it is, and it's found in the Blackfrairs Premier Inn...

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Blackfriars Premier Inn, Canon 16-35 F/4L, 24mm, 1/13 sec, F/7.1, Iso 800


SATURDAY

The Openhouse event starts today but my one and only pre-booked event is at 11:30 in the morning so there is time to fit something in beforehand. First off headed to Lloyds Registry but the queue was far too long so decided to go into St Botolphs Aldgate church which wasn't far from the hotel and it was well worth spending an hour in there it is such a beautiful church although I didn't have a go at ringing the bells which you had to prebook for but you were free to wander around to your hearts content and I even managed to get the tripod out for the shot below... 

St Botolph's of Aldgate, Canon TS-E 17mm, 6 second exposure, F/11, Iso 100

After here it was time to get across to the pre-booked event at Angel Court which ended up being a little disappointing as you only had about 30 minutes on the 19th floor when in the past judging by what others said on the tour you had much longer. I'm glad I did it but it's not somewhere I can envisage going to again.

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The reception area in Angel Court, taken whilst waiting for the tour to begin. Canon 24-70 F/2.8L, 35mm, 1/50 sec, F/7.1, Iso 800

The retreat from the office, Angel Court.....Canon 24-70 F/2.8L, 24mm, 1/40 sec, F/7.1, Iso 800

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The 19th floor of Angel Court, Canon 24-70 F/2.8L, 24mm, 1/60 sec, F/9, Iso 400


After here a quick visit and a welcome cup of tea at St Helen's church, Bishopsgate before onwards to the Leadenhall Building aka The Cheesegrater were I managed to blag my way into . This was meant to be a pre-booked tour but it seemed the weather may have been putting people off. Luckily for me :) great tour of the floor who designed the building the architects Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners given by someone who had been with the firm only a few months and whilst it wasn't the most photographic of places you could still find subjects to photograph

The corridor from the lifts, Leadenhall Building, Canon 24-70 F/2.8L, 24mm, 1/30 sec, F/7.1, Iso 1600

From here it was onto Lloyds Registry which I'd tried to get into in the morning. In the afternoon there were no queues, you could just walk straight in, what a difference a few hours make! Now the reception area here is very modern but also rather hard to photograph due to the lights being so low as can be seen from the photo below...

Lloyds Registry Reception Canon 8-15 Fisheye, 15mm, 1/25 sec, F/8, Iso 100

You then move through the building and it goes from modern architecture to classical architecture literally just round a corner and here you can explore rooms with journals dating back to the 18th Century and the board room, and it offers something a bit different for photographers like me as it was easier to include people than exclude them!

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Lloyds Registry Canon 24-70 F/2.8L, 24mm, 1/50 sec, F/5.6, Iso 3200

As there was still time left in the day it was time to head over to Alphabeta, one of my favourite buildings from my first event back in 2016. This time though I had my tilt shift lenses with me and the tripod and I had a photo in mind I was determined to get, the one of the cycle garage which I failed to get on my first visit, luckily this time I was successful :) 

Canon 16-35 F/4L, 17mm, 1/80 sec, F/8, Iso 1600

I just love the bright, bold colours here. Only problem was shooting through glass but thankfully I got round this by pressing the lens right up against the glass and use a lens pouch where I'd cut open the end over the lens to further reduce the chances of any reflections in the shot.

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Canon TS-E 17mm, 0.6sec exposure, F/11, Iso 100

The entrance to Alphabeta. I had taken this back in 2016 and managed to get the shot into the now sadly gone What Digital Camera magazine (if anyone can remember that publication) and Monopix.

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The staircase leading up to the reception area, Alphabeta, Canon 8-15 Fisheye, 15mm, 1/80 sec, F/7.1, Iso 800

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The staircase again leading up to the reception area, Alphabeta, Canon 16-35 F/4L, 16mm, 1/25 sec, F/6.3, Iso 800

Canon TS-E 17mm, 1/25 sec, F7.1, Iso 1600

I had shot this previously back in 2016 but wasn't happy with the result. This time I shot with the tilt shift lens and the camera placed on the tripod (I did ask if I could use it and to my pleasant surprise they said yes :) 

Now it was around this point that a large group of photographers came in and I must say thanks to the Pontefract Camera Club. Not only are they a great friendly bunch but they told me about a location to shoot near the Barbican, all of which will be revealed in the next blog (which won't take over 4 months for me to get round to writing!) but will be here next week!

Hope you've enjoyed reading this and if you've any questions/ comments don't hesitate to contact me :) 

Stockholm Underground by Mark Greenfield

The underground in Stockholm. Perhaps not the first location that springs to mind when visiting this city but for me this was the sole purpose of my trip there back in Feb of this year. Let's face it, I have a thing about undergrounds and the one in Stockholm is special but a different kind of special to those found in Munich and London. Whilst they tend to focus more towards modern architecture Stockholm's underground is largely built into rock and the stations have been transformed into one of the biggest art works in the world where approximately 90 out of the 100 underground stations include striking murals, brightly coloured paint, engravings, mosaics and in some sculptures. And the best bit if you are a photographer is that it is quiet, much quieter than London or Munich. 

 

When I visited Stockholm the temperature was about -17º but the added bonus of being underground is that it was much warmer, so much so that you could even take your coat off it was that warm! Anyway enough of the rambling below I've listed the stations I've visited.

 

Radhuset

Located on the blue line between T-Centralen and Fridhemsplan this is probably one of the most iconic underground stations, almost cinematic in its appearance.

 Exif: TS-E 24mm; F/11; Iso 100, 1.6 seconds

 

Vreten/ Solna Strand

Again this station is located on the blue line, only 5 stops up from Radhuset.

TS-E24mm; F/11; Iso 100; 3.2 seconds

 

Vastra Skogen

Located on the blue line (hope you're spotting the theme now!) is this amazing station, located between Solna Centrum/ Vreten and Radhuset, which some refer to as resembling the gates of hell.

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TS-E 17mm; F/11; Iso 100; 1.3 second exposure

And whilst the stations were easy to shoot with no people in shot there are still opportunities to get shots with people in them.

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EF24-70 F2.8L II; 24mm, F6.3; Iso 1600; 1/30 second

 

Fridhemsplan

This wasn't one of my top stations to visit when I was heading out there but I just love the way the shot turned out. It was the only station that I thought would work well in B&W. Again located on that blue line, but here the green line intersects with it meaning you can get a different look by just exploring the station.

EF24-70 F2.8L II; 24mm; F7.1; Iso 1600; 1/60 seconds 

TS-E17mm; F/11; Iso 100; 3.2 seconds

 

Tekniska

This station is located on the red line but is only about 3 stops away from T-Centralen which serves all 3 lines.

TS-E17mm; F/11; Iso 100; 4 seconds

Universitetet

Located on the red line one stop up from Tekniska, is another station with unique art work.

TS-E17mm; F/11; Iso 100; 4 seconds

 

Kungsträdgården

Looking like it could be the lair of the Joker's from Batman, this station is located at the end of blue line, one stop along from T-Centralen and features relics from buildings pulled down during the 1950's and 60's. Oddly the station even includes plant life!

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EF24-70 F2.8L II; 24mm; F/16; Iso100; 8 seconds

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TS-E17mm; F/11; Iso 100; 6 seconds

 

Duvbo

Another station located on the blue line is Duvbo which is only a couple of stops up from Vreten/ Solna Strand.

TS-E24mm; F/11; Iso 100; 2 seconds.

 

Huvudsta

Located on that blue line between Vreten/ Solna Strand and Vastra Skogen.

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TS-E24mm; F/11; Iso 100; 3.2 seconds

 

T-Centralen

I've left this one to last for a reason. Whilst it is a very photogenic station I also found this to be the busiest (admittedly I was shooting only during the day) as all lines pass through this station. On the plus side there are some nice places to eat and grab a coffee here too and all my trips out started here.

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TS-E17mm; F/16; Iso 100; 6 seconds

 

And that's it hope you enjoyed it and as you can see if there are 90 stations with art work, I haven't got round them all which leaves the opportunity to return...

 

Travel

Getting there: SAS (getting back was more difficult thanks to the weather, the airport was't the comfiest of places to sleep)

Stayed in the Radisson Blu Waterfront hotel, close to T-Centralen.

Getting around: purchased a 72 hour ticket which meant could use it on the way back to the airport.

Any questions? Just message me and I'll do my best to answer them as quickly as possible















USA Roadtrip part IV by Mark Greenfield

From Yosemite we headed to San Francisco and this journey was easily the worst bit of the trip, not because of the drive but because of the traffic queues that had built up to get over the San Francisco - Oakland Bay bridge. We hadn't even hit this section at rush hour, and with a 2 1/2 hour delay I can only imagine how bad the traffic would be during the rush hour commutes and this was the first time we had experienced any kind of what I would call real traffic in the US. Still at least it was sunny and we had air-con :)  

San Francisco.

Now when you think of San Franscisco, you think of the Golden Gate bridge, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, the cable cars and of course Bullitt :) wasn't going to try any of that in the Dodge Journey though! 

Sunday seemed the best time to visit the Financial District, I hadn't done much architectural photography since I'd been in the US and this offered the perfect opportunity to indulge myself in a spot of my favourite kind of photography. There are plenty of buildings to take shots of around including one of the more iconic buildings here, the Transamerica building which can be a bit of a pain to shoot from the ground because of the trees that are at the corners of the building, along with the bright sun made finding a decent composition harder than what I had anticipated. Now I could of got up early but the body said no! Managed to get a couple of shots I was reasonably pleased with though, one of which I thought would make a great B&W image....not yet done!

 

Fisherman's Wharf, a kaleidoscope of tourists, tourism and colour. If you're in San Francisco you just have to head hear and try the sourdough bread! It can be very busy and to be honest I didn't really try any photography here (apart from what I would call your tourist snaps) and instead just soaked up the atmosphere.

Marshalls Beach offers a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and if you are like us can use the local buses you can get off at the Golden Gate bridge and walk the 1/2 mile down to the beach. Now that doesn't sound that far but the walk back up can be. Especially when you can make yourself even more popular by taking the lighter travel tripod the first time and then finding that you've somehow lost a critical part so it no longer functions (still made a good excuse to buy a new one when I got back to the UK). So we went back the next day with the heavier tripod, the far less travel friendly manfrotto which is excellent when doing long exposures but not great when you've to take it on a bus and lug it up and down a steep incline to get to the beach in 30 degree heat (I even got weather warnings on my phone for the heat! Although to be fair it was an excellent system as it asked you to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, something perhaps the UK should consider following). 

Now Marshall's Beach is an interesting spot. Not only is it a good spot for taking shots of the bridge but it's beach that has a certain, should we call it uniqueness, as my missus found out when a bloke walked past her just wearing a green t-shirt, yup that's right just a t-shirt and off he disappeared round a few rocks not long followed by someone else......now I had done my research and knew what kind of beach this was I just kind of omitted to tell the missus. At least she found it funny, when I said did I forget to mention......(lets face it nothing should get in the way of a good photography location!)

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The one advantage of going back a second time was the chance to shoot the cars going across the Golden Gate bridge at dusk, now that is a sight worth seeing...

And if you walk across the Golden Gate and visit the visitors centre, there are always opportunities for some abstract photography, the shot below being an example as its a shot of one of the lamp-posts at the visitors centre and I loved the orange colour against the blue sky.

From San Francisco it was time to head South to Carmel by the Sea and Monterey. Carmel is a pretty little town with some amazing restaurants and a thriving art scene and is well worth visiting and whilst in the area you can't miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium where you can take close upshots of the animals inside 

Then head outside and spot the sea otters in the bay and watch the pelicans fly past

From there it was down the coast and a much further journey than anticipated to Santa Monica but what a place to finish the trip...

And you can't not visit Santa Monica without taking a shot of the pier :) 

And that's it, hope you enjoyed reading about it and apologies for the length of time it seems to take me to write these :(

The next blog will be about Stockholm and the amazing art on the underground :) 














USA Roadtrip Part III by Mark Greenfield

After the amazing experience that was Antelope Canyon it was time to move on to the location made famous by John Wayne....Monument Valley. It was only a one night stay at the The View hotel (can't think why they called it that) but that was enough time to do a sunrise and sunset shot :) By the time we arrived there it was already late afternoon which gave time to set up the tripods on the hotel balcony ready for the sun set and the sun rise. It was a great way to spend an evening, watching the sun setting over such a magnificent view was breath taking. You could even see a few lightning strikes in the distance alas they were too far to capture with the camera. 

I'd set the alarm early for the next morning to beat sun rise, not too early though as I didn't have far to go from the bed to the balcony :) put both cameras on to time-lapse with the Hahnel remote captures, sat down and watched the sun rise unfold before me casting the buttes into shadow as the sun rose behind them.

This location has been on my bucket list for a while now and to be honest I didn't think I'd get the chance to visit, it would forever remain an ambition of mine to see this fantastic site, my only regret now is that the stay wasn't long enough.....maybe next time I go (if I get the chance) I'll stay for longer to take in Mesa Arch and explore more of the fantastic landscape this place offers.

 

On such a quick visit I decided to visit a location I hadn't originally set out to visit but when you're in the area there is a location that as a tourist you just have to visit.......mile marker 13 of UT-9 Highway. Made famous in the film Forrest Gump it's the location where Forrest stops running  and says "I think I'll go home now". It also offers a great shot of that classic American view of the long road leading into the distance with the fabulous landscape in the distance.

And on the route back from Forrest Gump point I couldn't help myself, I had to stop off again for those iconic US road shots.

We weren't going home though this was just a pitstop on the way to Yosemite via Las Vegas (it was an 850 mile drive in total over 13 hours according to Google and no way was I doing that in one go!) . Staying in the same hotel as the first time we visited Vegas at least I knew roughly were I was going this time once I got to the strip. Vegas though would be a night off from the camera, nice meal and a glass or two of wine was in order instead!

Up early the next morning we headed north for 4 nights in Yosemite, another of those locations that's just fab if you like taking photographs and the location made famous by Ansel Adams whom I'm sure you've all heard of....

Now there was one shot I really wanted to get when I was here, that classic shot of the sun setting hitting half dome from Glacier Point. On the first night after the long drive (it may not be long for an Amercian but for someone from the UK it was!) it was another night of chilling, leaving the camera behind with the thinking behind it well I've still got another three nights to get the shot I wanted. So on the next night we tried to take the 20 odd mile drive up to Glacier Point only to be stopped half way up due to either a vehicle accident or forest fires (you could see the ground around you smouldering).

The next morning got a bit of a shock as it had snowed. Now the day before we had been in t-shirts and shorts and today it was time to layer up. That evening didn't even try to get to Glacier Point as the road was closed due to snow, not something I was quite expecting it still being September but then it is 7,214 feet high or 2,199 metres. Gutted I was that left only one more evening to try and get the shot I wanted.

The final evening approached and we set off up the long windy road to the top in the trusty Dodge journey. Camera gear all loaded in the boot complete with the warm weather gear (I had come prepared for some cold weather) and was so glad I did as the temperature kept dropping until it reached freezing. Stopped off at the first location, didn't like it and rushed to the second location as the sun set and boy was I rewarded with one of the most magical sights I have ever seen. The sun with the clouds creating bands of light that danced over half dome and the surrounding landscape before lighting up Half Dome with a golden light and then the sky turned pink and then it was gone. Now I'm not sure how long it lasted but it seemed to be all over rather quickly, so much so that I didn't dare move the camera to a different location as I was completely awe struck by the way the light was dancing across the landscape. No wonder Ansel Adams loved this place so much and the location remains on the wish list of many photographer...

Now Yosemite offers so much to the photographer and if you're a landscape photographer you could easily spend months here as Yosemite is huge. 1,200 square miles in fact. And so much to photograph, Half Dome, the waterfalls, tunnel view (That iconic Ansel Adams view), lakes and then you've got the change of the seasons and the oh so clear skies at night with no real light pollution (So if anyone has any free accommodation for as long as I can get a visa I'll snap your hand off :) 

Now Half Dome wasn't the only location I photographed as you can see from the shots below. And I did enjoy some other more touristy events including a ride round Fish Camp in an original Model T Ford, stopping the local wildlife from stealing my food (got to watch out for those squirrels, I'm sure they operate in gangs to get the food!).

 

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Getting there:

One long flight and one heck of a diversion via Vegas, Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

Eating: Ate at the Tenaya Lodge 3 out of the 4 nights which was in walking distance of where we stayed

Yosemite Pass - weekly up to $35