I've recently got an IPhoneX and have been really impressed with the quality of the camera. I therefore wanted to test it more thoroughly on a trip last week at one of my favourite locations, the Big Sur that is situated on the Pacific Coast Highway and is perhaps the most dramatic stretch of coastal road in the whole US. I shot all of the photographs direct from the phone using the in-built black and white filter and wanted to see how good the dynamic range was at capturing high contrast scenes. The selection you see below are therefore all completely unedited and native straight from the IphoneX.
During a recent trip to visit the HQ of Manfrotto in Bassono Del Grappo in Italy, I was fortunate enough to have an evening free to explore Venice. Giorgio, who looks after all of Manfrotto's ambassadors globally, kindly agreed to be my guide for the evening and it was fantastic to have a local show me around the winding streets and canals of this historic, beautiful and unique city.
We braved temperatures of about -3C and spent around four hours traversing the streets and discovering the beauty of Venice by night under a clear, starry sky. The cold worked to our advantage as the city was deserted adding to its mystery and charm - Giorgio explained the history of this unique place and showed me some beautiful hidden gems that you would never find as a tourist. I still can't quite believe Venice has managed to remain so unique with it only being accessible by boat, having no road names, and maintaining a charm that is unrivaled in no other place I've been to. The advantage of photographing Venice at night is that you do not have to deal with the hoards of tourists and it is so easy to get lost amongst the winding canals, bridges and streets as you discover hidden gem after gem to shoot. Below are just a couple of my favourite photos from our walk.
P.s. If you're going to shoot Venice at night a sturdy and light tripod is essential. Firstly, there is not much ambient light so you are going to want to use long shutter speeds and secondly you are going to have to a lot of walking...I'd carry as light weight a tripod as you can and think about how much gear you want to take before heading out...your legs, shoulders and back will thank you later!
With just one day off from my commission to shoot the Super Bowl in San Francisco and all of the razz ma tazz that goes along with it, I decided to escape the throngs of football fans and get out of the city to the quiet oasis of the Marin Headlands just over the Golden Gate Bridge. Indeed, one of the things I love about San Fran, is that in just a couple of miles you can be surrounded by stunning natural scenery, soaring, peaceful Redwoods and such clean fresh air making it incredibly easy to unwind. Here's a couple of my favourite shots from the day:
I'm fortunate enough to be in Lake Como at the moment teaching some workshops. The beauty of the scenery here is breathtaking. I'll be sharing lots of shots in due course but here are two 100+ stich panorama that I took just a few hours apart. The first was taken as the fog rolled in magnificently between the mountains and the second during one of the most spectacular sunsets that I've ever seen.
Recently, I visited Paris on a short trip to capture some of the cities most iconic landmarks. The city is steeped in history, culture and romance and lends itself fantastically to taking fantastic photographs. Since returning a lot of photographers and friends have asked me about the best places to shoot in the city. In all honesty, there are so many diverse things to shoot from the eclectic winding streets of the Merais district to the exposed modernist architecture of the Pompidou that making a definitive list is almost impossible. However, below are a few of my favourite spots to photograph in the city:
1. Arc De Triomphe
One of Paris' most iconic landmarks situated at the end of the world famous Champs-Elysee this military monument lends itself brilliantly to being shot at dusk. Once the arch is illuminated, a long exposure will allow you to juxtapose the warm light of the stone with the energy of traffic whizzing around the Place Charles De Gaulle.
2. Notre Dame
This gothic cathedral is not only stunning from the outside replete with gargoyles and stained glass windows but also absolutely beautiful inside. You may also want to shoot it from the River Seine to get some nice reflections of the towers and turrets in the water.
3. The Eiffel Tower
Ok, granted this is an obvious one but, no trip to Paris is complete without some shots of one of the most famous landmarks in the world. There are many spots in the city to shoot the tower from; whether from right underneath it with a wide angle (first shot) or from one of the many rooftops where the public can access for free. I highly recommend the Printemps department store which, has the added bonus of a cute cafe for an amazing 360 degree panoramic view of Paris.
4. Montmartre/Sacre Couer
Despite being a little out of the city, it is well worth making the trip to Montmartre for more than just the climb to the Basilica of Sacre Couer which does though offer stunning vistas from the highest point in the city. The church itself when bathed in sunshine shines a brilliant white and looks great in photos and there is a bustling street market with hundreds of artisans and painters, enough to keep the most avid street photographer occupied for hours.
5. The Louvre
As well as being home to the world's most famous painting the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is a fascinating structure to photograph where modern and classical collide. The accompanying Tuileries Garden is also a fun place to shoot charismatic Parisians scuttling between the busy Place De La Concorde and museum district.
6. Montparnasse Tower.
I always love viewing cities from above and a journey up the Montparnasse Tower is a must. It has a very well designed viewing area, you can take tripods and there is plenty of time/space to photograph the entirety of Paris below. I would recommend going up just before sunset to watch the lights come on in the City. I also think it has the best view of the Eifflel Tower anywhere in the city. If you want your postcard picture, this is the place.