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Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park is a wildly beautiful area of North Wales. Its vast number of peaks, lakes and quarries connected by trickling streams and rocky rivers create a photographer’s haven so it’s no wonder I love it! I first visited Snowdonia in 2013, and with my partner climbed the infamous Mount Snowdon. This spectacular mountain was our first stop in completing the three peaks (over the course of a year or so).

We took the Llanberis track, walking parallel to the mountain railway all the way to the summit. The scenery was stunning and thanks to the glorious sunshine, we were able to see for miles (I did, however, get sunburnt, even though it was extremely windy).

The track is reasonably steady, weaving around the mountain slowly but surely. It’s definitely suitable for beginners and offers spectacular views. The whole walk took us around 4 and a half hours to complete at a reasonably leisurely pace – with plenty of photography stops of course!

While in Llanberis, we stayed at The Royal Victoria Hotel, a little gem nestled within 30 acres of woodland and gardens. The room was perfect for a good night’s sleep after a long walk and there was plenty to see and do around the town. If you’re planning to climb Mount Snowdon, Llanberis is a great starting point and highly recommended.

As a keen landscape photographer, I will always remember my first trip to Snowdonia and because of its beauty, we have planned our next trip for the May Day bank holiday. This time we will spend a couple of nights in a farmhouse just outside of Bala. You’ll be able to read more about this trip once I’m back

 

I left my heart in Lanzarote.

After a long time waiting I was finally able to settle my travel excitement by hopping on a plane to Lanzarote. It was only a short 4 hour flight however, it felt like an eternity. All I wanted was to see some hot Canary Sun and take in another corner of the world.

This beautiful little island just 78 miles off the coast of Africa makes up part of the wonderful paradise of the canary islands. although windier than some of the other Spanish islands the all-year-round hot weather can draw a lot of attention.

With an abundance of wildlife coming into the shallow waters of Playa Blanca at Puerto del Carmen, there was plenty to do and see. Rocky landscapes, blue waters and sandy beaches were perfect for a bit of holiday photography. From sunrise to sunset and everything in between there was definitely plenty to get my teeth into.

The first few days on the wonderful island were filled with “100 things to do when it’s really windy on holiday”. Number one on the list: lie on the beach while sand blasts against your skin, giving you a free exfoliation. We were on our way to very smooth skin!

Once the wind had died down we booked ourselves onto a catamaran tour of Playa Blanca. I’ve never been on a catamaran before and it turns out when the waves start getting choppy you end up very very wet. They way down to Playa Blanca was fabulous. We had the fresh sea air billowing its way into our lungs, the great canary sun warming our skin and a large plate of Spanish paella to curb our appetite. It was heaven.

Once we anchored down, it took a while to decide whether our snorkels were going to have their fun. The sea was definitely cold.

We finally plucked up the courage to jump in and what a surprise. There were so many fish. It was truly amazing. Sadly, we hadn’t yet invested in an underwater camera so maybe next time I’ll capture some marine life. For now, the photographs are all above sea level.

The last few days were spent wandering around the town, buying tourist-focused gifts and eating ice-cream. We even had a go at the mini golf outside our hotel. Lanzarote provides such a laid-back way of life and Puerto del Carmen was the best place to have our first holiday. I’m so ready to travel again!

atlantic ocean crashing against lanzarote rocks

Playa Grande in Lanzarote looking back at Puerto del Carmen.

Rocky landscape in Lanarote.

Small coastal pathway leading between island villages.

landscape photograph of the Lanzarote coastline

Sunset in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Sunrise in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Sunrise in Lanzarote looking over the Atlantic.

Aeroplane wing in the sunset.

 

camera for the copyright of images blog

And copyright goes to… the photographer!

Who owns the copyright of a photograph is a major topic in the photography world. It comes up almost every time you take on a new job, contract or commission and many people out there don’t fully understand the concept of copyright.

A lot of the time, when I’m asked by a client, “Will you give me the copyright to my images”, I don’t get angry and start yelling about how they clearly don’t understand the value of my work. Instead, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for a well-rehearsed monologue.

Unfortunately, no, I will not give you the copyright for the images as this would mean I am practically signing my life away. I would no longer be entitled to all the lovely opportunities your portrait or wedding photographs may offer me. It would also mean that the client (or agency) would be free to do whatever they like with those images, without batting an eyelid.

Obviously, this isn’t the best idea as a photographer, however, after explaining that although they will not own the copyright but can sign a usage agreement that includes being able to print and share their photographs, many clients will agree, they don’t need the copyright. Or if they still want it, they are prepared to pay a hefty sum.

In simple terms, it doesn’t matter who set up the shot, who’s camera was used or even who edited the final photograph – the copyright belongs to the person who pressed the shutter. Copyright can get very messy when misunderstood, and maybe businesses and organisations ‘forget’ that crediting a photographer isn’t enough when copyright has been breached. Exposure can only get you so far, so when an image is used without an agreement, you can expect an invoice.

With the rise of image sharing platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram it’s very easy to get caught up in copyright arguments. Sharing and tweeting your favourite photographs from Google to accompany your post seems like a harmless venture, but be warned, someone out there took that photograph and wants credit for it and you can only assume, including their logo won’t be enough.

Luckily there are many websites out there offering royalty free images for personal and commercial use. www.pexels.com is just one of many offering fantastic photographs for everyday use.

There are, however, many Instagram accounts which ‘feature’ other photographers work. A lot of these will state in their bio a hashtag to use to get a feature. If you, therefore, use this hashtag, they will assume you are happy for your image to be shared for free in exchange for further exposure. This is a very easy way to get your photographs to a wider audience.

The thing that brought this subject to light for me today, was the news story:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-41235131

After a 6 year long legal battle, David Slater, eventually won copyright to the image taken by a monkey in the Indonesian Jungle. Since the beginning I backed the photographer, understanding the amount of work that would have gone into getting this close to these wild animals. Although I truly believe animals should be treated with kindness and respect, I was never in favour of the idea that they could own the copyright to a photograph. If a human didn’t press the shutter (similarly when using motion sensor technology) the copyright should belong to the person who had the most influence on the shot.

I’m glad Mr Slater decided to donate 25% of further profits to charity and believe this was definitely a win for the fight for copyright.

Until next time…

Natasha

P.S. The cover image was taken from Pexels.com

The Eynali Mountain Range, Tabriz

While staying in Tabriz, I was lucky enough to be situated in the Eram area, North of the city. From my balcony I could see the distinctive red sloped of the Eynali range, and couldn’t wait to climb the beautiful mountainside so I could look out over this wonderful city.

When we were finally blessed with a warm, sunny day (it had been cold and wet for a week or so!) we decided to start our voyage. From Eram, we climbed the steep slopes up to the main highway and then caught a taxi to the main tourist entrance of the range.

From here we could have caught the telecabin up to the summit, however, decided a short hike would be the best way to see the sights. It wasn’t long before we reach the top and it was definitely worth it.

The blue skies and red landscape were something more akin to another planet. I probably would have believed it if I was told I was on Mars. For the return journey to ground level, we took the famous telecabin ride, definitely not for the faint-hearted! We drifted along canyons and caverns taking in the most wonderful landscape.

If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful city, go and experience Eynali for yourself, it’s not one to miss!

 

Dand, highest peak in the Eynali Range
Dand standing at 2,378m.

The Eynali cable car line looking over Tabriz
The Eynali cable car line looking over Tabriz.

Yellow perimeter fence contrasts against red rock and blue sky
Perimeter fence for the nature conservation area.

An old watch tower sits against a dark blue sky
An old watchtower.

Cable car suspended against a blue sky
Telecabin ride.

Looking out over the tabriz landscape from the Eynali mountain range
The view of Tabriz from the telecabin station.

winding road leading out into the Eynali mountains
A long, winding road through Eynali.

deep valley of red rock in the Eynali range
A deep valley of red rock in the Eynali range.

Rock formations on the way up Eynali
Rock formations on the way up Eynali.

Apologies…

I understand it has been over 2 months since my last post but sometimes life just gets in the way, right? 

In October 2016 I was asked to capture beauty of newborn Ella. At just 1 week old she was already interested in the camera and kept looking around to see what was going on.

Ella, newborn, 1 week oldElla, newborn, 1 week old
This week I was asked to photograph her again. Celebrating just 6 months of life and she is already picking up so many skills! This gorgeous little girl sat so well while I photographed away making precious memories for the whole family.

I really look forward to watching her flourish! Photograph of baby sitting Photograph of baby close of up eyes and face

Have you ever seen such a thing?

“Until its discovery by Europeans in the early 1636, it was thought that all swans were white in colour.” (Ponnamperuma)

Well it goes without saying that yes, there really is such a thing as a black swan. Not just  movie title but an actual bird, cruising the lakes and waterways of Britain. Fortunately for me, I came across a pair of these stunning creatures this week. Whilst out trying to capture images of ‘reflections’, the theme posted by a local photographic page for the month, I ventured out towards a little village named Blatherwycke, just a few miles from my home. Sadly the morning sunshine had disappeared behind light cloud and the wonderful water reflections I was hoping for turned out to be less than average. However stumbling across these to beauties made the morning even more special.

 

black swans on lake in england

 

Ponnamperumahttp://panique.com.au/trishansoz/animals/black-swan.html

Happy Saturday!

Saturday’s are supposed to be the regular persons day off. Nothing makes me more excited than having the chance to get out with my camera, especially when it is to photograph the greatest love between two people or the sheer joy that can radiate from a child playing. This year I can only wish for more opportunities to use my Saturday’s off to do the things I love most. Work isn’t work when you love it, right?! 


Innocence is a Child

Have you ever wandered what keeps humanity from tearing itself apart? Could it be the innocence of a child, that stops us in our feat to destroy the world. Children have the most beautiful souls. Their eyes remind us of a simpler life, when all that mattered was what colour shoes would look best with that dress, or if your friend had finished dinner yet so you could go out to play. Children stop us from being vultures. We ensure that we behave civilisied whilst in their company. We play their games, read them fantasies, believe in their dreams. Without children, humanity would cease to imagine, cease to believe.

 

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Jo’s Graduation

So on the top of my own graduation on Friday 17th July, I also had the pleasure of photographing another young lady’s graduation celebrations. On Saturday I met Jo and her family outside a church in our local town. Sadly as a result of restricted numbers of tickets Jo’s younger brother and sister were unable to attend her ceremony and therefore asked for my help in creating long-lasting photographs so the event could never be forgotten.

I hope I did just that…

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