Quick Shot: A Little Abstract

My favorite landscape images are hardly considered landscape photographs - they are abstracts. They are small extractions from a larger scene. They convey a grand vista in a tight frame.

This landscape is exactly that - although the sky isn't visible in the image, the reflection of the sky in the water gives a much grander image. I took this image at Blea Tarn, one of the more isolated lakes in England's famous Lake District. 

Photograph with the Leica SL Type 601 and 24-90mm lens.

Explorations of Llanddwyn Island

I discovered Llanddwyn Island last November during our first trip to northern Wales; it instantly became easily my favorite photo spot in the United Kingdom. And while I got some photographs last year, I wasn't totally in love with the results, so I was eager to try to shoot it again. 

So at the beginning of July, we packed up and did the long drive back out to northern Wales and to see the island. The island didn't disappoint, and the constantly changing weather kept me busy! As you'll see in these photographs, we went from sunny blue skies to clouds of impending doom, all over the course of a few hours. And just to be clear, this is a small island - no roads or cars - and it can only be accessed during low tide. But turning 360* in place could give me a huge diversity in landscapes, and therefore moods I could convey in the images. 

In actuality, all this weather diversity made it hard to shoot! Did I want a moody image, or a cheery image? Better face the right direction, or wait 10 mins for the weather to change! 

All of these photographs were taken with the Leica SL and Leica 24-90mm Vario Elmarit lens.

The lighthouse on the edge of Llanddwyn Island, northern Wales

Remains from an old church on Llanddwyn Island

Dark storm clouds approach over Llanddwyn Island

A narrow path in the grass leading to the edge of the cliff on Llanddwyn Island

Small boat houses line parts of the coast as storm clouds bear down on the island

The beachside forrest that surrounds Llanddwyn Island

Little Bits of Nature with the Noctilux

I feel like the Leica f/0.95 Noctilux is the most undervalued landscape photography lens...... Maybe because everyone thinks of it as a portrait and street photography lens with that insane f/0.95 bokeh. That same portraiture loving bokeh has some wonderful effects when used in nature and outdoors; I can isolate my subject from the background the same way a portrait photographer can isolate the eyes of the subject from the rest of the image.

Put the Noctilux on the Leica SL, and you have an insanely awesome duo. Seriously, go to a Leica dealer (or a Leica store) and ask to try the Leica SL with the Noctilux and tell me you don't love it. I've said it in previous blog posts, and I'll say it again.... If you have a Noctilux, you need an SL and the electronic viewfinder of the SL to really get the most from that lens.  

I have shot some "grand vista" landscape photographs with the Noctilux, but today I'm going to share some of the results you can get using it on smaller subjects. I don't dare call this "macro photography" - it's more like "small-ish landscapes."  Each of these images was shot on the Leica SL and edited in Lightroom. 

I don't like seeing people defile nature by carving their initials into a tree; however, this tree has aged significantly since it was carved with the heart, and the aging bark around it really contrasted nicely. I broke down and took the photograph..... 

I don't like seeing people defile nature by carving their initials into a tree; however, this tree has aged significantly since it was carved with the heart, and the aging bark around it really contrasted nicely. I broke down and took the photograph..... 

I usually shoot the Noctilux wide open, but in this case I stopped down to f/4 so that all of he flat leave scene was in focus. 

I usually shoot the Noctilux wide open, but in this case I stopped down to f/4 so that all of he flat leave scene was in focus. 

Here I'm back to my f/0.95 ways! I love how the ferns disappear into the background, while one fern reaches out to touch the viewer in the foreground. At an aperture like f/8, this image would have seemed very harsh..... But the Noctilux gives the dreamy quality to make this feel like it was photographed in a dream. 

Here I'm back to my f/0.95 ways! I love how the ferns disappear into the background, while one fern reaches out to touch the viewer in the foreground. At an aperture like f/8, this image would have seemed very harsh..... But the Noctilux gives the dreamy quality to make this feel like it was photographed in a dream.