Released Images


Rialto © Lewis Tolputt 2013

Rialto Venice has to be one of my very favourite European cities. Having explored much of Italy, Venice’s charm, architecture and sheer distinctiveness makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Steeped in culture, history and wonder it is understandable why over 60,000 people visit the city each day.

I spent four beautiful days in the Venetian city exploring narrow alleys and searching for hidden treasures. Along the way I had fallen in love with the colours of Burano, enjoyed the peace of Murano, absorbed the soul warming music played at St. Marks Square and eaten almost my body weight in gelato ice cream! But hey, life is a journey best traveled with an open mind and a hunger for adventure.

I had been looking to capture a number of iconic shots of Venice. The weather, swarms of tourists and some frustrating scaffolding had hampered my efforts to find what I was looking for but I was not going to give in that easily. Those that know me best will know that when I am away from home my camera bag is my only permanent companion. As you never know when a truly memorable shot may present itself, my trusted bag never leaves my side. This shot was taken on my last night in Venice before jetting off down to Rome. Fuelled from just capturing the rare scene in I made my way back to my hotel. The forty-minute stroll through the tight winding Venetian alleys made a great window into the hidden lives of the local population. As the city of Venice is located in a lagoon getting from A to B will often incorporate at least one bridge crossing, and tonight’s would be over the Rialto Bridge.

As I made my way towards the truly iconic local landmark I stopped to soak up the atmosphere. The air was warm, the pavements were beginning to quieten and the over populated waters were starting to calm. Light began to paint the world, shades and textures were becoming the only occupiers of the worn cobble sidewalks as restaurants began to close and people drifted off into the night. Stopping at this exact spot I realised this would be my opportunity to capture a shot of the 400 year old structure. I waited for the last gondola to punt its way down the Grand Canal before setting up my tripod. With only the sound of the water lapping against the granite quayside and some late night tourists on the bridge I got to work. One of my major concerns for this shot was carefully balancing the light. Street lamps, reflections and tones would all have to be considered to make this shot appealing, believe it or not the brightest part of this image was the water in the lower left-hand corner. I quickly grabbed a subtle grad filter and inverted it so the darker part of the filter was at the bottom of the lens. This worked well and with a little rotation the brightness at the bottom of the scene began to balance with the softer tones kissing the bridge. As the light was fairly consistent I could now concentrate on planning my timing. I wanted just enough movement in the water to additionally dull the reflections and sure enough the wake from a late night water taxi was the perfect solution. The light on the taxi’s cabin also brought a contrasting horizontal line of light to the underneath of the bridge; this complements the vertical mooring pillars and adds hidden depth to the scene. With eight exposures in the bag I had got what I was looking for. As Venice was just one of my stops on this European trip I had not packed a laptop or tablet so I would have to wait until I flown home to review my shots properly.

Sure enough, a week or so later and I was back at my mac armed with a cup of coffee. With all my memory cards backed up and archived I reviewed my shots from that night. This image was my favourite of the Rialto Bridge and is the latest addition to my horizontal gallery . You can see the behind the scenes pictures from this trip here on my .

If you have never visited Venice but wanted to I would urge you to do so as soon as possible. The dynamics of the lagoon are always changing and the surrounding tides are only rising. I know one-day Venice will no longer be the place it is today.

Western Blue

Western Blue © Lewis Tolputt 2013

Brambles, puddles, rabbit droppings and damp grass, I live such a glamorous life!

One of the common misconceptions people often have is that the life of a travel and landscape photographer is full of adventures to exotic places. There are great moments but also ones that ground you and keep things in perspective. Moments that include kneeling in a boggy field waiting for clouds to clear. Moments when you stand in the chilling wind for hours just to get one shot. And moments when you look back at a photograph and you think ‘I could do so much better than that now’. Time is the best teacher yet life can be the hardest of critics.

It was a wet evening in April when I found myself stuck in my office looking through my portfolio of work. Scrolling through my Mac I came across , a photograph that has toyed with my understanding of composition and timing ever since I shot it. Taken at Lanyon Quoit in Cornwall, was shot two years ago on a warm summers evening. Characterised by its predominately black negative space the photograph has become one that has sparked a journey of endless inner assessment and creative reflection. I don’t really like to shoot the same location twice, life has taught me to resist covering old ground. However there is something about this one image that has prompted me to contradict this train of thought.

With my mind made up, a better idea of what I was after and the correct weather conditions, I ventured off to try and better my previous efforts and put a niggling demon to rest. Sure enough in the skies over Southern England Western Blue emerged, a scene with such simplicity that you can’t help but pause and admire it. Shot with a Nikon D800 and the renowned Nikkor 24-70 F2.8 lens, the flattering colour range and defined crisp silhouette of the Cornish granite are what make this shot so captivating. You wouldn’t think that I had to lay for two hours in long wet grass battling a fierce northerly wind to capture this. Thats the hidden quality of a photograph, trying to understand and appreciate the situation it was taken in. I remember going to see a Don McCullin exhibition in London a year or so ago, the collection was mind bending, it covered his time in Vietnam through to Northern Ireland. Yet it was the inner journey of trying to appreciate the circumstances under which the photographs were taken that stirred my emotions. What we don’t see or experience when looking at an image is just as vital as to what we do see. It prompts the imagination to fill the gaps and paint a bespoke world of sounds and textures unique to your own perception of the image and life experiences. Anyway back to the subject in hand, once the sun had sunk beneath the horizon I grabbed my gear and got to work. Not wanting to waste pixels and burden my workload I slowly watched the scene unfold. Its funny what you see when you really stop and look at a subject. After ten carefully timed exposures I was happy I had got what I was looking for. I quickly switched the D800′s self timer setting on and grabbed a self portrait to document my adventures (you can find the shot on ). As I packed up my camera bag and collapsed my tripod the remarkable scene reminded me of how lucky we are to live in such a amazing world. Sure we all have pressures, grocery bills, work commitments and general day to day life but our entire world is full of beauty. It doesn’t matter where you are on our little planet or what you do, the most important thing is that you stop and appreciate life once in a while. After all that’s why we take photographs, to share those unique moments with the people we love the most.

To find out more about me and to follow my adventures have a look at About Lewis and join my supporters on my .

Rotonda’s Secret

Rotonda’s Secret © Lewis Tolputt 2013

Exploring a foreign city at night isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, especially when carrying expensive camera equipment with them. Yet having explored much of Europe over the past few years I can honestly say that Rome is one of my favourite places to visit. The rich history, stunning architecture and friendly locals provide visitors from all corners of the globe with a truly memorable experience.

By day the ancient streets swell with a diverse mix of international travelers. Tour groups move like fish in shoals skipping from one point of interest to another. Street sellers try to catch you attention with promises of the best deals in town for handbags, t-shirts and trinkets. Impeccably dressed restaurateurs stand outside their establishments with mouthwatering menus enticing you to come and sample their cuisine. The appearance of a vintage Ferrari passing you by on the street reminds you that you are in one of the style capitals of the world. You absorb all these sights and sounds and that’s before you have had the opportunity to discover the history and importance of this amazing city.

This is why I love exploring and shooting foreign sights at night. The period between 11pm and 3am allow you to see how a city slows down and finds peace within itself. You witness the world through native eyes and no longer have to cipher through the crowds to find local beauty

Piazza della Rotonda in the centre of Rome is a great example of an area of the city that falls asleep with Italian grace and charm. In the cool evening air I headed East from Piazza Novona and soon stumbled across this stunning scene. Stopping to marvel at the grandeur of the Pantheon I noticed the small family businesses surrounding the piazza start to wind down. Sometimes you just feel the magic of a shot unfold in front of you. Realising the potential of the scene I found a peaceful spot to perch and waited. As the last of the wooden shutters closed and the locals said goodnight to one and other Piazza della Rotonda’s only signs of life were the Fontana del Pantheon and a handful of people enjoying each others company. I usually try to avoid including people in my photographs but tonight I felt differently. My commercial photography has taught me many things but one of the most important is including a quantifiable sense in scale in certain shots. The Pantheon is one of Rome’s grandest and oldest buildings, it has been in constant use since its construction in 126 AD. Conveying the building’s scale would not only enhance the final shot but also reinforce the significance this building has had in Italian history.

I grabbed my Nikon D700, tripod, cable release and got to work. As the number of people on the piazza continued to reduce I knew I had to get the shot soon. There were a number of priorities for me, including the moon, capturing the unique flair from the right hand streetlight, showing the texture of the Pantheon and getting the right balance of people and movement. As the evening progressed I found my moment, a mixture of my wish list. I took a small batch of shots but this one had the perfect blend of all the vital elements. Within minutes of packing my camera away the piazza cleared and silence took hold.

I know to some this may sound strange but I always whisper a little thank you to a scene or view after I have shot. I remember talking to a native Indian in Arizona a few years ago and discussing how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful world and how people have forgotten to say thank you for the simplest of things. Not many people have the opportunities I do to travel the world and see amazing sights so I am grateful for the life I have and the beauty I my camera captures.

To find out more about me and how I capture these shots, have a look at About Lewis and join my supporters on my .

Heybrook Bay

Heybrook Bay © Lewis Tolputt 2013.

“Four hours sleep, I can operate on that”, these were my last thoughts before closing my eyes and bedding in for the night. The next thing I knew I was being woken up by my iPhone alarm, no matter how much passion you have for something, pulling yourself away from a warm bed when your body craves sleep can be harder than you anticipated.

As I silently looked out the window I was met by darkness, a pulse-less world of parked cars, empty streets and stillness. I then remembered a two-hour drive to a place I had never been to before lay ahead of me. Penlee Point in Cornwall looks east over the opening to the river Tamar and had the perfect ingredients for a promising sunrise.

With my camera bag on my back I left my house. Ever since returning from exploring Australia I have really struggled with the cold British weather. De-icing the car on an April morning only reiterated how early I was leaving. A casual glance at my watch kindly told me it was shortly after 4am.

The two-hour drive to Penlee Point in Rame passed quite quickly. It’s always a gamble when trying to shoot a sunrise in a new location, especially when there are so many unknowns. Have I got the right equipment? Should I have packed my climbing gear? What will access be like? These were all thoughts bouncing around my head whilst I covered the 80-mile journey to the southeast Cornish coast.

I found the lifeless car park I had seen on Google maps and set off on foot to find the understated Queen Adelaide Grotto. After a a 20-minute walk and a brief encounter with some wild deer I found the concealed grotto. Similar in appearance to a disused train tunnel, one of the windows of this hidden location faces due east towards Heybrook Bay and Staddon Heights. With the persistent wind bellowing through the structure I unpacked my Nikon D800 and got to work. It was now 6:20am and sunrise was only a matter of moments away. A necessary lens change in the windy grotto was the only option in order to achieve this shot. Some minor adjustments to the composition, aperture and shutter speed allowed me to concentrate on the most vital element of taking any photograph, timing. My fingers were now so numb that trying to attach my remote trigger was not an option, instead I used the camera’s self-timer mode to minimise camera shake. With the sunlight shimmering across Plymouth Sound the gap between Devon and Cornwall created a magical site, I found myself feeling very lucky to have such a precious view all to myself. Eight exposures later the canopy of subtle colours evaporated into the daytime light and this scene was lost to eternity.

I hope you like this shot as much as I do. We live in a beautiful world and this is a fine example of how wonderful Mother Nature can really be.

Reminiscent of another one of my popular shots ( ) this image is the latest edition to Lewis Tolputt Fine Art Photography. You can see more of my work in my Vertical and Horizontal galleries.  For more information regarding prices and printing options please visit my Products section.

La Dame De Fer

La Dame De Fer © Lewis Tolputt 2013

An early morning stroll through the French capital resulted in finding this colourful scene. It was around 7am on a cool morning in Paris that I found myself walking along the bank of the River Seine. I love exploring foreign lands early in the morning: the peace, light, clean air and sense of unknown make you feel as if you have the whole place to yourself.

I had been wanting to capture a shot of the Eiffel Tower for days but was faced with the intimidating thought of how to shoot an original photograph of such a world famous landmark?

To start with, I thought about my style. I like to shoot minimalistic pictures: why over complicate something when a simple approach can often deliver captivating results.

I wondered across Point d’lena and found myself at the foot of the iconic structure. It’s only when you gaze up at a 1,000 foot tall tower do you gain a sense of perspective on the world and realise just how great man’s potential really is. As I looked for my shot, the morning light raked over the polished paved ground and bounced up into the bowels of Gustave Eiffel’s creation. Reflected morning light can be some of the most flattering of the day. Knowing that the ingredients for this shot were coming together, I reached into my camera bag and grabbed my D700. Combined with the infamous Nikon F2.8 24-70, I knew that I had the right tools to realise my intentions. As I checked my watch I knew the morning light wouldn’t last long and the hazy cloud would disperse.

Within minutes cotton wool-like clouds drifted through the sky like lost icebergs and I knew now was the time to take the shot. Seven exposures at around F11 allowed me to record enough detail of the structure but retain some vital softness in the clouds. I quickly checked each shot on the camera’s small LCD screen and reassured myself that I had captured what I was after. As with many of my adventures, I had a plane to catch that morning and before I knew it I was packing my camera back into my bag and heading towards Bir-Hakeim metro station.

This was my first visit to Paris and it had been a great week full of new experiences and cherished memories. As I was absorbed into the morning commuter crowds, I took a moment to stop and look back over my shoulder. After whispering a heartfelt goodbye to the Eiffel Tower, I asked myself when would I return to this stunning city again.

To find out more about me and how I capture these shots, have a look at About Lewis and join my supporters on my .