Landscape Photography at Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, Wales (Ep #060)


So what’d you think of Anglesey then?
i think it’s beautiful. Absolutely stunning. I’m looking forward to where we’re going
now even though I can’t pronounce it you might have to do the honors on this one
it’s Llanddwyn Island. There you go, that’s the one I was gonna say that! Hello and
thanks for joining me on another landscape photography outing. Today I’m
on the beach at Newborough and we’re heading down to Llanddwyn island for some
landscape photography, and I’m with the amazing Mr. Darren Knight! So Darren’s in North Wales as the first
part of his December tour. He’s heading off up into Snowdonia later this week
and I’ve already taken him for a spin round to show him a few photographic
spots. So we’re spending a day on the island and doing a bit of coastal
photography and I thought I’d bring him down to Llanddwyn because the light is
really flat and Llanddwyn gives us a few different subjects that we can point our
cameras are that aren’t quite so dependent on really good light so we’re
still hopeful of getting the odd image Darren’s already set up and is doing
some long exposures on the beach anyway so we’re I’m just kicking my heels and
waiting on it it’s really interesting watching another photographer at work
close-up especially when he’s got way better equipment than you but don’t tell
him that don’t worry about it well they know
you’re here I wouldn’t worry about it so we’ve made it down to the end of the
island and after a really interesting walk where Darren’s told me all about
his Iceland trip so make sure you check those out on his channel I’ll put a link
to it up here but yes so we’re probably going to spend a couple of hours here I
should think and most likely go our separate ways
Darrin will be filling his boots with all the iconic shots and I’ll be
mooching around see if I can find something a bit different for a change
conditions are quite interesting it’s actually quite flat grey light but
there’s still quite a bit of definition in the sky and there’s a lots going on
over the clean peninsular so I think we’ve got a fair bit we can use so let’s
see what we find so Darren’s way over there on the
headland doing his own thing and he’s getting the big shots of Turin Merida
which is what you’d really want to come here for what I’m actually quite
interested in today there is something a little bit different I really like to
luck or the little Tower I like how gnarly and run-down it looks
I like that bit of metalwork on the top of it which was probably the old light
but what’s working for me today very specifically is that backdrop where the
clouds are just condensing out as that as the airmass scrapes across the top of
the mountains and there’s a backdrop of higher darker clouds which is creating
some quite nice contrast so what I want to try and do is find a composition that
makes the best of that backdrop but I’m shooting it from over here on this
little headland because I want to use quite a long focal length so I can pull
that background in and make it have a little bit more impact so the next thing
to do is to get hold of the camera not with a tripod but just move up and down
here and see what I can do as far as a composition is concerned so let’s do
that next okay so the first thing I’m going to do is to walk down onto this
little headland to see how it looks when I shoot back across to the tower this is
a sort of angle I have in mind where I got a little bit of that rock face
underneath and the tower a bit of room to breathe the problem with this
position as you can see over on the left hand side is there’s the roof of that
boathouse which as a modern structure really doesn’t work for me as part of
this composition now I don’t want to go with any longer focal length and zoom in
any further because otherwise I’m not going to have enough of the backdrop
that I’m looking for so let’s try another position so here a
similar focal length and I apologize for the wall
camera work but I’m hand-holding my main DSLR for this so you can see what I’m
looking at I’m at 70 millimeters and now you can see I’ve moved across to the
left and I no longer have that roof of that boathouse in the way and this is
the sort of composition I’m going to be looking at I want the tower across to
the right of the image so that that impressive mountain backdrop is included
and then gets get that definition in the sky so let’s get the camera on a tripod
and take a closer look at the settings okay so I’ve got this shot all set up
and let me talk you through what I’m doing with this as you can see it’s
pretty flat grey light and that means that the bulk of the exposure is going
to be mid-tones I don’t have any bright highlights and I don’t have any really
dark shadows that makes it pretty easy to control so I’m shooting manual but I
want to very specifically shoot one stop over what that means is I’m gonna push
the histogram as far as I can over to the right without clipping any
highlights that can be quite difficult when there’s bright light to contend
with but because it’s all soft gray mid-tones it’s quite straightforward the
advantage to that is that it’s easier in post-processing to darken the frame down
in the areas that you want to darken without degrading the quality of the
image if you take a darker image you can easily pull those shadows up as you’ve
probably seen in countless images and Lightroom post-processing videos the
problem with that is that as you pull those shadows up you’ll always be
introducing noise into the image so by exposing as bright as you possibly can
and pulling down you don’t introduce any noise now I’m shooting at about I think
according to my lens just over 70 mil so it’s probably 75
or there abouts I probably will have to crop just the very edge of the the
boathouse roof over there but that’s okay because I have it in mind to have
it as an 8 by 10 crop anyway but what this has allowed me to do is to feature
those bright clouds right on the top of the mountains as a band sitting right
behind the tower and that’s what I’m interested in doing I’ve got a point 9
soft grad on because I want to give it as much contrast as I possibly can in
camera and then obviously I’ll be looking to introduce more in
post-processing to give some real punch to that definition in doing that I need
to be careful because obviously the tower with all that lovely texture on it
has been slightly darkened down by my filter so in post I don’t want to darken
it down any more so there’s gonna be some masking required so that I’m only
working on the sky in effect that the background to the tower in all honesty
it’s not the most interesting image in the world because with the best way in
the world you can’t do much with this light but as a technical exercise and
also an opportunity to try out a particular composition there’s nothing
to stop me coming back here at another point in time when maybe I can do
something with more interesting light so I mean got that one in the bag by the
wave settings so my settings for this shot very straightforward a simple f11
one exposure at about a second at ISO 100 well I don’t know where Darren’s got
to I haven’t seen him for a while so I’m hoping he hasn’t drowned but I’m off to
see if I can find another shot before packing up for today but he L nearly went then um right yeah
what I’m doing with this one is this is a shot that I’ve never seen before and
I’m shooting back from this vantage point almost as if I’m a drone hovering
above the beach shooting back towards the old lifeboat house and the war
memorial cross and I’m working with a shutter speed of about two seconds so
that I can get the water sliding back off the gravel as the waves recede and
that’s specifically what I’m looking to do so I’m shooting manually again
slightly overexposing so that I’ve got more detail to work with impost in order
to achieve that shutter speed I’ve got a three stop ND filter on and I’ve also
got my CPL on not for polarizing purely because it
adds another stop and a half so I’m at about four and a half stops of darkening
it’s still giving me as I said a really bright exposure and that’s what I want
to work with in post so it’s just a matter of waiting it out now for that
perfect wave to roll back off the beach about two seconds perfect one of the things you learn living in a
place like this is how to spot a weather front coming in two reasons one you
probably need to get outta Dodge a bit shellfish because it’s gonna start
tipping to help sort Li second reason though is before you go use that amazing
detail in the sky we’ve been dealing with this really flat gray light all
afternoon but we’re starting to get some definition on the horizon and also
across behind torn our which is my last composition for this afternoon I think
I’m shooting it from a completely unusual side angle not because that’s
necessarily the best composition by any stretch of the imagination but mainly
because immediately behind the tower this I’m absolutely fabulous definition
in the sky and that’s what I want to capture to finish off the composition in
my frame what I’ve done deliberately is to have a ridge of rock on the headland
that I’m standing on right in the foreground about ten feet in front of
the camera and the reason I’ve got it up as high as I can get it is it’s giving
me that separation down onto the sand and then the headland between me and
tool mallet and then the headland that tool now on gives me four planes of
depth within this image and that’s what I’m going for with it I’m shooting it at
f11 but because the closest element is only about ten feet in front of the
camera it’s going to be a focus stack so probably four or five images I should
think again shooting manually slightly over exposing the light is dropping
quite fast now so at f11 with a 0.9 soft grad I’m getting a shutter speed of two
and a half seconds so I’ll take these exposures and then head off as if I can
find out where Darren’s got to well I found him so the obvious question then Darren how
did you find it I loved it right so I absolutely loved
it I mean I know everyone’s probably photographed that lighthouse but I
haven’t and I’m so pleased I got it I really enjoyed the small one as well I
struggled with the end image but I put a little stopper on gone for long exposure
so fingers crossed that brilliant okay right so it’s time for us to clock out
with a bit of luck we’d be able to get off the island without getting our feet
wet but if I’ve cocked up the tide times I’m sorry so we’ll leave it there for
this one thank you ever so much for tuning in as always if you’ve enjoyed
this please give it a thumbs up leave me a comment tell me what you thought oh
and by the way before I forget if you haven’t done it yet
why not subscribe now and join me next time Cheers

31 Replies to “Landscape Photography at Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey, Wales (Ep #060)

  1. Nice collaboration. Looking forward to seeing what Darren captured too… the images worked well with the conditions you was having… I think my fave was the image where you nearly went for a dip – my heart was in my mouth as you stepped back mate..lol. Always love the way you talk us through your compositions and how you want to present them .

  2. Blimey David, my bum was pouting when you are standing on that cliff edge shooting the old light boat house๐Ÿ˜ฑ You should start your own Welsh photography tourist business, the amount of togs you've been hosted recently! Great to see Darren having fun! Interesting tips there regarding shooting a stop lighter to bring back in post – I normally shoot a shot darker, but your point about introducing noise is a good one. Great video, really enjoyed watching it

  3. Your videos are wonderful lessons. You talked about exposing to the right. I had heard that often, BUT you explained why! So clearly. So much other good information as well. Thank you.

  4. always big fun to be out with somebody who share the same passion as photography is……lot of good conversation and tips, thank you for sharing very enjoyable outing, cheers Verdon!

  5. Cracking! great to see you an Darren, some fabulous shots an for fucks sake be careful on them cliffs!! I actually twitched and covered my eyes!! Look forward to seeing Darrens vlog and shots.

  6. fantastic vlog there buddy I really enjoyed that, so very informative which was nice. my favourite has to be the last one, the focus stacked image. PS that looked like a bit of a drop there I thought you were a gonna haha.

  7. To me, that looked like some very interesting light, maybe no bright spots of sun, but still intriguing. It made for an interesting atmosphere. I've been there to the island once, but the tide was in and I wanted to get over to the church in the sea, so I didn't get out to photograph the lighthouses (I'm from the US).

  8. Great vlog David, such a great place to go and shoot at, and every tog has shot there but untill you shoot them yourself its totally different

  9. Another fantastic video David, I always watch on the TV. but had to watch again on the Computer just to drop a comment. Always very informative, and I really enjoy the way you take the viewer through your composition and the thought process behind the final image.

  10. Marvelous Vlog David
    Some stunning images and great to see both you and Darren together in particular at a spot Iโ€™ve visited myself
    Well done guys

  11. thanks David, another great vlog! The final 2 images are superb and are definitely my favourites. Thanks as always for your time and effort – I am now off to check out Darren'sย channel. Thanks again and see you on the next one.

  12. What a fantastic video Dave and can I say a huge thank you to you and Jan for being such great hosts.

    Your images of the small lighthouse were fantastic and this is a place Iโ€™d love to return too.

    D Griff, a real gentleman ๐Ÿ™

  13. Another great video, sir. I love the horizontal "layering" of your tower image. Considering the light you had to play with, the colours you captured are stunning, as is the image itself. Keep up the great work, although don't lose your balance like that again! I'm not good with heights and that gave me a "turn" ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. You have great attention to detail David. The drone footage at 10:20, what a mono shot that would have been with that lurrrvely curved line๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  15. Great video. What a wonderful place. I've not been since I was a nipper. Brought back some memories. Wonderful shots. It's a pleasure to watch you at work.

  16. What a super production, with two great up-and-coming vloggers both in easy reach of 1000 subs! I've said it before, but why not say it again; your presentation skills are very professional and make it very watchable. The image at 15:05 was my favourite. Cheers!

  17. Great vlog, David. As others have said, you teetering on the edge was not easy to watch. Iโ€™d not come across Daren Knightโ€™s channel, more tablet time coming up!

  18. Amaizing , amaizing , amaizing ! I have been at this place not too long ago but unfortunately i lost all my images from that day ๐Ÿ™ anyway this place worth to visit more than ones ๐Ÿ™‚ thanx to god you did not fell off from the rocks be careful ๐Ÿ™‚ enjoyed this video as always I do from you. I hope we meet soon there ๐Ÿ™‚ thanx

  19. I really enjoyed this Dave, Im glad I have discovered your channel, it was lovely to see this video, with you and Darren collaborating together in this beautiful location. I thourly look forward to enjoying more of your vlogs in future.

  20. Great to see more of the island in this vlog David. Another one for the location list, it's getting longer each vlog I'm watching of yours! Thanks for sharing and really enjoyed your images.

  21. Very good vid I Thor with the first image you would have done 2 vertical shots and stitched them together

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