The Colours of Corsica


So I’ve had a lot of requests for either the coloured versions of those black and white landscapes or other coloured landscapes. Fortunately, this has been part of the plan all along. You’ll find that this is actually only the second of three posts full of landscape pictures from Corsica. The third will be new, different, and even more exciting. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Before we progress, I just want to say that unless specifically stated, any photo on the blog that contains a person who is recognisable (at any resolution) cannot be sold as a print or digital copy. If it is available, it will be made clear.
The most challenging part of shooting a landscape is always going to be composition. Thinking about all the elements of the picture in that fraction of a second before you click the shutter. This becomes even more difficult in a moving vehicle, but fortunately I think only one of the photos today was taken from a moving vehicle. The challenge is raised yet another step when one of the most important parts of the landscape, clouds, are completely absent. This was the case for most every day in Corsica. It made for some tough shooting.

The Beaches of Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/8000s f/2.8

The Gulf of Porto, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/400s f/10

Intense Blue Skies over Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/5000s f/2.8

Now there are two ways of dealing with this problem. The first is to make the clouds conspicuous by their absence; that is to say, fill most of the frame with the hard, unyielding blue of the sky.

Mountain River in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 17mm 1/5000s f/2.8

That’s not always a good idea – for one, the print uses an inordinate amount of blue ink, and two, a blue sky? nothing else? Seems pretty boring to me. So we recompose, and fill more of the frame with the landscape, the foreground.

Barrier on a Corsican Mountain Road

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/500s f/10

D300 + 14-24mm @ 15mm 1/500s f/5.6

Corsica mimics Yosemite

Sure, that’s alright, but really, we could do with something of interest in our frame – something to contextualise. So we find elements to bring the viewer to the foreground.

Bridge over a Mountain River in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/800s f/2.8

Picnic Sign in Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 17mm 1/160s f/16

Bathing in the Rivers of Corsica's Mountains

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/2500s f/2.8

The Road through the Calanques, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/1000s f/5.6

This is all well and good, but the problem of the sky only really presents itself if you are shooting during the heat of the day (which I’m sorry to say is precisely what I was doing most of the time). It is important to bear in mind that most of the best landscape photography happens in the hours immediately before and after sunrise or sunset. The light is just so much better.

Porto from Above, Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 14mm 1/320s f/2.8

Viewpoint over some of North Western Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 18mm 1/1000s f/3.5

Sunset on the Calanques, Corsica 1

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/4000s f/2.8

Sunset on the Calanques, Corsica 2

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/1600s f/2.8

But this is where we encounter the problems. The dynamic range of the photos just can’t be captured in a single exposure.

Sunset on the Heart Stone in the Calanques of Corsica

D300 + 14-24mm @ 24mm 1/8000s f/8

More on that in the very next post from the landscapes of Corsica. Might not be the very next post. This one will take some time and conviction to get out. Now go shoot!


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