One of the pleasures of walking along the Coast Path is experiencing stunning views, seemingly at every turn! For those of you who go walking with a camera, intent on capturing that special moment in time, we have put together some top landscape photography tips for you below. These are provided by David Noton, our professional judge for this year’s South West Coast Path photographic competition. David is an award winning photographer, based in the South West, who often roams the Coast Path looking to achieve that ‘Eureka’ moment.
If you’re looking for inspirational locations to take photographs from, click on any of the photo gallery images above which will take you straight through to information about where they were taken. Here you will also find suggested walks to accompany them.
Achieving the Eureka Moment
Plan your shoot
Finding a good location is the first priority. There’s no substitute for getting the boots on and eyeballing the location. Try new parts of the Coast Path where you haven’t been before. Be adventurous.
Understanding light and how it changes over the 24 hour cycle is a key skill for a landscape photographer. The more you do this sort of shoot the more you get a feel for the nature of light.
The more you can pre-visualise the picture and plan the lighting you need the better the likelihood of success. Be prepared to return to the same location again and again until you get the right light and condition
Hone your photographic technique and work in a meticulous logical way to extract the maximum quality possible. Check focus, depth of field, exposure and tripod stability to make sure that you are getting the very best from your equipment.
Familiarity with your equipment is essential; you don’t want to be fiddling with camera settings whilst the often-fleeting best light is illuminating the subject. Our camera’s auto focus and exposure modes are so good it’s tempting to think we can just switch them on then just point and shoot.
Create something different from a familiar view. They are dramatic locations where you’ll be sure to be presented with epic well known views requiring none of the arduous and time consuming business of location searching.
Beyond the beaten track search out locations and ideas which are a child solely of your imagination and photographic eye. Creating such originality isn’t easy but far more rewarding then merely reproducing what has been done before.
Enjoying your photography is the key. It sounds blindingly obvious but the task of creating masterpieces day in, day out can become a pressure. When the weather or circumstances turn against you the burden of expectation can ruin all enjoyment of the adventure.
Relax, and have faith in your own skills. You can’t beat Mother Nature. If you put yourself in the right place at the right time enough sooner or later you’ll get lucky.
Keep it Simple
The best compositions are always the simplest. Sweep your eye from corner to corner of the frame and ask yourself if there’s anything included that doesn’t deserve to be there. Photography is the art of knowing what to leave out. Less is more.
See the Light
Always consider the nature of the light and where it is coming from. The light itself can often become the subject itself. The right light will lift a shot immeasurably, whilst a scene illuminated by light from the wrong direction or at an unsuitable time of day.
Lens choice is all about perspective; in a nutshell that means deciding about the relationship between foreground and background within the image area. Wide lenses accentuate foreground interest, longer lenses emphasise the true scale of distant objects, while medium focal length lenses render a natural balance between the two.
Enter the competition
This year's top 12 photos will feature in the 2016 South West Coast Path Calendar, with the 1st prize winning image appearing on the front page. Each copy sold will raise a minimum of 25p for the South West Coast Path Association for path improvements. There are some superb prizes including a One Night Luxury Spa Break at The Carbis Bay Hotel.
Full details about how to enter your images and terms and conditions are available HERE
To purchase the 2015 Calendar OUT NOW purchase from the South West Coast Path Association shop at www.swcp.co.uk to help raise more funding towards improvements to the Path.