America and Tuscany – By John Gravett
Week 11 24 Attending
John returned to our club last night to present the USA Eclipse Tour he ran in 2017 for the first half of the evening and after a short break, his tour of the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy.
The USA tour took place around the west of America in August, which is an extremely hot time of the month, but the eclipse was due on the 21stof the month.
It began in Yellowstone Park which featured superb images of deep bluey green pools, sulphurous springs, petrified trees and all these enhanced by the amazing colours and textures of the rocks. Yellowstone provides walkways so that photographing the wonderful scenes are safe and comfortable.
John took us on to the day of the Eclipse when the party left the hotel at three thirty am to arrive at their destination near Jackson for ten o’clock. John had feared crowds and traffic jams but encountered very little. The eclipse started at ten and the party left at one thirty having enjoyed a magnificent experience .The photographs captured the slow covering of the sun and the darkness that it brought, John showed us the image known as the Solitaire because as the moon covered the sun it gave a diamond shape appearance.
The tour continued to Arches National Park with outstanding rock formations, the famous Monument Valley owned by the Navajo Indian people and used in many western films. They went on to Bryce canyon with its tall red spires of rock (Hoodoos)and Zion National Park with its wonderful scenery and waterfalls. John explained techniques used to obtain the images captured.
Perhaps the most stunning place of the tour was Antelope Canyon, caverns washed into breathtaking shapes and curves by water, and again he explained how he had explored different angles to enhance these shapes. The tour finished with Las Vegas which offered a different kind of photographic experience.
The second part of the evening took us to the misty delights of Tuscany and featured magnificent pictures of Tuscan landscapes, villages, olive groves, abbeys, and food and wine an important part of this area’s lifestyle. They visited the villages of Begino Vingoni, Pienza and the city of Sienna.
He had captured the wonder of these places with images of the fantastic Church’s architecture, the magnificence of the Duomo di Sienna. Other pictures showed the colourful houses of the people and the characters of the villages who were often seen eating and drinking their lovely produce. John explained how to capture photographs of the buildings in strong sunlight to bring out the textures and beauty of them. John said “Exposure and composition are two of the most important things in an image, especially the texture like a wall for example, detail needs to be brought out. Use the data of the histogram to ensure your exposure is how you want it.”
The evening slipped by and we felt that we had accompanied John on his tours and learned some valuable tips on landscape photography.
Written by Carol Haines
Next week COMPETITION: Club Challenge #2
Theme: LIGHT + OPEN
Judge: Micki Aston (Windsor)