Mat Richardson Photography: Blog en-us Site content (C) Mat Richardson Photography (Mat Richardson Photography) Thu, 14 Jan 2021 01:43:00 GMT Thu, 14 Jan 2021 01:43:00 GMT Mat Richardson Photography: Blog 120 120 All in with the GFX and new stuff! Morning!

It has been a bit quiet on the photography front over the last month, summer here in the North is my least favourite time photographically speaking, most businesses are on their summer vacations and it's the perfect opportunity to prepare for the upcoming work season. Mainly that has meant the buying of a new HQ and creating a nice little studio and gallery.

New studio finished, I built a full cyclorama to make the most of the modest space, nice!

It has also meant time to reflect on the Fujifilm GFX 50S and decide whether it's the right system for me and my work. There are lots of things the GFX is good at and lots that it isn't so good at, the key to any investment is selfishness, deciding exactly what is important to you and then finding the best solution. As a commercial photographer who happens to photograph to relax, making the right decision is pretty important to my financial and personal happiness!

On location.

The GFX is a very compact system, especially compared to my previous Phase One kit, it's light, easy to hand hold and in practical terms, feels as easy to use as my Nikon kit, this matters to me a lot as long as it doesn't impact negatively on the image quality I need and my clients expect. 

GFX 50S, 63mm, new build data centre.

There is a huge amount of information in the files which means it is easy to translate your vision in to a finished result, often with little processing work which translates in to more profit for me, I like that! It's fine to read about how you can push massively under exposed files or recover detail in the deepest shadows but it's only when you are using it for what you want to shoot that you find out what is important, I'm not interested in showing what the camera can do, I'm only interested in showing what I want from a scene.

GFX 50S, 100mm f2, reindeer marking at last light.

I have taken the GFX everywhere and shot it in a wide variety of conditions, we get beautiful light in the mountains here at this time of year as the sun dips below the horizon for just a couple of hours and it never gets very dark. Shooting fast moving reindeer and action in low light though is tricky but the GFX handles it pretty well, the images have a nice feel to them and most importantly look how I want them to look.

GFX 50S, 110mm f2, catching reindeer calves.

This shot was taken at 2am as the sun started to return, I spent a little while trying to balance movement in the reindeer with the action from the Sami people working to catch and mark the newborn calves, this just about works as I was able to get the lad sharp enough but still keep the impression of the speed at which the reindeer move. I have read a lot about AF performance and for sure it's no D5 or 1DX but with a little practice it's actually very easy to capture what you want. I find the AF perfectly fast enough for most subjects and manual focus very easy to use. I personally don't have an issue with pre-focussing either but I guess some will want to rely on AF and may find things not working so well. I'm not trying to fight the camera though, I will find it's limits and then work around them, it's the only way.

GFX 50S, 110mm f2, my local waterfalls at Storforsen.

I have been impressed with the weather sealing, actually that's not strictly true, I haven't really thought about it at all, just shot whatever the weather, only afterwards thinking how little issue I have had. The above shot doesn't look like it but was taken between torrential downpours as we have had some terrible weather over the last few weeks, I have no issues in letting the camera get wet.


GFX 50S, 63mm, sorting reindeer for their move to the mountains.

In contrast, this taken shortly after I got the camera, lots of snow and around -7 degrees c, not too cold but still not a problem at all for the GFX, wearing gloves standing in the snow for 6 hours and I found the camera extremely east to use. I have read that some find the amount of dials and buttons to be confusing but I find it very easy, I only ever shoot in manual, adjust shutter speed, ISO and aperture from the dials and that's it, the only camera easier is the Phase One XF which has 3 dials but at the expense of weight and bulk. I haven't gone in to the menu once now I have everything set up how I want it, perfect!

In the studio.

I make most of my money on location, I live in a small area and need to go where the work is but recently I have been getting more requests for studio shots, products and corporate headshots, hence moving to a new location and building a studio. It is vital that the GFX allows me to work efficiently in the studio and under strobes. I initially had a few issues with focus as I was used to the D810 which focusses very well in low light which meant I didn't need to use modelling lights so much, this is not the case with the GFX but as soon as I understood the issue I haven't had any further problems, modelling lights go on and I can shoot as I like. One big advantage I have noticed over the Nikons is moving the AF point and maintaining good results, I tended to focus and recompose with the D810, relying on the centre AF point but with the GFX the performance is amazing on all the AF points, a big benefit.

GFX 50S, 110mm f2, Emma in soft light.

Processing the files to how I want them to be is very easy now I have a routine, I am a Capture One user and have been for years but have found that I am liking the results from Lightroom as I practice more with it, I still process critical files with C1 but have found a lot of images I shoot for fun I stick with Lightroom. The above shot of Emma is very simple, a single large softbox to the left just out of frame and a single white reflector just out of frame to the right, a hand-painted background and a very nice result. Being able to switch off exposure compensation assigned to a button is very easy, I can go from shooting strobes to taking advantage of the big windows in the studio to shoot natural light very easily.


I picked up the 110mm f2 a couple of weeks ago to use alongside the 63mm, I can shoot 95% of my current commercial work with these 2 lenses. The 110mm is absolutely amazing, it may well be the best lens I have ever shot with, which is saying a lot! It is noisy, the sound of the elements inside being controlled is annoying, in the studio I can hear it clearly and it is something I would very much prefer not to hear, but it's something I can live with for sure, it doesn't affect the amazing image quality which is the bottom line for me.

GFX 50S, 110mm f2, Anne-Chatrine

Another simple studio portrait, I am loving how easy it is to get the result I want, very simple processing to get a beautiful look, I am addicted to the deep rich files. The 110mm has just a beautiful look to it, I can see it being my main lens for quite a while. I will pick up a 23mm soon as we move away from 24hr daylight and hit the Northern Lights season, I am sure it will work really nicely for aurora.

So that's where I am, the Nikon kit has gone, I am all in with the GFX and have not regretted it for a moment! I don't need to think about the camera at all now which is important for me, it just disappears. I have spent 12 hours on the top of a mountain handholding the GFX for a lot of the shots shown here and haven't felt it to be too heavy or difficult to use. The batteries last reasonably well but I will see how they do when winter arrives, things can be very different at -30c!

GFX 50S, 110mm f2, sunrise in the mountains.

You can see my previous GFX posts here..Part 2 and here.. Part 1


(Mat Richardson Photography) fujifilm gfx50s sweden Sat, 29 Jul 2017 13:08:02 GMT
Snowcross European and World Championships My local town hosted the FIM Snowcross World Championship, Women's Snowcross World Cup and the Europe Snowcross Championship this past weekend, I was invited along to shoot and jumped at the chance. As a predominantly commercial photographer, I have never shot action sports before and thought it would be a great opportunity to shoot something a little different.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, slow shutter speed to capture movement from the start line.

I wanted to try and get something different from the shots I saw in my research before the event, as with most things, a style develops for a sport and it's not surprising with these snowmobiles, frozen action mid turn or leaping through the air is all very nice but I wanted to try and capture some extra drama, utilising shutter speeds and also with a longer lens than I would maybe have chosen had I not seen other shots before hand. I wanted to get in close, capture eyes through the goggles and hopefully add drama with some flying snow. The shot above was an experiment with longer shutter speeds, tracking riders to maintain a single sharp area with everything else blurred.

Nikon D500, 300mm

If I was going to freeze action then I wanted to try and get something a little more abstract in nature, opting not to photograph the first rider in a  group but to wait for the second or third and try and capture them bursting through flying snow, the Nikon D500 is so good for this, it just locks on to the target immediately!


Nikon D500, 300mm, 

Nikon D810, 85mm, tracking with a slower shutter speed

I was also pleasantly surprised by the D810 in these conditions, the tracking af isn't anywhere near as good as the D500 but it handled itself really well, locking on easily and tracking pretty well, I used it for stopping action as well as for some tracking shots as above, I really like the added drama of a little movement within the frame.

Nikon D810, 85mm

Another with motion, it's tricky to get one part of the image sharp when they are going so quickly, ideally with practice you can follow the head and let everything else blur, with this shot I let everything blur out to try and capture the sense of speed, I think it works pretty well!

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm

The GFX 50S is not a sports camera although I found it to be excellent in these conditions, it is extremely quick to fire and can capture action easily as long as it's close enough with this lens, here it worked perfectly tracking this rider at 1/50th of a second shutter speed, head is perfectly sharp and there's a real sense of movement through the snow.

Nikon D500, 300mm

Getting in close with the D500 and 300mm is very easy, these riders are moving incredibly quickly but it just works! Here Elina Ohman is at full speed on her way to winning gold, very impressive riding!

GFX 50S, 63mm, 

I really enjoyed wandering around the pits watching the teams get ready before the event and on the practice sessions, so I used the GFX for some more candid type shots, it's a really good camera for that sort of thing, no bigger than the D810, very quiet and produces great files.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, supporters of all sizes in the pits.

Overall it was a great couple of days, congratulations to all who took part and to the organisers for putting such a great event together, I now need to find some more action stuff to photograph!

Nikon D810, 105mm

Nikon D500, 50mm, more motion.

A full page of images of all types from the event can be seen here...

Image Gallery

(Mat Richardson Photography) Fujifilm GFX50S Nikon Snowcross Snowmobile Mon, 03 Apr 2017 14:17:36 GMT
GFX 50S, a couple of weeks in... I thought it might be time to record my thoughts now that I have used the GFX almost every day for the last couple of weeks as well as taking it on a couple of shoots, there's a lot to like and a couple of minor frustrations but how does it deal with my day to day photographic life? This post follows on from my previous, found here 

Part 1

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, Hensel strobes, my neighbour.

I have had some opportunity to use the camera with my strobes in the studio on a couple of occasions now, minor frustrations with AF performance initially as the Nikon's Phase One and Leica all focussed happily without modelling lights, the GFX will not lock on, completely fine with modelling lights on, not an issue now I know. The quality of the file is fantastic, as good as any I have handled and very easy to get the look I want.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, Hensel strobes, Eli.

Both these portraits shot at f8 but very easy to get the feel I want, the detail on the focus plain is spectacular, really beautiful skin texture fading beautifully as the focus drops, I can't get this graduation with the Nikon, regardless of aperture, very pleased with this. In the studio the camera feels really nice in my hand, quick to make adjustments, the only negative for me is the evf, I know some swear by them but I swear at mine, it's distracting but necessary for the design and size of the package overall, I will have to live with it but I much prefer looking at the subject rather than a screen.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, World Snowcross Championships

Ok so the GFX could hardly be called a sports camera in the popular sense of the term, I have a D500 which shoots 11 frames a second with AF that locks on like a laser and doesn't let go, it's the right tool for high speed action and I used it to great effect this weekend at the Snowcross World Championships. There is something a little dull about the way the Nikon works though, I think I could give this camera to anyone and they'd get shot after shot in focus, it feels like you can't miss and that makes it a little boring to use. After getting a load of shots I decided to play around with the GFX, obviously I am restricted by only having a 63mm lens but I do have resolution and I was surprised at just how responsive the camera is. Shooting is instantaneous, no perceptible delay at all, shooting snowmobiles absolutely flying, you need to be quick to capture anything. It fires immediately and took me a couple of shots to realise I was firing the shutter before I needed to, expecting a delay.

The shot above was an experiment with 1/50th of a second and tracking the subject as it flew past, I really like this as an alternative to the traditional sports action type shots.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, oops, I broke it!

The big benefit to the GFX is how it feels to walk around shooting with it, it's not bulky and intimidating, you can swing it around, take candid shots and not bother anyone. I am getting shots I wouldn't have got with the Phase One for sure and with the benefit of lovely files to play around with, shooting this in snowy weather, bump up the ISO, take the shot and move on, love it, helps that it is very quiet in use too.

Nikon D500, 300mm, action! The right tool for the job.

So I can shoot portraits happily with the GFX, sports is not ideal but possible to get decent shots with a little practice, focal length is the restriction, if I had a 300mm I'd use it for this type of thing, landscapes look fantastic, overall I'm very happy. So what's wrong with it?? There are a few things, I have mentioned the EVF, I am not a fan, how could a little screen ever give me what I can get looking through a lens, my eye can pick up far more detail and tone than the screen can display, I am often thinking, please don't look like this when I'm taking a shot with the evf. Everything is a trade off though, if I want this size and responsiveness then I need to live with it.

The only other issues should be solvable with firmware updates, disable the Q button which isn't in a good place and doesn't hold any menu items I need to use, hopefully with an update I can just disable it. The second issue is annoying, when reviewing an image in portrait orientation, you need to use your left hand to zoom in and move the image about on the screen but the eye sensor detects your hand and switches the display off, a real pain, the evf eye detect should just be disabled when you hit the playback button, that would solve it. Third issue is that when in image playback and you see a shot, pressing the shutter button only returns you to a state ready for taking a picture, it doesn't immediately fire the camera, this caught me out a few times as I press thinking the camera will fire only to find it hasn't and I have to press again to take the shot, doesn't matter what you are doing, looking at an image or in the menu system, when you press the shutter button right down it should fire!

One last thing I don't particularly like or rather am not used to, is that moving the focus point around is great, very easy to use but when it gets to the edge of the frame, it keeps going and appears on the other side! This is very odd to me, I'm used to the point stopping at the edge of the frame, I would certainly prefer the GFX to work this way.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, aurora in the village.

I have had the opportunity to shoot a couple of nights of aurora with the GFX, the 63mm is far from ideal as a focal length but it gave me an idea of how the real world, high ISO shots hold up and I'm impressed! It's very easy to focus at night on the rear screen, which tilts and saves my old knees which is great! It is better than the Nikon D810 in this situation, much less noise in the files and it's possible to really push them if needed, the above shot was just 1.5 seconds and apart from a tweak to white balance, as it came from the camera, the Nikon would have needed work to get it looking like this, I am surprised at how well it does. I will wait for the wide primes before taking any serious aurora shots, they just benefit from a  wider field of view.

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, birch trees at the Kalix river.

Another real positive with this camera is the weather sealing, it is snowing a lot at the moment and I have had no issue with the performance, even covered in snow. The Snowcross championship, I shot for 8 hours in steady snow and didn't have to worry about the camera at all, perfect for my use and a big plus.

Iphone 7s

Overall then I'm really happy, great ergonomics, easy to handle, very quick to change shooting parameters and files are superb, I'm really growing to like this camera!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Fujifilm GFX50S Swedish Lapland Sun, 02 Apr 2017 13:24:23 GMT
Fujifilm GFX 50S, one camera to do it all? GFX, one camera to do it all?

Fujifilm GFX 50S, 63mm, thick fog on the Kalix River, Swedish Lapland, 2 image stitch.


I’ve had the Fujifilm GFX 50S for just over a week now, I had no expectations, running it alongside my current Nikon kit to see how it works for the type of photography I do both commercially and personally, these are thoughts on how the camera works for me, it may not work for you, we all want different things!

I have a clear idea of what I want, as a commercial photographer I have little emotional connection with the systems I use, they have to work and make me money, ideally with as little restrictions as possible. So what is it that I want and how does the GFX deliver?

In the last 5 years I have owned a few systems, an extensive Leica S kit, both the 006 and 007 models as a 2 body kit along with 6 lenses, there were huge positives with this system, dslr size and ergonomics, extremely good image quality, weather sealing, beautiful big viewfinder and great battery life, the negatives were few but significant for me, exposures limited to 2 minutes on the 006 and 1 minute on the 007 were fairly restricting.

Leica S 007, 24mm, Northern Lights over the river at Storforsen, Swedish Lapland


The second issue was with quality control, I had a number of lens failures, I even had 2 lenses arrive broken, I had 3 007 bodies before getting a working model and in the end that was an issue, I can’t work with bodies that fail. The nail in the coffin was an architecture project that really needed tilt/shift lenses and there was no way to get that with the S, so as amazing as the images were, the system had to go. I used the S in -35 degrees photographing aurora high above the Arctic Circle and in Mali at over 40 degrees photographing troops and counter IED training with the UN, when the system worked it was amazing and looking at the files always brought a smile to my face

Leica S 006, 180mm, Counter IED troop training in Northern Mali.


So can the GFX deliver the positives of the S without the negatives?

After the S went, I moved to Phase One with the IQ260 and a Cambo tech cam with 3 incredible Rodenstock lenses, I then added an XF body and 5 lenses for portrait and standard commercial work. The IQ260 on the tech cam was just incredible for interiors, it blew me away, being able to control perspectives and stitch within the image circle were hugely beneficial, images from this setup have been printed 7m wide on display stands and look incredible.

Phase One IQ260, Cambo WRS, 32mm Rodenstock, 3 image stitch.


The XF was an amazing body, the Mamiya glass ranged from ok for the older 35mm to excellent with the 120mm and the rest fell somewhere between, I didn’t have the newer blue ring lenses, just too expensive for me but a good all round kit. Positives were definitely image quality and usability with the tech cam but ultimately the XF and IQ is just a big heavy lump, it made long days of working a bit of a pain and the costs were very high, for the first time I operated without a duplicate backup kit, I just couldn’t afford 2 digital backs and 2 bodies plus multiple lenses, I was always worried something would give out and I’d be stuck on a job. Another issue that bothered me was the age it took for the IQ260 to be ready to shoot, turning it on and waiting was just a pain, after I completed the architecture contract, I had little use for the tech cam so it got sold and eventually after some excellent images, I sold the XF  and IQ back as well.

HyperFocal: 0 Phase One XF, IQ260, 80mm, Lofoten sunset


So can the GFX deliver the positives of the Phase kit without the negatives?

After the Phase kit moved on I returned to a Nikon setup, a D500 and D810 bodies and a wide selection of lenses, they are competent if uninspiring to me, I can still pick out the Leica and Phase files immediately from my catalogue, and whilst I doubt very much my clients will have any interest in cameras over content, it is apparent to me and I have been itching to pick up a system that will fill as many of my requirements as possible. The Nikon kit just works, it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, the batteries last forever, image quality is good and lenses and bodies are relatively inexpensive, what’s not to like you may ask? Well not a lot, unless you have shot extensively with Medium Format gear, I know what I see and what is important to me, it may not match anyone else’s criteria but we are all different.

Nikon D810, 85mm portrait of a Frenchman.


So here it is, I want..

  1. Leica S quality without the reliability issues, with lenses that appeal to me as much as the S glass did.
  2. Flexibility of the Phase system combined with image quality without the cost and weight/bulk.
  3. Nikon reliability, high ISO performance, dslr type form factor for handheld work and similar costs for a system.

After 10 days of use I’m starting to get some initial impressions from the GFX, this isn’t a technical review, it is just how it works for me with what I do, it may help other which is great but just as likely to not!

GFX 50S, 63mm, first shoot, fog and clouds over the Pite River, Swedish Lapland.


Size, weight and ergonomics.

This is my first Fuji, I am not used to the menu system or layout so coming at it blind, it took 5 minutes to initially set it up and off I went out shooting, it is very comfortable in my hands, I prefer the grip over the Leica by a long way, it is also better than the XF and the Nikons, the rear thumb protrusion makes all the difference, it is very easy to walk around with the body as the thumb really hooks in, can’t really fault the feel of it, the weight is excellent too, much less than the S and a lot less than the Phase, similar enough to the D810 not to make a difference, all good on that front.

Ergonomics are good, there are dials for shutter speed and ISO with an aperture ring on the lens all can be set to be controlled by the body which is how I prefer it. I can control all 3 without removing the camera from my eye, perfect. I prefer the layout of the XF which had 3 dials, one for each setting but the GFX has multi functions on the front dial, a press and you are switching between ISO and aperture, good enough for me. All of the rest of the stuff, film simulations etc will appeal to lots of people but not interesting to me, it hasn’t been off manual mode since I have had it.

GFX 50S, 63mm, line of Birch Trees at the Kalix River, Swedish Lapland


It is very easy to set the camera up how you want it, I can access 2 second timer with 1 button push, bracketing with 1 push, switch off the exposure simulation with 1 push for strobe work etc. etc. it is excellent in this regard, just works. My only frustration is with the Q button, I can’t switch it off and sometimes when on a tripod in portrait orientation I hit it with my thumb, hopefully in a future update I can just disable it.

GFX 50S, 63mm, order amongst the chaos, Birch trees, Lulea, Swedish Lapland


Flexibility of the system.

It’s a new system, it’s unreasonable to expect it to launch with everything ready to go, as it stands, the 3 lenses cover a decent range, I only picked up the 63mm lens to start with, I am not a big fan of zoom lenses and most of my commercial portraiture work is environmental and I tend to use a 50mm on the Nikons more than any other lens, I used the 70mm on the Leica 75% of the time too, it’s just a focal length I like. I will wait for the wider primes to become available and I am most interested in adding the 110mm f2 once that is released, should be an excellent portrait lens.

So flexibility may appear at first look to be a limiting factor but that’s not necessarily the case, Cambo and Arca Swiss have released GFX versions of their respective cameras, the Actus and Universalis, for interior work that I often do, this will be excellent, I can use any of a huge variety of lenses on both these systems, I’m thinking a Hasselblad 40mm on the front will allow plenty of movements and stitching within the image circle, plus they are relatively compact so these are big bonuses.

There are also many companies now releasing adapters for a wide range of lenses, whilst I’m not a fan of adapted lenses, I can see that there is an opportunity to expand the usefulness of the GFX dramatically whilst waiting for native lenses to be released. Fujifilm have released their own adapter for Hasselblad H glass which is interesting, allowing use of the internal leaf shutters will increase flash sync speed to 1/800 I believe so adding another level of flexibility.

For studio work, Fujifilm have released an adapter for 4x5 cameras, this is fairly big, these cameras offer huge flexibility and take some excellent lenses, for tabletop work, products etc then this will be a big benefit although the Cambo/Arca models should work just as well.

GFX 50S, 63mm, a little colour after sunset at Storforsen, Swedish Lapland.


Reliability, performance and costs.

I haven’t had the camera long enough yet to gain an insight to reliability, it is very well built though, weather sealed and I have no issues with the build quality as it stands, we will see!

Performance is outstanding, no less than I was expecting really, the sensor is tried and tested in a few different models now and Fuji have made the most of it, dynamic range is excellent, high ISO performance is superb, the 63mm lens is extremely sharp and I have had zero issues with image quality. In my use, focus has been extremely precise and whilst not D500 quick, certainly quick enough for it not to be something I think about in use. I honestly feel that for what I shoot on a daily basis, it out performs the D810 by some margin in all areas that are important to me. I don’t shoot walls and test charts though, I just shoot clients and subjects that appeal to me so my comments are based on that alone.

Costs are higher than full frame 35mm, no doubt but compared to my previous medium format systems, it’s cheap! It will be interesting to see how future lenses are priced, especially the 110mm, the 63mm is an absolute bargain for the price.

GFX 50S, 63mm, sun trying to burn through the fog, Kalix River, Swedish Lapland



I’m only in the initial stages of testing and forming an opinion but as it stands, it is easy to hold the camera all day, battery life is acceptable, it turns on and is ready to shoot very quickly, image quality is superb and the most important thing for me, after a day of use, I don’t have to think about controlling it, it just gets out of the way and allows me to capture the images I want to capture. I don’t particularly like Lightroom but only use it to import and catalogue my shots, I use other programs for image processing.

If the tech cam solutions work well from Cambo or Arca Swiss then this really could be a system that ticks more boxes than any other I have owned. If reliability is good, lenses are released quickly and the system is supported well then I am all in and the Nikon kit will be sold off.

I spend a lot of time working in fairly difficult environments, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali and many other tourist hotspots, I have taken the Leica to many of these places but there’s no way I would have taken the Phase One, just to big and bulky plus it looks like a weapon! The idea of standing in the centre of Kabul setting up a tripod to use the XF in lower light would be like painting a target on my back, the GFX is small and light and weather sealed, I’d be happy to take it anywhere without worrying, the high ISO performance would allow fast handheld use in even the worst conditions.

As I said at the beginning, cameras are just tools to allow me to make a living, I don’t form emotional connections with them but that said, I am enjoying reaching for the GFX whenever I leave the house, it’s good enough to bring a smile to my face!

GFX 50S, 63mm, feeling wintery at Storforsen this morning.


Part 2 here.. GFX 50S A couple of weeks in..

(Mat Richardson Photography) Fujifilm GFX50S Landscape Sweden Swedish Lapland Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:22:41 GMT
Under pressure! It has been really busy here in Abisko over the last few weeks, had no time for personal photography between workshops and bad weather. Picked up Oliver this morning and went out on to the lake with the snowmobile for some relaxing photography.

We went to a spot on the lake where a pressure ridge is forming as the ice gets thicker, it starts to push up leaving interesting shapes that get sculpted by the wind.

The wind was very gusty, picking up lots of snow that made photographing the scene a little tricky, here I shot in to the sun to capture the snow mid flow.

The ice looked like a wave here so I shot to capture the snow blowing across the top, nice.

There are some pretty cool shapes left by the wind, the light was nice and dramatic with heavy skies which made for nice compositions.

It was good to photograph with Oliver again after a few weeks of not having time, here's a shot of him heading across the ice, you can see how much snow was blowing

Well, that was my morning, back to work this evening, less than a week until I'm home now, can't wait to get back!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Leica Sweden Winter Tue, 24 Feb 2015 13:08:59 GMT
Ice abstracts. We've had pretty rubbish weather for the last few days, strong winds and quite a bit of snow. My latest 4 day aurora workshop finished this morning and as I waved goodbye to my excellent clients I decided a trip to the lake was in order to see what was going on. The lake is now seriously frozen, the ice looks anywhere up to 1m thick in places and for the last few weeks it has been buried under snow unless you venture right out, not something I've been keen to do. Anyway, with the strong winds of the last few days I noticed lots of nice patches of dark ice showing close to the shore so I grabbed the camera and went out to see what was what.

There are hundreds of cracks on the surface where the ice expands and contracts, some are very fine and some quite wide and filled with snow. The cracks that go right through the ice are beautiful and create amazing patterns. I decided pretty quickly that I would capture these abstract shapes and go for a series of shots that would work well together. 

The ice varies in colour from deep blue with a slight green tint to almost white, I guess the difference is the amount of air bubbles in the ice and how the light is absorbed, less bubbles in the ice further out I presume makes for clearer ice?

Whatever the reason, the deep blues are amazing, the cracks filled with snow add stark contrast and the cracks deep under the surface glow beautifully.

I purposefully went for strong lines in these shots, last year I produced a series of images of leaves trapped in ice and they looked great printed large, I can see these printed on aluminium a couple of meters wide looking excellent, but then I like abstract images which helps!

I think that will do for now, I got quite a few shapes I like and I may look again if the weather stays bad. I like the idea of experimenting with very long exposures and catching the snow blowing across the ice surface so will try that next.



(Mat Richardson Photography) Abstract Ice Leica Sweden Winter Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:22:33 GMT
Amazing morning! I got woken by a call from Oliver this morning, quick let's get out! The sky was beautiful, wind was extremely strong and it was literally one of the most incredible mornings I have ever experienced.

On arriving at the lake, it was clear it would be tricky to photograph, the wind was around 50mph and the snow was hurtling along the ice and straight at us, freezing on to the camera and also on our faces! Not great conditions but the sky was worth it. The shot above may look over processed but the colours are accurate, pretty amazing. I turned round to shield from the snow and saw unbelievable colour in the sky opposite so I grabbed a shot.

I'm sure there was some ice on the lens which gave this shot a softer feel, I like it though, the driving snow looks great too. I got a shot of the big boulders as they looked great with the ice covering them.

As the colours started to fade they got much softer and the wind got stronger so it was time to finish up and head back for a coffee, the ice was making lots of creaking noises so we avoided walking on it too much.

A small patch of sky opened above Lapporten as we were leaving but it was getting pretty cold with the windchill so I only grabbed a quick shot handheld.

Last shot of Oliver just as we were leaving, the wind was so strong it pushed us across the ice!

Anyway, that was my morning, pretty cool!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Sweden Winter Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:39:28 GMT
Christmas and New Year It has been a busy few weeks, I ran an aurora workshop over christmas and managed a couple of days off over new year, luckily I squeezed a couple of outings with the camera!

We had a pretty heavy snow storm in Abisko just before christmas which resulted in lots of fresh snow on the lake shore and a few nice shots, it also meant I could get Oliver to stand out in it whilst I got a shot of him, it was as uncomfortable for him as it looks! 

I really like the shot, just what I had in mind. And so I headed home back to my lovely warm house, lit the fire, bottle of wine and switched off for a few days. It was great to visit Storforsen again and grab a few shots, I'm very lucky to live close to the falls, it's an amazing spot.

The water was flowing fairly fast and there was lots of ice built up, the temperature had risen substantially so there seemed to be more water than in previous years. Normally away from the main falls there would be nothing but snow and ice but this time there was water flowing and amazing coloured ice as it wound through the trees.

All to quickly my break waqs over and I headed North to Abisko to carry on with the winter season. On the way I grabbed a quick shot from the side of the road, lots of nice fog, low sun and untouched snow, a beautiful scene.

After getting back it was straight to work with the first aurora workshop of the new year, we saw nothing but thick cloud but I had a great group so that was ok, yesterday I took a trip to Narvik with another group and managed to get a shot or two on the way, it's a lovely drive despite fairly heavy cloud, this from our lunch spot.

This morning it was back to exploring with Oliver and getting down on to the freshly frozen lake, bit dodgy in places but worth it for some nice ice shots.

I'll be printing lots of these up when I get back home, they will make great abstract style shots for the wall.

And that's it! Looking forward to what 2015 has in store, hopefully lots of nice contracts and opportunities for personal photography. I'm working on details for an Iceland photography workshop for the autumn which will be amazing, I'm also exhibiting my photographs in a solo show up here in the North in April, details to follow if you're in the area.

Good luck for the new year, I hope it's a good one!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Leica Sweden Winter Sat, 03 Jan 2015 16:14:41 GMT
Winter! Could this be the return of the neglected blog? Looks like it! 

It has been a hectic couple of months, I have shot 15,000 photographs, had almost 300 aurora workshop clients and today I start the second of the six multi-day aurora workshops I am running this season, busy!

I thought it was about time I did a round up of my favorite shots of the last couple of months, having so many clients has meant that my personal photography has taken a back seat but I have still managed to grab a few photographs that I really like.

I am absolutely loving my new camera system, I decided it was time to push in to a new level of image quality and moved to medium format digital and the Leica S system, for the work I do it's pretty much the ultimate. I got an excellent deal and literally the best service I have ever experienced from Ulf and the guys at Mattssons photo in Lund, they helped me every step of the way and got me in to an excellent system. The above reindeer shot was pretty much the first image I took and I love it!

The Leica is the ideal camera for both the landscape work I do and also the commercial work that pays the bills, here are some landscapes.

These are taken in Abisko, my home for the winter, the landscape is stunning and despite the fact that I am running aurora workshops here, I find myself drawn to the landscape opportunities far more.

I have met a lot of excellent people over the last couple of months and have been able to help them improve their photography through training and by taking them out to experience everything Abisko and the surrounding area has to offer. Here's a shot of one of my guys getting in amongst the action!

As a part of the trips I'm running, I have driven over to Narvik a few times, it's a great drive with some fantastic photo opportunities, this is our normal lunch spot.

We are in Polar Night at the moment, this means that we don't see the sun although we still get a nice glow in the sky for a few hours a day, the colours in the sky are amazing.

Sunrise can be spectacular even if we don't actually see it! This is the view from my front door of the Abisko train station.

The great thing about the Leica is that it makes me want to shoot with it, something that a camera system really must do if it's going to work, I have found myself shooting lots of different things, portraits, animals, landscapes and more abstract/still life scenes as well as my commercial work, here are some examples.

Quite a selection as you can see! I'm now mid aurora season and despite the Leica not being the perfect aurora camera, I have still managed to grab a couple of shots I like.

And this is my office for the remaining aurora workshops I'm running.

I'm working alongside Oliver Wright at the moment, a fantastic UK based photographer, if you get chance check out some of his work, it's really fantastic and a pleasure to be working with another photographer who sees things in a different way to me, it makes for some great photo sessions, helps that he's an excellent bloke too! See Oliver's stuff here..

Well I think that may be enough for now, I'll end on a shot of sunrise a few weeks back, lovely sky and a shot from the shortest day looking over at Laporten.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year, you can find daily updates on my facebook page as well as on twitter.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Leica S Sweden Tue, 23 Dec 2014 10:42:14 GMT
Abisko autumn trip I've just returned from a great trip to Abisko, working with Lights Over Lapland on their autumn trip to Abisko National Park. We had 5 great clients looking to experience the park in Autumn, learn some photography skills and most importantly see the Northern Lights! It was an extremely successful trip with 3 of the 4 nights having clear skies and fantastic aurora displays.

We took a helicopter in to the park and had 2 great nights at a cabin on the edge of Abiskojaure, no running water and no electric which meant no internet, emails, phone calls and all that stuff, heaven! The walk in was pretty wet and windy, fantastic weather for capturing some moody landscape shots.

We got lots of nice shots of the landscape along the Kungsleden, Kings Trail in english, the snow tipped mountains, windswept trees and wooden planks laid across the wetter areas made perfect scenes.

With the rain coming down the wooden walkways were a bit slippery but the bonus was superb reflections from the trees, this is one of my favourite shots of the trip.

Second day in the park was glorious, bright warm sun greeted us at sunrise, perfect for a day of trekking and photographing around the river.

As the sun cleared the mountains it hit the snow line and looked perfect.

Once out on the trail we had lots of opportunity to hear about the surrounding nature, life of the Sami people and the history of the region thanks to Chad.

We also had plenty of opportunities for shooting landscapes, birdlife and the stunning trees. This is Dorothea in her normal position!

But the main reason for being in Abisko is the famous clear skies and spectacular aurora, we had 3 out of 4 nights with huge displays and everyone was extremely excited to learn about photographing them.

On the last day it was with a heavy heart that we waited for the helicopter to return for our journey back to Abisko, we'd had a superb time!

We still had one more night of aurora to witness and it was a great display again, we visited a traditional Sami village and I took the opportunity to photograph the lights through the poles of a Sami tent.

It was a superb trip, great people, great food and I really enjoyed working with Chad and Linnea. If you want a trip to see all these fantastic things then get in touch and you could soon be out here with us! I'm back at the end of the month for more trips and will be in Abisko full time from December until March.



(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:49:14 GMT
Abisko aurora! I'm working in Abisko this winter, I will be teaching on aurora workshops and as last night was forecast to be spectacular, I thought I'd drive the 4 hours North from my home and see what I could photograph. The evenings started promisingly, it's usually pretty difficult to see aurora in a sky that is too bright but I got a series of shots from just as the sunset was fading.

The aurora display was nice and bright but nowhere near as strong as I was expecting, most of the time I was shooting to the North but there was a short time when the lights danced overhead and then headed South and I captured them above Laporten and the village of Abisko.

The lights were rapidly moving, changing colour and intensity and it was great to watch. Sometimes it's too easy to get focused on the camera and forget to actually enjoy the experience! I was very lucky to capture an extremely unusual phenomenon, a blue aurora. It happened only briefly as it passed overhead but I swung the camera straight up and captured 4 photographs all with very blue colour, I have never seen this before!

And finally, just to prove that you can photograph aurora with anything, you don't necessarily need wide lenses, this was taken with a 135mm f2 lens that I use normally for portraits! I was far enough away to get a great shot of Laporten and Abisko so I used it, shame the aurora didn't get low enough on the horizon to be visible through Laporten but still, a nice shot.

I'm sticking around for another couple of nights so hopefully there will be more to photograph tonight.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sat, 13 Sep 2014 07:42:13 GMT
Laver copper mine Yesterday I got the opportunity to visit a really cool place, it's an old copper mine called Laver. At one point it was the most modern town in the North of Sweden, built around the mine workings. After the war the copper prices plummeted and the mine closed down, as part of the clear-up, the whole town was taken away and all that is remaining is the concrete foundations.

It's possible to walk along the streets and see all the remains of the buildings, the old school looked great as the basement rooms, corridors and stairs are all in place.

it's fascinating to see how the forest is steadily reclaiming what is rightly hers! Here's the old ambulance station.

There's also an old tower construction looking over some of the mine workings, it has a great shape and is really interesting to photograph.

Built under the village is a bomb shelter, cut in to the mountain it goes on for miles and must have taken some serious work to build! Now it's very wet, very dark and echo's with dripping water making its way through the rock.

At the bottom of the village is a lake that probably supplied water at some point, there's a small wooden gate that appears to have controlled the flow, the wood has eroded over the years and looks fantastic.

A really interesting place to visit! Work is underway to reopen the copper mine so it will be interesting to see the modern mine alongside the old town, I shall return!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:40:27 GMT
Autumn colours The change from summer to winter here in Lapland is pretty quick, the leaves have already started to turn and autumn is rapidly approaching. 

The birch leaves turn a fantastic golden colour, they look great reflected in the river, less great on my bloody garden where it takes me days to rake them up.

The colour drains from the outside of the leaf and then up the stem before it drops off, here's a quick image from my garden last week at the first sign of change.

The river close to my house looks really nice too, even if it's a little overcast. 

I'm heading North in a week or so, looking forward to catching the autumn colours in Abisko, hopefully I won't be too late!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Autumn Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:58:59 GMT
Aurora season has started! So, it starts again! This time of year the sky becomes dark enough to get short glimpses of the Northern Lights, they are in the sky all year round but this far North in Sweden, we need to wait for the sun to dip low enough below the horizon before they are visible. I got a very small glimpse a couple of nights ago but not worth recording, last night though there was a big aurora display that meant they were clearly visible.

You can see from this shot that the sky is still fairly light, only good strong aurora are visible in this light, in a few weeks the nights will be much darker and then they will be easy to spot. Things are rarely straight forward though, the sky is dark enough, the lights are strong and then the wind blows along and brings a huge front in, then you're buggered! The aurora move around pretty quickly and just after I took this shot they moved directly overhead and I had chance to swing the camera straight up and take a single 6 second shot straight up.

This literally lasted 20 seconds before it moved on and was then lost so I was lucky. Well, that's it, my first captures of the season, I am heading to Abisko in the far North of Sweden soon to work with Chad and Linnea of Lights Over Lapland, I'll be running aurora photography workshops so if you'd like to see the lights and learn how to photograph them then get in touch!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Landscape Nikon D800 Northern Lights Sweden Zeiss 21mm Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:01:14 GMT
Autumn mornings I love this time of year, the summer is a little boring from a photographic view, 24hr daylight is pretty harsh and this summer has been particularly hot here in the North of Sweden. This is a time of fog and damp mornings, I got up at 4am yesterday with a plan to head in to the forest and take some nice shots of the sun rising through the trees and illuminating the low fog but as I drove past Storforsen the view of the mist rising from the falls was spectacular so I changed my plan.

Luckily the sun at this time of year rises behind Bredsel hill so there is a nice light to the sky before the sun actually appears over the hill, I had time to take a number of shots. The walkway above looked nice but doesn't really make a great photograph as your eye follows the path out of the frame so compositionally it doesn't work so well but I don't mind.

There are a couple of sections where the water rolls on itself, here I used a combination of a 3 stop filter to allow a slightly longer shutter speed to show some movement in the water and a graduated filter to allow a little balance between the darker foreground and the brighter sky.

And finally I moved slightly higher up the falls and balanced the water with the rocks and trees on the left, whilst I could make the left side much lighter, I kept it dark to act as a balance, I like this shot. Anyway, a lovely morning, i went home and had a nice pot of coffee!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Storforsen Sweden Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:49:34 GMT
Rust in peace, poor things! I love old cars, always have done, it's a cliche I know but really, they don't make them like they used to! I was driving around Älvsbyn this morning looking for some interesting things to photograph and stumbled across this row of old cars, part of a museum that's housed all around the town. There are lots of old petrol pumps, vehicles and curiosities dotted about, I hadn't really taken notice before but when I saw these cars I stopped for a close look.

This old Saab even had a roof rack with wooden ski's and ski poles on top! Very cool. Another Saab with suicide doors was parked in front of some pumps.

The interior was amazing, just rotting away!

There was also a handful of old VW Splitscreen campers in really rough shape, there's a real beauty to the decay, I think they are too far gone to save.

Mother Nature was definitely winning on the inside.

And finally a couple of other quick shots of details I liked. I will return to check up on the cars again over the winter, I guess they will look interesting under snow and ice.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm zeiss 135 f2 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:39:01 GMT
It's that foggy time of the year! We've had an amazing summer here in the North and now as we move gently in to Autumn, the evenings are a fog filled delight! Last weekend I went out to scout some locations with my friend and fellow photographer Kristofer, driving back from Lulea we spotted a beautiful old barn and managed to arrive just as the sun was shining through the holes in the walls, I jumped out of the car and managed a couple of shots before the sun dropped and the moment was gone. Not great as I didn't have time for a tripod but the clouds were spectacular.

Yesterday the weather was excellent, heavy showers and strong sunlight most of the afternoon so I had high hopes for some more decent light, with luck there would be fog and a glimpse of the sun. We arrived early enough to set up properly and waited for the sun to set, unfortunately the clouds were nowhere near as dramatic and we lost the sun behind cloud about 10 minutes before the sun set, bugger. This shot shows Kristofer setting up to capture the old barn.

The fog was good and I was lucky enough to be in the right place as for around 10 seconds the sun illuminated some fog as it shone through the gaps in the walls, I got a couple of shots before it disappeared again and was lost. 

I moved to the left to capture another shot with the sun in view, by stopping the lens down to f16 it's possible to make a nice starburst effect when the sun is in the frame.

Anyway, that was the barn, shame the sky wasn't as good as the other day, I am sure I'll be back again. I was ready to head home and drove further down the farmers track to find somewhere to turn around, I spotted a bridge over a river so decided to have a quick look, bloody hell it was great!

Not only was the river dead calm and the fog was rolling over the trees, we spotted an old raised walkway on the righthand bank which looked like it might have promise. The wood was really rotten on the walkway but it had loads of character, the sun had dropped so it wasn't ideal for creating an image but I took a few test shots. Kristofer took a couple of shots on film and I jumped down in to the marshland beside the walkway to grab a shot of him framing the scene.

I really like this shot, the fog was just right, the walkway leading off looked nice and rickety and there was enough light to capture Kristofer fairly sharply, a 1 second exposure. So, what started out as a slightly disappointing barn shot, became a great discovery of a beautiful spot for future trips. Sweden is a great place to live and photograph!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:26:15 GMT
Storms and sunsets We had another great storm here yesterday, I got lucky with a couple of shots but didn't have time to shoot much as the lightning was pretty serious and being out in it was a little daft!

Just after this shot the rain started and came down in a torrent, bouncing off the road as I headed back to somewhere safer! I stopped in at Storforsen Hotel and stood under one of their picnic areas and set up the camera, the rain was pretty strong but the sky looked fantastic so I got a couple of shots.

As the evening rolled on it was clear that it would be a good sunset, after the storm the air was heavy with moisture as low cloud formed in the valley, loads of fog raising from the trees too so I grabbed the camera again. I was able to catch the sun setting in a number of places as I travelled up the hill beside Storforsen, low down at the river the light was fantastic.

As I moved up the road I captured the sun as it dipped behind the forest.

The sky was really nice at this point as the fog was getting heavier, standing in this area of cleared forest was great as all the new growth trees added a good foreground. 

I decided to head further up the hill and see if i could capture the sun for a second time so jumped back in the car.

Just in time I managed to capture it as it dipped below the horizon. After it had gone the fog increased and the air was really damp, managed a few more shots.

Then I went home!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm zeiss 135 f2 Fri, 08 Aug 2014 07:17:03 GMT
Stormy summer It has been incredibly hot in Sweden for weeks now, sweaty and awake all night and not in a good way. We needed a good storm and yesterday we got it! I've seen a good number of storms all over the world but this was one of the best. I am always trying to photograph lightning, there are 2 ways of doing it, buying a piece of equipment called a lightning trigger, a little device that fits to the hot show of the camera and triggers an exposure when it picks up a flash of lightning, the idea being that lightning is normally a series of strikes and you have a chance of picking up on one of them if you fire quickly.

I chose the second option, blind luck! This involves no skill and is as simple as setting up a shot and then firing the shutter at random, hoping you catch something, I got lucky on the 3rd shot, I got a couple of others later in the day but this was the best of it.

So today the weather reports suggested that another big storm was on its way so I prepared myself early and went down to the river at the first signs of clouds moving.

The weather front today was much more interesting, yesterday it was right on top of us but today it was just on the horizon and I could get a much wider view.

The clouds were spectacular but the lightning was not as strong as yesterday so my random shutter firing didn't manage to pick anything up. After an hour the clouds spread out and the rain came so I headed home. I love a good storm!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm storm Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:40:18 GMT
Back from Abisko I got home this morning from a fantastic trip to Abisko, great to meet up with Chad and Linnea of Lights Over Lapland again and spend some time getting to know Abisko National Park in preparation for the winter. I think what struck me the most is the sheer beauty of the place. I know the focus is on the Northern Lights during the winter but I'd happily photograph there at any time of the year. This is a collection of random shots I like that I haven't posted previously, as with any new place it takes a little time to understand and get some really great photographs but for a first look, there are a couple of nice ones. The mountain scenery was spectacular, I was lucky enough to get a couple of days with changeable weather, perfect for photography. I love this shot looking down in to the valley, the way the sun hits the rain is heaven for a photographer.

There are lots of elements key to good landscape photography, natural and man-made objects to lead the eye, a variety of scenes from lakes to mountains, forest to rivers. This was a nice spot, the last remaining snow had been sculpted by the wind and was a perfect lead in to the chairlift silhouetted against the heavy sky, topped off with a little low mist rising from the snow.

Heading off through the forest was really interesting, there were random clearings, usually containing small lakes and large mosquitos! The weather was bright and blue for a few days but I prefer the heavy cloud filled skies for shots like this.

Whilst the park was beautiful, I also really liked the scenery from the drive to Norway, simple elements that worked so perfectly together. I really like the communications towers in this shot, it gave scale to the view and really added to the scene for me, some people like to avoid objects like this in landscapes but I think there's a place for them.

And back finally to the stunning view over the valley from the Aurora Sky Station, this really was a spectacular view and a good day to be up there.

So that was my first visit to Abisko, I will be returning in a couple of weeks to photograph as the summer comes to an end and the autumn starts, it will be interesting to catch the colours in the Birch trees. I'm really looking forward to showing people the area over winter and helping get some truly stunning aurora pictures. If you're planning a trip North then I can highly recommend Abisko, get in touch with Chad and Linnea and we can organise showing you the real beauty of the area.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm zeiss 135 f2 Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:39:21 GMT
Up all night! I decided last night to see if it was still possible to see the sun all night from Abisko, the midnight sun is due to the sun not dipping below the horizon and saying in the sky 24hrs a day. I'd say it has gone for this year, I suppose you could stand up high on the mountain and still see it but from the lake edge it's not visible from around 11.30pm, it's back in the sky before 1am.

Here's a view looking in to the sunset at midnight.

And turning around in the other direction looking back at Abisko. Nice skies but as you can see from below, you'd need to be a fair way up to still be seeing the sun.

Soon be winter now!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:49:38 GMT
More exploring Abisko is pretty special, it doesn't really matter if the weather is good or bad, there's plenty to see. this morning was bright and patchy cloud so I headed out of town to look for a vantage point up high to see if I could capture the lake and the mountains behind.

The light was pretty harsh so not a great shot, would be much better at sunrise. The trek in was a bit of a nightmare, mosquitos, swamps, rocks and a reindeer all tried to put me off but I eventually made it to the top of a rocky outcrop and set up. Here's a quick behind-the-scenes look at the camera position, I had parked on the road in the distance on the left.

I took a couple of shots but as the sun was high and bright it wasn't worth hanging around, I decided to head back down to the lake and see what was happening down there, this guy had the right idea!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:14:12 GMT
What to do when it's raining. There are really only 2 options when the rain is heavy.

1. Photograph rain drops.

2. Go to Norway. Apparently Norway has just as much rain as Sweden! It was a great drive up from Abisko, lots of lovely snowy peaks and the houses were pretty cool once I had crossed the border. This place looked great perched on top of the hill, just inside Norway.

I turned around after a short while and headed back to Abisko, the road on the way back was pretty nice, the cloud was low and the light beautiful and soft as it illuminated the mountains.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800E Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:36:34 GMT
Glorious day in Abisko! So, Abisko, it may well be one of the most incredible places to see aurora during the winter but I can tell you, it is also one of the most incredible places to explore in the summer. Today Chad and myself took a trip up to the Aurora Sky Station, a spot at the top of Noulja with a view over the town and the lake and a whole chain of stunning peaks with spots of snow covering them.

The cloud was heavy when we set off but as the chairlift gained height there were amazing patches of light streaming through and illuminating the clouds rolling over the mountain tops.

I took a walk over to the edge of an escarpment to get a clear view of the mountains across the valley, the light was literally some of the most beautiful I have ever experienced, shafts of sunlight through the rain, lakes shimmering silver, fantastic!

Along the edge of the escarpment were stone cairns, they looked great against the skyline. We're off to explore further tomorrow so I'm looking forward to another perfect day in the mountains.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Abisko Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:52:58 GMT
Wandering around Abisko It's too hot, I know that sounds crazy after the places I've been and even more crazy when you know I'm 4 hours North of the Arctic circle but seriously, it's too hot. Didn't sleep a wink last night after the sun was well over 30 degrees all day and my room was literally an oven! Anyway, I got up this morning and had a wander about, then clouds rolled in and a big thunderstorm looked really promising, after a few claps of thunder it was pretty much over and the relief i was hoping for faded as the heat returned. Nice.

Anyway, enough of my moaning, it'll be winter soon enough and then I'll miss the heat. As the clouds rolled in early this morning I headed over to the train station, it's a pretty cool looking place, obviously been rebuilt fairly recently and has a really modern feel to it. I took a couple of shots just because I liked the lines and the shapes.

The rest of the day was spent getting a good feel for the place with Chad, looking at the best locations for capturing the lights in the winter, meeting people and generally doing a bit of exploring. It's a beautiful place but the weather didn't really play nicely and became more oppressive and sweaty as the day went on. I managed the above shot which I don't mind too much, hardly likely to be printed up on the wall but it gives a fair representation of what the day was like. Looking forward to tomorrow now, hopefully I can sleep!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Abisko Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:06:51 GMT
Looking back at Iceland I have found that as I take a lot of photographs, it is sometimes really important to take a critical look at what I produce, it normally needs a little time and distance to allow a less emotional view. I visited my brother in Iceland last year, the whole country blew me away, a mixture of the stunning scenery and the opportunity to actually spend quality time with Tim, something I can't remember doing as an adult, I really had a fantastic time.

Photographically I made a lot of poor choices in Iceland, the main one being taking a system and lenses that I wasn't fully familiar with, it is so important to know your equipment and how to get the most from it, I had everything I needed to make beautiful images except the most important thing, knowledge! Looking back through a good number of shots taken over the week and there are just a handful I am happy with, even less that I would call good enough. The occasional good shots are where I got things right and allowed the camera to shine, the rubbish shots are where I made wrong decisions.

fine art fotograffine art fotograf

The above shot is one of my favourites, early morning driving through the fjords in the West as this beautiful light crept over the edge of the mountain illuminating the lone house dominated by the background. The waterfall was in the perfect place to balance the image, as the sun rose the light changed and the glow was lost. One of the most spectacular things about Iceland is that for such a small island, the sheer variety of landscapes is breathtaking, every couple of hours would see wildly different scenes. The following image captures a typical road winding through wide valleys, the weather changed as rapidly and the heavy clouds were amazing to see.

Rain was never too far away but as it moved so quickly it wasn't an issue, many times we could see the rain in the distance chasing bright rainbows.

Another fascinating thing to photograph was the skylines, big skies, distant mountains seemed to really complement the pylons in the following shot.

Another on a similar theme as we left from the North to drive across the Central Highlands, this time being driven by Tomas, Tim's partner, it was fantastic to experience the scenery with a native Iclander and hear about life growing up in such a beautiful place. Here there was a mixture of high Lenticular cloud contrasted by low fast moving fluffy white clouds (not their correct meteorological name!) 

This next shot may look a little less exciting but for me it is one of my favourites, as we crossed the top of the highlands the weather was great, lots of heavy cloud, distant rain and the glow of a rainbow, the land was a wonderfully bleak almost lunar landscape.

Iceland is obviously famous for its Icelandic Horses and we saw lots of these beautiful animals. I took a number of close up shots that I liked but this was one of the nicest, I really like how it shows their environment and the tough life they endure.

I've avoided posting pictures of the more normal touristy sites, the stunning waterfalls, that sort of thing, they were incredibly beautiful to see but to be honest I didn't do them justice. In this picture is a view across to one of the glaciers in the South, a view that struck me as just being so beautiful.

So the lessons I have learned from looking back is not to waste a fantastic opportunity by being unprepared! I will definitely be returning to see Tim and Tomas and this time I will be ready, we saw such a fantastic amount of the island that I have a plan for concentrating on a couple of places and making the most of them, hopefully after the winter.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Iceland Landscape Nikon D800E Photography Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:39:24 GMT
It's all in the details I often take big photographs, landscapes, industrial scenes that sort of thing but occasionally it's nice to look a little closer. I went out this morning with my trusty Zeiss 135mm f2 lens, one of the best lenses ever made to look for details, the way a leaf catches the light, small things that appeal to me.

Using the Zeiss wide open gives such beautiful bokeh (the out of focus areas) they are so smooth that it makes the in-focus bits really pop.

This next shot is a little boring, just some wild flowers but you may see the small wasp on the right, he came in to the frame and I quickly tried to focus on him.

The Zeiss is a manual focus lens so a little tricky for very fast things but when I crop the picture down small you can see that I got lucky!

So that's about it, just a few nice shots showing some detail. These were all taken at Storforsen which has a huge waterfall, very impressive but a little boring when you realise how much there is to photograph away from the water.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 135 f2 Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:41:25 GMT
Stormy weather There's nothing better than a good storm! I had to visit Lulea today and on the way back I noticed the weather was building so I took a trip down to the water where I could see the city in the distance, I managed a couple of shots before the heavens opened!

I love this weather, nothing better than getting out in it!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:08:13 GMT
Feeding frenzy! Good photography is about capturing a moment in time, sometimes you capture it well and sometimes you don't! Driving in to town I crossed over the river and noticed the light was really nice on the forest so I parked up, grabbed the camera and walked back to the centre of the bridge, as I got there a flock of birds, Swifts or Swallows, no idea which, swooped down and started feeding on the bugs above the water. I only managed 1 shot before they whizzed off again, shame i didn't have time to increase the shutter speed and freeze the birds in flight, would have been a much better shot, still, I think it's nice so worth putting it up

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:57:50 GMT
Midsummer, mosquitos 1-man 0 What is it with Swedish mosquitos? They're not real mosquitos, they're pitbulls with wings!

So, Midwinter in the North of Sweden, I decided to head out for midday to grab some shots, it didn't exactly go to plan as the rain was torrential and sporadic, after driving an hour to Arvidjaur, I was forced to stay in the car as the heavens opened every 10 minutes or so, every time I ventured out it poured! I managed 10 minutes between showers and grabbed a few shots.

I didn't mind so much as the clouds were great!

What was less great was the swamp and the previously mentioned mosquitos, if you hit a Swedish mosquito, he comes back with his mates and hits you back! 

So that's the longest day marked here in the North, soon be winter!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Midwinter Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:15:08 GMT
A bit of history. Sometimes you get lucky and stumble in to situations that open up to great opportunities, a few weeks back I photographed Sikfors hydro power plant after seeing some images on twitter and found it to be a fascinating place. This led to the opportunity to get inside the original power plant thanks to Krister, the original twitter poster and so yesterday we met up and I was introduced to Erik, the custodian of what is now a museum.

I had a guided tour and was amazed at the setup, the original equipment is all in place and thinking back to when the plant was built in 1914, the amount of work involved and the ingenuity of the workers at the time is unbelievable.

The pieces were bought up from the south by steam train where they were loaded on to carts and moved to Sikfors, the story is pretty incredible and as I can't do it justice, I recommend a visit if you get chance. The original turbines are still in situ as well as all the controls, dials and transformers.

Besides the obviously impressive machinery, i was also struck by the design of the place, spiral staircases, domed windows and tiled floors, I bet you don't see that sort of thing in modern power plants.

Here are some more general shots, this would be such an amazing place for a fashion shoot!

After a really good scout around and a good set of test shots, I'm planning to return in a week or two and set up a more organised shoot, see if i can find a model too, anyone interested then get in touch! Many thanks to Krister for setting up the meeting and to Erik for his knowledge and enthusiasm, get yourself down there if you are local!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:56:03 GMT
Back at Sikfors Out running errands today but as the sun started to shine I swung past Sikfors for a quick look and grabbed a couple of shots. These industrial structures always look better in black and white to my eye.

Anyway, it's such a great spot that it deserves more than half an hour of my time so I'm going to plan a proper visit and spend some time to get some really nice shots. I shall probably print one of today's efforts and drop it off at the office, they might like it for their wall.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Wed, 11 Jun 2014 13:25:37 GMT
Black and white day Last week I saw a post on twitter that had a photograph of a place called Sikfors, it looked pretty cool so I thought I'd go and have a scout around for a good shoot, today was not really the day for it as it's raining heavily but as I was up early I went for a look anyway. Turns out it's a fantastic looking place and I will be back when the weather clears up for sure.

These shots are all quick snaps as the weather was really rubbish but they work ok as rough conversions to black and white, I think this will be a great spot with some decent weather.

Apparently the place was built in the 1800's and provided electricity to the North of Sweden, really nice construction of the bridge which carries a train track, not sure if it's still in use, would be nice to get a shot of a train going past if it is.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Mon, 09 Jun 2014 15:25:50 GMT
Glorious day in the North As today is Swedish National Day, it's a day out of the studio and chance to enjoy the beautiful weather here at the moment. I popped up to a spot I like on the Pitea River and took a few shots.

River is running really high at the moment so lots of motion, the forest also looks great in the hazy light.

I also found a nice little picnic spot, seen better days though!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:19:28 GMT
Something in the air Actually it's spray from the falls, I know this because both my camera and myself were soaked after wandering around Storforsen. The positive is the beautiful soft light that you get through the mist.

Even better that the clouds were fairly heavy and gave a nice overcast light.

The amount of water cascading through the park is pretty impressive and will only get heavier as more snow melts further upstream.

Away from the falls the paths through the old trees and moss covered boulders looked beautiful as the moisture in the air made everything appear damp.

Anyway, it was a nice hour break from work and chance to grab a few quick shots!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Zeiss 21mm Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:30:14 GMT
Healthy living! Yesterday was a great day in the studio, I had a visit from Marianne and Helena, 2 extremely inspirational women who are producing a book of recipes utilising raw food. They are both experts in lifestyle, health and wellness, massage, yoga and all that good stuff!

We started with some standard head-shots for their new book.

It's always great when shooting people to see different characters and personalities, I see it as my job to try and capture that.

After the portrait shots we spent some time in Marianne's kitchen as they produced some incredible food, even better, I got to eat it afterwards! I was amazed at how good everything tasted but more than that, just how fantastic it all looked, a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The highlight was chocolate mousse made with avocado, incredibly tasty! I'd love to show you what it looked like but I ate it, sorry.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800E Sweden portrait Wed, 28 May 2014 07:18:07 GMT
More from the falls A few more from Storforsen, just because I like them!

And the result, there's nothing better than seeing a shot through from capture to print. I'm constantly amazed by the output of my IPF6400 printer, on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl and mounted in Nielsen frames, the results are great. This photograph is 20"x24" in a frame 24"x32"

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm Tue, 27 May 2014 06:59:29 GMT
Cold, overcast and snow! Today was a non-photography day, getting the van inspected and general jobs to do, after amazing weather over the last few weeks it actually snowed! I always keep a camera with me and on the way back from town as the clouds were really heavy, I spotted this group of old trees in a flooded bit of a swamp so I had a closer look and grabbed these quick shots.

I managed to step off a clump of grass and straight in to water over my boots, didn't really mind as I like the photographs, sometimes non-photography days can give you a few nice shots.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Mon, 26 May 2014 16:05:10 GMT
In full flow We had a good bit of rain yesterday and a proper thunder storm a couple of nights ago so I guessed there'd be a bit more water coming through Storforsen today, I was right!

A lot of the places I stood to take pictures 2 days ago are now fully submerged under fast flowing water. The walkways weren't really necessary last week, now they're back to doing their job.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sun, 25 May 2014 14:08:08 GMT
Storforsen shop I'm lucky enough to live close to a great nature reserve, Storforsen, it's a huge waterfall and big area of amazing beauty with lots of pools and flowing water amongst huge granite bolders, beautiful place. There's a fantastic shop there full of local crafts, clothing, art, souvenirs and lots more, I have photographed the owner Birgitta on a couple of occasions now and when she started work on her new webshop, I was really happy that she asked me to take a couple of shots for her.

The shop has a great feel to it, it's rich and warm and cosy feeling full of interesting things and colours, the plan was to try and capture that in a single shot. The tricky thing from a photography point of view was the light or more importantly the sheer number and variety of light sources! There's firelight, daylight, reflected light through glass, lamps as well as overhead lights and darker areas, balancing all of this was going to be really tricky, or so I thought. It turns out that the best solution was to use the Profoto B1 head with the modelling lamp on full power and use a longer exposure, the B1 modelling lamp is daylight balanced so it just created natural looking light on the right hand side of this shot, mimicking window light to balance the left hand side.

We had a fairly overcast day which allowed an exposure of 1 second without blowing highlights, the B1 was mounted up high on the far right to balance and apart from a slight tweak to the white balance in post, this is as shot. I think we managed to maintain the "feel" and warmth of the space.

Second we needed a really nice shot of Birgitta, something to show her natural warmth plus add some of the great colours and products from the shop in the background, I wanted a really rich feel to the shot. I kept the depth of field as small as possible to give emphasis to Birgitta and allow some separation from the background but I wanted the items to still be recognisable. 

I used a single Profoto B1 with a beauty dish and grid, camera right and fairly close to Birgitta, I like the shot as it captures the warmth I was aiming for.

Check out Birgitta's new webshop and if you get chance, visit the real shop!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden Fri, 23 May 2014 08:55:53 GMT
More new shots A couple more from the last few weeks, this first shot was a real pain to get, I wanted a long exposure to blur the water but the constant wind kept moving the tree, I returned 3 times before I managed to capture the tree with no movement. This uses a shallow depth of field to help separate the tree from the background, it looks very nice printed.

After a long winter of bare birch trees, the last few days has seen leaves sprouting everywhere as we're pretty much in daylight 24hrs a day now. As with the shot above, shallow depth of field to separate the sapling, longer exposure to move the water and clouds.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Fri, 23 May 2014 07:53:30 GMT
Some new images! I've not had much time for adding to the blog for a few weeks, it's been nice and busy here, some portrait shoots, some shop shoots and some industrial shoots, all good! I've also been working on printing images for display locally and making time for a few new shots too. I'm really impressed with the Canon IPF6400, the prints I'm getting are fantastic, this week should see my ordered frames from Nielsen arrive and I'll be all set.

Meanwhile, the spring weather here in the North has been fantastic, it's lovely and warm, the last of the snow has pretty much melted and it's nice to be taking some shots in good light. This is an interesting shot making the most of the flare whilst maintaining a long exposure to smooth the water, stacking a Lee Big Stopper and a ND Grad allowed me to get the right mix.

This shot I really like, it doesn't show in this small jpeg but there is a straight fracture line through the rock that is visible under the water in the foreground and runs all the way through the scene to the waterfall in the distance, the print is really nice and will hopefully be framed this week.

Well, that's all my news, I have more new images that I will show over the coming weeks.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Wed, 21 May 2014 20:28:48 GMT
Bad weekend weather What's the best thing to do when it's cloudy, rainy and a bit miserable out? No, not light the fire, settle in for a nice day doing jobs around the studio like a normal person, I grab the camera and head to the river, madness!

I took a drive along the Pite River to a spot I've photographed before, there's a great bridge and lots of fast flowing water, perfect against the grey sky and drizzly rain.

It was easy to slow down the water a touch with a ND filter and also keep the real overcast feel to the sky. 

Now I can light the fire and settle in for the afternoon!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sat, 10 May 2014 14:45:35 GMT
Hydro power This week I took some photographs for a client who wanted shots of hydro-electric power stations. There are quite a few near here so I headed to Boden and had some good luck with the weather, nice skies particularly for black and white photographs. The water wasn't flowing as much as I had hoped so I made the most of the swirling water and used a longer shutter speed and a neutral density filter to control the exposure. The industrial buildings, clouds and water movement work really well in black and white.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sun, 04 May 2014 09:36:20 GMT
Winter plans! I'm really excited to announce that I'm heading North for the upcoming aurora season and will be joining Chad and Linnea Blakley and the team at Lights Over Lapland in the incredible Abisko National Park in Northern Sweden.

It's going to be great working with such a dedicated and professional group of people, I will be using my knowledge of photographing both the Northern and Southern Lights to guide and instruct people taking the trip of a lifetime to one of the best places in the world to see the aurora.

I'm very lucky to have spent more than 2 years down in Antarctica where my passion for seeing aurora really developed, now I live in the North of Sweden that passion has only got stronger. My aim is to not only help people to take shots of the lights but to help them get really good shots of the lights! 

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Northern Lights Sweden Fri, 02 May 2014 10:10:23 GMT
New addition! I'm quite excited, sad I know but I've been working so hard getting the studio and office finished that now it's time to enjoy it! Yesterday my new printer arrived, a Canon IPF6400 inkjet printer able to print on a wide variety of media from canvas to fine art papers. The great thing is that it prints up to 24" wide and on rolls so I can print off some of my huge panoramas as well as reasonable sized canvas.

Over the next week or so I will get everything sorted out and put together a quick tour of the new studio space. I shall be running photography and print training from here alongside my commercial and portrait work, exciting times!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Canon IPF6400 Printer Studio Wed, 30 Apr 2014 08:07:04 GMT
End of the Aurora season Well I think it's time to admit that I'm not going to get any more aurora shots this season, I can't say it was fantastic here, further North it was an excellent season but being that bit further South makes a big difference. This is a collection of a few of the images I like, mainly from a couple of good nights with really dramatic displays. I'm looking forward to next season as it should be an excellent one for me as I head up to one of the most spectacular places for spotting the northern lights!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Landscape Nikon D800 Northern Lights Sweden Sat, 26 Apr 2014 17:53:35 GMT
Forest paths Now the snow is melting rapidly, it's great to take advantage of all the tracks and trails through the forests around here, quickly before the mosquitos wake up from the winter!

I took a drive over to Storforsen and had a walk about, there is still plenty of ice on the falls but a lot of the surrounding area is snow free.

This was taken at 7am this morning, I love these cloudless skies and the early morning sun, it's great to photograph the footpaths through the rocks and trees.

The following were taken yesterday and later in the day, they are only snapshots really as I plan places to set up and get proper shots, it's nice to see how rapidly the sun takes over and wakes everything up.

I shall be returning over the coming weeks with a view to getting some nice shots for the website.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:15:51 GMT
Spring hits the forest floor Just a quick shot from my walk in the forest behind my house this morning, spring is making an appearance as the snow melts below the trees. The Birch trees will soon start to come in to leaf and we're already getting very long days, not long ago we were only getting a couple of hours of daylight, now it's getting dark around 9pm.

I really like this time of year, soon be summer!

Today I went back for another shot, This time I got the early morning light and created a stitch of 4 images, my new printer arrives next week and this will print a couple of meters wide for my office wall!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:04:47 GMT
Abandoned! There's something fascinating about abandoned buildings, the decay, the glimpse of life as it once was, the beauty in items just left. I stumbled across an old building that looks as though it hasn't been habited for many years, old newspapers on the floor from the 1980's, lots of dead animals, cobwebs and rotting material combined with old furniture, clothes and kitchen utensils, all giving a really amazing feeling of abandonment.

Beautifully made of old timber, this building must have looked amazing when it was in use, the old fire in the corner of the living room now crumbling must have made the room feel lovely on cold evenings.

The kitchen still contains all the utensils, the kettle still on the stove top and paraffin lamp above.

The kitchen chair screams 1970's Scandinavian, I have a few of these in my house!

The shed.

It's great to find these sort of places and record them before they disappear, this place is unlikely to last much longer as mother nature does her best to reclaim what is hers. I have a strong desire to rebuild it, put some life back in to it and enjoy summer off the grid, collecting wood from the forest and water from the river, I might see if I can find out who owns it! 

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Photography Sweden Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:05:04 GMT
Location scouting Beautiful morning here in the North of Sweden today, lots of heavy cloud, glimpses of blue sky and a good spring feel in the air. I grabbed my kit and went out for a drive to look for some new places to photograph, I had heard that swans were returning from their winter trip South so I headed for water. Unfortunately I didn't see any swans so looked for some interesting spots for future outdoor portraits I'm planning.

I visited a little village called Manjarv, nice river running through the village so I decided to get my feet wet and get under the bridge. I also tried a long exposure shot, stacking a 0.9 ND grad on top of a 10 stop ND filter which enabled me to get a 20 second exposure to smooth out the flowing water.

I then headed out to a lake outside the village to see what the light was like, the days are already starting to get long so even though it was 7.30am the sun was already high and very bright despite the cloud, not ideal conditions but the cloud was reflecting nicely on the water so I grabbed a couple of shots. I quite like these quick b&w conversions.

So, despite a lack of swans, it was nice to get out and photograph somewhere new, I shall be returning.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:01:48 GMT
Trapped! A new series. Following on from my previous post on the big melt, some interesting things have been happening in my garden. 

I've become fascinated by the thawing and re-freezing of the snow in the garden, leaves are suspended in different layers of ice, millions of air bubbles glow in the light and the surface reflects the trees and sky, it's all fantastic in its random nature, I have no control other than how I frame the shot.

Things are changing constantly, the clouds reflect different colours, the sun moving across the sky highlights different areas, here the sun crept past my garage and lit a single section of the ice.

I have found myself looking for single leaves or smaller elements but I also like when there is a collection of items trapped. This shot was taken early in the morning before the sun had melted the top layer so it has a matt feel with millions of air bubbles.

The beauty in these images is in the detail, it isn't reflected in these web sized jpegs, but up close they are fantastic, here's a small crop of one of the images above to show some of the detail.

I hope to have a selection of these images printed for display and sale soon, I think they make a really nice series.



(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:26:35 GMT
Over at the Grand Rapids My friend Birgitta has helped me out loads of times when I've needed a model, today was my turn to help her with some shots for her new online store. Birgitta runs a fantastic shop at the nature reserve at Storforsen full of local crafts and stuff for the home, so off I went with my kit and we took a few photographs.

There are some great old buildings up at Storforsen, we found a nice spot, set up the lights and took a couple of shots.

Birgitta's shop has a great feel to it, open fire, hundreds of colours, reindeer skins and all round good stuff, we went for a shot to show that, full of colour and warmth. I think we got it, I like this shot.

It was a good couple of hours, beautiful weather up at the falls and great to photograph Birgitta again.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Photography Storforsen Sweden Fri, 04 Apr 2014 19:57:52 GMT
Through the forest I love this time of year, it's great to escape from the studio for a short while and take a walk through the trees. The snow is melting quickly, the path is bloody slippery and the sun is shining, long shadows and bright patches of greens and browns, who could ask for more!

These are just quick reference shots as I'm currently looking for a nice spot for an outdoor shoot next week, I need to prepare in advance because even though it looks nice and bright, it's still pretty chilly out, my hands were freezing after 10 minutes!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:35:05 GMT
More from the workbench I love this old thing, the wood has so much character, Anyway, here are a couple more shots.

I have three of these axes, made by Gränsfors Bruks, they make fantastic hand-forged axes, this one is an ancient camping axe and works really well against the old wood.

I like this too, just an old pencil and a typically Swedish folding ruler, a few pencil shavings and stuff adds to the feel. 

I have pots and pots of old screws, washers, odds and sods left in the house from the previous owners, some great old things.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden Mon, 31 Mar 2014 14:53:47 GMT
DIY! Well, sort of. A while back I picked up a cheap woodworking bench with a view to converting it into a work top for the bathroom, a couple of sinks on top and job done! It is very old and carries the scars of many years of work, I have been thinking about creating a series of images using it as a background.

I found these old tacks in their original paper packaging, I really like the contrasting textures, rust, steel, old paper, nice!

The main problem with the work bench was that it was stored in my workshop which is cold and I wanted it in my studio which is warm! I managed to grab my excellent neighbour David and we got it across the ice, in to the house and upstairs, it was bloody heavy!

It was worth it because I absolutely love the way it looks, the scars, paint splashes and old steel pegs look fantastic when lit by the Profoto B1 flash.

I have a plan to put together a series of shots of old bits of woodwork equipment, nails and screws that I have in the workshop, it should be a nice little project. I'm not going to do it too quickly, not keen on moving it back out of the studio any time soon!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Profoto B1 Sweden Sun, 30 Mar 2014 20:55:06 GMT
Sit! I don't normally photograph animals, not many anyway so it was great to have a little visitor to the studio this afternoon, a young pup! He was extremely laid back and sat amazingly well to say that he was in strange surroundings with lights going off.

Here's a cross between 2 Swedish breeds that I can't pronounce, a very handsome looking chap.

I took a handful of shots before he decided he'd had enough and went for a lie down, strenuous work this modelling!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Dog Nikon D800 Sweden Sun, 30 Mar 2014 18:24:23 GMT
The big melt There's still lots of snow about but the mornings are getting lighter and there's a real warmth from the sun. Coffee out on the porch in the mornings no longer requires gloves, hat, 2 pairs of socks and insulated boots!

A lot of the snow is melting revealing all the stuff in the garden that I didn't clean up before the snow started last year! The day brings big pools of melt water that refreeze over night. Having spent a week in the studio it was nice to get out early this morning and take some shots before the ice melted again.

My garden is full of pine, spruce and birch trees, autumn is busy with millions of leaves, pine cones and pine needles needing raked and collected to keep the grass healthy, obviously there are a few missed and these look great encapsulated in ice. The early low sun also highlights the air bubbles, I like it.

It has also been a while since green has been visible on the ground, a glimpse of what is to come.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Sat, 29 Mar 2014 10:50:28 GMT
Keeping it simple I've worked hard over the years to build up what I consider to be a great photography kit, I have some excellent lenses to cover almost all eventualities. That said, sometimes travelling about with a full complement of lenses and bodies can actually be a little restrictive from a creative point of view. It's easy to lose a bit of discipline at times when you have a choice of focal lengths, changing lenses rather than working that little bit harder to create an image.

This morning we had bright blue skies here and I decided it would be great to keep things simple, I wanted to produce a couple of nice black and white shots and i wanted to go out with one camera and lens. I am lucky enough to have a few really superb lenses in my collection, one of those is the Nikkor 200f2, a completely fantastic lens and probably the best portrait lens I have ever used. I grabbed the D800 and the 200 f2 and out I went.

The 200 is fantastic mainly due to its lightning fast AF and incredible bokeh, the out of focus areas in a photograph. It's easy to see in this shot how lovely and smooth the background is, it really helps to make what is in focus pop! Whilst the 200 is a legendary portrait lens, it doesn't mean it can't be used for all sorts of photography, I like using it for these miniature landscapes, especially when there's nice light.

Using a really narrow depth of field and a relatively strong black and white conversion can help turn something a little boring into something a little more intriguing. Backlit branches are so much more interesting when they look slightly abstract.

So, there's my exercise in keeping it simple, one body and lens, one idea for grabbing a couple black and white shots and seeing what I get out of it, it's a great way to shoot.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nature Nikon D800 Sweden Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:12:28 GMT
New stuff! Things are changing, my hair is getting thinner, my beard has more grey in it and my knees hurt a bit. On a positive note, I'm excited about my new logo and there will be a new look to the website over the next few days as I play around with things.

My new logo is much simpler than the old and lends itself to print far better, it works on stationary, business cards and will work on clothing too as I get more corporate. 





Design work by the superb Matt Shephard at Magnetic can't recommend highly enough!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Business Logo Photography Sat, 22 Mar 2014 11:57:43 GMT
Really needing models! Working in the studio today, building a new moveable wall to act as a soft reflector for bouncing the flash. Normally the shadow side of this portrait would be much darker, adding this white wall allows a little light to bounce back and fill some of the shadow.

Now all I need is nice people to photograph rather than this miserable old bloke! Anyone in the North of Sweden who'd like to be photographed then please get in touch.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:07:41 GMT
Tess I had another opportunity to photograph Tess this evening, she was the first person I shot with the new flash and now I've had a chance to get to understand it a little, I wanted to get her back!

I decided to use much wider apertures for this shoot, the Profoto B1 with a beauty dish gridded to reduce spill on the background and for the following 2 shots I used the incredible Zeiss 135 f2 lens. The Zeiss renders beautifully but can be a little tricky to nail focus, especially wide open.

I really like these shots, Tess looks fantastic! 


(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Tue, 18 Mar 2014 21:44:15 GMT
Down in the forest There's not many things more Swedish than working in the forest! Yesterday saw a shoot for a local company who needed images of their machines working, so I drove in to the middle of nowhere and set up. This was a good test for the new flash, whist it wasn't really cold, it was -8 and the first chance I've had to see how it handles being outside in more normal Swedish temperatures. No problems at all, even with the B1 set 3m in the air and firing on full power, battery life was excellent.

Glorious weather, cold and clear. Not the easiest thing to shoot whilst deep in the forest but liking the results!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Forest Machinery Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:45:22 GMT
Busy! In the last 3 days I have photographed two cute kids, a horse, her owner and some forestry machinery in action! All great projects and some really nice images that I'm very happy with.

I'm working through files at the moment but thought I'd make a quick post of a shot of Birgitta from this morning, I have photographed Birgitta before and she always looks fantastic, I really like this shot.

I picked a nice shaded area, narrow depth of field shooting at f4, the sun providing some subtle highlights and the Profoto B1 balanced gently to light the face, worked nicely. More images over the coming days!



(Mat Richardson Photography) Nature Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:22:14 GMT
Outdoor portrait shoot The weather has been pretty wild here over the last couple of days, bright skies but really windy and the snow is melting rapidly, perfect for getting out with the camera!

I have been talking to my friend Penny about a shoot for some time now and today was the perfect opportunity. Penny has an amazing adventurous nature and works all over the world, I was looking for the perfect way to show her personality and settled on a simple shoot out in her garden. The sun was bright so we tried a couple of things, firstly utilising the ambient light and secondly experimenting with the B1 to balance the daylight and shoot directly in to the sun.

One of my favourite shots, beautiful light in amongst the trees.

Experimenting with flash and balancing the direct sunlight. The wild hair backlit by the sun and the cup of tea fit perfectly with Penny's personality.

Thanks to Penny for being patient whilst I experimented with lighting, I really like the shots we captured. All photographs shot with the Nikon D800E, 50mm lens and the Profoto B1.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800E Portrait Profoto B1 Sweden Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:48:23 GMT
At the bike shop Today I had chance to load up the new B1 and head over to see Alf at the bicycle shop, I am working on a series of images where I photograph some of the great people I have met since spending time in the North.

Alf is a real character, he always has great stories and I had the idea to shoot him in a way that captures his sense of humour. We set up in the shop with a view to getting gritty, low-key images but with the addition of the kids bike to act as contrast to the seriousness of the pose. It worked just as I had hoped!

The boss.

Repairing bikes is a serious business, sometimes only the right tool for the job will do.

And a more traditional portrait shot.

Many thanks to Alf who was a true professional! All shot with a single B1 light, softlight reflector and a mixture of 50mm and 85mm lenses on the Nikon D800.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Nikon D800E Portrait Profoto B1 Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:16:00 GMT
Flash! Yesterday I received my new studio flash, after lots of research I decided to go with Profoto, their new B1 is a battery powered unit which is superb for working out and about as well as in the studio.

I picked up a flash and beauty dish to start off and was very excited to receive 3 lovely boxes. After charging the battery I needed a model to start practicing with, enter Tess a friend from down the road. Luckily for me Tess is beautiful and patient and didn't mind me experimenting with settings and light placements.

Keeping it simple I wanted to capture a really nice low-key portrait, black background and concentrate on Tess' fantastic features, the beauty dish gives a great circular catchlight in the eyes.

Thanks to Tess for being a stunning model, it was a pleasure to take her picture, hopefully she'll be up for more shots soon. Now I need more models, anyone locally who wants their picture taken, get in touch!

You can read more about the B1 here

I buy my kit from the great guys at Kameradoktorn in Stockholm.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Portrait Profoto Sweden Wed, 12 Mar 2014 18:20:16 GMT
Wild morning Stunning here today, strong wind, dramatic sky, all perfect for my project to get a great representation of power here in the North of Sweden. This combination of nature with the river, wind, sun and trees reflects perfectly the way the Swedes harness all these elements and transmit them through the grid.

This shot is taken with a Nikon D800E, Zeiss 21 f2.8 and a Lee 0.6 ND Grad filter.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800E Sweden Zeiss 21mm Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:23:11 GMT
Home! After a fantastic trip to Kinmen Island and an uncomfortable 5 flights, I got home yesterday afternoon, lit the fire and promptly fell asleep! Woke at 3am ready for a new day, bugger.

Anyway, Taiwan was fantastic, a great experience to be back on the island amongst the chaos of sounds, smells and people. Sweden is the opposite and it's the reason I absolutely love it here. There's snow on the ground, the river is frozen over and the sky is heavy with snow clouds, beautiful!

On the way to pick up some supplies I grabbed a couple of quick shot of the river, nothing special just it's great to be back.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:18:24 GMT
Night shot Interesting sky here this evening so I popped down to the beach here and took some shots. I like this black and white conversion, it adds to the graphic elements of the shot.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Landscape Nikon D800 Taiwan Zeiss 21mm Thu, 27 Feb 2014 15:05:14 GMT
Under the trees, again! There's something about this spot that I really like, I have been back a number of times and I'm getting close to what I can see in my mind as the shot. The trees are great, the wheelbarrow and tools add contrast and the black and white conversion works for me, getting close to the final image.

The original colour image, which do you prefer?

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Landscape Nikon D800 Taiwan Zeiss 21mm Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:11:08 GMT
Back at the plant nursery This afternoon I spent an hour back at the plant nursery I visited earlier in the week, I loved the huge old trees and the collections of pots and equipment stored around them. Here are a few shots.

Growing under the trees

Through the gate


(Mat Richardson Photography) Garden Photography Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10:23:08 GMT
More from the Island A couple more shots from exploring the island and climbing the highest mountain on Kinmen, quite a trek at just under 300m high!

Nice view!


Enjoying the sun

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Sat, 22 Feb 2014 12:05:05 GMT
Saturday morning on Kinmen Normal life on Kinmen is fascinating to me, I can wander about most mornings and find interesting things to photograph. Here are a few from this morning.

Drive-through shopping.

Drying noodles

Got any chicken?

Spongebob and Hello Kitty

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Sat, 22 Feb 2014 11:51:36 GMT
Dragon training! This evening I heard drums from the market so went for a look. I found a training session for Dragon Dancers, how great is that! These kids were pretty good, lots of jumping and all that stuff, brilliant to watch.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:07:35 GMT
Rushan Visitor Centre For the last 10 days I've been driving past the Rushan Visitor Centre twice a day, lunchtime I decided to call in and have a walk about. It's an interesting mix of natural parkland and concrete gun placements, tanks and anti-aircraft guns! What was incredible though was the nurseries where they are growing hundreds of native plants, it might sound strange but it was fantastic! 

I only had half an hour but grabbed a few shots and will return when i have more time.


Through the hedge.




Young and old.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Thu, 20 Feb 2014 10:42:28 GMT
Rainy streets Pissing it down tonight! Not many on the streets but still interesting to walk about.

Not biking weather!

Empty streets and lanterns

Standing like an idiot with a camera in the pouring rain photographing people, me.

Window shopping.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:02:12 GMT
Night scenes, black and white A couple of night shots in black and white, I like these conversions.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Sony RX1 Street Photography Taiwan Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:30:11 GMT
Night scenes Life here is lived on the streets, shops are front rooms, streets are busy from 6am to midnight and wandering around at night is a feast for the senses. Tonight I took a walk and saw puppet shows, traditional music, fires filled with incense and praying in the streets, amazing!

Street lights.

An evening stroll.

Puppet show.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Street Photography Taiwan Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:26:58 GMT
Sunday market shots More wandering around today, a couple in colour and a couple in black and white.

I want a trike!

A typically chaotic shop.

Looking down the main street.

Out with the kids.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Sony rx1 Street photography Taiwan Sun, 16 Feb 2014 09:52:50 GMT
More from the streets I love wandering the streets here, most houses have bundles of things outside, like nobody wants to throw anything away. The shops and restaurants are the same, pots and pans, supplies, all stored outside next to piles of old bits and bobs.

These are fantastic areas to photograph, I love this shot, it's so typical of the streets here.

There is a big effort to rebuild the old traditional houses on the island, lots are being developed with funding from the government, there are still lots of old places around that have loads of character. This row of houses is great.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Zeiss 21mm Sat, 15 Feb 2014 10:48:54 GMT
Paying respects Tourism has taken off massively here on Kinmen, there are bus loads of Chinese tourists visiting the island. The Kinmen authorities have made a big effort to convert the hundreds of military instillations in to museums, parks and information centres, since the island has been cleared of land mines, there are now lots of places to visit that were previously out of bounds.

Today I joined the tourists and visited a Howitzer station, set in to the mountains are miles of tunnels and huge gun placements. I stood with a Chinese family looking at one placement and using the binoculars to look across the straits to China. There was an old woman in a wheelchair with them, must have been a grandmother, she was crying as she say looking at the big gun, it was quite a poignant moment, there was such a huge loss of life on both sides during the conflict. The family asked me to take a photograph of them which I was happy to do. I took a couple of extra shots, I like this one.



(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Taiwan sony rx1 Sat, 15 Feb 2014 10:37:37 GMT
From the beach Now I know this isn't much good as a photograph but I really like it for what it represents. The lights on the horizon are China and I'm on the beach amongst the sea defences. 

Above the sea defences, rows of tanks still in place.

Another view of the metal stakes concreted into the sand.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Nikon D800 Taiwan Zeiss 21mm Fri, 14 Feb 2014 14:21:44 GMT
On the streets I enjoy a walk around the town early in the morning, there are loads of people around at 7am, markets opening, people shopping, it offers a glimpse in to daily life on Kinmen Island.

Fruit and veg.


Parked up.

For the kids.

There's so much to see and capture, I think you could spend years here and see something new every day.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Street Photography Taiwan Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:59:58 GMT
Cats! Behind my hotel, a narrow street and the house of a cat lover.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Street Photography Taiwan Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:50:51 GMT
Island cemetery I drove past the island cemetery today, it was an extremely special place, fascinating to see the old grave stones, many with pictures of their occupants displayed.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Sony RX1 Taiwan Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:46:18 GMT
Observation post There are hundreds of these observation posts on Kinmen, every headland and peninsular the whole way around the island has concrete structures. I can only imagine how bleak it must have been to be posted out to one of these towers under the threat of attack and invasion.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Sony RX1 Taiwan Wed, 12 Feb 2014 14:46:24 GMT
Pigtails Literally! I think I'll have a cheese sandwich.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Nikon D800 Street Photography Taiwan Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:09:35 GMT
Utilities Power and water point at the meat market.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Nikon D800 Taiwan street photography Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:03:07 GMT
More from the market I'm fascinated by the local market, there is so much to see with a new image everywhere you look. The differences between life here and back home are stark, it's incredible to see.

Colours in the market, a feast for the eyes!

There's a fresh meat section of the market, I had a wander around when it was empty and love the place. It's a dumping ground for old things and a collection of big wooden tables and cages for selling and chopping up the animals. 

Serving counter.

This is just normal daily life here, the food is fresh and raw and in the streets, fascinating to see.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Nikon D800 Photography Street photography Taiwan Tue, 11 Feb 2014 01:50:17 GMT
Temple view One of the many temples, looking great in the rain from under a huge tree.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Island Nikon D800 Taiwan Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:31:02 GMT
Sea defences Kinmen Island has a tumultuous history, the island's defences are extensive to say the least! 

Looking down on the beaches it is easy to see the rows of sea defences between concrete gun placements on every headland. I can only imagine how difficult life was here during the war, there's a story being told all over the island.

Last time I visited Kinmen was too recce the clearance of the huge number of mine fields, now 4 years later, the work has been done and the difference is incredible. The weather hasn't changed much but the work done on the island by the clearance contractors and by the local authorities is extremely impressive.

A bleak day looking down at the beach, China is on the horizon.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Landscape Nikon D800 Taiwan Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:17:31 GMT
Market life I managed to grab a couple of shots from the market area early this morning, it's great to wander around and see the sites, even better when the day is just starting. The weather is still pretty miserable but it doesn't matter too much in the narrow streets.

A temple amongst the trees in the market, there are temples of all sizes on pretty much every street.

 They are extremely elaborately decorated inside and out, lots of bright colours, gold paint and carved granite.

The shops spill out on to the road, there's such a lot of life squeezed in to these narrow streets.

Toy shop. An open door offers a glimpse of the chaotic nature of shops here.

The chemist shop.

The noodle maker.

A doorway in the old market.

That's a quick view of the market, more over the coming days I'm sure. Next post will have a couple of shots from outside the town.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Kinmen Nikon D800 Street photography Taiwan Sun, 09 Feb 2014 14:38:33 GMT
Downpour Finally, arrived on Kinmen Island, bumpy last flight but good to have made it. This evening saw a superb downpour, torrential for about an hour so I ventured out with the camera.

I'm in a small town on the Island, opposite the hotel is a fantastic old street, loads of tiny shops and competing signage.

The rain was spectacular!

Now the rain has stopped so drying off and waiting for some more good weather!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Black and White Kinmen Nikon D800 Street Photography Taiwan Sat, 08 Feb 2014 13:00:45 GMT
Heading East After a long journey and 3 flights I have arrived in Taipei! Off to Kinmen Island tomorrow morning, what fun.

I visited Taiwan a few years ago and really enjoyed the experience, it was great to take a quick walk this evening and grab a few street shots, I'm not much of a street photographer so they are what they are! 

After the calm of Sweden, Taipei is superbly busy, the noises and smells are invigorating.

There's an amazing mix of old and new on the streets, religion sits nestled amongst apartment blocks and racks of mopeds.

Looking forward to getting back to Kinmen Island tomorrow, last time I visited it was covered in land mines, will be interesting to see how the place looks now.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikon D800 Street Taipei Taiwan Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:37:35 GMT
Storforsen Today saw a drive out to Storforsen, translated as Grand Rapids in English. We've had a fair amount of snow over the last 24 hours so I guessed it would look quite nice over there.

The rapids are huge and flow all year round, despite the freezing temperatures, there are extensive walkways and trails, great for wading through the snow. The sun was really trying and had turned the sky a great colour, the snow had a hint of amber to it.

Across the footbridge.

The spray from the falls freezes on the trees and looks great

There's plenty of fast flowing water between the frozen bits!

It didn't feel too cold today either, around -15 or so, plenty warm enough for a good walk.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Sat, 01 Feb 2014 15:40:20 GMT
Wind power! Sweden is incredible when it comes to power production, there's loads of it! I have a real fascination with the infrastructure up here in the North and often photograph the grid.

Apart from the huge hydroelectric production, there is also a massive amount of wind generated power, I know these wind turbines can polarise opinion, some love them, some hate them, I'm firmly on the love side of things!

Today I had to have a medical for an upcoming trip to Taiwan and used the opportunity to take a drive out to one of these wind farms for a look, it was extremely impressive! I only had a short time as the sun was setting rapidly but it was a good recce and i have a few great locations lined up for some more serious shots over the coming week.

Anyway, here's a quickly grabbed shot from the road, the sun had disappeared but the sky was a great colour.

My plan is to set up for some long exposure shots, capture movement in the blades, I'll also see if I can get access and try for some more dramatic close up shots, should be good.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Wind turbine Wed, 29 Jan 2014 20:11:14 GMT
Natural light portraiture Since I started spending some time in the North of Sweden, I've come to love the light and how it has such a huge affect on life here. There's not much of it in the winter and when the sun does make an appearance it has a beautiful amber glow. In the summer you can't get away from it, light all the time! 

This time of year is perfect for natural light portraiture, I had been lucky enough to arrange a shoot with Stina and I woke to a great clear sky that changed during the morning to a hazy light, perfect. It was quite a bit warmer than of late, around -18 so we met at 11am and it was a pleasure to photograph Stina, a natural Swedish beauty.

The light wasn't quite good enough to take advantage of the row of trees I have been trying to photograph recently so we went for more traditional portraiture. 

The combination of diffused light and the fantastic Nikkor 200 f2 wide open gave a lovely image, the light striking Stina's beautiful hair was perfect. 

I tend to like my portraits to be fairly subdued but Stina had a great smile that lit up her face so we went for a few relaxed shots.

And finally a close up, there's a confidence and self assurance that develops over time that is extremely attractive, Stina has it in abundance. I love this shot.

Thank you to Stina for being a fantastic model despite me asking her to stand in snow for over half an hour! An absolute pleasure.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden Winter Sun, 26 Jan 2014 15:55:55 GMT
No access day 3, getting there! This is much closer to the shot I want from this location, the light was pretty good but not perfect, I need to arrive a little earlier, the trees just glow when the light hits them perfectly. Sometimes it can take quite a few visits to get just the right capture. This is going to be a great location for a portrait shoot, that's my next plan, just need a model! 

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:14:15 GMT
More from today The road home, great light at this time of the year.


Old barn and long shadows

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:55:51 GMT
No access 2, building the shot After yesterday's quick shot on the way to town, I decided to return this morning to spend more time on assessing the location and choosing the right field of view. Yesterday I photographed at 35mm which is a fairly wide angle but today I went for a much narrower view, the overhanging trees look beautiful and by going to 135mm it gave a much more intimate feel.

I decided to shoot wide open at f2 with the Zeiss 135mm, a fantastic lens. Focusing on the barrier throws foreground and background out of focus, a really nice effect. Today's shot has a completely different feel to it, mainly down to the lack of direct sunlight, I was only 5 minutes away from getting the sun streaming through but clouds rolled in as I was setting up, bugger. Today's view with yesterdays light would have been perfect, I shall return!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Thu, 23 Jan 2014 15:28:21 GMT
No access This is a very quick grab from driving to town this morning, I love the light and the row of trees. I shall definitely be returning with my better camera tomorrow if the light is good, lots of potential I think!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Sony RX1 Sweden Winter Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:35:16 GMT
Cold weather photography I love the cold, I'm very lucky to have a house in the North of Sweden, I am also extremely privileged to have worked in the Antarctic for the British Antarctic Survey. After spending 3 summers and 2 winters down on the ice, I learned a lot about staying warm when the temperatures drop.

I obviously don't have access to all the great kit I used in the South but it's actually fairly easy to stay warm and safe if you follow a few basics.


The single most important thing is to maintain core temperature, your body doesn't function properly if you aren't warm, studies have shown that as you get colder your judgement becomes impaired, you become less aware of how cold you are and you can get in to trouble very easily. Stay warm.

I'm not talking about it being a bit chilly out, I'm talking about proper cold, today it is -35c here and whilst it's often colder, I class these temperatures as having the potential to be dangerous if you aren't prepared. If there's no reason to be standing waist deep in snow at -35 then stay in with your feet up in front of the fire!

This morning the light was beautiful in the forest behind my house so I decided to take a trip out. I always dress properly so climbed in to thermal base layer, merino wool long-sleeved top, fleece and moleskin trousers. Thick walking socks over thinner socks before stepping in to my outdoor gear, waterproof and windproof salopettes, fleece neckie, down jacket and wooly hat. That may sound excessive but it's necessary and I very rarely feel anything other than toasty warm.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3!

If I'm traipsing through deep snow as I was this morning, I wear big insulated wellingtons, very popular here in Sweden they are fleece lined and good for -40, they always keep my feet feeling good, something that's incredibly important. I also have a number of different gloves, for walking about I have great big fur lined gloves that are incredibly warm, I often wear thinner gloves inside just in case I need to remove my hands quickly. Once I know where I want to shoot, I change to slightly less heavy duty gloves that are still warm but allow me to control my camera. I always have the big gloves at hand just in case. Keep exposed skin to a minimum.

So, that's how I stay warm, next on to actually using a camera in these conditions.

Cameras in general are far better at dealing with cold than we are, they suffer more with the affects of rapidly changing temperatures where condensation can be an issue. Always acclimatise your camera before a shoot. I leave my camera outside for a good few hours before heading out, keeping it in it's bag allows it to slowly adjust to the ambient temperature and it's then much happier with being used. When I'm done I pack it back in to my camera bag and allow it warm up over an appropriate period, if it's -35 out and +18 in my house then I'll give the camera overnight to make that 53 degree change! 

A lot is said about batteries in the cold but to be honest I have very few issues with battery power. I took one of my Nikon D800's out this morning for 2 hours, shot a good couple of hundred frames at -35 and the battery power hardly dropped at all, that's pretty good. I always keep a spare battery in a pocket close to my body so it retains some heat but as I said, I have often had enough long before my battery has.

Once you're all kitted out, camera is ready for use and for me, on a tripod, then there are a few points worth considering. First is that the thing is now bloody cold, breath on it and you will freeze it up, rest your nose against the rear screen as you use the viewfinder and you're likely to get a very cold nose. This morning I used live view on the tripod and a wireless remote to fire the shutter, all good. 

If you've allowed your kit to acclimatise properly then you shouldn't have too many issues, I regularly check the lens just to see if any moisture has accumulated and frozen, be careful not to breathe on it whilst you're checking!

If you're going to check your lens, try not to look an idiot whilst doing it.

And that's about it, be aware of your own limitations, if you feel cold then don't ignore it, after all we're taking photographs not brokering world peace, you can always head back out again when you've warmed up! Finally and most importantly, this all works for me, do your own research and get the right equipment for you, we are all different, heading out in to the cold based solely on the advice of some bloke from the internet would be daft, do what is right for you!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Cold Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Mon, 20 Jan 2014 14:17:43 GMT
Bloody cold! Popped out a couple of times today to grab some shots, kept having to head back in to warm up! An indicated -25 at the house felt much much colder down by the edge of the river.

Here's a quick shot from earlier this morning looking across at Storforsen, when it's cold like this the spray from the waterfall freezes in the air, looks great in real life, not so great in this photograph!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Photography Sweden Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:01:07 GMT
Power lines revisited Seems a shame not to take advantage of a nice bit of light so I revisited the power lines across the river. The ice crystals in the air formed a nice little sun pillar.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:51:56 GMT
Beautiful day! After a few days of business development, meeting nice people and a few commercial jobs, it was great this morning to wake to a stunning day and grab an hour with the camera

A little chilly out, it measured -22 at the house but felt colder up above the Storforsen valley, beautiful light though.

Blowing out the highlights is not normally the done thing but when the light is this nice I don't mind. The fog rising from the open water on the river looked fantastic. A beautiful day!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:25:29 GMT
More power! Electricity in the North of Sweden is quite fascinating, it's such a vast and sparsely populated area up here and yet the power infrastructure is immense! To me there's a real majesty in the huge pylons cutting through the surrounding forest.

There are some great facts about Swedish power, there hasn't been an outage for many years and hydroelectric power accounts for the majority of the production, most of these hydro power plants are located up here in the North. The Swedes are justifiably proud of their stable power grid and it's a real benefit to big business moving in to the area.

From a photographers point of view, the juxtaposition between nature and the hand of man is beautifully represented in these main power lines and I am scouting locations for the perfect shot to represent power within nature.

Once sunlight returns to us here, I think there may be something in this location, this is a test shot from a scouting visit earlier this week

A second shot from this morning, I found where the lines cross the river. I really like the combination of river, trees and power lines, taking a long exposure shot smoothed out the water and contrasts nicely with the trees. I think with a low setting sun this location will be great.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Sweden Zeiss 21mm long exposure power Tue, 07 Jan 2014 14:06:07 GMT
Kit! Who doesn't like a good equipment post, nobody!

In my experience there are many types of photographers, for some the gear is everything, for some it means nothing. Some buy lenses and cameras to look at and never use, some couldn't care less and regard all photographic equipment as simply tools for a job.

I'm not entirely sure what group I'm in, mostly I regard all equipment as nothing more than tools but then on occasion I am extremely enthused by a piece of glass and can act irrationally in a shop full of beautiful lenses. Over the years I have used film and digital, medium format, 35mm and lots of smaller cameras, work often takes me to slightly dodgy places and as much as it would be great to set up a tripod, large format film camera and black cloth in the centre of Kabul, it's not going to happen!

On to my current kit list, I say current because i very rarely sell any photographic equipment so I have a large cupboard full!

I'm mainly a Nikon shooter, for no other reason than I love the files I get from the camera, I use Nikon D800's along with a range of AF and MF lenses both Nikkor and Zeiss. I also own a Sony RX1, for some of the places I work this camera is incredible! Compact, extremely quiet and arguably some of the best files available if you like the 35mm focal length, I don't travel without it, perfect for documentary style work.

Lenses, I am lucky that I have a few excellent lenses, the Nikkor 200 f2 is legendary and one of the most incredible lenses I have ever shot with. I use it for everything, portraits are beautiful but it also works great on landscapes.

Another favourite is the Zeiss 135 f2, a stunning lens, it is manual focus, fantastic to work with. As with the 200, it gets used for portraits and landscapes, I really enjoy shooting this focal length and stitched images have a huge amount of detail.

My dedicated landscape lens is the Zeiss 21 f2.8, another incredibly good lens, manual focus and often used with my Lee filters. It's also great for shooting aurora or stars at night, I use this lens a lot.

For general purpose shooting I use a Nikkor 50 f1.8 and a Nikkor 85 f1.8, these are cheap lenses but I'm always blown away with the detail they capture on the D800. They are pretty much disposable at the cost and so are always part of my travel kit.

There are lots of extra bits required to make all this work properly, I use a Hahnel remote for the camera, it's great for long exposures and setting up interval shots at night, it's also wireless so perfect for getting sharp shots.

I have used Gitzo tripods for years, my current carbon model is super light and extremely stable, I pretty much always shoot from it.

On top I have tried lots of tripod heads, my most recent purchase is a ball head and camera plate made by Acratech, it's great to use, extremely robust and may be with me for quite some time! I have a Really Right Stuff bracket on the Sony and also on the Nikkor 200 f2, everything fits together and works off the same tripod head.

I travel with a Macbook Pro, lots of memory cards and extra batteries for both the Nikon and the Sony, you can never have too much power! I own hundreds of camera bags, I'm always looking for just the right thing and it's difficult to find. I recently bought a Gura Gear Batterflae 26 and I love it! It carries everything, is extremely comfortable, light and does exactly what is required of it, can't ask for more than that.

I think that's it, for now! I am lusting after a Leica S kit but would need to sell both my houses to buy in to that! I find what I have to be superb for everything I shoot, any failures are down to me not my equipment.

Enjoy whatever you shoot with, it's all good fun!

Links to the great gear I use.

Kamerdoktorn, my Swedish equipment suppliers, great service!

Gura Gear, the best bag I have bought.

Hahnel remote, highly recommended.

Acratech tripod heads, again the best I have used so far!

Really Right Stuff, body and lens tripod mounts


(Mat Richardson Photography) Acratech Equipment Gura Gear Nikon RRS Zeiss Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:05:20 GMT
Layers and long exposures It's a little overcast here at the moment but still there are opportunities for grabbing a nice shot if you look. 

There's a strong graphic in the layers of trees, cloud, sky in this shot, I like the way everything stacks up. The low cloud centre frame really makes the image along with the difference in colour between the birch and pine trees, nice.

A different style completely, using ND filters for a long exposure to blur the water at the falls, picking out the snow covered rocks in the flow anchors the image and provides a good contrast, also nice.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Landscape Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:19:29 GMT
Heading home! Well, after 2 weeks of having my fantastic nieces, sister and brother-in-law visit, yesterday was a very sad day as I dropped them back at the train station ready for their overnight journey back to Stockholm and the plane home. I had a fantastic time with them all here and the house now feels very quiet, tidy and quiet!

My last couple of pictures from waving them off, Livi at the station waiting room window

The family waving from the train!

And to finish, me and the girls.

My beard was that white before they arrived, I think! Love to all and see you again soon x.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Sweden family Sun, 05 Jan 2014 22:23:16 GMT
Time for a break It's great being a photographer, sometimes you can just take a shot that brings a smile to your face. We'd had a morning of building slides, throwing snowballs and digging a snow cave, the weather is particularly mild at the moment so elevenses outside was just the ticket!

I managed to grab a quick photograph of the girls enjoying cake and juice whilst we had our coffee, it's just a simple shot but captures the moment perfectly.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden family snow winter Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:03:40 GMT
Close up Happy New Year to all, I hope 2014 sees the realisation of all your hopes and dreams!

I love shooting landscapes and portraits, they are my favourite things. There's so much beauty in nature, which includes the human form.

Occasionally though, it pays to change things a little, look a bit closer and find the beauty in man-made objects. I'm lucky to have a few old buildings in my garden, they are close to being reclaimed by nature, leaning dangerously and near collapse. The benefit of this neglect is the incredible colour and detail in the old wood, faded creosote, rusted nails and doors held closed with bits of old twig. 

I took the camera out this morning just to capture a few of these shapes and textures.

Frost on the double doors, the camera is level, the doors aren't!

Snow on the cross-braces



There's such beauty in the colours, the faded paint, the streaks of rust. To my eye it equals the most stunning of landscapes.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Wed, 01 Jan 2014 13:57:39 GMT
Family Christmas! Christmas is the perfect time to have lots of life in the house, I've been working really hard to rebuild in time for the arrival of my sister, brother in law and my 2 lovely nieces. Here are a few of my favourite shots from the christmas period.

My perfect nieces!

We've been on quite a few adventures already this week, visiting the Arctic Circle, visiting Storforsen, Skiing, snowmobiling and also building slides and snowmen in the garden. It's hard work being the best Uncle in the world!! 

Teaching Livi to play backgammon, could have been a mistake as she has been pretty much unbeaten since!

We decided to drive out to Storforsen on Christmas Eve, it was pretty chilly at around -21, the girls loved it even though I was worried there would be some frozen bits! My sister and her family..

The weather got a lot warmer on Christmas day and we had a great time building snowmen and slides in the garden.

We spent boxing day recovering from Christmas day but the 27th saw a visit to the Arctic and also to the great Sami museum at Jokkmokk.

Standing at the Arctic Circle

Georgia deciding whether to serve me at the museum.

That brings us pretty much up to date, today saw Livi's first go at skiing and she was fantastic! We had a great time at the local ski hill.

She obviously has a natural ability passed down from her parents!

And that's it! We still have a few more days to fill so I'm sure I will be able to add another post soon. It has been brilliant so far having family here and has made my Christmas, especially as my last 2 Christmases have both been spent in Iraq. Just need to start planning who is visiting next year!

I hope all who are reading enjoyed their Christmases too, here's to 2014.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Christmas Family Sweden Sat, 28 Dec 2013 18:31:02 GMT
The last cygnet Sweden in the winter is probably not the best place for a photographer who likes to be outside, the sun rose today at around 10am and set around 1.30pm, that's not a lot of light! 

I try and get down to the river most days, just for a look and sometimes I'm rewarded with a nice image or two. This morning the sun was trying, the sky ranged from deep grey to orange which caused a beautiful soft light to be reflected from the surface of the frozen river. 

As I was admiring the view I spotted what is possibly the last cygnet of the season, he/she/it was flying up and down between the remaining patches of open water, it looked pretty good so I guess the flight South will soon be on the cards. I'm no expert on swans but it seems pretty late in the season to me, I hope it makes it ok!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden cygnet landscape panorama swan Mon, 16 Dec 2013 20:34:24 GMT
Simple pleasures If I were to write a list of the top 10 things I'd love to be doing on a Saturday 2 weeks before Christmas, a trip to Ikea would not be on that list. I could probably compose a top 50 and it wouldn't even sneak in!

Now I doubt I'm the only one to think like this, but still I joined the rest of the population of Northern Sweden and took my chances on the mean streets of Haparanda.

This ordeal would have been worse had it not been for my friends Penny and Elika who agreed to join me, it turned out to be a great trip for one reason, witnessing the simple pleasures a 3 year old experiences in the midst of pure chaos.

Whilst walking the aisles we discovered that the arrows on the floor directing the way were being projected down by lights from above. That meant the shone on anything underneath them, this was extremely funny to Elika who did the only thing natural to a 3 year old and wanted to see the arrow on her tummy! What a fantastic idea and lost on the rest of us.

Is that not the most fantastic thing?! Just the innocence of a kid lying on the floor, laughing with an arrow shining on her while the rest of Sweden shuffled past. Next time I'm taking my proper camera.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Child innocence iphone photography Sun, 15 Dec 2013 21:21:57 GMT
Lucia in B&W Photographing in candlelight can be tricky for colour shots but works nicely for black and white conversions so here are a couple of quick edits.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Candlelight Festival Lucia Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:15:40 GMT
Lucia Hands up, who's heard of Lucia? Nope, me neither! 

So, it turns out that on the 13th of December in Sweden they have Lucia, I believe it's named after Saint Lucia and involves a procession by candle light and is one of the oldest of traditions. There is lots of singing and traditional songs are apparently known by everyone, here's one I found...

The night treads heavily
around yards and dwellings
In places unreached by sun,
the shadows brood
Into our dark house she comes,
bearing lighted candles,
Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.

There is a competition to become Lucia and locals vote on who they want to represent, there are regional as well as a national Lucia!

This evening was the announcement of the Älvsbyn Lucia and I went along to take some photographs of the girls who had entered. They looked great in their traditional white robes, carrying candles.

Now as a newcomer to Sweden, I find all this fascinating! I think it's great to understand local traditions and get involved whenever possible and it was a pleasure to take some photographs. Obviously this is a serious business, singing, walking without setting fire to anyone or worse, yourself! So we took some serious photographs.

This years Lucia, Julia looking beautiful!

All the girls act as handmaidens to Lucia and will follow in the procession. 

Here's a nice group shot

I had to do a lot of photoshopping on that picture to make everyone look angelic, this is what they looked like straight out of the camera!

I think I prefer the original!

Here's a couple more I really like.

On seeing the candles everywhere, I had a bright idea! (excuse the pun) After a little hunting around by one of the guys in the church, we had the perfect prop! The girls knew exactly what to do so we soon had my favourite photograph of the evening!

Thanks to Ellen and all the girls for letting me take their photographs, it was a pleasure to meet everyone. Good luck to this years Lucia and all the handmaidens, I hope you have a great procession tomorrow.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Candlelight Festival Lucia Procession Sweden Tradition Thu, 12 Dec 2013 23:16:18 GMT
Polar portraits This far North, the days are pretty short and snowy but today the skies cleared for a while and I took the opportunity to work on some portrait ideas. I found a willing subject in Birgitta, she has a perfect Swedish look that fitted with my idea for a simple head shot that would reflect my idea of Sweden.

Birgitta runs a great shop at Storforsen, full of amazing crafts and goodies, luckily for me there is a large Christmas tree outside the shop and this would serve as the perfect backdrop. Using the Nikkor 200 f2 wide open it was easy to make the tree disappear in the smooth background and include one of the tree lights for a little interest.

Focusing on Birgitta's eye at f2 gives a lovely fade from focus to a smooth bokeh, making her eyes pop and contrast beautifully with the background.

So, this is the result, I am really pleased with it, other than setting white balance and resizing for the web, this is as shot.

Thanks to Birgitta for standing in the cold looking fabulously Swedish while I tried different ideas, a perfect model!


(Mat Richardson Photography) Beauty Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Portrait Sweden Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:51:40 GMT
Christmas arrives in Lapland! Today I took a few pictures for the local Christmas market, great day but pretty chilly. The real Santa turned up accompanied by a friendly reindeer and some great singers.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Christmas Lapland Nikon D800 Santa Sweden Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:52:23 GMT
Old barn Another shot from today taken of an old barn down the road, I like how this came out.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon D800 Sweden barn Thu, 05 Dec 2013 19:42:19 GMT
Look out! I managed a few more shots with the new lens today, starting to understand how it works and just what it can do. These shots I'm happier with, I should be getting shots for the site soon.


The river at this time of year is really beautiful, a little fog raising from the last bit of open water.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Thu, 05 Dec 2013 19:22:47 GMT
Power! A bit more testing today of the Nikkor 200 f2, I feel I'm starting to get a hang of it but really looking forward to getting it on a tripod and using it properly! Again this is hand held so not an image for the site.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Nikkor 200 f2 Power Pylons Sweden Winter Wed, 04 Dec 2013 19:10:43 GMT
Visiting the Arctic Circle! So, I was out for a drive this morning to do some more lens testing and decided to go and visit the Arctic! It's only up the road so not really a big deal but it's a nice drive on icy roads and I was keen to see if there were any Reindeer wandering about.


Tourist snap!

I had driven less than 2 mins before I came across a familiar face, he was obviously getting a little training in ready for the big day.


(Mat Richardson Photography) Arctic Circle Reindeer Rudolph Sweden Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:46:28 GMT
Testing times! My new lens arrived yesterday evening and it's a bit special! Out for sunrise this morning which isn't that difficult at this time of the year as it doesn't get light until around 9am. The following shots are just messing about really as I try and find out how the lens handles, I won't get any serious images with it until a new tripod mount arrives so I can use it properly.

Anyway, here are some rough shots with my new Nikkor 200 f2.

(Mat Richardson Photography) D800 Landscape Nikkor 200 f2 Nikon Sweden Tue, 03 Dec 2013 16:04:34 GMT
Old tree

Old tree

(Mat Richardson Photography) Black and White Highlight Nikon D800 Sweden Winter landscape zeiss 135 f2 Sun, 01 Dec 2013 05:05:58 GMT
In the forest

In the forest

(Mat Richardson Photography) Forest Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Snow Sweden Trees Winter Zeiss 21mm Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:11:00 GMT
IceFrozen stream, amazing shapes from the ice crystals.


Frozen stream, amazing shapes from the ice crystals. 

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Ice Nikon D800 Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:21:36 GMT
Feeling frosty

Feeling frosty

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Ice Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Sat, 23 Nov 2013 04:56:00 GMT
More from the river, thick fog lit by the low sun, nice.

More from the river, thick fog lit by the low sun, nice.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Thu, 21 Nov 2013 09:59:07 GMT
Down by the riverTaken this morning, coldest day of the winter...

Down by the river

Taken this morning, coldest day of the winter so far, -20 degrees, felt it too!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Thu, 21 Nov 2013 06:26:00 GMT
Last nights Aurora

Last nights Aurora

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm aurora borealis northern lights Fri, 15 Nov 2013 23:38:53 GMT
A second experimental star trail shot, more aurora sneaking in.

A second experimental star trail shot, more aurora sneaking in.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Highlight Night Sky Nikon D800 Stars Sweden Zeiss 21mm aurora borealis northern lights star trails Sun, 10 Nov 2013 12:38:43 GMT
Experimenting with star trails and then an aurora gets in the...

Experimenting with star trails and then an aurora gets in the way!

(Mat Richardson Photography) Aurora Highlight Night Sky Nikon D800 Sweden Zeiss 21mm aurora borealis long exposure northern lights star trails stars Sun, 10 Nov 2013 12:24:00 GMT
Under the bridge

Under the bridge

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm river Sun, 10 Nov 2013 08:03:00 GMT
Winding through the forest

Winding through the forest

(Mat Richardson Photography) Forest Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 River Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm Sun, 10 Nov 2013 07:23:36 GMT
Sun makes an appearance

Sun makes an appearance

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Sweden Winter zeiss 135 f2 Sun, 10 Nov 2013 07:14:18 GMT
Some trees, just because I like them

Some trees, just because I like them

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Panorama Sweden Trees Zeiss 21mm Sun, 10 Nov 2013 05:53:07 GMT

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 River Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm long exposure Sun, 10 Nov 2013 05:37:33 GMT
Dull and overcast down by the river today

Dull and overcast down by the river today

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden Winter Zeiss 21mm long exposure Sun, 10 Nov 2013 05:36:19 GMT
Base of the falls, Storforsen

Base of the falls, Storforsen

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Rapids Sweden Waterfall Winter Zeiss 21mm long exposure Sat, 09 Nov 2013 05:56:25 GMT

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Rapids Storforsen Sweden Waterfall Zeiss 21mm long exposure Sat, 09 Nov 2013 05:54:00 GMT
Some long exposure shots from Storforsen, nice skies today.

Some long exposure shots from Storforsen, nice skies today.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Rapids Storforsen Sweden Zeiss 21mm waterfall Sat, 09 Nov 2013 05:53:40 GMT


(Mat Richardson Photography) Forest Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Snow Sweden Trees Winter zeiss 135 f2 Sat, 09 Nov 2013 05:51:19 GMT
Another barn shot, nice old building, looked great stuck in the...

Another barn shot, nice old building, looked great stuck in the trees.

(Mat Richardson Photography) Highlight Landscape Nikon D800 Sweden zeiss 135 f2 Wed, 06 Nov 2013 12:38:44 GMT