Last month, the 1000th photo by PhotoCosma got accepted on Stocksy United. The collection keeps growing every month and I’m really happy about the quality and variety of them. Here are also the top 5 images from last month – December 2018:
This winter wasn’t particularly rich in snow or very cold for that matter. There were a few photo opportunities but with snow only lasting a couple of days at a time, we had to plan everything really well. It was also the case with our last trip, one close to home but higher in altitude. The day before it was raining heavily and we kept watching the forecast as well as the weather outside. At night the rain turned to a heavy snow storm. By morning everything was covered with a thick layer of snow. The roads were bad but we managed to get up in the forest mountain not far from home, now covered in snow and fog.
The higher we went, the thicker the fog became. We kept going through the fog and it started snowing again. The blizzard had knocked down a lot of giant old trees and there was a strange sense of danger lurking through the snow covered forest. Later into the day we reached a clearing near the top of the mountain just as light began to fall and everything was turning blue. The gentle hum of the wind in the trees was the only sound we could hear and the atmosphere was really heavy. No human in sight other than us, no man-made sound, everything seemed so far away and muted. It was almost like we were hearing some sort of white noise. Lonely trees with strange shapes grew out of the snow like antennas to the sky getting lost in the fog. Everything was overwhelming. Got as many images as we could before the light started to fall. When out photographing it is easy to get lost in time, but as the night drew closer we had to get back on lower grounds and back into this world.
For the next couple of days after something surreal and intense like this, everything seems to be at a lower volume and running at a slower speed for me. Maybe this is the consequence of visiting another world. I hope the gate opens again soon.
It’s time for the Stocksy United Top 5 of the month – January 2018 edition. I’ve had a hard time choosing between 23 new accepted images that were added to my exclusive Stocksy United collection. There are some surreal landscapes (something in which I have a lot of interest in lately) and abstract winter details. One of the winter details –Abstract winter texture background was also added to the curated feed by the Stocksy editors. Here are My Stocksy top 5 for the last month:
So this is it for this top, but join us again next month for another top5 and in the coming days for something new and interesting we’ve been working on.
We have been trying to find ways of keeping some “recipes” of our photo editing process for some time. I like to document any interesting tries and have a collection of effects that can be applied to (most) nature photos. Then it struck me: the easiest way to keep track of these effects would be to make some actions of the adjustments that we have come to love over the years. We really like the way they turned out so we’ve made them available for others that want to try and get the “fantasy look” in their photos.
The first two packs are available on Creative Market:
All the actions have been tweaked and tested on hundreds of photos and have been made so that the effects are easily adjustable. Most of the edits are kept on separate layers so the layer opacity can be adjusted.
I hope there will be more actions available in the coming months because it’s a great way to make use of the editing skills that we’ve acquired in nearly a decade.
Here are some before/after images. As you can see the edits are subtle but can really enhance the look and feeling of a photo and give it that mysterious/dreamy/fantasy feel:
It’s time for the Stocksy United Top 5 of the month – this time for November. I’ve had a hard time choosing them but I did it in the end with a bit of delay. There is a bit of everything here: adventure under dramatic skies, rare natural phenomenons, extreme cold, beautiful natural conditions coming together perfectly to highlight the beauty of autumn and magical nights under starry skies. Got your attention? Then here are My Stocksy top 5 for the last month:
It’s that time of the month again when I see how the last month has been and make a top of the most notable photos added to Stocksy. October was a great month. Like always, a lot of the photos that I uploaded are special. Adding them to the Stocksy collection makes them even more valuable. My top 5 picks for the last month are:
The month of August was really prolific in terms of accepted images on Stocksy – 28 of them got added to the Stocksy collection and it was really hard to choose only five of them. I did it in the end, and I hope you like them as much as I do. These are my Stocksy top 5 picks for the month of August:
It was a cold December day when the weather kept changing every minute. The few inches of snow made the climb harder, but once we reached the top all was worth it. A cold wind began to blow and the clouds covered the sun again. Thick mist started rolling down from the mountains and pouring everywhere. The landscape was changing right before our eyes.
The endless pine forests were engulfed by the mist and only a few rays of light managed to break trough to them. The whole landscape got a mysterious eerie beauty that was accentuated by the fact that there was no human being in sight for miles. We could really feel lost in the enormity of the landscape.
The only sound was the one of the cold wind blowing. The rush and background noise of everyday life vanishes is replaced by a calmness that you can’t find anywhere else. It always amazes me how the mist has the capacity to transform a landscape so fast and make it almost timeless. It’s this kind of mood and atmosphere, that feeling of being lost that I (and we at PhotoCosma) try to capture and transmit trough images.
I used a 300 mm tele lens to capture what was happening around me. I was so excited of what I was seeing that I realized a lot of the shots will come out blurry so I used a tripod. It proved to be a good decision as the light was scarce. The mist kept moving and transforming so I had a lot to photograph, but as the night approached I knew we still had a long way to go back again so I stopped and stared for a few minutes. The cold, the tiredness, the fact that we would have to walk a long way trough the dark – nothing mattered. Everything was perfect.
Winter has a mysterious side matched by no other season. The fact that there are only a few hours of light might be a drawback, but for me this thing sets the right mood for the mind to imagine fantasy worlds that begin where the dark snowy woods begin, and where the roads become impassable for the vehicles.
I was out with my brother photographing the beauty of winter woods all day carefully timing everything so I wouldn’t get caught by the night as the plan was to get back to the car while the light was still enough, but just when I wanted to turn back it started snowing so I knew that I had to miss my schedule and stay a little longer. The snowflakes were falling heavily over the landscape so I took this chance and took as many photos as I could. In winter light falls fast so every minute the conditions were changing. It came to a point where I realized that it’s completely dark, so me and my brother started using our flashlights. The image of a man walking through the fog at night in the woods with snow flakes falling everywhere looked very theatrical, it was like we were seeing a movie so we had to capture this.
Using a wide angle lens and a tripod I opened aperture to f5,6 so I could have a shutter speed of 20 seconds and still have everything in focus. I used the flash multiple times to make the large snowflakes visible in the frame because otherwise they would not have been visible.
Like all the photos that remain in the mind of the viewer, this one has a special atmosphere. The man is wandering in the unknown. Anyone can make his own story out of it. Maybe the character is lost, or he is out seeking something in a haunted forest or it could even be that the silhouette belongs to a ghost or an alien. Imagination has no limit. I’m glad that a lot of people saw something in it too and made their own story.
I dug up this winter photo from the archives, as it was made in 2008. I always liked winter because to me it’s the most special season of them all because it has snow and you can’t really beat that 🙂 Of course that shooting in the snow and cold makes things more difficult (more on that in a future post), but it’s totally worth it. I am usually searching for dreamy scenes and winter is great for them, so it’s only natural that I have a lot of dreamy winter photos.
This photo was taken at the beginning of my serious photographic endeavour, and it struck me after some years that the elements that I search for in a photo are there: the dreamy scene, a natural setting, the human element that gives a sense of scale/lost/awe. It has an eerie lost atmosphere to it, and it seems that the tree is almost in the middle of nowhere. It is a great way to attract the viewer and make him remember the photo, because at the end of the day it is a feeling that makes an image special and this is why I like atmospheric nature photography, and this is why I search for the scenes that make you feel something.