Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Enchanting Landscapes 5 - Glødende Fjellet

Vesteråsfjellet, Geiranger, Norway
Glødende Fjellet means 'glowing mountain' in Norweigan (or at least I think it does! My Norsk is pretty non-existent); Nonetheless I think it describes this landscape beautifully. This was taken at Vesteråsfjellet, a viewpoint that overlooks the tiny village of Geiranger and the magnificent Geirangerfjord. It's actually quite a precarious view point, the fence you can see behind the birch trees actually has a sheer drop down to the road that runs along the edge of the fjord. 

The view itself, as you can see, was pretty spectacular; From here you can glimpse the snow capped mountains and admire the incredible deep blue hues of the water (or in this case purple!). It really is a beautiful place, ethereal and awe-inspiring all at the same time. You can check out my full post about my trip to Norway here :)

There are lots of fascinating and mystical fairytales in Nordic and Scandinavian Folklore, with landscapes like this present around almost every corner in Norway, its obvious to see why these lands inspired so many enchanting tales.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Enchanting Landscapes 4 - Aurora Water

Saklıkent Gorge, Muğla Province, Turkey
Saklikent Gorge is one of the deepest in Europe, at 300m deep in places, walking through and gazing up at the ravine is pretty breath taking, if not a little unnerving (it's also a little harsh on the old neck as you have to tilt your head incredibly far back to see the top).

It's only possible to access the gorge during the summer months, when melt waters from the Taurus Mountains have lowered, you can hike part way up the gorge. The water that runs through here is a beautiful shade of turquoise and is so pure you can actually drink from tiny springs that seep through slabs of rock along the gorge walls. It's already a magical place before I get my Photoshop paws on it.

To create this dreamy landscape, I have enhanced the blue tones of my original photograph, and increased the contrast of sunlight and shadows to give it an ethereal luminescence. I love the glow that this has given the river; Combined with the movement of the water and beautiful blue hues, it reminds me of the Aurora Borealis.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Enchanting Landscapes 3 - Amethyst Cave

Sea Archway along the coast of Zakynthos, A Greek Island in the Ionian Sea

This one was taken whilst sailing along the Southern Coast of Zakynthos or, Zante. For anyone unfamiliar, Zante is a small Greek island in the Ionian sea that is relatively notorious for partying (Laganas) and world famous for Shipwreck Beach (Navagio). Plus it boasts some beautiful coastline and has a lovely little population of Loggerhead Turtles!

The boat took us to a range of caves, coves and rock formations, and stopped at various points to let us jump off into the inviting, crystal clear (but pretty darn cold) water. I truly love the sea, (when it's kind), and spending time swimming through caves and gliding through turquoise waters is simply blissful.

The original photo was taken from the sea looking into a tiny cove, but after this edit, I think it looks as though you are actually inside a cave, and looking through a channel into one of its luminous, crystal caverns. The perfect setting for Nereids and Mermaids!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Enchanting Landscapes 2 - Maiden of the Purple Forest

Forest surrounding the Gorge of the River ClywedogDolgellau, Wales, UK
August 12
I took this photograph whilst walking a trail that ran alongside a beautiful gorge in North Wales. Boulders, ferns, and lots of tiny streams and waterfalls littered the steep slopes down to the river; When the path suddenly opened out onto a beautiful, mossy copse of silver birch trees. It was such a fairytale like scene, so it was a perfect photo to adapt into an enchanting landscape! The title of this one was inspired by a Welsh Fairytale!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Enchanting Landscapes 1 - Fairy Pool

Victorian Bathing Pool in Painswick Village, England. January 15.

A new piece of artwork I made for the shop! I love enhancing and manipulating colours and building up scenery and landscapes to make something that looks out of this world, or like it belongs in the next Avatar film! (Gosh, being a visual artist on a film like that would be unreeal). I've decided to do a little 'Enchanting Landscapes' photo series and post a little background story about the images I create and where the original photos were taken!

After doing a little bit of research into the work of other creatives who have work focused on 'fairytale landscapes', I came across a quote from landscape photographer Kilian Schönberger that really resonated with me...

I think there is a deep longing for tranquil naturalness among people in our technology-driven environment,Therefore I don’t want to show just portrayals of natural scenes – I want to create visually accessible places where the visitor can virtually put his mind at rest and make up his own stories.

Kilian is actually colourblind which makes the colour work in his photography even more impressive and spell binding. His photos do seem to draw you in and evoke some sort of emotion, be it awe or solitude. Some artists and photographers just seem to have the knack of capturing a particular feeling or raw emotion with their work. Anyone can take a photograph of a landscape, but I think it takes a true artist to take it a step further and create something that others can connect with too.

Admiring the beauty of nature does literally 'bring you back down to earth', you appreciate that your problems aren't as terrible as you perhaps first thought, and you realise how incredible the cosmos actually is. I love taking the time to admire nature, be it going out of my way to walk by a window at work to catch the setting sun, or stopping to stare at the stars whilst walking my dogs at night; It makes my soul happy.