The Colours of Corsica

So I’ve had a lot of requests for either the coloured versions of those black and white landscapes or other coloured landscapes. Fortunately, this has been part of the plan all along. You’ll find that this is actually only the second of three posts full of landscape pictures from Corsica. The third will be new, different, and even more exciting. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Before we progress, I just want to say that unless specifically stated, any photo on the blog that contains a person who is recognisable (at any resolution) cannot be sold as a print or digital copy. If it is available, it will be made clear.
The most challenging part of shooting a landscape is always going to be composition. Thinking about all the elements of the picture in that fraction of a second before you click the shutter. This becomes even more difficult in a moving vehicle, but fortunately I think only one of the photos today was taken from a moving vehicle. The challenge is raised yet another step when one of the most important parts of the landscape, clouds, are completely absent. This was the case for most every day in Corsica. It made for some tough shooting.

The Beaches of Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/8000s f/2.8

The Gulf of Porto, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/400s f/10

Intense Blue Skies over Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/5000s f/2.8

Now there are two ways of dealing with this problem. The first is to make the clouds conspicuous by their absence; that is to say, fill most of the frame with the hard, unyielding blue of the sky.

Mountain River in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 17mm 1/5000s f/2.8

That’s not always a good idea – for one, the print uses an inordinate amount of blue ink, and two, a blue sky? nothing else? Seems pretty boring to me. So we recompose, and fill more of the frame with the landscape, the foreground.

Barrier on a Corsican Mountain Road

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/500s f/10

D300 + 14-24mm @ 15mm 1/500s f/5.6

Corsica mimics Yosemite

Sure, that’s alright, but really, we could do with something of interest in our frame – something to contextualise. So we find elements to bring the viewer to the foreground.

Bridge over a Mountain River in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/800s f/2.8

Picnic Sign in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 17mm 1/160s f/16

Bathing in the Rivers of Corsica's Mountains

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/2500s f/2.8

The Road through the Calanques, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/1000s f/5.6

This is all well and good, but the problem of the sky only really presents itself if you are shooting during the heat of the day (which I’m sorry to say is precisely what I was doing most of the time). It is important to bear in mind that most of the best landscape photography happens in the hours immediately before and after sunrise or sunset. The light is just so much better.

Porto from Above, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/320s f/2.8

Viewpoint over some of North Western Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 18mm 1/1000s f/3.5

Sunset on the Calanques, Corsica 1

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/4000s f/2.8

Sunset on the Calanques, Corsica 2

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/1600s f/2.8

But this is where we encounter the problems. The dynamic range of the photos just can’t be captured in a single exposure.

Sunset on the Heart Stone in the Calanques of Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/8000s f/8

More on that in the very next post from the landscapes of Corsica. Might not be the very next post. This one will take some time and conviction to get out. Now go shoot!

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70 comments on “The Colours of Corsica

  1. Great shots! Fantastic post. A wealth of information – thanks!

  2. Lakia says:

    These photos are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  3. Beautiful shots. I’m jealous that you got to see the landscapes in real life! Great post!

    Drive on,
    – M.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks! It’s a gorgeous island. I will certainly be returning sometime in the future to do more dedicated photo work.

  4. I love the views!Thank you !

  5. Noor says:

    These views are so gorgeous! Great photography!
    -Noor
    http://noor724.wordpress.com/
    πŸ™‚

  6. yasdr says:

    I like the 7th photo the most. πŸ™‚

  7. Brooke says:

    These are fantastic. And I pretty much want to be there right now.

    • Mark says:

      It’s amazing how few people actually go to Corsica. It’s pretty empty. Which is just great for photographers. Plus, for me, it’s just an hour long easyjet flight way! A great place. Just wish my french was better.

  8. Bien Thuy Nguyen says:

    great photos… could you tell me how to take photos of sunset? I am using Nikon too. Thanks

    • Mark says:

      absolutely! There are basically a few things you need to think about. The first is that your camera is going to want to look the picture look like bright daylight – it will try to blow out the sun to illuminate the surroundings. So first, make sure your focus ring on your lens is set to infinity (the sideways eight thing), or, if you want to focus on something in the foreground, autofocus on that first, then switch the camera or the lens over to manual focus. If possible you’ll want a tripod, because you want to be stopping down your lens (increasing the f/stop number – Aperture priority mode) to somewhere between 8 and 16, depending on the scene, but if you have no tripod, f/2.8-6.3 should be fine. Now try taking a shot of the sunset as it is. Overexposed right? So what we do is EITHER dial in compensation proportional to the illumination of the scene (-2.0 ev or stops is a good place to start on my D300, and fiddle from there) OR you can swap over to manual exposure, and do the correct shutter speed there. Remember that with the age of digital, we get instant feedback on how our shots will turn out. It’s really to taste though.
      Another brainless but still effective tactic is to bracket the shot – between three and seven exposures of the same shot, at 1 stop intervals. Basically it just allows you to find the one that is the right exposure, and means you didn’t miss the shot because you were faffing about with your camera.
      I hope that helps. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  9. As I was scrolling through your pictures, I thought, “This looks a lot like Northern California,” and then you said something about one of your pictures mimicking Yosemite, lol.

    What a beautiful place. I may just have to add it to my list of places to visit. πŸ™‚

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

    • Mark says:

      Quite so! my father was remarking the whole time about how much it looks like California used to dozens of years ago. It’s like California without the people really, and unfortunately, without English. But it’s a great place, and worth a visit.

  10. Amazing photography! Thanks for sharing your images πŸ™‚

  11. atomaszewski says:

    These pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  12. sayitinasong says:

    These are amazing- what a rugged and beautiful place! The second pic from the top- gorgeous!!

  13. Geoff says:

    Wonderful images. I love them. Thanks.

  14. Simon says:

    Amazing pictures and you saved the best until last. Well done.

    Simon

  15. nunin says:

    Good photo.It’s look feel free.Thank you.
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  16. Tokyo Car Club says:

    Stunning images. My particular favourite is the bridge over the water!

  17. Beautiful. I love your photo of the bridge πŸ™‚

  18. WanderWoman says:

    Beautiful and so vibrant! I’ve been wanting to see this beautiful island for a long time. This will do for a while! πŸ™‚

    • Mark says:

      definitely worth a visit! the landscape is just breathtaking. More than I can covey through these images. Will try harder next time πŸ˜‰

  19. XosΓ© Casas says:

    Great shots! I’m kinda jealous that you enjoyed those places… they look so pretty… πŸ™‚ Best, Xo

    • Mark says:

      You should try and go! Worth a visit at least once. Great diving, spectacular views, and, in the north where we were, almost completely empty. thanks!

  20. sheryllrea says:

    So beautiful. Really great pictures!

  21. debramj24 says:

    These pictures are breath traking. Thanks for sharing

  22. Rahimoff says:

    So beautiful !!!

  23. absinthemisia says:

    your photos are breathtaking! and you’re really just nineteen… i’m quite sure you’d do well in photography as a vocation πŸ™‚

    • Mark says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words. It has long been under consideration. Perhaps in a few years, i’ll make the plunge. Right now, I just love shooting for the love of it. I think that’s the best way anyways. πŸ™‚

  24. Kerala Trip says:

    Really, its wonderful destination I like it.

  25. annket says:

    A really beautiful place.

  26. Andrew Adams says:

    Great photos. Just one comment: You love the sky too much. Lots of empty, blue space in many photos. Dial in on the subject. Your photo of the bridge is poster worthy, seriously amazing. Other photos suffer from almost 50 percent of empty blue space.
    I would have liked to have seen closer detail on the people enjoying the mountain creek. You seemed to have really captured a local hideaway there β€” great job.

    • Mark says:

      That’s been a problem of mine for a long time. I’m actually quite a sucker for a big empty sky. I would have preferred it with some puffy clouds, but alas, the geography and weather weren’t right for it. But as I say in the post, you can make the clouds conspicuous by their absence. Of course, this is much more impressive in an actual print, where the blue just jumps right off the page.
      I don’t like having people in my photos – I don’t know how to work them, and I know that’s a huge flaw. On the next trip down, I will definitely try to do more of the people photography. It’s something that I know I really need to work on. It’s just finding willing and cooperative subjects that’s the problem. Easier in Africa, methinks.
      Thanks for the compliments πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed it.

  27. Thank you for this wonderful information

  28. djrikki says:

    Amazing Shots. Please post some more, the first picture is really beautiful. Keep on posting.

    I have some shots of our place I hope you guys could check it.

    http://www.woowoop.wordpress.com

  29. I read your blog very impressed seen this kind of important information’s. Really am interested to back to your blog again to gather some more information’s. Your blog is awesome and some excellent information is shared. Your blog is useful for our visitors.

  30. rohitmaiya says:

    Lovely shots and thanks a lot for sharing.

    Very good information for amateur photographers.

    • Mark says:

      I hope so! I aim to educate while I entertain – easier said than done i’m afraid. Too little of my audience is photographers, but hopefully, that’s on the rise! Hope you keep an eye out for the next few posts!

  31. martini2138 says:

    These pictures are beautiful! Can’t wait to see more!

  32. Beautiful pictures.

  33. geradinemcc says:

    I am really jealous! I wanna be there, thanks for sharing these amazing pictures!

    Have a great day!
    geradinemcc

  34. […] just say that it allows us to extend the dynamic range of the picture. Remember that picture from the last blog? It is part of an HDR set. Here’s the full HDR: D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm […]

  35. bx says:

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  37. Schnettler says:

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