Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

If I could just make it, then I’m sure I will be ok.


So i have started with an image, that if you follow me on twitter @teamdubb you would have seen posted last weekend. This was taken with my iPhone just after I had taken a shot of the fog coming over the island. The next image, is the image from my Nikon. I think you will enjoy it.



No Diving.


At last!….

I’ve been away from wordpress for long enough now. Things have just been way to busy to even think of posting here! Until now….

Had some quality time with my Nikon this week…well, 35 mins last Thursday to be precise. But those 35 mins were all that was needed! I was at kalles inn with the family for the weekend when suddenly this massively thick fog came creeping across the water! I jumped to the chance of getting some shots! I had some crackers that I will post but for now, here’s a little taste…..enjoy.

Kalles Inn

Some homework for me. I say homework as I’ve been given the task of taking photographs of Kalles Inn for the new website. These are a few shots from my workplace Kalle’s Inn. Here is one of 4 restaurant buildings we have on the area. This is a traditional Lapland Kota building. Here we can seat up to 60 persons and there is overnight accommodation for 12 persons. The menu we mostly serve in this building is a Cream Soup of Finnish Chantarelle Mushrooms followed buy Finnish Salmon that’s roasted in front of the fire as you can see in the 4th image. For dessert we serve a Vanilla Creme brulee topped with Finnish Cloudberries. As of late i have been introducing more and more main dishes into the menu by roasting Wild Boar, Beef Inner Fillet, Moose Inner fillet and once a whole piglet for a medieval themed wedding! The roof of this building has small fiber optic lights that make up the star sky from the night it was built. The first and second image were taken on Aperture priority at f5.6-f8 using a Polorizer Filter. The third and forth images were taken on fully manual f8 at 40′ second.

The next image is another of the restaurant buildings on the area. This is a little special. It is shaped like a lighthouse! It has a Wood Burning aitokiuas Sauna that can sit 10 – 15 persons and a wood burning hot tub outside that can sit 8-10 persons. On the Third floor there is a restaurant that can sit 8-12 persons. This is the ideal place to spend the months of the midnight sun.

For the image i used an ND filter taken at f20 at 25 seconds plus a polarizing filter. Minor adjustments in Photoshop again and for my eyes, this image is perfect. How about yours?


Matthew Watkins Thur May 19 9:01pm

The Krisp Kalm Kvarken.

I finally get to post my images taken a few weeks back. There was no work for the weekend so what do we do? Pack up way too much stuff, and stay at our work place overnight. Well, it was Eurovision Night. Yeah, i know, how sad is that? Well its an excuse for the family to get together and laugh and joke and make fun of the artists performing! We arrived there pretty early in the day so i decided i would venture out to see what shots i could get. It was extremely still and the water was so calm! Here is a Google map shot From where i was shooting if your at all interested.

There are some great locations to shoot around this area and over the summer, i will hope to get as much done as i possibly can. OK , back to the photo’s. I love the effect on the water in these shots! Looks as if you can walk across it all the way to Sweden! These shots were taken around noon time using my Nd110 filter. I think I’m using this a little too much now but I’m really enjoying it! Only a slight Photoshop adjustment needed for each of these. I was using my polorizer filter along with the ND so i was ending up with a touch of vignetting only at the top of the image. So i just cropped out that if i did not want to use it and then just a slight exposure adjustment in each. Also, obviously, i processed 2 shots into black and white which I think work really well.

There’s enough chit chat now so time for the images! I would love to hear what you think off them in the comments section. Good or Bad, criticism is invaluable and much needed and appreciated!


Matthew Watkins Thur May 19 8:29pm

‘one day’

I learned a lesson this week. I, am my biggest critic and i should really cut myself some slack! I took a photograph some time ago called ‘movement’. I was unbelievably ecstatic about the result! The photograph turned out to be exactly what i had envisaged and hoping it would turn out as. I thought to myself at first ‘wow what an awesome capture’.

Now, I’m just starting out on my photography journey and unfortunately, I am the kind of person that needs feedback, or criticism. Good or bad, to help me progress. I know, that this way of thinking isn’t truly acceptable in photography. Photography is about you! Its how you view the world, its your feelings that are put into the shot. You see the shot, you hit the shutter its all you! 9 times out of 10 its not the subject either. Sure its the subject that has made you click, but at the end of the day its you that lines it up. When i say you, i mean the photographer. Obviously.

So, back to the ‘movement’ shot. When i didn’t get much of a reaction from the few people i have showed this shot too,  then i started to doubt my abilities and question my own ideas. Bad. Bad. Bad. I know. But, before you go off on one, this is my reasoning. Photography is an art yes? Its is a visual art. Its a stimuli. Its invokes feelings to the onlooker, reactions, thoughts….something! Doesn’t it? Does this happen to everyone? Or not? I don’t know. It has always happened to me. Of course each to their own. Everybody has their own way of reacting to things.

But then i saw something on the internet that really made me question my perspective on my ability and photography which is the main reason to this post. I saw my ‘movement’ shot. Well kind of. It was the same idea. So that got me thinking ‘hey, lighten up. Its what YOU see that counts’.

‘ I guess it is just frustration giving me a hard time. As i posted before in ‘Always thinking, a photographers brain’ I see shots constantly, but 98% of the time i don’t have the time to stop and shoot or have my camera with me. That, is frustration. That, is why i feel like i do.  Its my way of doing things that does not help either. I dive in head first at 100mph and i want to do it all as quick as possible. I hold my hands up to that and i know that there are much better and easier ways to do things. I guess its the curse of the ‘amateur’ or ‘hobby’ photographer. I completely class myself as an ‘amateur’ and a ‘hobby’ photographer but i really want to get myself out of this bracket and push into the professional side of things. One day I hope it will come, but with my way of thinking, one day, is one day too many!

Back to the shot…

As in this post I’ve gone on about ‘feelings’ and ‘reactions’ of a photographer and an onlooker, i feel i should explain MY ideas and reason for this photograph. Just to give a bit of background information and give you a glimpse into my way of ‘photography’ thinking.

As i posted in an earlier post which included this image, i was out testing my new B+W ND110 3.0 filter. After using this filter as much as possible since it has arrived, I’m getting really really attached to it and want to use it more and more. So that was the main reason i was out on this day taking photos. As i have explained it was not a very nice day at all to be out, especially to be by the sea where the winds were at their strongest.

But i had to get out, if i want to progress in my photography journey then sitting at home and thinking about shots is not going to help as such. I say as such, because for the 12-18 months that i dreamed of getting my first dslr, that’s what i did. I daydreamed shots and made up shots in my head. I had been subscribing to as many Photography magazines as my pocket money would allow and taking tips, ideas and inspiration from these. I watched hundreds and hundreds of videos on youtube on how to use a dslr  and its different modes and settings. Sorry, I’ll keep this for another post. Back to business.

So i saw this little boat sitting at the end of the harbor on its own. Thrashing from side to side in the current. It was quite still here in comparison to other parts of the harbor as this area was quite protected from the winds. But still there was a lot of movement. There were only a few boats docked in the harbor at this time, it was only 4-6 weeks ago that there was still 40-60 cm ice here. So needless to say it was quite early in the boating season. But this image of the old not very strong boat i saw hit a chord. Now, i thought this could be a boat of an old man, retired and this (boating) is something he enjoys but can only afford the most basic of boat. But never the less he has one, and its kept in great shape and is sparklingly clean! Probably he has been here to his decking spot as the weather started to change and the ice stated to melt, checking whether he can put his boat into the water or not. Probably as soon as he saw some water coming through he was there, getting his boat into the water and smiling from ear to ear. Now, since then the weather has not been grand, and in this part of the country, the wind is always strong! So i don’t really think he has ventured out further than the harbor area for too long this spring. But his boat is there, ready and waiting for the day or hour that the air is calm and the sea’s allow him to explore! So that is why i took this shot. That is what i felt and what i wanted to record. A picture tells a thousand words! That is why i love photography. This was My feeling. I don’t know if the next guy walking around on this harbor would think the same? But that is why I took the photo. Its a thought that I had. It interested me. It was a way into the mind of another you could say. The settings for the shot was 18mm f16 1″45 sec iso 100 with B+W ND110 filter. This was 1 minuet 45 seconds that i was in the boat owners brain. He has probably stood in this exact same spot, looking at what i/you are looking at thinking ‘one day’.


Matthew Watkins Mon May 9 10:31 am


So by the looks of things, I’ve been busy over the last few days! Photographing and processing images as i had the time. Feels good as vie not really had too much time to get out there and take new shots, just some time here and there to work on old photos. But that’s also fun! I had found some photos i had shoved somewhere in iPhoto and forgotten about, so now they are processed and up! What a waste that would have been.

Ok, back to the main reason about this post. I have finally had the opportunity to go out and shoot with my new, shiny B+W ND110 3.0 Filter. PHEW! Boy, now that’s a relief. It has been sitting here staring at me for around 10 days, just waiting for me to use it! I have had a few locations in mind for where i would like to use this filter around the area which i live. Me, being the impatient man I am, thought that i would get all these done and dusted in just 1 night’s shooting. Man was i wrong. The first location i had spotted was the closest, so that’s where i decided that i would set off to first.  Well, lets just say i would have needed some wellies, with stilts and wellies on them. Plus a ladder, and then a boat! Needless to say, my location scouting abilities failed me. Miserably. I was a little disappointed, but never the less, i had more places to fry! So off i set hoping for better luck. Man, was i wrong!

Here’s where i ended up…

I had found a great docking area which locals use to cast out their boats. So i set up me gear and looked for a great shot. Didn’t happen..The sun was way to bright resulting in massive areas of my image being washed out. Well, to be honest i was not to dissapointed, at least i had had some practice with using the ND filter. It was really nerve wracking at first, trying to figure out what to do first, plus the weather really was not on my side! (check out my last post for that one) So it went something like this…

Extend tripod

Secure camera to tripod with out dropping it on to the pebble beach!

Turn release mode to remote release

Find shot

Switch camera to Aperture mode and take reading

Remember that reading

Search pockets for ND filter (I kept it in the box so it would not get damaged don’t worry)

Screw filter to the camera without dropping it on the pebble beach

switch focusing to Manual

Search pockets for iPhone

Switch to the ND Calc app

Find your reading on the left hand side and the app calculates the exposure time for you! Hence the name ND Calc

Search pockets for IR Remote

Switch camera to Manual and Bulb, or in my case Time.

Hit countdown on the app and the button on the remote

wait….or whistle your favorite tune

When the app makes a beep, then hit the remote button to stop the exposure.

So as i said before. I spent about 45 minuets here just practicing and really did not come out with anything to write home about. So off i went in search of new things to photograph. I was quite lucky as only a stones throw away was the harbor area there in Brändö. People had started taking their boats out already as the snow and ice has finally dissapeared. So i was sure to get a few good shots!

This time, I was not wrong….Here are the shots i ended up with.

I am extremely pleased with the results of these shots! Had to do just a little processing in Photoshop afterwards but not much. So all in all a great experience. I had the chance to use my filter, and learned a most important lesson. Dont rush things, Take your time and take time on each location that your shooting. Hey even spend all night shooting that one place if possible! Just remember to enjoy yourself and enjoy the world that your capturing! I cant wait to let this baby loose on the world again!!


Matthew Watkins Wed May 4 11:09am

Good day for it mind!

Morning! Lovely day today! Just what i was hoping for as tonight, i will venture out into the wilderness (Vaasa) fully equipped with my Nikon D3000, Tripod, 10 stop ND filter and a flask. What will be in the flask is yet to be decided. I have a few different locations in mind and im hoping to cover at least 3 of these. They are all quite close to another so should not really cause a problem! I will post a Google Map Location of where i am shooting along with the pictures for reference! The only way i know how to do that at the moment is to take a screenshot with my iPhone 3gs and upload it as a picture and then use a browser link with it. If you are reading this and know of a different way to do so, then please share as i would be most grateful!

I am extremely excited about today’s project to be honest! It will be the first time i have used the Nd filter since its arrival! I’ve been waiting a long time to get my hands on one of these! whatever the result today i will be posting, Bad or Good shots as its all about learning and practice! Also, i will make a video of my first time using this filter and post to my YouTube site which is in the links section of the blog.

As its my first time using the filter, i will be leaving prepared with my ND Calc app on the iPhone which, if you didn’t already know, calculates an exposure time for any given ND filters accurately. Hopefully it will help me out tonight if need be. Today the Sun rose at 5:37 am and will set at 9:27 pm giving us a total daylight time of 15 hours and 49 minuets and dusk will end at 10:25 pm. This should give me plenty of time with some great evening light when i set out at around 7:00 pm.

So hopefully you will check back for the shots from tonight. They might not be here for a few days but hopefully they will be worth the wait!


Matthew Watkins Mon May 2 9:41am