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A Bleak Day

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 22 May 2008 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Part of a continuing experiment in darkness in photos - this is from the NW coast of England.

NIKON D40 1/160 second F/8.0 ISO 200 15 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Michael Rawluk from Prince George, Canada

A wonderful composition and the tonal work is terrific. Excellent choice to use B&W.

22 May 2008 5:45am

@Michael Rawluk: Thanks Michael....after the basic B&W conversion I used a touch of photoshop's levels and curves commands to bring out the bleakness of the sky. It was a miserably day and for me this shot sums up what it can be like in a seaside town in the north of England in the winter.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Ian...I am increasingly warming to this tone but its the lead in lines which are so great here. Nice shot.

22 May 2008 7:13am

@Ted: Thanks Ted!

Klaus from Augsburg, Germany

I love structured and dramatic sky, nice b&w

22 May 2008 7:53am

@Klaus: Thanks Karl!

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

In my next heavy mood, I want to be teleported exactly there...that being said,what do you think is the best camera in the world...if or when I decide to buy something new, it would be smart of me to ask those that take phenomenal photos (while knowing that the cam is but a tool...;)

22 May 2008 9:37am

@Lorraine: Thanks Lorraine!
As for your 'simple' question! - you know how to pick 'em don't you!

It's one of those unanswerable questions really - if it were for my own use given that I really like digital and I love landscape photography I'd probably be looking at a Hasselblad medium format camera with a digital back as the logical step up from my DSLR!

In the real world however, the best full frame DSLR in my opinion at the moment is the Nikon D3:
but even with that you're talking big bucks. The next level down would probably be a Canon 5D which is also full frame (rather than the reduced size sensor of most DSLRs like my Nikon D40). Review here:

With all DSLR cameras the thing to remember is that the lens is just as important, if not more so, than the body. Lenses are very expensive.

Canon and Nikon are the two biggest brands and have a great choice of well respected lenses. Most people who use a DSLR would agree that what you are buying into is a camera system rather than just the body that you first buy - what this means is that whilst you may want to upgrade to a better camera body in x years time it's likely that you'll keep your lenses (the technology of lens design is moving at a much slower pace than body design)

My best advice to you is that you should go into a good camera store and ask if you can hold some of the various DSLR camera bodies - any DSLR on the market today is capable of giving great results but there is a huge difference in size and ergonomics - it's really important the camera feels right when you hold it and that you feel comfortable with it.

I personally use the cheapest DSLR that is on the market (a Nikon D40) It's cheaper than many pocket compact cameras but I have no desire to upgrade. The only thing I wish it had is full weather proofing as I'm increasingly taking photos in poor weather and extreme conditions (like my recent ski photos).

I hope that helps but feel free to ask any follow up questions that occur to you!


PS - After writing all the above I found this guide on Ken Rockwell's site which may be of interest:

Calisto from Bern, Switzerland

the sky gives a nice feeling to it. good!

22 May 2008 9:40am

@Calisto: Thanks Calisto!

Margie from Auckland, New Zealand

Cool! The sky and the curve of the railing kind of pull you in...great shot.

22 May 2008 10:13am

@Margie: Thanks Margie!

Cheryl from Texas, United States

nice lines, draws one into the image. nice capture

22 May 2008 11:41am

@Cheryl: Thanks Cheryl!

hugo poon from Hong Kong

Simple yet wonderfully effective composition. Great work Ian!

22 May 2008 11:47am

@hugo poon: Hi Hugo..thanks very much!

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Hong Kong

A very moody, super image, Ian. You get a great deal of use out of your wide angle lens.

22 May 2008 1:38pm

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks Michael...yes, it's my favourite lens!

kaneli from palma, Spain

Another fantastic image Ian!Levels and curves are perfectly applied!
Relative to Lorraine's comment a good camera would be a camera that have 10 Mp or more and a Good LENSES. I think the best option nowadays is the Pentax K10d for shooting ALWAYS in RAW. cheers

22 May 2008 2:07pm

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

a realy good image, the wat the fence leeds you into the image, Great

22 May 2008 2:50pm

Nocturama from Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain

I love it! have plenty of talent to portray these dramatic landscapes.

22 May 2008 3:04pm

NJ & SB Photography from Spain

Buen B&W, el cielo y el mar se trasnforman, se vuelven mas dramáticos, pero me gustaria verla en color. ;-))

22 May 2008 4:14pm

Luis A. De Jesus R. from Mexico City, Mexico

I bow to your talent. Truly amazing composition and use of BW to adapt to the light and texture of the image.

22 May 2008 6:31pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Great image, exellent!

22 May 2008 6:54pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, United States

Definitely bleak. Well put together.

22 May 2008 8:07pm

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

Bleak but obviously perfect for these days when everything's too much and one has to pause for a while. Excellent!

22 May 2008 10:47pm

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Another nice picture with this perspective in curve.

22 May 2008 11:55pm

Guillermina from Buenos Aires, Argentina

I always like your vanishing points, Ian. This one's no exception... And the convergence of the three planes defined by sky, sea and concrete? is superbly achieved.

23 May 2008 1:13am

Momo from Montpellier, France


23 May 2008 3:00am

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

thank you soooo much Ian, actually I haven't made the move to dslr, but I want to, plus I really only want the body as I have lenses, wide-angle Minolta, Vivitar zoom, one especially that I got at a garage sale for 35.00 dollars, a Bushnell that looks mighty maybe I can find a good Nikon or Canon body and go with it...Ever heard of a Bushnell? (comes with an extra-long black leather bag... it's new to me!

23 May 2008 6:41am

@Lorraine: no problem Lorraine! the way, if you already have DSLR lenses they will only fit one brand of camera body so take them with you to the camera store to find out which one it is that they will fit onto. (re your question - I've only ever heard of Bushnell as binocular manufacturers.) from Marseille, France

Love this composition and the b&w.., superb !

23 May 2008 3:21pm

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

Well......with you...even a bleak day looks beautiful! The bleakness is so interesting here!
And I read with interest all the recommendations you gave Lorraine on cameras. DSLR is the THING....I agree....but when I have to carry camera, lenses and tripod, well....sometimes it's no fun at all!

23 May 2008 3:29pm

Jano ( from Lima, Peru

Hey! Thanks for the comment!

Your photoblog is amazing. Your sense of composition is great, just like a painter.

Added you to my google reader.

26 May 2008 12:14am

1/160 second
ISO 200
15 mm (35mm equiv.)