Tag Archives: rocks

Harris Colour

Inspired by Roy Essery’s cracking website (here) I thought it about time to upload some of my images from our recent workshop to Harris. The Outer Hebrides being so far north, and so far into the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that this is a world of contrasting weather and contrasting colours. It’s a wonderful place for black and white, but I’ll leave that for another day…

 

These colours are barely tweaked at all in PS. Vivid green, purple, blues and oranges, all very typically Scottish…, and all very photogenic!

 

 

 

 

There’s no Scotland trip planned for 2019 (check out the brochure here), but Harris pulls strongly, so we’ll be back there the following year. Now, to have a look at the monochrome images…


Arizonan Curves and Colour

When I was growing up I never, ever, thought I would say something like this: I love a good rock. But it’s true. Some of the most spectacular awe-inspiring things I’ve photographed are… rocks! Look, here’s a lion bursting out of the rock…
Lower antelope2_small

 

What happened to my rock and roll youth? It must be age (middle, I hasten to add, and only just…), a greater awareness of surroundings, context, time. And a growing appreciation of natural beauty.

 

Lower antelope6

 

Lower antelope7

 

These curves, swirls, and flows all come from the slot canyons near Page in Arizona. The rocks look alive, full of movement and colour. These pics aren’t tweaked – this colour is real. One of the most spectacular places on the planet – almost not of this planet: otherworldly.

 

upper antelop1

 

I loved photographing in this place so much that I’m going back there in Oct next year to lead a photographic workshop. Check it out if you’re interested: http://www.aspect2i.co.uk/intermediate-level-yosemite-national-park-photography-ID115.html  Six guests plus two workshop leaders (myself and Paul Gallagher). It’s going to be awesome!

 

Lower antelope5b

 

 


Truly, God’s County….

Ah, I keep waxing lyrical about landscapes elsewhere. It’s because I’m a travel junky… But the dramatic and the sublime don’t have to be that far away. My own birth county is a great example. Yorkshire – beauty and drama, everywhere.

Yorkshire limestone

Conistone limestone

 

This landscape is wild and haunting. In the two hours I was at Conistone it blew a gale, hailed, rained, battered me until I was frozen. Good for clearing the mind and breathing deeply – easy to imagine Heathcliff and Cathy not far from here!

Almscliffe Crag

Almscliffe Crag

 

All these grykes and clints forming run off lines into the distance. A photographer’s paradise. And then the sun comes out, and it’s sublime…

Grykes and Clints

Grykes and Clints

 

Truly, God’s County…

 


Wind, water, ice, and FIRE

This place is all about colour. Dusk and dawn, the rocks burn in Bryce Canyon, Utah

 

Bryce Canyon at dusk

Bryce Canyon at dusk

 

 

Wind, and constant freeze/thaw weathering have created the amazing rock formations at Bryce. All is jagged teeth and hoodoos. But it’s the minerals in the rocks that create the colour. And when the sun gets low, everything just glows.

 

Dawn at Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon

Dawn at Natural Bridge, Bryce Canyon

 

Hoodoo and dead tree

Hoodoo and dead tree

 

This is the US, so nothing is impossible. Even the trees seem to believe that. Take the fir tree below. It’s grown up out of the canyon to a height of 200 feet before it gets anywhere near open sky. That’s an I-can-do-anything attitude. Unbelievable.

How did this tree grow here?

How did this tree grow here?

 

Those are the actual colours of the rock...

Those are the actual colours of the rock…

 

Lust for life

Lust for life

 

A remarkable place. Can’t wait to return – I want to see it in the snow!

 

Bryce amphitheatre - amazing.

Sunset Point – amazing.

 


Utah rocks!

A few of my posts recently have focused on rocks. They’re just endlessly fascinating. Maybe I missed my vocation and should have been a geologist… I make no apology for my obsession. Here are some more pics, from Utah:

 

One of the Mittens, Monument Valley

One of the Mittens, Monument Valley

 

Everyone knows Monument Valley, and mighty impressive it is too. Brings out the John Wayne in me; makes me want to shout ‘Yihaaa!’ (I did, quite a lot, to the embarrassment of the kids). But round the corner is a lesser known but just as impressive valley, all the better because it’s deserted.

Eye of the Gods

Eye of the Gods

 

This is Mystery Valley, land of arches and Navajo ruins. It’s a gem. In fact it’s such a fantastic place for photographers that I don’t think I should be telling you about it. Forget that I’ve told you where it is, enjoy my pictures, and then never go there. Leave it to the Navajo ghosts (and to me, when I return with my tripod!)

 

Navajo lived here for 2000 years

Navajo lived here for 2000 years

 

Those indentations - that's where the Navajo put the ladder to get up to the hoodoo man's dwelling

Those indentations – that’s where the Navajo put the ladder to get up to the hoodoo man’s dwelling

 

This is truly a land of wide open spaces and dramatic rock formations. Awesome, in the true sense of a much overused word…

 

How wonderful that rock can do this!

How wonderful that rock can do this!

 

Totem Pole, back in Monument Valley

Totem Pole, back in Monument Valley

 

A dirt track leads out of the valley. Forget the car, I need my horse! And a stetson! YIHAAAAAA!!!!!

 

The way out

The way out.

 

 

 


Nice Gneiss!

How often do you stop and look at something? Really look – very closely? So much that you actually see…

Lewisian Gneiss

Lewisian Gneiss

 

It’s quite a difficult thing to do. We all rush around in our hectic lives, so to stop and truly see is quite different. Almost feels strange to spend so much time just looking…

Ancient rock

Ancient rock in the waves

 

I spent some time doing just that recently on a beach in Lewis. At first all you see is rocks, but then the colours and the shapes become more apparent. The first photographs are difficult. Then it becomes easier. I begin to see. As if the rocks pose to have their portraits taken.

 

Circles touching

Related rings in the rock

 

These particular rocks are 3 billion years old. 2/3 as old as the Earth itself. The heat, pressure and then ice and waves have created fantastic colour and fantastic shape. The rocks will be here long after I have gone. So I’m glad I spent some time looking at them. I slowed down, took some time, and looked. Nice to share some time with the Gneiss. And not to hurry…

 

Bedwell_rocks2

 

(If you liked these photos, have a look at Sunny Scotland won’t stop me taking photos)

 

 

 


Sunny Scotland won’t stop me taking photos!

What sort of weather do you associate with the far north of Scotland? I mean – right up the top. Not even the Hebrides…, the Outer Hebrides? It’s got to be rain, correct? Big, moody, storm filled skies. Huge rolling breakers coming in off the Atlantic all the way from Greenland. Wet! The Scots even have their own word for it, dreich: drizzly, wet, heavy, grey. That’s what I wanted for my trip last week. I wanted moody and dramatic. Storms! What did I get? Sunshine and blue sky. I can’t believe it!

 

A break in the sunshine, some clouds, & I got snapping!

A break in the sunshine, some clouds, & I got snapping!

 

OK, OK, so the first image looks a bit grey-ish. I had to work hard for that. This was perhaps a 10 minute cloud passing between almost incessant sunshine. Photographers have to seize every opportunity…

 

Luskentyre beach

Luskentyre beach

 

This was more like it. Great big blue sky reflecting off the wet sand. You’d think it was the Bahamas. In fact it was so warm it felt like the Bahamas! Mind you, one big advantage over the Bahamas – the Isle of Harris was deserted, completely!

 

Cotton wool wave

Cotton wool wave

 

Now this one could be bluer, but the long exposure filter has toned it down (to blur the wave) and I’m fond of it so it’s staying that way… Mrs P has deigned to comment that she likes this one, so I know I’m forgiven for disappearing for a week…

 

Empty beach. Not like the Caribbean...

Empty beach. Not like the Caribbean…

 

A week of empty beaches, dramatic scenery, uninterrupted photography and the odd wee dram of whisky. Heaven. Couldn’t have been better…., well, apart from the weather!

 

(Thanks to Aspect2i for a fantastic photography week. If you’re interested in truly inspirational photo workshops then check them out: http://www.aspect2i.co.uk )