Kent photo of the month
PUBLISHED: 18:28 28 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:28 28 May 2016
David Jenner Photography © 2015
Sunset at Hoo Marina near Rochester captured by Kent photographer David Jenner
Tell us a bit about you
My name is David Jenner and I am a photographer and graphic designer living in East Peckham and working from my studio in Nettlestead. I took up photography as a hobby in 2010 and this soon developed into a serious passion when I created a unique panoramic image of Southwold seafront that goes from day at one end to night at the other. This project took me nearly six months to complete and since then I have created one every year since including my most recent one of Yalding village.
Have you won any awards?
Over the past three years I have picked up more than a dozen awards for my work, including competitions with Nikon for Orchid Sunrise and Before the Dawn (see my website).
I have been shortlisted into the Countryfile Calendar Competition three times and in 2014 I won the Kent Wildlife Trust Photographic Competition. I am a member of The Royal Photographic Society and last year I gave a talk about my Night & Day work to the south east members. I have now been booked by a number of camera clubs to give talks about my passion.
I am now the preferred photographer with Bedgebury Pinetum, a place I have visited many times. I am currently in talks with them about putting on a public exhibition of my images and in May I conducted my first photo workshop with some of the Friends of Bedgebury.
While my first and greatest love is for landscape photography, I also enjoy shooting wildlife, architecture and cityscapes.
Tell us a bit about the photo
Hoo Marina is one of the first places I ever visited for a photo shoot and I went there with a friend who told me it would be a good location for some long-exposure shots. I have since been back a few times to capture the demise of the decaying vessels. The boat pictured to the left of the scene has been a subject of special interest and if you look at the portfolio section of my website you can see how over the years the boat has slowly sunk back into the marsh to be consumed by the vegetation. Note the constant focal point of Kingsnorth Power Station in the background.
My trip there last October offered me one of the most dramatic sunset I have ever seen. With the flat seascape stretching out into the distance, I could see for miles in all directions and I was even lucky enough to genuinely get the sun and the moon in the same shot. As the sun went down over the decaying vessels, the magical light created a scene straight off the pages of a Dickens novel.
I am a Nikon user and my current camera is the D810. I used a 24-120mm lens but I actually shot this as a panorama in four portrait shots which are then stitched together in post production to give me the full width of the scene with very little distortion. This is a shooting technique I adopt quite often and have become a specialist at over the years. I used an ND gradient filter to balance the light of the sky against the marsh and at f13, ISO 31 the camera exposure time was five seconds.
When I am asked about giving tips to people who want to take up landscape photography my first piece of advice is ‘learn your numbers.’ By this I mean, come out of auto mode on your camera and shoot in manual. This forces you to understand how to dial the correct numbers for the conditions you are shooting in.
You then need to develop a feel for the correlation between the aperture, shutter speed and ISO, which is often referred to as the ‘Exposure Triangle.’ The only real way to understand how these all work is to get out there and take pictures, lots and lots of them; but not only that, shoot at lots of different settings on the camera and see how it affects the image.
A lot of photography is about memory and the easiest way to commit something to memory is through repetition.
Landscape photography is often about patience and if you are serious about getting great shots, then you often demonstrate this virtue. Not only that but it pays dividends if put in the effort to plan your locations, choose the best time to get the optimum light (usually sunrise or sunset) and then set yourself for the shot you want. Don’t miss the best light by not being in place or ready with your equipment.
Learn how to get the best out of your images in post production. Quite often the display on the camera can look a little underwhelming but the data is usually all there, it just needs to be extracted by the right software. My advice is to not over process the image as I feel it’s important to keep it looking quite natural yet eyecatching.
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