Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Hi guys,

Just a couple of quick wee images from an Easter trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park that i am about to share on the site.  The first couple of images in this post however come from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which we drove through to get to QENP.  The first image is of the forest itself which is impenetrable to almost all who enter it and home to half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas.  Anyone joining one of my photographic trips will spend two days inside Bwindi battling the undergrowth and getting some of the most incredible photo opportunities on the planet (see image below).

As well as taking some images of the forest i also managed to get some of the incredible views outside the park as well.  In particular the terraced hills the line the edge of the park.

Ok, so Queen Elizabeth proper in the next post.  150 elepehants and a lioness on a buffalo ribcage!!

Stay well,

Chris

Formatt Hitech Filters

Hi guys,

The lovely people at Formatt are providing me with a range of their 100mm filters to try out.  In the next month I will get my hands on their Mk 4 Wide Angle filter holder, a set of  hard edge ND grads, a set of soft edge ND grads, and their new 10-stop standard ND filter.

But why bother you may ask!  Surely you can recreate ND grads in Photoshop?  And you would be right but at the same time I always prefer to get things right ‘in camera’.

Since moving to the 5D MkII I have struggled with my previous set of Cokin P series filters as they have produce to much vignetting at 24mm and a dark magenta colour cast.  So I spent six months without filters and experimenting with CS4. I certainly appreciated not carrying around the filters and getting much faster images .  But were they any better?  I tried HDR but didn’t like its effect on traditional landscapes.  I tried multiple exposures from my RAW files and layering them in CS4 but again didn’t like the finished product.  And I tried bracketing in camera to no avail.  Don’t get me wrong, you get some pretty satisfying results but it takes a lot of time and is dependent upon your skill with CS4.  After spending anywhere from 15-30min with each image I was always left without the satisfying feeling you get when you turn on your LCD screen and know that you have got it right first time in camera.

Now if landscapes only form a tiny proportion of your final images you might not want to invest in a filter system and instead stick with the occasional extra work in post-processing.  But, in my opinion, for anyone who is serious about their landscape photography a good filter system is invaluable and a must.

So Formatt are gratefully letting me go back to filters and see just how good a professional filter system can be.  Alongside Lee, Hitech’s 85mm and 100mm filter systems are regarded as the best in the world and I cant wait to get my hands on them, especially the 10-stop ND which will open up a whole new style of photography (see some of the reviews here and here).  This will also give me the chance to post some comparisons between my former Cokin system and the Hitech system on the blog as well as the difference between in camera filtered images and non-filter post-processing images.

I fly to the UK in August and will spend a couple of days in Scotland testing the filters before another couple of days in Nova Scotia.  I can’t think of better places to be to capture long coastlines and dramatic weather!  And then I’m back to Uganda in September to see what Hitech filters can really do.

A huge thanks to Cerianne and the team at Formatt for the opportunity and watch this space for the future tests!!!

Stay well,

Chris

Virunga Project

Hi guys,

Last month, knowing i had a couple of office weeks and not much chance for safaris, i decided that i needed a little project.  I have posted several images of the Virungas before but these were just smash and grab type photos taken quickly on impulse.

The district where we live has a number of mobile phone masts with each mast having its own service road.  Each mast is also located on the highest points throughout the district so it makes them easy to reach and they provide some of the best views of the volcanoes.

So for one week i decided to go to one of the masts every night at sunset to see what would happen.

I had a mixed bag.  Some cloudy days, some clear days and some spectacular days.  My only tips are that you have to be there ahead of time and that you always need to hold out until the last minute.  On several nights i had thought the whole project was a waste of time, cloudy, no distance, no definition, no light…time to go home…and then at the very last minute the skies erupted in a cloak of pink.

The best part about this week was finishing work and just sitting on the side of a hill for a couple of hours and watching the day end.  Nice to also get some great images!

Stay well,

Chris

Jacana Safari Lodge Shoot

Hi guys,

It’s been a long time since my last post.  Lots going on, and lots to catch up on!!

A couple of months ago i had the chance to go to Jacana Safari Lodge to get some shots for their marketing and new website which will be coming soon.  Jacana is one of the lodges our safaris stop at whilst in Queen Elizabeth and one of my favourites.  Jacana is nestled in amongst Maramagambo Forest (try saying that after a couple of drinks) and on the edge of a crater lake.  This location allows guests staying at Jacana to experience a wealth of primates and monkeys (chimps, colobus, red-tailed etc), a wealth of bird life (pelicans, kingfishers, weavers, etc) and a number of groups of hippos.

Anyway i was here to shoot the lodge on this trip so here are a few images from in and around the lodge.

For those of you able to join me on one of our trips you will each get your own chance to spend a couple of incredible days at Jacana.

Stay well,

Chris