Nordic nights 3: some autumn star trails in Sweden

As well as the northern lights I was able to take some lovely pictures of the stars wheeling across the night skies when I was in Sweden.  Hundby is a good place to do this as it is right out in the countryside with very few city lights anywhere near.  The first picture is a 45 minute exposure using my Olympus’s live composition feature.  It was helped enormously by a car driving past during the shoot that lit up the whole of the foreground.  The rising moon behind the trees also casts a lovely glow in the thin clouds.

Hundby 29/09/2015 20:34:34

Hundby 29/09/2015 20:34:34

The second picture is a slightly longer exposure of 50 minutes taken from the viewpoint up above our apartment at Äsperöd.  It’s looking due north with the lights of Uddevalla to the west and the row of trees masking the bright lights of Äsperöd.  A flask of hot coffee kept me warm whilst taking this shot as it was a cold frosty night.

Uddevalla 14/10/2014 21:29:57

Uddevalla 14/10/2014 21:29:57

 

Symmetry in Nature: Preview

It’s a couple of months since I posted about the book project. There’s been plenty to work on: finding the right online publisher, deciding on the layout, selecting and reworking images, tracking down picture details, drawing the maps and then composing the book. Here is a preview of the covers: you are looking at the book opened out and face down so the back cover is to the left of the spine.

Symmetry in Nature: Covers

After a bit of research I chose blurb to work with as they publish a lot of photo books and their BookSmart software is free. They also give the option to convert your book into an eBook for publication in Apple’s iBook store. Which is something I will be doing very shortly. My book has a large square format since the images don’t come in standard sizes..  That’s meant laying out each page separately with an image and the original picture I worked from plus a short caption.  Here are two pairs of pages from the Mosses and Lichens and Trees sections.

Symmetry in Nature: Mosses and Lichens

 

Symmetry in Nature: Trees

I realised that I am not the first person to construct striking and evocative imagery through mirroring and duplicating.  What I have done in the book, though, is to add value to the pictures so that it is much more than just a set of lovely and intriguing images.  The book is divided into seven sections depending on the aspect of nature involved. Then I have added a brief description for each picture and included one or two small photographs of people and places.  Here is a two page spread from the Leaves section.

Symmetry in Nature: Leaves

At the end of the book I composed two pages of typical South African and Swedish landscapes so that the reader gets a better appreciation of the places where the pictures were taken.  Each page has a location map, list of where the pictures were taken, a panorama and four typical landscapes.

Symmetry in Nature: Landscapes

The book ends with a page showing how I constructed the images and there’s a complete listing of the technical details of all of the photographs.  It’ll be 54 pages in all. I am just waiting for ISBN numbers to be issued for the hard copy and eBook then it’ll be uploaded and published!

 

 

Walking in the spring sunshine: Sörmland with Jan and Janet.

We were very lucky: last weekend was sunny.  Jan and Janet hosted us for a country weekend at Hundby (near Gnesta in Sörmland) where there are lovely walks to be had, photos to be taken and excellent hospitality.  We got out for four good walks in our two days: including Sunday morning at 5.30 for the fresh early morning frost (it was minus 5 …..) with a flask of hot coffee.  The birds were making lots of noise all weekend. Swans, geese, cranes, and skylarks were all telling you it was Spring though there were only a few flowers (scylla, snowdrops) and hardly any buds on the trees.

So we spent most of the weekend chatting outside as we strolled through the rolling farmland, forest and lakes. The ice was only just breaking up as you can see and there were plenty of snow patches around.  We even got to see the northern stars ….