The UK Through My Lens

April 26th, 2011 by Nate

[view the full album on my flickr page]

At the beginning of April we had the privilege of taking our first vacation overseas. We’ve been wanting to go abroad for a long time and the perfect opportunity finally presented itself to make it happen. Our friends were temporarily living in Aberystwyth, Wales which allowed us to stay with them for a portion of the trip. We chose the UK because it was a relatively easy entry into the world of travel and there’s plenty to see in a small area. Naturally, I was excited because it’s somewhere I’ve never been and I didn’t know what to expect – All I knew was there would be some amazing architecture and probably a lot of wide open spaces with grazing animals… and plenty of new inspiration. There’s something about taking a picture of something you’ve never seen before. You don’t have to try to capture it in a new way, you can just focus on taking the photo in the best way possible for the subject. For the first time in a long time, I decided to only shoot JPEG so I wouldn’t have to worry about the massive file sizes of RAW and constantly switching cards. I planned on doing plenty of bracketing for HDR’s inside cathedrals and many panoramas.

While the weather was generally nice (often not the case), late in the afternoon a mist would descend upon the land and give it a dull muted haze. I’m so often drawn to bright colorful things that it was nice to be reminded how beautiful and simple things can be when not you don’t have color to distract or enhance the scene.

One of my favorite photos from the trip, for it’s sheer simplicity

What I was pleasantly surprised to discover was that the UK was full of interesting compositional opportunities. Maybe I’m just becoming more sensitive to those kind of artistic elements due to my focus on them as of late, but the architecture and structures really created prominent leading lines and divisions of color and form that I wasn’t used to seeing. It allowed me to focus on simplicity and a sort of purity that I’d been craving.

I love the blue stripe, the 2 windows, the grid paneling, the white bird vs blue sky

I definitely got a chance to shoot HDR’s inside the York Minster, which was one of my favorite locations to shoot of the trip. Such beautiful architecture  made for some really detailed shots with gorgeous lighting. By combining bracketed shots, it brought out a lot of the detail that might normally be hidden in shadow or blown out by the bright windows. I even tried shooting “vertical panoramas” since the ceilings were so high and those came out rather interesting.

Inside the Minster’s quire, 3×3 shot hdr+panorama


All in all, I definitely caught the travelling bug and I can’t wait to keep exploring. There’s so many cultures, so many people, so much to see out there and I can’t wait to capture it all in memorable ways.

[view the full album on my flickr page]