Best Photography Locations on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
Aug25

Best Photography Locations on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

There are few places in travel photography hotter right now than the Isle of Skye.  The Scottish Islands are popping with tourists as photographers have been reeling off beautiful images from some really cool locations recently.  This past week, I headed up to the Highlands of Scotland for a little bit of a scouting missing for a future assignment.  I only had limited time, but I was set on finding some of the best photography locations on the Isle of Skye.  And, luckily, I found loads of them.  These were my favourites. Old Man of Storr This is maybe the most iconic place on the whole of the Isle of Skye.  It’s just a wonderful photography location.  Landscape photographers will drool over the possibilities up here at the Old Man of Storr.  Essentially, this location is a series of pillar rock formations that stick out over the island.  A 30-40 minute hike gets you up to some perfect images. Note, though, that due to the geography of the location on the leeward side of some mountains, the weather can change quickly here.  We shot this location at sunset and alternated between getting epic light and hammered by rain. These are some of my favourite images from The Old Man of Storr: Info: How to Get There: There’s a parking lot about 15 minutes drive north of Portree. It’s easy to find.  From there, it’s a 30-40 minute hike to the view. I would guess it’s about 100-150m elevation gain. Parts of the hike are slippery, especially after rains. Best Time of Day: The location works for either sunrise or sunset. Gear: I shot my 16-35mm lens the whole time.  You’ll also likely want a nice set of filters.  I used these grad filters for my images. Fairy Pools Honestly, I didn’t really give the Fairy Pools much notice in my plans.  But, with so much extra time I thought they were probably worth checking out.  I’m glad I did.  Even though I didn’t photograph this location much, it’s cool.  And, I think that much of the imagery online is pretty weak considering it’s such a cool spot.  Like most of Scotland, we got hammered a bit by rain here, but still managed to take a photo.  And, I didn’t even photograph my favourite composition of the falls.  I think, though, I’ll come back here next time and shoot it at either sunrise or sunset. Info: How to Get There: The Fairy Pools look well off a road according to most maps. But, a single track will get you right to the edge of them. The turn off is signed...

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Tips for Photography in Kyrgyzstan: Locations, Gear, and More
Aug23

Tips for Photography in Kyrgyzstan: Locations, Gear, and More

Kyrgyzstan is actually a phenomenal place for photography. I knew that going in to my trip. From everything I’d seen and imagined about the central Asian country it was going to be a fun place to shoot. It’s wild, it’s open, there’s a nice mix of nature and culture, and it just looked like there was going to be interesting things to photograph every day. But, for everything I thought my trip to Kyrgyzstan was going to be, I didn’t really have any idea what sort of camera gear I would shoot, or what exactly I would shoot. So, I kind of just packed everything and prepared for it all. The Gear For Kyrgyzstan, I packed the following camera gear. I’ll also talk a bit about what gear I used the most next to each piece of equipment. Canon 6D – My main camera body. Sony a6300 – My vlogging camera. I also shot more photos on it than I normally do. GoPro Hero 5 – Used this a lot for time lapse and action stuff. DJI Phantom 4 Drone – I flew the drone almost daily. Canon 16-35mm lens f/4 – I shot this lens the most. It was handy for landscapes and for wide-angle portraits. Canon 50mm f/1/4 – Honestly, I don’t think I took a single photo on my 50mm the entire trip. Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 – I used this lens a lot too. Especially for capturing details of the landscapes and for the sporting events like Kok-Boru. Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 – I only used this lens for star photography. That said, I used it a lot. 3 Legged Thing Albert – My tripod got a lot of use. Joby Gorilla Pod – I used this more than I expect too. Filter system – If you’re shooting landscapes, you’re going to want your filters. Especially a 6-stop ND and a 3-stop medium grad ND. Extra Batteries – Since there’s times you will be out shooting in wild places, you’re going to want lots of batteries. A Powerbank – Came in so handy in charging my GoPro, Sony batteries, and phone. Photo Subjects One of the things that’s really great about photography in Kyrgyzstan is that there’s a pretty wild variety of things to take pictures of.  Sure, it might be best known for it’s landscapes and nature, but it’s also full of interesting characters, there’s some wildlife, and the cities that I saw were also quite photogenic.  I wanted to kind of break down the types of photos you might have the chance to shoot in Kyrgyzstan, and maybe clear some things up and cut some...

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Best Spot for Sunset Photography in Edinburgh
Aug20

Best Spot for Sunset Photography in Edinburgh

Today’s blog is quick.  There is still content coming from Kyrgyzstan, but I really wanted to share with you this sunset location in Edinburgh because it was killer.  I spent 4 or 5 days in Edinburgh a couple years ago, but somehow never made it up here.  I shot a lot of photography in the city, and it is one of the most photogenic cities in all of Europe, but somehow managed to miss the absolute best place to photograph the skyline at sunset. This is Carlton Hill: Honestly, when Jodie and I got to Edinburgh we were absoluately crushed.  It was a long night before as we didn’t have mats and had to sleep right on the cold floor in the Lake District.  And, after a long drive and a couple meetings with a client in the city, we were both just ready for an early night.  However, needing some content for my travel vlog, we forced ourselves out of our hotel and shot up Carlton Hill to photograph sunset.  Instantly leaving the hotel I felt better.  The city is just so stunning. And everywhere you look there’s a new photograph to be made.  And, it actually took a lot of self-control to just force ourselves up the hill to shoot only one location in Edinburgh. The light wasn’t brilliant, but it did work extremely well for the type of photo I wanted to shoot.  So, I thought I’d walk you through a set of my photos from this location in Edinburgh in today’s blog. Golden Light at Carlton Hill This photo wasn’t easy to make.  But, it wasn’t a challenge technically, or because the light was bad, but because there are so many people wandering around here at sunset that it’s hard to get a clean shot.  But, with a little patience it was totally worth it.  I took this image on my 70-200mm lens at f/6.3, 1/80sec., ISO500 @115mm.  The aperture was 6.3 because I wanted to blur the background enough to put the focus on Jodie, but keep it recognizable.  I love how it came out. Lucky Light I was waiting for the light to come down a little bit more, and it was getting a bit overcast in the sky, so I was kind of losing hope for nice light.  But, we were sitting up at this view and I noticed a bit of golden light hitting the rock you see Jodie sitting on in this photo.  So, I had her go out and pose there. Amazingly, the light moved up and hit her face. It was incredible, the only light in the entire...

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Epic Photo Location: The Banaue Rice Terraces
Feb19

Epic Photo Location: The Banaue Rice Terraces

Of all the places in the Philippines, I think it was Banaue that I was most looking forward to. The images of the landscapes and rice terraces are all over the social media and marketing for The Philippines. I couldn’t wait to get my lens on them, and head out and explore them as well. But, as the jeepney I caught from Sagada rolled towards town it poured rain. At times, I’m sure the driver couldn’t see more than 10 meters in front of him because of the fog. But, somehow the ride was still a lot of fun. I should have known it would be a bit of foreshadowing for my next couple days in Banaue. The forecast was showers, with a chance of occasional brilliance. Wandering the Villages around Banaue With heavy fog in the air my first morning in Banaue, I slept in a little bit. Later in the morning, I headed out to do a village trek in the area. I started with a visit to a village called Tam-an. Just outside of Banaue, this little village is perched on a hill’s edge with incredible views of the valley. I stopped there, pulled out the drone, and took a flight to get an overview of the area. It was fun, not only because the views were beautiful, but because the drone served as such a nice ice-breaker into conversations with the locals. They all came out to chat. Then, I pushed on towards the village of Poitan. However, I managed to get totally lost on the way there and found myself wandering aimlessly through some rice terraces. By the time I found the trail down to Poitan, I was covered in mud all the way to my waist. Again, the hike down to Poitan was stunning. It cut across some rice terraces, but also carved along the cliff-side lending to some beautiful views of the area. By the afternoon, the rain rolled back in and cut into my dreams of shooting photos from the classic view of the rice terraces. No Batad, Bad Brendan! I had plans of catching a ride out to an area called Batad. The terraces out that way are meant to be the most beautiful in all The Philippines. However, it poured rain the whole day. And, if I’m being honest with you, I probably should have just fought through it anyways. Of course, the weather could have been better that way – although, to be fair to myself, it probably wasn’t. I hiked up to the viewpoint for sunrise, but struck out. Then, in the afternoon, I hiked up again...

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Trekking Through Alberta
Oct04

Trekking Through Alberta

This project in Alberta was full-on. The plan was to work 19 days, with a 3 day break in the middle of it. However, my best friend got married on those 3 days between. Well, only one of those days, but you know how weddings are: day 1 = rehersal, day 2 = wedding, and day 3 = trying to recover. Moreover, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues over that weekend. It wasn’t as relaxing as I had hoped it would be. So, by the time we got back to work on the Google Trekker project, I didn’t have much of a rest. The second half of the project was meant to be a nice mix of locations, though. We were spending some time in the mountains, and some time in the north of Alberta; both locations I was looking forward to. K-Country Kananaskis Country used to be the biggest hidden gem in Alberta. So many tourists jet straight out to the National Parks, leaving K-Country largely to locals and people in the know. Things have changed a bit, and the region is certainly more crowded. However, it’s still mostly quiet. And it’s still incredibly beautiful. We did some trekking in the area. Jeff did an epic 18km hike over 2 mountain passes with a vertical gain of over 800m. I did some shorter moves, including a beautiful 12km hike with a 500m gain to a place called Prairie View Lookout. From that peak, there were 360 views of the mountains, Barrier Lake, and the prairies. Of course, we did some shooting both in Canmore and in Kananaskis Country. Rain, and Northern Lights In a bit of a tease, Jeff and I pressed down the Icefields Parkway without stopping. It was strange for me to drive that road without pulling off to do some shooting in some of the locations along the way. That road never gets old. We were pushing north, however. We made our way all the way north to Grande Prairie, which is about as far north in Alberta as I’ve ever been. It rained a lot. But, we still managed to get some trekking done. And, we managed to catch an extremely beautiful sunset on the prairies and a wicked display of the Northern Lights. From Grande Prairie, we pushed on to Slave Lake. Again, we were met with a bit of rain. But, wow, Slave Lake is beautiful. I was really impressed with that area, and had no idea interesting it is visually. I would have loved to get some better weather up there to do some photography. We did, of...

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