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Real Life Sunbeams In Bhutan

Tashiling Lakhang from Tshangkha, Bhutan.
24-70mm lens @ 48mm, 1/400 second @ f9, ISO 360

Opportunities like this don't last forever! It was late in the day and we had just spent a wonderful afternoon in our guide's local temple. It helps to have a local guide because they can arrange access to locations that are often invisible to the casual tourist and even better, they can get a photography tour permission to use cameras where normally you can't.

Not always, of course, but I was really happy with what we'd been shooting and I was comfortable just having a look around while I was waiting for the others. I think it's important when you travel to put down your cameras from time to time and simply appreciate where you are. Perhaps I'm becoming philosophical in my old age!

However, the camera didn't stay in the car too long as I watched this light show begin. I raced back to the car (around 100 metres), grabbed my camera bag and tripod and returned as quickly as I could to my vantage point. With scenes like this, I felt I wanted to zoom in to capture the light on the distant dzong and village, but doing so meant I lost the grandeur of the landscape. However, zooming out I picked up surrounding trees and bushes and I didn't have half an hour to scout around for a better location. 

In fact, I had only seconds, so using the 24-70mm zoom that was on my camera, I shot at 24mm, 50mm and 70mm and made the most of what I had. Then the light was gone. As it turns out, the 48mm focal length seems to work pretty well.

I don't know about you, but part of the buzz of landscape photography is reacting to the light. People say you can take your time with the landscape, pull out a tripod and even have a cup of tea. Of course, David Oliver would be the first one to disagree with this and, despite what he says when being interviewed on television, is really happy not using a tripod at all.

I'm not sure if I can go that far, but I agree with him you have to be quick when the light is changing!

And just in case you didn't notice, David and I are looking for a few extra photographers to join us on our trip to Bhutan in November this year - for more details, click here.

And if you'd like to see the original file without any processing, click through to the website for the full article. 

Processed raw file before adjustments.

There was a lot of atmosphere - in fact, it's probably drenching rain in the distance - resulting in a very flat file and not much contrast. However, to the eye it was simply magical, something I've tried to re-create in the edit up top. 

And if you're interested in a photography workshop later this year, I have trips going to Karijini, Kununurra, the Daintree, Arnhemland, Whitsundays, New Zealand and Bhutan. Full details on the Better Photography website!


Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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