Friday, 17 December 2010

Travel Photographer of the Year announced

Last week saw the winner of this year's Travel Photographer of the Year announced. A big congratulations to Larry Louie of Canada for a beautiful set of black and white photos shot in Mali.
Image (c) Larry Louie

Head on over to the TPOTY winners gallery to see the whole set.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

New work from Sweden online

Back in August I spent nearly a month in Sweden shooting for Insight Guides. After a week in picturesque Stockholm I travelled south to the impressive fortress at Kalmar, across to the old university city of Lund, through the fishing villages of the Bolhousian coast towards Norway, then followed the Gota Canal back across the great lakes before heading up north to Lake Siljan and Dalarna county.

I spent four years in neighbouring Norway while growing up, and passed through Sweden on one of our epic family road trips in about 1986. This was the first time I had been back since, and one of the things that struck me was just how wonderfully empty and unspoiled the country is.

Coming from crowded South East England, Sweden is quite literally a breath of fresh air. Outside of Stockholm and Gothenburg there are very few cars on the road, and forests and lakes stretch across the landscape as far as you can see. If you love the great outdoors there is much to like.

I took my old Nikon FE2 along for the ride to shoot alongside my Canon 5D mark IIs for a bit of fun, and you can see the results in the Recent Work section on the website

Canon's new 70-300 L zoom

Back in august Canon announced a slew of new lenses, including updates to their super telephoto range and the remarkable 8-15mm fisheye zoom. But the lens that held the most interest for me as a travel and outdoor photographer was the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS.

I currently use the 70-200 f/4L IS, and I used to use the non-IS version before that. It is pin sharp even wide open, and with today's cameras producing clean shots at ISO 800 or even 1600, I'm more than happy to trade a stop of aperture for a lens that is half the size and weight of it's enormous f/2.8 cousin. All in all, I'm a fan.

The new 70-300 L is therefore pretty interesting. You get 100mm more reach at the long end, at the cost of up to a stop of aperture and 300g extra weight. It's also a bit shorter, which helps.

I played with the lens at Photokina at the end of September, but for me it's a bit too heavy and bulky and doesn't offer enough of a benefit over the 70-200 for me to replace it. So the 70-200 f/4 will still hold it's place in my camera bag as the ideal telephoto zoom for travel and location work.

Anyway, for those who want to know more about it Canadian snowsports photographer Dan Carr recently posted a detailed review on his blog. You can read it here.