Simplicity

Sometimes simplicity is the answer. Photo taken during my trip to Cumbria in summer 2013. Minimalist composition of three fishing boats heading into unknown with Isle of Man in the background . I was only starting with photography back then but few shots from that trip still belong to some of my favorite. This is re-edit of photo I already posted some time ago.


Merton Avenue Playing fields

I spend most of last year looking for perfect place to capture cityscape of Manchester. I have found few interesting locations what led me to to create my top 7 best hilltop spots described in my previous guide. At that time however I was not aware about one spot that instantly became one of my favourite. Merton avenue playing fields. Here are few photos captured from this amazing spot.


Full moon at Peel Tower

Cloudless sky's we've been recently experiencing was an excellent opportunity to capture moonscape photo. We are still in lockdown so I couldn't travel very far therefore Peel Tower was perfect place to go since it's within allowed mile range from my house. This time I only brought one, panoramic photo of moon rising over Scout Moor wind farm.


Haslingden Halo

This large sculpture is one of four Panopticons structures we can find across East Lancashire. Its part of art project that create 21st century landmarks as symbols of the renaissance of the area. I can’t remember how I discovered this location but from first look I knew it was good spot to shoot. As a huge fan on sci-fi books and movies I wanted to make photo reflecting that vibe. Here are few of my favorite images.


Virtual Exhibition

I always dreamt that one day my photos will be shown at an exhibition for everyone to see. It didn’t happen yet. In last few months I spent significant amount of time learning everything about 360 photography and panorama stitching workflows. That experience made me create this Virtual Exhibition where you can view some of my favourite photos taken around Manchester.

I used Photoshop template and 3dvista software to create it.



Icy Scout Moor wind farm

I’ve been visiting this place many times recently however it never happened under such icy conditions. Scout Moor Wind Farm is second largest on shore green energy provider in England. Supplies electricity to 40 000 homes across Manchester. It’s perfect place to cycle on mountain bike or simply to walk around. I’ve been enjoying coming here as it is closest place to find some snow due to its high altitude.

As always I have few images to share.



City shrouded in fog

When I got up that morning and looked out the window, world looked just like another a boring Monday morning. I was wondering if it makes sense to carry camera? At the last moment, I took it from the shelf and put it in my bag. When I arrived in town I could not be happier for my decision. Everything was shrouded in a thick layer of fog! As a photographer, I love foggy scenery. This gives each street and alley a more mystical and eerie look. It’s also one of those weather phenomena that doesn’t happen very often so when it does it’s better to be ready!

Unfortunately as I was running out of time and having only 10% of the battery, I end up making only about 20 photos that I’m quite pleased with.
In post-production I didn’t have much work to do because everything looked fine in the camera and the only changes I made were a little bit of colour grading and some sharpening.


Time blending

I discovered this spot not too long ago and I imminently thought it would perfect to try time blending technique that I had so much fun using recently. It’s a special exposure blending technique, which is usually used to combine several photos of the same scene that have been taken over an extended period of time. Typical examples are the combination of a blue hour photo with a another taken at night – usually used by landscape photographer with the stars or the Milky Way in the frame. However I like to blend city lights instead to make unique looking, high quality image that I would not be afraid to print even at very large size.

 

I’m not going to explain step by step how I’ve done it as there is plenty of videos online explaining entire process. Just look up “time blending technique” and follow one of many available tutorials to create stunning images!


Top 7 Manchester skyline hilltop views

Short list of Manchester skyline view points from easily accessible nearby hilltops. By creating this little guide I hope to bring some help for those who want to start in cityscape photography but don’t know where to go. You don’t need to be a pilot of a drone to create amazing images!

All seven spots are not just great cityscape photography locations – they offer so much more than that! From woodland areas with hidden waterfalls or bare hilltops spiked with wind turbines. These are beautiful natural landmarks reach of history and to easy access. This make them perfect to enjoy walk in nature with family or friends. On technical side; you don’t need expensive camera or super long zoom lens to create stunning images. Most of photos you going to see are taken at fairly small focal length ~80-100mm on full frame body.

Without further ado here is my top 7 Manchester hilltop views:

1.Werneth Low -Hyde – Don’t be mistaken by the name of this place. Word “low” does not refer to any lack of altitude (279 meters above the sea) but rather from northern English word “hill”. This location offers panoramic views of Manchester and it’s great at sunsets. Best time to visit it’s probably September or April as sun set directly behind city center. It’s easy to park near visitors center than climb for 10 min at steady pace.

2. Peel Tower – Bury – Name of the place come from monument build 1852 from hillside stones. Composition offers quite a bit of foreground interest especially at the dusk where you can capture car trails creating leading lines into the city. Be aware that google maps will lead you thorough narrow private roads therefore I’d recommend leaving your car at the bottom on the hill than climbing for 15 min to reach the hilltop.

3.Hartshead Pike – Ashton-under-Lyne – This hill over-viewing Ashton-under-Lyne and it can offer nice view on Manchester skyline. On very clear day you can see all the way to Liverpool. Google maps will lead you rightly to spot where you can park your car.

4. White Nancy – Bollington – It’s farthest south location I had found so far and it’s also hardest to shoot because of longest distance to the city. You going to need clear day to capture Manchester from this angle. In terms of foreground there is plenty of interest with Bollington village natural shape creating leading lines, drawing eye into the city.

5. Crompton Moor – Oldham – This location over-view city of Oldham with good foreground interest. It’s worth to visit waterfall hidden close to the carpark to the left. It also worth to remember they close entry to area at the dusk so make sure you leave before that.

6. Clarks Hill – Whitefield. As we were all grounded in our localities and could not travel during lockdown days I’ve discovered this area in one of my daily runs. There is not much to think about composition as there is only one place along the road where you can stand without trespassing onto private lands.

7.Philips Park – Prestwich – Probably the weakest location among all since there are power lines obstructing the view quite a bit. I recomend removing it in post production which is quite easy to do even with the basic software.

I highly recommend researching each of these locations before visiting. They offer much more than just pretty picture of our city.

If you want to folow my work you can always find me at instagram.


Peak District must visit locations

When it comes to landscape photography the hardest part is to be in the right spot at the right time. Weather also can play a huge factor for the final result. I always felt quite grateful for been living in the Manchester area for its closeness to Peak District National Park. The 555 square miles cut by sparkling rivers, populated with beautiful villages, filled with wildlife and many footpaths. This UK's first national park have photographic opportunities around every corner, all year round.

Here are some of my recent placed I visit:

1. Snake Woodlands:

One of best walks I recently been at. Place become even more magical during heater bloom season. Watch out for midges files in August. They are vicious creatures and their bites itches for eternity!

2. Mam Tor 

Probably one of my favorite places to visit. It's great for both sunrie and sunset. If you like photographing car trails you will find nice composition at curvy road to Edale.

3. Lud's Church.

It's one of my recent discoveries. This a deep, moss-covered, full of history chasm. I recommend bringing a wide lens to truly show the beauty of this place.

4. Thor's Cave

Not only cave itself is worth visiting but also all great walks around it. Must see location if you visit Peak District!

5. DoveStones

Hedged by verdant hills, this expansive reservoir features a jogging path & grassy picnic areas. Everything you need for chill out trip with family or friends.